BBC reporter slammed after claiming Scots not interested in Westminster ‘Power Grab’

A BBC reporter has come under fire after claiming the Scottish public isn’t interested in the ‘Power Grab’ that will see Westminster seize devolved powers for up to seven years.

Writing in an article on the BBC website, Sarah Smith described the Scottish government’s unwillingness to accept UK government proposals as “a fight with Westminster” that the public had no interest in.

The BBC’s Scotland Editor wrote: “Nicola Sturgeon rarely shies away from a fight with Westminster. It’s generally good politics for her to say she is ‘standing up for Scotland’ against ministers in London.”

“Her problem is that this argument has not caught voters’ attention. The right of the Scottish Parliament to have a definitive say over regulations governing the use of pesticides does not appear to cause great concern to Scots.”

The claim by the senior reporter was slammed by former BBC reporter Derek Bateman who argued journalists were letting the public down by failing to explain the issue fully.

Bateman tweeted: ” ‘The people don’t care’ argument is complacent and potentially dangerous. What are they supposed to do? Demonstrate? Go marching? But they’re dismissed as a trouble-making rabble if they do. Journos should say why it matters – not play the Establishment’s game.”

Bateman’s claim that journalists were neglecting to cover the issue in the manner it deserved was lent credence when writer and broadcaster Lesley Riddoch tweeted: “Astonished to find @ScotParl press gallery almost empty during EU Withdrawal Bill debate. Reporter for @HolyroodDaily here throughout. Good form.”

Other users of social media highlighted the lack of coverage by the main stream media.  One tweeted: “If it hasn’t caught voters’ attention that will be because it has been massive played down by people like you. I’m constantly astonished by how Scottish matters are presented to viewers/readers in Scotland by supposedly Scottish media outlets. Shameful really.”

Claims that the public doesn’t care about the ‘Power Grab’ have been made by a string of reporters and presenters on BBC Scotland.  Below is a recording from Andrew Kerr followed by an exchange between Gordon Brewer and pro-Union writer David Torrance.

Another to push the line that the public are not interested was BBC Scotland’s Political Editor, Brian Taylor, who this week claimed the issue was not fuelling interest.  BBC Scotland presenters have also claimed the Scottish government is “under pressure”.

BBC Scotland’s flagship news programme has repeatedly played down the issue.  Last week a statement from UK Labour leader Jeremy Corby backing the Scottish government stance and calling the Westminster government stance a ‘Power Grab’, was ignored by Reporting Scotland, despite the story being headlined by BBC Wales.


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20 thoughts on “BBC reporter slammed after claiming Scots not interested in Westminster ‘Power Grab’

  1. John Olivrr

    In the absence of a suitable squirrel as a distraction ,the next best thing they can do is to advise Jo public( to move along now ,nothing to see here)

  2. bringiton

    Of course,Scots are not interested in Scottish matters,only when they coincide with English concerns.
    It’s called social cohesion which the state broadcaster is tasked with bringing about.
    Perhaps the British state broadcaster is right.
    I think we will find out soon.

  3. stewartb

    Classic example of the BBC deliberately FRAMING an issue to limit its significance/its impact in pursuit of a British Nationalist mission.

    (1) The BBC under-plays/under-exposes the issue as it develops.

    (2) When the issue reaches a critical point, the BBC states that the public is not engaged with it – by implication its not too important – and who is the BBC to inform/educate them otherwise?

    (3) The BBC viewers/readers/listeners then do become aware of the issue as the BBC mentions it, but at the same time learn from the BBC that their peers have not engaged with it – so don’t worry, nothing to concern you here!


  4. Jason Smoothpiece

    I just posted elsewhere the story about chatting to colleagues I tried to raise the subject of the power grab.

    The folk I spoke with did not know what I was talking about.

    They knew about the Royal wedding of course, getting their daily diet of nonsense from the lovely media.

  5. Kris gemmell

    Is there no way we can start our own news/media. We have the power of social media to get the real news out, interview the so called people in power and hold them to account. A YouTube news channel “scotsnews” for example. our own media… faces we will know and come to enjoy watching on this channel will bring a country up to speed with the digital revolution.

  6. Independent Woman

    Is it time for another demonstration outside the BBC office? And/or another HOOP demonstration – this time advertised in advance and held on a day that people can attend?

