Oh Dear! New Labour’s Control of BBC Scotland Must Be Curbed 285

Beyond doubt, a significant number of Scottish citizens are disturbed at what they perceive as a systemic bias in the BBC against Scottish independence. I have read some sixty internet articles to the same effect in the last 24 hours. There is a citizens internet revolt against the mainstream here.

That BBC bias is displayed in the selection of which news stories to present related to independence, in the selection of guests on programmes, in the selection of which facts to highlight within the selected stories, in the comment provided by BBC journalists, and in the treatment afforded to guests, the way guests are presented, the respect they are or are not given and the opportunity they have to present their arguments.

Yesterday’s coverage of the official, civil service prepared GERS report indicating that Scotland subsidises the rest of the UK’s public finances brought these matters to a head.

The BBC’s own journalists presented the report solely as indicating Scotland had a fiscal deficit, without the BBC commenters saying that Scotland’s finances were much better than the rest of the UK – despite the fact that the determination of the comparison is the avowed main purpose of the report.

The BBC subordinated the GERS report to a commentary by the Fraser of Allander Institute allegedly indicating Scotland’s economy was too weak to sustain independence. They ran the story all day but did not reveal once that the Fraser Institute is a New Labour “think-tank”, and its head is the husband of Wendy Alexander, failed New Labour leader, and brother-in-law of shadow Foreign Minister Douglas Alexander. Fraser has an appalling forecasting record, having issued dire and completely wrong forecasts on growth ever since the SNP came to power in Holyrood.
[My dad used to work for Hugh Fraser, a total bastard incidentally]. It is, in short, not a real economic institute at all but another New Labour device to fund undeclared political contributions in effect to the party (cf the Smith Institute).

The GERS report was also subordinated in news bulletings to a “leaked” report about Scotland’s future spending choices. The apocalyptic tone of the BBC reporting of this bore no relation to the report’s contents. They continually showed the report with a graphic of a cover stamped Top Secret – an entirely false graphic actually made by the No campaign and circulated by them with a press release. This leaked report was the number one news story, and television guests invited to discuss it in the course of the day were unionist to nationalist in the ratio of 17 to 3.

Just one day, but part of an unbroked pattern of behaviour by BBC Scotland.

Broadcast media does have a real impact on public opinion and voting intentions. BBC Scotland is particularly influential as there is limited alternative broadcasting which reflects across its output Scots culture and interests.

Fairness in an election campaign is a much wider concept than the process of voting, and fairness of access to broadcast media is an extremely important component of that. It is plain that, as things stand, the referendum campaign will not be free and fair.

Action must be taken now. That necessary and urgent action is for Alex Salmond and the Government of Scotland to approach the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and request that the subordinate Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR, ponounced Oh Dear!) deploy immediately an election monitoring mission to cover the referendum.

I have witnessed ODIHR monitoring operations in action, and once had a job interview in Warsaw to be Head of ODIHR. In this, the pre-campaign period, ODIHR will immediately despatch a small team to Scotland of which the principal task will be media monitoring. They will be guided by this ODIHR media monitoring handbook.

This details what they analyse, including these criteria:

Were election candidates and political parties given equal opportunity to present their campaigns and platforms to the electorate through the media?

Did election candidates or political parties have equal or equitable access on a non-discriminatory basis to public/state media?

Were the relevant types of television programmes, such as news programmes or debates, unbiased?

Yes, ODIHR can and does monitor referenda as well as elections – the guidelines are easily followed mutatis mutandi.

It Salmond asks for an OSCE observation mission, I have no doubt it will be granted – there is a strong presumption in favour of missions within the OSCE, and member states like Russia repeatedly complain there should be more monitoring of the West, not just the East. It is hard to see on what grounds the Unionists can oppose international election monitors. They could not in practice stop it. Russia and Ukraine, for example, hate OSCE election observers in their country but have been obliged to accept them. To refuse would likely mean expulsion from the OSCE.

