The BBC: a world leader in doing Scotland down

In an important respect the BBC in Scotland is the exact opposite of the BBC in the rest of the UK. It’s the exact opposite of state broadcasters, indeed even most privately owned broadcasters, anywhere else in the world. The BBC in its broadcasts to the rest of the UK not only fully buys into the myth of British exceptionalism, but it is one of the major propagators of that myth with its gushing coverage of the royal family, the wall to wall entitlement which characterises its coverage of UK, and especially English, participation international sporting contests, and its interminable production of reality contests with Great British in the title, as though there were something peculiarly and especially British about baking a cake or sewing a hem.

We see it also in news coverage which pays relatively little attention to anything going on in countries where English is not the main language, except where British interests are at stake. When EU countries are in the news its invariably because of something related to Brexit. There’s a curious lack of interest in other countries for their own sake. The BBC’s output consistently reinforces and supports the British nationalist conceit that the UK is a special place, removed from and decidedly superior to the rest of the globe.

On the other hand the BBC in Scotland never misses an opportunity to remind Scotland of its inadequacies and failures. The consistent message from BBC Scotland is that Scotland is a country which struggles to attain adequacy. Examples are legion. For example a recent report from The National newspaper found that the BBC had made over twice as many mentions of allegations that Nicola Sturgeon had breached the ministerial code than it had of allegations against all other politicians combined, despite the fact that the First Minister was cleared of the allegations by an independent enquiry whereas Conservative ministers in the Johnson government have not only been found to have breached the ministerial code but several of them have been found by a court to have acted unlawfully.

We also saw it in the recent prominent coverage given to the dreadful number of drug related deaths in Scotland. The BBC took unseemly glee in pointing out that Scotland has the highest rate of drug related deaths in Europe. Less prominence was given to the fact that drugs policy is reserved to Westminster and the UK Home Office has consistently blocked harm reduction strategies such as safe rooms for addicts on the spurious grounds that this would encourage and condone the use of illegal drugs. Equally, little attention was given to the shocking statistic that drug related deaths in England and Wales have risen by 52% in the past ten years according to figures published by the British medical Journal. In 2019 drug related deaths in England and Wales were the highest they had been since records began in 1993. However you would not have learned any of this from the BBC, which ignored the wider UK context and was eager to give the impression that it’s only Scotland which has a problem and that problem was all the fault of the Scottish Government.

Also absent from the BBC, or if mentioned was done in a blink and you’d miss it way, was the news that Scotland witnessed a10% reduction in alcohol related deaths in 2019, a reduction thought to be due to the success of the minimum price policy introduced by the Scottish Government. Sadly this decrease was short lived. Alcohol related deaths increased in 2020, amid warnings that the pandemic and lockdown has undermined progress made with the country’s world-leading minimum unit-pricing policy.

Scotland’s failures are trumpeted, Scotland’s successes are glossed over or ignored entirely. You’d almost think that there was an active political question in Scotland about independence and the BBC has set out to undermine public confidence in Scotland’s ability to be a normal country. The BBC presents Scotland as a shambolic basket case which would struggle to cross a road without a Great British boy scout to hold its hand.

The latest egregious example of the BBC straining every sinew in order to paint Scotland in a bad light came with the recent interview with climate activist Greta Thunberg, who has inspired a generation of young people to take direct action to combat climate change. Greta Thunberg has a low opinion of all industrialised countries in the global north which have historically been responsible for the vast majority of the carbon emissions which are causing global warming. Buried within her interview was an acknowledgement that some countries in the global north are now taking more action than others to tackle climate change, with the implication that Scotland could be one of those countries. However Greta Thunberg believes that no country is doing anything like enough and she’s certainly not about to praise any industrialised nation in the global north for taking belated action on the climate change which the global north is responsible for creating.

Despite the fact that the Swedish climate activist did not mention Scotland directly in her interview, the BBC headline was “Greta Thunberg: Scotland not a world leader on climate change”. The clear implication was that she had gone out of her way to criticise Scotland and to rubbish the steps that Scotland has taken to combat climate change when in fact she had not mentioned Scotland at all.

Naturally the BBC story was eagerly seized upon by the right wing British nationalist press with the Sun claiming that Greta Thunberg had “slapped down” Nicola Sturgeon, who had not been mentioned at all by her.

