Scunnered!

Two aspects of our debate today which are connected and leave me scunnered. First, read this reply to my correspondent Anne from the BBC when she complained about Kaye Adams on Morning Call challenging the idea that Gordon Brown used the term Home Rule before the referendum vote.

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Dear Miss Galloway

 

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Thank you for getting in touch regarding Morning Call presented by Kaye Adams which was broadcast on Friday 9 January 2015, and posed the questions: Do you want Home Rule and does the price of oil make a difference?

 

We have received a wide range of feedback on this matter so the response below strives to address the majority of those concerns raised but may not address all of the specific points you have mentioned.

 

We forwarded your complaint to the Senior Producer of Morning Call, who has responded as follows:

 

1)In no way did Kaye attempt to mislead the audience over Gordon Brown’s stance on Home Rule because either she or the BBC have a particular agenda.

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During the debate with our guests; Mark McDonald, SNP MSP for Aberdeen Donside and Lewis Macdonald MSP, Labour member for North East Scotland, Mark McDonald stated that home rule had been exactly what Gordon Brown had been promising with regards to ‘The Vow’ prior to the Referendum. 2)Kaye at this point asks the question: “I don’t think he used the term Home Rule, did he?”

 

Immediately jumping in, Lewis MacDonald says ‘No’ repeatedly, denying that this was said. Mark McDonald then says that what Mr Brown offered was a ‘new federalism’- effectively Home Rule – which again Mr MacDonald denies. The conversation then moves to the support for home rule and from there back to the listeners calling in.

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From listening back to this section 3) it is quite clear that Kaye is probing to clarify and asking a question, which I concede could certainly have been phrased more clearly. Both politicians then give answers of yes, no and also a “version of federalism”. This is not Kaye lying about what was said, nor is it Kaye making a statement that Gordon Brown did not offer home rule. Lewis MacDonald is in fact the person throughout this section who denies it was ever said or offered by the former PM.

 

Morning Call is a fast and fluid programme and on that day we received over 70 calls, 18 of which got on air. As ever, the listeners dictate where the conversation goes and as we moved on we discussed; oil price volatility, the continued fallout of the referendum and callers in favour and not of Home Rule.

 

Some 40 minutes and five calls later, caller Chris took the opportunity on air to go back to what Lewis MacDonald had said and told Kaye that he was certain that Gordon Brown had used the term, to which Kaye replied that she had found it difficult to get an absolute on it, but that she accepted that was what Chris recalled.

 

We fully accept that in the lead up to the referendum, Gordon Brown said of proposed additional powers: “These proposals are radical. And we are putting them forward as a Labour Party. They change not just Scotland, but they change Britain. They move us closer, or as close as possible to Federalism as you can, in a country where 85% of it is one nation; England. They are equivalent of what Keir Hardie was asking for when he called for Home Rule for Scotland. Home Rule for Scotland within the United Kingdom, where we have powers over own affairs in these areas but still we recognise the benefit of pensions, health care, economic decision making, defence and security as part of the United Kingdom.”

 

I italicise three sections – 1) because I don’t believe she is deliberately trying to mislead (or lie). I know many now believe that is what BBC journalists do and the track record is checkered to say the least but willful distortion is not credible in my view.

2) For Kaye ‘not to know’ that Brown did indeed use the term is barely believable. Why? Because it is central to the referendum outcome and no one across government, opposition or politics generally, disputes that Brown was to a degree instrumental in the final decision. If you follow Scottish affairs, you know this. If you follow professionally, it is in your memory bank. If you do this as a main presenter – whose programme is entitled Do you want Home Rule? (that’s the clue) then it is to the forefront of your mind and on the tip of your tongue. Whenever a Unionist attempts to duck out of the Devo Max commitment, as Lewis Macdonald shamefully did here, you’re job is to jump in with: ‘Gordon Brown said we’d get Home Rule…’ (Macdonald’s repeated denials here are unworthy of a man of his standing and reputation).

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3) Kaye may indeed be ‘probing to clarify’ but that only confirms point 2) above. Why the Hell is she having to clarify one of the seminal points of our recent history? Probing to clarify in this context is tantamount to saying the presenter doesn’t know the basic information on the subject she is speaking about – and is supposed to the guiding the nation through.

Now I have to concede, because many a BBC producer reading this will have a wry smile, that I too have found crucial information not to be on my radar at the key moment. It happens – through laziness, rush, badly-drafted briefings or just forgetfulness. (I’ve even sat looking at a guest who has arrived in studio and realized I’ve completely forgotten their name until my look of horror is translated through the glass and the identity is dropped in my ear).

And right there is the answer to Kaye’s dilemma – she is only one of a team and while the public understandably relate to the presenter, the real work is done by the unseen and under-valued production team, or should be.

