Ruth and BBC Scotland – The real coalition

What an election.  Corbyn confounded his detractors and gave Theresa May a run for her money.

The Conservatives have lost their House of Commons majority.  Theresa May is a dead woman walking.  Her party is now reduced to seeking the backing of the Democratic Unionist Party in order to form a working government.  That’s Unionism.

In Scotland the big story was the widely expected gains for the Scottish Conservatives.  Former SNP leader Alex Salmond lost his seat as did the SNP leader at Westminster Angus Robertson.

Pete Wishart held on by the skin of his teeth – just twenty one votes, whilst Stephen Gethins held on by an unprecedented two votes. There were unexpected gains for the Scottish Labour party.  The Corbyn effect has pumped breath into the Scottish Labour corpse.

Overall the SNP lost twenty one of its seats to the combined efforts of the Tories, Labour and the Lib Dems.  It felt like a disaster.  It felt like a loss.  Indyref2 is dead according to the BBC.

But hold on.  To use boxing parlance, our man was knocked down a few times but he got back up, battered his opponent black-and-blue and achieved a unanimous points win.  The SNP, despite facing the dual onslaught of British Nationalist tactical voting and a Corbyn surge, maintained its majority.

The 2015 result that witnessed fifty six seats going to the SNP was a post-indyref fluke.  It could never be repeated.  This general election was merely the expected levelling out, some shock defeats notwithstanding.

And what of the state broadcaster?

As John Swinney rightly pointed out, Nicola Sturgeon also had to contend with a BBC which in Scotland turned this general election into a mid-term Holyrood election.

The SNP found itself relentlessly pressed on issues that had nothing to do with Westminster.  Voters reacted accordingly.

The BBC has had a great deal of influence in the Scottish outcome of this general election.  I myself highlighted the state broadcaster’s obsession with the constituency of Moray and the benefits to Unionists of the high-profile coverage given Unionist ‘target seats’.  I’ve also noted the absolute refusal of the BBC and the rest of our media to pursue Ruth Davidson who lied her way through the campaign.

Ruth ran an effective if basic campaign.  She appealed to raw British Nationalism.  She used the council elections to push her general election message of no to indyref2.  BBC Scotland played its part by insisting indyref2 was the single-most important issue in Scotland.  It didn’t matter what Nicola Sturgeon said, the BBC was always going to run with Ruth Davidson’s inspired narrative.

It’s true that there is opposition to a second referendum, but there is also support.  Remember the reasons for Indyref2 making its sooner than expected appearance was Scotland being dragged out of the EU against our will.  Hard Brexit is still lurking in the background.

So where does it leave us?  The SNP, I repeat, won this election in Scotland.  Nicola Sturgeon said a majority of Westminster seats would be seen as a ‘triple lock’ for a second independence referendum.  Her party achieved this majority.  She needs to honour this manifesto commitment.  To roll back on her manifesto pledge will effectively send a message to the electorate that the Unionists did indeed win.

Theresa May is mortally wounded.  The Tory party at Westminster has been weakened.  Now is not the time for the SNP to appear on the back-foot.  The party must act like the winners they are.  Come out swinging.

The First Minister needs to continue with her pre-election line of compromise.  Scotland voted to remain in the European Union.  Nicola Sturgeon should quickly reiterate her demand for EU Single Market membership.  No membership means Indyref2 is absolutely still on the table.  Anything else would be seen as capitulation.

The elephant in the SNP room is of course BBC Scotland.  It remains a corrupt pro-Union entity.

Pacific Quay very deliberately sought to confuse Scottish voters by shoe-horning devolved issues into every debate and discussion.  A single report on Scottish education became the motif for the BBC’s Scottish campaign.

The SNP found itself defending its Holyrood record.  Ruth Davidson and the other Unionist leaders made hay.

BBC Scotland continues to be the problem the SNP will not address.  That said, the party cannot directly challenge the state broadcaster’s claims of impartiality.  The corrupt BBC and its corrupt media allies would present the nationalists as bitter ‘losers’ looking to blame a trusted media outlet.

What the independence movement needs is a separate campaign group, a think-tank if you like, whose job it would be to highlight the excesses of Pacific Quay. And there are excesses.

On the question of the constitution we witnessed three voices against one.  The SNP were outnumbered in every debate and discussion.  The public was presented with a non-stop crescendo of ‘divisive referendum’ sound-bites.  Even now with Nicola Sturgeon’s party having achieved a second majority of Scottish Westminster seats, the defeated Unionists are hogging the airwaves with a three-to-one advantage.

BBC Scotland needs to be challenged by people with the gravitas to mount such a challenge.  We need senior figures within the Yes movement to come together on this.  The independence movement needs to mount a highly visible challenge to BBC Scotland.  We may be running out of time.

