Baby Box versus The Joke

The Scottish government rolled out baby boxes yesterday [Tuesday]. The boxes contain essentials for new mums.

The box itself can be used as a cot for new born babies whose mothers, for whatever reason, may not have a proper sleeping place for their newborn.

What’s not to like? Well if you watched Reporting Scotland two weeks ago then you would have been forgiven for believing the boxes were in fact death traps designed by King Herod. The melodramatic, and arguably irresponsible, news report was prompted by comments from an English based charity, The Lullaby Trust.

The programme was following a bizarre narrative that has emerged from god knows where, that is seeking to portray the initiative in as negative a light as possible.

Fast forward to Tuesday’s official roll-out and I wondered how the same programme would report on the initiative. Would they drop the negativity and give the birth of Scotland’s Baby boxes the welcome the idea deserves?

The good news was that the negativity was gone. The bad news was so was everything else. Baby boxes merited a total of twenty seconds mention on the flagship national news programme.

The fantastic initiative designed to help new mothers, especially those on low incomes, was deemed less worthy of BBC Scotland’s valuable resource than a lame joke at the Edinburgh fringe.  In fact it was seven times less newsworthy.

Below is exactly how the Baby box initiative was reported and how the following news item was covered.

Is a mediocre joke by Alex Salmond really worth the time Reporting Scotland spent on the issue? Was it really necessary to have a senior BBC Scotland political reporter despatched to Edinburgh to cover a joke and to film a string of audience members to gauge reaction. When he didn’t obtain the reaction required, did Nick Eardley really have to waste more time and resource stopping random people in the street to ask about a joke they weren’t aware of and hadn’t heard?

Reporting Scotland spent seven times as much time, and god knows how much money, trying to whip up a story about a joke than it did informing viewers of the launch of a valuable initiative.

Baby boxes suffered from the ‘anything negative’ mentality that infects BBC Scotland. The station is prevented from looking outwith its borders so bitterly turns inwards. If you watch the programme you’ll see a self-loathing thread run through many of its news reports. There’s rarely a good news story without a ‘but critics say’ comment appended.  It’s why Baby boxes had to be knocked down.

Finally, I can’t end without mentioning Kaye Adams’ contribution to the Baby box roll-out. Below is the first 11 minutes of her phone-in show on the day the initiative was launched.


I think it’s safe to say Kaye, like many of her colleagues at Pacific Quay, isn’t a fan.


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17 thoughts on “Baby Box versus The Joke

  1. Alasdair Macdonald

    I am glad you raised Ms Adams’ farrago of a programme. This was a straightforward hatchet job. I was expecting the ‘coal-in-the-bath’ trope to reappear. The box became a ‘Trojan Horse’ at one stage.

    Even Mr Chris Deerin, in the New Statesman, actually welcomed the introduction of the box scheme, and he has actually been hired by NS to badmouth the SNP, the Scottish Government and Scotland!

  2. BSA

    Difficult to listen to Kaye Adams’ hostile ignorant and destructive treatment of this. A major factor in the debate,as the minister emphasised, is the Finnish experience which Adams is clearly not equipped to deal with.

  3. brobb

    Well, I just can’t face watching or listening to the clips so i’ll take your word for it. I think we’ll all die of shock the day the BBC manages to put a positive slant on something the SNP are involved in!

  4. harry molloy

    Listened to her programme and like the author was really really unhappy with Keyes constantly playing devils advocate” on the baby box. Ended up switching her off as I did during her absence to the Steven jardin numpty. Found that listing to Smooth Radio much less stressful BBC TV news a definite no and now radio Scotland joining my no watch or listen. Why do we have to pay the license fee for this adulterated anti Scot Gov rubbish?

  5. Socrates MacSporran

    Can we not simply accept, if the Scottish Government was to announce that, henceforth, every man, woman and child in Scotland would receive a tax-free income of £1 million per year – BBC Scotland would try to turn it into an SNP Bad story. It’s what they do.

  6. Margaret Brown

    I do not listen to Kaye nowadays. She is very biased. Why do the BBC have her on for 3 hours , 4 days a week. What a waste of money.