However Greta Thunberg did directly criticise the British Government, saying the Johnson administration was lying about being a “climate leader” and accusing it of “creative carbon accounting”. Yet BBC Scotland gave huge prominence to comments that Greta Thunberg didn’t make about Scotland and ignored the criticisms that she had actually made about the British Government. Yet again the casual viewer was given the impression that it’s Scotland and the Scottish Government which has the problem and which can’t be trusted whereas all is hunky dory with the UK’s claim to be a “world leader” in tackling climate change.

BBC Scotland never misses an opportunity to paint Scotland in a bad light, and when the opportunity does not arise, the BBC will manufacture it. Yet again the BBC has proven that it is an active participant in the campaign to oppose Scottish independence and as such it is unfit as a public service broadcaster for Scotland.

This is your reminder that the purpose of this blog is to promote Scottish independence. If the comment you want to make will not assist with that goal then don’t post it. If you want to mouth off about how much you dislike the SNP leadership there are other forums where you can do that. You’re not welcome to do it here.

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98 comments on “The BBC: a world leader in doing Scotland down

  1. Hamish100 says:

    … and yet the so called professional journalists on the bbc remain silent.

    Do they believe they are just following orders, perceived or otherwise.

    • robert harrison says:

      They bbc or the English nazi corporation as i call them are actually defending the lies they spouted desipte thunberg calling them out on how they twisted her words theres no low the English conservative government and there propaganda mouthpieces will sink to to attack us in Scotland.

  2. Alistair Donaldson says:

    Looking forward to the day when we can pull their plug and send the whole lot south.

  3. Alex Clark says:

    Such blatant propaganda is totally beyond belief in that it can be carried out openly and with a straight face and then I realise that it is the BBC we are talking about here.

    It really is an utter disgrace that they somehow conflate Scotland with the UK when they want to report bad news, this is not even reporting it is quite simply lying to the public, they obviously take their cue from the liar Johnson and his lying cabinet.

    The BBC does the public in Scotland a disservice and must be exposed for what they are, liars and propagandists on behalf of the worst and most untrustworthy government ever.

    Good article Paul.

  4. Capella says:

    The BBC has rendered itself irrelevant in the fields of news and current affairs in Scotland. Riddled with bias and prejudice, their mission is now to prop up a corrupt Westminster regime who serve only the City of London and the financiers who donate to the Tory Party. These people bought the MSM and they use it to propagate their propaganda.

    Propagating propaganda is all the BBC is fit for. I can’t decide whether it’s the Reinhard Heydrich model or the George Orwell model they are modelling or perhaps both.

    Tom Mills in “The BBC: Myth of a Public Service” describes how the BBC has always sided with the elite. “As Tom Mills demonstrates, we are only getting the news that the Establishment wants aired in public.”

    Thankfully, we still have some internet access to the real world and what matters to us. It’s very precious.

  5. Clive Scott says:

    SNP MSP’s and MP’s need much better training to handle BBC interviews, at every turn calling out the BBC for the North Korean levels of propaganda and directly attacking the interviewer for their craven toadying to their Westminster masters.

    • grizebard says:

      I believe they’re caught in a cleft stick with that. You have to understand the psychology of the people you’re trying to win over. The SNP don’t need to attack interviewers for our benefit, because we already know, and they don’t want to come across to the still-ignorant viewers as moany troublemakers. These are the people we still have to win over. It’s only after you begin to have at least some heft with people that you won’t face a barrier of natural dislike for boat-rockers.

      So it’s a case of “always be calm and reasonable and let the facts eventually speak for themselves”. It’s a slow and patient strategy that is hard for the more irascible among us – myself included! – to endure. But with the BBC becoming ever more obvious in what it’s about, even becoming a parody of itself at times – people are slowly getting wise, are they not?

      All that having been said, I do wish SNP reps all had a handy repertoire of witty sharp responses to the kind of thing they continually expect to face from plug-ignorant or plain antagonistic interviewers.

      • stewartb says:

        I agree with your assessment grizebard, yes with the ‘cleft stick’ but also with the wish for that timely, impactful riposte from SNP politicians. I suspect its easier said than done in the heat of the moment. I also consider that the BBC still does reach and influence those we need to “win over”.

        So I have to disagree with Capella @ 2:07 pm that “The BBC has rendered itself irrelevant in the fields of news and current affairs in Scotland.” Not sure if there is intended nuance here that I’m missing, but IMHO the BBC is far from being ‘irrelevant’ – it is a significant opponent – in our pursuit of independence.

        • Capella says:

          I meant – if it’s news and current affairs relevant to Scotland you’re looking for then you’ve gone to the wrong place. But I agree, it is a significant opponent. John Robertson does a great job of showing up the BBC for it’s propagandising, over on Talking Up Scotland.

