The News Where You Are

Reports are circulating of fast-moving events at the inappropriately-named Pacific Quay. It seems that years of executive neglect of documented harassment and ill-treatment of staff in news and current affairs may be coming to a head at BBC Scotland.


The details are best left unstated to avoid any prejudice to proceedings, but it seems senior management can no longer turn a blind eye to the claims of staff who have complained for years of bullying, inappropriate behaviour and scant regard for either industrial relations law the corporation’s own in-house personnel processes.

The Director General’s input is awaited.

PQ has been a desperately unhappy place for too long with the journalists’ organiser describing relations there as the worst he’d seen in 20 years as a union rep. Former colleagues deserve better. Recent reports suggest a day of redemption may be near for them.

There is no surprise at the failure of management to protect its staff. If you speak to people from virtually any department you can hear the same disappointment and frustration in their voice. Of all the people I know who have left our national broadcaster in the last few years, I don’t know any who’d go back. They regret the loss of what should have been an inspiring career but they are released from the atmosphere of threat and constraint.

The latest haitus coincides with G A Ponsonby’s account of the corporation’s behaviour during the referendum in London Calling – How the BBC stole the referendum, a crowd-funded publication written by a founder of Newsnet motivated by a tenacity professional journalists would envy.

This book is a product of the alternative media spawned by mainstream failure to take official Scotland to task and is unapologetic in singling out individual journalists as well as a Unionist corporate culture for scrutiny – something journalists themselves hate more than anything while defending their right to criticise others in the name of freedom of speech. In a way though, it helps to make the book by confronting you with known onscreen reporters and contrasting them with his interpretation of what they were telling you, the viewer. It gets uncomfortable at times and I suspect the reaction in the BBC newsroom will be blanket rejection to avoid awkward questions and occasional embarrassment at a colleague’s expense. But the Ponsonby approach isn’t dismissed so easily by anyone really interested in how we are informed and even the Unionist-minded might be alarmed at what the BBC chose to tell them in a report and what it chose to omit; what it chose to emphasise and what it chose to dismiss. He has addressed his subject like a Panorama investigation breaking down different elements of the story, researching and sourcing each section in minute detail and reassembling to construct the narrative.

While I wouldn’t claim many outside BBC management will actually sit down and read this as they would a thriller, it is worth dipping into  chapters and letting the author lead you through the maze from what appeared on screen back through the sources and previous comments via earlier BBC versions and contrasting with related known events. Some of these are necessarily complex trails but are not irrelevant as they return to haunt the debate today – vide, the Carmichael Frenchgate ‘lie’ story which is now being routinely compared in the media to the Salmond ‘lie’ over EU legal advice.


Ponsonby reports that in the space of weeks Labour’s attack veered from demanding Salmond say if he had legal advice on EU membership to claiming he had advice and demanding he reveal what the advice said. They couldn’t decide which was the stronger attack line so ran both in contradiction of each other and ‘the BBC headlined both attacks without so much as the blink of an eye.’ He goes on to point out that Salmond’s defence of being unable under the rules to talk about official advice was exactly the same defence used by the British government in refusing to divulge its information on Scotland’s membership – yet there was no row fomented over it by Labour and no corresponding coverage by BBC Scotland. He constantly points out this kind of unbalanced treatment which for those of us unconvinced by the claim of deliberate political bias is troubling. My answer I think, is that what he reveals is a lack of good journalism which wouldn’t merely report what some official source has released for broadcast. This approach results in news items being put out in isolation, like stand-alone statements disconnected from history and therefore lacking perspective and balance. Most of the time this failure to connect different stories into a more insightful whole doesn’t have much impact but when it came to the future of our country it was of critical importance to our understanding.

In a critique of news management before the indyref I said a dedicated (and experienced) referendum unit was required where all relevant data was stored and staff became expert. It would be the clearing house for all referendum output so that inadequate or incomplete items were unlikely to make it to air. Too late now.

Here we also find the story of the BBC’s imperious dismissal of John Robertson’s university examination of early evening news output and, in one of the best sections of all – a close look at the BBC handling of the Megrahi case – worth it for a reminder of a global story and how wee Scotland handled the limelight.

