Family Man

I’ve stolen a moment to do a bit of blogging. I’ve been on family watch for part of the day. Instead of watching rugby I was eating popcorn and watching Lego the Movie at Cineworld…with somebody else’s kids!


I just want to make a couple of points. First it’s thank you time to all those who add their ideas and thoughts to the blog. It is very supportive and there is a growing number who are becoming followers – over 700 now. I don’t think it’s the same as tweeting where you can mount them up quite quickly and I don’t tweet seriously as I cant think of anything to say in two sentences. But I see many of you are tweeting and re-tweeting my blog for which I’m really grateful.

SOME of you are getting the wrong idea about my questions about BBC output. I am a strident critic of the management and of some of the journalism but I don’t share the view that some of you have that this is organised and deliberate. I am a supporter of the BBC which is the main reason I have taken the route I have of challenging the management who I believe are doing a disservice to the Corporation and to Scotland. It is because I believe in the BBC that I have gone public in criticising the way it is being run. I do not want to destroy it. Nor does the SNP. I want it to reflect and represent Scotland as it is supposed to do in its charter.

I have stated in detail where the BBC went wrong and where I think they should have foreseen problems and acted. I have laid out how that could have been done.

But the idea that I would “admit” or “concede” something I believe not to be true are ridiculous. It is also insulting to me. When claims are made that I must admit a conspiracy when I have said there isn’t one, is to think I’m messing around with this. I have put myself beyond the safety net and future involvement with the BBC and earnings. To me that is a matter of integrity. If I say there is no conspiracy it is because I know that to be true. My knowledge is based on 25 years in current affairs and thousands of programmes I have made. What are the doubters basing their views on?  I accept and say so myself that the BBC has not matched up to the challenge and has no effective sanction given that the Trust is toothless and I respect anybody else having a counter view but there is nothing to be “conceded” here.  If I write it, it is because it is true as far as all my experience is concerned. I don’t write to fit somebody else’s prejudices or desires for justification.

There is no conspiracy. There is no organised anti-independence campaign inside the BBC. Journalists do not deliberately distort items to make them pro-Union. Ninety per cent of the output I consume is perfectly fair, if often uninspired, and I know the staff are doing their best. But at times the acts of omission and commission are so gross it is natural to think there must be something wilful behind it. But beware. By transposing your suspicions on to all output you make the mistake that you accuse the BBC of. In other words you make your bias the prism through which you see events. And when the BBC or Unionists see on the blog comments about Jackie Bird or other presenters letting “their bias” show, it allows them to brand us all as fruitcakes. That is precisely how such opinions are regarded inside the BBC, they would be laughed at by MSPs, examining the BBC this week, and provide ammunition for Unionist critics. And No, I wasn’t cut out of any anti-independence loop.

I am the only recent ex BBC person to go public and it isn’t just the management who don’t like it. Many of the staff don’t like it either so it’s a difficult route for me to take. Others who have left have deep resentments for the BBC but they are keeping their heads down. They have careers and lives to think about. I, on the other hand, am right out there and take the consequences. But just as I wouldn’t fabricate a story when inside the BBC, so I won’t fabricate allegations against it when I’m outside. You can take it or leave it. It makes no difference to me. I will deal with my own version of reality and the facts as I know them. I like to think it’s called honesty.

WE have an interesting and I think symptomatic contribution from Geoff over on the right today who doesn’t understand what Scotland has brought to the currency after 300 years. The irony here is that neatly destroys the entire case for Union which is based on mutual interest and proportionate contributions. If you read him a little further you’ll find he regards the UK to be England’s creation, dependent on England’s wealth and de facto, he destroys the case of the Union on our behalf. A helpful opponent indeed.

This type of comment is welcome because I think it is honest and typical of English sentiment – assuming that’s what Geoff is. It underlines why the prevalent view is that Scotland doesn’t count and its loss wont matter and illustrates why we should get out with our dignity intact before they leave the EU.

Having no knowledge of our actual contribution to the UK is all you need to know about the southern view. For example, if we have a population share of debt, why no share of currency, national deposits, gold reserves and QE debt bonds held by the Bank? The UK has the highest balance of payments deficit in the EU. Scotland is a net exporter and without those exports, the deficit doubles and becomes unsustainable. The British cost of borrowing will increase. The entire UK debt will be left with the UK to pay off – debt ballooning at £7000 a second – and will have to do so having lost 10 per cent of its economy.

