Bugger’n Borgen


This is like one of those murder mystery programmes from Denmark in which you’re not sure what the crime is or if there’s a body but something sinister is going on because it looks dodgy…and strangely dark.

Wings spotted the odd goings-on on BBC news on the day of the Calton Hill rally. See it here… http://wingsoverscotland.com/identity-parade/.

What happened? I don’t know is the honest answer but I’ve a fair idea.

Ironically, this appears to be an attempt at political balance. That is, because there is widespread coverage of the pro-independence rally, the BBC decided they needed to hear from the Unionists as well. The trouble is that the Unionists weren’t actually doing anything newsworthy on the day so they pretended to be canvassing in order to be seen by the cameras. That in turn sets up the interview with Sheila Gilmore.

Now it’s normal procedure for a film crew to set up some kind of action to illustrate a story. It happens on virtually every bit of footage you see. Professor John Curtice is filmed walking at Pacific Quay studiously avoiding looking at the camera lens. He goes out of shot and the next moment you see him full frame telling us how the Yes vote will sweep to victory. (I think that’s what he usually says). Even the editing shots from the back of the reporter – so you can’t see his mouth moving as it’s out of synch – and in which you see the face of the interviewee, are set up. They are filmed after the interview as there is only one camera. It’s not just in news, either. Remember David Attenborough’s documentary on baby polar bears – filmed in a studio but not revealed at the time. Or Michael Palin flying over the Himalayas looking out the plane window and the next shot we see are the peaks below. Only when he flew the cloud obscured them so the shots were filmed on a different flight and dropped in later. This is all part of the gentle deception of television without which it simply doesn’t work.

However…the problem with this report is that it clearly implies something in the script that isn’t actually happening before our eyes. It suggests that we are seeing the public being canvassed by Better Together except that those individuals aren’t the public. They aren’t civilians. They are soldiers. If they are there by arrangement with Better Together – and if they aren’t, I’m a banana – then they are players in a political story posing as something they technically are not. They should not be presented by the broadcaster as being something they are not. That is misleading, if the BBC knows the truth.

I don’t think any BBC executive watching that would think for one moment that the scene in which the leaflets are handed out is anything other than staged. Where did the stooges suddenly emerge from – a Better Together Transit parked round the corner? They walk like performers with the same gait and exactly the same line of approach, seemingly shepherded by the partially-glimpsed figure on the right.

It is excruciatingly hammy and, frankly, professionally cack-handed.

If the camera had for example stayed on the other side of the road and watched the canvassers chatting or just circulating among themselves even if no member of the public appeared, that is fine. The script can say there were canvassing or trying to. To stage the event with partisan actors is verboten.

So what do we deduce from our thriller? First, that the BBC was making a monumental effort to be even-handed. Yet there is absolutely no need to balance what is a genuine news story – the independence rally – with opposing comment in the same item or even on the same day. Balance in news is something that occurs over time. The important part is that is logged carefully and the BBC never loses sight of how many appearances or how many minutes each side has had. That’s why Paul Sinclair – and other party types  – call the BBC to remind them of their responsibilities (apply the pressure). There is a strong case for arguing that No should have been left out altogether since this was already a short report and given the scale of the Calton Hill event and the lack of other news, viewers could have expected a fuller report of the rally. To add in as much time to a total non-event without public involvement in an empty street was a disservice to viewers. Yet this report was compiled by an experienced journalist who, if I recall, also worked for the World Service. It suggests to me a lack of direction and coherent leadership in the news department which I’ve highlighted before. Reporters need to know exactly what is and isn’t acceptable in terms of balance. There is no sign this is happening.

It also explains why Blair Macdougall turned up in the middle of the SNP conference which I think is unprecedented. Conferences are political rallies in which the politcos are allowed to indulge themselves. You don’t balance a party conference because you can’t balance a party conference. You look idiotic which is what happened in Perth.

Secondly, this is not political pro-Union bias. It is management incompetence. It is a dysfunctional BBC getting mixed up and making the wrong calls. How can that be when they have layers of executives whose job is to get it right? They are not anti-independence bigots. They’re just not good at their jobs.

And remember, bias comes in different ways. For instance, if there is a Union rally, do you expect them to get away with ranting about separation without a counter balance? Many of you would probably object to the No people going unanswered but if the pro Independence case had been allowed to proceed without Better Together, that’s what should have happened.