This is systematic and at time brutal stuff that unearths failings in BBC journalism that could have been overcome if, in my view, internal oversight had been good enough, standards set high enough and had staff not been run ragged by poor management and relentless budget cuts.

Lest you’re tempted by the inevitable cries of ‘It’s cybernat lies’, I liked his reasoned and honest finale. ‘Although you won’t find any journalists willing to publicly accuse the BBC of being deliberately corrupt or biased, there is an uncomfortable acknowledgement among many that the BBC has problems in Scotland.’ And, even more restrained still… ‘BBC Scotland is not a devolved institution. The BBC never evolved in line with Scotland and thus it remains firmly stuck in the past where London rules. Like most of Scotland’s media, it is IN Scotland but not OF Scotland. It does not reflect the views of Scotland but instead lectures Scotland…’

I hope in addressing the management of news and current affairs this week the Director General takes an equally forensic approach.

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62 thoughts on “The News Where You Are

  1. I always felt the Yes campaign was fighting the BBC along with Better Together. Just got this for my kindle.

  2. I’m currently reading “London Calling” and can affirm that it does indeed examine BBC shenanigans in a more forensic way than you will find anywhere else at present. Not for those with anger management problems or high blood pressure!
    Something has to be done and soon.

    • Bulk order of both prozac and beta blockers sorted.

    • Robert Peffers

      Something is being done, Capella. The People of Scotland are doing it in their droves. The BBC cannot be stopped from broadcasting to Scotland for we do not have access to the transmitter off switch.

      We do, though have access to a multitude of receiver off switches and I believe a multitude of Scots are either using that switch or the associated Radio/TV tuning controls.

      It is like the school’s RE periods. They preached at us but we didn’t listen to them.

    • Very true, Capella. At least I was reminded of the circumstances which forced me to turn my back on the BBC. And you’re right. Something HAS to be done soon.

  3. I left BBC Scotland in 2006 after 6 years there in the specialist factual documentary unit, disgusted even then with how the organisation worked. As a bench mark to measure my time there I also had three years before this at the BBC in Bristol (with a 3 year gap in between at STV). The BBC in Bristol was very much its own thing, treated with great respect by the BBC in London, but the BBC in Glasgow has become the colonial face of someone else’s BBC in Scotland, as you said, and not a BBC of Scotland. I’ve never looked back since walking out with a voluntary redundancy, and proudly took part in one of the protests against the Beeb during the referendum campaign – the first time I had ever attended a political rally of any kind. The BBC is finished in Scotland, and has perhaps forever lost the respect and trust of a significant percentage of the Scottish based population.

    Like you Derek, I would stick up for many good folk who do work in there still, who are being unfortunately tarred by the mistakes of the establishment and management to which they have signed up – not everyone at the BBC is biased, I have a few friends there who were Yes supporters. But the BBC in Scotland needs a radical overhaul, or more effectively, a replacement body overseen by an independent board within Scotland, of Scotland, and for Scotland. Auntie has had her day.

    • Yes, Chris, I’m sure you do have friends who have worked there and who still work there, likewise Derek (I posted previously re Jane Franchi who betrayed her own in the 1980s), but ‘friends at the Beeb’ is of no interest to the many who have been insulted, lied to and ignored for decades. We don’t have friends who work there, how could we have friends? We’re nothing to them – nothing.

      I can claim that I have not knowingly taken-in a BBC programme, be it television or radio, since Sept 18th last year. I will never again expose myself to this public face-slapping by a Union Flag waving elitist mob from London. Am I proud of this? No, I don’t feel pride, I feel anger that many of my friends are still being belittled by Jackie Bird and the like while I and many others continue to donate to food banks. It sickens me that we’re not independent and I find it easy to lay-blame where it’s deserved – they damn-well screwed us out of our right.

      Like the great boxer Mohammed Ali once said; ‘If there were 99 bad rattlesnakes and 1 good rattlesnake and the 99 were about to attack me, I wouldn’t rely on the one good rattler to defend me’.

      When’s the next rally at PQ?

  4. What’s to be done? What can be done, in the circumstances?

  5. dennis mclaughlin

    Can we not arrange for one of Obama’s drone strikes,after emptying the place….i know PFI..but the place doesn’t belong in a modern Scottish political landscape.

