So yet another survey on the BBC’s political output in Scotland suggests the corporation is losing trust north of the border.
A poll for the Herald newspaper resulted in more people saying they believed the BBC was biased against independence, than said it wasn’t.
Thirty six per cent of respondents agreed with the statement that “the BBC tends to report news that is biased against the cause of Scottish independence”, and only twenty three per cent disagreed. The remainder weren’t sure either way.
That means three quarters of the Scottish electorate are made up of people who either believe the BBC is biased against indy or aren’t willing to say it isn’t. It’s an incredible statistic but one that doesn’t surprise me. The evidence is everywhere you look.
Last week I listened in to Good Morning Scotland and thought I’d stumbled back in time to the days prior to the 2014 referendum when they came to the newspaper review slot. Listen to the clip below.
The claim being made by these newspapers is demonstrable garbage. There is no ‘EU queue’. Yet it finds its way onto the airwaves of a public service broadcaster.
This was typical of the pro-Union newspaper content that was promoted via the conduit of the ‘newspaper review’ throughout the 2014 referendum campaign. BBC Scotland did this continuously. Below are two examples [the second clip features James Naughtie who gets a mention further down].
That the overwhelming majority of Scotland’s daily and weekly newspapers are pro-Union is obvious. If you are going to allow the promotion of newspaper headlines, then it stands to reason that you are going to be promoting pro-Union claims and stories.
The reading out and summarising of politically motivated newspaper headlines is bias by proxy. It allows pro-Union claims to be pumped into homes throughout Scotland. It is blatantly wrong. Yet the practice continues. The recordings below are from recent months. Anti-independence headlines mixed in with smears against SNP politicians.
Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh smear
Oil black hole
The newspaper review is of course small-fry in the panoply of questionable broadcasts by BBC Scotland. Of greater concern is the news output that seems to be manipulated in order to either maximise content damaging to independence or the SNP or minimise content damaging to Unionism or its parties.
The recent PFI scandal that witnessed a school wall collapsing was an example of a story that should have caused considerable harm to the Scottish Labour Party. But it didn’t. Almost every bulletin that was broadcast by BBC Scotland had Labour’s culpability filtered out.
Neither Gordon Brown, who was the architect of PFI, nor Jack McConnell, who coerced Scottish councils into adopting the controversial funding mechanism, merited a mention.
Bizarrely the broadcaster did find the time to try to link the SNP to the scandal. Listen to the clip below which is of course another ‘newspaper review’.
The simple truth is that few people trust the BBC because it is institutionally corrupt. This corruption leads to practices that should long since have been addressed.
It also leads to an acceptance of presenters who parade their partisan political views with pride. This weekend witnessed perhaps the BBC’s most high-profile political presenter take to Twitter to push falsehoods relating to an independent Scotland’s place in the EU.
Andrew Neil claimed Scotland would have to wait in a queue indefinitely for membership. Neil cited as ‘evidence’ a speech given by Jean-Claude Juncker in which the EC President stated enlargement would be halted during his term in office.
Neil’s claim was demonstrable garbage given that there is no queue to obtain EU membership, there is only a process. Satisfy the requirements and you could find yourself admitted before countries who submitted their own application years earlier.
His citing of Jean-Claude Juncker’s ‘enlargement’ speech was interesting, for it was a repeat of the misleading reports put out by the BBC back in 2014 immediately after Juncker had delivered it.
The online headlines were eventually corrected but the falsehood was repeated, first on that evening’s Reporting Scotland then twice later that evening by Sarah Smith. Smith, as you hear below, also deliberately misrepresented a letter sent to Juncker by Catalan President Artur Mas who had written to every major European leader outlining Catalonia’s reasons for wanting independence.
Smith of course was one of two big names recruited by BBC Scotland towards the end of the 2014 campaign.
Her stint as presenter of the ill-fated Scotland 2014 did as much for trust in the BBC north of the border as that of her metropolitan based colleague James Naughtie.
Below is a clip of Naughtie doing what he was brought in to do.
Naughtie has retired but Sarah Smith, daughter of the former Labour leader John Smith, is still very much part of the BBC’s Scottish output having been promoted to the role of Scottish editor after the referendum.
It’s important to remind ourselves of what the BBC did during the referendum because so many of those who were responsible for the corrupt output are still there. The corporation is not above trying to rewrite history as the clip below, from November last year, makes clear.
The three bulletins were false. The pledge was for thirteen Type 26 frigates to be built on the Clyde, not eight as the Good Morning Scotland presenters would have you believe.
Following the broadcast, a complaint was raised with the BBC. The complainant asked for a correction from the BBC and an apology, both to be broadcast on the programme. The response from the BBC has to be seen to be believed.
A senior official at the Editorial Complaints Unit claimed not to be aware of any indyref pledge by the UK Government. The official also claimed the thirteen frigate total was an understandable but erroneous inference made by the complainant.
In essence, the BBC is refusing to accept Scotland was promised thirteen frigates.
This isn’t the first time an attempt at rewriting history has been made. In February 2016 Good Morning Scotland presenter Gary Robertson tried to claim that ‘near federalism’ was never promised to Scotland within the now infamous ‘Vow’.
The Vow of course was the eleventh hour con that was based on pledges given by Gordon Brown, and broadcast live by the BBC, days before the referendum was held. BBC presenters themselves acknowledged as much.
Whatever gave Gary Robertson the idea that near federalism had never been pledged to Scots if they voted no? Well the clip below may provide a clue.
I’m heartened by the Herald poll that showed trust in the BBC is ebbing. The more people who question the output from these middle-class elites, the better the chance of winning Indyref2.
One last thing. Look out for the BBC trying to play Yessers off of one another using the twin issues of the EU and currency. Those Yessers of a ‘radical left’ persuasion … be warned!
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