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Don’t question us … We are the BBC – Towards Indyref2…

Don’t question us … We are the BBC

Journalists don’t like being questioned. It’s one of the ironies of the main stream media that those who rely on others answering questions have difficulty answering them themselves.

On Monday the latest instalment of ‘Project Protect Ruth’ aired on the BBC Scotland morning news programme Good Morning Scotland.

The programme focussed on last week’s general election and its aftermath.

Throughout the morning the thorny issue of Theresa May’s on/off coalition with the DUP featured. The DUP is the Northern Irish equivalent of … well there isn’t really an equivalent. The DUP is a rather unsavoury one-off.

Think Protestant fundamentalism, sectarianism and homophobia and you’ll get an idea of what we’re talking about here. The DUP also has well documented links to Loyalist paramilitary groups.

According to Channel 4 presenter Jon Snow, the DUP is one of the most extreme political entities in the British Isles.

But the DUP is the only thing keeping Theresa May in Downing Street. Without its support, the Tory party can kiss goodbye to power.

So when Good Morning Scotland aired I was surprised to hear presenter Gary Robertson tell listeners that Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson had voiced concerns at the proposed coalition.


What concerns was she now willing to air I wondered? There were none. Good Morning Scotland was exaggerating comments Ruth had given that weekend.

All Ruth had in fact done on being questioned about the DUP coalition was to seek assurances from Theresa May that LGBTI rights in the rest of the UK wouldn’t be affected. Pressed in a Channel 4 interview on whether she backed words of praise for the DUP uttered by Theresa May, Ruth fled the interview.

I posted the following message on twitter: “Gary Robertson tells GMS listeners that the coalition with the DUP is “causing concern” for Ruth Davidson. Get her on then. @BBCGaryR”

Remarkably I received a reply from a Radio Scotland journalist called Charles Wands who informed me that David Mundell was scheduled to be interviewed after 8 am. Why Mundell, I asked? Ruth Davidson was the Scottish Tory leader. BBC Scotland was lauding her as the general election winner. The thirteen MPs – including Mundell – were Ruth’s MPs. Had she been invited?

“Yes”, came the reply, the Scottish Conservative leader had indeed received an invite. No further details were forthcoming. All we know is that she had declined to appear.

When the Mundell interview aired it was disappointing. Gary Robertson had refused to bring up the most controversial issue of all regarding the DUP, namely the party’s links to Loyalist paramilitary groups.

I asked Charles Wands why Mundell hadn’t been confronted with the paramilitary aspect of the DUP’s history. That’s when the conversation stopped.

There was no further response from the Radio Scotland journalist. Well not until I posted a criticism of the refusal to address my question. You can see the full exchange below.

Charles Wands could of course have satisfied myself and others who asked a perfectly reasonable question. He could have explained why the issue of paramilitaries was not raised. He chose not to explain why the issue had not been raised by Gary Robertson.

Two days later, Gary Robertson eventually did confront a representative of the Conservative party with the DUP’s paramilitary links. You can hear the brief exchange below.


But what nobody at BBC Scotland has seen fit to do is to confront Ruth Davidson on the issue. The DUP’s paramilitary links has been covered by the BBC south of the border.  In Scotland it’s been the issue they dare not raise.

The Scottish Tory leader has enjoyed a criticism free ride courtesy of the BBC in the aftermath of the general election. The coverage has presented her as a de-facto First Minister with footage of her strolling into Downing Street and headlines implying a status she does not have.

Senior BBC Scotland reporters are too busy burnishing Ruth’s image as the ‘winner’ of the general election in Scotland to bother her with uncomfortable questions.

Ruth makes herself available for interview on her own terms. There’s a pattern here. Monday wasn’t the first time Ruth Davidson had declined to appear on Good Morning Scotland. She did it during the council elections. This was at a time when her party was becoming embroiled in a mini-scandal involving council election candidates posting alleged racist and bigoted messages on social media.

On Sunday past, just as controversy over the DUP coalition was growing, the Scottish Conservative leader was again unavailable for interview when the Sunday Politics programme extended an invite. In fact nobody from the Scottish Conservative party was available.

On Wednesday morning her Scottish MEP Ian Duncan refused an invitation to appear on Good Morning Scotland.

There is very clear circumstantial evidence that Ruth Davidson and/or her party representatives do a disappearing act when controversy raises its head. They can’t be questioned on anything if they don’t appear.

