The election news was already written

Almost as bad as fake news is news that has already been decided.  The incredible win by the SNP in the local elections has been marginalised in favour of what appears to have been a pre-determined news agenda.

In what is a carbon copy of Ruth Davidson’s mythical ‘win’ in the 2016 Holyrood election, the Scottish Conservative leader is being carried shoulder-high by a loyal media corps after coming second yet again.

I sat flabbergasted during the BBC’s coverage of the Scottish local election results.  The narrative was being set even before the results were known.  Ruth’s Tory party was to be declared the de-facto winner.  It didn’t matter how many seats the SNP won.

News that the Tories had picked up a solitary council seat in Shettleston was enough to set the bandwagon rolling.  That the SNP had got off to an even better start in the Glasgow constituency was simply ignored.  This was “bad for the SNP”.

The focus of media attention in 2012 was of course Glasgow.  Five years ago when the SNP failed to overtake Labour it became the motif for a media intent on presenting the SNP as having lost the election.

In 2017 Nicola Sturgeon’s party looked set to dethrone Labour yet this major symbolic moment was being downplayed.  Indeed the SNP win would eventually be presented as a failure due to the party not having achieved a majority.

Make no mistake, this was a quite phenomenal result for the SNP.  The party has been in power for over ten years yet is still unbeatable when it comes to national elections.  In 2012 it won 425 seats on a 32.33% share of the vote.  In 2017 the SNP actually increased its seat total to 431.  Amazingly the BBC persistently reported this as a loss of six seats.

The numbers of seats lost varied from seven, to fourteen and at one point thirty.  Below, thanks to Wings Over Scotland, are a few examples of BBC fake ‘facts’.

Reporting Scotland didn’t correct the misinformation.  The graphic in the image to the right shows the SNP down seven seats.

The apparent ‘loss’ of SNP seats is down to boundary changes.  The BBC has apparently ‘imagined’ what the party might have won in 2012 had the changes been in place for the last council election.

Reporting Scotland was as bad as could be expected.  The programme actually led with the Scottish Conservative gains.

Ruth Davidson’s party dominated the item which you can view by clicking here.  On radio it was much the same.  The 5pm bulletin heard Andrew Kerr tell listeners: “The Conservatives have the biggest wins”.  His Newsdrive colleague echoed his sentiments as you can hear below.


The SNP increased its seat tally, increased its percentage vote share, increased its actual vote [by 75,000], increased the number of councils where it was returned the biggest party and increased its winning margin.  That, folks, is a massive success in anyone’s language.

Was Ruth Davidson’s party’s seat gain newsworthy?  Of course it was.  But in every election, if the leading party increases its seats and increases its lead over the second placed party then that is more newsworthy, not less.

The Scottish Conservatives didn’t make gains at the expense of the SNP.  It made gains at the expense of Scottish Labour.  Hard-core Unionism has simply chosen a new home for its support.  It isn’t a surge, it’s a migration.  That is the real story of the local election.

Labour now serves no purpose in Scottish politics.  It has been reduced to a role previously occupied by the Lib Dems – it has become a subservient party whose only hope of power is alliance with a dominant force.  The only party it can enter into any pact with is of course the Scottish Tories.

Ruth Davidson and Theresa May both made this local election a de-facto ballot on a second independence referendum.  It may well have gained extra Unionist votes for their party but it didn’t gain enough.  An honest media would have handed the SNP the election and indyref2 laurels.

But we don’t have an honest media.  We have a corporate media that still punts the Unionist line.  That’s why almost every media pundit who appeared on the BBC refused to challenge the narrative that had already been pre-defined.  News of this election had already been written.

Second is the new first.

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26 thoughts on “The election news was already written

  1. Andy McKirdy

    As I and many others have said on here and other sites for a while now, the BBC are not only the enemy of truth the are the enemy of Scotland.
    The British establishment is terrified of an independent Scotland as it would most likely bring about its downfall and as they can no longer control the pesky enlightened Scots through the Trogen horse Labour Party, the are left with only good old auntie Beeb to wage the propaganda war.
    The bigoted, racist working class “Billy Britain” brigade are a lost cause to common sense but the soft NO’S who still cling to a middle way for a Scotland in Union are the target for the BBC.
    They are the biggest obstacle to independence by a mile.
    As a member of the SNP as well as an advocate of Sco
    The independence I call on the SNP to start dealing properly with the BBC, in the same way as this and other sites do.
    No more compliance, gloves off, deal with the real enemy with no mercy.
    Overall in the grand scheme it was a good day towards the ultimate goal.

  2. Col

    Failure to take on the BBC could be a big mistake on the part of the SNP. Even England is getting a fair dose of bias in favour of the tories and many are seeing it now. There’s so many incidents that are beyond doubt I think they could and should be taken to court. This is supposed to be a democracy but I fear we haven’t been living in one here in Scotland for quite some time now.
    At the very least the SNP should fire a few shots across their bow before the general election.
    I fear there is a point where no matter how much effort party and activists put in we won’t be able to effect enough change in the now short window of opportunity.

