BBC the New Hammer of the Scots

by craig on April 29, 2013 10:21 am in Uncategorized

I’d Hammer out Danger – I’d Hammer Out a Warning

BBC anti-Scots propaganda is moving beyond the risible towards the truly chilling. On the 26 April the first words on Reporting Scotland, issued by Unionist poster girl Sally Magnusson (no nepotism there) in sepulchral tones, were “There is a warning tonight” – that nobody, public or private , would get their pension paid properly after independence.

This gave my friend Kirsten a feeling of deja vu, and she did a quick trawl of the BBC’s continued and repetitive use of the words “Scottish independence” and “warning” in the same sentence. This is what she came up with:

“Scottish independence: Pension shortfall warning”
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-22314646

“UK Treasury warning that an SNP plan for a currency union after independence”
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-22246176

“Scottish independence: Warning over ‘weakened military’”
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-21776602

“Scottish independence: ‘Havoc’ warning from pensions firm”
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-20562203

“Scottish independence: Luxembourg warns against ‘going separate ways’”
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-21664450

“Scottish independence: Barroso warning on EU membership”
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-20666146

“Scottish independence: Michael Moore issues warning over vote question”
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-21016047

“Scottish independence: ‘Border checks’ warning from home secretary”
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-17505302

And I can’t omit this brilliant spoof:
“Warning for SNP over renewable energy”
http://www.bbc.scotlandshire.co.uk/index.php/city-news/268-warning-for-snp-over-renewable-energy.html

Please note this amazing litany – and I use the word litany carefully, a verbal repetition to inculcate belief – includes only those where the deliberate practice of repetitive coupling of “independence” and “warning” has been captured by being written on the website; there are hundreds of other examples of broadcast, spoken use of the words “Warning” and “Scottish independence” in the same sentence by the BBC.

The presentation of every one of the above stories was in the most tendentious and anti-independence manner conceivable. They have all been countered and comprehensively rebutted.

By contrast, there are no BBC headlines that promote positive claims about Scottish Independence. You will look in vain for headlines that say “Yes campaign says independent Scotland will be eighth richest country in the world” or “Official GERS report shows Scotland’s public finances much healthier than those of the UK”. Such headlines just do not exist. Reporting Scotland or Newsnight Scotland has never, never been led by a positive story about independence. It has been led on dozens of occasions by the negative.

It astonishes me that even the use of the most obvious and blatant state propaganda techniques by the BBC do not result in any serious reaction from the political establishment. I repeat my call on Alex Salmond to request the intervention of the Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) of the OSCE to monitor the referendum and in particular to start immediately Phase 1 media monitoring. I am writing to Alex Salmond and to Chris Patten – both of whom at different times have been guests in my home -to seek a meeting on this issue of BBC bias.

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136 Comments

  1. Excellent article.

    About time someone spoke up about this shocking appalling
    situation.

  2. Nothing surprises me about the BBC anymore. I used to hold them in such high regard, until the independence stories started coming out.

    What worries me, is that the BBC are trading on their (formerly) good name and despite the obvious propaganda and one-sided reporting, most people will continue to believe every single word they say.

  3. Brian Cuthbert

    29 Apr, 2013 - 10:46 am

    Yes, another useful article Mr Murray. I too would welcome some outside monitoring of the situation – although I suspect that the Scottish Government don’t want to rock the boat just yet. As for the BBC, so much for the ‘British’ sense of fair play – what a perfidious lot they are.

  4. David,McGuinness

    29 Apr, 2013 - 10:47 am

    Gladsome one is taken this up.Im getting a little annoyed with bbc Scotlands morning News program all this negativity.

  5. Just a heads up, Your link for BBC scotlandshire is taking us to the one above, the borders piece.

  6. Dawn MacPherson

    29 Apr, 2013 - 11:00 am

    You have made my day Craig. The BBC in Scotland are truely horrendous, I don’t know how any of the so called Reporters/Journalists sleep at night or look at themselves in the mirror.

  7. They’ve certainly done themselves no favours in terms of sustainable reputation post 2014. The BBC should quite rightly be held in utter contempt for their coverage of the referendum. I’m sure there is some form of reasoning behind the lack of protest from both the SG and the YES campaign, but for the life of me I’m stumped as to what that might be.

  8. “By contrast, there are no BBC headlines that promote positive claims about Scottish Independence.”

    BBC bias isn’t blatant in that it doesn’t report outright lies. What BBC Scotland does is to push the “scare story de jour” from Better Together without questioning it and just as you said, what the BBC in Scotland won’t do is to report stories which put independence in a good light.

    Better Together’s campaign is based on creating fear, doubt and uncertainty about independence and the BBC is its more than willing helper.

    They’ve done the EU: Scotland will be forced out and have to renegotiate its way back in.
    They’ve done NATO: Scotland may not get into NATO
    They’ve done currency: England will say no to Scotland using the pound.
    They’ve done Pensions: EU regulations will cost companies billions when Scotland becomes independent in the EU. The fact that this contradicts the story that Scotland won’t be in the EU is just bye the bye.

    All these stories are reported as “shock horror” without any examination of the underlying facts.

    What BBC Scotland does is what it has done from the year dot since long before the independence campaign which is to run with Labour press releases and now Better Together press releases against the independence movement. And it doesn’t just report on the story, what it does is to try and create the story by ramping up whatever Labour/Better Together have put out as a press release so that the BBC is creating the news rather than reporting it.

    As another example, you’ll never get the positive fact that nuclear weapons will be removed from the Clyde run as the BBC Scotland main headline for several days on end as they do with Better Together scare stories.

    The reporting on the independence campaign makes the true nature of the BBC obvious in Scotland. The BBC is Britain’s State Broadcaster and it has always behaved as such. Impartiality is impossible for such an organisation.

  9. James Mclaren

    29 Apr, 2013 - 11:14 am

    About time too.

    Thanks

    James McLaren

  10. Rosie

    Thanks – now fixed.

  11. Stevie Cosmic

    29 Apr, 2013 - 11:18 am

    Excellent and informative article once again Craig; it’s brevity underlining the stark nature of the BBC’s behaviour.

    One thing though, in the comments section of either NNS or WoS (can’t remember which), a reader said he had sent a letter to ODHIR regarding the referendum and it’s monitoring. The reply this person received, and re-printed in the comments, was a little worrying to say the least. From memory, it basically stated that the ODHIR would consider involvement in oversight in the referendum ONLY if invited to do so by the UK government. The nature of this reply is of course also consistent with the EC giving legal advice on Scotland’s position within the EU post 2014 – totally unhelpful to the Scottish cause to have a fair and democratic referendum that is based on factual evidence and clear and consistent information.

    As neither NNS nor WoS have a search engine that looks at comments, I’m unfortunately unable to provide a direct link to the reply.

  12. It astonishes me that even the use of the most obvious and blatant state propaganda techniques by the BBC do not result in any serious reaction from the political establishment.

    But it does. Anyone who has ever met Murdoch at a party constantly whines about the BBC’s leftwing bias. A handy trope, which I am sure the BBC welcomes as preserving the illusion of leftwing credibility.

    Incidentally, I am often struck by the eerie correspondence between ‘Today’s’ choice of lead stories and the Guardian’s.

  13. @Komodo.
    The BBC in Scotland isn’t left leaning. It’s pro Labour. Quite a difference.
    And pro union, obviously.

  14. Perhaps the reason why there are no articles on the BBC website supporting Scottish independence is that it really is a bad idea. :)

  15. English Knight

    29 Apr, 2013 - 11:41 am

    No worries, Agent Cameron will take the country to war before the 18th September 2014 referendum, and make it easy for Salmond. The fear being the Turks might effectively limit PM Erdogan powers in their upcoming 2014 Presidential and Local elections and make the planned NATO adventure in Syria untenable, only Turkey can supply boots on the ground on the scale required.

    In any case a laissez-faire approach to the 50% GBP two trillion oil left over in the existing wells that will rekindle typical Scots ingenuity, is in itself enough to keep a 5m population quids in. Quite apart from existing oil/gas production and the huge environmental engineering backlog required to clean up the existing rigs/wells in the North Sea,that will be due to the new Scots Government.

  16. Steve Cosmic:

    “From memory, it basically stated that the ODHIR would consider involvement in oversight in the referendum ONLY if invited to do so by the UK government.”

    Is it this one?

    http://wingsoverscotland.com/sick-of-it-all/#comment-368989

    Or this one?

    http://wingsoverscotland.com/mrs-thatchers-other-funeral/#comment-385301

  17. Stevie Cosmic

    29 Apr, 2013 - 12:12 pm

    @Dougthedug

    Well done you :) Both of them.

