Shona Robison doesn’t want to see training for more British doctors. Yep you read correctly. Scotland’s Health Secretary objects to a plan by the Tory government to make England self-sufficient in terms of doctors.
How do I know this? I know it because Radio Scotland presenter Gary Robertson said so as the clip below reveals.
Robertson repeated the claim shortly afterwards as he prepared to interview Scotland’s only Tory MP David Mundell.
The claim though is false. Shona Robison has no objections to more training for British doctors. In fact you’ll be hard pressed to find anyone in the entire UK who objects to more training of this nature.
What Shona Robison was objecting to was a threat by the UK government to deport foreign doctors already practicing in the UK. The Scottish Health Secretary was responding to comments from the Prime Minister Theresa May who has stated that foreign doctors will only be allowed to stay in the UK for an “interim period” until ‘British’ doctors are fully trained.
May said: “There will be staff here from overseas in that interim period – until the further number of British doctors are able to be trained and come on board in terms of being able to work in our hospitals.
“We will ensure the numbers are there. But I think it’s right that we say we want to see more British doctors in our health service.”
May’s implicit threat to deport foreign born doctors is the latest in a series of xenophobia laced announcements from her Westminster Tory government. Others include plans to compel companies to reveal how many of their employees are foreign and to prove they have made every effort to recruit a ‘British’ born person first.
Gary Robertson, or whoever wrote the script he read from, made a conscious decision to misrepresent the underlying reasons for Shona Robison raising her objection. In doing so the presenter ensured that listeners not fully up to speed with the facts of the issue were left hopelessly misinformed.
His subsequent interview with Robison witnessed the BBC Scotland presenter frame his questions around his own deliberate misrepresentation. You can listen to the exchange below.
It wasn’t just Gary Robertson who attempted to corrupt this important issue. His BBC Scotland colleague Kaye Adams also decided misrepresentation was more desirable than fact. Listen to this short clip as she introduces the subject on her morning phone-in programme.
According to Adams, Shona Robison thinks a plan for “home grown doctors” is “short sighted and irresponsible”. This isn’t merely a misrepresentation of the issue; it is a twisted corruption to the extent that one is left wondering what the hell Adams, or her research team, were thinking. Can professional people really be this inept?
The answer is no. Of course they aren’t. Gary Robertson and Kaye Adams are as capable of understanding Shona Robison as I am.
They both know full well what the issue is and it is not about training more British doctors. It is about the xenophobic undercurrents currently running through this Westminster government. It is about the worry being forced upon an ever increasing number of people who have made their home in the UK, especially Scotland.
Rather than present an accurate picture of the differences between the Scottish government and its UK counterpart on this issue, we have presenters who deliberately corrupt it. The result is that Shona Robison has been presented as someone who is trying to prevent more British doctors from being trained.
Adams’ morning phone-in even tried to present foreign born doctors and more British doctors as somehow mutually exclusive. In other words you can either have one or the other, but not both.
I don’t care who Gary Robertson is, nor do I care who Kaye Adams is. Nor do I subscribe to the view that everyone at BBC Scotland is an honest professional just trying to do a good job. The fact that they work for the BBC is no guarantee of anything other than they will do what the BBC wants them to do.
Today both were guilty of deliberately misrepresenting the views of a Scottish government minister. I’d love to hear both argue otherwise, but of course that won’t happen. Robertson and Adams are protected by the British Broadcasting Corporation. They answer to nobody in Scotland … certainly not the people who pay their wages … people like me and other TV licence payers.
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