  7. Davy.

    I was listening to “call kaye” pushing the story about what the “Lullaby trust” was saying about the baby boxes and how they were now refusing to have their leaflets placed into the boxes.

    Well what a slap down she got when the Scottish minster corrected her opening statement about the “Lullaby trust” by informing her that the “Lullaby trust” does not operate in Scotland regarding the baby-boxes or I believe anything else, and nothing from them was in the Scottish baby-boxes.

    She could not keep the bile out of her voice for the rest of his interview, she had just been made an earse of, in front of all her listeners.

    I was laughing that hard I almost crashed the car.

  8. S. Laing

    I too heard kay adams progamme about the baby boxes and couldn’t believe her obvious negativity about them. Whats not to like? I understand that she is a greedy and selfish individual who will do what the torys are asking of her at all times or else her jobs in tv and radio will be gone. Typical tory only looks after number one- herself- at all times and couldn’t care less about those less fortunate than herself. Whether she and her tory friends and colleagues like it or not Scotland has always been a moderate socialist country.

  9. Clydebuilt

    Last night on the 10.30 pm STV news. The East coast edition main article covered the new floating wind turbines, the West / Central Scotland edition covered a social health care issue.

    The NE. (Mainly east coast) edition covers developtments in N. Sea oil which are not broadcast to West coast viewers. Is this because STV think it’s West coast audience have no interest in oil or is it to keep the scale of Scotland’s hidden from folk in the West?

    Whatever their reasoning the latter is the effect!

  10. S Ware

    Great article – just one thing – is it in fact true that they’re only for the baby to sleep in if there’s nothing “proper” for them to sleep in? I had previously understood that they were superior to cots and suchlike because their small size helped to deter the baby from rolling onto its front and suffocating.
    They would also be useful if one was accustomed to having baby in bed with mum (for ease of breastfeeding/comforting etc) but mum has for whatever reason had to take medication (in this instance it is usually recommended not to have the baby in bed, in case mum rolls onto the baby and doesn’t wake up – but a baby box would mean baby could still go in the bed, but in the box).

  11. john

    The bile that was escaping from Kaye Adams from the minute she introduce the subject of the baby box was hard to ignore .You could tell from the venom in her words and tone she wanted the SNP to get a hammering here .Glad the minister put her in her place about the Lullaby Trust , she didn’t like it . Thankfully most people were for it (don’t know how they slipped past the censors ) .She is a biased piece or work same as the rest of them , they have never forgiven the protests at Pacific Quay and it shows !

  12. Robert Graham

    Oh gee wizz listening to Addams obvious bile is torture on the eardrums ,
    As far as i gather the boxes are not physically forced on mothers and are only supplied on request ,
    Jing’s according to Addams King Herod is stalking the streets , It took the SNP Minister to correct the misinformation the BBC were pushing regarding the Lullaby trust and they have never had any leaflets near these boxes ,
    Why does the BBC give them such prominence .its pretty simple if your approach to anything the SNP does is to give a negative response this is what you get.
    Yet another day in the life of BBc Misreporting Scotland , next hatchet job please .

  13. Jockanese Wind Talker

    Francine Bates OBE was appointed as Chief Executive of the Lullaby Trust in April 2011.

    Before taking up her position at the Lullaby Trust, Francine worked as a Special Advisor to Ed Balls.

    Radio Shortbread NUJ Members and British Labour.

    Joined at the hip when there’s EssEnnPeeBaad to be pumped out of PQ.

  14. mark

    I stopped listening to Adams some time ago…that clip validates the decision. sickening. btw how much does she get a year?


    I have said before and I will keep saying it. The SNP and the Scot Gov should PUBLICLY announce it is boycotting the BBC and indeed other hostile MSM. Of course they will get attacked for being petulent and arrogant but just maybe the general public who do not subscribe to Social media will begin to realise the biaise that eminates from these organisations. WE KNOW IT BUT particularly the >60’s (I exclude myself here) still largely dependent on this news source which cultivates their politcal opinions. We have just got to accept nothing portrayed by these media outlets will give credit to the SNP and will ALWAYS put a negative spin on everything connected with the Scot Gov. It is a cse of self preservation as they know their livelihoods depend on keeping the Union together.

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