Geoff doesn’t reference the official figures showing Scots paying £1700 more per head every year than he does to the Exchequer or Scotland having been a net contributor to the UK for the last 30 years.

An acknowledgment that they spent our £400 billion of oil tax revenues would be appreciated.

The big banks are only nominally Scottish in reality and RBS has such toxic debts it is best left where they failed to regulate it – in London.

Geoff I think regards the nationalist offer of sharing the debt and the currency to retain continuity, as a con to get charity from England, indicating a somewhat narrow view of how a Union is supposed to operate but again it is illustrative of why Scotland needs to get out and let them get on with running greater England. Many of us, myself included, want nothing to do with the British Treasury and would prefer no currency union since history shows they can’t be trusted and have never understood, as Geoff doesn’t, either the history, purpose or modus operandi of the Union. We should be grateful to him.


107 thoughts on “Family Man

  1. Nice one Derek, you have really set the cat amongst the pigeons! I think we can all agree, not least from the input above, that there is a clear bias. Every single interview is handled in a clearly unbalanced way. This cannot be down to training of “news readers”.
    So, it seems the recruitment process within the BBC is the key? The southern based people have their owns reasons for seeing things differently. BBC political journalism leaves a lot to be desired.

  2. The article has laid out clearly Mr Bateman’s views on the BBC and at the same time created the platform for airing views on the BBC in Scotland. Intentionally or not it is a great approach.
    Over the last two years I have been getting information from many sources, most usefully from web news sites, but also from other TV channels and newspapers outwith Britain; particularly concerning Catalonia and the EU. .
    One thing that became apparent was how the BBC and Britain had become less relevant. It was listening to an interview between William Hague and James Naughtie over Russia and the Ukraine. They were talking in weighty tones about what the UK would do. I just suddenly thought that Russia doesn’t really care what the UK thinks, and the interview was 20-30years behind reality.
    The days of the UK on the big world stage and that everything happened elsewhere was over.
    The problems that happened ‘in other countries’ are here, but the Establishment of Westminster and the BBC hadn’t caught up.
    Real poverty is here, real corruption in the City is here, real inequality on a massive scale is here.
    The political events and aspirations around Independence is real. These are no longer topics to be discussed and pronounced on in cosy studios.
    I believe the inability of the BBC and Westminster to understand their establishment power has faded has created a biased view. People like Naughtie want the Establishment order and they accord it an authority that they should really challenged, but it is ‘their’ establishment and they support it without self-awareness.

    • Hear hear. Russia barely cares what the West thinks let alone the delusional Britnats in London who just pantomime walk ons. Still they colonised us. Derek

      Sent from my iPhone


  3. Some great comments. I’m left wondering If Derek wrote the article to prompt comments critical of the BBC. AND WHY NOT!
    Ian Bell (Herald) wrote just after the 2011 Holyrood election that the BBC would be destroyed (in Scotland) by the time of the referendum. I’m sure it’s Westminister masters will think a price worth paying to keep Scotland in the Union.
    Derek keep on blogging, your country needs you!

  4. “There is no conspiracy. There is no organised anti-independence campaign inside the BBC. Journalists do not deliberately distort items to make them pro-Union.”

    Oh yeah!? Well, you believe what you want to believe and I will believe the evidence of my own eyes and ears. There may not be an ORGANISED conspiracy at the BBC against Independence (that would be impossible to sustain) but there sure as hell is bias against it in the presentation of news and comment programmes. Have you forgotten already about the study by the University of the West of Scotland and your blog at that time?

    And their name calling of viewers as ‘fruitcakes’ as a response to legitimate concerns is just another part of the smear, sneer campaign.

  5. Firstly Derek, thank you for blogs and also for now stepping into public debate. A valuable addition to the cause, please keep going!

    About the BBC there are plenty journos I respect, Ken MacDonald, Izzy Fraser, Bill Whiteford just some. If there is a conspiracy then some Beeb folk are very subtle! But it is the editors setting the news agenda where there is the problem. UWS demonstrated this with Reporting Scotland. The London-based Beeb staff are mostly poor on #indyref, not helped by their ignorance, fuelled by likes of Guardian (also mostly poor, to say the least).

