Yesterday this site published a response from the BBC after a number of Brexit related complaints were submitted.
The response is quite breathtaking in its defiance and in its fantasy justification for dismissing the complaints.
It is so at odds with reality that whoever drafted it must have been under instruction to dismiss the complaints regardless of their merit. It has to be read to be believed.
Three of the complaints related to a disturbing practice amongst BBC Scotland reporters of claiming a No Deal Brexit is the same as a Hard Brexit. The clip below shows reporter Andrew Kerr and presenter Gordon Brewer doing just that.
The other complaint related to radio phone-in host Kaye Adams doing exactly the same.
The response to the complaint by the Deputy Head of News and Current Affairs was quite extraordinary.
On what was said on Politics Scotland on 21st October, you say that “Hard Brexit and No Deal are not the same thing”. That is a point of view, not a fact. The same applies to your gloss on programmes on 9th and 15th November.
What we have here is an official attempt at redefining what Hard Brexit is, with the intention of presenting it as the same as a No Deal. This response suggests that the claims by Gordon Brewer, Andrew Kerr and Kaye Adams were not honest mistakes, but that the three were in fact adhering to BBC Scotland internal policy.
Let’s be clear here. Any suggestion that Hard Brexit is the same as No Deal is false. What Hard Brexit, Soft Brexit and No Deal are has been long estalished. The BBC’s own Brexit help-page makes it clear Hard Brexit and No Deal are not remotely the same.
In July this year BBC political correspondent Eleanor Garnier explained the very clear difference between Hard Brexit and No Deal.
It has long been established that Hard Brexit generally means the UK leaving the Single Market and Customs Union and the ending of payments to the EU by the UK government. This is what Theresa May is ultimately seeking.
Theresa May is seeking what most would agree was a Hard Brexit. So why is BBC Scotland insisting Hard Brexit and No deal are one and the same?
Currently there is an attempt by the UK government to paint the options open to the UK as either Theresa May’s deal or No Deal. If, unlikely as it may seem, May manages to pull this off then this will be presented by BBC Scotland not as the negotiation of a Hard Brexit [which it will be] but the avoidance of a Hard Brexit [which it won’t be].
This of course will play into Unionist hands in the event Nicola Sturgeon fires the Indyref2 trigger. How much more difficult to sell the idea of a second independence referendum if a Hard Brexit has been avoided?
Suspicions that there is something untoward going on at BBC Scotland were reinforced on Wednesday evening’s Reporting Scotland when Douglas Fraser became the latest reporter to present Hard Brexit and No Deal as one and the same.
The response to the complaint by BBC Scotland deputy head of News and Current Affairs is concrete proof that this practice has been endorsed at a level higher than reporters and presenters. If not a conspiracy to mislead the public, then what is this?