    I forget the simple html for a site search, but glad someone is more observant than I.

    Neither post inspires any real confidence, sadly.

  18. I have taken a look at the first of your links regarding pensions.

    It looks topical and it looks factual to me. The warning comes from the Institute of Chartered Accounts of Scotland not the BBC, I assume you will be accusing them of bias as well.

    Then you can accuse STV of bias they carry the same headline, as does the Edinburgh Evening News and various other news outlets whom I assume you will also accuse of anti SNP bias.

    Don’t you think you might be getting a bit fanatical about independence, there are a lot of issues need to be addressed, like this one. There is plenty of time before the referendum for the SNP to resolve these matters.

    I’m afraid I see these constant attacks on the BBC for publishing the facts as no different to the Israeli accusations of anti-Semitism any time the BBC publishes anything vaguely pro Palestinian. A concerted effort to prevent the people hearing the facts.

  19. @ Juteman (fae Dundee?)
    I know this, and you know this…but….

  20. @Fred: I don’t recall the BBC issuing dire warnings while everybody and his dog was closing down or robbing company pension schemes during the last few years:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21172712

    Where did the money go? Oh, yes. The banks.
    The growing liabilities fuelled by quantitative easing will have been a factor behind the record hike in closures.

    Current policies seem to be aimed at ensuring that pension schemes aren’t in deficit because they no longer exist.
    Warning.
    UK-wide.

  21. Oh here we go again.

    So have these matters really been countered and comprehensively rebutted or just brushed aside by Wee Eck as per usual?

    Do any of the nationalists here really believe independence is going to be trouble free? Are you really that naive? It’s no good simply slamming any reporting of problems an independent Scotland might meet as anti-Scots propaganda and trying to pretend they don’t exist because they’ll come back to bite you.

  22. @stevie cosmic & doug the dug

    The reply from ODHIR that you refer to which appeared in WOS certainly suggests that ODHIR wouldn’t get involved unless requested to do so by the UK government…..which is odd because checking their website and their recent involvement in elections in Iceland they themselves acknowledge that it was prompted by their own offices in Iceland not the Government of the country itself.

  23. Fred:

    ICAS do not quantify the number of companies which would be affected by the new “cross-border” regs nor how much would they owe but just report what the total underfunding in the UK is.

    However these are the figures used by the BBC in their report.

    “6,316 final salary pension schemes across the UK are currently running a £237bn deficit”

    What they don’t say or even attempt to analyze is:

    1. How many of these schemes would fall under the new “cross-border rules”?

    2. What amount is owed by by the companies which do fall under these rules? The slant of course is that it is the full £237bn underfunding and it’s going to cost Scotland.

    3. How many of these companies are in Scotland?

    4. Who allowed these companies to underfund their schemes?

    5. Wouldn’t Scots (and the rest of the UK) be better off if the EU forced the schemes to be fully funded?

    6. Is this going to be more of a problem for the rUK than Scotland as that’s where most of the companies are based?

    Ally that with constant repetition of the story by the BBC which was given a much more lurid treatment in the press and you get the idea.

  24. “I don’t recall the BBC issuing dire warnings while everybody and his dog was closing down or robbing company pension schemes during the last few years:”

    Here you go; from three weeks ago.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-22080280

  25. Time to fight back…

    Reptile warns: “Devonport jobs to go if Trident stays in Scotland” (Hootsmon)

    “Cost of maintaining Leuchars, Kinloss as transit camps for Army unacceptable” warns lizard; “Scots enterprise would make better use of them” (Airfix Modeller)

    Komodo warning (FT*): “Scottish shift to Maria Theresa thalers will provide valuable opportunity for English traders – don’t resist inevitable change”

    JOCK OFF! (Daily Tabloid)
    Highlands economic wasteland, warns tabloid living fossil – cut Scotland loose now!

    (Daily Mail*) House Price Slump Dragon Warning: Glasgow’s Existence Threatens Southeast.

    Etc…

    *No, not that one.

  26. @Stevie Cosmic.

    I was about to say the same thing. I also could not find the quote, but I recall this exactly as you stated it. I did wonder whether the Scottish Parliament is not considered a “real government” by these institutions but simply a devolved body, which I suppose it actually is. Perhaps Craig can clarify this. It would explain why the SG had not requested anything, as they in fact do not have the power to do so.

    Or I may be misreading this, and in fact the ODHIR can not respond to an Individual, but could respond to a representative body. This would make some sense, as otherwise when would an overbearing national parliament invite a monitor when it is THEIR MSM that is biased?

    More clarity, and some action required

  27. The military spending one is interesting. The UK has the ‘fourth largest defence budget in the world’, apparently. For a small country that hasn’t been threatened since Johnny Hitler, that seems somewhat large. It’s not as though we make any decisions ourselves anyway. But it’s interesting, of course, because we are in a Recession. Or Depression. Depending on how accurate you like your terms. And plonker there, Hammond I see his name is, is happy to broadcast exactly how Big our Military Dick is, and emphasise how much money we spend to enable us to dong slap Al Qaeda at a moment’s notice.

    What if we, in Scotland, don’t want to dong slap Al Qaeda? The quesion doesn’t arise, it seems. I personally would happily axe the military budget, but about 50%, if not more. But that’s politics, innit? Marginalize perfectly reasonable opinions by pretending they don’t really exist.

    As an aside, I’ve long thought that pensions are the next massive finance sector fuck up. You know the type I mean, the type where nobody resigns, nobody gets fired, and lessons are learned whilst the tax payer foots the bill, without being asked. That kind of fuck up.

  28. Would you call that BBC piece a dire warning, Kempe? Or more of a regretful head shake? Would you say that it was timely, considering that this process began well before 2008? Here’s a warning. This is what a warning looks like:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/pensions/8754525/How-can-we-stop-the-great-pensions-swindle.html

    Kudos to the Torygraph, there.

    Seems a lot of people are already losing their pensions, never mind the border. But we don’t shout about that, as we are *healing* (1) the economy with the money.

    (1) Osborne’s latest lovely spin word for privatising everything for his chums.

  29. Worse still, they are serialising Thatcher’s biography.

    Defund the BBC, cancel your licence:

    http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/check/viewtopiccontent.aspx?id=TOP12&iqdocumentid=TOP12&WT.mc_id=r001

    ‘You don’t need a licence if you don’t use any of these devices to watch
    or record television programmes as they’re being shown on TV – for
    example, if you use your TV only to watch DVDs or play video games, or
    you only watch ‘catch up’ services like BBC iPlayer or 4oD.’

  30. From the BBC dated 2004.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/3730426.stm

    It wasn’t a new story even then. All of the final salary schemes I was in had already been downgraded so any warning, from the torygraph or anybody, was really a bit late.

  31. Ah, events have overtaken my post! I really should have finished it before the coffee not after! Still the point stands ;-)

  32. Fair enough, Kempe. Actually, Thatcher started the opt-out rot, I believe, although she was, admiitedly, vigorously opposed to means-testing state pensions. For the following reason:

    Lady Thatcher said: “For years, as a young MP, I was a junior minister for pensions and the money people paid into their pensions they got out in their pensions in their old age.

    “Not now. This government has put a means-test of old age pensions, so that thousands and thousands of people who paid contributions all their lives are not getting their pension.”

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/uk_politics/2000/conferences/conservatives/954245.stm

    Whereas private enterprise….achieves exactly the same result.

  33. If I had a license (no TV), I wouldn’t cancel it. Because that is exactly what Murdoch, Dacre and the Barclays would like me to do. Bad as the BBC sometimes is, they’re worse.

  34. And it’s not just you nationalists that are having your news manufactured for you. This was inspired by Craig Murray’s blog “Nuclear Nightmare” though my original source was the BBC news story.

    http://newsjunkiepost.com/2013/04/27/manufacturing-the-news-and-nuclear-power/

  35. “What worries me, is that the BBC are trading on their (formerly) good name and despite the obvious propaganda and one-sided reporting, most people will continue to believe every single word they say.”

    Not unlike The Guardian. Or, for that matter, The NY Times and Washington Post: credibility is an asset built up in good times and usefully diminished when things get tough.

    And things are getting very tough indeed: living standards are being cut wherever cuts are still possible before the bone is reached.

    And any resistance is being punished severely, the days of the dignified march to Trafalgar Square, while the police keep a respectful distance, unless they see the chance to snatch a few anarchists, are over. Union stewards are blacklisted, strikes are banned.

    The capitalist world is teetering on the brink of the latter day souped up version of fascism. Mussolini would fit in easily in today’s Europe, life in Italy in the 1920s will soon begin to look rather enviable.
    Unless, of course, we all do something about it.