So when the presenter blurts out ‘Gordon Brown didn’t say Home Rule, did he?’ the studio producer must immediately come on talkback and confirm he did indeed. Or, if unsure, get someone to check the actual detail and then tell the presenter. That no one, it seems, on the programme team and no one listening out in the newsroom was able to intervene to correct the output is deeply worrying. It speaks of lack of care and professionalism, of lack of bodies to do the job properly and a lack of engagement in Pacific Quay with the accuracy and quality of output.

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The net effect of course is to leave the BBC with egg on its face and confronting charges of bias because Kaye appears to those better informed to be supporting the mendacious Macdonald line. I know it’s easier just to conclude that BBC presenters will lie on air to damage the SNP, but whatever her personal leanings, I don’t believe Kaye Adams was doing that. But it is an insight into how professional failures at PQ have become endemic, how management appears unconcerned at patchy standards and how, ultimately, it doesn’t matter because they get away with it.

Where is the external scrutiny that should make senior managers anxious to keep up standards by, for example, resisting job cuts instead of rushing them through? The regulatory architecture lacks authority and the overriding mindset is complacency.

There has been no parliamentary demand for a retrospective examination of BBC output which makes it look as if there was no problem in covering the referendum, despite scientific evidence of bias. Kenny McQuarrie who has presided over it all, has not been pensioned off. I hear John Boothman, thankfully recovered from illness, is back in charge of news to the despair of all staff.

The annual report will be produced in due course where staff will be congratulated on an excellent performance. No mention will be made of widespread distrust of BBC news, of embarrassing ignorance by London correspondents, of threats to academics who offered evidence of partial coverage, of the three-to-one programme guest configuration or of the broadcaster’s role in helping to elect a UKIP MEP…and so on.

It is the powerlessness that is corrosive as we watch, and pay for, a public service that on so many fronts fails the Scots. Like Alistair Darling’s epitaph: He saved the Union and lost the Labour Party, so McQuarrie’s will be: He built Pacific Quay and lost the BBC’s reputation.

Which brings me to the associated point of telling the truth, or a reasonable version of it, over falling oil prices. Just as Lewis Macdonald made a fool of himself for posterity in his desperation to avoid responsibility for arming his country with the powers promised, so the one-dimensional, catch-phrase attack on the SNP smells putrid for the opportunistic gambit it is.

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An identity parade of chancers has reduced a vital industry, our economy and thousands of jobs into a facile mantra…Blair McDougall (is there anything he could say you would believe, up to and including Hello?), Jackie Baillie, the Queen of Cant, whose fake indignation and smug condescension sends an icy shudder through our house, Kezia Dugdale, the Jackie Baillie Mini Me, and Margaret Curran whom I sometimes suspect of weeping into her pillow at the deceitful and self-serving claptrap she utters.

They are not so much interested in the oil industry as in their own self interest and it is farcical for any Unionist to claim otherwise when successive governments have run it like a slot machine and saved nothing – not a brass farthing.

But there is a point behind their blethers – the oil price IS important and would be in an independent Scotland. The trouble is that in their rush to condemn, they haven’t made the case and got it to stick.

Here is how I would present the case and why I’m not John McTernan.

I would stop pretending the SNP is responsible for oil. Anyone who is Labour and toying with the SNP has already been awakened to this game of cheat. It’s only four months since they were telling the same people that oil had to remain in the UK’s control and the SNP shouldn’t get their hands on it. In other words, don’t pretend they can change North Sea policy, accept the reality of it as a UK responsibility. Then, ‘even with the UK, the price is volatile and cannot be maintained by any one country. We are at the mercy of global forces which don’t care about the UK, let alone wee Scotland.’

Don’t kid people that anyone saw the fall coming – the SNP’s figures were the same as the Department for Climate Change. On Radio 4 a presenter suggested the fall from the SNP estimate meant they ‘couldn’t be trusted’ in dealing with a Westminster government. Duh…

‘Previous governments should have set money aside for the bad times, but didn’t. That was a mistake and we regret it. But the fact is they didn’t and we can’t begin one now. Much of the money came to Scotland in additional spending anyway.’

Scotland would not have been independent yet after a Yes vote, but how much more difficult would the negotiations have been if Scotland’s economy was facing a bigger shortfall? The loss of revenue in the meantime would need UK financial support, reducing the likely settlement.

A high oil price partly underpins the rate at which Scotland would borrow, so unless there is a substantial rise in the price in the short to medium term, those costs would go up.

Unionists also need to find a way of expressing what failed them throughout the campaign – hope. And resilience. They must constantly say that the price will recover in time and show belief in the sector. Right now, they sound as they did on renewables – doom-laden and negative.

