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Fury at BBC presenter’s ‘unemployment benefits’ jibe – Towards Indyref2…

Fury at BBC presenter’s ‘unemployment benefits’ jibe

andrew-neilA BBC presenter has come under fire on social media after claiming he helped pay the benefits of the unemployed.

Politics Show host Andrew Neil was responding to a nurse who tweeted criticism of him after the presenter became embroiled in a foul-tempered online spat with independence supporters he had labelled ‘Cybernats’.


Nurse Sharon Gathercole said of the BBC man’s conduct: “his contempt unsurprising. He forgets we’re all forced to pay his wages, even cybernats he hates so much.”


The BBC presenter challenged the claim that the nurse paid his wages, arguing she only part contributed.

However several hours later he tweeted again telling the nurse he contributed to her wages and to the “unemployment benefits of the Cybernats”.


The term ‘Cybernat’ is a derogatory term often used by Unionists to describe online supporters of Scottish independence.  The tweet by the BBC presenter was immediately denounced by others on social media with at least one person insisting he would lodge a complaint with the corporation.

The exchange followed a three day old war of words that has witnessed both the presenter and independence supporters trade insults.  Neil labelled his detractors ‘Trolling Cybernats’ and ‘Nasty Numpties’ and insisted he reserved the right to be “as rude as I want” to what he described as “barbarism” from his detractors.

The row followed an interview on Sunday where Neil was accused of using inaccurate figures in an interview with Scottish government minister Derek MacKay.  The interview went viral and led to SNP supporters ridiculing the BBC presenter.

Neil claimed local authorities in Scotland were facing a budget cut after the Scottish government budget speech by Derek MacKay this week.  However the BBC presenter’s claim that his figures were accurate appeared to be undermined by independent think tank The Fraser of Allander Institute which concluded that local authority funding was facing an increase under Scottish Government plans.

The interview can be seen below.

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26 thoughts on “Fury at BBC presenter’s ‘unemployment benefits’ jibe

  1. Andy McKirdy

    Andrew Neil is a typical Scottish middle class snob, so loved by the BBC. An obnoxious pretendy Scot Brit doing the bidding of the establishment to keep the jocks tugging their forelocks. He is a product of a grammar school system that led him to believe he is superior to the Scottish working class and how the BBC love him for that.
    I wonder if he realises that his audience of blue rinse Presbyterian snobs is dwindling and that he is being used by the Brit Nat establishment to subvert his country.
    Andrew! Renfrew is waking up, do yourself a favour and stop doing your masters bidding.

    1. Angus Skye

      Andrew Neil may have been a Scot once, but he is British through and through like a stick of (London) rock now.

      Incidentally, not all Presbyterians subscribe to Lumpen Unionism – some of us possess critical thought processes and see Independence as the only future in which Scotland can progress.

      1. Jon Trevelyan

        I concur Angus…the inclusion of religious tags in political discourse is never a good look in my view.Despite the fact I am now thoroughly ‘irreligious’ (belief wise) I was raised in a Church of Scotland household and felt..in a way.. that Presbyterian comment was directed at me..an ardent supporter of Independence.

    2. Alasdair Macdonald

      Mr McKirdy, as Angus Skye indicates below, sweeping generalisations are unhelpful. In that vein I suggest you take care with your ‘grammar school’ jibe, since, at the time Mr Neil attended secondary school all of us were directed to either a ‘senior secondary’ (if we passed the ‘qualy’) or to a junior secondary (if we didnae). Senior secondaries were known by various names in different parts of Scotland – academies (e.g Perth or Hamilton or Shawlands), grammar schools (e.g Paisley Grammar – Mr Neil’s school) high schools, college, etc. but they were just different names for the same thing. Most of us who passed our ‘qualies’ were of working class background and few of us felt superior to our class backgrounds. The ending of the selective system, which was achieved over a remarkably short time in Scotland, was one of the best things that happened to our education system. The move was supported by all political parties at the time, although all had within them vocal advocates for selection.
      I was a contemporary of Mr Neil’s at University. We had almost no contact, he was neither friend nor foe, we inhabited different spheres. However, it was clear that he was headed to be the kind of person he is now. His remarks are typical of those who were in the university debating circle, where the jibe or bon mot, was seen as superior to reasoned argument based on information.
      What is wrong is that the BBC, which is supposed to be balanced and impartial allows him air time to spout his propaganda.

      1. Hugh Bryce

        The BBC once a bastion of impartiality and honest reporting has been brought down into the gutter by the people in charge and there reporters such as Andrew Neil who are a disgrace to the people who went before then.

        1. Geejay

          While the BBC is certainly now in the gutter, it was never impartial, but has always been a creature of the establishment and government. See the book The BBC: Myth of a public service.

  2. Noel Darlow

    His job is to be a journalist on a current affairs programme not an antagonist up to his elbows in the fight he is supposed to be reporting on.

    He’s not simply being “rude” he’s deliberately using a kind of hate speech against a whole political movement. “Cybernat” is a pejorative term which is never qualified in any way. It is used falsely to suggest that the independence as a whole is guilty of the very worst kinds of online stalking and abuse.

