Sarah Smith criticised over ‘Do you support England?’ question at SNP conference

The BBC’s Scotland Editor has been criticised on social media after repeatedly asking members of the SNP whether they’d be supporting England at the World Cup.

Sarah Smith badgered delegates, including senior SNP figures, with the same question, asking if they’d be supporting England.  Those who said no were then asked for reasons why.

Following the stunt, users of social media rounded on the controversial reporter, whose family have links to the Labour Party, calling her motives into question.

SNP MSP James Dornan tweeted: “Argentina, Brazil, France and whoever takes my eye during the tournament. But seriously Sarah, why does it matter? I’m a proud Glaswegian but I wouldn’t support Rangers as I support Celtic and I’d expect the same from proud weegies on the other side. It’s just football rivalry”

One poster said: “What has this got to do with anything? I see the BBC is still trying to push the myth that the SNP are anti-English. We deserve better journalists in this country.”

Another read: “Very disappointing patter from you Sarah. But since you asked, SNP members come from all over the world so I imagine there will be a range of teams being supported. For example, I am an SNP member from England and I will be supporting England.”

The questions from Smith are the latest manifestation of a fixation the BBC has with SNP backing for the England football team.

In 2014 the then First Minister Alex Salmond’s football loyalties resulted in headlines on the BBC.

However suspicions have been raised that the BBC is seeking ways in which to push the myth of anti-English sentiment at the heart of the SNP.  During the 2014 Indyref campaign, BBC presenter Andrew Marr caused anger after claiming anti-English sentiment was “entrenched” in the SNP, warning it may become toxic.

During the 2006 World Cup the BBC caused outrage when it emerged it had been behind a stunt which saw a car bedecked in English flags vandalised in Glasgow’s Gallowgate.

The car had been driven around Glasgow in the run-up to the England versus Portugal match.  The broadcaster denied it had tried to portray Scotland as a nation of English-hating thugs.

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24 thoughts on “Sarah Smith criticised over ‘Do you support England?’ question at SNP conference

  1. Davy

    Frankly the question shows the limit of Sarah Smiths journalistic ability.

    But to answer the question the answer is NO not in this world nor the next.

  2. Geejay

    You really do wonder how some of these people got the job in the first place, and having done so, how do they keep it when they are so obviously incompetent. I’m just glad I don’t listen to the BBC news or politics and I don’t have tv.

    I’ll probably support some outsider, a team with little chance of winning and because my wife’s English I’ll probably support England – who match that description.

    1. Bobnugent

      Won’t bother to watch if I did it would not be England
      And the reason is NO ONE IN ENGLAND WOULD SUPPORT SCOTLAND WERE ROLES REVERSED

      ASK ENG TEAM WAT THEY THINK
      MIGHTVGET A SHOCK
      ON YOUR RACISM STATS

  3. seanair

    What a pest Sarah Smith is. Did her father go round people asking them ridiculous questions to make them seem silly?
    No is the answer, and she should take a copy of him or give up her job which she is failing badly.

  4. bringiton

    Will the BBC be going to Australia,Canada,New Zealand or even the USA and asking the same question?
    What would the good people of those former colonies think about that?
    I imagine,not much different to most Scots.
    Good luck to England but it isn’t my team.

  5. Jason Smoothpiece

    I think her father would be saddened to see his daughter as part of a rabid Unionist Blue and Red Tory movement.

    Her father John Smith was I believe a decent man he was labour but none of us are perfect he would be ashamed I’m sure.

  6. Greig12

    It’s a wonder in my opinion that given the media propaganda and cultural onslaught Scotland has been forced to endure for a wee while now that there isn’t more anti English feeling in general.

    The Yes movement to its credit has held its ranks and by and large maintained discipline in the face of a great deal of provocation. Holding on to the belief that it is a privileged English establishment we’re fighting and not the ordinary English people is however becoming increasingly difficult due to the support these ordinary people often seem to be lending said establishment in achieving its aims. Regardless of these aims being contrary to the best interests of ordinary UK residents.

    The football thing is being framed as anti English when it is in fact anti media. Media bias is turned upon us every time England qualifies for a major tournament. We are forced in the course of watching the tournament to listen to their unrealistic partisan shit, peppered with periodic references to 1966.

    I wonder if the situation was reversed and they were forced for a prolonged period to listen to our commentators, which team they would be supporting.