I believe the reason international observers have not yet been requested is a false understanding of their brief, ie that they only check the balloting and counting. That is not true at all – they monitor all the issues around fairness in a holistic way. Their brief is much wider than that of the UK Electoral Commission. The referendum already having been announced, we are already in the designated pre-campaign period. The OSCE observers would come immediately.

The clock is ticking. Alex Salmond must ACT.

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285 thoughts on “Oh Dear! New Labour’s Control of BBC Scotland Must Be Curbed

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  • guano


    Thanks for explaining your abusive behaviour in your own words: viz they have two meanings, one innocent and cheerful, the other malicious and politically offensive.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    Craig :

    I asked you a question the other day. Well, it would be presumptuous of me to demand an answer and I realise that you have other, certainly more pressing calls on your time (I say this without irony, believe me). But still, I should like to repeat it, slightly rephrased:

    If Alec Salmond were not to call for OSCE monitoring of the referendum process and vote, as you urge him to do, what personal conclusions would you draw about him?

  • Clark

    Resident dissident, think about it. In 2003, against the pressure of the biggest public demonstrations that have ever taken place, the US and the UK began an illegal war upon Iraq, based on deliberately fabricated lies. Hundreds of thousands died and millions were displaced. Torture became commonplace.

    In the US, the UK, and all over the formerly free world, civil liberties began to be dismantled. The right to protest was curtailed. Throughout, these governments supported and armed dictators, and in particular they permitted their policies to be influenced by Israel, as it moved inexorably to the Right.

    NATO governments arm, support and collude with terrorist gangs in Syria as they did in Libya. The case for war against Iran is constantly pushed, to legitimise attack on spurious grounds. Due process is abused to persecute the figurehead of the Wikileaks organisation which revealed the horrors of such wars.

    Secret police were infiltrated into pressure groups. Total surveillance of the population was embarked upon, and a legal frameworks constructed to support it in many countries.

    The people reacted. In an attempt to regain control of their government, six million people voted to change the electoral system, despite media smears and deception. A third of the population of Scotland currently wish to escape the rule of Westminster.

    And all through this, the rich have been made richer and the poor, poorer, by the action of government. Corruption is endemic.

    Resident dissident, what will it take before you’ll act?

  • A Node

    @ Suhayl Saadi 10 Mar, 2013 – 9:57 am You quote Shawn McCalla Graham saying (at 4:17pm, 9.3.13. ):

    “Get rid of English period ! Get rid of there rules rule in house from Scotland for Scotland ! Tell them too go get there own oil ! Through out history they’ve been nothing more than a thorn in anyone’s backside near and a far !”

    When I read that post, I judged it to be a ‘false flag’ comment, designed to associate the independence movement with ignorant belligerence. It is just too perfect a study in illiteracy. Feel free to contradict me ‘Shawn’.

  • Giles

    Yes, because no ignorant, illiterate person would ever write a comment in support of Scottish independence. It must be a “false-flag”! Just as when the Scots give the wrong answer, it will be the result of manipulation, propaganda and indoctrination. They simply can’t think for themselves, these Scots!

    And, of course, the false-flag “association” of support for Scottish independence with ignorance and illiteracy, hundreds of comments down a Craig Murray blog post, will surely sway the ignorant, gullible masses of Scotland to vote the wrong way! We must be ever alert, comrades!

  • CE

    Hi clark,

    Apologies posting on the run, Mothers Day and all that!

    I am totally at a loss at the faith you place in J4A, their use of misinformation and obfuscation can be just as bad as the MSM. You also fail to correct Arbed’s misinformation that, “none of that would be possible without Ardin’s false allegations”. Again, not true, SW’s allegations alone indicate a serious crime.

    The ‘extraditing assange’ document you refer to is mostly just a rehash of defeated legal arguments, such as the popular and irresponsible notion that the charges on the EAW bear no relation to the ‘real allegations’. This was argued in court by JA and his legal team and defeated at every turn!

    Further more J4A go even further and repeat the lie , that SW gave consent for the act of unprotected sex. This is not true and pretty close to smearing an alleged rape victim. In fact our High Court ruled ruled that: “It is clear that the allegation is that he had sexual intercourse with her when she was not in a position to consent and so he could not have had any reasonable belief that she did.” In fact it would seem that he a reasonable belief that she would not consent.