  36. Craig
    I’m surprised to find you conversant with religious ideas – litany. What about doing a few subhanallahs, alhamdulillahs or astaghfirullahs while you’re at it and when it comes to the real fight for separation a few Allahu Akbars for good measure?

  37. Fascism would work applied gently as to create efficiency and production in the marketplace.

    Chris the fascism we have is not free market capitalism as there is momopolies and a the nankers at the Fed are lending to create more monopolies.

    The news spun out as usual is more bad news, bad news for Scotland as is shown; whether the figures are correct, don’t expect good from our media to speak of the positibes of a independent Scotland.

    Media are not in the good new business.

    Any news on the vote on the apparently destructive chemicals being voted to help save bees.
    Now fascism may be applied there to save bees we all consider our food consumption in return a better environment.
    we have to be strict for heaven’s sake.

  38. “You will look in vain for headlines that say “Yes campaign says independent Scotland will be eighth richest country in the world” or “Official GERS report shows Scotland’s public finances much healthier than those of the UK”. Such headlines just do not exist ”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-15423494

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10389974

  39. “Fair enough, Kempe. Actually, Thatcher started the opt-out rot, I believe, although she was, admiitedly, vigorously opposed to means-testing state pensions. ”

    Sure. The real problem came after the Maxwell affair of 1991. After that government accounting rules prevented a pension fund from being worth more than, I think, 110% of it’s liabilities. The aim was to stop companies using pension funds as tax-free savings accounts, the effect has been to make it impossible for funds to build up enough cash during boom periods to see them safely through the downturns.

  40. doug scorgie

    29 Apr, 2013 - 3:39 pm

    Craig,

    Re: Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) of the OSCE to monitor the referendum and in particular to start immediately Phase 1 media monitoring.

    I e-mailed the SNP about this some time ago and I got a “reassurance” that everything was in place that needed to be in place to ensure fair campaigning.

    I don’t know if that was complacency on their part but they didn’t seem interested.

  41. @ Komodo – “It astonishes me that even the use of the most obvious and blatant state propaganda techniques by the BBC do not result in any serious reaction from the political establishment.”

    The BBC has always been the voice of the London Establishment on things that matter to that establishment – that’s its job. The right wing / left-wing debate is only for issues that the establishment doesn’t care about much. Rupert Murdoch tweeted “no such thing as a free press in the UK” – and the Centre-Left media is just as influenced as the right wing media (hence all their attacks on Wikileaks, etc.).

  42. I suspect that the real evaluation of Scotlands viability as an independant country depends,more than anything else,on it’s share of the liabilities of the two Scotish banks,RBS and HBOS.
    Not a discussion they’d want to have in London either,we might all end up having our pocket money taken away from us,not just the Scots.

  43. doug scorgie

    29 Apr, 2013 - 3:50 pm

    Abe Rene
    29 Apr, 2013 – 11:39 am

    “Perhaps the reason why there are no articles on the BBC website supporting Scottish independence is that it really is a bad idea.”

    If you think it is a bad idea why not explain yourself and make a contribution to the debate?

  44. “don’t recall the BBC issuing dire warnings while everybody and his dog was closing down or robbing company pension schemes during the last few years:”

    So did the Institute of Chartered Accounts of Scotland issue a report on the subject which the BBC failed to publicise?

    The BBC just reported what a reputable Scottish institution asked them to report as did many other news outlets.

    It’s plain common sense that there are two outcomes to the referendum, either Scotland gains independence in which case there will be a lot of changes which the people need to be warned about or things will stay the same, which people don’t need to be warned about. To claim that because the BBC only warns about what will happen if the SNP succeed means they are biassed is nonsense, pure Nationalist propaganda.

  45. @Fred.
    The BBC doesn’t report what will happen in an independent Scotland.
    They report only what Unionists say will happen

  46. Warning: England to become even more of a powerless pissant US suckup when Scotland leaves

  47. Alison Lindsay

    29 Apr, 2013 - 4:08 pm

    Excellent work. We need more people scrutinising the BBC’s every word. George Orwell explains so well in ‘Animal Farm’ how misappropriating language is indoctrination. This began in Scotland when gaelic was first made illegal. At times I get so distraught that, obliged to keep my sanity, I switch off.

    Thank you,
    Alison Lindsay

  48. R. Russell:
    (a) I know
    (b) I didn’t say that. Craig did.
    (c) Craig knows too.

  49. “It’s plain common sense that there are two outcomes to the referendum, either Scotland gains independence in which case there will be a lot of changes which the people need to be warned about or things will stay the same, which people don’t need to be warned about”

    Given that the SNP is proposing to keep the BBC, the monarchy and the pound, and to join NATO and the EU, it seems as though it has a preferred third option in which Scotland gains independence but everything stays the same (except fingers crossed there’ll be a bit more cash around because of the oil revenues).

  50. I don’t think the BBC in Scotland realise yet that the people’s tolerance for this has snapped irreparably, a breaking point, a one-way red line if like you like, has been crossed. I wouldn’t single out individuals, Magnusson’s roots I believe are part-Icelandic, so she shouldn’t have a dog in this race; there is simmering internal dissent and as well as rumours of a pro-independence blacklist, if recent redundancy plans seem to single out impartial or pro-indy staff, it could well land them in some tribunal difficulties. I think there is to be some sort of demo/street party in Glasgow on May 18th. See http://www.bard2014.com/ -and the astonishing quote there from BBC Towers: “we are not in an official referendum campaign and therefore do not have to balance it out between yes and no”. Many would say we are and have been since the August 2014 date was announced. At least they are honest about their dishonesty, but balance for them means three or more unionists, brow-beating and shouting over one Independence supporter or SNP MP/MSP. More than half of any primetime news program is any case taken up with ramming a ghastly minority sport – football – down our throats, of little interest to the over-whelming majority, second to that comes anything vaguely royal -the witterings and photo-ops of Betty Battenburg/Guelph or her spawn. Murder stories and publicity for depraved gangster’s memoirs are favourite subjects too, though the Daily Record has this market mostly sewn up. A recent high point was Jackie Bird having to read out the story of the questioning by police of her husband Bob Bird (a News International/Murdoch exec.) in connection with the NoTW and phone hacking, on what specific subject was not given (possibily relating to Sheridan), and I believe enquiries are still ongoing. Shortly after this she was reported to have collapsed, was on life-support and at death’s door, but recovered remarkably overnight. It’s tragic when the BBC and/or the media itself is the story rather than the wider world, injustice, highlighting the criminality and ineptitude of the powerful and holding them to account.

    You missed one archetypal anti-independence story -aired last week, on the instigation of some lone religious crackpot, we were told an independent Scotland would have to have a re-coronation ceremony of sorts for Queen Betty, I don’t know how the presenters can keep a straight face reading this crap to camera, short of partial lobotomy, it is only a matter of time I think before someone on air lets rip and storms out.

    On a positive note I loved this article by an 18-year-old Dundee student: http://nationalcollective.com/2013/04/25/scottish-independence-a-palestinian-perspective/

  51. David Milligan - a very Sovereign Scot

    29 Apr, 2013 - 4:16 pm

    Thank you Craig, any help that you can give will be crucial to a positive outcome in this matter. And we certainly do need the help. The demonstrations won’t work and are an open invitation to “agent provocateurs” to cause a scuffle and as a result, the BBC would have “Nutter Nationalists” played out on primetime TV from now until 2016.

    We have been looking for a way around the problem and I even started a facebook page called “Push the BBC off Pacific Quay” which was set up to feed evidence of BBC bias and propaganda tactics to the international media. We never got any responses though, no matter how we tried. The only way open to us now (apart from your idea) is to attack the BBC at a grass roots level, using education to change the perceptions of people who sleepwalk their way through the BBC news bulletins. We seek to educate individuals to recognise propaganda and bias when it happens. It will be a slow process though. Unless we can get those that are taught to educate the next ten people. That’s a long shot though.

    I can only say I’m glad that we have you in our corner.

    Kindest regards,

    David Milligan – a very Sovereign Scot

  52. Here’s John Humphrys behaving badly with the Greens this morning:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-22334994

    Note the introductory statement delivered authoritatively (‘true’), followed unemphatically by its qualification (‘I’ve got to say this’)

    He proceeds to interrupt and obfuscate, goading Ms Bennett to the point where nothing coherent is allowed to emerge. His fury is aroused by the term ‘environmental justice’, for some reason.

    I get the feeling the Establishment is feeling a mite beleaguered. Of course, they know the truth – the economy is a basket case, and the party days are definitely over. Fear is beginning to show.