    As another said above, it will be word of mouth and face to face that will win it for us. Social media and websites will help and we can point people to them. But we all need to speak to our friends, neighbours, family, workmates and those we bump into. Be patient and nice to the don’t knows and the nos. that’s how we’ll win.

  6. It doesn’t need a conspiracy to change an organization like the BBC . It just needs the steady erosion of ethics and of the people with integrity. This works fastest when the impetus comes from the top.
    Can you think of a single person at Pacific Quay whom you admire for their integrity? I cannot.

    They are clearly biassed against the YES campaign. They are very stupid. If we get Independence, there will be a clean sweep and new teams brought in. If the Union remains, Westminster will privatize the BBC, and the media barons like Murdoch et al will bring in their own lackeys.

  7. I came across this while reading a Tarff Advertiser blog

    “The total debt of the UK is 900% of its GDP – just think about this carefully and what it means.

    It is not surprising that Alex Salmond is calm about the present ‘no currency union’ claim from Westminster because for Westminster to actually follow this path is economic suicide for England and Wales. The relative total debt of England and Wales (with NI) would quickly rise above the 913% of GDP which brought the Wiemar Republic crashing to the ground. This has a direct impact on Scotland as it would effect 70% of our immediate export market, made worse by a £Scots which will strengthen, backed – as it is – by substantial physical resources, products and modern transferable skills that the rest of the world will still require. This scenario will be our ‘New Zealand’ moment, comparable to the New Zealand agricultural industry being shut out of the UK over night on EU accession. It will not be easy, there will be short term losses, company failures while new markets are established but an independent Scotland’s more balanced economy will be better placed to survive and then prosper, than England and Wales, as a result of a Sterling crash the ‘no currency union’ scenario inevitably creates.

    The reality is the World Money Markets have made very clear to Osbourne and Alexander (x2) they want a ‘currency union’. As all the recent reports on an independent Scotland’s fiscal position make clear, Scotland is a good and safe place to invest, Money Week is suggesting the same is not necessarily so, with regards the City of London in a post independence England and Wales and a no currency union scenario. Money Week has a track record of reading the economic runes pretty well over the last decade so they are worth taking note of.

    Can Osbourne ignore the markets continuing concerns about the actual state of the UK’s Government’s current and future England and Wales indebtedness and cut off his nose to spite his face by refusing a currency union on a Yes vote in Scotland? ”

    This is the website for the whole piece
    This is vital information which needs to get the attention of the Scottish public as whole, but how. I have posted on Facebook. Any other suggestions folks?

    • You’ve come to the right place Anne

      Sent from my iPhone


    • As someone who was raised in NZ as the shock of Britain’s entry to the EEC hit and saw how the country reacted to that, we had a Chinese gooseberry vine climbing up our garage wall in Dunedin planted by the previous owners. Before long it ‘mutated’ into a kiwifruit vine and an industry was born. I saw the butter for Ladas deal with the Russians, the selling of sheepmeat, butter and agritech to the Middle East, especially Iran. The realisation there were rich people in Hong Kong and Tokyo who would pay big prices for ‘perfect’ peaches and fresh live koura and kina, the whole works.

      Yes, it was hard but it was also the making of the country. If post Independence we just settle down to trading with fUK then we will deserve economic stagnation. There’s a world out there to trade with. All we need is a proper Scottish diplomatic service and government getting properly behind export support, and I don’t just mean credit guarantees but help for new entrants to markets.

    • Anne I would put it up on Wings Over Scotland as well. I’ll share onTwitter.

    • Thanks Anne – will certainly get it out to my contacts

  8. I suspect the problem is twofold- the threshold level of information is very low in the general population and not much higher in much of the media, which will lead to inadvertent bias. And in this debate above all our expectations and scrutiny are set to maximum.

    Media need to get better informed, which should lead to balance. This is not just any old controversy- we are fighting for our future.

  9. I woke in the early hours of the morning worrying, would you believe, about my pension if we became Independent. Thankfully I have access to information which give an unbiased and balanced view instead of the propaganda from the Fear Project. However, my worry is about those who don’t, such as Scottish Sun/Record readers. A friend of mine, a Yes supporter, and another DK are not sure about voting Yes. I have copied an Iain MacWhirter column from last Sunday Herald for them to read which gives a counterbalance to Project Fear. Anyway, I’m off to canvass for the Yes Campaign soon.

