BBC Scotland has been accused of being complicit in a propaganda exercise after what appeared to be a Scottish Labour inspired stunt dominated its political news output.
The broadcaster came under fire after presenting a tiny gathering of trade union reps and Scottish Labur activists outside a Glasgow railway station as a “protest” by “campaigners”.
Pictures and video released on social media suggested the ‘campaigners’ were in fact a handful of people holding a trade union banner. The tiny group were later joined by a small group of around twelve Scottish Labour activists.
Suspicions of a co-ordinated stunt were fuelled on Monday morning when BBC Scotland news reported that a protest was scheduled to be held outside Glasgow Railway Station.
According to the pro-Union broadcaster “protestors” and “campaigners” would be calling for Dutch owned Abellio to be stripped of the ScotRail franchise.
The story was the top online article and was repeated across Radio Scotland news bulletins all day. However video taken by a pro-independence activist revealed the extent of the so-called protest.
Despite the tiny attendance and its obvious political make-up, the stunt was chosen to lead that evening’s Reporting Scotland. Incredibly, the political stunt was deemed more newsworthy than comments from the First Minister on the issue of a No Deal Brexit.
Suspicions that the ‘protest’ was a Scottish Labour led stunt strengthened when images of Labour MSPs and activists standing outside train stations holding Scottish Labour leaflets appeared on social media. Scottish Labour MSP James Kelly posted a video on social media attacking the “SNP Government”.
The reporting of the stunt by BBC Scotland led to fury on social media with scores of posters condemning the broadcaster and accusing it of promoting blatant propaganda.
One tweeted: “We’ve seen the photographic & video evidence & it seems clear this was a stunt involving a few Labour Party apparatchiks, where tight shots we taken with the intent of misleading the public. It was a propaganda exercise & the BBC were complicit – stop lying to the people”
Another added: “BBC Scotland conspired with Scottish Labour to deliberately mislead viewers. That means the BBC were involved in planning a deception.”
The stunt is the latest in a series of suspicious actions by trade unions believed by many to be a deliberate attempt to help Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard. Former GMB official Leonard was heavily backed by trade unions during the Scottish Labour leadership campaign.
ScotRail has been targeted by Unionists and their media supporters in recent days after delays and cancellations hit the train operator. However not reported widely has been the involvement of UK Govt controlled Network Rail in over half of the delays.