    I agree with you about fearing due process has been thrown out the window in this case, but disagree about the cause. I feel Owen Jones sums it up best, “Assange should go to Sweden to face the allegations. That doesn’t mean abandoning the struggle to hold Western governments to account, and to force them to be open about how they act in our name. But this is a struggle that has become tragically compromised by Assange.”

    Sorry if fail to reply, have an enjoyable day.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    @ Mary

    Whenever you’re back from Sunday worship and have a spare moment, do please take tome to answer two questions I put to you following on comments of yours.

    They were

    1/. How you think Mrs Thatcher and the then govt. should have reacted following the Argentianian invasion of the Falkland Islands

    2/. Since you are in favour of international monitoring of the Scottish referendum process (as suggested by Craig), are you also in favour of international monitoring of the referendum in the Falkland Islands?

    Thank you.


    La vita è bella, life is good! (calling to account time)

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    Guano wrote :


    Thanks for explaining your abusive behaviour in your own words”

    To which I reply, politely as always :


    And thank you for NOT explaining how and why “La vita è bella, life is good!” is abusive.


    You’re in the wrong league, sonny; find an easier adversary!

  • Mary - for Truth and Justice

    Clark I admire you greatly for your rational reasoned arguments with these people here but you are wasting your time with them. Best wishes.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    To all my admirers :

    No more from me until this evening, I’m afraid!

    Must go out for a spot of lunch and then getting ready for a thé dansant at the Duchesse de Guermantes’.

  • A Node

    @ Giles 10 Mar, 2013 – 12:02 pm

    As long as there are people like you visiting this blog, I will remain suspicious of people’s motives for posting comments.

  • Arbed

    Resident Dissident, 9.33am


    “Genuine rape victims don’t hand false evidence in to the police. (They’re unlikely to indulge in the kind of retail therapy coping strategies Ardin clearly enjoys either.)”

    And where is you evidence for this generalisation?

    If you read Clark’s post at 5.09am carefully you will see I don’t need to generalise. My comments are based on personal experience. This includes a great deal of involvement with Victims Support, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, women’s groups, and (later in life) in-depth specialist academic research.

  • Arbed

    Resident Dissident, same post (9.33am)

    I’m afraid that the rest of your post says rather more about you than Anna Ardin.

    The rest of my post (9 Mar, 12.11pm, if you’d like to go back and check) is exclusively about what happened when the Ecuadorian ambassador formally passed an offer to facilitate Assange’s questioning in London to the Swedish Foreign Office.

    So – touche! – I’m afraid most of your post says more about you than about me.

  • Herbie

    Habbakuk asks Mary:

    1/. How you think Mrs Thatcher and the then govt. should have reacted following the Argentianian invasion of the Falkland Islands

    Well, perhaps, given that they knew in advance that it was likely to happen, were current discussions broken off, they oughtn’t to have further encouraged it by breaking off those talks, at the insistance of Thatcher’s team, and against the advice of Carrington.

    War always leads to death, mutilation and depravities of an unspeakable nature. Not where you want to go if you can avoid it, you’d have thought.

    Carrington was close to resolving The Falklands issue, through discussion, international law etc., but primarily divvying up the oil and following the procedures of the international cold war consensus. Thatcher’s team wanted more than consenus could ever allow.

    That Thatcher’s team broke the post war liberal consensus is now uncontroversial,

    That they did it on the back of an unnecessary war, is perhaps less well known. The war was not necessary, but contrived. Thatcher’s popularity soared on the back of the media-created extravaganza ( Murdoch media primarily ) of renewed nationalism ensuing from the unity of us against them. Previously, her ratings were dire and she was headed to defeat at the next election.

    Given this new popularity she then pursued a relentless campaign of us against them within, which has continued to this day.

    I wonder how many who cheered for her then, are victims of her now.

    One-nation Conservatives and Labour died during this time, replaced by neo-con authoritarians throughout.