Here’s another thought. If it’s true this report was pulled and taken down from the iplayer, isn’t that a sign that the BBC did eventually make the right call? There can be little shame in recognising an error and acting promptly. Time and again, I’m afraid, BBC Scotland puts its foot in it by getting it wrong and creates the impression of being biased. When enough of these cases accumulate, the truth is that, even when it’s not biased, it is no longer believed. The trust is eroded. That is what is happening before our eyes.

And only now is the BBC Trust asking for views on impartiality and balance to be implemented on the last couple of months before the referendum! Too late…many, many months too late.

(I’ll post my response to the Trust consultation on this site. You should all respond to it.)

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0 thoughts on “Bugger’n Borgen

  1. Excellent work by WoS and well spotted by yourself. It forms the set with BMcD during conference. I’m impressed by your residual loyalty to those at PQ, but question your analysis that all is just incompetence. I use PQ/BBC(influenced by New Lab/Daily R) interchangingly, when I say that I know of the shenanigans that are endemic in NLab politics. The malign influence of one political party over those at PQ is to be expected as there is no chance of any other UNIONIST party complaining as they are brothers in arms versus the well-being of the Scottish electorate. Complaints from the YES direction are then easily dismissed as poor form by this unholy and soon to be doomed alliance of the forces of exceedingly dark history. I can hear the pain of Andrew Fletcher’s last words
    ‘Lord have mercy on my poor country that is so barbarously oppressed.’

  2. “They are not anti-independence bigots. They’re just not good at their jobs.”

    I’d like to believe this but just can’t. No one can be that bad at their job and still be in it unless them being that bad is sanctioned from above. There are multiple things wrong with this report, from the “more than 8,000” (OK, technically true: 20-30,000 is certainly more than 8,000), to the scathing tone used by the reporter, to the script which sounded like it came from Better Together.

    Had the BBC and other journalists been doing their job, the rally wouldn’t have been “news” to most people that day either, it would have been news in the run-up – there will be a rally. That way undecideds and others would have known it was happening and had the option to go along and hear the speeches. An unbiased media would have found a story in that – something all those people crying out for more information could have gone along to and been informed. Instead the narrative is “talking to themselves”, which is almost rubbing it in that we don’t have such a media.

    Scotland, and this historic decision, is being sold short by people who are not only incompetent but petty and narrow minded, and entirely manipulated by one side.

  3. I think that is a very charitable view, Derek. The clear narrative of the report was that Better Together was out engaging with the public while Yes Scotland was “preaching to the converted”. The footage at Longstone was required to support the narrative and the point was put directly to Blair Jenkins on the Calton Hill. The narrative in play here has nothing to do with seeking balance, it is concerned with minimising any benefit to the Yes campaign from coverage of the rally. The interesting questions are where did the narrative originate and by what mechanism did it become the basis for BBC Scotland’s report?

  4. “They are not anti-independence bigots. They’re just not good at their jobs.”

    Then why are ‘they’ still in their jobs?

  5. Incompetence or impartiality? – it matters little if this was already shown and the wrong impression given. It is the same as Lamont claiming on national TV that she had not made the “Something for nothing” remark which went unchallenged despite the political journalist being well aware that she had but that the viewers were left with the impression that she did not make such a remark. Similarly when she was challenged about Labour’s election poster and replied with a remark about “SNP cartoon poitics” whilst the interviewer had the poster in his hand and could have challenged her again point by point but failed to do so. Would M/s Fraser have let her have such a cosy little chat?.

  6. I must agree with the previous posts, Derek. I think, once again, your loyalty to former colleagues and desire for ‘cock up’ to win the day over ‘conspiracy’ simply doesn’t measure up to the ever growing mountain of evidence to the contrary. If BBC Scotland News and Current Affairs is merely incompetent, where are the examples of Better Together being short-changed? When have pro-union politicians been out-numbered ‘in error’ on panels and where is the catalogue of complaints that the BBC is biased in favour of a ‘Yes’ vote?
    I can think of numbnuts Davidson’s bizarre rant on Newsnight and, er … that’s it.
    Come on Derek – if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck …

  7. Derek, no bias you say? What about the dozens of times I watch Reporting Scotland, both lunchtime and evening, where I’ve heard the 10- 15 second report read out from Bird, Magnusson or other that roughly goes like this.

