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How can BBC Scotland regain trust if it broadcasts anti-SNP garbage such as this? – Towards Indyref2…

How can BBC Scotland regain trust if it broadcasts anti-SNP garbage such as this?

On Saturday January 19th Good Morning Scotland broadcast a discussion featuring two journalists.  The segment lasted over 11 minutes.

Listeners heard Iain Macwhirter of The Herald and David Clegg of the Daily Record attack the SNP with a stream of quite outlandish claims.

So bizarre were some of the claims being levelled by these so-called impartial journalists that we’ve decided to highlight them and respond to them.  The rogues gallery of clips can be heard below, as can our own response.


Iain Macwhirter: “[The Salmond issue] certainly overlaps with this intense debate in the SNP now about the next independence referendum”

The Alex Salmond issue has nothing whatsoever to do with the debate over when to call the next independence referendum.  Both are completely separate issues.


Iain Macwhirter: “Of course this whole Alex Salmond business erupted in part because Alex Salmond was saying very publicly that he intended to return to active politics and help lead the next independence referendum.

There is no evidence the ‘Alex Salmond business’ had anything to do with Salmond’s intention to return to active politics.  The allegations that prompted the investigation were made by two women in January 2018.  Salmond announced his intention to return to front line politics on May 17th 2018.  The sexual harrassment story broke on August 23rd 2018.


Iain Macwhirter: “And a lot of people in the party saying, well, we need an insurgent like Alex Salmond.  We need someone to not just play the legalistic constitutional game, but push history forward, push matters forward and try to engineer an early referendum of some sort.”

This is fantastical stuff from Macwhirter.  What evidence has he that there was a faction within the SNP who wanted Salmond [insurgent indeed] to engineer an early referendum?  How exactly was he supposed to do that?


Iain Macwhirter: “A lot of people in the party are saying you have to take the opportunity now, you can’t afford to wait.  And of course this has collided with the whole Alex Salmond business, this latest story is extraordinary.  His supporters say he’s been written out of history.  They’ve removed his name from the SNP website.  It’s like Trostsky after the Russian revolution.”

Again we see this attempt to link two completely different issues – timing of a second independence referendum and the ‘Alex Salmond business’.  They are not linked.  The website story is a tabloid smear that has already been debunked.  That Macwhirter trots it out is as embarrassing as his description of the story as “like Trostsky after the Russian revolution”.  Trotsky?  Really?


Iain Macwhirter: “We’ve been talking prematurely about a civil war for many years in the SNP, but now there really is a possibility of it happening.”

There is no civil war.  What we have is a media that is trying its best to give the impression there is one.  That BBC Scotland is providing a platform for this kind of stuff is quite shocking.


David Clegg: “We get into this issue about how Nicola Sturgeon behaved in the immediate aftermath of finding out about the allegations against Alex Salmond about whether her three meetings and two phone calls with him about the issue were appropriate.  That issue all continues and as we’ve been discussing, so maps onto this gradualist or fandamentalist to independence.”

A panel will decide whether Nicola Sturgeon acted appropriately.  This time it is David Clegg who links the Salmond issue with the campaign for independence.  This is agenda driven clap-trap.  Linking the Salmond issue with independence is mere invention by journalists.  The two are completely separate.


David Clegg: “Oddly Alex Salmond was always known as a gradualist but now he’s become the figurehead for the fundamentalists.”

More extreme rhetoric.  Who are these ‘fundamentalists’ Clegg speaks of?  Along with the use of the term ‘insurgent’ they sound quite unhinged.  Is that the intention?


Iain Macwhirter: “He’s far from a forgotten figure in the SNP and you saw that by the ease with which he raised over a hundred thousand pounds for his legal defence from a crowdfunder amongst the SNP membership.”

Salmond’s crowdfunder wasn’t “amongst the SNP membership”, it was a public appeal into which anyone could contribute.  Many who did were not members of the SNP.  The money was not to pay for his “legal defence” it was to pay for his legal action against the Scottish government.


Iain Macwhirter: “And as I say, this whole controversy erupted and the whole sexual harrassment affair erupted after he was announcing he intended to return back to politics.”

It did indeed ‘erupt’ after Salmond announced he intended to return to front line politics.  Three months after in fact.  But where is the evidence that both were related?  This is smearing.


David Clegg: “My understanding is that the first meeting between Nicola Sturgeon’s chief of staff and Salmond’s former chief of staff Geoff Aberdein, which set in course all this controversy over meetings, was actually an attempt to persuade him not to return to front line politics because they feel he’s discredited because of his links to Putin.”

