How low will Scottish Unionism and its media allies go in their joint quest to defeat the SNP? The answer is as low as it takes.
This past week has witnessed attempts to use the death of young Liam Fee as a stick with which to beat the SNP’s ‘Named Person’ policy. The crass politicisation of a child’s murder began with a tweet from the leader of the Scottish Conservative party Ruth Davidson.
The inaccurate tweet was of course in response to a question posed by the BBC Scotland late night current affairs programme Scotland 2016, which had asked “Could the government’s new Named Persons Scheme help prevent cases like the murder of Liam Fee in the future?”
The BBC has of course played a major part in the politicising of the death of Liam Fee and the use of the murder as a weapon against the ‘Named Person’ policy. The day after Liam’s mother and her partner were found guilty of murdering the child, BBC Scotland was pumping out news bulletins attacking the policy and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
The wording of the bulletins, which reported Sturgeon as having ‘refused’ to answer questions on whether Liam Fee had a named person, were designed to imply a cover-up or similar on the part of the First Minister. The bulletins were also pushing the Unionist line that the ‘Named Person’ policy had somehow failed in relation to Liam Fee.
That evening’s Reporting Scotland took a similar approach to the issue and conflated the tragic murder of Liam with a policy that had played no part in the case and had no relevance. Note how Reporting Scotland conflated criticism of existing structures within Fife Council with the yet to be implemented ‘Named Person’ policy.
BBC Scotland was fully on board with the attempt to discredit ‘Named Person’ by using the murder of Liam. That was confirmed on Sunday when Gordon Brewer interviewed Childrens’ Commissioner Tam Baillie after the latter had criticised the use of the Liam Fee case to attack the ‘Named Person’ policy.
Brewer took on the role not of devil’s advocate but of village idiot, and repeatedly refused to acknowledge the very clear points Baillie made. The Liam Fee case was not relevant to the debate over ‘Named Person’ because Liam’s case had already passed beyond the level at which ‘Named Person’ would have introduced it into the system.
Tam Baillie’s point was so easy to understand that I have come to the conclusion the ‘interview’ was a set up. It had nothing to do with examining Baillie’s arguments re: the politicising of a child’s death and was more an attempt at undermining the official for daring to call out those parties who were guilty of having done so. One of which was BBC Scotland.
The Scottish Conservatives are to raise the issue of ‘Named Person’ in a Holyrood debate this week. The party, having hitched the death of Liam Fee to their anti-Named Person wagon, will call for the policy to be scrapped.
BBC Scotland will headline the debate in its usual fashion. ‘Named Person’ will be described by the broadcaster as a ‘controversial SNP flagship policy’. Despite clear evidence showing the policy to be completely irrelevant to the murder of the child, it will also be linked to the Liam Fee case.
BBC Scotland has behaved as badly as those fundamental Unionists who so loathe the SNP that they see nothing wrong in using the death of a child in order to mount an attack on a Scottish government policy. That TV licence cash supports this political propaganda is sickening.
SNP politicians might do well to take a leaf out of Tam Baillie’s book and call out this disgusting politicking. I have a hunch that most Scots would side with them.
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