  10. In Friday’s blog named “You’re Derek Bateman!” there was a great overarching sense of a new and unstoppable rock [someone commented] of self realisation rolling steadily and increasingly through the spirit of the Scottish populace. The genie that can never be put back in the bottle, others said. We are creating our own positive and all-pervasive “spirit of the age” by the energy we now pour into places like this blog of Derek’s, WoS etc.

    It’s like we are each almost telepathically throwing out the great vibes from the depths of our souls and this is collectively building to an unstoppable critical mass in the form of a fight for the soul/spirit of our nation. By God it is exhilarating – and great to be alive to see, and feel, especially fur an aul bugger like me who has always believed both in individual independence of spirit and also in the need to hold collectively onto our unique and precious Scottish cultural idenity, which I have always found people from other lands very willing to embrace favourably both here in Scotland and in the several countries I have visited. We reach out to the world and they reach out to us in my experience – with goodwill on both sides. We are no separatist isolationists.

    Against us is stacked the dead hand of social control from what seems to someone at my stage of life to be like trumped-up, self-important, arrogant adolescents who have never aspired to reach out and touch anything creative in life. They are pygmies of the spirit the whole damn crew of them. How could anyone take puffed up wind bags like the main figures in the “No” campaign seriously? They are like characters out of panto for a man of independent mind to look and laugh at.

    It is the classic elemental conflict we are presented with – between light and darkness, truth and lies, hope/belief and fear, live aspirational forward drive into the future against a dead repressive clinging to the vainglories of our all-crushing imperialist past. We are like the flowers which are breaking through the soil right now into the coming Spring light – a natural force that will not be denied. Our collective energy is much bigger and ultimately more powerful (no matter how seemingly delicate) than the bleak structure of cynical negativity that is polluting our social environment as best it can and is a real corrupting man-made viral culture that has been designed to poison the minds and spirit of the body politic in our country.

    We are the white cells that ultimately always win through while there is still life worth fighting for.

  11. Dr JM Mackintosh

    Regarding the BBC issue who was the respected BBC reporter that was on Newsnight about a month ago who said that Darling was hopeless and was likely to be replaced soon. He was generally very positive about the Yes campaign and the closing difference of the polls.

    I nearly fell,off my seat as it was so unusual.
    He has not been the TV since – I wonder why?

  12. There are many excellent posts today countering your claim, Derek, that there is no institutional bias in BBC reporting. I agree with them and can’t really add to the many apt contributions except to say that they don’t really appear to be fruitcakes do they? If so many reasonable and sane people feel that there is considerable bias in the output of the BBC, does that not give you pause for thought?

    Conspiracy comes naturally to human beings. I am not talking about shadowy groups consorting in secret and sending cryptic directives but the kind of natural consensus which arises in like-minded groups. Those within it might well be the last to be able to perceive their own bias because it is constantly reinforced by the validation of the others. That is why there is often institutional bias. Add to that the probability that people from similar backgrounds will have similar perceptions.

    Many people will have experienced the subtle influence which can be exerted on any individual by the group ethos, sometimes only perceived when the individual finds themselves on the opposite side of that ethos and then feels the pressure to conform bearing down on them. Those who happily conform won’t notice the pressure.

    I don’t mean this as a criticism of you because quite obviously you didn’t conform, but a group ethos can operate smoothly without the co-operation of every single member as long as the dissenters are in a minority. Noam Chomsky referred to this in his critique of the US media and how they manufacture consensus while satisfying themselves of their democratic tolerance by allowing the occasional dissenting voice.

    Anyway, we all value your blog because you do provide a platform for the independent voice countering the overwhelming predominance of the No message. More power to you and I think we can agree to disagree over this one.

  13. Dr JM Mackintosh

    On the currency issue relating to Geoff’s comments. I think we should just use the pound and walk away from the 9% of the UK debt. At last John Swinney is actively talking about this approach now.

    I think it would be a lot easier raising money on the money markets without this millstone of ~£120 billion round our neck. Talk of us not being able to raise funds due to “defaulting” it just nonsense. The money markets would fund us no problem as we would be in a much better financial situation than the rUK.

