It seems that STV are increasingly the best place to watch for news, debate and programming leading up to the referendum.
They have now announced a mini series charting Scotlands road to the referendum, beginning on June 4th.
It seems that STV are increasingly the best place to watch for news, debate and programming leading up to the referendum.
They have now announced a mini series charting Scotlands road to the referendum, beginning on June 4th.
They who must not be named, by those who should be shamed, have now increased by a factor of one.
While the BBC and Fellow travellers were trumpeting the latest UK treasury scare report with regards to finance in an Independent Scotland, they were studiously ignoring a much larger story reported by the Holyrood Magazine, where Labour former chancellor Dennis Healey admitted that the British Government had deliberately lied about Scotlands Oil wealth, in order to retain the proceeds for Westminster, and that this present government would do anything to hold onto Scotland for the same reasons.
BBC radio Scotlands GMS programme, did very briefly mention Healey in questioning Michael Moore, but no more than that.
BBC Online News had an article headlined ” Scottish Independence: Treasury claims savers would not be protected” which went into detail over these spurious claims, and tagged a brief piece about Healey at the tail end of the article.
But as for BBC Scotlands TV news……Not a whisper of Healey.
By briefly mentioning the explosive Healey interview, in minor slots on radio and online, albeit buried by the main story of the treasury scare story, they can claim to have reported it….but only just!
It was a prime example of their damage limitation policy which they reserve for the Union.
Nicola sturgeon was immediately cut off from her interview on BBC radio scotlands GMS programme this morning, as soon as she mentioned Healey.
This is of absolutely no surprise whatsoever, and It would appear that Healey has joined with another famous name which must not be named by our unionist media….that name Is McCrone.
Any time I have ever seen McCrone’s name brought up on televison, the presenter immediately cuts it off, and heads the interview off in a different direction.
I need not state why this should be, as Healey said as much in his interview with Mandy Rhodes…. So I will leave an extract of that here, for you to read for yourself.
“He says that the value of oil to the UK is a prime motivation behind Westminster’s opposition to independence now and in the 1970s.
“I think we did underplay the value of the oil to the country because of the threat of nationalism but that was mainly down to Thatcher. We didn’t actually see the rewards from oil in my period in office because we were investing in the infrastructure rather than getting the returns and really, Thatcher wouldn’t have been able to carry out any of her policies without that additional 5 per cent on GDP from oil. Incredible good luck she had from that.” I ask Healey if he had considered establishing a sovereign wealth fund with the oil revenues to invest in the country’s future when he was in office.
“It’s true that we should have invested the money in things we needed in Britain and I had thought about an oil fund, like in Norway but it wasn’t my responsibility by then.” I explain to him that the oil has become a controversial focus in the current referendum debate and wonder if he thinks Westminster is afraid of the consequences of independence.
“I think there are a lot of problems connected with it that haven’t been faced up to, either by Salmond or by the British and they are mainly to do with oil and the income it provides and yes, I think they [Westminster politicians] are concerned about Scotland taking the oil, I think they are worried stiff about it.
“I think we would suffer enormously if the income from Scottish oil stopped but if the Scots want it [independence] they should have it and we would just need to adjust but I would think Scotland could survive perfectly well, economically, if it was independent. Yes, I would think so… with the oil.” I ask Healey what he thinks about claims that Scotland is subsidised by the rest of the UK given that Joel Barnett, he of the Barnett formula, was his deputy at the Treasury and worked out what share of the national income pot Scotland should receive. He says Scotland “pays its fair share” and that “these myths” are simply perpetuated by those that oppose independence. On Scotland keeping the pound, he says Scotland would gain but adds that so “would the rest of us” and he doesn’t see why Westminster could say the Scots couldn’t have it.
All in all, he is fairly matter-of-fact about the idea of independence and says that he considers it a “natural desire”.
“Being of Irish origin, the idea of independence has always interested me,” he says. “My father always thought he was an Ulsterman because he lived near Enniskillen but in fact, at that time, Ireland hadn’t been divided and he actually came from a little place which was actually in southern Ireland but he never realised that.