          No independent country would tolerate the level of gaslighting we are subjected to. The lies of commission are bad enough – such as the Greta Thunberg manipulation. But the lies of omission are just as bad. We never see programmes which reflect our own culture, people and history. That’s criminal neglect IMO.

  6. Deborah Dennison says:

    The BBC has been giving Scots a biased and distorted view of their own history for decades, from the Watkins film to Snow and Oliver. Even BBC Alba refuses to offer their viewers accurate programming on history. STV shows little interest in the subject – no wonder so many Scots get their crap information from Hollywood tv and films.

    • Alec Lomax says:

      Watkins film ? You mean Culloden? As far as I’m concerned it showed the brutal of the battle and subsequent atrocities – and very much to the point :

      And tell me will we never hear the end
      Of puir bluidy Charlie at Culloden yet again?
      Though he ran like a rabbit down the glen
      Leavin better folk than him to be butchered.

      Peter Watkins also made the film The War Game, about the effects of a nuclear attack. Guess what? It was banned by the BBC as ‘viewers may have found some of the scenes in the film upsetting’.

  7. Catherine Sengupta says:

    How can we legitimately watch TV without paying for the BBC license? I’m sick of their propaganda but being ancient, I enjoy other TV channels and wish to abide by the law.

    • Marc says:

      As long as its not live TV (or a recording made of live TV) or one of the BBC’s catch up channels/services you can watch TV without a license.

    • Alex Clark says:

      Y0u might find this link helpful.

      The important point to note is that as Marc says you cannot watch or record anything that is being broadcast Live nor BBC iplayer. All catch up channels can be watched such as on the ITV hub and Channel 4 and 5 catch up.

      Any subscriptions you have can also be watched such as Netflix or Prime ect as long as it is not Live lfor example Prime are streaming the US Tennis open Live then legally you can’t watch that without a licence.

      • grizebard says:

        No, that’s not entirely true. It’s only live broadcast TV that is covered by licensing. You can watch as much live streaming over the internet as you like (except iPlayer in any form, as you say). All you need is sufficient bandwidth. (Not a given for everyone yet, alas.)

        More and more channels – including but not only the main UK broadcast channels – seem to be moving to streaming in a big way. They typically ask you to register with them, and some may require you to pay as well. CNN, for example, has just moved exclusively to that format.

        But none of your money goes to the BBC, nor indeed is divvied-out to other channels of which you disapprove, as happens eg. with a cable/satellite TV subscription bundle.

        • raineach says:

          I haven’t watched live tv or the BBC for 7 years. I’m sure my IQ has gone up as a result. More seriously, the lack of licence income and the reduction in viewers – they do keep note of these things – is a very effective part of an anti-BBC campaign

          • scottish skier says:

            I would hazard a guess that the BBC is kinda ineffective when it comes to the Netflix ‘streaming’ generations.

            I honestly can’t remember the last time I watched a live broadcast on a TV. The only thing I’ve watched in real time has been Scotland internationals or a 24 hour news channel if something big was happening, but even these were online and the news source up to me.

            Gone are the days of 2 BBC channels, STV and Channel 4 (which I am just old enough to remember the launch of). I am completely lost to the BBC, just like my generation and below.

            I’d love if the Tories privatised it. 🙂

        • jfngw says:

          That does not look to be correct, you cannot watch a live stream of broadcast TV, from anywhere. The TV licencing site is mention this:

          The law says you need to be covered by a TV Licence to:

          Watch or record programmes as they’re being shown on TV, on any channel

          Watch or stream programmes live on an online TV service (such as ITV Hub, All 4, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, Now TV, Sky Go, etc.)

          Download or watch any BBC programmes on BBC iPlayer.

          This even includes foreign channels.

          There is some ambiguity about live streaming which is not being broadcast, the wording is vague here but I suspect intentionally so. Live streaming of parliament (Westminster and Holyrood) is allowed, even if it is being broadcast

          Personally I don’t watch BBC news as a source of accuracy, merely just to keep an eye on what they are up to.

          • grizebard says:

            If that was intended as a reply to me, I would agree that the verbot might well cover live TV being broadcast within the UK, since it wouldn’t make sense to be able to dodge it simply by moving online. But they can’t apply it to TV of any kind that’s being broadcast somewhere outwith the UK, because the English Empire’s writ doesn’t run worldwide. In UK terms, it isn’t a “broadcast”, since (with some extreme atmospheric exceptions) people here can’t pick it up on the airwaves. Some sources are internet-only and, like CNN now, even subscription-only.