  53. I just used google site search (site:bbc.co.uk if any was wondering how to do that) and found 3,870 results for “Scottish + independence + warning” and 16,200 for “Scottish + independence”.

    Though I went through the first five or so pages of google results on the second search and at best found one article reporting Robertsons challenge to Better Together to return Ian Taylors donation and a couple of neutral articles about the referendum.

    I also noted, and I stress this is not an unbiased systematic overview of all the results (I don’t have time for that – but really someone should consider doing it) the “interesting” use of “scare quotes” in a number of articles when the SNP position was being reported or something positive about independence was being discussed…

    Is there anyone out there who could do a scrape of the BBC news site for all the articles, blogs and stories relating to independence?

    With that downloaded and placed into one file it should be possible to test whether this bias exists using software.

  54. Outstanding blogging yet again Craig.

  55. The BBC in Scotland are not just reporting on the referendum, they are actively taking the side of the No campaign. The truth is they have always been hostile to the SNP and independence. We know it and they know it. One thing that is worth mentioning is that there is usually a rare period when BBC Scotland journalists ask pointed question of Unionists in Scotland. We saw this when Brewer interviewed Sarwar, and Lamont had an even tougher interview last week. Other than that it usually just almost surreal bias from BBC Scotland against independence. Their coverage of the 2011 elections was unwittingly hilarious. They looked as shocked as their buddies in Scottish Labour!

  56. Good luck Craig! I too am surprised more hasn’t been done by YES to, overtly, tackle what we’re all seeing. The debate seems to be being led astray, buried in negativity and nonsense and indeed shut down before it’s really begun. So yeah good luck, hope your efforts succeed.

  57. I’d agree that the BBC have been and will be opposing Scottish independence. They will be doing this because they’re their master’s voice.

    It is extremely naive to assume that the question of Scottish independence is merely one of the larger number of votes on the day winning the argument.

    What you’re seeing now is but a mild use of soft power.

    Were there to be any indication that a vote on the day may be lost by Unionism then you’ll certainly come to better understand the Irish experience.

    If this isn’t appreciated by the proposers of Scottish independence then they simply aren’t ready for independence.

  58. April Showers

    29 Apr, 2013 - 5:41 pm

    Why was it necessary for Alex Salmond to attend the Thatcher funeral? Just because Liebour and the ConDems were there too?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-22175000

  59. Craig…fuck the lot of them I say…I sincerely hope that all Scotland will vote for Independance so we have a chance to collectively shove our decision up the arse of those bastards in London. I live for the day I can watch the shock and horror of those poxy politicians when they realise thier day is over. Oh and when we nationalise all the pseudo royal family’s holdings north of the border and open them up to the public as well !!! I suggest that we bring back the ancient tradition of burning failed ursurers at the stake as well !

  60. Frazer,

    Why don’t you tell us what you really think though?

    :-)

  61. @Komodo – When I first started on my quest for justice after 15 years of silence (since I was scared as most victims are) about the complaint I call Zersetzen (character assassination, intimidation, harassment and threats) I did so with two premises in mind: (1) that we had a free press that would investigate infractions in the rule of law, particularly where there are also implications for human rights and civil liberties and (2) that an issue like mine could not be covered up for years, since I thought that amongst the police, home office, politicians there had to be an element of integrity.
    .
    Well, I was wrong on both counts. So recently I published two articles to demonstrate these two points, using other people’s facts. Links to them can be found on my LinkedIn web site:
    .
    ca.linkedin.com/pub/roderick-russell/13/278/943/
    .
    The first article is about Sir Jimmy Savile. Its purpose was to show how a well-connected pedophile could be shielded from justice for 50 years because he was close to high establishment interests. My contention is this: if power elites can override justice to cover up for a serial pedophile, they can cover-up anything.
    The second story: “The Guardian in America” was about censorship, and the moulding of public opinion. It argues that power-elites who get above the law, are hijacking control of the security / intelligence apparatus, and using that power to neuter the mainstream media.
    .
    I should just mention that on August 17 I last summer I had posted a much briefer comment on this subject on Media Lens. Six hours later my son and his girlfriend were nearly driven off the road. A year earlier I had emailed Jeff Stein of The Washington Post, again on this same subject – the next day a truck was skidded at me here in Calgary.
    .
    Censorship of the Media is clearly of major importance to our power-elites; they don’t want it discussed. If Scotland went independent, the pound, without the oil, would be devastated, and the London establishment finished. One must, therefore, expect a continuous barrage of propaganda from the media against independence.

  62. FRRRRRREEEEEEEDDDDDDOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMM !

  63. @keir liddle

    “it should be possible to test”

    Exactly. Although the Yes Campaign has lodged no complaint it’s an extremely safe bet that every “B”BC Scottish News is archived and indexed – there are lots of clever geeks in the Nats. So that’s Step One: accumulate evidence (to be fair, the BBC is selflessly helping on this part of the project).

    I’d like to hear Craig’s opinion on the ODIHR statement that their services would would have to be invited by Westminster. Clearly that won’t happen. Is there another path?

    I’m disappointed that there has been no attention from media scrutiny groups like Medialens and the Glasgow University Media Group. Are wars in distant places sexier than a war on your own doorstep? In our dreich wee war the stakes are high: if the we win there will be repercussions far beyond the Solway.

    Bloody Halflings, throwing the Ring into the fire again.

  64. Alison Lindsay

    29 Apr, 2013 - 6:20 pm

    Fraser – is that you switched over to the football news? Don’t join the foulers and excitable misinformers, meantime. We will say YES and the issue of Westminster politicians, including the House of Lords will cease to exist. What we do after independence about monarchy et al will be up to us.
    I feel for your distress, but ‘they’ love these reactions

    Carry on printing the facts Craig and co.

    Alison

  65. “The BBC doesn’t report what will happen in an independent Scotland.
    They report only what Unionists say will happen”

    Actually they were reporting what the Institute of Chartered Accounts of Scotland said would happen.

    Do you have any evidence they are Unionists? Or does the term Unionist just cover anyone who doesn’t spout Nationalist propaganda?

  66. To be fair though, Fred, the BBC will be more concerned with what is good for London, than what is good for Scots in an independent Scotland.

    It oughtn’t to be that difficult to work out some comparative of the benefits to Scots, in or out of the Union, and the benefits to London of the Scots being in or out of the Union.

    At the moment, the fact that London wishes to hold the Scots to the Union indicates surely that London is more a beneficiary of their being in than out.

    And what price that benefit to London for Scots?

    Perhaps if London were to declare that they had no “selfish strategic or economic” interest in Scotland, it might serve to clarify matters somewhat.

  67. Roderick Russell at 5.59 p.m. It is indeed made difficult for people prepared to raise their heads above the parapet. I’m sure Craig Murray can comment on this, and many others.

  68. “I’d agree that the BBC have been and will be opposing Scottish independence. They will be doing this because they’re their master’s voice.”

    No, they have to be impartial.

    Don’t take my word for it, listen to Ewan Crawford, he’s a SNP supporter and advisor plus an ex BBC presenter. This was published after the BBC were accused of pro independence bias.

    http://www.scotsman.com/the-scotsman/opinion/comment/ewan-crawford-accusations-of-bbc-bias-are-wide-of-the-mark-1-2465911

    The accusations are just Nationalist propaganda aimed at keeping the truth from the people Goebbels would be proud of them.

  69. Fred argues, of the BBC’s role in covering Scottish independence.

    “No, they have to be impartial.”

    I think most of us are now all too well aware that the idea of BBC impartiality is a fraud.

    We’re well used to Conservative and Israeli commentators claiming that the BBC is agin’em all the time and yet when you do the analysis you see that the BBC is all the while the voice of elite interests, as indeed Lord Reith admitted.

    “The accusations are just Nationalist propaganda aimed at keeping the truth from the people Goebbels would be proud of them.”

    So what is the truth then Fred.

    It’s either that London benefits from the Union and therefore wiishes to preserve it in its own interests or London is in unusually altruistic mood and desires to save the Scots from their independent folly.

    Bit patronising the latter, given Scots contribution to world affairs, but there ya go.

  70. Excellent ! BBC should be held accountable and should be forced to remain impartial which they are currently abusing.

  71. @Fred. German Propaganda.

    http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/

  72. resident dissident

    29 Apr, 2013 - 8:01 pm

    “By contrast, there are no BBC headlines that promote positive claims about Scottish Independence”

    Just not true – simply search for “scottish” and “independence” on the BBC News website – and you will find plent of positive claims by Sturgeon, Salmond and the SNP. You may well have an argument about balance but it is nowhere near as black and white as you make it out to be.