    Maybe in such a situation, a good dose, say over a couple of weeks, of partisan Scottish west coast nasal football commentary would give them a taste for changing the format a bit. It would hopefully put the Scottish football Uncle Toms gas at a peep as well so we would no longer be subjected to this bullshit by the likes of Sarah Smith.

    It’s not the English team I hate it’s the egotistical English media so I will continue to support whoever’s playing England and I can only pray that they’re put out as early as possible.

    Oh did I mention the England supporters? Rule Britannia etc….

    There’s not much to like and get behind really, is there?

    1. Robert Graham

      Excellent Greig 12 – My Thoughts exactly , I don’t think there has been a Year or a Month since England won the World Cup we haven’t heard 1966 mentioned ” they think it’s all over ” is the National moto and after all this time it’s becoming bloody annoying ,

      Just in case Smith has forgotten we are not England and really don’t want to be associated with their rampaging football fans who cause Mayhem wherever they go ,

      How many times have we heard British yes British football fans caught up in disturbances when we can see it’s jolly old English fans that are throwing bottles chairs at the police.

      Support them Aye in yer f/n dreams Smith .

    2. grizebard

      We are forced in the course of watching the tournament to listen to their unrealistic partisan shit, peppered with periodic references to 1966.

      Damn right. Nailed it in one.

  7. Kat hamilton

    Iceland my team of choice..they have adopted the mfc ‘huh’ and in return I’ll be chanting them on…can’t wait for Lesley riddoch film from there..Sarah Smiths m o is to ask loaded questions on football support, expressing faux surprise when three lions isnt the given reply…pity someone didn’t quote Mary queen of scots to her..Look to your conscience, and remember the theatre of the world is bigger than the realm of England…

  8. John

    It is the same old divide and rule tactics from Smith . What is the grudge the BBC’s Scottish journalists (if you could call them that ) have that they hate their country and people so much they will hatch up any old tripe to discredit it . It is a constant let’s push the Snp buttons and let’s see if we can get a piece of really racist footage that we can put out across the nation for weeks to discredit the nats , don’t fall for it ! .

  9. Lochside

    Why do the SNP tolerate this imposter?…Her shiteating grin when asking NS the ‘question’ made my stomach churn. This is ‘Scottish Journalism’ at its most pathetic, purile and partisan.
    Smith will stoop as low as possible to sewer level to show the SNP and its supporters in a foul anglophobic light.

    Incidentally, the link in this article to the BBC ‘Newsnight’s’ act of blatant provocation by driving around Glasgow with a car bedecked in St. George’s flags, back in 2006, shows how long this insidious intimidation and deliberate taunting has been going on. The ‘Editors’ excuses are risible and insulting. Yet more evidence of our money being used to insult and demean us by this nasty Propaganda organisation of the Brit State.

    I wonder how long a car similarly adorned with St Andrews’ flags left in th East End of London would last?

  10. Alastair Naughton

    And how exactly is this relevant to the SNP conference, which she was allegedly there to cover? SFA! Fishing for an anti-English “nugget” which she could use against the party and the wider Yes campaign at a later date. You’re a ******* disgrace Smith! Which other political leader IN THE WORLD would be asked why they were not backing their neighbouring country’s World Cup campaign? Hang your head in shame!!!!

  11. Polscot

    Amazingly people are still obsessing about the World Cup. Let me remind those who are unaware, the result was settled in 1966, the score was 4 goals to England, 2 goals to Germany. Now can we please put this to rest?

    Courtesy of Viz.

  12. Robert

    The BBC’s own recent poll showed that that SNP supporters/voters were more likely (by a long way) to consider those born in England to be “fellow Scots”. SNP supporters backed the broadest criteria of acceptance, i.e. “people are Scottish if they merely consider themselves Scottish, regardless of where they were born.”

    Unionist party supporters were much more restrictive.

    Surprisingly this wasn’t reported by the BBC, who remain defiantly trying to portray SNP supporters as anti-English.

  13. millie

    Sarah Smith’s video on football was the only visual coverage of the SNP’s conference on the BBC’s news website across the UK. That tells us all we need to know about the BBC’s agenda.

    When Sarah Smith interviews Ruth Davidson she covers substantive issues which Ruth Davidson engages in superficially and unchallenged – Davidson has no policies apart from ‘the union’.