    We could buy quite a lot with £120,000,000,000 !

    I tend to think of this sum as a part compensation to Scotland for all the Oil revenues Westminster has squandered over the last 40 years.


    In this article is a telling passage:

    ‘It would be a mistake to believe that any unease within the BBC towards the Yes Scotland campaign and Scottish nationalism itself is a modern manifestation of the political landscape of the early twenty-first century, motivated only by the current threat to the union. The BBC is the definitive British national organisation – one of the few remaining pillars of the British establishment and, arguably, of the very concept of Britishness itself. It is inconceivable that it would be other than a standard bearer of the status quo, in essence a unionist body. When the former Director General John Birt resisted Scottish demands for a ‘Scottish Six’, to opt out of the Six O’Clock News, he merely reinforced this reality. He said later, ‘Opting out of the Six would be a powerful symbol of Scotland moving away from UK-wide institutions. It could encourage separate tendencies’. The BBC’s position was backed by the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, who, wrote Birt in his memoir The Harder Path, was “quick, as ever, to grasp the case”. “Let’s fight”, Blair told Birt. Alasdair Milne recalled in DG Memoirs of a British Broadcaster that when he was appointed Controller of BBC Scotland in 1968 he was given a “polite wigging” from Tory politicians like George Younger and also “jittery” Labour MPs who believed that there was a “strong SNP cell in Queen Margaret Drive”. The emergence of the nationalists as a political force in the late 1960s unnerved the unionist parties and they naturally assumed that the BBC would be anti-nationalism.

    The BBC as a beacon of unionism is deeply ingrained and stretches back through the decades to the period between the two world wars when the Scottish National Party was created from the merger between the left-leaning National Party of Scotland and the right-wing Scottish Party. In 1935 the BBC refused the SNP‘s application for pre-election broadcasts, and it was not until 1965 that the SNP had its first party political broadcast.’

  15. Bearing in mind my last post, why are we dismissed as nutters if we think the BBC is biased against Scottish independence?

  16. Derek,
    I agree about the currency. We need our own. I think the view held by pro-unionists north and south of the border is based on an assumption that the British State is beyond reproach, and that we Scots, the merry peasants in our colourful custumes throwing our hats in the air when we catch sight of the monarch, should be grateful to be in it, and are showing our ingratitude wanting out of it! It’s a sad view to hold, but I’m afraid a lot of folk, who can’t or won’t think about what is actually happening in the world, hold it. I’ve heard more than one person in the last week say that we should ‘go in’ to the Crimea, which indicates how deluded they are, believing that Brittania still rules the waves. As I said, it’s sad. We need to get our own government and run our own affairs.
    Incidentally, why is there also an assumption that our banks would default?

  17. Regardless of the referendum result the BBC in Scotland will never be trusted again. They’ve blown it for the short-term advantage of a No vote; they only have themselves to blame.
    If legislation goes through making non-payment of the license fee a matter solely for the civil courts I expect a great many people in Scotland will chose non-payment and to hell with the consequences.

  18. Aileen Currie

    Two different wavelengths:

    Geoff’s comments epitomise the underlying lack of understanding between the Westminster mindset and the extent of informed Scottish opinion remaining from our suppressed history.

    It is quite remarkable how many people with the Westminster mindset refer to the key event of 1707 as “The Act of Union” rather than as the Treaty of Union, an international agreement between two independent, sovereign states, which happened to share a queen at the time. The text of the Treaty, negotiated by the two sets of Commissioners representing Scotland and England (including its conquered Welsh province) was subsequently ratified by the English and Scottish parliaments in an English Act of Union in the English Parliament and a Scottish Act of Union in the Scottish Parliament which also adjourned these two parliaments.

    The text of the Treaty is often described as having made careful provision for Scottish needs, despite the “Scottish” Commissioners having been appointed by Queen Anne (after a bit of skulduggery by the Duke of Hamilton) unlike the English Commissioners who were appointed by the English Parliament. However, although the text of the Treaty appeared to protect Scots Law, the Church of Scotland, the Scottish education system, the integrity of the Royal Burghs, etc. no provision was made for mechanisms to enforce these restrictions on the powers of the new Parliament.