“Would Scotland being independent from the UK upset me? No, not really, why would it upset me, it’s a very natural desire”
I have spoken out quite a bit about how the mainstream media and the BBC in particular, have distorted and misreported the news and political commentary with regards to Scottish Independence.
But lets be clear about something here, If we are to complain with justification about bias and misreporting on the anti-Independence side, we also have to be absolutely sure that we on the social network, blogging and on line news sites, have to exercise balance and correct information too. If we do not ensure that the information we give out to others is correct, we cannot expect to be treated with any less suspicion.
Now I have followed Newsnet Scotland for most of its existence, and despite some of its internal fall outs, I have stuck with it, because of the quality of its output.
I have even been asked for, and gladly contributed a couple of articles to them in the past.
However, I have been having some doubts about its overly severe moderation policy on comments for the past while, where comment contributors are restricted on how much they can say, and they are not allowed to comment again in response or follow up,until a certain amount of time has elapsed.
While this is somewhat of an annoyance, I have broadly accepted their decisions, even when they have appeared to be somewhat too PC for my tastes in deleting comments.
At least they are considerably better than BBC Scotlands banning of comments relating to Scottish political blogs.
Newsnet did finally manage to annoy me today though..
They have been very good at helping promote the Campaign for balance in broadcasting rally, and have put up a couple of articles about it, and even provided a speaker for the event.. All good.
So what have I got to moan about?
In a previous article promoting the event, they listed the speakers who would be in attendance, with one notable exception at the time…Me.
That didn’t bother me too much, I accepted that they might not have known about my involvement at that stage, and that is fair enough.
However last night, they included a post rally article, and video, where they managed to list all of the speakers, bar me….again.
That did annoy me…not so much because they hadn’t mentioned me, but because it was beginning to look like they were quite deliberately omitting my presence for some unknown reason? They were in attendance, so there was no excuse for not knowing I had contributed.
I made a comment to the article along the following lines.. ” I could have sworn that I was speaking at this event, but perhaps I only dreamed that I had got soaking wet in the process.
But Well done to everyone who turned out on such an awful day! You all deserve thanks!”
I checked back later, to see if anyone else had made comments about the event….and guess what? They had only gone and removed the first part of my comment, and all that was left of it was… ” Well done to everyone who turned out on such an awful day! You all deserve thanks!”
I was not happy…and further asked for an explanation from them, as to why they had removed half my comment? I have as yet not had the courtesy of a reply or explanation.
Why Is this annoying me? Quite simply, I put the time and effort to contribute to this event, so the least they could have done was acknowledge my presence when they were mentioning every other speaker there.
But having failed to have done so, and having been reminded of their effort, they do not correct the omission, but rather remove the critical part of my comment, and redact it, to only leave the tail end statement…That is quite frankly dishonest!
It therefore causes me to ask, are they often as economical with the truth when reporting stories? If they are? Then they lose my trust as trusted source of information….and are no better than those which they criticise themselves for the same behaviour.
We on the Independence side of the debate have to make sure that we report accurately, and we get the positive information out there. We have plenty to work with.. what we do not need is doubts being placed on our own veracity..
So please can I ask Newsnet,and indeed any other pro independence site to stick to the facts,and If we make mistakes, then own up to them!
And proof that I was indeed there…at the end of the following video!
Well Done those hardy souls who took part in yesterdays Campaign for Balanced broadcasting Rally, and getting soaking wet in torrential rain for their troubles.
Thanks to everyone who made it along, and who braved the elements to listen to the speeches.
I was last on, and it seems the rain saved its worst to coincide with my speech.
Rather than subject anyone to any more drenching, I effectively threw away the prepared speech I had spent most of Friday putting together, and simply spoke off the cuff for a few minutes.
I have decided to put up some of that speech which I never delivered here, for those that want to read it.
Campaign for balanced broadcasting
BBC are great!!! Yes Really great…. And good old aunty Beeb always tells us so!
They do some fantastic programming…Doctor Who, Crime watch, Beechgrove garden, Strictly, numerous antique shows and cookery programmes…and we just cannot get enough of these can we?
