I genuinely cannot believe what I have just seen on the BBC national UK news. A report on the general election in Scotland in advance of tonight’s Scottish Leaders’ Debate. I know we have become used to the unfettered Tory bias of the BBC, but this was at a level of propaganda which has left me seriously disturbed.
In the 6 minute piece, four different BBC presenters told the viewer that the election in Scotland is dominated by the issue of a second independence referendum – which is not true, but is precisely the way that the Scottish Conservatives are trying to frame the debate in every single one of their leaflets and broadcast appearances.
They then had a piece by Sarah Smith from Kelso – a walk from the border with England and the second most Tory place in Scotland. Why choose somewhere so entirely unrepresentative? Then in Kelso they found an “independent” journalistic commentator to explain the situation to us. This “independent” journalist was the Conservative’s arch Conservative, Alex Massie of the Spectator, of Murdoch’s Times and often of the Daily Mail, possibly the most right wing man in Scotland.
Did the BBC introduce Massie as a Conservative, or at least as from the Spectator, known to be the Tory house magazine? No. They passed him off as an independent journalist. Did they balance him with another commentator who was not a raving Tory nutter? No. Did Massie’s contribution count against the time allocated to the Tories in the broadcast under election rules? No, he was “independent”. What did he tell us? Why he confirmed exactly what four different BBC presenters told us in the piece, that this election is all about the second Independence referendum. Exactly as the Conservatives say. Because nobody in Scotland ever thinks about anything else, obviously.
You are not going to believe this. Even as I type, at 18.24. a fifth BBC journalist has just told us tonight’s debate will be about “that fault line in Scottish politics, a second Independence referendum.”
This insistence on framing the entire debate in Tory terms, of trying to ensure that the metaphorical battle takes place only on Tory chosen ground, is disgusting. The second referendum has already been initiated by the Scottish Parliament after the SNP and Greens won a majority of both seats and popular vote in the last Holyrood elections. That is where the competence to initiate the referendum lies.
The BBC approach would at least have a certain honesty if they were saying that, as this election is, according to the BBC and the Tories, all about a second referendum, therefore if the SNP wins in Scotland there should be one. But that is not the terms in which they are framing it. What they have told us, in terms, is that should the SNP win less than 90% of the seats, that represents a rejection of the second referendum. Yes, that really is the BBC narrative, day in and day out, again and again and again, here in Scotland.
Just to complete the intellectual dishonesty of the snivelling hacks, the same people who characterise 35% opinion poll showings for Corbyn in England as total disgrace and failure, characterise 25% poll showings for Ruth Davidson in Scotland as the most sensational victory and triumph.
Of one thing I am sure. After Independence, the Imperial Broadcasting Corporation at Pacific Quay does not need to be reformed. It needs to be immediately closed down on day one, and every single employee needs to be handed their P45. Every single last one. Anybody who has worked in this obnoxious state propaganda organisation can have no part in building a new society.
Unless they have another vocation, like shovelling horseshit. I have never seen so many horses in Scotland as featured in the BBC report from Kelso. Tally-ho boys, what?!