    PQ was the British Establishment’s Trojan Horse and must be gelded.

  6. I don’t think the Director General will do anything other than say “nothing to see here, move along”. It’s the Unionist, Colonial Overlord way after all.

    I’ve never contemplated complaining to the BBC because I noted that all those who did just received (eventually) the same boilerplate dismissive response couched in condescending and patronising terms.

    BTW, anybody else noticed that the BBC’s history programmes have gone into English royalty overdrive ? They’re at maximum Warp.

  7. If you have not already cancelled your BBC TV licence do so now. Also write a personal note to Mr McQuarrie at BBC, Pacific Quay, Glasgow, explaining you have cancelled on account of the hopelessly biased output and downright corrupt behaviour of the so called journalists, researchers and presenters. The time and trouble of writing is worth the hilarious reply you will receive denying everything.

  8. Just the mere fact that articles on BBC Scotland online do not allow any comment below the line whilst that freedom of expression is both allowed and encouraged in every other BBC area is proof enough of Institutional Bias!

    • That seems to be a little fact the slips right on by most other people, when I have pointed that out at work people would not believe me until I showed them proof!

    • I think your right Kenny, a class action law suit would be the way to go and get the backing of a major crowd fund that even the BBC would baulk at opposing, when every penny spent defending (the indefensible) could be highlighted as YOUR money they’re wasting!

  9. You know what, Derek? I got the book a few weeks ago and read it through cover to cover. I couldn’t put it down.

    My main criticisms, if you could call them that, are the omissions. Despite its heft, there simply wasn’t room for everything. For example, the disgraceful treatment of the September 2013 march and rally in Edinburgh didn’t get a mention. Other things, such as the publicity given to the astroturf “No Borders” thing compared to the systematic ignoring of National Collective’s Yestival were glossed over relatively quickly.

    Even little things I remembered, such as the BBC constantly understating the length of his sentence actually served by Megrahi – he served well over ten years, but the BBC constantly referred to him only having served eight. It’s impossible to get everything in, but those of us who see the book as a record and a validation of our memories of the betrayal want to see it all there!

    My answer I think, is that what he reveals is a lack of good journalism which wouldn’t merely report what some official source has released for broadcast.

    Derek, you miss the point. Just as National Collective were bombarding the BBC with press releases about the Yestival, which completed its funding and was announcing its programme at the same time the No Borders kids were at the recording studio (whatever became of their CD, anyway?), and the BBC ignored them, so was the SNP (and the other Yes parties) constantly sending the BBC press releases and press statements which contained material favourable to the Yes campaign. And being ignored.

    I used to read the press releases on the SNP’s own web site, but I would look in vain for any coverage of that material by the BBD, or indeed the press. It just didn’t happen. It was beyond infuriating.

    So I’m afraid I don’t buy your “it’s just sloppy journalism” excuse. If only Better Together was sending out these press releases, maybe. But that wasn’t the case. Someone had to choose, and someone was choosing all the time. Choosing to run and re-run the No Borders thing while choosing to ignore National Collective. Choosing to run the Better Together press releases with their spin, and chucking the Yes Scotland and SNP press releases in the bin.

    Why would they do that, you have to ask yourself.

    • Wings has just reminded me of something else. Susan Calman. She went bleating to the press when a friend told her that there was a blog article online calling her names and including death threats. She hadn’t seen the blog herself but she was so upset she deleted her twitter account and withdrew from the internet.

      This was all over Newsnight, a huge scandal according to them. The presenter (Gordon Brewer?) actually claimed to have seen the material but said he couldn’t read it out because it was too offensive even for that time of night.

      Ponsonby covers this, to some extent, but doesn’t make the killer point clear. There was no such material. All that could be found online were a few below-the-line comments on a Wings article which was actually about Have I Got News For You (Calman had been on The News Quiz). A couple of people brought Calman into the conversation, simply remarking that she wasn’t remotely funny. No death threats and no use of the c-word.

      The BBC made it up.

      And didn’t report any of the examples of actual physical violence directed against Yes campaigners.

      • Morag, You probably won’t believe this but Susan Calman is hosting an STV programme on Thursday evening called “The Lie”.

        I kid you not.

