BBC Scotland: Protecting Ruth … a continuing story

Back in September 2016 I opined that Ruth Davidson was being protected by the Scottish media. In my article – ‘Protecting Ruth‘ – I wrote the following:

All leading Scottish Unionist politicians enjoy a ‘blind eye’ approach from the traditional Scottish media. Most of course, given the party’s domination of Scottish politics then its place as the main Unionist opposition to the SNP, have been from Labour. Ruth Davidson has inherited the mantle of ‘Unionist saviour’ and with it the ‘media privileges’ that come with it.

I published similar pieces in May 2017 – ‘BBC Scotland and Ruth Davidson – What’s going on?‘ and again earlier this month ‘The Ruth Davidson Fan Club‘.

The phenomenon of the media turning a blind eye to high profile Unionist politicians who should be facing questions is one I have long been aware of. Jim Murphy was the most notorious beneficiary with his role in the Megrahi affair the clearest example.

It’s happening again of course. Ruth Davidson is refusing to be interviewed on the decision to re-admit councillors who posted racist and bigoted comments on social media. The Scottish Conservative leader has gone into hiding to avoid being questioned on the scandal.

Questioned on social media on the repeated absence of Davidson on his morning radio show Good Morning Scotland, Gary Robertson tweeted: “We’ve been told @RuthDavidsonMSP won’t be available for interview this week. We were told the same last week. We’ll keep asking.”

It was quite an admission from the BBC Scotland presenter and one that suggested he too was becoming frustrated at the refusal of Ruth Davidson to face questions on a range of controversial issues. Davidson had already refused several requests for interviews going back months, on issues ranging from racist and bigoted councillors to the controversial DUP deal.

Asking for an interview is fine, but here’s the rub. When the leader of a political party continually refuses to be interviewed on issues of huge significance then it becomes a news story in its own right. But BBC Scotland is refusing to highlight Ruth Davidson’s disdain for the electorate.

There has been no effort on the part of BBC Scotland to confront Ruth Davidson. No camera crews have been despatched to the Scottish Tory HQ or to the home of the Scottish Tory leader. For those who believe the BBC should not be staking out someone’s home then I’d suggest they speak to Michelle Thomson who faced just that when being smeared by the BBC over legal property deals.

BBC Scotland has never been slow in confronting Nicola Sturgeon when difficult stories have presented themselves. The First Minister of course has never shied away from answering questions.

Had Nicola Sturgeon continually absented herself when the going got tough, we would have by now been digesting ‘under pressure’ headlines and bulletins from the state broadcaster. Newspaper pundits would have been invited onto Good Morning Scotland and other topical programmes to explain how bad things had become for the beleaguered SNP leader.

But it isn’t Nicola Sturgeon who’s in hiding, it’s Ruth Davidson. So where are the experts with their ‘impartial’ analysis? Where are the camera crews and the reporter standing outside the Scottish Tory HQ on day two/three/four of Ruth’s disappearance?

I’ll tell you where one of them is. It’s in Stornoway that’s where. What’s it doing there? Well at the same time as they refuse to draw attention to Ruth Davidson, the powers that be at Pacific Quay have despatched the station’s political editor, Brian Taylor, and a camera crew to the Western Isles in order to cover a so-called tour by Jeremy Corbyn.

The Labour leader is embarking on a tour of target constituencies in Scotland. The constituencies of interest to Corbyn are all held by the SNP. Corbyn is apparently on general election footing. What general election and why is he targeting SNP seats when such a tactic won’t reduce the Tory majority?  Taylor isn’t asking.

In a quite bizarre and surreal reversal of what news is supposed to be, BBC Scotland is promoting Corbyn’s well-trailed anti-SNP trip whilst ignoring the emerging scandal at the heart of the Scottish Conservative party.  Racism and bigotry?  Not a chance when there’s a bit of SNPBad to be had.  Ruth Davidson must be laughing her socks off.

When Davidson eventually emerges, the scandal will have been forgotten about. She will have successfully killed the story as she has successfully killed every other damaging story, by simply refusing to address it. To quiz Ruth Davidson on all of the issues she ought to have been pressed on would take at least a solid half hour, and that isn’t going to happen.

BBC Scotland has absolutely no intention of making life difficult for the woman Nick Eardley said wielded considerable influence in Theresa May’s cabinet. Ruth is after all the pin-up girl of Scottish Unionism.

Take it away Andrew …

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10 thoughts on “BBC Scotland: Protecting Ruth … a continuing story

  1. Col

    I think I posted on here before and mentioned that the more the BBC behave in this way the more of an opportunity it is for us to share posts from here and elsewhere that prove beyond doubt that the BBC and wider Scottish media are corrupt and cannot be trusted on anything regarding Scotland.
    It was maybe ten years ago that the penny dropped for me when my friend started pointing things out to me. There’s no going back when the realisation occurs so we just have to keep chipping away.
    We’ll get there at some point.

