Anger as BBC Scotland provides pundit with platform to attack SNP over NHS

BBC Scotland has come under attack on social media after an interview conducted by a regular guest pundit was used in order to attack SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon’s record on the NHS.

Broadcast on Sunday, the interview witnessed journalist Pennie Taylor question Professor David Kerr on his report into the Scottish NHS, published in 2005.

The academic was chair of the National Framework Advisory Group set up by the then Labour led administration at Holyrood.

The interview was used as the basis for a stream of BBC Scotland news bulletins that targeted First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP over a perceived failure to adopt key recommendations contained in the report.  The bulletins included comments from interviewer Pennie Taylor that criticised Nicola Sturgeon along with a claim that the SNP leader’s party running of the NHS was “a vote for mediocrity”.

 

The news bulletins, repeated at half hourly intervals on Radio Scotland, prompted an angry reaction on social media with posters questioning the relevance of a thirteen year old report.  Others highighted what they said were clear links to the Labour party of Professor Kerr.

One poster said: “Mischief making by @BBCScotlandNews GMS as a 13 year old report on decomissioning hospitals in NHSS by an Oxford acdemic who has spent his working life outside Scotland & who is a lifelong Labour supporter, is dragged up to accuse the ‘scottish nationalist govt’ of ‘mediocrity’ ”

Others questioned why Labour’s record in government, which included PFI, had been ignored: “Here’s the thing, so we are talking about implementing LABOUR policy on the NHS here, which under them in Govt in both Westmisnter and Holyrood seen the lowest SCORES in SNHS, plus PFI removing money from it?”

Pennie Taylor, who carried out the interview, is a regular guest on BBC Scotland current affairs shows and was also a former Health Correspondent for the broadcaster.  Ms Taylor also assisted the National Framework Advisory Group chaired by Professor Kerr, facilitating local meetings for the group and helping with newsletters.

Professor Kerr’s views on Nicola Sturgeon’s NHS policies are not new.  In 2007, months after the SNP took office for the first time, he attacked the saving of A&E departments, describing the decision as “emotional and irrational”.

There are sure to be questions over whether Ms Taylor should have been allowed to interview her former superior and whether her own views, which appeared sympathetic to those of Professor Kerr, may have coloured her approach to the interview. 

At the time of this article, 16:00 on Monday July 16th, the interview is not yet available on iPlayer despite having been broadcast over 30 hours earlier.

 

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10 thoughts on “Anger as BBC Scotland provides pundit with platform to attack SNP over NHS

  1. John Burrows

    And yet todays papers gleefully report the Ofcom decision that Alex Salmond was in the wrong for including four tweets from people who knew him, or were part of his production team, on a show broadcast last November.

    The double standards of the UK media is boke inducing.

    1. GEORGE S GORDON

      That has to be him. His views on the English NHS and his obvious previous affiliation should have been made clear on the BBC. But they usually fail to do that, just like when they have those right wing think tanks on.

    2. John Burrows

      Thank you for the link.

      His political nous is questionable at best and profoundly biased at its worst –

      “I firmly believe for the first time in my life that we have a Conservative leadership that is committed to the future of the health service. If I didn’t believe that I wouldn’t be there.”

      – his endorsement of the Conservative government in 2010 after surrendering his long held Labour Party membership and joining the government as an advisor.

  2. John

    This is the man that was miffed when the Lab/Libs lost to the SNP in 2007 and his plans to close many hospitals in Scotland were scuppered . He said Scotland had too many hospitals , tell that to people in rural areas , and places where bus services to the nearest town or city are infrequent .
    The State Broadcaster in Scotland and it’s Whitehall masters are getting desperate now , they see Scotland is not the timorous beastie is used to be , all thanks to the SNP . Digging up Professors that no longer have their finger on the Scottish pulse or drafting in one of their long gone so called medical journos , Pennie Taylor , who used to have a regular slot in GMS to slam anything in our health service , thanks to quotes from that medical genius from Labour , Jackie Baillie ! It is just as well we have social media these days or we would still be completely in the dark about the lies we are told on a daily basis .

    1. hettyforindy

      It was also major hospitals in Edinburgh. The Western General was due to be closed down by the Labour party, ( my GP told me that at the time) at a time when they had landed the country in massive debt as a result of their vanity projects re PFI. It would have meant one hospital for the whole of Edinburgh and outlying areas, and albeit an inadequate new hospital with not nearly enough capacity for the population. I dread to think of the consequences if Labour had got their way and closed the Western Gen down, a major research and teaching hospital, that has now been extended and I hear from people I know who work there, new care for the elderly wing is like a hotel.

      I will never ever trust the Labour party, they left Scotland’s councils in debt, which would take 30 years to clear, for new builds, using their vanity scheme, of giving contracts to private firms, to whom Scottish councils are paying a ridiculous level of interest, for things like hospitals and schools, for decades.

      Utterly criminal!

  3. Robert Graham

    The BBC news on the i/pad has had in top spot Kremlin Backed RT ,and the Alex deceived the nation story for two days maybe more ,

    Ofcom in this instance have been out of the traps like lightning , never before have they reacted so quickly to ONE complaint about a show that was aired last year, the BBC conveniently leave out , that was the first show and it was about i think 4 tweets one of them asking a simple question about a term used during the show and one actually after the show went out .

    As RT have pointed out Ofcom have been pushed to act by people who want to sink the Alex Salmond show and damage RT in the process has used a bloody big sledgehammer to crush a tiny nut ,

  4. hettyforindy

    I know someone who needed to be seen for a potential serious disease during the night recently, thy had no access to transport and so the Scottish NHS sent a taxi so that they could be seen at the hospital 30 miles away. A taxi took them home. This is how things should be,Why? Because ultimately, it saves money if you make sure people are quickly diagnosed and treated for any potential disease or condition!

    I was treated at an ENT clinic on a Sunday, Sunday clinics being run, because there is a ‘waiting list’ I waited 3-4 weeks from referral. So i was referred for further tests, all very good treatment so far. As I was sitting in the waiting room, I heard the receptionist offer a follow up appointment for ‘next week’ to someone. The patient said, ‘so soon? I can wait’. So the recpetionist had to enquire when the patient would be ‘available?’ Not the other way around as we hear it is, when the Britnats keep saying the ‘NHS is in crisis, meaning England’s NHS.

    We have to stop the Britnats and their dodgy pals getting their dirty, greedy, scheming hands on Scotland’s NHS, because they will do everything they can to try to sell off Scotland’s NHS, making it only ‘available’ to those who can pay!

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