            I would love to see the BBC’s poll tax collectors try to enforce that one, since it would virtually amount to China-style internet censorship, and cement the BBC even further in peoples’ minds as a UKGov patsy.

            • jfngw says:

              It doesn’t need to worldwide as far as the government are concerned, it is about the location the receiver is in. It is actually easier for them, if they chose to, to monitor your online streaming than whether you have a freeview receiver without an outdoor aerial, they could do it without even having to get out of their seats.

              If someone decides to watch live events then they should do it with the knowledge they are effectively breaking the law, whether that law is fair or not is a different matter. I’m not defending the licence fee, the BBC should be subscription, but why would they or the government want that, control of the media is always high on all governments agendas. And the BBC and it’s overpaid execs have a guaranteed income stream no matter what pap they punt out.

              • grizebard says:

                The issue of foreign “live” broadcasts is an untested issue, as you yourself recognised. It would have to be tested in court, and as I said, I would like to see them try. It would not play well whatever the result.

                It is easy enough to monitor iPlayer usage, but it’s by no means (legally or technically) trivial to monitor a person’s internet usage in general. That would likely require invocation of security laws, an extreme and unwarranted escalation of purpose.

                • jfngw says:

                  I think your ISP already stores all the locations you frequent, they don’t need to know the content just the address. Most streaming services in the UK want you to create an account, they know your IP address, if the gov ask them to divulge this do you think they will refuse?

                  I’m not saying they are using any of this currently but you may remember a few years ago porn sites were threatening people with prosecution, they obtained the IP address’s of those they thought were downloading their content and then legally obtained the name and address from the ISP. If it was easy for a porn site I’m not sure how difficult it would be for a government.

                  Anyway my point was, if you intend to break the law then be aware you are doing it, ignorance is never a defence in court.

                  • grizebard says:

                    It’s one thing to discover that someone subscribes to some streaming service, quite another to legally prove who is watching what {ahem} “live” and when.

                    And my basic point is, if the law is unclear on some contentious aspect, you’re not breaking it until it’s been tested and conclusively proven in a court of law.

                    Furthermore, attempting to do so in such an extreme way would further reputationally damage the BBC, possibly terminally. More “Big Brother” than “Auntie”? And all because someone is watching {gasp} France24??

    • This guys YouTube channel has a load of information on not having a TV license:

    • Fable says:

      Cancelled my license a fortnight ago..fed up with the rubbish they try to pass off as news

  8. Dr Jim says:

    Every word in todays article on the BBC a gem and 100% accurate as to their behaviour when it comes to Scotland and their reporting of it
    I would bet money prior to the rise of the SNP in Scotland such reporting by both television and print media this constant distorting and non reporting of facts did not exist in reference to any Union party and perhaps if anyone had the time and inclination such matters could be investigated

    This week alone as we’ve come to expect at the new term of parliament the SNP government have been bombarded by inflated and conflated stories that either don’t exist or are chock full of woulda coulda shoulda complaints about possibilities that sources say the SNP are *thinking* about

    It seems while we’ve just got rid of one partisan loony from the internet the BBC and the Unionist party are behaving in exactly the same way by inventing nonsense then daring the SNP to deny defend debate or present proof that they are not *thinking* about something that the BBC and print media invented for the digestion of the general public who don’t keep abreast of these things, and in doing so have done their patriotic duty to the crown and England by confusing the very public they take money from in order to exist

    It’s not working the same as it used to, more than half of Scotland now questions what they see and hear, the rest are puzzled and the tiny minority of die hard Unionists don’t care as long as it serves the Unionist cause, Priti Patel could sink boatloads of refugees, Boris Johnson could take as many backhanders from billionaire donors, Brexit is gathering high speed towards real food and consumer shortages and the BBC Unionist cabal merely acknowledge it with a gentle wave and sigh about how poorly behaved the foreigners are towards jolly old Britland, but chin up, Dunkirk and we won the war and all that because we’re world beating is the order of the day and let’s get on with thwarting the plans of every country every person and every intelligent commentator who doesn’t agree with us

    Especially those damn Jocks and that *woman* leader of theirs, who despite winning election after election and has the highest opinion and approval ratings of any political figure in these Islands doesn’t speak for Scotland

    I’m verging on being a right wing lefty, is such a thing possible? maybe I should’ve said I just feel like knocking their BBC Unionist collective teeth out

  9. bringiton says:

    The only reason the BBC isn’t toast is because of it’s propaganda value to the Tories and in particular keeping Scotland under their jackboots.
    The revolting Tory back benchers would have had it sold off years ago if it wasn’t for that fact.