The fall in oil price after the referendum is a bit like the collapse of Royal Bank before it…an existential blow to the Nationalist momentum that forces a change of tone if not direction (and plays into Patrick Harvie’s Green fingers). But Scots shrugged off Royal Bank knowing the dust would settle and, since there is nothing we can do about the oil price, they will repeat in the knowledge it will return to the peaks (when Unionists will remain silent). They will also grasp that the oil industry is not in decline – it planned housekeeping on expenditure and staffing before the fall and 200 onshore jobs lost doesn’t suggest Armageddon – yet.

And they now know they are NOT voting for independence when the oil price would have focused minds. The Unionists are still pretending that is an option when it isn’t – the referendum’s over. They are voting for the best representation for Scotland to deliver what was promised (Home Rule, Kaye). They look at the dismal list of Labour failures at Westminster and most will conclude that a jaggy thistle or two on the green benches is just what’s needed.

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Meantime, I point you to the BP website  http://www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/about-bp/bp-worldwide/bp-united-kingdom.html  where any sense of panic and gloom is manifestly missing… ‘BP has been present in the North Sea for many decades and we intend this to continue for many decades to come…we are investing a further £10billion in the North Sea by 2017… BP has a healthy exploration and appraisal programme in the UK and Norway, which is designed to look for additional opportunities to develop the existing business. Last year, we announced a two-year multi-well appraisal programme to look at the potential for a third phase of development in the Clair field. In the UK’s 27th offshore oil and gas licensing round, BP was awarded licence interests across 14 offshore exploration blocks, our most successful round since the 1990s…BP has an active exploration and appraisal programme in the North Sea, and announced in October the Vorlich discovery in the central North Sea…BP is pleased to announce the start of production from the Kinnoull field in the central North Sea. Kinnoull is BP’s seventh and final major upstream project start-up in 2014.’

Without perspective, all information is worthless. I fear the panic and hyperbole in Unionism is the clearest sign they too can smell the air and know what’s coming. It isn’t North Sea oil that is about to disappear over the horizon.

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53 thoughts on “Scunnered!

  1. “And they now know they are NOT voting for independence when the oil price would have focused minds. The Unionists are still pretending that is an option when it isn’t – the referendum’s over.”

    Yeah, I was actually finding myself thinking “why must everything be about independence?” when someone was banging on about oil on Newsdrive last night – I thought we were the ones who were obsessed with independence? It’s one thing to be winners acting like losers, but to be still trying to fight a referendum campaign that finished four months ago is just sad. Why are they trying to keep Scotland on pause…?

    “I fear the panic and hyperbole in Unionism is the clearest sign they too can smell the air and know what’s coming. It isn’t North Sea oil that is about to disappear over the horizon.”

    Bye bye MP expense accounts!

    • They, the Unionist, are looking over their shoulders at a tsunami bearing down on them, that’s why they keep bringing up the referendum, “they thought it was all over, well it ain’t now”!!!!.

  2. Sorry Derek, I can’t accept your reasoning about Kay with an e. All throughout the referendum her bias was there for all to see. The BBC is totally disreputable, and they are still at it. They are still batting for the other side against what is best for Scotland. There biggest sin for me is omission. Never a good word or decent report on the SG whatever they do, the headlines are screwed round to make it negative. That odious Eleanor Bradford is a prime example of all that is wrong.

    We cancelled our licence just after the 19th September and it’s much easier on the old blood pressure. However, if I am anywhere and just happen to see that the BBC news is on I have to turn and walk away. I just cannot bear anything the say and more to the point I don’t believe anything they say either. If the told me it was Friday I would have to check it first.

    The carry on now about the oil price is a case in point. All we need is the facts, told truthfully and impartially, not all the ya boo rubbish that they like to present. I do not think that the BBC in Scotland will ever recover from their referendum agenda. It needs a really good clear out of all the Labour party aparachics and some real investigative journalists before it will ever be held in any form of regard again.

    • Well said Marie, we cancelled the BBC Licence too on the 19th for exactly the same reason. OK it’s £12 a month and change, but it is liberating. No more Jackie and Sally……. ever.

    • I agree. It’s simply not credible that an experienced presenter (who will soon be hosting daily 3 hour phone ins in the lead up to the election) hosting a programme with “Home Rule” in the title, did not know what Gordon Brown and other leaders of the NO campaign had said. We amateurs know!
      If she is so lazy or incompetent, why is she being rewarded with 12 hours a week pre-election? I’m willing to do it for a reasonable rate!

      • And why do you think she has been offered that slot?, aye, it’s because she likes to hear her own voice, and opinions, she regularly butts into a callers call and redirect, or attempts to, his or her train of conversation.
        The lassies too full of herself, much prefer Lousie

    • Marie, a first class comment that a multitude will agree with to the letter.LOVED EVERY LINE.