    ‘A new report from ‘an independent think tank / the Tories/ Alistair Darling/ the Fraser of Allander institute/John McLaren or the Scottish Affairs select Committee’ says that the ‘oil/banks/unemployment/ defence/economy’ will be absolute rubbish if Scotland votes for Independence in 2014′

    ‘the reports’ authors claim that the SNP have failed to provide adequate information for the general public’

    This happens a lot. This report is short, no interviews and it’s just a regurgitated press release effectively, but because of that, it somehow makes it ‘unworthy’ of needing to hear the opposite side speak. Or indeed, the report is released on the same day that it appears on a news programme and the Yes campaign/SNP aren’t given the time to formulate a reply.

    It’s this kind of little sneaky jabs at Independence that soon add up, keep hearing it once or twice a week and it soon sinks in. Hell, even doing it once every two weeks over the space of two years (which is what I’ve certainly witnessed) and it’s an effective form of dis-information.

    This is not just about bad management, it’s also about reporters happy to carry out the deeds of mis-information every day. I cannot believe for one minute that there is not one person in the whole of BBC Scotland willing to stand up and say, ‘what the hell am I doing ?, this is not what I signed up for !’ – yet that is exactly where the evidence points.

    Are you really the only exception Derek ?

  8. Nothing more than friends helping out Better Together. It is to be hoped that more such help to them is forthcoming.

  9. It’s the establishment working together again Derek . These things don’t happen by chance or bad management – you’ve been around long enough to know this.

  10. Murray McCallum

    “…we are not in an official referendum campaign and therefore do not have to balance it out between yes and no.” This was the reply from the BBC an individual complaint.

    I would therefore argue that this apparent stage managed leafleting event is the worst of all Worlds – it is the BBC going out of its way to actually promote the “No” campaign when, in its own words, it has no obligation to do so. It has nothing to do with balance.

  11. The BBC are finished in Scotland, regarding ‘news’. I lke many others, looked to the BBC for impartial news reporting at home and abroad.
    Witnessing the daily lies, omissions and misinformation from the state broadcaster concerning Scottish events, means i no longer trust them regarding world events.
    It says it all when folk have to watch Russian TV to find out what is happening in Scotland.

  12. Re logging minute by minute contributions for balance, as you’ll know, that requirement only kicks in during the official campaign period, that doesn’t start, for the referendum, until 16 weeks before the vote.

    There was absolutely no need to consider balance in this way and the evident bending over backwards, tying oneself in knots and downright shockingly bad reporting cannot be excused by an attempt to pretend it never happened. Seen to be doing and all that. Now perhaps if BBC Scotland had made an on air apology, provided an explanation etc.

    And I’m not sure working for World Service means you automatically know how to make a good TV package. There are good and bad broadcast journalists throughout the wider BBC.

  13. So Derek, what do you suggest that we the public do or even can do about the situation you have outlined?

    Especially as no one seems to be listening.

  14. bobbymck-@hotmail.co.uk

    All can sat Derek is I salute your indefatigably of defending former colleagues. One point I would make though, a point for you to mull over, at what cost?

  15. Sorry Derek, I don’t buy your explanation either. This went out on live tv whether or not it was later pulled from iplayer is irrelevant. The person who set it up knew what he or she was doing and it is worse that it was someone experienced.

    A year ago when Ms Jackie Baillie MSP was allowed to lie on BBC Breakfast I tried phoning in, as in my innocence I thought they might want to correct a mistake while it was still a live issue, but only got the security man who wouldn’t put me through to anyone and told me he didn’t bother voting and considered it a waste of time. I then emailed and about nine or so months later still await a reply. I’m afraid they don’t give a damn and I doubt that taking part in the consultation will change things one bit.

  16. Does the total lack of bias from the BBC (*breaks out laughing* *sorry*) explain why the BBC insisted there were only 8,000 people there when the police reports said it was 20,000 plus? Inquiring minds want to know as we say in the US.

