By G.A.Ponsonby
The BBC is facing more questions over its coverage of independence issues after another Foreign Minister appeared to question the interpretation placed on remarks made relating to Scottish independence.
Luxembourg has become the latest country to be caught up in the growing disquiet over BBC Scotland’s ongoing habit of over emphasising anti-independence sentiment in comments made by Foreign Officials.

Today, BBC Scotland reporter Glenn Campbell claimed that the small European Country, and EU member, Luxembourg was the first to come out against Scottish independence.

According to Mr Campbell, Luxembourg was the first country outside the UK to express a view on Scottish independence. 

Describing a statement issued by the country’s Foreign Minister as devoid of “diplomatic restraint”, the BBC Scotland reporter claimed that, "Luxembourg has warned against Scotland becoming an independent country"

The claims by the BBC man centre on a statement by Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn who said:

"As we are all facing serious economic and social challenges, this is a time for solidarity between Member States of the EU and within Member States, rather than for going separate ways.

"This being said, Scotland’s constitutional future is a matter to be decided by the people of Scotland.

"But its future within the EU is a matter for the whole EU and can thus only be determined with the agreement of all Member States."

The reference to the EU and member states going their separate ways was interpreted by Mr Campbell as meaning Luxembourg was against Scottish independence.  BBC Scotland reported the “warning” on all of its main TV and Radio news programmes and online.

However, in a statement today published by Luxembourg’s English speaking news organisation Wort, a spokesman for Mr Asselborn has challenged the BBC’s interpretation saying the Minister’s words were misinterpreted.

Newsnet Appeal Update - Our appeal for funds to help pay for a full time editor continues to grow and we are now just £1000 short our £12,000 goal.

In one week we have received a staggering £11,000. Not unexpectedly, the appeal is slowing up a bit but we remain confident of achieving our goal well ahead of March 15th - our initial target date.]

According to the news organisation, a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry said that the nuance of the minister's words had been lost in the BBC article.

"The BBC chose to present the position of the minister in opposition [to independence].  Whereas it was more nuanced than that,” he said, adding: “It's a reflection which is valid for all member states, not to go their separate ways."

In the article, it claims: "...there was no misunderstanding on the part of Scotland's parliament, which interpreted the minister's comment as directed at the UK's anti-Europe stance."

Last week Glenn Campbell was at the centre of another controversial handling of an interview after comments from the Latvian Foreign Minister were edited out of a subsequent report on Reporting Scotland.  The remarks by Edgars Rinkevics, challenged the view that the rest of the UK would automatically inherit the old EU membership if Scotland became independent.

Asked if the rest of the UK would have to formally apply for EU membership, Mr Rinkevics said: “I understand the commission and also colleagues from the EU legal services are also currently considering that so I do not want to make any comment vis-à-vis that part of the question, I think we need solid legal opinion.”

However on that evenings main news programme, there was no mention of the Minister’s view on the rest of the UK, whilst a comment suggesting a newly independent Scotland would need to apply was highlighted.

This latest claim will heap further pressure on the broadcaster which has already faced accusations that it misconstrued comments by the Irish European Minister on the same subject of EU membership of an independent Scotland.

In January, Lucinda Creighton suggested her comments had been “spun” and taken out of context after she gave an interview to BBC Scotland reporter Raymond Buchanan.  The original interview, in which Ms Creighton said Scotland would have to “apply” for membership after independence, received high profile coverage across BBC Scotland’s news spectrum.

Despite official follow up statements claiming she supported the Scottish government’s view, that a newly independent Scotland would most likely be able to negotiate its EU membership from within the EU, the BBC refused to broadcast Ms Creighton’s concerns over the interpretation of her original remarks, claiming they were “not news”.

[Newsnet comment – The statement issued by the Luxembourg Minister was reported in full by Newsnet Scotland.

We received the statement from Mr Asselborn, entirely independent of the BBC, on Monday afternoon in response to an earlier question we posed.  We also anticipated the BBC’s handling of the statement, and decided to publish after we heard Glenn Campbell's report on Good Morning Scotland.

We have also received an official statement from one other EU member we will not mention and are hopeful of a statement from another, perhaps BBC Scotland is also expecting a reply from the same member.  We contacted all 26 EU members some time ago.]


# cynicalHighlander 2013-03-05 22:28
Don't hold your breath as I am still waiting for over 4 weeks for a reply to a complaint I made to the BBC and can only assume that they are running out of people willing to perjure themselves by signing any communication.