  3. I can hardly bear to listen to Radio Scotland from one Saturday morning to the next. (And that’s without the persistent cringe-making cadence of ‘a year like no other—a station like no other’.) I don’t care whether presenters have a personal bias, so long as they can leave their baggage at the door, and are sharp-witted, candid, and properly briefed. The suggestion that that abysmal question was posed in order to ‘probe’ shows that not only the programme team but the management as a whole are laughably ill-suited to the job of serving anything more than the needs of a backwater broadcaster. ‘On a quay like no other, an outpost like no other: BBC Radio Backwater’.

  4. For all the No voters in Scotland’s oil town,now is when the UK government has to step up to the plate and put it’s money where it’s mouth was during the referendum.
    The “broad shoulders” of the UK economy are now all that stands between them and hard times and they are dependent on a remote government who have always taken a short term view of the oil industry and have little interest in the Scottish economy long term,to be benevolent and do the right thing.
    The signs are not good.
    Ed Davey,the Westminster man in charge of energy policy saying that the Money man at Westminster might reduce his tax take on the industry in the budget statement in March but he can’t say for sure.
    As usual,it will almost certainly be too little too late but that is what No voters wanted when they voted for continued London rule.
    As for the BBC,what do you expect from an organisation who takes it’s lead from the London establishment who are now openly hostile to Scottish self determination in any shape or form.
    Thanks Derek,didn’t exactly make my day however!

  5. The question really should always have been – Why weren’t our broad shouldered friends in Westminster prepared?

    That was the thrust of their oil arguments throughout the campaign, yes? Management of the resource was safer in their hands. Volatility better handled by a bigger economy and so forth. Yet daily we are bombarded with tales of supposed imminent carnage within the industry.

    Bollox.

    The job losses were planned long since as part of industry restructuring. The massive investment over the past two years saw the bulk of upgrades and exploration to near completion and last but by no means least this game of geo political chicken which saw the price drop below ANY forecast, (including the gawdawful OBRs), will NOT last forever. That resource will still be there and sadly, still be in the hands of those who refuse to use the proceeds to set up a sovereign wealth fund. The revenues produced will still completely by pass Scotland and get royally pished up against a wall.

    I agree though, the issue as you rightly surmise is misdirection. Anything to drop on the Scottish Government from a great height. Anything to throw doubt upon the SNP and their handling of government. The real threat as far as they and their pet meeja are concerned comes in May. The thought of a strong SG presence in the commons and the spectre of relying on the good graces of that presence for UK government to function. They know damn well what the cost of those good graces will be – FFA.

    They are terrified of a strong pro Scotland SNP presence and their slip is beginning to show.

  6. smiling vulture

    Unionists believed in Home Rule,UNTIL they realised it was possible,Their venom against Home Rule is jaw dropping

  7. Sir Ian Woods seemingly is awash in cash and goodwill – maybe he should start some oil-related soup kitchens to tide these poor Aberdeen NO-ists – his erstwhile marching buddies – over the bad patch that his broad shouldered UK-ists reckoned only they were good for. However, not holding breath waiting for such munificence.

  8. Derek, I agree with you totally. Although, scunnered might be too soft a word. I listened to the Call Kaye show on that day and there is no way she was just seeking clarification. I’m sorry to say she completely crossed the line. I hadn’t realised, until I read your article, that the studio producer would have been able to correct her. As this correction did not happen then that simply beggars belief about the impartiality of BBC Radio Scotland’s current event and news programming and management.

    I am deeply concerned that the SNP has not learned the lessons from the referendum, about the way the media operated. They do not appear to have the ability, or perhaps the desire, to go toe-to-toe with the other parties in order to achieve anything like parity of coverage in the media. Stuart Cosgrove correctly identified that the BBC played the referendum as three parties versus one party, like an election campaign. Well hello SNP I have news for you, this is an election campaign. The media will give three times the space and three times the airtime to your opponents. And until you waken up to this you are never going to get off the back foot. The SNP has now certainly got the manpower and the foot soldiers to take the fight directly to the other three parties. But somewhere or other the spirit appears to be unwilling to provide the necessary bullets. Am I being harsh? Am I being unfair?

    While Jim Murphy is receiving wall-to-wall coverage in the media, perhaps I am not being harsh or unfair. It doesn’t have to be negative, it can be very positive campaigning. But we’re crying out for this to happen through the SNP putting up speakers and articles and press releases to have their agenda leading the news stories. They need to have a story a day, speaker a day, a supporter a day writing articles, appearing on broadcasts, and just getting right in the way of the media. Otherwise they will forever be on the back foot defending and trying to find their way out of the battles being thrown at them. It’ll be hard work and a slog to get this done, but many hands make light work.

    Sun Tzu in his seminal book on tactics and strategy, the art of war, said that a key strength is choosing the terrain on which to fight your battles. Right now the SNP is being dragged straight onto the opposition terrain all the time. The enemy is marshalling their troops (Which includes the media) and choosing the battleground. That needs to change and fast. Your second feature on oil demonstrates this just as clearly as the first one. I’m willing to bet Murphy & McTernan have a calendar with a whole series of stories already timetabled for release. Come on SNP. You MUST do better.