  73. resident dissident

    29 Apr, 2013 - 8:26 pm

    Frazer

    Many thanks for demonstrating the point that nationalism is harldly ever likely to be a force for political good. Orwell in his excellent essay on nationalism demonstrated all too clearly how the various milder kinds of nationalism inevitably mutated into the considerably nastier forms – and my guess is that if Scotland votes yes – we will see just such a phenomenom with both Scottish and (yes) English nationalism.

    http://orwell.ru/library/essays/nationalism/english/e_nat

  74. A very good and sharp article Craig.
    Most of us do seem to be a little bit frustrated by the apparent inability of the Yes Camp/SNP to come up with a response to the disgusting misuse of taxpayers money to maximise the anti-indy campaign.

    “KEIR LIDDLE = I’d like to hear Craig’s opinion on the ODIHR statement that their services would would have to be invited by Westminster. Clearly that won’t happen. Is there another path?”

    Coming as you do from the diplomatic service Craig, are there contacts that you could use to bring A.S. together with people who could “have a few words” with the ODIHR decision makers?
    I’m also thinking here about the Irish and luxemburg ministers (among others) who have been recently led up the garden path by BBC interviewers and their masters politically naive reponses to their compliants. I could imagine that quite a few Europeans do have a bit of a grudge after having been conned by the BBC.

  75. Res Diss argues that nationalism is bad and big state unions is good.

    It’s interesting though that the policy of UK US etc is to split states such as Iraq, Libya and in future, Syria and Iran into smaller ethnic entities, the better to control and disempower them.

    That would surely indicate that smaller is better and big power unions like the US and others are a force for ill.

  76. doug scorgie

    29 Apr, 2013 - 8:57 pm

    April

    I’m sure that Salmond would rather not have attended the Thatcher funeral but politically he had no choice.

    A snub to Thatcher would be seen as a snub to the “masters of the universe” in the City giving a stick to the corporate and state media to beat him with in the Independence referendum.

    I think Salmond is an astute man who is (up to now) playing well in the political chess game.

    I am more concerned that Bernard Hogan-Howe Commissioner of the Met attended; a person that represents a supposedly non-political organization with a duty to be impartial and to uphold the law without “fear or favour”.

    He was knighted this year for services to policing. He could have declined the honour but he didn’t; in fact no senior police officer has ever declined an honour from the state.

    All police officers, from constable to chief constable to commissioner have to swear an oath of allegiance to the Crown or they don’t get employed; thus showing that the separation of powers in th UK is a grey area at best.

  77. “So what is the truth then Fred.”

    Truth is if you apply Craig’s logic to any other news outlet the result is the same.

    I typed “STV warning independence” into google and this was the result.

    http://www.google.co.uk/#output=search&sclient=psy-ab&q=stv+warning+independence&oq=stv+warning+independence&gs_l=hp.12…1602.13315.1.15687.24.24.0.0.0.0.225.3279.0j22j2.24.0…0.0…1c.1.11.hp.9hioZYD-A-Y&psj=1&bav=on.2,or.r_qf.&bvm=bv.45645796,d.d2k&fp=610e83b954f19de4&biw=1280&bih=670

    See, it’s a con, just like the claims that Westminster was stealing Scotland’s territorial waters and oil rigs, Nationalist propaganda. The Nationalists will do anything to incite hatred.

  78. I just received a text saying that tonight’s Reporting Scotland said the ban on bee killing pesticides is a “Massive blow to the SNP”. Surely that can’t be true.

  79. I spent a week back home last year, and the Hotel gave the option of a daily newspaper which I took. The Scotsman used to be a great read back in the days of Norman Mair. For 6 of the 7 days I read it there was a full front page negative either about Independence, Alex Salmond, or the end of the world as we Scots know it.
    The other rags are not much better.Auntie BeeB became Goebbels and there isn’t even an attempt to hide the bias. But there’s the rub, they have nothing positive to print about being ” bitter together “.It always ends up as threats of what will be taken away,lost.
    One of the threats was that they would stop BBC programmes being shown North of the Border.
    I hope to hell that once the YES vote is in, that we at least get a pro Scottish Press.

  80. Resident Dissident:

    The Nationalism which was being pushed down our throats from all angles during the Olympics must have made you and Orwell sick to the stomach.Never seen so many Union jacks in my life.

  81. craig
    29 Apr, 2013 – 9:16 pm

    “I just received a text saying that tonight’s Reporting Scotland said the ban on bee killing pesticides is a “Massive blow to the SNP”. Surely that can’t be true.”

    Craig, it is not a “massive blow” to the SNP it is hyperbole but:

    Scotland’s Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said:

    “The Scottish Government takes the health of bees and other insect pollinators very seriously but, in this case, the science has not been clear cut. Ministers have to therefore make careful judgements in the absence of conclusive evidence.”

    http://www.scotland.gov.uk/News/Releases/2013/04/pesticide28042013

    The SNP is not immune to powerful agricultural interests in Scotland

  82. CM @9:16pm I didn’t catch all of the mis-Reporting Scotland program tonight, it clashes with cooking dinner, but I don’t remember anything as silly as that, though by their convoluted logic such a claim wouldn’t surprise me. I do recall the story and the NFU guy at the end of the bee piece was a bit incoherent and spare, but nothing so ludicrous as that. Someones having you on. No mention that farmers probably can and will buy the banned stuff outside of the EU, but hints of alternative products being sought, which would probably be no less harmful. One thing people can do is buy a box or packet of mixed wildflower seed and sow them in any spare pieces of ground, even along the edges of lawns or otherwise unused space, public places as well, verges and so on, as well as helping the bees it should make for a visual improvement too, some night-scented stock also is a pleasure on summer evenings.

  83. “We are not in an official referendum campaign and therefor do not have to balance it out between yes and no”

    A reply by the BBC to a complaint on their biased broadcasting in Scotland

    March: Second Illuminate the Debate

    Taking place: Saturday 18th May 2013, Glasgow.

    http://www.bard2014.com/

  84. Slightly off topic. Not everybody knows this but a new political party has started up with the very noble intention of trying to do the impossible – unite the left. I had already liked its Facebook page on a global scale but learnt a little more about it on Saturday’s march against the use of drones at RAF Waddington.

    https://www.facebook.com/The14thNovemberMovementLeftPartyUk?fref=ts

    Please like the page, if you agree with it of course. This could go international (which would make it acceptable to Scots too, and we welcome you (and your oil)). You can join your local branch or start one.

    I learnt about the march against drones on Thursday. On Friday I sawed in half a pull-out bed and made a sturdy placard for what, after booking on the coach, I learnt would be a two-mile walk from Lincoln. It turned out to be three-and-a-half miles, above a mile uphill, and the bed, sorry placard, got heavier and heavier. There’s no gain without pain. But the time has come even for older people to get active. My placard read “DRONES – THE ULTIMATE IN COWARDICE and I am reliably informed it is on the Demotix Waddington RAF photos. Unite against the horrors of the world.

  85. I’m not sure you can really accuse an institution of leaning one way or another when you, yourself are not objective or unbiased on the issue. I personally am not pro or anti independence, and I appreciate balanced information and arguments on both sides of the fence rather than both accusing the other of skewing the figures and scare mongering.

    Steven

  86. great post Craig, even for a Kraut.
    Midgehunter has it to a T, whats is now important is that those interviewed by the BBC are clued up enough to point to this distressing dichotomy.

    When we were in Newbury, demonstrating against the bypass, our press work (Green Party then) was so down to base that the BBC had problems finding anyone who was wiling to speak for the other side.

    If live comments reflect the reality, than the BBC orifice will tumble, crumble and disintegrate into crumbs.

    This incipient drip drip must be interfered with by adding a reality funnel, tonight’s news as just announced by Craig is ludicrous and wrong. Curtailing the BBC coverage and making their output subject to Levinsons regulations is just one step. Why should they be exempt from it?

    Their MI propaganda freaks must be curtailed and exposing the influence of the FO and MI’s in this mouldy institution calls for some brave heart action.

    Just sayin’

  87. Don’t understand this. The BBC is the British Broadcasting Corporation: funded by all of us everywhere. It will naturally also have an interest in keeping its remit. It does not want to become the English Broadcasting Network, and who can blame it, As Res Dis shows, it does indeed report on the ‘alternative’.

    I have yet to see a genuine post by CM which sets out the parameters, ramifications, moral and legal status of a genuinely independent Scotland. Excuse me if I have missed it.

