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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  • technicolour

    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.

  • Cryptonym

    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.

  • Herbie

    Tech

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

  • lwtc247

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

  • Jives

    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.

  • April Showers

    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.

  • April Showers

    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

  • English Knight

    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 !!

  • April Showers

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

  • sjb

    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.

  • Fred

    “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?

  • Komodo

    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.

  • DoNnyDarko

    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 ?

  • Komodo

    “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?

  • nevermind

    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.

  • Simon.

    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.

  • Mjrinski

    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

  • Cryptonym

    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.

  • OldMark

    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.

  • Evgueni

    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.

  • CanSpeccy

    “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.

  • Fred

    “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.

  • Fred

    “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.

  • Fred

    “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.

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