  3. Kat hamilton

    Said it before ad nauseum, but nicola and co must stop appeasing the BBC and it’s misreporting machine..she needs to call them out as misrepresenting their audience for their own agenda…nothing less will do….on a live session, calling them out and say they won’t give them any further dialogue with this odious outfit until they retract and apologise…it would do no harm whatsoever Im Sure to their overall standing, and leave the bullsugar corp floundering…it’s always been my belief that for some reason or other they won’t, can’t and refuse to challenge the horse manure thrown by these charlatans..please nicola, now is certainly the time..

    1. michael boyd

      Right Kat,

      From one o’clock onwards yesterday the headlines in all the press was Tories make big gains… they can introduce some form of press ownership laws ie domiciled here for the papers and generic laws re reportage.

  4. douglas clark

    Apart from the UKIP hiatus, I have rarely seen the BBC taking a marginal party – in this case the Scottish Conservatives – and boosting them this much.

    The downright lie that the SNP had lost seats, election to election, is enough evidence that they have lost the plot.

  5. Abulhaq

    The national movement needs to ‘radicalize’. The system is patently corrupt, its agents openly grubbing in the historic sectarian gutter. The light, polite, civilized touch approach is not the system’s way, it ought not to be ours. We have reached the ‘India’ moment in our history when the democratic processes are not enough. Something more direct is required. Scotland has never looked more like a colony than now. The entire trappings of British Unionism should be consigned to the bonfires with absolutely no feelings of nostalgia. The British connexion is simply toxic.

    1. Bunny Daft

      You know you can edit Wiki entries though? Nothing on Wikipedia is ‘official’, and other users are free to change/edit other stuff thats been posted if they spot a factual mistake. Or an outright lie. So maybe this yoon entry needs factually correcting…

  6. Clydebuilt

    Heard Brewer putting to Stephen Gethins that the SNP actually lost seats because of boundary changes , to which Gethins said “alright” , this was after S.G. stated that the SNP made gains. ( and he was doing well making a clear case)
    Why on earth did he not rubbish this.

    There would be a considerable amount of work required to come to the point about boundary changes. I don’t believe for one minute that this work has been undertaken, certainly not early after the numbers were out yesterday.

    An analysis that would throw much light on how the parties stand would be a totalling up of first preference votes expressed as a percentage of the total vote cast. This would allow an easy comparison to be made by the public. Of course that’s the last thing the State Broadcaster wants.

    Keep up the good work

    Craig Murray has got some good analysis over on his blog ( also)

    1. Kate

      John Nicholson was the same, it was put to him The SNP lost seats & he nodded saying YES, but then moved onto how the Tories made it about BREXIT & NO referendum.

      WHY are they not tackling the outright lies… Every Labour person when in front of a camera on TV, will not stop talking the rubbish they want out, when challenged infact, they will stop the broadcaster/journalist by saying, IF YOU LET ME FINISH..

      Ours either nod in agreement or shut up. It is time our SNP spokes people took the CONTROL from these VERY Biased to even the LIARS of MSM ..POLITENESS will NOT win us elections now. Now that we know we are up against Biased, liars…

      1. Clydebuilt


        Hardly ever see an SNP representative talking Media lies. I reckon they are not well informed… Should spend more time checking out pro Indy sites ….. This one , WoS, Talking Up Scotland etc.

        The SNP should see to it that people put forward for interview are up on current Unionist media attack lines / lies…. That would be a job for one person. The cause is just etc. ….. The ducking and diving aint!

  7. bringiton

    Spot on tactics from the Tories.
    They succeeded in capturing all the unionist votes by making the election solely about independence and completely deflected attention away from their poor handling of the economy and public services.
    At least we have an idea now of what the core unionist vote looks like and how much work needs to be done with those who don’t normally vote.

  8. Robert Graham

    Aye this is exactly what alternative news looks like , little things like the Truth is a inconvenience just something to be ignored while they tell you what your news is.

    The guardians view on the scottish council elections was a tremendous advance by the tory party ,small gains for the Nats , more or less sums up the media doing its best to invert what really happened .

    Its going to be interesting to see the contortions a labour supporter is going to have to go through having voted for a tory in their council , how exactly are they going to defend and explain their support this disgusting party .Make no mistake voting for them means you agree with their actions , simple as that . all of them no cherry picking the least obnoxious ones to ease your conscience .

    over the next few weeks the SNP must make it a priority to make ruthie own her tory parties record , being castigated by the Red Cross and countless others for a start .