  88. Steven @10:51

    Craig’s blog is one (brave) man’s effort in a pleasant backwater of the web, to get unassailable facts, and his own opinions, out into the world, with a touch of wit and humility. The BBC is a publicly-funded global behemoth with reach into every home and mind through a mandatory subscription, backed by the state’s monopoly on violence and implicit threat to individual liberty. That is the the difference. I don’t think any reasonable person (that counts Fred out) could conclude that the BBC is treating the Independence debate, or many other matters, in an even-handed manner, their bias is so unashamably blatant as to cause anger and revulsion. Across the UK the BBC peddles disinformation daily, is the legally culpable cheerleader-in-chief for criminally insane inhuman warmongering hawks with a limpet-like grip on the levers of power over us. Forget all that fantasy remit about, educating, informing and entertaining, this is a sleek propaganda machine with selfish and evil interests of an gruesome elite top of its agenda, at all times.

    In the Independence debate the whole of the No case is scaremongering and lies, repeated ad nauseum, that is all they have, the Yes case makes itself just by holding a mirror to the sinister combination of the Labour, Tory and Liberal parties acting in lockstep. The independence debate has shown and confirmed that these parties’ differences are just superficial skins on a singular entity: a perpetual governing clique and elite, British democracy a sham affair of smoke and mirrors, fooling no-one any longer.

  89. I love the idea of Scottish independence from the Union, a people free to find their own destiny. What’s not to like. It’s beautiful. I love it.

    But in terms of the modalities it seems to me that those who argue for Scottish independence have not paid attention to the Irish experience.

    And that is curious. Very curious.

    It does seem that some of these advocates suggest that a simple majority vote will achieve it.

    Not so.

    If it comes down to that, goalposts will be moved.

    If necessary, particularly strong advocates will be removed.

    The only reason part of Ireland achieved independence from the Union was with the support of another power, namely the USA.

    The only reason the North of Ireland achieved its rather special status within the UK was with the support of another power, namely the USA.

    And that’s how it works.

    I wish the Scot Nats well, but please don’t delude yourselves. Absent the support of another power, your best bet is to argue for special conditions, and that is certainly achieveable.

    My feeling is that Alex knows all this and that the threat of Scottish independence is his way of obtaining a better deal for Scotland within the Union.

  90. Lovely prosing, Cryptonym but could you set out the “parameters, ramifications, moral and legal status of a genuinely independent Scotland” – as you see them?

  91. When it comes to the independence debate in North Britain, personally I prefer the Daily Mash over the Beeb every time

    http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/international/scottish-currency-to-be-mickle-or-bawbee-2013042466579

  92. Herbie: “I love the idea of Scottish independence from the Union, a people free to find their own destiny. What’s not to like. It’s beautiful. I love it.” – we’ve had this before. Personally I no more ‘love’ it for one section of society than I do for another. Surely it must be disguising a rule of interests. Who will benefit financially from an ‘independent’ Scotland? Follow the money.

  93. Technicolour: I could do no better than the case the Dundee student made, linked in an earlier post, up there somewhere.

    Everything starts with a functional responsive democracy, without that you can have nothing.

    Apply your follow the money reasoning to the execrable status-quo.

  94. Tech

    If you read the piece as a whole you’ll see that I both invoked and disolved that aspiration.

  95. Craig.
    The problem is yours, as you are holding a core assumption that the BBC is supposed to be fair.

  96. Glasgow’s Finest:

    The Sensational Alex Harvey Band:

    The Hammer Song:

    ************

    “Oh please, don’t sell me out”, said the man with the hammer,
    Hammering the anvil
    “I’ve been walking on the road of rocks
    And I keep on hammering, Keep on hammering, keep on hammering
    Hammering the anvil.”
    “Don’t let the sun go down,” said the man with the fire, firing the
    Furnace
    “I’ve been buried in the snow
    And I keep on firing, keep on firing,
    Firing the furnace.”
    “Don’t talk to me”, said the man with the chisel, chiseling the
    Surface
    “I’ve been sleeping far too long,
    And I keep on chiseling, keep on chiseling, keep on chiseling
    Chiseling the surface.”
    “I don’t know what you mean”, said the man with the shovel, shoveling
    The ashes,
    “I’ve been diggin in the frozen ground,
    And I keep on shoveling, keep on shoveling, keep on shoveling,
    Shoveling the ashes
    Chiseling the surface,
    Firing the furnace,
    Hammering the anvil
    Hammering the anvil.
    “Oh please, don’t sell me out”, said the man with the hammer,
    Hammering the anvil
    “I’ve been walking on the road of rocks,
    And I keep on hammering , keep on hammering, keep on hammering,
    Hammering the anvil.”
    Shoveling the ashes
    Chiseling the surface
    Firing the furnace
    Hammering the anvil.
    Keep it on, keep it on, keep it on!
    Hammering the anvil.

    **********

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swQ44pWBAa8

    RIP and God Bless Alex.

  97. April Showers

    30 Apr, 2013 - 6:49 am

    There is a development in the al Hilli murder case.

    UK vehicle sought in Alps shooting – 8 hours ago
    An appeal to help trace a right-hand drive 4×4, probably British, seen close to where four people were murdered in the French Alps is issued.

  98. alan campbell

    30 Apr, 2013 - 6:56 am

    Getting in your excuses early, Craig? Very wise.

  99. April Showers

    30 Apr, 2013 - 7:03 am

    The American president, having finished with his clowning act the other night, is overseeing the most grotesque operation in Guantanamo. He promised to close it 5 years ago but that promise was broken.

    Now up to 130 of the 150 captives (not charged or tried) are on hunger strike and he has approved an order to bring 40 Navy doctors in to force feed them. Physicians for Human Rights say that this violates medical ethics.

    Free Guantánamo Detainees Who Are Cleared for Release, PHR Urges President Obama

    Hunger Strikes Are a Clear Sign of Distress and Forced Feeding Violates Medical Ethics 04/10/2013

    As a hunger strike by dozens of detainees held at Guantánamo Bay enters its third month, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) calls on President Obama to take immediate steps to free those who have been cleared for release and to treat remaining detainees in conformance with ethical guidelines and international law.

    “Hunger strikes are a desperate act by people who have lost hope in the prospect of ever being released,” said Donna McKay, PHR’s executive director. “It is unconscionable that we continue to imprison 86 men who have been determined to pose no threat to the United States. President Obama should exercise his authority to safely transfer these people to be released in other countries without further delay.”

    /..
    http://physiciansforhumanrights.org/press/press-releases/free-guantanamo-detainees-who-are-cleared-for-release.html

    What horror. What inhumanity.

    This news led on the BBC World Service this morning but came bottom on Radio 4 at 5.30am

  100. English Knight

    30 Apr, 2013 - 7:30 am

    Bottom line as always is money, all the propaganda in the world cannot overrule it. The Ghawer oilfield in KSA produces 4.5m bpd at a $100 per barrel = $450m per day, all due to vast amounts of salt water injected by 24hr electrical pumps. The 5.5m Scots have enough “free” night time off peak electricity to similarly pump out the 50% £2 TRILLION of oil that still lies untapped from known EXISTING “depleted” wells. Quite apart from the current oil/gas production royalties. There is enough “gold in them thaar depleted wells” with modern 3D seismics,horizontal drilling,undersea fracking, laissez-faire independent approaches, that we might just have kilted Scotsmen replacing the white robed Middle Eastern sheikhs in their Lamborghinis in Knightbridge, in a mere 10 years !!

  101. April Showers

    30 Apr, 2013 - 8:18 am

    Peter Paul and Mary, If I Had A Hammer
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VaWl2lA7968

    Peter and Paul are still going strong but sadly Mary died from leukaemia aged 72.

  102. April Showers

    30 Apr, 2013 - 8:58 am

    Another Palestinian in Gaza has been killed in a targeted Israeli air strike. He was on a motor bike.

  103. Steven wrote: I’m not sure you can really accuse an institution of leaning one way or another when you, yourself are not objective or unbiased on the issue.

    Imgaine you are on trial, Steven. You notice members of the jury are close friends & relatives of the alleged victim and the prosecutor calls the judge dad.

  104. “Craig’s blog is one (brave) man’s effort in a pleasant backwater of the web, to get unassailable facts, and his own opinions, out into the world, with a touch of wit and humility.”

    Then why does he not address the facts, like the fact that the oil rigs he accused Westminster of stealing are in fact closer to England than Scotland and the fact that the headline he says shows BBC bias was also carried by STV and many other news outlets?

    What Craig Murray is doing is shit stirring, pure and simple. Trying to spread the Northern Ireland style sectarian divide which already exists in parts of Scotland nation wide. Attempting to manufacture a sense of injustice and hatred among the Scots.

    “They come over here taking our oil rigs” or ” they come over here taking our jobs”, what’s the difference?