    It’s a good trick, and has been shown to work time and time, and time again.

  • Arbed

    Resident Dissident, 10.29am

    I was actually asking a question about what was Arbed’s evidence for her rather broad brush generalisation that genuine rape victims do not present false evidence.

    See Clark’s 5.09am and my 3.03pm posts.

    So there you have it – my evidence for believing genuine rape victims do not present false evidence to police: I am one.

  • guano

    Ok Superbug Starbuks, you didn’t underswtwand.

    La vita bella is a film about ignorance in a small community where a rather nice Jewish man decides to live a life of tranquillity in a rural community, selling books and coffee and have a nice time.

    La vita bella is a satirical title about the nasty side of small enclosed communities which appear so idyllic from the outside.
    In film you can do that, make good look bad by wafting romantic music and countryside over a tale of stereotypes and dreams.
    We live in an age of illusion in which people fantasise about magic and murder and end up stabbing an innocent girl going to school on a bus. In which Israelis can exist in Zionist fantasy next to the rightful owners of the land and think nothing of shooting their children and imprisoning them without trial.

    It’s just one fantasy against another fantasy in their warped minds. La vita e bella is a fantasy about anti-semitism, and Israel is a fantasy about Zionism, both equally valid and equally separate from reality. The anti-semitism in the film La vita e bella is a counter-balance to Islamophobia and global violence against Palestine.

    Tighten up your blinkers you old donkey in case you see reality creeping up behind.

  • Arbed

    CE, 12.48pm

    In fact our High Court ruled ruled that: “It is clear that the allegation is that he had sexual intercourse with her when she was not in a position to consent and so he could not have had any reasonable belief that she did.”

    You appear not to understand that here they are talking about Marianne Ny, the prosecutor’s allegation – in the exact wording as it is written on the EAW – and not SW’s. SW’s witness statement confirms that she did in fact consent. And her witness friend (Witness A, from memory) confirmed to police that SW had told her she was only “half-asleep”. It is also clear from Witness A’s statement that the Swedish police have in their possession SMS text messages written by SW that she did indeed confirm that she was not asleep at the time of Marianne Ny’s alleged offence.

  • Ben Franklin


    Although the controversy is about Awlaki and his status as citizen, I should like to know more of Morten Storm, the Danish double-agent for CIA. I would like to FOIA his relationship to Danish government. Are they slave-sensors like the Swedes, who seem to jerk and weave with a puppet’s consistency?

    Would the statute auger well for the non-US citizen, Assange?

  • CE

    Hello Arbed,

    How gracious of you to withdraw your spurious claim that “none of this would be possible without AA’s false claims”, just like you did when you falsely claimed that the interpol red notices were used incorrectly concerning JA. Oh wait a minute, you didn’t? My apologies.

    It seems like Truth and Justice(TM Mary) is only required from those critical of JA and not his supporters. JA’s lawyers tried these arguments about the validity of the EAW, and guess what, they lost(again)!

    No matter how many times you repeat it, it is not ‘clear’ at all from SW’s statement that she provided consent for the act of unprotected sex whilst asleep. Rape is rape, whether it is committed down a dark alley, in a bedroom, by a stranger or someone you know, and the allegations outlined in both SW’s statement and the EAW clearly constitute rape.

    I will not even for a second pretend that I could possibly comprehend the traumatic experience you have suffered, but neither will I pretend that I believe that personal experience can render someone’s views or actions infallible.

    As I said earlier, people who do otherwise commendable work are capable of rape and other crimes. If presented with rape allegations, they must face them like anybody else, however otherwise worthy their past contributions. This is clearly not happening in the JA case.

  • Clark


    “As I said earlier, people who do otherwise commendable work are capable of rape and other crimes. If presented with rape allegations, they must face them like anybody else”

    “Like anyone else”. But that’s just the point that Arbed is making; Assange is not being treated like everyone else. You claim to be an honest broker, so show me some good faith; list some of the things that are unusual in the case against Assange.

    Cases are dropped if a fair trial becomes impossible. Under what circumstances would you consider that a case like this should be dropped?