        I wonder if she’ll take the opportunity to fess up ?

    • I agree with the above. Strange how “sloppy journalism” always favoured the “No” side.
      In an ideal world the BBC would be pay per view, thereby ensuring its demise. The TV licence is an abomination.

  10. Derek,

    On the 7th of May BBC PQ lost – just as much as the three Unionist parties.

    G.A. Ponsonby’s book “London Calling – How the BBC stole the Referendum” should be made compulsory reading for all BBC journalists and managers in PQ.

    Once they have read it they may come to realise how badly they have let down all the people of Scotland.

    Not only by demonising the SNP but also by giving a free-ride to a generation of Scottish Labour, Lib-Dem and Tory politicians.

    Ironically, they, together with the Scottish Press, have destroyed the Scottish Unionist Parties by years of unquestioning sycophancy.

    Hell mend them all – they are all finished in Scotland.

  11. Sorry Derek, poor management doesn’t explain it. It was deliberate bias, because it was systematic and monodirectional. Simple incompetence would be random, offending one side one day and the other the next. The evidence is overwhelming and incontrovertible. They have to go,

    • Me too Derek, sorry. I understand the watermark the BBC has left on your mind and emotions, but vronsky, without the watermark, reveals a clearer picture in systematic and monodirectional. May I also add a consistent intolerant and hostile tone.
      On a clear day, it’s an open and shut case; PQ is still open, but soon it will be shut.

    • I fully agree, Vronsky.

  12. johnny come lately

    Unfortunely we’ve heard it all before, but we live in hope. The BBC got more than a bloody nose on th 8th of may and that gave me just as much satisfaction as the election result in itself. The organisation in Scotland (a little like Scottish Labour) is beyond redemption.
    The biggest disaster in business is a faulty product having to be recalled. It just doesn’t get worse. It is the accepted norm in business that in such cases, a rebrand or relaunch of the product isn’t eneough to save the product in question. Usually changes have to be made throughout the entire company structure ie. production, managment and marketing if there is to be any chance of saving the product.
    I can’t see the imperial broadcasting company having the heart for anything so professional. IMO London will continue to abuse the service in Scotland for propaganda until what is left isn’t worth a single penny on the open market.

  13. The problem is that the customers can’t simply refuse to buy the rejected product, or not easily. The only way to stop paying for these lies is to give up the entirety of BBC television, including their entire entertainment output.

    Not only that, you also have to give up all broadcast television entertainment, even the parts that have nothing to do with the BBC and don’t get a penny of the money you spend on the licence. All that, just to avoid funding the BBC news.

    The amazing thing is that so many people are actually doing it.

  14. So, the Director General’s input is awaited. For his part, the DG will have been told by his Master to do a bit of tidying up if he wants, but under no circumstances, must he interfere with Pacific Quay as the British Government’s main outlet in Scotland, for State Propaganda. The Union is paramount, he will be told, and you must preserve it at all costs.

  15. Good post Derek
    I live in England but I regularly watch Scottish TV programmes for comparison with the news I’m seeing here. What I found was so incredible that I couldn’t believe it at first. The BBC is being used as a tool to attack Scotland day in day out. A propaganda tool (to describe it accurately) running the opposite stories to those shown in England thus following the unionist parties line to create hatred of the Scots & their fight for independence.

    When I looked for the truth online & found the real news being reported by RT, Al-Jazeera & others I was shocked at the dishonesty of the BBC-north & south of the border-the state broadcaster. I couldn’t believe that the stories being run in Scotland & England were created to ‘divide & rule’ Scotland & England & no amount of BBC London or BBC Scotland denials could persuade me otherwise. This episode turned me into an independence supporter overnight & I’m proud to call myself that.

    I complained to BBC & got the usual patronising fob off letter & immediately cancelled my TV licence.

    What saddens me most is that Auntie took it upon itself to trash what little democracy we had & used it for political ends. That I will never forgive. I’m only sorry that so many people in Scotland & England have no access to the internet & so believe everything spewed forth by Auntie.

    Ponsonby’s book ‘London Calling’ is as you say brutal in its honesty but it did need saying because BBC doesn’t listen to the ‘punters’ that pay for it.