  105. More on al-Hilli case:
    http://www.thisissurreytoday.co.uk/Detectives-want-trace-driver-French-Alps-murder/story-18846419-detail/story.html#axzz2Rvytj6Qi

    Officers are keen to speak to the owner of a right-hand drive 4×4 vehicle, possibly a grey, black or dark coloured BMW X5.

    Black 4X4′s are usually driven by potential murderers in my experience, and BMW is generally bad, too. (Mercs are worse, though). I think they’re looking for the right guy now. He almost certainly pulls out of side roads without looking, if that’s any help.

  106. @Nevermind…I can categorically assure you Craig is not German.

  107. Fred:Awa’ n bile yer heid ! If the oil rigs were closer to England then it would be an English port and not Aberdeen that supplies them.Tony Blair changed border markers between the two countries while no-one was looking.It doesn’t make it legal.
    Injustice doesn’t need to be manufactured for the Scots.It’s etched into the landscape and communities around the country.
    I’d save all of your vitriol and shit stirring for a corrupt Westminster that has caused this question to crop up at all.
    If everything had been hunky dory and an even playing field then the SNP wouldn’t be in power and there would be no referendum coming for the people of Scotland.
    I don’t understand why Craig pointing out what is obvious to all Scots re: the BBC gets up your nose. Don’t you believe in an impartial BBC ? Isn’t that what its supposed to be about ?

  108. “Trying to spread the Northern Ireland style sectarian divide which already exists in parts of Scotland nation wide.”

    I see no sign of that at any rate, Fred. That’s a selfrighteously indignant untruth too far. Though Unionists, such as yourself, are happy to ignore the evidence to the contrary and try to portray the SNP as Catholic Irish terrorists, for your own reasons. When I say Unionist, btw, I use the term in its political sense only. There are plenty of Catholic Unionists, in that sense, and plenty of Protestant Nationalists. Also atheists, Muslims, Jews and Hindus.

    There are also plenty of sectarian Protestant Unionists who try “to spread the Northern Ireland style sectarian divide which already exists in parts of Scotland nation wide.”, but I am sure you didn’t have them in mind at all.

    No surrender, eh?

  109. Frazer, what I meant was, even for a Kraut this is a great article, forgive my diction and grammar.
    Anyway, he knows how I meant it.take care, hope to meet you one day for a jar or two.

  110. Oddly enough me and all my family are convinced BBC Scotland is bias in favour of the SNP and is very pro-independence.

    I guess it’s all a question of perspective.

  111. I don’t know much about issues to do with Scottish independence, but I do have a few comments to make in regards to the ‘deliberate propaganda’ claims in your article.

    From my own experience I can assure it is a complex process to uncover real systematic biases in media outlets. Among other things, attention needs to be paid to the context of the news reporting (“news framing”), potential analyst bias need to be carefully regarded (e.g. to prevent cherry-picking of evidence), methodology needs to be clear and there needs to be a wealth of data/material.

    Your friend’s search doesn’t prove anything.

    Best Regards,
    Mjrinski

  112. Fred: There is widespread anger over systemic anti-independence bias in all mainstream Scottish media, that includes STV – though I haven’t lived near Glasgow since 2005 and haven’t personal experience of their more recent output – and print media, anyone denying this is just putting their fingers in their ears and going la-la-la; from the frothing loss-making right-wing Tory rags like the Scotsman, to the New Labour newsletter, the Daily Record, which has also seen its circulation nosedive spectacularly; the fact that STV also carries such nonsensical one-sided scare stories, often simultaneously in an onslaught along with the BBC and the Scotsman, Record and friends, doesn’t support your case at all. The BBC is a special case of a pseudo public service broadcaster from which higher standards are not only expected, but can justly be demanded, but it has long operated under false pretences as a Westminster party mouthpiece, giving even in Scotland, alien parties, such as the Conservatives – with negligible support – totally disproportionate coverage and attention. It has trashed its wholly mythical reputation for balance and truthfulness.

    Simon: I expect you are one of those who think the BBC is left-wing too; I don’t think it’s a question of perspective, but of blinkers and studied want of knowledge.

  113. April Showers

    30 Apr, 2013 - 6:27 pm

  114. April Showers

    30 Apr, 2013 - 10:17 pm

    Alex Salmond on Ch 4 News tonight. 12 mins.

    Salmond: Scotland would not have own central bank – video

    Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond tells Jon Snow that an independent Scotland’s monetary policy would be run by the Bank of England but tax and spending would be set by Edinburgh.

    http://www.channel4.com/news/scotland-would-not-have-own-central-bank-says-salmond

  115. On the broader issue of Scottish independence, Herbie @12.13am is quite correct; the ScotNats have no political traction in the US or Brussels that might inhibit Westminster from playing hardball, so they are probably onto a loser.

    On the narrow issue of Beeb bias Craig is correct; The Beeb will be as ‘even handed’ in its coverage of the 2014 referendum as it was in its coverage of the 1975 ‘common market’ referendum.

  116. Ukraine got its independence from Russia (USSR then) after 300 years of russification. The nationalists rejoiced, but it’s not all been good. Large Russian and russified Ukrainian minorities split the country down the middle and paralyse normal politics, diverting attention from more important issues of failing economic policies and corruption.

    Could a similar dynamic emerge in independent Scotland?

    I think transforming the Union into a Confederation would benefit the Scottish people more. In a confederation, sovereignty can be unilaterally reclaimed constitutionally therefore making transparent co-operation the inevitable outcome. Take the Swiss national minorities – all fiercely patriotic about being Swiss, all proudly maintaining their individual identities. The story of the Jura struggle for independence from Bern in the 70s is interesting – they had a number of options but chose to form a new canton of the Confederation.

  117. “It astonishes me that even the use of the most obvious and blatant state propaganda techniques by the BBC do not result in any serious reaction from the political establishment.”

    LOL

    The Scotchman, John Reith who founded the BBC, and served as Information Minister, i.e., Goebbels counterpart, during WW2, made the BBC a mouthpiece of the establishment from the outset. During the General strike he even wrote speeches for the Prime Minister and permitted no air time at all to opponents of government policy.

    Naturally, when the integrity of the state is threatened, the BBC will be employed to counter the separatist propaganda. The only thing the BBC can be criticized for is blatancy that may nullify the effectiveness of the propaganda.

    So you’re a bit late objecting to BBC bollocks now.

  118. “Fred:Awa’ n bile yer heid ! If the oil rigs were closer to England then it would be an English port and not Aberdeen that supplies them.Tony Blair changed border markers between the two countries while no-one was looking.It doesn’t make it legal.”

    Bullshit and Nationalist lies.

    I defy anyone who believes such rubbish to just take a map and compass then check for themselves.

    Have you done that?

    I have.

  119. “Fred: There is widespread anger over systemic anti-independence bias in all mainstream Scottish media,”

    Then might I suggest that it is probably you, not the media, which is biassed.

  120. “I see no sign of that at any rate, Fred. That’s a selfrighteously indignant untruth too far. Though Unionists, such as yourself, are happy to ignore the evidence to the contrary and try to portray the SNP as Catholic Irish terrorists, for your own reasons. When I say Unionist, btw, I use the term in its political sense only. There are plenty of Catholic Unionists, in that sense, and plenty of Protestant Nationalists. Also atheists, Muslims, Jews and Hindus.”

    What do you mean Unionists such as myself? What the hell makes you think I’m a Unionist? I’m not a Unionist or any other sort of “ist” for that matter.

    There are radical fanatical Nationalist nutters in Scotland just the same as there are radical fanatical Nationalist nutters in England and I just don’t like having to live with the hatred generated by people who like playing games with the people from their ivory towers.

    Get this, those oil rigs are closer to England than they are to Scotland. I’m not saying that because I’m a Unionist, I’m not saying that because I’m biassed, I’m saying that because it’s fucking well true I measured it.

  121. Fred, there is no need to explode. If you support the Union, you are a Unionist, as far as anyone with an understanding of English need be concerned. I think the Scots (among whom I lived for thirty years on pretty good terms) have a right to decide their own destiny. You don’t, evidently, and feel the need to invoke Rangers/Celtic/Hearts/Hibs in defence of your view. But they’re – though regrettable manifestations of brutal stupidity, just like the BNP – completely irrelevant to the discussion.

    Regardless of the proximity of selected oil rigs to Scotland/England, most of the marine boundary (ie English water) is a damn sight closer to Scotland than England. Unless the Highlands have committed to England, and I hadn’t heard.

  122. New one this morning, with all the same themes.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-22358118

  123. James @10.28

    The story you link to is spun so as to put Sturgeon on the defensive. She should actually embrace the ‘decline in UK influence’ trope as a good thing.