    • The SNP issues numerous press releases every day. See http://www.snp.org/media-centre . These are generally ignored by the media.

      • Thanks Andrew. It’s fairly obvious that the media ignore them. Question – do they also email them to their members? At least then a high number of people would have the info from the SNP and know that the media were deliberately chosing to ignore it.

      • Dr JM Mackintosh

        Here is a classic example…

        http://news.scotland.gov.uk/News/Plans-for-250-extra-teachers-1423.aspx

        Good news ?
        Did anyone ever hear about this?

        Why do the BBC not report this?

        What is worse it is reported by MSM as a teacher shortage – completely despicable.

        Truly Scunnered indeed.

      • Aye true Andrew,
        But they cannot ignore a mass demonstration, and one cannot be too far away.

      • Andrew, Westminster has the BBC, and most of the papers on call at any time. Consider the Nick Robinson blunder editing the tape making out that AS had not answered his question. He actually stated this several times.How deceitful for a top reporter to behave in such a way and still keep his job. The SNP were completely outnumbered by the three major parties, the papers, and the BBC. The SNP received nothing but negative unfounded statements from the media. However having lost the Referendum they are stronger than ever, and no matter what is used against us we will be a force to be reckoned with, in the near future

  9. Steve Asaneilean

    Excellent piece Derek.

    I am willing to accept your view that what kaye did was down to poor professional standards all round. but that then begs the obvious question – why has no-one been disciplined or lost their job? Why is kaye just allowed to carry on as though nothing were amiss?

    In any other wlak of professional life if you fail to meet the standards at the very least you are hauled over the coals by your professional regulator. But I see no sign that this happened here.

    Which then begs the question if journalists want to be regarded as professionals why is there no journalist equivalent of the Law Society or General Medical Council or General Teaching Council?

  10. I’m tried to remember when I last contacted Ms Adams.I checked. It is almost a year ago. I will not be back. I have no regrets.

  11. “I am willing to accept your view that what Kaye did was down to poor professional standards all round. ”

    Sorry Steve, but if anyone thinks for a heartbeat that what Kaye Adams did was just poor professional standards, then you are deluding yourself,

    We(even people who were not following the debate) all knew Brown did indeed say “home rule” Adams knew it Lewis MacDonald knew it, ffs my cat knew it, lets not pussyfoot around this,WE ARE BEING SHAFTED!
    Adams HAS TO GO!
    Her and her ilk are an absolute blight on the landscape of this country.

    • Steve Asaneilean

      Fair comment jdman.
      I was just trying to give someone the benefit of the doubt (which is how I generally like to live my life as it stops becoming far more cynical than I already am!) and also trying to recognise that Derek is the expert in media matters not me.
      Still I would like to know how a group that likes to call itself professional doesn’t have the equivalent of say the GMC for doctors.

  12. Face it Derek the growing litany of failings at BBC Scotland can’t be due to incompetence or a lack of resources because over a period of time there would equal amounts of complaints from both sides of an argument. When you have discounted everything else the only thing left is bias.

    • Dr JM Mackintosh

      Bias?

      Not bias – I believe there is a coordinated attempt to subvert the democratically elected government of Scotland by the BBC, MSM, Unionist Parties and Westminster establishment.

      It is no coincidence that the BBC and the MSM run and perpetuate anti Scottish stories for days and weeks on end. It is organised and deliberate.

      It is an affront to democracy.

  13. Thanks Derek for posting the reply I received from the BBC and for your comments. I think you are being too generous to Kaye Adams. I have listened to her over the last year on Morning Call and there have been several instances where she took the the Unionist line – it is bias. I did suggest in my complaint that Kaye Adams should be sent on a course which teaches the art of impartiality. How did Radio Scotland become so dumbed down. Remember the excellent Colin Bell in the early 90s and then Lesley Riddoch.

    On the matter of who is responsible for what happens to the North Sea Oil jobs, Labour must think the people of Scotland are EXTREMELY dumb to think that it is the responsiblity of the Scottish Government after spouting forth the line time and time again, that the Oil is safer in the hands of Westminister. Now I am rolling around on the floor laughing. Oh! then there was Jim Murphy saying ‘I AM NO UNIONIST’. Has the world gone mad or is Jim on release from some high security place.

  14. Dr JM Mackimtosh

    Kay(e) Adams and Jackie Bird both seem to take a delight in spinning the pro-unionist line.

    They are professional broadcasters with many years of experience and they know exactly what they are doing, as do their producers and managers.

    There are no mistakes or accidents involved here.

    Results of Wings poll on BBC…

    http://wingsoverscotland.com/dividing-lines/#comments

    Good to see that 45% of scots have lost faith in the BBC impartiality which will not be recovered easily.

