I was Blacklisted by the BBC too


From 2012-2014, I wrote a regular column for Newsnet Scotland over the constitutional issues in the lead-up to the September 2014 referendum. Among my articles, several focused on the issue of Scotland’s EU membership after independence.

As I’m sure you’ll recall, the BBC consistently made the case that Scotland would be kicked out of the EU if Scots voted for independence, without even beginning to consider what that would entail. The BBC just took quotes from various EU leaders saying Scotland could not become a member, and/or Spain would block accession, yada yada. You know the tune. I basically made the case that evicting Scotland from the EU would be pointless, stupid and impracticable, at that after a vote for independence the EU would figure out something to keep Scotland in. For example, how and why would you deprive everyone who is living in Scotland of their EU citizenship rights simply for exercising self-determination? Exactly. Given the nightmare of Brexit for all parties, I think this view is borne out.

At least one BBC Scotland producer wanted to interview me about Europe. On 28 November 2013, I was in Paris enjoying a lovely day with an old friend, and I received an email on my phone from this producer asking me to do a live interview the following morning to give my views on the EU situation. This producer had previously contacted me about an interview which didn’t work out, having read my Newsnet article over Scotland and the EU. I said I would be delighted, but I was in Paris and I would have to do it by skype. I received an email response indicating that would be fine, and I told him I would call later when I got back to the apartment where I was staying to work out the details. He also mentioned that if we could not do a live interview, we could do a recording that could appear after the interview, presumably so if they didn’t like what I said, they could either ignore the interview or selectively edit it, as is their wont.

I got back later and called him. He seemed a bit flustered and embarrassed when he answered. To the best of my recollection, he asked ‘didn’t you get the email’? I said no. He said they had cancelled my appearance. I asked why, and all I could remember that his response was weasely and unconvincing. I asked if we could do a recorded interview, and he said that no, we couldn’t do that either. I do remember him muffling the phone while he spoke to another producer, and affirmed, no, that I would not be doing the interview.

I could tell he was embarrassed, and had obviously been overruled. I’ll never know if the interview was meant to be illuminating or a standard-issue BBC hit job. Nor will I ever know whether I was bumped because I was was one of the ‘bastards’ from Newsnet, or that what I wrote made sense and went against the BBC’s carefully cultivated propaganda. Whether I ever actually appeared on a list, I don’t know. What is certain is that either who I was or what I wrote was not to be broadcast on the BBC, which in essence is blacklisting. 

The mind boggles to think how badly and mendaciously the BBC has shafted Scotland before, during, and after the referendum. May hell mend BBC Scotland, once they’re summarily abolished in an independent Scotland, and replaced with Scottish media institutions with inherent, verifiable, and sustainable integrity.

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16 thoughts on “I was Blacklisted by the BBC too

  1. Gordie

    I could not agree more with your final paragraph. I also have plenty o’ respect for the good work you do for Scotland.

  2. Pentland Firth

    Did the BBC have an Editorial “Committee on UnBritish Activities” to decide who would be invited onto their current affairs programmes and who would not? No need for a formal blacklist, all that would be needed would be an editorial decision and then a few quiet words in the appropriate ears.

  3. Ian Foulds

    Agree with Geordie and I would not be surprised if Pentlandite Firth is close to the mark.

    McCarthyism is alive and well unfortunately.


  4. Clydebuilt

    There’s probably quite a few names on that list. . . . . Hold to see some more articles Mark come Indy Ref2

    1. Mark McNaught Post author

      Will do Clydebuilt. Been slow for a while, but will produce more. I’ll get my groove back.

  5. Broadbield

    This is truly shocking. But as many have pointed out, the clue is in the name: B(ritish)BC. A book by Tom Mills shows convincingly how ever since its inception it was a servant of the establishment and willingly supported the government and relayed the official line to the listeners. And it continues to do so.

    The BBC is required to be impartial, but that is interpreted in Scotland as meaning that only Unionist voices get a free run, while anyone supporting independence is silenced. Only Unionists are deemed “impartial”.

    Thank goodness for the internet where we can hear the voices of people like Mark who deconstruct the propaganda of unionists in a reasoned and reasonable way.

  6. Robert Graham

    Well I would be surprised if they didn’t operate some kind of system to stop giving assistance to the enemy ( us ) after all they at the behest of the government have to protect the Union if they don’t do as they are told their funding is cut or in extreme cases withdrawn.

    The BBC in Scotland have never really got to grips with the independence movement never really understood how to approach it , this is made even more difficult because the SNP are the government in Scotland .

    Remember Thatcher and the farcical approach she insisted was used when the IRA leadership or spokesman were replaced with actors , and in the shadows to hide their identity ,straight out of a spitting image sketch it was that bloody stupid
    Every Independence supporter knows how they operate so why are the SNP and it’s leadership so reluctant to call them out live on Air so they can’t tamper with what was said , they will never get a fair shake so why be nice and pleasant , is it because they don’t want to scare the horses and appear competent ,well that’s working well isn’t it , we get a daily dose of shit curtesy of Pacific Heights its relentless and never ending.