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32 thoughts on “Ruth and BBC Scotland – The real coalition

  1. Stoker

    Apathy is the enemy of progress so lets grab that bull by the horns and hope everyone puts their support into this idea.

  2. Abulhaq

    The SNP should be a political wing of the wider, overarching independence dynamic not the dynamic itself. Being ‘sniffy’ about the online ‘alt indie’ groups and trends and the radical, less conventional ideas circulating within them is hubristic. They represent a fertile political counter-culture.
    The national movement needs to become thrillingly ‘edgy’. May not suit some of the prim old guard but they have had their opportunity. Time to let some smart new kids onto the street.
    As for the BBC….stop paying the licence, source your news, information, politics, entertainment etc on line. TV is dated.

  3. JimD

    Alex Salmond and Angus Robertson will have time on their hands.

    Is it technically possible for the independence movement to set up it’s own TV station?

    We have a great online presence, a newspaper and iScot magazine. The missing piece of the jigsaw is TV presence.

    1. Gypeitcheil

      My thoughts as well. All the ex MP’s should be locked in a room and work up a strategy going forward. I’m sure John Nicolson and Blair Jenkins have the media savvy, Callum McCaig and Stuart Donaldson have the youth, Alex Salmond and Angus Robertson have the leadership. The women are equally important and with Jean Freeman and Philippa Whitford who better to provide inspiration. The SNP has the talent they just need their mojo from 2007-2011 back.

      1. Calindi

        I’m sure I read, last time it was suggested, that Scotland would need Westminster’s permission to have its own TV station. Something to do with licences.

  4. Cadogan Enright

    The committee at Inform Scotland have set up a company limited by guarantee in Glasgow and have a strong website and social media presence.

    What we need is the leadership of senior writers and campaigners on this issue.

    We can deliver support

  5. Clydebuilt

    Yes supporters attracted to Corbyn and then voting Labour, saying they will still vote for Indy 2nd time around need to realise that without SNP Majorities there won’t be a 2nd Indy ref.

    1. Clydebuilt

      In the seats won by Tories from the SNP….. Would be interesting to see what part Yes supporters voting Labour played in the Tory gains.

  6. Effel

    Comment 3 above nails it. The silver lining is that Alex and Angus are now free to work in Scotland and do and say what they like. Those two working full time for Indy with Nicola leading the SNP. I wouldn’t bet against them in any sphere at all.

  7. Big Jock

    Yep Clyde…There was a naïve youth vote that switched to Labour. That said as far as I am concerned whoever forms the government at Holyrood gets to call the shots not WM. We had our last indi ref when we had 6 mp’s at WM, and the yes vote was at 28%.

    We have 35 MP’s and the polls indicate Yes to between 44-47%. Pretty sure the EU leave vote in England was well below that in the polls.

  8. Scott

    “Ruth and BBC Scotland – The real coalition”

    I agree with this BBC Scotland presenters and reporters should be hanging their heads in shame but that wont happen a good TV outlet to counteract the BBC bias should be set up I’m sureJOHN NICOLSON would be up for that as he knows the ins and outs of the BBC let them get stuck into the likes of Davidson who got off with telling her lies and being let away by Ken Mackintosh in the Parliament.

    1. Kerly

      They won,t be hanging their heads in shame ,they are jubilant.
      Fresh and different approach needed along side political movement sounds like a good move

  9. Gregor

    Corrupt and powerful mainstream media has a significant detrimental effect on society and our futures – particularly in Scotland, wherein the unionist MSM cabal has declared all out war against Scotland and her citizens.

    Most importantly, a genuinely impartial and representative (non corrupt) MSM is in the best interests of everyone – no matter your political affiliation, and it is absolutely imperative corrupt MSM is properly challenged and held to account for its high crimes against society – at every opportunity.

    The SNP (particularly the leadership) and the Independence movement need to wake up fast, get smart and do better. A ‘softly-softly’ approach is clearly not an effective strategy when faced with an unremitting, bloodthirsty monster.

  10. Big Jock

    Yep we have tried the accommodating softly ,softly approach. It’s got us so far but no further. We need to fight back now and stop being so apologetic. When they challenge us or bully us we need to strike back. Expose their lies.

    More of what Sturgeon did to Dugdale on the leaders debate. Embarrassed her on live TV and showed her for the charlatan she is. As for Ruth expose her party as a knuckle dragging , right wing bunch of misogynistic bullies.

  11. Clydebuilt

    Any loss in Nicola Sturgeon’s popularity
    Any acceptance that the SNP need to get on with the day job.
    Any belief that the Tories won the Council Elections.

    Is the product of Scotlands m.s.m

    This needs to be countered.

  12. Abulhaq

    BritState will never concede without a fight. Imperial history is informative on that score. In this ‘union’ we were never a partner. In 1707 we simply became a colony. We were bought. It clears the mind of nonsense to see ourselves in that light. Our ‘modern’ history is sufficient if seeking confirmation.

