BBC targeted Wings Over Scotland after complaint by Labour councillor

The BBC has confirmed it targeted a pro-independence blogger’s youtube account after a complaint from a Scottish Labour councillor.

It has also emerged that BBC Scotland officials knew about the complaint and the actions taken by the corporation against Wings Over Scotland.

The explosive admission was made by Head of Public Policy and Corporate Affairs at BBC Scotland Ian Small.  Speaking on the John Beattie Show, the official confirmed that the BBC targeted the Wings Over Scotland youtube account after complaints were made by Labour councillor Scott Arthur.


The BBC Scotland official also confirmed that Pacific Quay management knew about the action being taken against the popular pro-independence blogger before the youtube channel was taken down.


The admission by the BBC Scotland official has been presented as further proof of the anti-independence agenda operated by the BBC.  Critics have pointed to the fact that both youtube accounts taken down after the BBC’s complaints were run by pro-independence bloggers.

As well as Wings Over Scotland, the youtube account of blogger Peter Curran was also targeted by the broadcaster.  Unlike the Wings’ youtube account which has since been re-instated, Curran’s account, which contains nine years of material, remains closed.

The issue has prompted former First Minister Alex Salmond to write a letter to the BBC’s Director General Peter Hall.

In his letter, the former SNP leader wrote: “My interest in the matter is that one of the news excerpts complained about in relation to Wings Over Scotland was an interview with me broadcast in February 2014.

“My concern was also sparked by the refusal of anyone in BBC London to be interviewed on this issue on BBC Scotland’s GMS programme on the radio this morning.”

Mr Salmond has requested an early reply to concerns he raises over the BBC’s handling of the Wings episode, and other related issues.

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13 thoughts on “BBC targeted Wings Over Scotland after complaint by Labour councillor

  1. A. Reid

    So now that the BBC have been alerted to similar material on other blogs and sites of political parties, the will have to take action as “it’s a line we have to follow”?

  2. Craig John Macfarlane

    I believe the BBC make approx £350m annually from Scottish licence fees…Scottish programming costs approx £150m…so should Scotland ever become independent the BBC stand to lose approx £200m a year…It would be like turkeys voting for Christmas for them to back Scottish independence…when you realise their bias is not only political but very much financial too…it makes it so much easier to understand…tolerating it though is a different matter entirely.

  3. John

    So now we do what the Labour Councillor did and inform the BBC of all Labour and Conservative propaganda that has come from the BBÇ and been uploaded onto youtube onto pro union sites , after all Ian Small said they couldn’t keep track and act on everything unless they are informed , let’s get busy then ! .

  4. Kenny

    Technically, Ian Small didn’t confirm it was Scott Arthur. He claimed not to know specifically. It all seems pretty weird though. Someone should probably doorstep the good councillor and ask him a few questions, e.g. when did the BBC approach him? Was Wings or Moridura raised in that discussion? By whom? In what context? Why? Does he know who made the complaint about him? Does he know how that original complaint was made? Does he believe he or Wings was breaking the law? If yes, did he know he was breaking the law beforehand? If no, why did he not challenge the strikes and does he support Wings challenging his? Why was he allowed to make his BBC clips private? I seem to recall that copyright is still an issue if you retain recordings without showing them to anyone else.

  5. Jockanese Wind Talker

    Has Richard Leonard been asked yet if:

    1. Is the shutting down of Pro Indy alternative media is British Labour in Scotland policy?

    2. Did Councillor Dr Scott Arthur (if as the BBC claim was in fact the complainant) act on his own or were any other members of British Labour in Scotland or its affiliated Trades Unions (NUJ for example) involved in this attempt to censor Pro Indy alternative media?

    3. What sanction will British Labour in Scotland impose on Councillor Dr Scott Arthur of it is proven he instigated this attempt to silence the Pro Indy alternative media and then lied that he didn’t?

    4. Do you support Scotlands Pro Indy alternative media’s right to existence?

    Come on Scotlands media (both MSM and alternative) I think that we the electorate should have the answers to these questions.

    1. John

      We do require answers , I get the feeling this is the establishment testing the waters for Indy 2 to see what they can get away with . Let’s drag them all out of their holes , maybe now is the time for Independence Live to start to doorstep some people ! .

  6. Dave

    The Scottish Government needs to de-criminalise the non-payment of the TV licence fee

    That way people can withhold the licence fee in protest without the fear of getting a criminal record.

  7. Mark Richards

    Beeb caught at last. There’s been so many occasions over the past few years that I’ve thought I was going off my head. That thin line between honest reporting and obvious bias was in all honesty doing my head in,you know,the kinda stuff that didn’t actually break any broadcasting laws but were obviously biased to the hilt. I suppose there’s thousands to choose from but I always notice the weak & feeble camera angles at all pro Indy marches & events showing minimal as poss attendances,whereas come a unionist orientated March and miraculously out pops the wide angled long range lenses that you thought they didn’t have. This is only a small step,the beeb is unfortunately a huge bad rash in Scotland and the only answer is as you know…..independence.

    1. John

      Don’t worry your not alone , I even think they turn up the mikes at Westminster and Holyrood for the Unionists and turn them down for the SNP ! .

  8. Jockanese Wind Talker

    John Beattie give Councillor Dr Scott Arthur 14 minutes of airtime today.

    Will Stu Campbell or Peter Curran be extended the same courtesy?

    If not then the West End Champagne Socialist Blairite NUJ members of The BritNat Broadcasting Corporation (Scotland Branch) are in full ‘protect the precious Union’ cover up mode.

    There is a crack in the dam of the main BritNat Propaganda arm in Scotland.

    Keep the pressure on, make the crack bigger and the dam will fail.

    The Right Wing promoting, Union defending BBC will be destroyed reputationaly be many who still trust it as an impartial broadcaster.

  9. millie

    This whole affair smacks of a BBC- Unionist Political Elite organised ploy to silence independence voices. The powers that be are desperate to suffocate the movement.

    Yesterday, the yes movement was applauding the BBC for highlighting the issue. Big mistake!

    The only person in that BBC studio who was showing genuine anger at this affair was Eamonn O’Neill.

    Fast forward to today. I haven’t heard the interview from Scott Arthur, but it sounds as if the BBC is trying to clear up their mess and sweep it under the carpet by pitting Arthur v Wings- when actually the BBC and Westminster are behind this.

    Prior to Scott Arthur’s election as councillor he was a regular on the BBC- Kaye Adams Programme seemed to have him on speed dial at times. From memory he was also interviewed by Radio Scotland re the Queensferry Crossing or Forth Road Bridge.

    My hunch-

    The BBC and Westminster are on a quest to clamp down (only) on pro- yes information avenues- I would imagine someone at BBC Scotland is well aware of this.

    Scott Arthur was told by the BBC that his youtube content would be restricted. The BBC and Westminster consider Scott Arthur’s channel as necessary collateral damage, that has enabled them to go after the indy sites.

    In other words, the BBC would appear to be even-handed, as the yes side and the unionist side were both affected. This is the continuation of a very devious campaign to silence the yes voice.

  10. Jim

    Initially, the bbc claimed they were merely following the same procedure they always do when there are “a high volume of complaints”. It has now transpired that no actual complaint was in fact made! Does also beg the question, what constitutes a ‘complaint’?

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