  17. – When the story was pulled should there not have been some kind of explanation. (The damage was done)
    – Incompetence/poor management continually and no sanctions applied. Total incompetence or total bias.
    – Blair McDougal/snp conference. Propaganda/bias/incompetence.
    – BBC Scotland newsroom should be suspended and investigated. (Propaganda machine for HMG).
    – Davidson’s savaging of Isobell Frazer. Disgraceful and disgusting. Did her management support her?
    – Management treating holyrood committee with disdain and contempt. Had to be managed to attend from London.
    BBC Scotland totally out of control. management totally incompetent or worse. Management totally contemptuous of the licence payer? Etc etc

  18. Even if I accepted for one nanosecond that the BBC isn’t biased against independence, and it’s all just ‘ooops! incompetence’, the fact is such ‘biased’ behaviour and its continuance by the BBC is awfully convenient to Westminster.

    As such, it is hardly surprising that nobody is in a hurry to fix it.

    Either way you look at it, it is blatant propagandist political bias by a Westminster run and financed media. Betraying the people of Scotland. Such behaviour has NO place in a democracy, regardless of cause.

  19. Derek you are an excellent journalist and I believe there are others in BBC Scotland – including BTW big Brian whose Friday programme I ‘participated’ last week ie audience. On the way out I said to him ‘next time you let me ask a question I’ll as what you think of your old mate Derek Bateman’! He made his exit very speedily!
    Anyway back to the point … To suggest ‘cock up’ and not ‘conspiracy’ is disingenuous for all the reasons mentioned above. Please, honest journalist dishonest biased management we can live with. But only just
    And BTW I had a meeting with Bill Matthews in an attempt to engage him (as the Scottish member of the BBC Trust) Ina debate on broadcasting. He brought his political advisor who did most of the talking and told me that ‘Bill’ was appointed by the Queen hence must be perfectly neutral. Aye right and I ‘came up the Clyde In a banana boat’. And by the way he wouldn’t participate in the debate because you cannot defend the indefensible!

  20. What I thought was interesting (and revealing) about the BBC report was that there was no mention of who was speaking at the rally, who performed, the opions that were expressed, or the range of groups that were there or anything like that. The only interview segment was with Blair Jenkins and the only point being made was to try to imply that the rally was only speaking to the “minority” that had already been converted to YES, whereas BT were out there engaging with and enthusing the public (allegedly).

    Why did the BBC not report on the rally and say what it was about, it’s complexity and breadth, and instead make it a one issue focus that enabled BT to get the last word? The report was also incredibly short for an event which was of such considerable importance. All very fishy, and yet another example of the oh so many misjudgements and errors that seem to bedevil the BBC’s reporting of Scotland’s inexorable movement towards independence.

  21. You are deluding yourself Derek. Anti Independence bias is most definitely the end result. I can’t see how you can deny that simple fact, no matter the insider information and reasons you forward as being behind that end result.

    Confidence in the BBC is being eroded through our experience of everyday (and obvious as soon as you care to look) bias in it’s news and political reporting over recent (devolved) years output.

    Had it simply been eroded through experiencing BBCScotland incompetence (as you seem to suggest), I am afraid the erosion of public confidence would have been completed many, many years before now (with honourable individual exceptions of course)!

  22. Derek, if there is no bias at the BBC, why are comments banned on the BBC site in Scotland only?

  23. Honestly Derek, you’re in some danger of turning into all three Wise Monkeys.

    First, any independence supporter who cried foul because the BBC reported on 20,000 to 30,000 union supporters marching through Edinburgh without covering a poorly-attended Yes leafleting exercise at a suburban Co-op would be an idiot. Of course we know that’s not going to happen.

    Second, what makes you think the BBC voluntarily went out and sought this “balancing” material? (Especially when they already pointed out they are under no obligation to be balanced until the official run-up period.) Is it not far more likely that someone was leaned on by his Labour mates, and maybe even shouted at by a spin-doctor to get that coverage?

    Third, not repeating it or putting it on iPlayer doesn’t make it all better. Personally I don’t think this was due to contrition at all, but because they realised it was so blatantly staged it was an embarrassment. People were tweeting about it almost as soon as it was broadcast, and the verdict wasn’t flattering.

    Fourth, how come ALL these “mistakes” are to the detriment of the Yes campaign? It’s like being short-changed. When all the errors are in favour of the cashier, you can’t help but wonder.