  10. Paul B says:

    The BBC have edited their headline. If you google the story you can still see the original. It was even worse.
    Original: Greta Thunberg: ‘Scotland not a world leader on climate change’
    New version: Greta Thunberg: Scotland not a world leader on climate change
    Plenty of other outlets still using the version in quotes.

  11. aLurker says:

    Does anyone have a link to the actual recording of Greta Thunberg ?

  12. Dr Jim says:

    Reporting Scotland’s Sally Magnusson reported the FMQ incident of racial slander against the FM by Tory MSP Tess White through the most gritted of BBC teeth accompanied by soundless pictures of the meaningless and grudged apology the MSP was forced to make or face sanctions by the presiding officer

    The Tories should just troll the FM on Twitter like the rest of their supporters and stop the pretence

    • Statgeek says:

      English victimhood in Holyrood, while in Westminster we have these sort of things to consider:

      And it’s on the increase down South, what with a London-based media, hell bent on telling Scots that they’re too wee, and too poor. Poor, little victims, are the English, apparently. Maybe they should practice what they preach, instead of stereotyping every nationality and culture before shaking hands with it.

      Too wee? Too poor?

      Too late to stop us leaving.

      • robert harrison says:

        Yet that same media taught the English that we are a drian on the English taxpayers yet Scottish independence has them going into hysterics like Peter kays character on Phoenix nights when he lost his pub licence.

    • jfngw says:

      Had all the hallmarks of a pre-planned piece of disruption, an unknown Tory MSP is placed at the front of the chamber to heckle, it has been the Tory operational method since Ross took over. Disruptive intervention, part of their long term plan to close Holyrood.

      Remember these people play the long game and continually, along with their mouthpieces at the BBC, intend to try and undermine the peoples confidence in Holyrood. The message they want out there is the Scots are incapable of running their own country. Propaganda works if you give it long enough to take hold.

  13. James Mills says:

    BBC Shortbread is the TV broadcasting equivalent of ”Downfall ” , the story of the last hours of Hitler in his bunker .

    Whereas ”Downfall’ had Hitler surrounded by General too scared to inform him that they were effectively ‘F*cked ! ‘ , BBC Shortbread journalists, with every broadcast , try to suggest that Scotland is ‘F*cked !’ , while simultaneously attempting to paint a UK picture of health and happiness , lead by a clown and his inept entourage .

    Sadly , like the scenes in Hitler’s bunker , there appears to be no one in the Pacific Quay bunker who has the cohones to speak Truth to Power and tell tit like it is in present day Scotland .

    There inevitable demise will be such a shock to the Great British Broadcaster .
    Let us hope that there is no equivalent of Magda Goebbels in the BBC bunker .

  14. scottish skier says:

    Schrodinger’s Scotland.

    One minute Scotland is a ‘European country’ when the BBC wants to slate it for drug deaths and climate change, then the next minute it’s not a country at all, but the UK is, and Scotland is just a region of that, so can’t be an actual country without British say so. It’s the most inanely useless propaganda ever.

    The main problem is that it is staffed by people of a different nationality to most Scots.

    In Scotland, we have three main nationalities / national identities:
    – Scottish
    – British
    – English

    While some people have dual nationalities / identities, e.g. Scottish + British, just like I am Scottish + Irish, most Scots are not actually British (>60%). It just isn’t their country / they don’t see it as one. Yet the BBC is staffed by people who are equally or dominantly British. This means they just don’t understand ‘Scots’. They are, in many ways, from a different country. At least that is always how they have seen things in their minds; Britain is the country for them.

    It’s the fundamental problem with the BBC. I’m sure Douglas Fraser walks around thinking he understands Scottish people because he is one. Well, if he identifies as British, then he isn’t the same nationality as me, who is Scottish and Irish. We might have some crossover in the Scottish part of our national identities, but we literally are of a different nationality. If he feels British and I don’t, then this undoubtedly is the case.

    The difference is that I understand Fraser quite well because I get to watch British TV, listen to British radio etc. He can’t do that to try and understand me, because the unionists historically made sure that people who do not have British identity don’t get a voice in the media. And now that chicken is coming home to roost…

    …Because the younger generations are just not British, the BBC just cannot understand them as result. Young Scots are from a different country (a Scottish, not British, European Scotland) to one the Brits understand, rendering the BBC increasingly ineffective as a propaganda tool.