Sad news about the death of Chavez who stood up for the many rather than the few.
# voice of Reason 2013-03-06 11:17
'Sad news about the death of Chavez who stood up for the many rather than the few.'

Lets not forget discrimination on political grounds, eroding the independence of the judiciary and politically motivated arrests.
# YSPUR 2013-03-06 17:32
The TV Channel which was closed down had previous been advised to stop airing inflammatory rhetoric which was essentially calling for a Coup. I am sure if the BBC (yeah, I know it sounds ridiculous) did anything similar they would be free to continue transmitting, wouldn't they?
Anyone remember what Thatcher did to LWT?
Simply for airing a documentary.
The main reason the US hated Chavez was simply his politics. How dare he use the vast oil revenues his country was generating to Educate and give Medical services to the population!
A truly sad day for those of us in the world who long for a decent, humane society.
# clootie 2013-03-05 22:33
Glenn Campbell / Raymond Buchanan

How do you sleep at night? Can you really call what you do journalism - I know what Rabbie Burns would call it.
# call me dave 2013-03-05 22:43
As I intimated this morning "I'll wait until the dust settles"
They are at it all right and have been free to spread negativity on an official, publicly funded tv and radio channel.

How many of them have this agenda?
Is it a few hard core looking after their own interests or is it coming down from on high and they are only following orders?

I thank goodness that we now have the internet and this site among others to at least put some truth into the debate and expose their bias and lies.
Roll on2014.
# Big Eye 2013-03-05 22:44
I am getting concerned that the BBC are trying to start WW3 going round Europe misrepresenting the political position of Government after Government.

Is this why Labour and the Tories want to keep Trident.

Is it all down to the actions of Glenn Campbell and Raymond Buchanan?
# Tinyzeitgeist 2013-03-05 22:48
Campbell and Buchanan are a disgrace to the profession of journalism. They are nothing other than crude propagandists employed by the BBC and paid for by us. This is franky disgusting. These men are bought and sold for westminster gold, they have no morals or professional integrity. Scotland deserves better!
# From The Suburbs 2013-03-05 22:53
The Scottish Parliament should set up its own independent media complaints body which will adjudicate if satisfactory responses or corrections are not made by the offending companies.
# ds12 2013-03-05 22:55
BBC Scotland are a complete laughing stock.They can stick their head in the sand and ignore the fact they are making fools of themselves but its all over the net that they have been caught out again.

There is a saying that has been attributed to a few dodgy characters

"If you tell a lie often enough it becomes the truth"

It seems this is BBC policy.
# millie 2013-03-06 00:01
They are a laughing stock and we are paying for this news manipulation from the BBC in Scotland- but they are still having the last laugh……

Tomorrow, Radio Scotland’s ‘Call Kay’ – Kay asks - ‘What has gone wrong with Scotland’s education system?’

Loaded title from the BBC- can we expect a fair debate from Ms Adams?
# bringiton 2013-03-05 23:20
Are we a region or a country?
In EU law,BBC Scotland can only represent itself as a brand if it's "personality" represents the area from which it originates.
Of course,they will claim that that is the case.
You cannot present a brand from a region as being that which originates from another.
BBC Scotland is presenting a brand to it's consumers which is that of another country and as such should be in breach of EU laws.
If not,then there should be a law which prevents an EU country from broadcasting propaganda into another for personal gain.
Don't think Luxembourgers would take too kindly to TV broadcasts from Germany telling them how poor and stupid they would be without rule from Berlin.
# RoBell 2013-03-05 23:29
We really ought to rebrand this organisation to reflect the truth. I suggest that all NNS members refer to them as the BBC IN Scotland. For Scottish they are not.
# fynesider 2013-03-05 23:41
Shouldn't the headline read "BBC (in) Scotland....."
# thejourneyman 2013-03-06 00:04
Just when you think the reporting on BBC can't get any worse - I heard the reporter on Radio Scotland tonight pretty much burst out laughing as Angus Robertson tried to complete his view on the defense announcements. Then Newsnight Scotland tonight looks parochial and unprofessional. Kirsty Wark of all people runs over on newsnight as per, and we're left with a half complete interview and Mr Mundell finishing it with his Better Together rubbish before Brewer then gives us a glimpse of the Daily Mail FP with an undecipherable headline or story - pathetic really!
# jamaisarriere 2013-03-06 00:20
I think the more techy savvy of Yes supporters need to prompt these journalists (via Twitter or email or whatever)direct ly to keep them honest, and let them know that we are aware of their bias & omissions - en masse if possible. I've tweeted Campbell directly asking why he didn't mention the UK Govt referendum in his report about 'separate ways'. Keep it civil and to the point, but don't let them get away with this! A couple of hundred or a thousand tweets might not change his viewpoint, but it will fill his inbox with views he won't want to read. We have to take the fight head on, and not just grumble here among friends.
# farrochie 2013-03-06 09:33
I've also tweeted Campbell with an appeal for "truth and accuracy". However, the usual response from the media luvvies is that they are getting attacked by cybernats. In reality we are the licence payers and we deserve factual reporting first and foremost.