    Fifth, and most important, is the point Graeme Purves already made. This is about more than the 28-second clip from the BT event. It’s about the tone and thrust of the entire item. Watch it again. When the topic of the march is introduced, almost immediately the criticism is introduced that this is “preaching to the converted”, with the implication that the Yes campaign isn’t engaging with the public. This is contrasted with BT, who declare that they are out there talking to the real undecideds. What a ridiculous sneer! Don’t we get to have a single day out to get together and meet our friends? But that theme was continued, with the point being put explicitly to Blair Jenkins on the hill. It was the main thread of the entire item. Whose idea was that? I can guess, and I think you can too. The real question is, why was the BT spin adopted by the BBC producer to colour the entire item?

    And that’s without even mentioning the numbers on the march being given as 8,000, when the police had confirmed 20,000 two or three hours earlier.

    I wish you would drill into some of this a bit more deeply, Derek.

  24. One thing this article helps to clarify is how an experienced BBC person sees the causes and effects of what most of us perceive as one-sided bias. It tells me that the BBC may be incapable of perceiving that it is biased but may be slightly more open to criticism that it is incompetent. The problem remains however that engaging with the BBC is like swimming in quicksand. Its position offers it the luxury of never having to meaningfully engage with public criticism and so an internal mindset of infallibility has set in. It has now however become the story. It is no longer possible to dismiss sites like Wings and Newsnet as irrelevant. They have large readerships and their content is tweeted and shared even wider. The BBC has been caught out very publicly on this one and its reputation is on the line with every one watching. They should be out apologising profusely, making root and branch changes to how they cover Scottish news and properly investing – along the lines Derek has suggested previously.

    I’ll be very surprised if it bothers to react at all – which is why we have all long since drawn our own conclusions about this organisation.

    I understand why Derek asks us to respond to the Trust consultation – he cares about the organisation and wants it to be what it should be. But the problem is you see that I don’t have any confidence that the consultation will be listened to or acted upon. So why should I waste my time allowing the BBC to contain and frustrate criticism in yet another futile exercise? If the Trust really wants some feedback it only needs to look online almost anywhere to gauge the opinion that so many have of the BBC. There’s none sae blind as canna see.

  25. ” If it’s true this report was pulled and taken down from the iplayer, isn’t that a sign that the BBC did eventually make the right call? ”

    Or, more plausibly, burying the evidence.

    I have to say Derek, I think you are still looking at BBC Scotland with rose-tinted glasses.

    Apart from Ken MacDonald and Izzie Fraser no-one in the independence camp has any trust or respect left for the other news presenters. The steady drip, drip of negativity for anything to do with independence is not just incompetence, I would say it was far from incompetent. I would say it is orchestrated.

    That along with the suppression of any stories that would damage the Labour party. Where the investigation into the Stephen Purcell affair? The corruption and nepotism in GLC and its ALEOs? The Grangemouth fiasco? There’s a huge list of the things that should be investigated.

    I cannot accept that it is not organised.

  26. Derek vis a vis BBC anti-Indy bias you do appear to be a classic case of the three brass monkeys. Perhaps you worked there too long. The rest of us have no doubts. As you have written there is no need to balance everything every day so why this forlorn attempt at balance on that day? And worse. Why was this fakery given equal prominence to the main event of the day, ie the Indy rally, on the news programme? A bit like, “there was majot rioting in London last night, and there was also a fight in Leicester town centre/” (cut to pictures of Leicester TC scrap from London rioting).
    It dpesn’t wash.

  27. Anyone could see it was stage managed. People generally love to talk and I ve noticed that many people who are not interested in politics, and only take a passing glance at the referendum, can see that the BBC is a propaganda mouthpiece for the British establishments hatred of Scottish Independence

  28. Your loyalty to those at Pacific Quay is commendable,Derek.

    However, to claim that political bias does not exist there, and it is instead mere managerial incompetence, doesn’t wash as far as I am concerned.

    If you are to be believed, then the management there are habitually incompetent. Name any other field in which such habitual incompetence would be tolerated at management level. I don’t see it as managerial incompetence. I see it for what it plainly is – undisguised political bias.

  29. Derek, I appreciate your willingness to engage with us in this way, but I still think you are only seeing half the picture. The “monumental effort to be even-handed” is only ever one way.