  15. scottish skier says:

    Someone should ask Greta if she thinks Scotland should be free to become an independent country if it wants without needing permission from London.

    I’m sure the BBC would report it if she answered in the affirmative right?

    Could be a great scoop for the National.

    • grizebard says:

      It would indeed be, but I think she deserves way more respect than to be dragged into the independence issue as an innocent pawn.

      We don’t have to descend to the grubby level of the BBC, we at least are better than that.

      • scottish skier says:

        Sure and my comment, I hope, was obviously tongue in cheek; the BBC would let her nowhere near an indy debate, as I am sure she’d ask really awkward questions, particularly of unionists. 🙂

        But is she not an ‘innocent pawn’ in the climate debate if she would be in the indy one?

        Or maybe not one in either. Just a young person who may not be right about everything, but is inspiring to her peers for her enthusiastic activism.

        • grizebard says:

          “…as I am sure she’d ask really awkward questions, particularly of…” …BoJo! It would be hard for even the BBC to disappear or divert that!

      • Statgeek says:

        Let’s not forget. The Beeb are once again asking people who don’t live here, and have no experience of living here what Scotland is or is not.

        It ignores those that do. Never forget that. They did it in 2014, from talking to Obama, or lining up the EU chappie to say something that could be ‘interpreted’ against Scotland.

        Back then, Labour had 41 MPs to appear on the telly, while the SNP had 6. Now it’s reversed, they have to pad out the telly coverage with specious ‘facts’ from people not living in the UK (never mind Scotland), and now they have to pick from a rump of 11 MPs across all parties, instead of the 53 they had back then.

        It’ll be interesting to see how the EU handle this, and even more interesting how the UK media keep a clamp on this info getting to Scots.

  16. dakk says:

    If I were a bbc presenter(or whatever they are)I would ask her:

    Are you aware of the world leading renewable energy potential which Scotland possesses and how the british government thwarts Scotland’s efforts to develop same through punitive grid charges and reserving of energy policy to Westminster?

    But then I could never be a bbc employee as I am not a blue, red or dirty shade of yella tory.

  17. Alex Clark says:

    Coca Cola UK are running out of aluminum cans because of supply issues. Another Brexit dividend, this time for the enamel on your teeth LOL

    • James Mills says:

      Sadly Brexit did NOT cause a shortage of numpties in the UK Cabinet .
      They must have a special clinic ( Private ! ) in an alley off Whitehall churning out these clones of tailors’ dummies – but without the keen intellect of a mannequin !

  18. Peter E Smith says:

    I can’t argue with the points above but I would ask, what can be done about this totally unacceptable situation? Broadcasting may be reserved but let’s face it, this is a fight and we have to not only counter the bad messages put more importantly articulate and present the vision of a new Scotland. There is a very strong case for the preparation to begin now ( or 7 years ago) for a Scottish broadcaster which is not owned, run and presented by non Scots.

    • grizebard says:

      It’s not the birthplace of broadcasting staff that’s the issue, it’s the standards to which they personally adhere, and the mechanisms by which they can effectively be brought to account by the licence payers whenever they stray from them.

      It certainly and simply starts by bringing the entire management back home. Personally I favour a mutual owned by the licence-paying public, but such a solution won’t help us here and how, so little point in debating it while the situation is locked up the way it is, with the current servile shower of time-servers in charge.

      But there is an argument which says that the current BBC is inadvertently doing its damnedest to convince everyone that independence is the only way that broadcasting here – like pretty well everything else – can be properly fixed.

    • Alex Clark says:

      It’s likely a little late to be starting a new fight right now to have broadcasting devolved to the Scottish Parliament. The SNP have argued for this both before the Calman Commission and more recently the Smith Commission without any success.

      Well, let’s face it Westminster is highly unlikely to give up their control of broadcasting while support for Independence is as high as it is, in fact, they are unlikely to give up control of broadcasting ever while Scotland remains a part of the UK.

      I see it as a battle that cannot be won and since we expect to win a referendum in the first half of this Parliamentary term there would appear to me yo be little point in expending energy in a battle we are unlikely to win rather than focusing solely on winning Independence from which the right to control broadcasting naturally flows.

      • Statgeek says:

        “Well, let’s face it Westminster is highly unlikely to give up their control of broadcasting while support for Independence is as high as it is, in fact, they are unlikely to give up control of broadcasting ever while Scotland remains a part of the UK.”