    It quickly became apparent that English members of the new Parliament saw it as the English Parliament continuing to which they had magnanimously permitted a minority of Scottish members to join by the Act of Union. From the outset the new parliament operated as a sovereign body, despite the specific restrictions on its powers contained in the Treaty of Union and a few years later the Scottish Mint was closed contrary to the Treaty thus abolishing an early institution which had previously operated as a sort of primitive central bank managing the currency.

    Over the last 300 years, Westminster has repeatedly overturned the specific terms of the Treaty particularly during the last 40 years when the Royal Burghs were stripped of their powers, the Poll Tax was imposed on Scotland, before a corresponding tax had even been proposed for the remainder of Great Britain, and the Supreme Court was superimposed on the Scottish legal system, to list but three.

    Westminster’s assumption in an affirmative post-referendum situation that the rUK is the continuator state is typical of the same thinking as in terms of constitutional law it has no special powers superior to those of the other party to the Treaty. Nor can it claim that Scotland’s equal status in an affirmative post-referendum situation is undermined by being the partner withdrawing from the Treaty. There is no term of the Treaty denying either partner the right to withdraw from the Treaty; why do the Acts of Union adjourn the pre-existing Parliament in each case rather than abolish it?
    The increasing involvement of Government during the twentieth century in many areas of national life and the use of these extended powers to address the interests of the south east of England provides ample justification for Scotland to decide that the Treaty is no longer of overall advantage and to take appropriate democratic and constitutionally appropriate steps to bring it to an end. The United Kingdom possesses many assets, and liabilities, which jointly belong to the two independent sovereign partner states. If the rUK continues to refuse to accept that it is an equal partner in an amicable set of negotiations to share these assets and liabilities and insists on claiming all of the shared assets it wishes, the other party need not accept any of the liabilities.

    The United Kingdom also has membership, with rights and responsibilities; of the European Union with which both partners have corresponding needs to adjust the present terms of membership, at least until the rUK decides whether it wishes to continue in membership. The United Kingdom is probably unique in being, in constitutional terms, a Treaty partnership of two independent sovereign states which collectively sought and obtained membership.

    Geoff doesn’t appear to envisage a situation in which both Scotland and rUK have to seek agreement after a positive decision on September 18th. He seems far from unique in this.

  19. I don’t know how the bias occurs at the BBC (I favour the unconscious mindset theory) but I do know that most people I know and interact with are doing a lot of shouting at their radios and TVs when the news is on – if they bother turning on at all which is increasingly rare.
    It should bother the BBC that they are actively disliked and distrusted by a significant proportion of the population, especially when evidence is emerging from the likes of John Robertson that the nutters may have a point after all.
    I take on the point that Derek makes that newsreaders are given insufficient training. but really what was stopping Haley from having a go at Danny Alexander this week? She allowed him to go on and on and on and on and on without challenge despite being ridiculously self-contradictory. What happened to the Gary “three-second-interrupt” Robertson approach? Immediately following that, Swinney was consistently (though not unreasonably) interrupted and talked over by Naughtie. With such obvious juxtapositions of unequal treatment, and it always seems to be the Yes side that get the rough end of the unequal treatment, the listener naturally concludes that the BBC is biased against Yes.

    … and Angus MacLeod … come ON!!! Does he ever refer to our First Minister as anything other than “SSSSSSSSSSalmond!!!” I’ve had to clean his spittle of the back of the radio speaker grille too many times to count.

  20. The BBC doesn’t have to be specifically biased against independence. It will always support the status quo, and anything that threatens that will be exposed to far more scrutiny than that which upholds it. We saw it during the 80s, and we’re seeing it again now.