I actually do rate a lot of the programmes that the Beeb produces, and they have been a great source of providing support for new music…which we can be very glad of.
But when It comes to NEWS/ Political programmes……Sorry But they Suck Big Time!!
So much for what they like to call balanced, fair and impartial coverage… particularly when it comes to the Scottish Independence debate!!
They are not alone unfortunately….as the vast majority of national newspapers are every bit as biased..they are all owned out with Scotland. So we don’t expect them to be balanced do we?
But we have a choice….If we don’t like what they say..we don’t need to buy them!
BUT WE DO PAY FOR THE BBC!! SO WE SHOULD EXPECT Fairness…but we don’t get it, do we?
IT’S A BAD STATE OF AFFAIRS WHEN WE CANNOT TRUST OUR NATIONAL BROADCASTER.
I watched and read what happened when the BBC Head Honchos were Invited to speak to a a Scottish parliament committee recently. THE BBC Scotland Bosses refused to attend!
This sort of disdain is ridiculous…their contempt for the parliament and thus you and I and every Scottish person is disgraceful! They FEEL they are above us…and a Law unto their own selves…that is except when they are doing the BBCs bidding in London!
It took letters to Lord Pattan and the BBC Trust….to Order these jumped up jerks to attend. Before they did so..
Even at that…Pattan wrote that the BBC according to its Royal charter is not answerable to either the British or Scottish Parliaments!
In effect…..They are a Law unto their own selves…and can do what they damn well please…and there is not a damn thing we the people can do about it!
When Kenneth MacQuarrie ..The director of BBC Scotland and John Boothman ..Head of News and Current Affairs , did turn up to answer questions from the Education and Culture committee. They were as slippery and evasive as eels..
but despite their reticence…some startling information was presented to the committee.
They hadn’t made any made any requests from the BBC in London for extra funding to cover
the Commonwealth games nor the Independence referendum …describing these merely as One Off events, and Business as Usual..
The Commonwealth games was to be Networked from MANCHESTER…Not Glasgow!
Indeed Macquarrie had allegedly described the Independence referendum as “The Biggest Blah Blah Blah in 300 years”
The BIGGEST BLAH BLAH BLAH?? IS THAT WHAT IT IS??
when the BBC Bosses were asked to produce the findings of their Staff survey, they subsequently refused! Why?
If we look at a previous survey taken in 2010.. Staff were asked to agree to “ Senior Managers in my division behave in a way that is consistent with BBC values” and 45 % did agree to that.
But the figure for BBC Scotland News staff was a miserly 17%, who agreed that their senior management behaved in such a manner. WOW…. That is not exactly a vote of confidence in John Boothman and Co.
During the 1997 Devolution referendum …BBC news and current affairs output increased by 50% in Scotland..
But for the Independence referendum what is happening?
News and current Affairs have lost 17 posts….while all other departments are only losing up to a maximum of 4 staff, and often just one or two staff.
Now get this…. For those wondering what happens to your licence fees?
Scotland gives the BBC £300million per annum in licence fees..
So you would expect that to be spent in Scotland wouldn’t you?
well if you did..you would be wrong!!! The BBC’s spend in Scotland is £200million
The other £100million is kept by the BBC in London.
Some other startling evidence was provided by the Unions..
There has been representations made by staff to the effect that Staff had strongly made their concerns known that management were targeting their redundancies at certain individuals, who for whatever reason, they didn’t want anymore.
In effect using the redundancies as cover for clearing out people it didn’t want.
In other departments of the BBC, cuts seemed to be made logically, but not in the News and Current Affairs department….
Now I wonder why this would be?
Well lets have a wee look closer at BBC Scotland News and Current Affairs staff shall we?
John Boothman who I mentioned earlier, Head honcho of BBC News and Current Affairs..
His previous history includes being the former Chair of Labour Students! And who is married to Susan Deacon….do you recognise that name? YUP former Labour Scottish Health Spokeswoman and cabinet Minister in the Labour Scottish Government.
Boothman while he was the producer for BBC scotlands parliamentary unit employed Catriona Renton as a reporter…
Catriona Renton being formerly a Labour Councillor, and who also stood for labour in Holyrood elections.