    You cite the hypothetical case of a pro-union march being counter balanced with a view from the Yes side. You’re on pretty safe ground there because I can’t see them getting 20k+ (or even 8k) members of the public to march for the union, so we’re not going to see that put to the test. But what about the real and actual case of the party conferences? We get the British and Scottish conferences of the Tory/Lib/Lab parties, all free to spend as much time as they like attacking the SNP and Independence (which is fair enough, it is after all their conferences) but it goes without response from either the SNP or the Yes campaign. So how can you justify the poor (in quantity and quality) coverage of the SNP conference we do get having to be “balanced” by Blair Macdougal’s appearance which you yourself describe as “unprecedented”? Now that they have set a precedent, do you really expect to see Denis Canavan or Blair Jenkins defending Independence at the next Labour party conference?

    I’ll look forward to reading your response to the BBC Trust consultation on this site. I don’t think I’ll be responding to it though. What is the point when you have already shared with us that “We need to dispose immediately with the idea that the BBC Trust performs effectively a supervisory role. The Trust is a timid and toothless creature usually in awe of the BBC’s respected reputation.”.

    For me, more than enough of the cases have accumulated. The trust is eroded. It began eroding when I moved to Scotland 10 years ago and realised how badly both Scotland and England are served by the BBC’s attitude to Scotland, we are all kept in ignorance but the consequences of this are far more devastating to Scotland. Reading the web over the last 6 years, contrasting independent and other international news sites with output from the BBC (and the rest of the UK media) has completed the job for me. Sometimes I really miss being able to trust in the BBC. Sometimes I feel like a naive fool because I ever did.

  30. Derek, OK, let’s go along with your theory that the BBC basis, perceived by Nationalists, is down to incompetence in the Organisation. In every debate there is two sides to the argument, with this in mind, show me any BBC programme that has shown the positive side for Independence?

  31. Roibert a Briuis

    Simply, Derek, you cannot be serious

  32. Derek,

    Thanks for the insights on how TV actually works.

    It seems to me that the cut-away to a Better Together voice who perhaps called us all fools for being pro independence would have been, at least, honest. A cut-away to this rubbish calls the professionalism of the BBC into some question. Pretending something happened, when it clearly didn’t is not professional, it is clearly manipulative.

    That, in no way, shape or form constitutes balance.

  33. The Biased British Corporation in Scotland.

  34. Derek – thanks for sharing your knowledge and interpretations.

    Having just caught up with both your JL letters and this piece I’m minded that when we remove the individuals involved, we are left with some strong parallels here between Labour in Scotland and BBC in Scotland. It’s the same underlying story of a trust betrayed, just running to offset timelines. Labour is much further down the road to destruction. How else could you interpret what might be the real underlying bombshell within the Wings Poll – that Labour could lose more than ½ its already lowest in recent memory 2011 voters in the event of a NO result. The only question left for me is whether ALL those Red Turkeys will continue to campaign for Christmas in September.

    Getting back to the BBC in Scotland – here we come to one critical difference in how the end-game plays out. Since they are effectively an unappointed and unsupervised, or if we accept that the Trust does supervise, then it is just beyond sanction, entity. This puts them beyond direct reach of an electorate in Scotland, which I would normally think imight be a good thing. But it no longer works once the trust has gone and the political leverage is high. So what way out? We need to get to a Scottish Government with full broadcasting control (as much at that even exists in our Internet age), and the sense to put in place some true levels of accountability without political interference. And YES, there is only going to be one way that voters might get that !

  35. How many BBC managers are also employed by the security services? Anyone doubting that the security forces have a few plants in the BBC is a fool.

  36. Bias and incompetence when its all travelling in one direction still amounts to the same end result. A serious problem for the Scottish fee paying electorate and Scottish journalism. If its a problem, it needs tackled Derek and I’m not seeing mad rush from London HQ to fix it. Perhaps because they don’t either want it fixed or indeed feel the need to bother.

    • cynicalHighlander

      Of course they don’t want to fix it as they have already fixed it to suit the ruling classes.

      Launchpad For A Revolution? Russell Brand, The BBC And Elite Power

      Noam Chomsky has a cautionary note on high-profile exposure in the corporate media:

      ‘If I started getting public media exposure’, he once said, ‘I’d think I were doing something wrong. Why should any system of power offer opportunities to people who are trying to undermine it? That would be crazy.’

      Given all that, how likely is it that the BBC would really provide a launchpad for a revolution?

      • “Given all that, how likely is it that the BBC would really provide a launchpad for a revolution?”