  21. I only listen to Radio Scotland for either 2 mins per week or 10, depending on how long Stewart Cosgrove and Aidan are given. Bizarrely they may both be Unionbettertogetherers for all I know but you would never know, because they actually go behind the headlines bringing their knowledge to the subject. At the same time John Beattie who is not a journalist as far as I know, does sometimes find it difficult to not adhere to BBC policy.Maybe because they are not solely dependant on BBC Scotland for their income?
    Is Geoff the ‘Family man’ you are referring to in your title Derek ? “While your living under my roof you’ll live by rules” kind of blah blah blah except we em we don’t.Circa 1950 ish

  22. The whole propaganda war against ALEX SALMOND, THE SNP, SCOTLAND AND ITS PEOPLE, is not a mistake or accident, it is directed and co ordinated from high up in the ESTABLISHMENT which gives it it’s direction tone and area of misinformation for the relevant days objective. Each individual arm BROADCASTING, MSM, is responsible for putting this strategy into local operation. I don’t think there is an office in BBC London or PQ which has a sign on the door saying PROPAGANDA OFFICER, but I’m certain there is a person who has that as one of his unpublished responsibilities, and pretty senior they must be.

    To denigrate Scotland and it’s people is a pretty big error of judgement more akin to putting the natives in their place. The executive appear to be using an old colonial plan which would explain some of the strange sneering reports and school kid laughing and belittling from BBC 24 news and a lot of its ignorant guests. The powers that are in charge are so ignorant of the situation themselves that they are unable to see how counter productive this childish attitude is and permanently damaging to Anglo Scottish relations for the future. This attitude has hollowed out the BBC in Scotland and terminally damaged its reputation, big time.

    • It’s inconceivable that the UK Government doesn’t have a very high-powered unit of the state coordinating and directing its attacks on Scotland: there’s too much at stake for this not to be the case. My view is that the BBC is a key element of their propaganda strategy. This is quite apart from the thousands of Brit placemen operating without prompting and at high level in Scotland on the UK government’s behalf. The BBC’s ruined reputation in Scotland will just be seen as collateral damage, and anyway, many Tories detest the Beeb and couldn’t care less if it screws up with its audience.

  23. By the looks of it the passion for debate amongst independence support is alive and kicking Derek. We’ve all got our views on the Beeb ranging from outright institutional bias to name specific mixed with a huge dose of corporate arrogance and incompetence. I think what we all agree on regardless of degree is that the current beastie isn’t fit for purpose and won’t be right up to and through the referendum.

    Moving on – Currency and corporate interest? Not a worry in the world either way. I see some kind soul (Anne) has already mentioned the Tarff advertiser blog piece. But regardless of even those facts, Scotland would be just peachy fine whether it be through Sterlingisation (short term) with a view to floating our own currency a few years hence or indeed moving to our own central bank right away. The only differences being the challenges and time periods variance. All can be met and surmounted, we have the know how, the resource and asset base, a successful prudent government, a fully functioning educated and peaceful democracy and we’d at long last have the fiscal levers to plan long term strategy. SCOTLAND WOULD BE OPEN FOR BUSINESS. All they have to do is remember the governance of the people is for the people to decide, not the board members.

    First come first served.

  24. Derek, there’s something I’ve been noticing about BBC political reporting and it is the almost totally briefed reporting content from the likes of Brian Taylor, Nick Robinson and Norman Smith on UK Gov matters or, as in Brian Taylor’s case on the Better Together mind-set and utterances stemming from it.

    It’s almost as if they have written the items themselves, which are then be headlined by the UK gov or in a BT (Labour) statement, that then needs fleshed out by the real author, either that, or they are being so comprehensively briefed, when it comes to presentation, it looks and sounds like 100% their own pieces.

    That then tends to look like they are all very nicely acquainted with the anti-independence lobby and ergo – people think they are bloody well biased. The UWS studies only quantified that and you don’t need to be a fruitcake to tend to believe it is a problem.

    • Hi, I think Brian Taylor has been exemplary in in anything I have seen or read in what is a difficult balancing act. I am absolutely not impressed by the London based people at all and think Norman smith, so good on radio I thought, out of his depth on telly talking about Scotland. He has no idea. I would actually like them to communicate more with Brian Taylor to learn how to pitch their material to make it sound as if they know something about the subject. I also want Brian to deliver briefings for the rest of the Scotland staff on what is going on and the pitfalls to be avoided.

  25. Dear god, a man on your side tells you honestly what’s happening inside the BC and he gets a ton of responses from people who haven’t set foot in PQ, or have a degree from another country entirely a million years ago, all of whom feel better qualified to disagree.
    You are nutters. You collect fruitcakes by the tray. The idea of an independent Scotland stuffed with Stalinists like you frightens me. I was a Yes voter. Now I’m not so sure

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