    It could have been so different if the BBC learnt from their mistakes during the Indy ref but there is no sign off that happening.

    Ironic that in trying to save the Union they ultimately turn the Scots against them and actually hasten it demise.

    If only they had followed their own charter?

    • Dr.JM, I watched J Bird interview Alec Salmon and at one stage of the interview she was nearly out of her chair with her over emotional aggressive questioning. The first minister just sat and kept cool. I liked your comment

  15. I made a BBC complaint (via their web form, on 10 January) on how Kaye Adams handled the Home Rule segment of Morning call, and yesterday received a reply identical to the one featured above. Presumably the BBC have received several complaints about this, and the Senior Producer has produced a generic response. I finished my complaint with “Either Ms Adams lacks enough knowledge of Scottish politics to manage this sort of discussion, or she has partisan views that are influencing her objectivity.” I certainly don’t feel that the response answered this.

    Like Derek Bateman, I feel that it’s scarcely credible that Kaye Adams should have been unaware of Gordon Brown’s specific use of the Home Rule term and its key importance in the campaign. Any BBC Scotland presenter involved in politics should have had a general awareness of Gordon Brown’s campaign statements, and on top of that it was a planned topic for the programme. I would not characterise Kaye’s intervention “I don’t think he used the term Home Rule, did he?” as an open question either; the manner in which she delivered it was more like a rebuttal to Mark McDonald.

    The response seems to seek to narrow the issue to one of whether Kaye Adams was telling lies, was misleading listeners, or exhibited bias. (My complaint did not accuse Kaye Adams of lying; but I did say that I was in little doubt that Lewis MacDonald was deliberately lying). The BBC avoid any reference to whether Kaye Adams was well short of the minimum level of political knowledge needed to manage the programme, and whether when she started going off-track (as soon as she suggested that Gordon Brown had not used the term Home Rule), there was someone in the studio who could surely have immediately advised her via an earpiece or screen that her challenges needed to be directed to Lewis MacDonald rather than Mark McDonald. Instead, Lewis MacDonald, to give him due credit, swiftly realised that he could get away with continually interrupting with a re-writing of history.

    Google “Gordon Brown, Home Rule” will give anyone plenty of reliable reports from 08 and 09 September. So, how limp is it that “some 40 minutes and five calls later, . . .Kaye . . had found it difficult to get an absolute on [Gordon Browns use of the term].

    Are they even trying? Is it worth complaining again about the response to the original complaint?

    • Dr JM Mackintosh

      Anne and John,
      With you all the way – keep complaining over and over and over again.

      BBC Scotland are a disgrace to their country and deserve to be ridiculed and censored at every opportunity.

      If you do not get a satisfactory answer complain again, and again and then take it to the BBC Trust and complain further.

      We may not get anywhere but we should not just roll over and let the establishment just ignore us.

      • Surely the point is that Scotland isn’t BBC Scotland’s country? BBC Scotland is the BBC conduit for lecturing Scotland from London. Why would the BBC Trust criticise them for following orders!

  16. Leaving Kaye Adams aside for a minute , the programme was a rammy. Two voices talking over one with Lewis Mcdonald doing the usual Labour thing of interrupting. Watch J Murphy, Kezia Dugdale and Margaret Curran that’s what they always do.
    So did the Senior Producer think that was good radio to us the listeners ?
    Should someone not have been firm enough to say to L. mcdonald – wait your turn , it’s supposed to be a debate or let’s ask some obvious questions?
    You stated Lewis Mcdonald at the CC ‘ a small but significant amount of people voted because of the vow’ what does the vow mean to you then as Chief Labour Whip ?
    What did Gordon Brown mean then to you in your role as Chief Labour Whip then ?
    Good point Macart 763 about the oil- why was Westminster not prepared ?
    Mind you having seen Joey Jones speeding through the north of England up to Scotland on a fast train, talking about ‘ insurgence parties’ that’s peaceful democratic voters to you and me, or the insistence that the 4 broadcasters will implement their vision of democratic debates , does make you understand why folk are just a wee bit fed up with the MSM

  17. “1)In no way did Kaye attempt to mislead the audience over Gordon Brown’s stance on Home Rule because either she or the BBC have a particular agenda.”

    Well which one is it ?

  18. Sorry Derek, you’ve got this one wrong. Propaganda as practiced by the BBC is smooth as silk and may simply be an instruction to a presenter to deny a fact exists. It also helps when that presenter is also biased a particular way politically which fits with a British Nationalist stance. Logically, reading your own thinking as to the information pool that exists within the studio, and the fact that the programme name contains the actual phrase proves that Kaye could not have been ignorant of the facts. That means the question was asked with a purpose.

    If you look at the question of bias and propaganda by the BBC in Scotland, they are very successful and simply plant a seed of doubt in the listener’s or viewer’s mind. Holocaust denial anyone?

