BBC presenter criticised after linking Scottish Nationalists to Xenophobia

A BBC Scotland presenter has come in for criticism after appearing to suggest Scottish Nationalists are parochial and xenophobic.

Sunday Politics Scotland host Gordon Brewer was interviewing Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard.

Pressing Leonard on his own party’s stance on immigration that resulted in criticisms from the SNP, Brewer said: “Surely from a Labour party point of view, the idea that a party with your internationalist traditions can be criticised for parochialism and xenophobia by Scottish Nationalists, I mean things have come to a pretty pass haven’t they?”

The suggestion from the BBC presenter, that Labour was an ‘internationalist’ party and somehow being accused of xenophobia by ‘Scottish Nationalists’ was ironic, was met by a mix of bemusement and anger on social media.

One user of twitter said: “Must be the only parochial & xenophobic movement to actually welcome migrants and anyone else wanting to live in Scotland in peace?”

Another said: “Gordon Brewer merely demonstrates that it is he who is the parochial bigot with a Labour script straight out of the ’70s”

The BBC Scotland presenter is not the first high-profile presenter from the broadcaster to imply Scottish Nationalism is based on xenophobia.  In 2013 Andrew Marr caused anger after claiming anti-English sentiment was “entrenched” in the SNP.

Speaking at the Edinburgh Book Festival, the TV presenter said of Scotland: “There is a very strong anti-English feeling, everybody knows it, there always has been,” he said.

“If you go back to the origins of the SNP, the origins of home rule, Anglophobia was as well-entrenched then as it is now.”

In December 2012, BBC Scotland presenter Kaye Adams falsely accused the SNP of presiding over “a rise of anti-English sentiment in Scotland”.

Adams made the claim following the publication of statistics that showed attacks against “white British” had increased over the previous twelve month period.  However, despite a phone in programme dedicated to the apparent rise, official figures published days later showed that anti-English attacks had in fact fallen by seventeen per cent.

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14 thoughts on “BBC presenter criticised after linking Scottish Nationalists to Xenophobia

  1. Jason Smoothpiece

    Interesting item, however I think I can explain.

    The man in question is an arse.

    He of course works in an environment where being an arse is a requirement.


    1. Macart

      Pretty much.

      Happily though, the media neither speak to us nor for us.

      Just so people know? The likes of the commentariat do NOT define who we/you are.

  2. Roy Moore

    Difficulty, is of course, there is no real consequences for this blatant bias by BBC presenters. Complaints are ignored or whitewashed. Brewer should be asked to justify his position, since he was clearly making a party political point. But again, how to do this? Official complaints, social media responses & a hoped for reduction in viewing numbers. That’s about it.

    1. SandyW

      An organised campaign of licence fee non-payment and a hit to the BBC’s income might focus their minds a bit.

      1. Robert Peffers

        Well it hasn’t worked against the BBC so far and, going by the large number of illegal threatening letters I’ve had from their debt collecting agency. they must be spending BBC funds financing that load of chancers to illegally threaten me with legal action,

        Demanding money with threats, including the threat of legal action, is specifically against Scottish law. I decided, in spite of being eligible for an OAP free licence, not to watch Westminster broadcast propaganda and thus any video broadcasts and told the BBC so. The threats stopped for a while then began again. I now have dozens of these threats filed away. There is no statutory duty to inform the BBC about anything and to date no, “investigators”, have ever turned up to investigate.

        If they ever do they just might be in for a big surprise. First of all I have CCTV cameras fitted which will provide Police Scotland with evidence and Scots law, while having no English style trespass laws does have laws to protect personal privacy close to dwellings. Furthermore, in spite of their threatening letters implying these investigators are, “Officers”, the most certainly are not Officers of any legal Law Enforcement Force. Anyone operating from an office is an Officer but that is not how it seems in their threatening letters.

        The law states, that unless the occupier has posted a notice by the entrance to the effect that cold callers, (hawkers), are not allowed, members of the public have the legal right to enter close to a dwelling with only the purpose of contacting the occupier and to do so must go directly, by the marked paths, to the main door to do so. If they do not or if they, “investigate”, they are breaking the law.

        If they, after making contact, refuse to leave immediately on request, the occupier should call Police Scotland to remove them. At which pint the occupier should press for charges to be brought for extortion, (there is no crime of Blackmail under Scots law, or at very least, attempted extortion.

        So there you go, if they do call, tell them nothing and politely request they leave immediately. If they do not leave then call real law enforcement officers to have them removed and ask that charges of extortion be brought against the offenders.

  3. Robert Graham

    I watched this programme yesterday and Brewer did indeed imply labour were really down in the gutter if those nasty separatists the SNP were criticising them ,

    Again just another day in the work of the BBC in Scotland it’s become their natural way of referring to the freely elected government , elected by people in Scotland the BBC and have never quite understood that we are not an extension of greater England .

    Non payment is very laudable but it probably really doesn’t concern the Westminster government , paying the licence fee tax is a bonus to them but their propaganda war will continue even if we all stopped , its down as a running expense in their operations to keep the jocks subdued ,

    A whole country being lied to by a compliant media with no independent media outlet to highlight what is going on , its not a Union it’s an occupation . The first thing an invading force does when occupying a country is to gain control of communication systems ,

  4. June Stewart

    It never ceases to amaze me that so called professional journalists fail to differentiate between the fact that it it not anti English sentiment, it is an anti Westminster Government disdain.
    My many, many English friends understand this clearly, so sad, however predictable, that BBC presenters continue with their propaganda.

  5. John Angus Morrison

    Now why on Earth would Scottish people have the merest hint of a dislike for the English establishment -he people who control our lives? Possibly ethnic cleansing, theft of land and resources, systematic attempts at destroying the culture and indigenous language? Hmm, no good reasons there, eh? Before anyone starts shooting me down in flames (difficult as I am a sithean and live under a fairy knoll in a secret location in the Hebrides) – I said “English establishment”, not England nor English people.

  6. Peter Barjonas

    Brewer also failed to challenge David Clegg of the Record when he said that none of the political parties had stated the case for immigration.

  7. mbiyd

    I wonder if Brewar misses the point. 20% plus of the population in the Highlands, rural Perthshire, the borders, the Howe and East Neuk of Fife and; Edinburgh are English born. We might need a Brexit of our own!

    1. mbiyd

      Update Pitlochry and St Andrews 25% English born… what’s so Xenophobic about that that as Xenophone might have said.

  8. George Trist

    This is why the Yes movement is in dire need of an alternative medium to counter these lies and scare stories. Pity the Freedom of Information bulletin fell to the wayside through lack of participation.

  9. Morph The Cat

    Anti-English? No

    Anti- Unionism? Yes

    The every day English man and woman deal with the same problem that is Westminster and it’s self-serving, self-perpetuating nature

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