This is the most laughable claim of the lot.  If David Clegg has evidence that Alex Salmond has links to Vladimir Putin then he has one hell of a story.  In the absence of such evidence [something more concrete than a TV talk show sold to RT] this is merely yet another smear.


Iain Macwhirter: “If you did hold [a referendum] like in Catalonia two years ago then, you know, the likelihood is that ‘No’ voters would just boycott it and undermine its legitimacy.”

If the Scottish government calls a consultative non-binding referendum then its legitimacy will likely be tested in court.  If the court ruled in favour of the Scottish government then the referendum would be legitimate, regardless of how many ‘No’ voters boycotted it.


The discussion was a one sided charade with no counter arguments aired.  Not only did presenter Gordon Brewer fail to offer any challenge to the claims, he implicitly endorsed many.  This is not informing the public.  This is promoting agenda driven innuendo, political smears and, in some cases, demonstrable lies. 

And … It was all predicted.

Six days ago this site published an article which contained the following:

And there’s more of this coming. The Scottish media will push this smear as it did previous smears. One journalist even boasted that Unionists could use the Salmond story to effectively bring down the SNP administration.

If this smear follows the same pattern as previous attacks then we’ll see journalists invited onto BBC Scotland to push the story. Hacks will tell listeners and viewers exactly what their newspaper editors want them to, that the SNP is under seige and that independence will suffer.

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16 thoughts on “How can BBC Scotland regain trust if it broadcasts anti-SNP garbage such as this?

  1. Lochside

    The BBC is a disgusting unashamed mouthpiece for Deep Brit State Propaganda. Clegg is a leading disseminator of smears and lies in the Daily Record., the primary source for all these lies and innuendoes. Brewer is a self regarding fraud.
    McWhirter’s statements are utterly bizarre and inaccurate demonstrating, not for the first time, that he and Clegg,, are a disgrace to journalism.

    This broadcast epitomise all that is wrong in this country: the pompous Brewer, a poor man’s Melvyn Bragg, conducting a concerted and scripted attack on the Independence movement and in particular its leaders.

    The lack of factual evidence or any actual objective analysis is bad enough. The visceral sectarian hatred and self loathing is nauseating and prompts me to wish these Judases to be cast out into the wilderness when we finally become independent.

  2. Brian Watson

    I despair of Macwhirter, when he’s on form he’s good but he seems to have lapses of focus , lazy sloppy thinking phases that cloud the issues. This is particularly evident when journalists are speaking amongst themselves . I heard Peter May the very successful crime novelist and former print and tv journalist , say that journalism was the best preparation for writing fiction . Methinks he has a strong point .

  3. Jockanese Wind Talker

    The answer is obviously that they can’t.

    The BritNat MSM are actively attempting to undermine the democratically elected Scottish Government in the pursuit of a British Nationalist Coalition Government being elected at the next Holyrood elections.

    I previously commented that BritNat Broadcasting Corporations “Scotland Shite, ‘cos EssEnnPeeBaaad 2019 will be like its 2018 offerings on steroids.

    It seems I was not wrong.

    The Phoney War is coming to an end.

    Brexit and IndyRef2 are on the horizon.

    You can smell the panic among the British Nationalists.

    Expect BritNat Broadcasting Corporation to continue doing it’s patriotic duty, defending “The Precioussss Union” as per the British Nationalist Broadcasters Royal Charter (aka ‘only obeying orders’).

    Propaganda straight oot the Joseph Goebbels play book.

    6. The Public Purposes

    The Public Purposes of the BBC are as follows.

    (4) ………and help contribute to the social cohesion and wellbeing of the United Kingdom.


  4. Richard Dido

    I think the days of the BBC/BBC Scotland regaining any trust from the Scottish populace are long gone. And I doubt they will ever return. They are, first and foremost, an instrument of the state and a broadcaster second. The first allows them, via the second, to spread disinformation and negativity about the independence cause. They operate with impunity. Just look at the silence from them in light of the Abbott mauling on Question Time.

    All we can do is keep calling them out. Every time. Remember also that, come independence, the propaganda and negativity will continue. It will never stop.

  5. John M Rudkin

    there is quite a lot of opinion that the snp dont defend themselves so deserve to get put down by the anti independence journalists “so called ” clegg of the daily record is just an out and out liar and he will make up stories to put down the snp and any independence why anybody that is scottish would buy this shite paper is anyones guess.
    mcwhirter would like to be a popular journalist and tries to be in both camps at the same time he keeps siding with the independence side till his bosses on the herald bring him back to earth by telling mcwhirter that the herald pays his wages, he then goes on the attack against independence
    the snp have to make some effort to defend themselves against these cowboy journalists or take the nasty things they say and right against independence and turn the other cheek for more

    1. Lorraine Kielty

      But MSM is all bias, they won’t give SNP a platform to reply from. If they did give them one you can be sure they would cut and edit to make SNP look bad.

