Thirteen frigates and a train

BBC ScotlandSo the bastards have been caught at it again.  This weekend it emerged that BBC officials have admitted broadcasting false information relating to pre-indyref shipbuilding pledges by the UK Govt.

The culprits were the presenters of the flagship morning news programme Good Morning Scotland.  Below is a short clip of Gary Robertson and his side-kick Hayley Millar reading out pre-prepared statements that were false.

 

The UK government of course pledged thirteen frigates, not eight.  Below is the BBC’s response to having been caught out.

“We regret that on this occasion the information regarding the Type 26 Frigates was incorrect and we are sorry we fell short of the usual standards you would expect from our output.

“Please be assured your comments have been fed back to the Radio Scotland news production team.”

How does this happen?  How is it that an outfit we pay hundreds of millions of pounds towards can broadcast information so inaccurate that one is left wondering if it was deliberate?

Anyone who paid even the scantest attention to the indyref campaign knows that the thirteen Type 26 frigates was a key Unionist pledge.  It headlined newspapers and adorned leaflets.  It was published in official House of Commons publications and was brandished by the Labour Chair of the Scottish Affairs Committee, a man who was never off the television.

How many people have now been duped by the GMS broadcasts?  We’ll probably never know.  Will the programme broadcast apologies and corrections at the same time as each erroneous bulletin?  Probably not.  The poor buggers that were duped will remain duped.  There are now tens of thousands who believe the UK government have kept their shipbuilding pledge when in fact the pledge was broken.

It’s inconceivable that the Good Morning Scotland bulletins managed to make it through every check and filter without someone noticing they were bullshit.  But broadcast they were.  Several times, as the recording above makes clear.

Sacked

Heads should roll for this.  The management team responsible for allowing this to happen should be reprimanded.  Sacked?  Well if BBC Scotland can pursue the Scottish Government’s Transport Minister over a broken down train then they sure as hell should pursue their own management when false information is broadcast in news bulletins.

And that brings me to the latest witch-hunt.  Let’s be clear about one thing.  The pursuit of Humza Yousaf has got nothing to do with improving Scotland’s train system.  The call to sack Yousaf came from a Labour party member, Mike Whelan of ASLEF.  BBC Scotland, along with the rest of the lazy cadre we call a media, lazily amplified the call.

It’s easy to see through this latest piece of political manipulation.  Humza Yousaf can no sooner prevent a train from breaking down than he can command it not to rain.  Mechanical failure [if it was that] happens. ASLEF’s General Secretary Mike Whelan knows this all too well.  Indeed if the failure is traced to a maintenance issue, will Whelan call for the engineer[s] responsible to be sacked?  Of course he won’t.

The breakdown of the train at rush-hour was a news story.  Thousands of people were affected.  Some were stuck on trains for hours.  The propaganda was in using the breakdown in order to mount a political attack.

The media took the train breakdown and conflated it with performance issues currently plaguing ScotRail.  The media took an unrelated and unavoidable bit of bad luck and presented it as somehow avoidable.  The spice was provided by the piece of political half-wittery in the shape of the ‘Sack Humza’ call from Mike Whelan.

This is where the BBC played the biggest part.  The broadcaster ran with what it must have known was a piece of political opportunism.  Instead of applying some editorial scrutiny to Whelan’s nonsense, the BBC Scotland newsroom hooked it up to the propaganda.  They could now report that there were ‘calls’ for Humza Yousaf to be sacked.

 

The media has created the ‘Sack Humza’ line through repetition.  It’s now used as though the calls have come from many quarters and not just the Labour party.  But what the media has struggled to explain is why Humza Yousaf should resign.  To date I haven’t seen anyone attempt to question Mike Whelan.  Does Whelan believe that sackings should follow every train breakdown and performance issue that affects rail networks across the UK, or is it just in Scotland that sackings should follow?

So lacking in justification is the ‘Sack Yousaf’ narrative that BBC Scotland presenter Gordon Brewer was forced to try to invent his own when interviewing the Transport Minister on Sunday.  Observe as Brewer suggests Humza Yousaf should resign because Scotland’s rail network isn’t the best in the world.