    Hopefully, things will change but even if they do I won’t be back to watch. Anything I hear from BBC now, I go online to check for corroboration of the story & not from MSM ‘usual suspects’ either .

    • Lollysmum’s story exactly echoes my own. Faced with a dearth of information on anything referendum-related, I searched elsewhere for news of progress. RT and Al-Jazeera were recommended to me and I also kept close contact with people back home. We compared notes on events and how they had been reported North and South of the border.

      What shocked me was the number of instances where I had ‘nothing to report’. The referendum was treated as a local matter, of no interest to anyone outside the Scottish ‘region’, until shortly before the day itself, and even then it was treated with almost a sneer. ‘I suppose we’d better take a look at what those jumped-up Jocks are up to’.

      It was hardly surprising then that few of my friends, neighbours and work colleagues were aware of what was going on. Of those who took an interest, many simply parroted what they’d heard on the BBC.

      So no, this has nothing to do with incompetence. When the most senior civil servants can commit serious and blatant breaches of the Civil service Code of Conduct with absolute impunity – where for lesser mortals it would be considered gross misconduct – in order to protect ‘The Union’, it is nothing for an establishment tool like the BBC to follow the same script unquestioningly.

      I would go so far as to say the BBC, in its constant misreporting of ‘cybernats’, verbal abuse and attacks by independence supporters, was complicit in the abuse and attacks suffered by those very supporters at the hands of the opposition.

    • dennis mclaughlin

      it’s a bloody travesty Lollysmum, i travelled the globe in my earlier years and always tuned into the BBC World Service by shortwave radio.
      on returning to the UK i was your archetypal BBC R4 listener,but boy did i get a shock these past few years!.i used to titter at Radio Moscow and Lorenco Marques stations as outright propaganda but our own dear Auntie beats the lot of them into a cocked hat :(.

  16. Sorry Derek, I’m with the others here. It wasn’t just sloppy journalism, or lack of management. It was down right deliberate, and utterly shameful.

    It is still carrying on the propaganda the horrible Eleanor Bradford with her persistant doom and gloom about Scottish NHS is just one example. Call Kaye with an e is another. Her performance during the referendum was lamenatble to say the least. GM Scotland also, awful, awful programme. Yet the took Ken MacDonald and Izzy Fraser off air. Two of the better journalists who asked questions of all politicians and did give them a hard time. That’s as it should be.

    So what will the DG do. Nothing, in my opinion. We cancelled the licence last year and we don’t regret it at all. You can watch anything you want on the internet and catch up. As for BBC PQ, I hope it disappears under the Clyde and is never seen again. It is an insult both to the intelligence and the people of Scotland.

  17. jacquescoleman

    “unbalanced treatment which for those of us unconvinced by the claim of deliberate political bias is troubling. ”

    Ii is difficult to believe that after three years of rabid propaganda by the BBC you are still dubious about BBC bias? It does not have to be ‘policy’ or ‘an instruction’ from the top. People who work there are well aware of the way the should deal with news if they want to get on in the organisation. And that applies in spades to the middle and higher management who are responsible for the output to the public.

  18. Steve Asaneilean

    Bad management maybe Derek. But the journalists have to take some of the responsibility.

    They all have free will. They chose not to do proper journalism on the stories presented to them. They chose not to ask difficult questions. They chose not to seek out the truth. They chose to see and report one side only.

    That has nothing to do with management. If things are still as bad as you say where are the people of honour and principle? Where is the industrial action? Where are the mass resignations? Where are the public whistleblowers?

    If you know something is rotten or wrong about an organisation yet you choose to do or say nothing about it publicly then you are equally culpable.

    Journalists at BBC Scotland know they are not doing their jobs properly yet they carry on regardless and take the salary.

    The best thing that could be said about their news programmes is that they are just not very good. The fact that Reporting Scotland recently won a “best news programme” award is nothing less than petty political posturing by the Establishment.

    Without a devolved and autonomous BBC Scotland I will never trust their news output again. They have become for me the Alistair Carmichael of the broadcasting world.

    • dennis mclaughlin

      Steve,i believe the journalists are following the “HITLER Doctrine”…i.e .they were only following orders.
      Nuremberg refused to accept this excuse and meted out the requisite punishments.