        Pretty unlikely. Like I said, they’re not exactly in a mad rush whether its incompetence, demonstrable bias or both. They give the distinct impression they like it peachy, just the way it is.

  37. Blatantly. Biased. Crap.

  38. George Campbell

    It’s very short-sighted, or just downright stupid of staff at the BBC to be anything less than fair and impartial, as come the day (I hope) of independence, the dissolution of BBC Scotland is inevitable. These incompetents will be out of a job in a new replacement institution as their history of (failure) of achievement will be a matter of public record.

  39. So, in a spirit of fairness, let’s give the BBC at pathetic quay a brief opportunity to prove they are not biased.

    In a few weeks, the First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond, will make a trade visit to China, in order to boost Scottish market penetration and Scottish business over there. Let’s see how the BBC choose to cover it. Will it be the usual process of Glenn Campbell trawling around to find somebody (anybody) to denounce Scottish independence or Scottish business potential, whilst blatantly ignoring any success stories and positive reactions to the FM in China, or will we see full coverage of new business developments, with coverage of what the Scottish Government are doing and have achieved?

    So let’s just wait and watch. My money is on fully negative coverage or a complete non reporting of the trip, except as a small online only website story, that goes online at 4am on a Saturday morning, and is removed at 9 am the same morning, in true pathetic quay style.

    Time will tell.

  40. Derek, why am I on moderation?

  41. i will not pay another bbc license fee ever

  42. This would be more credible if it weren’t for the fact that France 24 did a balanced piece without any of this type of nonsense (including an interview with Gavin McCrone who himself was balanced in his comments).


    Although it has to be said that the France 24 English version has a clearly more anti independence tone.

    For example the French text summary doesn’t mention “defeat” anywhere and says no-one is underestimating Alex Salmond, which is strangely missing from the English version. There are similar changes in the English voiceover – which kicks off with total nonsense about “In just under a year’s time a new European country [Scotland!] could be created” and goes on to say “poll after poll forecasting their [Yes] large defeat” – neither of these elements were present (at all) in the French original.

    From which I suspect that English journalists everywhere have an ingrained idea that independence is an inconceivable crackpot idea and this affects their reporting.

  43. Derek,

    I have enjoyed your insight into the workings of BBC Scotland since your blog started. The more I read, the more I begin to see that you are still under the influence of your past London paymasters.

    Your explanations as to what is going on at PQ is making even the dogs in the street laugh. From the comments above it must be clear to even you that you are beginning to lose all semblance of credibility. I’m expecting soon an explanation from you as to why the incompetence invariably comes down on the side of the anti-independence. This will, no doubt, be a thigh slapper as well.

    Perhaps you should be posting this latest offering on your ‘spoof’ blog. A more apt title might have been – ‘Buggering Borgen’.

  44. The BBC have form Derek you know it and I know it.

    Remember this: http://bit.ly/1aiAbMV

    I was on Calton hill for the march and as soon as I arrived I was stopped by a BBC camera crew who were doing vox pops with people arriving, the lovely young lady asked me why i was there and why I wanted Scottish Independence. I spoke at length and gave her all the reasons we know. I watched as they made there way around and interviewed several others. Not one second of that made it on to our screens. Why Derek? Why go to the expense of sending a crew there if you have already decided not to publish the results of their work.

    Why did some moron talk over the first three minutes of Nicola Sturgeons speech to conference, WTF was that all about?

    BBC Scotland are guilty as charged. Take them down.

    • Aye, I wonder why the BBC didn’t use footage of you being interviewed.

      Obviously a conspiracy…

      • If you really were from Falkirk as you claim MrG you would be best advised to get in the bunker with Johann and Broon and keep very still. Seeking to judge others and claiming to live in Falkirk just has the mark of the really tragic desperate carnival barking that Labour now use on a daily basis. They can see the train coming down the track and just cannot get out of the way. No where left to go sums it up. The putrid stench from Grangemouth and Falkirk is now overpowering and caused by Labours Scottish branch office. Comical Ali could not make this one up. Even uncle Lenny is making eyes at Scottish Independence, he knows the score.

  45. […] official police report gave conservative estimates of 20,000 people, whilst the BBC reported 8000, at the same time false balance is introduced with a staged performance from those opposing change. With such lazy journalism, trust in the media is at an all time low, but should we ever be relying […]

  46. Derek methinks you may be a wolf in sheeps clothing 😉

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