    Sarah Smith/ the BBC interviewed Ruth a couple of weeks ago. Ruth was given the floor. This happens regularly.

    Did I miss Sarah Smith’s ‘full’ conference interview with the First Minister? – or did it not happen?
    Did I miss Brian Taylor’s interview with the First minister? Did one occur?

    Did the football question come from a wider interview that the BBC has decided not to show?

    Why was Nicola Sturgeon excluded from BBC Sunday Politics Scotland this morning? Ruth Davidson was interviewed (gently) on Sunday Politics Scotland in March, even although her conference had been cancelled.

    Where was BBC Scotland’s in-depth coverage of the policies and initiative announced by Nicola Sturgeon? – There was none.

    There appears to be a Nicola Sturgeon exclusion policy by the BBC – aside from the odd terse soundbite, which shows her in a bad light. They are trying to undermine her. – She should start holding weekly press conferences.

    I note the BBC’s current demented focus on ‘currency’ – Brewer is visibly ecstatic. I don’t recall BBC Scotland’s micro analysis of BREXIT. Did I miss those programmes?

    George Kerevan is handing the media manipulation organisation a gift- does he realise this? If he doesn’t someone should tell him. – Meaningful debate on the BBC is not possible, given their agenda.

    With this level of analysis on currency etc, the BBC is intent on preventing us reaching the starting blocks. Meanwhile the detrimental fallout of Brexit will be airbrushed.

    1. Robert Graham

      Millie – covered everything and didn’t hit the wall .

      The only country in the world where the state broadcaster activly works to undermine the freely elected government and we stand for it . Well not for much longer BBC .

      I wonder if anyone has thought of a use for Pacific Heights when we take over it .A good idea would to sweep it for bugs and listening devices or unionists hiding under the stairs or cupboards . these buggers are everywhere .

    2. stewartb

      “She should start holding weekly press conferences.”

      Whether weekly or monthly or quarterly – I agree, as way to get on the front foot and seek to ‘own’ the agenda, challenging the media. A regular, high profile state of the nation address.

      With the FM alongside other key elected figures from the SNP, it could be a regular opportunity to present what is being done by the SNP for Scotland in (i) government at Holyrood, (ii) at Westminster and (iii) in the European Parliament. Get it live-streamed. Get it out there. Dare the media it ignore it.

  14. Ian McGeechan

    I’m not in the business of supporting foreign teams, and since Scotland isn’t there I’ll be a neutral observer, but I will cheer on teams that play attractive football, whoever they might be.

  15. Ian McGeechan

    As an additional observation, I’ve never seen or known the media in any country in the World to ask people from other countries if they’ll be supporting them in a competition. It seems to be something peculiar to this little corner or at least one little bit of it.

  16. Davy

    Just in-case you missed my comment at the start regarding supporting England :

    My answer is still “NO” not in this world nor the next.

  17. Welsh Sion

    How many England supporters switched to supporting my home nation at the Euro Championships in 2016 after their team was put out by Iceland?

    I heartily concur with the posters here that we don’t have any argument with the average English person in the street, football fan or otherwise. But when the media incessantly talks of British [sic] fans causing mayhem and violence when these self-same supporters are bellowing “inger0lund, Ingerlund” whilst swilling down pints of Carling Black label and admiring their flabby lobster-coloured triple bellies, then that’s as much as this Taff can bear.

    Count on top of that the sheer bloody arrogance of some of the commentariat in that they expect team of St George to win every match – remember how they said that once they’d beaten Iceland in those 2016 Euros – they could look to meet the French in the next round, who were obviously going to be a weakened team. How did that turn out then, eh?

    You’ll have gathered from this that I’m a natural Iceland supporter – and you’d be right. I support the underdog, and wish a debutant country at the World Cup whose population is about equivalent of my capital city all the best.

    I’ll leave you with another Iceland Euros 2016 anecdote, too. Shortly after those Championships, I was at a dinner followed by a raffle here (new readers start here: I’m living in exile) in England. One of the raffle prizes was, according to MC, “an authentic 2016 Euro Championships football.” When I asked in all innocence (aye, right) if it had been signed by all members of the Iceland football team, he gave me the dirtiest of looks and didn’t speak to me all night after that.

    WhadidIsay?

    PS I didn’t win anything in the raffle either …

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