  19. Good article again, Derek. The BBC is beyond redemption. Truly sickening to think many people still believe in its impartiality.

  20. I said at the time that we should not be complaining about “bias” but about “poor presenting/interviewing.” Bias can be denied over and over again, but especially after Adams’ later claim that she’d been up all night and had really done her homework on this issue, her denial of Brown’s words is simply not credible. At some point during the show, even if her talkback was knackered, someone could have slipped into the studio and just told her, or held a sign up to the glass or something. Yes, you may regard that as bias, but even it’s entirely free of an agenda (and they will always claim it is) it is still terrifyingly amateurish.

    I will certainly be following up my complaint. The generic response simply doesn’t answer my question. I intend to to take it as far as necessary. I strongly encourage everyone to do the same every time you’re frustrated by bad journalism on the BBC. For example, I complained the other day about why Jim Murphy wasn’t quizzed about his new “constitution” despite a puff pre-amble package all about it on the Sunday Politics despite there being a host of questions about it. (For example – what is a ‘patriotic party’? How does an accounting unit of a party have a different constitution to the party itself? Do you have separate whips at Westminster for Scottish MPs?) That, to me, is basic journalism. Moreover, Murphy was given quite a lot of time to answer questions whereas Shona Robison was interrupted every ten seconds during her interview. Again, I may not get a satisfactory response, but the more complaints the BBC gets, the more it knows people are paying attention to this stuff and are deeply unhappy. Mass licence fee cancellation would make a difference, but no-one seems to have the capability to do that kind of campaign. In the meantime, though, we can keep the complaints department busy dealing with almost nothing other than bad journalism at Pacific Quay. If it’s all hitting them in the wake of Wings’ new poll showing how untrusted they are in Scotland, someone will have to do something sooner or later.

  21. Katrine Paterson

    Kaye Adams and Jackie Byrd should never cover political debate. They are just not the right people to deal with important subjects. Far to ‘lightweight’ to do it justice.
    These women are an insult to the intelligence of their listeners/viewers.
    I’m sure there are more talented female presenters available.

    The Labour party, has become a joke. All they are interested in is self publicity.
    Jim Murphy will tell lies till the cows come home. I’ll be glad to see him sink into oblivion.

  22. Derek

    BBC acts for political reasons. For example, Professor Steve Jones did a review of the BBC coverage of science, including climate science. He remarked on an event that featured in the Climategate emails, something that is usually known as “hide the decline”. What this refers to is a temperature reconstruction using tree rings as proxies for temperatures. In this case, the reconstruction in the modern period failed to match the measured temperature record. The reconstructed temperature record fell below the measured temperature record. Rather than show this the scientists involved decided to delete the data (tree rings) at this point and splice on to the graph the measured temperature record and did this secretly.

    Steve Jones got this all wrong. He thought the issue was scientists fiddling the measured temperature record. An error worth correcting.

    The BBC Trust received Jones’s report. Alison Hastings for the Trust responded to Jones’s report. She attempted to quote a part of the 4th Assessment Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and got it wrong. Hastings’ remarks attributed all recent warming to the activities of man. The IPCC report said man was responsible for “most” of the warming.

    Twice I wrote to the Trust chairman, Patten, pointing out both mistakes of Jones and Hastings and requesting a correction. I had no reply. Last time I looked the errors were there. The BBC does not acknowledge errors of any kind readily.

    I think you are too kind to Kaye. I give her the benefit of assuming professional competence which she and Bird let slip when they choose. I hope the pervert, Savile, sinks them. He was surely known about within the BBC.

    • Wrong.

      The tree ring data had gaps in it so they filled in those gaps with either records from other sources or estimates calculated from climate models. Nothing sinister in the slightest unless you are a delingpole sucker.

      The BBC is a labour unionist propaganda machine and needs to be destroyed. No sympathy with anybody who works for them and claims innocence. They are all guilty. Prison or dead I care not as long as it’s soon.

      • Peter

        Your view (and mine) of what climate scientists did or did not do in “hide the decline” is irrelevant in this case. Jones categorically got it wrong and the BBC refused to correct it.

  23. As far as I can determine complaints about the accuracy of BBC Scotland reporting are not dealt with in Scotland but are redirected to an agency based in Northern Ireland. There polite but wholly disinterested staff listen patiently and give the impression that the complaint is to be recorded. What happens to them thereafter is far from clear but the only result that any of my complaints has ever achieved is to inflate my telephone bill. I suspect that they are FIB ( filed in bucket.)
    Like many of your correspondents I now treat the output from Pacific Quay with complete distrust and contempt. I notice that Jim Naughtie is returned to London. I have no idea if Sarah Smith continues to patronise Scottish viewers with her late night political programme. That was an easy item to resist. Political coverage of FMQs is wholly lacking in discussion or analysis and one has to ask why Brian Taylor is paid to sit in the studio when his most insightful comment is usually “toodleoothenoo!”
    The attitude from broadcast and the vast bulk of print media seems to be that post referendum the Scots are back in their box and can safely be treated like mushrooms. We must deal with that attitude in the run up to May.