  19. Prof John Robertson said his book on news coverage by the BBC and STV of the Referendum, and I assume since then, will be coming out in September.
    All we need is the work, on the newspaper coverage over the year before the Referendum, to be put into book form to complete the set on the betrayal of Scotland by BBC and the 4th estate.

  20. Derek, having read your post I went back and re-read several chapters of G A Ponsonby’s book. I’m sorry, but it appears inconceivable to me that the actions of the BBC in Scotland were and are other than deliberate.

    For example, one case showing a shot of Alex Salmond apparently reacting disrespectfully to a comment when in fact the shots were out of sequence and this was NOT his reaction at all. This is not an accident, and is reminiscent of the infamous incident during the Miner’s Strike where the BBC News showed the miners throwing missiles at police,and then the (apparent) police reaction of charging the miners with horses, when in fact as the enquiry showed the police charged first!

    If I have one problem with the book, it is that “bias” is not an accurate reflection of the actions of the BBC. As the book demonstrates they did and are are, actively smearing supporters of independence, of the SNP and indeed of anyone who dares to contradict the establishment propaganda emanating from London.

  21. Does anyone know if it’s possible to sue the Beeb for breach of contract? The licence fee is paying for a service that’s meant to be fair, accurate and impartial. Whether deliberately or not, BBC News did not deliver that during the campaign. It seems like an open and shut case to me, but maybe I’m missing something…

  22. VikkingsDottir

    I think it’s clear that BBC Scotland seems to paddle its own canoe. The great organisation, which I have the greatest admiration for, is far away down south, and the folk who have been delegated to run it here seem to me to be fully paid up Unionists who will manipulate the public via the broadcasts, which runs counter to the terms of its Charter.
    I think as your contributor above has said, it would be a shame to tar all the employees with the same brush. The BBC is a great international institution and I hope it does not go down the drain. BBC Scotland needs root and branch pruning and new management team.
    It’s a trivial matter but I was sick of them referring to the Scots as ‘mongrels’ during the referendum campaign. I wrote and complained but it didn’t stop. You have to ask yourself about the psychology of that in a modern country.

  23. I subjected myself to some torture today by suffering the BBC lunchtime outpourings on the goggle box. I noted that after the swing of a boot and a few left jabs at Fir Park that British fitba became exclusively Scottish Fitba again.

    It is not just News and Current Affairs that is infected with the cringe, it runs throughout the Organisation that never misses an opportunity to run Scotland down whatever the topic.

  24. Interesting article but the BBC is too valuable an establishment propaganda tool for any substantial change to be made at PQ.

    I’m currently reading ‘London Calling’ and am much obliged to GA Ponsonby for the forensic examination he carried out on the corpse of BBC Scotland. It is indeed a dead, smelly, repulsive thing to me now. However, I can’t read much of the book at a time as I get so infuriated.

    I have read Professor Robertson’s articles and watched him give evidence to the SG Committee about BBC bias which I believe is deliberate. The corporation is hostile to Scotland and any suggestion of its people wanting self government. It is not in the least impartial. Good news is glossed over, ignored, buried. Bad news is jumped on with ill disguised glee and they will run with such stories for days even when there is little substance to them. It’s nauseating. I no longer trust any of their “factual” programmes or their journalists – sorry if that offends you as you have friends there – and I choose not to watch it or pay the BBC tax. Nor shall I ever again.

    I check news online on a number of websites and I am very thankful for them. I think, ultimately, that is what will finish the BBC news and current affairs programmes off in the longer term as young people prefer online sources instead. I for one will not miss them.

  25. Antoine Bisset

    No question but it was orchestrated, biased reporting.
    There were little segments on “Reporting scotland” in the evenings where Jackie Bird asked politicians a few questions in a brief 15 minutes.
    When John Swinney came on she asked him about “a penny for Scotland” which was (no one will recall) a proposal the SNP had mooted before they were in power at all, and which subsequently vanished. Jackie pressed on viciously on this subject for almost the entire interview. Really nasty. And entirely irrelevant. Hats off! to Swinney that he did not walk out.
    When was the last time that any Unionist politician was harassed in an interview on the BBC in respect of a ten year old proposal that was never adopted or put into practice?

    My memory may indeed be going, but I cannot think of any occasion.