  7. Lochside

    Robert Graham..’.The BBC in Scotland have never really got to grips with the independence movement never really understood how to approach it ,’….on the contrary Robert, I would say they have indeed ‘got to grips’ with our movement…they have it by the throat.

    Distortion, deletion, fabrication and obfuscation has been the strategy for at least a dozen years or more by this Britstate funded ‘ministry of truth’. The iron fist has emerged for some time from ‘Auntie’s’ velvet glove to punch Scottish free speech and democracy into an impotent and muted body.

    In the ‘1950’s, McCarthyism blighted American society and its culture with its Project fear of ‘Reds’…people’s lives were ruined, talented writers , actors and others either fled, were jailed, or were ostracised into obscurity. Scotland is now facing the same ugly fate. Our intellectuals and cultural elites are being sidelined..illegally.. not as ‘Reds’ but as ‘NATS’.

    They are supplanted by the second rate Stepford husbands and wives of all the usual suspects..Byrd, Kaye, Campbell etc etc. state placemen and women masquerading as journalists, bereft of the basic ethical and professional requirements to aspire to the definition of the word.

    These traitors..and I use the word advisedly, betray not only their profession, but the poor, the old and the sick, and more importantly their country, by being willing puppets prepared to brainwash their fellow citizens into accepting an unacceptable existence under the Fascist Westminster rule,

    1. Robert Graham

      Lochside I do agree with what you say ,what I was trying to get across, was the way they have chosen to try to sideline and silence half of Scottish opinion it’s bordering on the ridiculous now ,and rather than trying to be subtle it’s now in your face we hate the SNP , they have stopped trying to hide it because most Independence supporters are a lost cause and will never believe them again .

      That’s why I mentioned Thatcher everyone laughed at that attempt and you would have thought even half a brain could have worked out the stupidity of that course of action and it wouldn’t be repeated , yet here we are BBC in Scotland Still can’t figure out how to approach a perceived threat , everything they do backfires.because in their haste to over egg the attack on the SNP I believe people will start to notice this doesn’t add up , once people start to question what the BBC are putting out , that’s it game over , and the reverse comes into play the more junk they present the worse it gets ,

      That’s why I said they have never come to terms with independence, what I should maybe have said is they haven’t found the answer , well it’s obvious they haven’t because they are following the same route as the ones who advised Thatcher and that’s doomed to fail .

      Should We Tell Them ? Well they probably know , every Indy website is being actively monitored for some sign of movement , a change in tone if you like, as the main theme was Blacklisting well all the ones who post on independence supporting websites are in someone’s wee book so mind your language Ha Ha .

  8. Bob

    That does not surprise me. Just before the referendum BBC Reporting Scotland were to film from the nursery my son attended but pulled out last minute on the day because they couldn’t get enough parents who supported No. That night I watched the reporting Scotland that switched last minute to a different nursery from another county showing mostly No supporting parents, apparently? The truth is they only wanted to show poor yes supporters with a screw loose and no supporters who looked normal and interviewed well. I expect they edited out most normal Yes and The loony No when ever they could. The BBC was and still is controlled by government who used the BBC as a tool of propaganda. It worked for them.

  9. Bibbit

    The biggest existential threat to Scotland is the BBC.

    They are completely ruthless and they have been given carte blanche to run amok with the truth in Scotland, in order to smear anything and anyone committed to Independence.

    It is an open secret.

    The SNP’s strategy on ‘handling’ the threat of the BBC to Scottish democracy is derisory.

    The BBC are quite literally trolling the SNP and The Scottish Government now. They no longer even attempt to sound impartial.

    There is an orchestrated and institutionalized anti-SNP, anti-independence culture within the BBC and it has become markedly and progressively more obvious every year since 2014. Perhaps the BBC and its clandestine MI6 puppet masters are taking heart from Spain’s crack down in Catalonia and the EU’s wilful blindness to Spain’s violence.

    Perhaps it is because the BBC and its clandestine puppet masters realize that this time, Indyref2 will be no laughing matter as the YES side starts from 45% and the Brexit omnishambles means there is no perceived ‘safe’ let’s plump for the status quo option. Indeed, this time, Independence is the safer or more familiar of the two options. Scots do trust the SNP Govt to always do what is best for Scotland. We do not have the same opinion that the Tory/Brexit/Westminster Govt will ever play right by Scotland.

    Since 2014, every No promise has been broken. Who now can argue that Scotland is Better Together with the crackpots running the UK over a hard Brexit cliff face?

    I grew up in Scotland under Thatcher’s Tory control and I am really, really fearful that if we do not vote YES this time, Thatcher’s wasteland UK will seem like Shangrala compared to the dystopian society Scotland will be doomed to. Holyrood destroyed and no more Scots Govt powers to tell them to ‘Think Again’.

    And this, this is what the BBC is doing all in its power to bring about. The SNP and all YES people must see the BBC as our arch enemy and we must give them no quarter in the upcoming battle and call them out for the propagandists that they are. the SNP must go into this battle fully armed against the enemy and they could all start now by reading this blog. The SNP must have the facts against the BBC and must attack them head on. If they do not, then the BBC has already won.

    Rant over.

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