        The irony is, if the BBC fail to convince the Scottish public, the Tory party might very well deem the Beeb to be surplus to requirements, given their political purpose is over. Why keep it for anything else, when they have Sky news, GB news etc, and can win 1-2 elections on the back of doing away with the license fee, while cosying up to the RW news outlets?

    • arayner1936 says:

      If we were able to follow our own rules on another Referendum, eg following UN rules on decolonisation (no interference from outside sources and limited franchise), we could have a plebscite referendum after declaring independence and negotiations with London so that people would know what the deal would look like.

      • grizebard says:

        We can’t just “declare independence” without first being assured of the support of a substantial and widely-accepted majority of the people. Alas this isn’t Norway 1905, and we are nowhere being near able to demonstrate that. So the rest is just the same old rehashed pie-in-the-sky. The facts are well enough known, so please leave off dreaming of quick fixes and start focussing on what’s possible. That way we might actually achieve it.

  19. Hamish100 says:

    I assume the trades Union go along with the political bias?

  20. Tatu3 says:

    OT. If you are taking your car to Europe, any badge on your car that says GB now has to be covered up or removed and replaced with a sticker saying UK.

  21. Old Pete says:

    Spot on Paul, totally agree with everything in your article. BBC make stories up and the people who deliver their comments are complicit in doing Scotland down at every turn.

  22. scottish skier says:

    From a read of another ‘set a date in stone now’ related article in the National, I now get why some ‘real independence supporters’ are so angry about the SNP-Green deal…

    Because it makes it clear for everyone that these two are deadly serious about holding iref2.

    If the SNP leadership were secretly trying to avoid a vote, hiding behind the lack of a majority would be an ideal excuse, with the BBC, Bozo etc only too happy to remind everyone of their minority status. Unionists in the chamber would enthusiastically jump on board and hold votes of no confidence every week, while ‘reliable south of England SNP insiders’ would be saying the work is that the Greens were planning to vote down Sturgeon over GRA. 5 years of no indyref sorted, with the SNP able to say ‘It was not really our fault; you all saw this surely!’.

    Nope, if you wanted to try and give yourself excuses for getting out of a referendum, then forming a coalition with an outright majority would be the absolute last thing you’d do.

    There are no excuses now.

    Hence the apoplectic reaction from those who wish to divide the movement. The coalition makes them look like liars who are not to be trusted, just as the false accusations of ministerial code breaches did. And they know it.

    • Alex Clark says:

      As if on cue Sillars pops up in the Herald to get his piece.

      “We’ve had nothing but talk of a referendum since the morning after the Brexit vote in 2016 and it’s never happened,” he said. “And now this deal Nicola has with the Greens makes it ‘impossible’ for Boris Johnson to say no. I don’t understand where she gets her ideas from. The arithmetic is the same whether the Greens are in or out. I’m not sure Boris Johnson even knows who Patrick Harvie is.”

      He doesn’t stop there though according to Sillars the SNP in government is failing over education, health, housing, poverty and everything else.

      It’s all down to incompetence in government and its Sturgeons fault says Sillars:

      “I think that the cult of personality over the years, particularly in Nicola Sturgeon’s period, has emptied the intellectual capability of the SNP.”

      He’ll be writing a weekly column for the Daily Express and Daily Mail next.

      • grizebard says:

        If Sillars truly cared about independence, he would shut up. It’s a simple as that. He caused enough damage last time.

        It’s bad enough having to deal with mendacious BritNats without also having to cope with frustrated wannabe prima donnas who only hinder not help.

        • Dr Jim says:

          Sillars never cared about Independence, he’s Labour to the core like a bunch of others I won’t name to avoid the row, but now not in the SNP, they used the SNP title to try to create another kind of Labour and Nicola Sturgeon finally rid the party of them and they call themselves, well several different names now but none of them is really about Independence, they’re about Labour style negotiation with Westminster then how to fool the public into thinking what they did is what the public really really wanted, a Union styled Independence where we still fork out to the California Westminster Hotel that we can never leave

      • Alec Lomax says:

        That would be the same Daily Mail which described Jim Sillars as a life-long supporter of the SNP ? (even when he was a Labour MP presumably?)

    • grizebard says:

      An interesting observation. But time and events do seem to be exposing an amateurish lack of judgement. (The very errors of last time being repeated, alas.)

