BBC the New Hammer of the Scots 136


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.


136 thoughts on “BBC the New Hammer of the Scots

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  • Komodo

    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.

  • OldMark

    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.

  • April Showers

    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

  • Juteman

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

  • Kempe

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

  • Kempe

    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.

  • Fred

    “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.

  • Abe Rene

    @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?

  • Abe Rene

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

  • Sophie Habbercake

    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.

  • N_

    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!

  • Colin

    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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