  26. The English Tory government is going to practice “one nation” politics which is Whitehall speak for London rule as far as Scotland is concerned.
    This will definitely include retaining control over broadcasting in Scotland given the effect it had during our referendum.
    So we are probably stuck with the BBC for the foreseeable future,only independence will get rid of them.
    Thanks Derek.

  27. The BBC has been biased on many fronts. It hasn’t been fit for purpose for years, not two or three but probably decades. We all know it’s the governments mouthpiece.

    The BBC perhaps be required to pay a licence fee to broadcast in Scotland. The amount would be the same as amount of license fee collected from the Scottish people. The money collected from the BBC would be returned to the Scottish people through reduced taxation. Simples.

  28. Gavin C Barrie

    @ Morag: The “amazing thing” is that the public are not permitted to view television channels from wherever that are free to view, unless BBC are paid a license fee. There is no option available to opt out even should a person not wish to receive BBC television.

    Democracy, and free market, UK style.

    “I’m not paying to be lied to”, was my response when asked why I was no longer a customer.

    • Pretty much what I said too.

      I was 19 before we had a TV in the house. I’ve been somewhat square-eyed in the intervening period, but I can go back to my upbringing quite easily.

  29. And let’s not be parochial about this. The BBC is a propaganda instrument and its treatment of Scotland is the least of its sins. As an agency it is an accomplice to mass murder in the Middle East and a cheerleader for US imperialism and neo-con economic barbarism everywhere. Their egregious referendum campaign might at least open everyone’s eyes to the malign nature of their role in general

    • Antoine Bisset

      You are correct and it’s a very good point. They compound this by presenting the stories of migrants trying to get to Europe with the migrants as victims. They are not. They and the ferrymen are partners in crime. But we get the sob stories. If a burglar broke his leg trying to get into my house, I might feel a twinge of sympathy but I would not invite him to live with me. Nor would I expect the police to try to force him on me.

      • Jesus Christ, Antoine – what planet are you from? Migrants are not victims? Do you know the history? Have you seen the photographs?

        Be a good lad and go fuck yourself.

        • Antoine Bisset


          You are very rude. And deluded if you think that the MSM reporting is anything other than superficial and biased. I think that we were quite wrong to remove Saddam Hussein and Ghaddafi. But that is not the whole story is it?
          However, the links you posted make the bias quite clear. Sobsister stuff that wrenches the heartstrings neither explains nor solves the problem.
          People need to stay in their own countries and fix them, not run away.
          Refugees from Afghanistan cross from Turkey to Greece. That says it all. Why don’t they stay in Turkey with their fellow Muslims? Perhaps a shortage of free handouts?
          I suggest that you start analysing news and thinking about it rather than accepting the anti-West propaganda that is daily pushed out by the MSM.
          You could also wash your mouth out with soap and water.

  30. Hi Allan thanks again for your post I so look forward to reading them .
    I was so angry with the BBC before the referendom ,and just as angry before the General Election ,I leave for work at 6 45 every morning and i heard this lady Brodcastor on BBC Scotland we will be interviewing the One Alex Salmond i wish i could have got hold off her that morning i would have gave her a payout they are so up There own backsides that lot and all the same old faces ect its time they all went and give us some young people with fresh ways .

  31. 45% in favour of independence when we had the whole flipping establishment against us. The answer is surely obvious.

  32. I noticed the games on a live interview with Ivan McKee and CBI guy, I never knew either then. CBI guy came on whistling death and gloom for an independent Scotland, then Ivan came in and told every one who and what CBI do and who they work for. He then gave direct answers which tied up the host brilliantly. Ivan explained this in a way which could be understood. I didn’t realise I was actually recording it while watching it.

    That night the same interview came on, they swapped the interview around, put Ivan on first, cut out the bit where he makes you aware of who CBI guys is and who he works for. Then they put the CBI guy on last and we were left with the death and gloom message. I thought I had hear it wrong, luckly I had the orginal live recording to check, I was 100% correct. After that I recorded everything and checked everything out.

    I then went on a journey of education and enlightenment, and came to the conclusion that MSM are not fit for purpose. They are dangerous and cost us the referendum. But they do some much more. Its a state broadcaster running on public funds. This should be stopped now.