    1. Clydebuilt

      I. W.

      would be good to have anti BBC / Education demos thought Scotland. The only people who get to see the Pacific Quay demos are tourists on the hourly tourist bus.

  7. Robert Graham

    Having spent weeks trivialising or even ignoring these important developments , The BBC in Scotland has the Cheek to say through its talking heads Joe Public dont care ,

    The same stunt was pulled in the run up to the 2014 vote ,in the last week the english public suddenly found out the Jocks were not joking and their precious union was going down the tubes , genuine shock was expressed by people when asked for their opinion,

    The same thing is being done by the Media in Scotland because people have access to other sources it cant be covered up any longer , well the proud scots better waken up pretty fast or if the tory government has its way Holyrood would be as well being closed for the next 7 years .

    The short time they propose referring to it as a sunset clause 7 years is some time to wait for a bloody sunrise , during that time everything could be reversed in scotland and our NHS could be long gone with nothing and no one to get in the way , Water privatised ,Fracking well established , Whisky produced in a industrial unit in Alabama , you name it Scotlands brand protection sold on the open market for a fast Buck , thats how trivial this is BBC .

  8. Clydebuilt

    To counter the BBC’s hope that Scots don’t care about Westminster’s power grab on Holyrood’s powers, the YES movement has to demonstrate to voters what has been achieved with the powers at risk.
    A great example is that Scotlands beef herd has been declared to be BSE free years ahead of England and Wales, whose herds aren’t to be evaluated before 2020. (Will they even pass then?) .

  9. Anna Dowell

    Why would we be interested wither or more to the point when WM would allow fracking in Scotland. Mean to say she already sold licences to frack and there is only a solid 96% if people in Scotland who voted against fracking. They have already sold our fisheries for a good trade deal. Now they want control of our Hill farmers whosee money they spent on England and Wales after the EU who seen what a poor amount of the subsidy they were getting gave more money just for them to bring their poor income up . That’s why they want our farming so they can cream off all the money for Scotland. To give them our devolved powers which I hasten to ask that she said devolved powers which implies that she knows they are devolved so loses rights to force Scotland to give them up. They aren’t reserved. So we don’t need to give them up but as we are honest we can come to a mutual agreement without losing our devolved powers for 7yrs. I don’t know the significance of why they need 7yrs to set up a framework of shared interests but seeing how they have had nearly 2 yrs and not completed on Brexit they might be going for that kind of pathetic timetable. We will not allow our country to be fracked no more than England wants their. So we are bloody interested in the nuts and bolts because that’s where you find the dodgy deals that WM tried to sneak in on the small print. So we have been honest and WM hasn’t so why on earth would we trust them.

  10. Big Jock

    I listened to Radio Shortbread for 40 minutes this morning and not one mention of the greatest constitutional crisis ever to hit Scotland. This seems to be the new tactic. Report anything bad for the SNP , ignore anything bad for the UK and complain about the NHS, Police and Education on rotational cycle.

    They must think Scottish people don’t read social media so won’t be aware of what the UK is up to if they just downplay it and sometimes hide it under the mat.

    it’s now a pretty clear strategy.

    A national broadcaster ignoring a story about their own parliament and it’s sovereignty!

    1. Clydebuilt

      Big jock . . . They’re broadcasting to the I’ll-informed, trying to keep them that way . . . . . As events / reality . . slowly chips away at their audience

    2. Clydebuilt

      Big jock . . . They’re broadcasting to the I’ll-informed, trying to keep them that way . . . . . As events / reality . . slowly chips away at their audience

  11. Janette Hope

    They’re shepherding us down the road of Damned if we do and damned if we don’t! We bloody care alright…hust the media doesn’t report it!

  12. Jimuckmac

    You can hear Jackie giggling away at Brian’s little quip about farm subsidies and labelling. Shameful stuff.

  13. Bibbit

    Shameful of the BBC. But we know what they do now and really how many people watch them? Once Indyref2 is called they can’t keep saying ‘Oh ignore it. No-one is interested’. We really do live in very Orwellian times.

    Of course, according to the BBC nincompoops, we are all absolutely rivettted that someone called Harry (a millionaire playboy) is marrying a B list actress. Yawn.

    Just astonished at how stupid the BBC thinks we are.

    But .. BBC… we are not stupid.

    And we are paying very careful attention.

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