Tom Connor ..BBC Head of Online News … Apart from being the one responsible for allowing the continuation of censorship and blockage of comments to Scottish political blogs, where we cannot dispute the likes of Brian Taylors or Douglas Frasers accounts anymore.. Yet england/wales and Northern Ireland blogs all allow comments..
Tom was along with his boss John Boothman censured a number of years ago for offering Media training to Labour candidates!
Daniel Maxwell: Now Newsnight and Politics Editor for BBC Scotland was the man to have originally shut down blog comments on the Scottish Online Sites.
with these as examples ….It is perhaps no wonder that BBC Scotlands News and Politics reporting all sound like Labour party press releases….Apart from the suspicion that they may well be?
It also perhaps is the reason. Why when every publication in the land reported on the twitter storm caused by Labour activist Ian Smarts racist comments and accusations against independence supporters comparing us to the Ku Klux Klan..and using derogatory language to describe other ethnic groups, while saying that he would rather see us under 100 years of Tory rule than have Independence.. Yet…Still not a whisper of it on BBC News!
Had such a thing been said by an SNP or YES campaigner…we still would not have heard the last of it.
But as I said earlier…It is not just the BBC…. There is a massive imbalance across the board.
Every day there is a steady drip drip drip of Unionist propaganda. But I wonder how much of it you recognise when you see and hear it?
Perhaps it is time to open your eyes and ears to really notice what is going on. The best way to combat this imbalance, is to keep telling others to watch out for it… The more the word is spread from person to person, the less likely that they will be quite so blatant in their bias, and we may even make them think about cleaning up their act.
Keep spreading the News folks!
The YES campaign needs to UP its game.
I can see what they are doing, playing things steadily and quietly and focussing on the positive.
That is all well and good… But they are also giving the impression of being unsure, lacking in confidence, and forever being reactive on the back foot.
It is time for this to stop!
They don’t need to go full blast yet…that would not be beneficial, as they need to get their timing right to coincide with peaking on the 18th September 2014. But they do need to show more confidence, they need to be more assertive,and they need to start taking the fight back to the No.Better Together campaign…They should not be expecting the opposition to forever make a mess of things.
As has been pointed out recently, they are not making any discernible impact on the public opinion.
Indeed, the longer this drags on, folks will have a negative perception of their ability and thus a lack of confidence in being able to be Independent….Perception Is everything ,and once formed, can be a devil to shift.
It is one thing spreading what they think is a positive message, but its no damn good if those who need to hear it, are not getting it!
Yes..there has been much made of the fact that they are making this a ground campaign, and reaching out to all the communities in Scotland…but are they really just mostly preaching to the converted?
One thing I learned in my previous life….You cannot wait for people to come to you…You must go where they are!
In effect, not so much the public hall meetings, but more like round the pubs, clubs, round tables, and a whole host of organisational meetings.
I tried my damnedest to try and get YES to speak to me late last year, I offered to give them the benefit of my experience at least on three occasions..but frankly they were not interested. Fair enough.
But it looks like somebody has got to get through to them, and I dont care who it is… There are those who are not foot soldiers, but can lend their knowledge, let them do it!
But right now….I want to see a bit more bite from YES, because they are giving a good impression of being ineffectual. Sort It!!!
I wonder how many people are seriously getting so lazy these days that they no longer bother themselves with actually taking the time to question what is told to them by the media or whatever source they find to be flavour of the month?
It is incredible in this day and age how fast information and communication passes between us, and the floods of information which we all absorb every day through social media, the internet, radio, television and and newspapers.
There is no shortage of information, and we are asked to process far more than we are prepared to take in.
Subsequently many of us form views and opinions while knowing very little about the issues involved.
People will regurgitate snippets and soundbites and swear they are the gospel truth, just because of where they heard or saw the information. Very little of independent analysis takes place. Indeed for many of us, we neither have the inclination nor the time to delve further into the issues.
What evolves from this situation is a pack or tribe mentality, too many of us follow each other like a flock of sheep going Baaaa.