Brewer’s interview followed another remarkable broadcast on Good Morning Scotland when ex-Labour MP and MSP Margaret Curran was invited to review the Sunday newspapers … and give her views on the ScotRail issue.  Not content with allowing the broadcast of false news bulletins, the GMS management team were now inviting ex-Labour politicians to comment on an issue created by Labour party members and on which her party was calling for an SNP resignation.

Curran of course didn’t pass up the opportunity and, aided by GMS presenter Laura Maxwell, even chucks in another wee smear story for good measure.

 

How corrupt is BBC Scotland?  Pretty damned corrupt I’d say.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the broadcaster is not capable of covering Scottish politics.  It cannot break the Unionist straitjacket within which it is confined.  Like a scorpion, when the opportunity to sting presents itself, it stings.  It will be ever thus … til we vote Yes.

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9 thoughts on “Thirteen frigates and a train

  1. Lochside

    Disgusting and totally bogus ‘commentary’ with the loathsome and discredited Curran stumbling through her hatchet job on the Minister and Abellio, ably abetted by Laura Maxwell, who by her accent, hails from the North of Ireland and will no doubt be no friend of nationalism that is not of the British kind.
    I heard the end of this broadcast and could not believe the barefaced effrontery and bias of the BBC inviting this bumbling hasbeen on to do a cack handed ‘SNPBAD’ hatchet job.
    Combined with the main story on this thread of deliberate lying over the 8/13 frigates…it’s well gone past the time when the SNP gov. do something positive about challenging the BBC over its continual breaches of its own charter.

  2. Sandy

    I think we can now move beyond the ‘institutional bias’ theory, where the BBC almost inadvertently criticise the SNP and favour Labour (or the flavour of the month Ruth Davidson party).

    This has gone on too long and, as you say, the frigate story must have been broadcast deliberately. Time for a concerted campaign of licence fee non-payment – maybe Gary Lineker could be persuaded to lead it?

  3. Geejay

    John Robertson (retired professor) has published the figures for Scotrail punctuality – they are actually better than the average for the UK as a whole: https://thoughtcontrolscotland.com

    Having the execrable Curran “reviewing” the papers is deplorable. Is there a secret list of “usual suspects” whose main qualification is hatred of the SNP? Or maybe they just have to be stupidly cliched, like Bill Jamieson who keeps popping up to give the neoliberal take on “economics”. Why do we never hear some truly radical (SNP supporting) voices? Time for some BBC in Scotland heads to roll.

  4. Scott

    Having noted Brewer asking if the Transport Minister should resign I have complained to BBC asking seeing that presenters on GMS have told untruths which they must have known should they also be asked to resign or should they not be removed altogether from their jobs.
    I know I will get the stock reply.

  5. Scott

    Scott 21 Nov 2030

    This is the reply from BBC regarding my complaint.

    Thank you for getting in touch about Sunday Politics Scotland broadcast on 20 November 2016.

    Having reviewed the interview with Humza Yousaf MSP, Transport Minister, we believe it was appropriate and fair. There have been calls for the minister to resign and this was one of many issues reflected in our comprehensive questioning of him. Furthermore, Mr Yousaf was able to respond to all the questions posed by Gordon during this wide-ranging discussion about the running of Scotland’s railways.

    You go on to reference what purports to be a BBC response to a report on Type 26 Frigates. As you’ve not provided details about that specific matter, we are unable to comment further on that. If you would like to make a separate complaint about that broadcast we will be able to investigate it. I would like to remind you that, as explained in the BBC Complaints process, you should normally complain within 30 working days of the transmission.

    I am sure they knew what I was saying about GMS and the frigates but it seem they don’t want to know.

  6. Ron Maclean

    The Scottish Government should have immediately demanded the resignation/dismissal of those involved – presenters, producer, head of department and head of BBC Scotland. That might have taken some of the heat off Humza Yousaf. If they can’t defend their own against the featherbedded mediocrities of BBC Scotland how do they propose to defend an independent Scotland?

  7. Clydebuilt

    Scott

    It’s a waste of time and energy complaining to the BBC. They know fine well what they are doing.

    Better spent spreading the word to the Great I’ll-informed…..

    “Expose The Bias”

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