  13. Col

    Reporting Scotland tonight is jaw dropping even by their low standards. It’s not the unionist parties we need to fight, it’s the f*+king BBC. If we don’t fight them and win there’s probably no point in going for indyref 2. Too many people form their views from watching their Shite.

    1. stewartb

      Agreed Col. I shouldn’t have been surprised but my ‘jaw did drop’ at the blatant bias.

      Relentless ‘framing’ of the anti-Indyref2 position – no balance, no analysis.

      I do not have an answer but the SNP and the Yes Movement’s media/communication strategy needs a serious review and re-boot.

    2. Stoker

      “Reporting Scotland tonight is jaw dropping even by their low standards.”

      And then some! For the first time in i don’t know how long i dropped in on it to have a gander at what was going on. They are still promoting and presenting liar Ruth as *the* voice and go to person on anything related to Scottish politics. She’s a bullying, aggressive liar aided and abetted by a bunch of discredited amateur churnalists.

      Gap, that’s an idea from Cadogan (comment N04) worth exploring. They’ve already got the bare bones of a potentially potent organisation set up, all the support is there, (as they say – create it and they will come – or something similar). With the correct vision, writing, planning and guidance etc that just might be the answer. We need a very potent organisation that will be on the BBC’ case 24/7.

    3. Clydebuilt

      I’ve stopped watchingt our State Broadcaster, STV under Bernad Ponsonby’s tutelage has taken a big step towards BBC bias levels …….

      His interview with the FM before the vote was ridiculous.
      On STV’s election night prog. Every time he addressed an SNP rep. He displayed an unfriendly agressive manner.

      Might be time to hit that shower in their pockets…… Switch channels.

  14. Kenny

    I’ve said it before, but someone – and it needs to be the right someone – should sue the BBC for breach of contract. We’re entitled to expect fair and impartial coverage. We don’t get it. The ideal time would have been maybe immediately after the 2014 referendum when a lot of stuff was fresher in the memory, but the continued absence of a Scottish Six and the removal of Scotland 2014/5/6 means that Scottish political coverage is woefully absent. It makes it impossible for anyone, unionist or nationalist, to properly scrutinise their government. Clear examples could be found of misleading conflation of devolved and reserved matters, imbalance on panels, overly hostile questioning, editorial decisions that frame independence in a negative light – all the same stuff we all got upset about in 2014. It just takes one person to go to Small Claims and ask for their licence fee back because they didn’t get what the contract promised. Just think – you could bring in Birt and Blair to discuss their consciously political opposition to the then widely supported Scottish Six. You could force someone at PQ to explain the Vote No Borders puff piece or that outrageous animation about defence in an independent Scotland. You could ask why UKIP get such lavish coverage on QT but the SNP, as the third largest party in Parliament, only get on once every 2-3 weeks.

    To my mind, the case is unanswerable. I can’t do it as I’m not a licence payer (and there are probably a couple of skeletons in my closet that the newspapers would dig up to smear and discredit me) but there must be some decent, honest, law-abiding licence payer out there who wants to see Auntie answer for her behaviour. Find that person, start a crowdfunder for legal expenses and let’s get to work.

    1. Peter

      That needs a class action suit by a couple of hundred thousand people in order to make it work.

      Lest we forget that STV doesn’t cover the whole of Scotland so the Borders get english TV to go with their thousands of english immigrants replacing the Scots driven out by unemployment and inability to compete for housing.

      1. Toby Lerone

        ” english immigrants” are the reason Wales will never get independence and amounts to >500,000 people in Scotland.
        Academic research suggests that Scots born voted YES in 2014
        Here are their findings :-

    2. Gregor

      Perhaps the people of Scotland should write our own grassroots ‘News Media Constitution for Scotland’ and explicitly ‘VOW’ not to pay the BBC unionist propaganda tax/fund institutional corruption.

      Such significant revenues could crowdfund mass litigation against BBC (we have a litany of damning evidence), or directed towards real Scottish journalism.

  15. Iain

    We need an organised campaign for mass non-payment of the TV licence fee – advice and support. At the moment, each individual refusenik has to find out and deal with the details and consequences, and it seems a time-consuming hassle. But the whole idea that you are not allowed to watch any television unless you pay the state for its own channels is political totalitarianism.

  16. m boyd

    The north east farmers and their serfs will be hoping Arlene Fraser negotiates Brexit terms for them!

  17. Achnababan

    Thanks for the article and comments everyone.

    I feel a wee bit despondent this evening – Nicola Sturgeon has played her hand so badly by allowing the British Nationalists at the BBC and their political hirelings like tRuthless to attack attack attack on spurious grounds.

    She is our leader with huge support in Scotland – instead she seems to be apologising and admitting wrong doing in calling for a second referendum.

    Wheres your fight lass?

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