So BBC Scotland can’t or won’t question them, and we can’t question the BBC. What a stitch-up eh?

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10 thoughts on “Don’t question us … We are the BBC

  1. Geejay

    The BBC is unaccountable. They issue FOI requests left, right and centre, (but mainly to SNP) but are virtually immune to FOI’s themselves. They refuse to engage in constructive dialogue with critics, they refuse to address written complaints with honesty, relying on their supposed “impartiality” and “editorial judgement” and rarely admit to error, and when challenged on social media they close the “dialogue” with a snide, supercilious comment. Nor do they ever present any independent analysis of whether their news broadcasts are impartial or not. When Prof John Robertson produced research showing their clear bias they demonised him, rather than addressing the issues.

    No one can hold them to account – they are beyond accountability.

  2. Anne Bruce

    I suspect the majority of people in Scotland still pay the BBC’s TV licence.

    I don’t.

    I refuse to pay for propaganda against my own country.

    1. Arthur Martin

      Me too. If you support Scottish Independence and continue to pay for the licence fee you ought to be asking yourself a few questions.
      I asked them of myself and was found wanting. I felt I was being hypocritical to continue moaning my face off about the blatant bias and misrepresentation whilst funding the source of my own grievance.
      I make much better use of the time that I used to spend sat on my bahooky in front of the goggle box and feel much better for it.

      Give it a try folks, you have far more to gain than you may lose.

    2. commonoldworkinchap


      You hit the nail right on the head. The general consensus seems to be;


      What a lot of nonsense. If you pay for this nonsense and invite it into your house
      (ON/OFF Button) then you have no reason to complain. If you are offended by
      the message it gives ,then do not pay for it ,or watch it.

      There is plenty of other news outlets and entertainment channels out there, so if
      offended , find one you like.

      This smacks of people who want to be (self righteously) offended .

      The only way the BBC or other propaganda outlets will sit up and take listen is if
      you cut off their lifeblood ( money). But I guess if the Great British Bake Off or
      Dr Who is so important to you ,then surrender, and a WHOLE LOT OF BL**DY

      Sorry to bother you. I do not want you to miss Scotland is Awful(Telly News) as presented by your favourite hated broadcaster.

      1. commonoldworkinchap

        The” you” in my rant was not aimed at you Anne. Just the fee paying whingers.

  3. michael boyd

    I think Theresa May demonstrated Ruth’s status very well by squeezing her into the corner with Mundell at the recent cabinet meeting.

    The bottom line is that the Tories will only govern for their benefit and that of the South East of England. Scotland can’t be afforded a special deal with Europe because England could not tolerate a vibrant competitor on her northern border.

    Ruth and her crew are part of the struggle that has blighted Scotland since the 13th century those that seek to advance the cause of England in Scotland to the detriment of their own country. If it is to be otherwise then presumably the Scots Tories now they wield real power will make it conditional on May remaining in power that she agree a special status for Scotland in Europe. Anything on the contrary is a betrayal of our national interest and the Scottish Brexit vote. It is a completely untenable argument to advocate otherwise when the DUP are about to get special status for N Ireland.

    Meantime we have to accept that the BBC are part of the cringe culture that continues to advance defeat as a success story.

    1. Alasdair Macdonald

      Michael Boyd, I think you are missing the point. Why was Ms Davidson even at the cabinet meeting? She is not an MP, she is not a member of the House of Lords, she is not on the list of cabinet appointments announced by Mrs May. (For what it’s worth, Mr Mundell was not included in the first version of that list that I saw!)

      I also think you are wrong about the BBC being part of ‘the cringe culture’. The cringe culture is very much a BBC creation as a trope with which to cause some sections of the Scottish population to feel inferior. It is a calculated part of its propaganda role.

  4. bringiton

    Noticed the BBC trotted out a story about Scottish women having to travel to England for abortion treatment.
    Now,I wonder why they would do that at this time?

    1. Alasdair Macdonald

      Could it have something to do with the fact that women in Northern Ireland have to go to England for abortions and have to pay for them?

      Clearly, the Scottish case, if it is indeed a real case, is very much an exception and there was little from NHS Scotland to balance the woman’s account. She was pretty much unchallenged about her version of events. Could she have been similar to ‘the nurse at the food bank’ who was allowed to harangue the FM?

    2. Bibbit

      Yes I noticed that too. Let’s give the transparently obvious fools at the BBC enough rope & they’ll hang themselves.

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