Take for example the behaviour of groups of people on facebook or twitter….as soon as something contentious comes up, a number of people with a specific agenda all start making a noise, and they get more people making a noise, and as the numbers build up, before we know it everyone seems to be jumping on the same bandwagon, and witch hunts begin.
An ideal example of how damaging this sort of behaviour can be, was after the breaking of the Saville scandal,certain other people found themselves on a list of names who might be implicated in similar activities…without as much as a by your leave, these people found themselves accused and by spread of this accusation on wenbsites and social media, assumed and pronounced guilty by a large number of people.
These accusers had no information to go on, other than the misinformation they were receiving, and the names of some individuals.
One such individual to be named was Lord McAlpine…and he was ripped into by a large number of people on the basis of hearsay, and what turned out to be mistaken identity. Can you imagine what torture that man must have been put through??
Has that served to make people pause? Not a chance…as more and more names come up as being arrested on suspicion of wrongdoing, they are immediately guilty in the eyes of the masses.
I have no idea who is guilty or who is not? But I always apply the maxim of innocent until proven guilty.
Only when such evidence has been tested in a court of law can we say if someone has committed an offence.
Now take this example and place it into the sphere of how we receive other news and information, and form snap judgements.
The number of ill informed comments I read in response to issues on facebook and twitter on the independence debate are frankly staggering. The vast majority appear to come from the anti independence brigade, but lets not kid ourselves, there are an amount on the Independence side too.
How is this occurring?
Quite simply it is a case of people regurgitating bits of information as gospel truth, without taking their time to question if it is indeed correct. As long as something seems to support their particular ideological or tribal stance, they accept it without question.
Because of this the likes of the Unionist newspapers can get misinformation out to the gullible who only read the headline and move onto the sports or fashion pages without any further thought. The idea has been planted and the newspaper headline maker has succeeded in their objective.
We have been walking blindfold into a world where perception and image rules over fact, and many have suspended their mental faculties in the process.
It is because of this state of affairs that the likes of the BBC can get away with their Pravda/Fox propaganda. It is also a world where THE ACCUSED is found Guilty by merely being accused. No verifiable evidence is required.
Try Googling Salmond Accused….and see how many entries you get! And look at who propagates these headlines.
The main users of this Guilt by perception are the usual anti independence newspapers…although it really should be Copyrite the Scotsman.
and bang to form ….The Scotsman was at it again today.. only this time with another favourite word regarding Independence, or should I really say Separation? ….The word being WARNING.
“Independence: Energy warning over ‘smaller economy”
“AN INDEPENDENT Scotland would face a “greater challenge” to keep the lights on than the rest of the UK because of its smaller economy, energy experts have warned.
Scotland’s energy sector would be gripped by a series of crises with higher electricity bills and the country’s share of North Sea oil subject to years of legal wrangling, it was claimed. The stark warning about the threat to energy supplies in an independent Scotland were made in a series of research papers by the David Hume Institute at the University of Edinburgh.
Peter McGregor and Kim Swales, who are economics professors at Strathclyde University, said Scotland would have an economy less able to trade electricity, smaller storage space and more restrictive systems for electricity generation.”
Really good eh?? Now hands up….how many people think that this is Bad news? It must be Bad must it not? What with experts and such saying this.
And just look at the words they use… Crisis, (not one but a whole load of!), HIGHER BILLS!, Legal wrangling, Stark Warning ( OHH Ohh….this must be really bad!), THREAT, Less Able, Smaller, RESTRICTIVE.
YIKES I am pishing my pants!!
But wait…..shall we see what the evidence is? Lets…just for fun.
“The paper published today for the David Hume Institute outlines the opportunity that an independent Scotland would have to use money generated from the EU Emissions Trading Scheme to fund energy efficiency measures.
As the paper’s authors make clear, “recycling the EU Emissions Trading Scheme levy towards energy efficiency would provide significant resource to deliver energy efficiency programmes. Adopting this approach would allow government to direct such programmes much more clearly, while at the same time using a funding stream which would allow [Energy Company Obligation] to be reduced or eliminated, so reducing bills.”