  9. Charles O'Brien

    I did notice one thing the SNP came first,and the Tories second .Coming second means that you are the best of the losers.Now that I’ve put it in simple terms it looks much better.As for the fake no to second referendum er nobody notice it was already passed in Holyrood and it was voted on at the last Holyrood election,did all the diddies forget this fact? The vote was done and this was council elections so now what are the Tories going to do to fulfil their manifesto,with all of the claims in it? what policies do they aim to complete? Oops what policies did they stand on? None that I could see except make it a unionist vote against whatever the SNP want to do to fix the roads grr SNP bad policy, SNP Improve anything then they will vote against it typical thickos follow on over a cliff because they are like the masses in the 1930,s Germany follow on and listen to rhetoric with no substance.Who came second? aye Tories best of the losers.

  10. commonoldworkinchap

    Time to get the gloves off SNP. Enough accepting the lies and distortions churned out by the media. Call them out, publish the countless times the media have spun, distorted and lied to
    the Scottish public. This constant propaganda is harmful as we have seen in England/Wales where xenophobia is the norm. The Turkeys, fed on a staple diet of exceptionalism and the
    Right wing sense of entitlement , are lining up to vote for Christmas down south.

    The Lab/Tory voters up here also love this diet.

    Failure to tackle this media onslaught , will IMO leave an unwanted legacy. Time to nip it
    in the bud. The longer it takes to face this problem, the harder it will be to fix it. The news
    reporting of the local elections was a disgrace.

  11. TheStrach

    Agree the SNP are being far too meek. We need to rise to the challenge and call out the BBC liars at every opportunity.

  12. twathater

    YADA , YADA , YADA , All we are doing is repeating the same old mantra over and over , we are all sick of the openly bias MSM BUT unless Nicola steps up and DIRECTLY CONFRONTS them publicly and openly the onslaught will continue .

    We are ALL outraged but can only do so much to counteract the lies and deceit, Nicola is the only one who can openly and publically challenge these ar**holes she has the gravitas and the respect of the majority of Scots , and I believe highlighting the corruptness and lies openly will focus people’s attention on the true BEAST of an undemocratic , servile media.

    Nicola we ask that you lead us to independence and freedom from this amoral establishment , face them head on , give no quarter , and show them that the Scots have awoken from their servitude and will not give in EVER until independent once more

    Just in context who gives a shit about boundary changes and their obfuscation tactics we beat the tolies and liebour, that’s ALL that matters

      1. twathater

        What do you mean by that , what I was doing is pointing out that the ONLY one who can confront head on and publically the torrent of shit that the MSM spout daily is Nicola, the rest of us are basically in an echo chamber and a vacuum

        What I would like Nicola or any rep being interviewed is to state openly that they will appear or agree to interview , on the basis that they have the ability to correct or highlight any misinformation or lies before airing the segment

        Galloway tore into Jo Coburn on daily politics for the same shit

  13. Clydebuilt

    Hardly ever see an SNP representative takling Media lies. I reckon they are not well informed… Should spend more time checking out pro Indy sites ….. This one , WoS, Talking Up Scotland etc.

    The SNP should see to it that people put forward for interview are up on current Unionist media attack lines / lies…. That would be a job for one person. The cause is just etc. ….. The ducking and diving aint!

  14. Born Optimist

    Critics of SNP spokespersons should remember that unless addressing a live audience or on live TV anything they say can and will be edited. Robust criticism of the MSM will rarely, if ever, reach the public via the self same media being criticised – the reason why so many people helped fund the BBC misinformation poster campaign to bring this fact to public attention.

    It takes a lot of guile to get any criticism past editors so more campaigns along similar lines might be needed but in the meantime promoting Indy sites and independent fact checking sites such as run by The Ferret to the uninitiated are probably the best options for converting soft No voters to Yessers .

    1. Grafter

      The BBC and 99% of the MSM will pay no attention to Scotland’s independence aspirations. A waste of your time complaining as nothing will change. Don’t buy their rag sheets and dont pay for a nonsensical “licence”.

    2. twathater

      I agree with your assessment , but there are still too many representatives allowing interviewers to insert lies and misinformation even on live broadcasts , the interviewer should be stopped irrespective of their bluster and force , then the rep should correct the offending shit before allowing the interview to recommence, they should be intransigent and not answer any other questions until and unless the correction is made .

      Leslie Riddoch and Jeanne Freeman are good at this , so there is no reason why it can’t be done . In my opinion knowing they will not get away with the usual pish will eventually get through even their thick skulls and they don’t like to look even more stupid than they are

  15. Malcolm P

    I have wondered about the lack of challenge to lies for a while now. Many times on live programmes SNP folk are given open goals and they miss. Are they stupid, badly informed or is something else at play here ? Do they really want to win independence, or are they happy to have the limited powers that they have. I don’t doubt the Voters who are desperate for Indy but sometimes I have to question why they miss so many opportunities. For avoidance doubt I am desperate for Indy.

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