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.
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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