    It’s completely unacceptable that he should continue to be the presenter of a current affairs programme. Anyone who wants to push a line should be appearing as a guest.

  3. Brian Powell

    He’s a pompous arse grown fat and lazy with easy privilege within the BBC tax protected bubble.
    While it’s right that he should be taken to task we won’t be deciding on the future of our country by what a TV presenter says.
    I saw his tweets on this and he came across as petulant and petty, as he did in the interview with our Finance Secretary.

  4. Clydebuilt

    He’s coming to the end of his career……. When he reacts with anger to everything he has no answer for the end is not far away……

  5. Andy McKirdy

    Sorry Angus, I was referring to the blue rinse snob variety of Presbyterian, you know the type, Andrew Neil typifies them.

  6. Lochside

    ‘Brillo’ is a classic colonial toady, brimming over with faux entitlement, due to years of prostrating himself before his ‘betters’ in reward for riches and the good life.

    His traitorous consciousness is now becoming frighteningly aware of his approaching demise and ultimate disposal as a caledonian creep, by his colonial masters.

    Thus he lashes out at his tormentors: his countrymen and women of whom he is becoming increasingly knowing of whom he has betrayed. Hubris beckons ‘Brillo’!

  7. Muir Smillie

    What the likes of Neil can’t stand is that they no longer control political discourse and the power that went with it. Back in the day he was an arch Thatcherite and preached the right wing dogma. Doubt if his views have changed.

  8. Dan Huil

    Neil is the personification of the Scottish Cringe. He will always do down Scotland if he thinks it will help his own selfish advancement. He is perfect for the anti-Scottish bbc. A feart wee nyaff.

  9. Andy Donnell

    I followed Neil McEvoy’s example and posted a complaint online to BBC. I referred to andra’s cybernat tweet and commented:

    “I have recently seen Andrew Neil, in very aggressive TV interviews, showing a complete lack of respect to SNP’s Angus Robertson and Derek Mackay, and by extension to the SNP and to all supporters of the Holyrood government. Neil has now extended that contemptuous attitude to generic unionist slurs against all supporters of Scottish independence through his twitter account (detailed above). This is unacceptable partisanship and behaviour from a senior political broadcaster employed by the BBC to present an impartial view of all elected political parties and their policies. If I wanted this type of scurrilous reportage I would buy the Daily Mail/ Express/Sun. I’m not alone in deeply resenting my UK wide compulsory license fee being used to support the spouting of such partial, disrespectful bile towards one part of the UK. Andrew Neil should be re-acquainted with the duty of political impartiality in the BBC or asked to find employment elsewhere.”

  10. Robertson Stewart Buchan

    It is good that Neil is no longer even attempting a show of impartiality and objectively He is now firmly in the anti Scottish Independence biased BBC camp He will get his “well deserved honour “before being pensioned off

  11. Caroline Mowat

    I remember him growing up,was a prat even them..
    Andy no mates,how very apt..
    Nearing retirement has scrambled his brain.
    Extremely rude man,
    delusions of grandeur
    I know you ANDY..(didn’t like being called Andy did you)
    when did you stop being Scottish,
    You need grounding again

  12. Hugh Bryce

    Andrew Neil you pride yourself on being accurate, well you numpty she said we all pay your wages not just her as you seem to think

  13. Jim McDonald

    Andrew Neil has failed as a journalist in that he has allowed himself to become the story. He has compromised his own ability to properly report the news in that he is mistrusted by a huge component of his potential audience. He is a failure as a reporter and unwittingly acknowledges that by the knockabout and forced humour he brings to his presenting. All other factors aside, he is a well paid failure.
    His tweets are outrageous as they compromise the impartiality of the BBC. (I know, I know. I am talking about a perfect world, not the existing one.) He is so closely identified with the BBC that his tweets are, rightly or wrongly, identified as having their blessing.
    It is time that someone in his management structure told him to decide what he wishes to do. Be a reporter or a tweeter.

  14. Gordon Jenkins

    I have read that Mr Neil is exhibiting the fist stages of dementia or perhaps Alzimers. If true his utbursts need to be pitied as opposed to acted up on. That said the BBC are due him a responsibility of care and need to help him retire with as much dignity as he has left.

  15. David MacGille-Mhuire

    Also at Glasgow at the same time as him.

    Vaguely knew him – one of the hoi polloi Tory debating society wannabes.

    He and Mickey Forsyth plus a coterie of hangers drawn from the yobbo element of the ancient universities crashed a party at my family home. No problem if they had conducted themselves like gentlemen and simply had decent fun.

    Behaved like pig ignorant, arrogant, superior tossers.

    Threw them all out.

    A foul individual even then as we’re all the others in the gang (including Gerald Warner – another BritNat pseudo journalist).

    All bore the hallmarks even then of what they would become: North British comprador house slaves and craven petit bourgeois AngloJock lickspittles.

    Their time is nearly over and they know it.

  16. David MacGille-Mhuire

    Erratum: “hangers on”.

    PS They have had a good run for their Judas pieces of silver, but now it is time for them to retire their wigs and semmits and for for Foulkes Sake to focus on the amber nectar alone as the rest of us get stuck into the constitutional issues.

    This lot and Cochers and his life partner are irrelevant but they do not like it.

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