  2. Col

    I like to say to folk that I think the state of the media in Scotland and the way they are behaving means we don’t actually live in a democracy. That is what I believe. Scotland will only have a true democracy when we are living in a free country and one which is not subjected to propaganda on a massive scale as it is now. We should definitely create a media environment where it is illegal to lie for political purposes

  3. grizebard

    There’s outright lying and there’s something else. The BBC is very happy to allow generous access to others eager to peddle their lies, which conveniently enables the broadcaster to keep its own hands scrupulously clean.

    The other techniques it loves to deploy, as this article ably demonstrates, are suppression and distraction. Studiously ignore Ruthie when she is in difficulty. Find something else that’s completely irrelevant, such as Islington Man’s wee holiday tour of the Highlands, to fill the airwaves instead. But that’s all down to “independent editorial decisions”, so all perfectly above board then. (Not that you can do a reverse FOI on the BBC anyway even if you wanted to.)

    How fortunate we are, to have such a studiously correct news source in “our” wunnerful EBC!

  4. bringiton

    I don’t think we should be surprised when the British state broadcaster takes the side of politicians who represent British state interests in Scotland.
    Call it a culture or whatever else within the BBC in Scotland but that is how they conduct themselves and always will until either independence or direct accountabiliy to a Scottish board of directors.

  5. Jockanese Wind Talker

    Aye GAP, just where is Colonel Gadaftie?

    She won’t answer on the DUP ‘cash for votes’ deal

    She won’t answer on her parties tolerance of sectarian and racist councillors.

    I suspect we wont get a comment on this beaut either:

    https://opendemocracy.net/uk/adam-ramsay/new-scottish-tory-mp-slammed-for-anti-gypsy-attack

    Those who were previously represented by Angus Robertson and voted him out of office must be really proud of his replacement

    But think for a moment if you will:

    Her Majesty, Queen of Scots official Opposition in the Scottish Parliament is:

    Openly supportive of an NI Political Party with views so conservative as to be puritanical

    Openly supportive of an NI Political Party which has an active paramilitary wing that committed murder in broad daylight in the last few months

    Openly intolerant of those who have a different Political, Racial or Religious outlook or just happen to be foreign and live in the UK

    And the BBC, that ‘impartial bastion of reportage’ don’t feel the need or duty to report this or as you state make El Colonels continual refusal to be interviewed on these issues of huge significance a news story in itself.

    Hardly consistent with the BBC’s Mission:

    “The Mission of the BBC is to act in the public interest, serving all audiences through the provision of impartial, high-quality and distinctive output and services which inform, educate”

    But then what do we expect, the BBC are the Unions State Propaganda Arm.

  6. Robert Graham

    Aye well their BAW their game ,
    I wonder if any of the staff took the time out from their busy schedule to watch Jon Snow presenting the Mac Taggart lecture , a real journalist confronting other journalists with their failings and abject inability to uncover the truth and present news that has not been manipulated to show exactly the opposite of what is actually going on ,

    The sole purpose of BBC in Scotland is to project a government view and above all else protect the union , any story that presents the scottish government in a bad light goes to the top of the running order , the ever present use of the word “BUT” that is always included when referring to anything the scottish government does is becoming a bit obvious and tedious.

    Once this propaganda is highlighted and presented to people there is no going back and it is an education that all scots should be aware of , Waken Up you are being lied to .

  7. Scott

    Maybe Colonel Ruth has got married secretly and is off on honeymoon with no connection to BBC so why don’t the likes of Gary or Kerr door step the 2 councillors and ask them what they meant by their tweets,BBC will never act in the public interest as that is not their remit.

    As the saying goes the leopard does not change its spots so BBC will never change.

  8. manandboy

    Thank you, GA, for another excellent piece.

    Ruth Davidson is a protected species alright. She is given 24/7 protection by the Unionist media when the Tories do anything bad and they support her fully when she is in SNP attack mode. The reverse is true in their treatment of the First Minister.

    Since GE15, the Tories have believed themselves to be unassailable and therefore able to do what they like. Davidson displays this same arrogance as well as contempt for political opponents, the electorate and of course the rest of Europe.

    To Unionist voters this is exactly how it should be. They have no concern for democracy in Scotland, only that Westminster retains power over us.

    To be sure, the British Establishment is waging both a propaganda war and an economic war against Scotland. But try getting people to see that, they don’t want to know. For many, their world is limited to the apps on their smartphone while the majority of over 55’s find comfort in their TV’s and love the BBC.

    One of the cleverest pieces of brainwashing ever has been making people believe that if its on the telly it must be true. I would wager that that simple piece of propaganda underpins almost all political discourse and has been responsible for the result of many an election.

    Democracy in the UK is just a piece of window dressing at every election. Step inside and the shelves are bare.

  9. Alasdair Macdonald

    I see that she has ’emerged’ and that the BBC website carries a report, which makes mention of the current concern about an MP’s remarks about ‘gypsies’.

    The latter piece of information was issued a couple of days ago by Amnesty and was ignored by BBC (and STV), but was mentioned in an English based political website.

    You are right to make a comparison with how Ms Michelle Thomson has been treated and how her extended interview with Mr Nick Eardley was used selectively over four succeeding days to attack the FM but excluded Ms Thomson’s strong criticism of the media and Ms Kezia Dugdale, for example.

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