Meanwhile the document also confirms that the rest of the UK would still need low-carbon electricity purchased from Scotland after independence, stating that “the ‘rest of the UK’ would still be required to meet EU climate change targets which would, in turn, require electricity from low carbon sources to be purchased from other countries should Scotland become independent.”
The paper also warns of the costs attached to Westminster’s determination to pursue a new generation of nuclear energy, making clear that “a high level of subsidy – comparable to that currently required for offshore wind power – will be needed to enable nuclear generation to meet its costs, and the UK Government’s intention is that this subsidy will come from an additional levy on consumers’ bills.”
The paper itself can be found here……and what the Scotsman has done with this substatial report, is pounce on the only possible negative they could find…and Blow it up to extreme!
Scotland would be in a very strong position to significantly Lower our energy bills, not the reverse.
After all…we haven’t got a shortage of it, have we??
But check your facts folks, don’t just take my word for it.
I waited patiently last night for a whole 5 minutes of BBC Reporting Scotland to see if they would even allude to the twitter storm involving the Labour activist and Better Together supporter Ian Smart’s outburt of racist language, and the slur that we Scots are inherently racist. Where he compared us to the Ku Klux Klan and said that he would rather have 100 years of Westminster Tory Rule than Scottish Independence.
His remarks caused such a furore that Lord Jack McConnell, jumped in on his pals side without even reading what the fuss was all about.
Surely this storm was significantly news worthy to report on? Particularly when the BBC had gone to such great extent in demonising ordinary Independence supporting Scots for expressing their views on the internet.
You all know the sort….nasty Cybernats like me!
But not a bit of it…not a whisper from them last night. However I gave them the benefit of the doubt, seeing as it was a Bank Holiday news edition, where the national 6 o’clock news had been shortened by a whole 5 minutes of its normal 30 minute slot , and balanced out by cutting Reporting Scotland by 25minutes of its 30 minutes allotted time.. fair is fair .
So I waited patiently again tonight…and I waited, and more waited…but alas, to no avail.
We had Pandas where the night before they had been reporting their own BBC documentary of the Hebrides as a NEWS item.. We had other stuff too, football of course, and Rangers… But not a sniff about the Ian Smart/Lord McConnell furore.
Indeed out of all our news media options, the only other one not to mention this news was The Scotsman, otherwise known commonly as the North Briton newspaper. This was hardly surprising considering the Scotmans normal output, but then again, we can choose not to fund them with our pennies can’t we.
Not so with BBC Scotland who have an obligation to us to report news fairly, but they never do, despite us having no option but to pay for them if we want to watch tv.
Other news they could have reported on today include the significance to Scotland and the Better Together campaign, of Lord Lawson, Thatchers former chancellor torpedoing Better Togethers argument that Scotland are best represented by them in Europe as they get to sit at the Top table.. Lawsons intervention means that a huge amount of pressure is now being exerted on Cameron to declare for a referendum designed to remove Britain from Europe entirely.
More news which they have dodged includes the news that Scotlands Oil Industry has been previously seriously undervalued, even by the SNP government, and the North Sea revenue is actually worth up to 4 Trillion pounds… enough to pay off the whole of Britain’s national debt by itself!
They were forced previously to put the barest report about Ian Taylors dirty money contribution to the Better Together campaign, but if you blinked previously, you probably missed that.
In short…. BBC Scotland will report only news which they can put negative connotations to if it is detrimental to independence, anything deemed positive is not reported. If they absolutely must report good news, they will cast doubt on it, or play it down.
While on the other side of coin, they will report any doubts and questions which the Better Together want to put against Independence, but what they will not do, is report anything that is bad news about them.
Failing all else..they will Report Pandas.
P.S for those who feel I am belittling the Panda News..
Edinburgh zoo’s pandas have boosted its visitor numbers & income by 50% in a year: hitting £15m and 811,000, 2012 accounts reveal
Which only goes to show that not only are Pandas more numerous and popular than Tory Mps In Scotland, they are a damn sight more beneficial to our economy and actually have a better chance of increasing their numbers.