Here’s PFI … But where’s Labour?

bbc introImagine watching the film Jaws and finding all references to the shark have been edited out.  Envisage taking part in a discussion about world war two where nobody is allowed to mention Hitler.

On Monday BBC Scotland returned to the issue of Private Finance Initiative [PFI].  From 07:00 until 18:30 the controversial funding mechanism dominated the broadcaster’s news.

What prompted the coverage was a documentary to be broadcast that same evening.  BBC Scotland Investigates was going to expose the scandal of the PFI legacy which resulted in a wall collapsing at an Edinburgh school and a host of dangerous defects causing seventeen schools to be closed.

The documentary also revealed the extent of profiteering surrounding PFI contracts which were being traded by offshore equity firms.  The cost to the public purse would eventually run into billions.

As the day progressed, it became apparent that BBC Scotland was determined that one key player in the whole rotten game was not going to take the field.  In news bulletin after news bulletin, there was not one mention of the party responsible for introducing PFI in Scotland – Labour.


An online article, numerous radio bulletins, TV news and a one hour documentary all failed to mention the role played by the Labour party in a financial scandal that led to the lives of school children being put at risk.  And they were put at risk as inspections that would normally have been the responsibility of local authorities were placed in the hands of the very companies who stood to benefit financially from cutting corners.

The refusal of BBC Scotland to make even a passing reference to the Labour party is as scandalous as the PFI scam itself.  Labour introduced the funding mechanism and then set about coercing any local authority that dared refuse to implement it into adopting the mechanism.  If you didn’t use PFI then Jack McConnell was prepared to cut your funding.

mcconnell pfi threat

McConnell’s decision to lumber future generations with billions of pounds of debt was all the more shocking when you realise that the former Labour First Minister handed back a billion and a half of unspent cash to Westminster.  But Lord Jack wasn’t asked to explain his decision by anyone at BBC Scotland.

BBC Scotland isn’t just a national joke, it is a corrupt national joke.  Social media was already predicting a Labour free documentary before the thing even aired.  People were genuinely laughing when their predictions came to pass.

Some suggested that the documentary would somehow contrive to lay the blame at the feet of the SNP.  It didn’t … well not explicitly.  What it did do was end on a note so suggestive that many viewers will have inferred the current Scottish Government was indeed partly culpable.

Finally, and probably missed by even the most politically aware Yes minded viewer, was the identity of the editor of the documentary.  It was Daniel Maxwell.

Who he I hear you cry?  Well in a week when Unionists are complaining about people being ‘gagged’, Daniel Maxwell was the BBC Scotland official who closed down the comments facility on BBC Scotland blogs in 2012.

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3 thoughts on “Here’s PFI … But where’s Labour?

  1. Dan Huil

    It’s the bbc. What did we expect? Balance? Don’t pay the bbc tax. Let britnats pay for britnat propaganda.

  2. Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh

    ‘Scottish Six’ anyone? We have just had it perfectly demonstrated to us what Pacific Quay will happily do when it has a documentary hour to play with. And every radio bulletin in impeccable marching formation. Lesson One: a broadcast can be “honorably” replete with valid facts while the calculated deceit lies in the suppression of the key piece of information.

    Mismanagement? Let us finally laugh with all the pent-up disdain we can muster at such a naive (if not cravenly evasive) excuse for years of cynical news MANAGEMENT aimed at thwarting democratic Scottish opinion. The disgrace of that is now, for those with eyes to see, indelibly etched on Pacific Quay’s portals: “Nation shall speak lies unto nation”.

    And how even more guileless is it for Scots to fail to trace the quietly pulsing buried roots of this noxious efflorescence southwards to the darkest soil of deepest Whitehall. It must now be conclusively recognized that at some executive level BBC Scotland is in lock-step with the morality-lite British State. Message: “Save Britain at all costs. Gongs will be forthcoming”.

    The attempts of Pacific Quay to keep inflated its reality-distorting bubble over Scotland (at least until Indyref2?) are clearly becoming desperate. The hissing from so many punctures is now reaching a derisive crescendo. And the Clydesdale-stunning stink of the escaping air tells us its own uncontestable story.

  3. Tom Tomney

    I have repeatedly requested an Apology from Labour Party to be Be made to people of Scotland over The PFI Scandal. They should Give Scotland an apology and the Parents of Children In Edinburgh should be Looking for a Public apology and a written one Too. I think it is dreadful that when a party refuses to put it’s hand and say sorry we made a mistake and we endeavor to never repeat it! No wonder they are becoming the DoDo party! Total wipe out awaits them!

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