    If Scotch independence cuts the Westminster mandarinate down to size, with their fantasies about the ‘special relationship’, ‘punching above our weight’,’ being at the heart of Europe’ & ‘the Commonwealth spreads British influence across the world’, so much the better. Our destiny for the rest of this century- if we’re lucky- is to accept the status of a 2nd or 3rd ranking power in the world, a damper, less prosperous Switzerland, if you like.

    One of the main reasons the Westminster establishment opposes Scotch independence as strongly as it does is their aversion to the cold shower of reality that it’ll induce.

  124. April Showers

    1 May, 2013 - 4:13 pm

    Three Scottish lives have been wasted in vain and six others are injured. The town of Penicuik, Midlothian where the regimental barracks is based is in mourning.

    http://news.stv.tv/scotland/223567-scottish-soldiers-from-highland-fusilers-killed-in-afghanistan/

  125. April Showers

    1 May, 2013 - 4:15 pm

    More of B.Liar’s legacy.

    New War Child report on life in Iraq.

    Some of the facts:

    - Around 10% of the population, or 3 million people, remain displaced.

    - At least 692 children have been killed since December 2012.

    - A child born in 2011 can expect to live two years less than a child born in 2000.

    - Over half of 12-17 year olds are not in school.

    - Up to 1m children have lost one or both parents since the invasion in 2003.

    - Over a quarter of Iraqi children, circa 3 million of them, show signs of post-traumatic stress disorder.

    http://cdn.warchild.org.uk/sites/default/files/Mission_Unaccomplished_%20Iraq_1_May_2013.pdf

  126. Normally, BBC Scotland reports deaths of Scottish soldiers as such.
    Today they were being reported as British deaths.
    Probably doesn’t mean anything.

  127. Well it appears one of them was born in Blackpool and another in the US.

  128. One of my Scottish friends was born in London.

  129. No word about the nationality of the parents but I don’t regard that as important. What is important is that three young men who should’ve had their whole lives ahead of them have had that taken away. Whether the parents are Scottish, English or American I don’t suppose the pain they’re having to bear right now is any different.

  130. “Fred, there is no need to explode. If you support the Union, you are a Unionist, as far as anyone with an understanding of English need be concerned. I think the Scots (among whom I lived for thirty years on pretty good terms) have a right to decide their own destiny. You don’t, evidently, and feel the need to invoke Rangers/Celtic/Hearts/Hibs in defence of your view. But they’re – though regrettable manifestations of brutal stupidity, just like the BNP – completely irrelevant to the discussion.”

    All I am supporting is truth so stop calling me names or I am going to start calling you a few.

    “Regardless of the proximity of selected oil rigs to Scotland/England, most of the marine boundary (ie English water) is a damn sight closer to Scotland than England. Unless the Highlands have committed to England, and I hadn’t heard.”

    More bullshit and lies, every point of the line, which is not a national border, is equidistant from Scotland and England. I have measured it, you obviously have not.

  131. “New one this morning, with all the same themes.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-22358118

    I took a look at the link, it contains an audio clip of Nicola Sturgeon and a video clip of Alex Salmond but no media clips of anyone from the committee.

    That is blatant bias, equal resources should be given to both sides of the discussion.

  132. @Doug Scorgie: If you think it is a bad idea why not explain yourself and make a contribution to the debate?

    OK, here’s two reasons.

    1. The BBC evidently thinks so, since it devotes not much more attention to this idea than to perpetual motion machines.

    2. Sally Magnusson looks fantastic, has presented Songs of Praise (at least, I saw a specimen on Youtube) and is a Unionist.

    I rest my case. What more do you want?

  133. PS. But, as I have said before, if the majority of citizens living in Scotland did want independence, I wouldn’t stop them.

  134. Sophie Habbercake

    2 May, 2013 - 7:52 pm

    O/T WARNING! SERIOUSLY OFF TOPIC. PROCEED NO FURTHER.

    Look this thread is old and the coalface has shifted and anyway if you’re still skulking around here you’d probably benefit from a bit of culture.

    Dad’s Favorite Scottish Poem.

    The Tay Bridge Disaster
    by William McGonagall

    Beautiful Railway Bridge of the Silv’ry Tay!
    Alas! I am very sorry to say
    That ninety lives have been taken away
    On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
    Which will be remember’d for a very long time.

    ’Twas about seven o’clock at night,
    And the wind it blew with all its might,
    And the rain came pouring down,
    And the dark clouds seem’d to frown,
    And the Demon of the air seem’d to say-
    “I’ll blow down the Bridge of Tay.”

    When the train left Edinburgh
    The passengers’ hearts were light and felt no sorrow,
    But Boreas blew a terrific gale,
    Which made their hearts for to quail,
    And many of the passengers with fear did say-
    “I hope God will send us safe across the Bridge of Tay.”

    But when the train came near to Wormit Bay,
    Boreas he did loud and angry bray,
    And shook the central girders of the Bridge of Tay
    On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
    Which will be remember’d for a very long time.

    So the train sped on with all its might,
    And Bonnie Dundee soon hove in sight,
    And the passengers’ hearts felt light,
    Thinking they would enjoy themselves on the New Year,
    With their friends at home they lov’d most dear,
    And wish them all a happy New Year.

    So the train mov’d slowly along the Bridge of Tay,
    Until it was about midway,
    Then the central girders with a crash gave way,
    And down went the train and passengers into the Tay!
    The Storm Fiend did loudly bray,
    Because ninety lives had been taken away,
    On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
    Which will be remember’d for a very long time.

    As soon as the catastrophe came to be known
    The alarm from mouth to mouth was blown,
    And the cry rang out all o’er the town,
    Good Heavens! the Tay Bridge is blown down,
    And a passenger train from Edinburgh,
    Which fill’d all the peoples hearts with sorrow,
    And made them for to turn pale,
    Because none of the passengers were sav’d to tell the tale
    How the disaster happen’d on the last Sabbath day of 1879,
    Which will be remember’d for a very long time.

    It must have been an awful sight,
    To witness in the dusky moonlight,
    While the Storm Fiend did laugh, and angry did bray,
    Along the Railway Bridge of the Silv’ry Tay,
    Oh! ill-fated Bridge of the Silv’ry Tay,
    I must now conclude my lay
    By telling the world fearlessly without the least dismay,
    That your central girders would not have given way,
    At least many sensible men do say,
    Had they been supported on each side with buttresses,
    At least many sensible men confesses,
    For the stronger we our houses do build,
    The less chance we have of being killed.

  135. Despite the corny title, this is a good post, in that it illustrates that when there’s a message, those who control the medium often bang it out repeatedly, using propagandistic means which are very obvious when only you look at them. Black ‘arts’? ‘Creative’ ‘industry’? Nah. What works, works, so they use it. Most of it’s the same old same old, as far as technique goes. And there’s a message in every media article. It’s all advertising, as Beaverbrook said. What would be ‘news’ is what’s kept out.

    But…as for the ‘issue’ here, there’s a clue in the name of the BBC. How hard did Salmond try to get some bandwidth for an SBC? He didn’t, did he? What stopped him? Look for what politicians don’t do.

    Truth is, Salmond’s an errand-boy for the same interests as Cameron and Miliband. Bar a small amount of quibbling over what big pension funds in the City of London count as ‘Scottish’. Hopefully the scales will fall from your eyes some time, Craig, as they did when you stopped backing the Liberal Democrats. Although, after the referendum is lost, Salmond is bound to continue the same old bullshit game of blaming the FEBs for everything (that’s ‘Fucking English Bastards’, for those who’ve never been north of the border or who kept their ears shut when they did), which plays so well to so many of the sheeple in Scotland. Sure, he’s an old hand and will use terms appropriate for different submarkets, such as ‘London media’ or ‘Westminster’. You gotta expect most successful politicians to have some skill at being politicians. (OK, there are posh Tories who get handed safe seats on a plate and who’ve got absolute shit for brains, but their own markets usually think they’re great. They do the job.) Actually, more likely, Salmond will retire. I wonder whether he’ll accept a peerage? It’d be hilarious if he did!

  136. There has to be someone high up in the BBC who actually cares for its international and national reputation and would not think twice about facing the issue head on.
    I think most of the poor coverage coming from down south is just down to plain old ignorance and can almost be expected but Here in Scotland there are people abusing their power and acting in a way which can only be described as cocky and biased in the extreme.
    It really angers me that they think it ok to subvert Scotland`s democratic process to support their own views. They are a bunch of low lifes if you ask me, truly awful people.
    The more Scot`s made aware of their agenda the better for all who call this country home.

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