      Those who stamp their little feet and publicly demand a date merely succeed in revealing their own lack of confidence. I just wish that they would reflect that this is the diametric opposite of what is needed to convince the yet-undecided.

    • CP says:

      Agreed. Some of the comments being posted in The National these days wrt to the SNPs unwillingness to name a date for Indyref2 are verging on the hysterical.

      Personally I still trust Nicola Sturgeon and given no one knows where this pandemic is going (we don’t even know if we’ll have a normal Christmas this year yet), I’m OK with the approach of not giving Unionists the opportunity to point and scream that we’ll be doomed if we have a referendum during a pandemic, or God forbid, vote for independence (which I’m sure they’ll do anyway regardless)

      • bringiton says:

        I suspect that the unionists are going to use Brexit as a reason for why Scotland separating itself from England would be a bad idea.
        They will no doubt say that this sort of constitutional upheaval will be bad for Scotland’s economy and just look at how difficult Brexit has been.
        They will be hoping,of course,that Brexit will be just a bad memory come Scottish independence because their masters in London are currently proclaiming it as a great success.

        • grizebard says:

          Yes, that has been the FibDem line all along. Carefully avoiding the crucial difference that the consequences of Brexit are almost exclusively negative whereas any difficulties that may arise post-indy are largely transient and the long-term benefits substantial. But that kind of nuance is of no interest to BritNats looking for a suitably-scary superficial soundbite.

      • scottish skier says:

        I cannot for the life of me see how rushing out and setting a date in stone helps the indy cause.

        All that will do is have the unionists immediately working on plans for disrupting or delaying it as much as possible. A date would give them years to prepare their campaign too.

        For me, the referendum bill should set everything but the date. The latter should only require a simple parliamentary motion at some point in the future, at which point the legislated for campaign period would kick off.

        You can be your bottom $turgeon that unionists will not prepare themselves to fight until a date is set, so FHS don’t give them years of notice.

        Sorry, but I struggle to believe that those commenters demanding a date is set on indy sites are indy supporters at all.

        • Alex Clark says:

          The Referendum Act 2020 as far as I can remember already sets out all matters of law applicable to a 2nd Independence Referendum and only subordinate legislation stating the date of the referendum and the question to be asked is now required before a referendum can go ahead.

          It is proposed that the same question as used in 2014 be asked and the Electoral Commission was asked by Nicola Sturgeon to test that question in January 2021, that was halted though because of Covid and I do not know where how far along in that process the EC currently are.

        • Tam the Bam says:


          Your first paragraph illustrates perfectly why Trumps deal with the Taliban in Doha last year was never a good idea.

  23. Hamish100 says:

    You would Angus McNeil has enough to worry about these days. As for `sillars he has condemned himself to be linked with a party of with 1.6% of a list vote. He is on the sidelines along with some of the active contributors to The National many only over year ago will telling us to boycott as it is an arm of the British state or even worse… controlled by the snp.

    Their bark is way out of proportion to their bite with nae teeth in. The Greens and SNP have outthought the unionists and the ALBA fringe of their fringe.

  24. Dr Jim says:

    If only the foot stampers actually were about stamping their feet to achieve Independence, but they’re not, when we actually do get Independence you’ve got to know they’ll stamp their feet to claim it’s the wrong kind of Independence

    The Labour types never sleep they just hide themselves behind different names

  25. Dr Jim says:

    Can anyone imagine the furore if Nicola Sturgeon were to write or recite a poem about exterminating the English or to make a speech in Holyrood about ridding Scotland of them to colonies as slaves, they wouldn’t be calling that banter now would they, headline news in every paper every TV channel about Sturgeon the racist English hater, demonstrations on the streets of England demanding the *British* army be sent in to exterminate Scots, tut tut and Oops, they’ve already done that

    • Golfnut says:

      You would have thought the media might have mentioned this at some point.

    • scottish skier says:

      I understand English people are free to live, work and vote in Scotland.

      What about my French family. Are they welcome to do the same in the Tory UK?

      Did someone mention racism?

  26. James Mills says:

    BBC has dismissed complaints about Andrew Marr being biased or offensive in his broadcasts after numerous complaints from the public .

    So, all you license payers who think you can tell US what to do – just F*ck Off !

  27. Capella says:

    Double Down news is an alternative source of news and current affairs. Here’s an army vet spelling out the disaster that is British Foreign (war) policy.

  28. scottish skier says:

    Brexit: UK food and drink exports to EU plummet by £2bn

    Sales to Germany, Spain and Italy all dropped by more than a third in the past year


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