  24. I think there are to forms of partialialty; passive and aggressive. Knowingly planning to deceive would be the aggressive form, and not adhering to fundamental factual aspects of an argument because you just don’t care is passive. I think Kaye is guilty of passive partiality, because no pressure is put upon her by her bosses or production team to get it right, it becomes low priority. Like a lab rat presented with limited choices of food behind concealed doors, the rat will eventually go back every time to the door which pruduces the best results. Kate is just a rat in the BBC bias lab, looking for the best results for her. This is priority over the importance of truth because she basically just doesn’t care.

  25. I gave up complaining to BBC as it got me absolutely nowhere. My only recourse was to cancel my TV licence and give that money to alternatives that I trusted-so that was Wings and Independence Live. No regrets and reduced blood pressure 🙂

  26. B.B.C. Scotland ought to be hauled up in front of an Scottish Parliament committee to answer these charges, yes I know they have been there before, and got an easy time of it, do not think that would happen again, too many witnesses this time.

    • Since broadcasting is not devolved (you should be able to tell) then the BBC bigwigs are under no obligation to attend Holyrood when asked and had to be whipped by the Trust to go last time.

      This is fundamentally the problem, they can be as biased and partisan as they like and the Scottish Government and our parliament can do absolutely nothing about it. Nada, diddly squat. They get away with it simply because they can. There is no accountability. They can attempt to get an academic disciplined for the temerity of even looking at their output because there is no accountability.

      This is also why so many are stopping their TV Licenses, what other option is there? My wife, a unionist, won’t let me even though she recognises how awful they are. I just simply do not watch or listen to them. I have opted out. Unless the evidence is posted elsewhere I will be blissfully unaware. So thanks to everyone still watching/listening and complaining. Even though I have low blood pressure I will rely on eating salt rather than watching the BBC to raise it as Aunty risks raising it an unhealthy manner and the council may come round when the neighbours complain about the ranting noises.

  27. Independence spells the end for the Unionist Establishment, the Class system, the Empire, the Status Quo, the Palace of Westminster, the Monarchy as we know it, NI & Wales as part of the UK, Free Money, The Gravy Train, the City & the entire Political architecture of the UK.
    The rat is in the corner.
    Scotland is the threat.
    So there are no rules.

    • If the polling for Wastemonster here in Scotland continues like it is then I think we can expect more dirty tricks too including a Vow equivalent in the weeks just before the polls. This will be more difficult with a UK wide election but they are desperate enough to do it. The Vow broke every rule of purdah but the Electoral Commission is an establishment poodle too, as they showed in the way they soft shoed the CBI over their registration and de-registration. They were never going to so much as twitch over it.

      We are simply going to have to grow Indy support to well over 60% and keep electing the SNP/Greens/SSP as much as humanly possible in every possible election. It cannot be just the SNP, even in pursuit of Independence a complete one party state would not be healthy. But Red, Blue, Yellow or Purple Tories must be expunged from the body politic, at least unless and until they divorce themselves from Mother London and become separate Scottish parties. They can promise to caucus with their UK equivalents if they want but they have to be Scottish to be credible. No vote for them in any poll unless and until and preferably not this side of Independence day when they would be forced to divorce anyway.

  28. Re: the lack of pro independence media coverage (two Andrews, 16th January), a simple step is to ensure The National survives. If everyone bought a daily copy that would keep its circulation up; just to ensure we got ours we placed an order with the newsagent.

  29. I listened to this Call Kaye live whilst working in the kitchen and ended up shouting at the radio.

    i was incredulous that a ‘professional’ broadcaster who boasted on the same show that she had spent a couple of hours researching the subject (which we all lived 24/7 last year) the day before did not know what Gordon Brown said regarding home rule. What a total embarrassment if your being kind or total rewriting of history if cynical.

    Regarding oil I would really like to know what David Cameron discussed with BP in that private meeting.

  30. The litany of misreporting or failure to report from Pacific Quay continues week on week.
    The Sir Nicholas MacPherson episode appears to have largely slipped past the sightlines of BBC Scotland, only last night the SNP won a substantial vistory in Kirkcaldy, under Gordon Brown’s nose, and on Any Questions on Thursday the SNP were subjected to a ill informed and vicious attack by the Vice President of UKIP in a programme where there was no representative of the party, nor indeed any Scot, with an opportunity to respond or rebut. The BBC Scotland website does not have any mention of the by-election result which would suggest that the IPSOS Mori poll, issued earlier this week, was accurately identifying a significant trend but, then again, that poll received little or no attention form our national broadcaster

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