    You keep ignoring my questions, and your aggression towards Arbed has returned. I’m finding it hard to believe that you’re arguing in good faith.

  • nevermind

    ” Rape is rape, whether it is committed down a dark alley, in a bedroom, by a stranger or someone you know, and the allegations outlined in both SW’s statement and the EAW clearly constitute rape.”

    @ CE That’s your interpretation but all those civilians raped by soldiers in Iraq Afghanistan and elsewhere could not possibly agree with your righteous course, they do not come under this lawful pedantry you so eagerly display.

    The biggest problem we have is that hypocrisy, i.e. those who commit rape here in this country are let off by calcified judges for piffle, any small discrepancy in the procedure and their dismissal of the case is guaranteed.

    But its so much easier to chastise someone who is already under the MSM kosh and who is thought by more that one nation, for nothing more but revenge for an unrelated issue.

    JA’s case has no substance in law, or in reality and those misguided who are still trying to find angles of excuses for their fervent battering of Julian Assange’s trumped up charges, are, to say the least, misguided parrots.

  • Mary - for Truth and Justice

    CE….It seems like Truth and Justice(TM Mary)….

    Kindly leave me out of your vomit.

  • Arbed

    CE, 4.41pm

    How gracious of you to withdraw your spurious claim that “none of this would be possible without AA’s false claims”, just like you did when you falsely claimed that the interpol red notices were used incorrectly concerning JA. Oh wait a minute, you didn’t? My apologies.

    I have never made that claim. Therefore, yes, I would like your apologies.

  • Arbed

    CE, 4.41pm

    Statement: SW, interrogated 20 August 2010 but unsigned statement dated 26 August 2010:

    “They sat on the bed and talked and he took off her clothes again. They had sex again and she discovered he’d put the condom only over the head of his penis but she let it be. They fell asleep and she woke by feeling him penetrate her. She immediately asked ‘are you wearing anything’ and he answered ‘you’. She told him ‘you better not have HIV’ and he replied ‘of course not’. She felt it was too late. He was already inside her and she let him continue. She couldn’t be bothered telling him again.”

    Statement: Witness ‘D’, Katarina Svensson, interrogated 13 September 2010:

    “Sofia told her she’d been at a lecture with Assange and there’d been a lunch afterwards. Assange went back to Sofia’s flat after the lunch. Sofia said Assange wanted to have sex with her but Sofia said she didn’t want sex without a condom.

    Sofia said that when she was lying half asleep, she woke up to discover Assange was inside her. Sofia then asked him what he was wearing and Assange was to have replied ‘I am wearing you’.”

    Witness ‘I’, Marie Thorn, interrogated 27 October 2010:

    “Sofia was very upset over the media attention and was mad with Julian. They spoke and sent SMS messages to each other. I doesn’t remember directly what they said or wrote, but that they spoke about going to Expressen, this because Julian had spoken to Aftonbladet. This was only something they said and they had no intention of actually doing it. I has in any case not spoken with any newspaper.

    I said Sofia had been contacted by a newspaper in the US and then I joked with Sofia about asking for a lot of money.

    The chief interrogator asked about the SMS message when I wrote that they have to figure out a good plan of revenge.

  • resident dissident


    @3.03pm – I’m sorry but you cannot argue that your own specific behaviour following rape, or even your contact with others who have suffered the same abuse can support your broad brush statement that those who are genuine rape victims never give false evidence to the police. my experience is that when people suffer extreme stress (although not fortunately from rape cases) they do not always behave in the same manner – but if you can point me to broad based academic studies that show me that this is not the case for all rape victims then I am happy to stand corrected. I have no problem whatsoever with your statement the position that some rape victims (including yourself) do not falsify evidence, but I have my doubts that this is a universal position as you claim.

    The comment I made about the rest of the post – was referring to the rest of what I selected from your comment regarding retail theraphy of which you must be very proud. I had also read your an John Goss’s comments on the same matter on the other thread – which I am afraid is no way to treat a woman whatever your views about her behaviour. Happy to apologise for not making that clear in my original post.

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