  6. Robert Graham

    Normal Service from the propaganda unit of the English government , the only thing Scottish about this lot at Pacific Heights is the name.

    The most worrying part of their guff over the weekend was on the BBC national news they highlighted the ratio of doctors to patients in England and blatantly lied that figures for Scotland were not available thus implying that the Scottish NHS was as poorly served or worse than their precious England .

    According to the BBC Scotland must never be shown to be doing better than England , time and again they deliberately confuse and misuse statistics to make the Scottish governments administration of the country appear to be as bad as if not worse than their English counterparts ,

    One day the delusional supporters of this rancid union will waken up and realise its not rain they feel but urine , they are being pissed on daily and they don’t realise it

    1. Jimmock

      Yes Robert, I heard the BBC national news report . This was cleverly nuanced to

      Say that the same statistics were not available for Scotland. This might be true as

      the English stats were provided in a regional format. This allowed the BBC report

      to hide the fact that Scottish NHS performs better. The failure of BBC Scotland to

      point this out was only to be expected.

  7. James Carmoodie

    Wot a pair of arrogant bastards it just shows how feart the establishment is of Scottish independence these two just come across as propogandists for the unionists

  8. Independent Woman

    (Slightly o/t)
    The BBC and its attitude to Scottish affairs.

    I wrote this complaint to the BBC early in January:

    Report on BBC1 News at One on 2nd January 2019.

    Report on Rises in Rail Fares

    The report was extensive about reaction in England but beyond the initial reference to Scotland there was no reaction from Scottish passengers. We in Scotland had to sit through a report which related almost exclusively to the situation in England.
    The report stated that there was a fares rise of 3.1% in England (a precise figure) whereas in Scotland the increase was just under 3% (an imprecise figure). Where precise figures are available they should be used.
    Apart from the initial reference at the start of the news report, the situation in Scotland was not reported on the national news which reports on the whole of the United Kingdom. This leads to the conclustion that the situation in Scotland is of no interest to anyone in England, but Scots are thought to be agog to have the situation in England explained to them in great detail.
    Please don’t tell me that a report was carried on the Scottish lunchtime news; my point is that this was a news programme purporting to cover the whole of the UK when it did no such thing.

    This was their reply:

    Thank you for contacting us about BBC News at One on 02 January.
    Firstly, we apologise for the delay in replying. We know our correspondents appreciate a quick response and are sorry you’ve had to wait on this occasion.
    Due impartiality isn’t necessarily always achieved in one single report or programme, so we would ask that you take account of how we cover a topic over time. In this way, we aim to tell stories from around the UK over time.
    Please be assured that your concerns were sent to BBC News and senior management via our daily report.
    Your views are important to us and we welcome feedback from our audience to help us review how our news is being written and reported.
    Thanks again for taking the time to get in touch.
    Kind regards
    Ciaran Hanna
    BBC Complaints Team

    If anyone can tell me how this answers my specific complaints I would be very grateful. It reminds me of an automated phone message ‘Your call is important to us….(but just hang on for an hour until our one bored employee gets round to answering you.)

  9. David Forbes

    Project Fear 2 (The Scottish Version) has already come to a screen or speaker near you…it will consist of as many episodes as the Westminster/BBC/Murdoch axis calculate will be needed to get PF2 over the line, and it may end up with more air time than all the soaps put together…because this time, they are REALLY up against it. PF2 will contain strong language, and a farrago of lies, from the beginning of each episode. Viewers/listeners with knowledge of Scottish History and Economics, or those with particular respect for facts, are urged to exercise caution, and to have sedatives to hand, if they decide to watch or listen…

  10. Morrison

    Herald and National owned by Newsquest ,BBC controlled by Westminster? I am amazed that people are surprised about what they discuss, it is all rehearsed and supervised and probably recorded and cropped to suit their time slot.

  11. Dorothy Devine

    .McWhirter is mugwump.

    As for anyone associated with the Daily record and its infamous Vow- what can one say?

  12. Bibbit

    It’s incredibly wonderful to know that all the brilliant, witty writers and bloggers in and of Scotland are all for Independence.

    The BBC is left with only their indentured servants like MacWhirter & Clegg.

    The printed press is going out of business.

    No wonder.

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