  33. Derek, for a potential example of a biased reporter, let’s look at Nick Robinson & his heckling of Alex Salmond over bank relocations. The time when Salmond raised the issue of martket-sensitive information being leaked. The exchange, in full, showed Robinson up as ignorant as well as disrespectful, yet it appeared edited on the BBC News , with a cut to Robinson’s voice-over claiming the First Minister “didn’t reply” to his question.

    It’s entirely dishonest. How does that get on air? Is it skewed because Robinson tells the editors how to present it? Or because the editors can twist it any way they feel like? What kind of a review would it get before going on air?

  34. I find that the Cognitive Dissonance of Derek (sorry Derek) and generally people who point blank refuse to see what is right there in front of their eye quite staggering, all my life I have (maybe subliminally) aware of a bias perpetrated by the BBC but (even without the help of GA Ponsonby) the level of disinformation has gone though the roof, it was most apparent when the BBC in Salford Quay (what do they have with Quays? quick seaborne getaway?) reported on events in Scotland during the Commonwealth games, although the bias was still apparent it was nowhere near the “cringe” levels emanating from Glasgow
    It was almost like they weren’t under the same level of pressure to stick to the party line in England and it showed in a much more relaxed approach to what would have been a Hysteria event had it been reported in Pathetic Quay!

  35. Jaggy Thistle

    It really doesn’t help when Nicola publicly defends atrocious little hacks like James Cooke, War Correspondant, embedded in, at the Great St Enoch Square massacre! A miniscule example, I grant you, but relevant nevertheless.

  36. I’m afraid James Robertson got there before you with this title Derek…

    Have a look at from June 2014

  37. Having a complaint lodged linking to this petition with some 86,700+ signatures the BBC responded
    “No, we weren’t biased.”

    wow! the value of self regulation.

  38. John Dobbins.

    Derek -as I’ve said before, there are so many similarities between the British establishment Broadcasting Corporation (Be-BC) at Pathetic Quay (PQ) and the New Labour Party in Scotland; both of which are merely the messengers of the “British” political elite’s brutal economic and social agendas which are directed from the corruption capital of the World – The City of London – and blindly followed by its faithful servants in the three Tory parties at Westminster.
    I have no doubts that there are many competent, even talented, journalists at Be-BC Scotland but, sadly, it would appear that they are either “fellow-travellers” of MacQuarrie & Co’s Unionist/New Labour agenda – or, have decided to “keep the heid doon” in the interests of self-preservation. Indeed, the only two fair-minded journalists that I can think of (and still remaining at PQ) are Isabel Fraser and Ken MacDonald who were quickly removed from any prominent role during the referendum campaign for being perceived (at least, by Ian Davidson) as being biased in favour of “the separatist cause”; which was also a clear warning to “others of a similar ilk” of what “could” happen if the “editorial line” was not strictly adhered to! Because of this, I am pretty sure that the journos at PQ have been “self-censoring” articles and reports which they knew wouldn’t be accepted by political and news editorial teams; populated by and comprising New Labour apparatchiks and sympathisers. This could, perhaps, explain why the NUJ has established a “hot-line” for its members in Be-BC Scotland, to contact psychiatric and counselling services – without a referral from their GP – because of the bullying and intimidatory atmosphere prevailing at PQ; as previously reported to an incredulous, parliamentary committee at Holyrood, by the NUJ’s Scottish organiser, Paul Holleran.
    And, as I’ve been arguing – forever: the only way to combat and eradicate such abuse of power is to establish a legal right of reply which, not only includes the powers to financially punish recidivist newspapers/magazines and broadcasters, but also provides a slandered or libelled individual and/or organisation to have an unequivocal, public apology made by the offending media outlet – either on the same page or part of a news broadcast. No doubt, our non-dom owners will be in uproar if this should ever happen, and will either threaten to leave the UK or close their outlets – so be it! It is now illegal to pollute public spaces with noxious tobacco smoke, how much more important to prevent the pollution of our fellow citizens’ minds with toxic lies from a plutocratic elite which owns most of our media? It has already been proved that there IS an audience/market out there for truthful reporting of current/political/economic and social affairs – so, it’s down to us to make sure this happens.

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