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”
“UK Treasury warning that an SNP plan for a currency union after independence”
“Scottish independence: Warning over ‘weakened military'”
“Scottish independence: ‘Havoc’ warning from pensions firm”
“Scottish independence: Luxembourg warns against ‘going separate ways'”
“Scottish independence: Barroso warning on EU membership”
“Scottish independence: Michael Moore issues warning over vote question”
“Scottish independence: ‘Border checks’ warning from home secretary”
And I can’t omit this brilliant spoof:
“Warning for SNP over renewable energy”
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.