# Yesitis 2013-03-06 01:06
The BBC in Scotland are dictating this referendum under the direction of the Labour party.
The Labour Party feed the BBC the headlines (in this case, the alleged falling standards in Scottish education); the headlines are broadcast as "SNP /Scottish Government accused..." and on Thursday, at First Minister`s Questions, Johann Lamont and Ruth Davidson use the BBC headlines as ammunition against the Scottish Government.
It happens every week, usually on Tuesdays or Wednesdays.

Call Kaye is part of the deal too.
The BBC in Scotland are a Labour Party institution. Once you know that, it all becomes unionist white noise.
# src19 2013-03-06 01:44
Spotted this on Twitter it's an old article from the Scotsman from 2002 but still valid today about how close the BBC Scotland and Labour are too each other :-
# Macart 2013-03-06 07:41
I like the NNS approach. Don't get mad, get even!

These people want to be famous journos in the big bad media? Well then let's make them famous for all the right reasons. As per NNS, hold up every error, every lie, every misrepresentati on and spread the word on every site we visit. They took the salary and the position, so if their work is good enough they'll have no complaints about it being forensically examined every single day. If its not good enough.............. well its the duty of respectable news sites and concerned citizens to let people know. :)
# call me dave 2013-03-06 07:46
Shock horror leaked SG draft discussion paper 'challenges ;options and opportunities' in a independent Scotland Glen's latest. Oil volatility a problem for us Scots in future planning.

Mr Swinney hardly broke pespiration in dealing with all this pap when questioned on GMS. Turns out the UK government estimates were 30% out in their estimates over oil revenues. We can do better says Swinney. He also demolished the scare stories over SG defence programmes in the future.

Not such a big deal after all - BBC.

Opposition defence spokesperson to be on soon (I assume that will be UK spokesperson).

New GERS figures today!
Roll on 2014.
# Macart 2013-03-06 08:13
@call me dave - Be interesting to see if the pattern of the past few years repeats and we see a smaller return on our UK investment. It would be even better if the figures reflected an even greater disparity between what's sent down and what returns. You know, the union dividend. :)
# call me dave 2013-03-06 08:26
Is the Murphy struggling or what?
He has not got a clue. I think he expected carte blanche on radio Scotland to pedal the usual few sentences about SNP bad Unionists good and no warships on the clyde stuff.

No answers about Scottish labour and Trident or future plans from a future UK labour government.
At least he was pressed for an answer but not hard enough.

Jim go and do some preparation the old guff wont wash anymore.
# Davy 2013-03-06 11:05
Yep, Jim Murphy was definately struggling this morning, when asked what labour would do for defence with figures in Scotland, he refused to answer, then he was told the tories and the SNP had given an answer with their figures his reply was, no they have not given real answers ???
He sounded really stupid and childish, like if I dont like the question Im not going to answer.

Vote Yes, Alba Gu Brath.
# Blanco 2013-03-06 08:30
Good to learn you are being proactive NNS, it is important these foreign ministers know the BBC intends to twist their words to their own end! The refutation on wort could not be clearer, just wish a big MSM organisation would pick up on this and help discredit the BBC Scotland political reporting. 

FYI I have donated £20 to NNS appeal. Given similar amounts to Wings Over Scotland and also Scottish Review, all are sites I want to see flourish.
# farrochie 2013-03-06 09:17
It is clearly the BBCs news editorial policy to attack the independence movement. The BBC is not naive, they can see what's going on but, like #savile, management and staff have grown accustomed to closing their eyes.

I'd like some of these journalists to open up and tell us what their instuctions are. More likely, some years hence, they will say "we had no alternative".

Others, we know, have cosy relationships to anti-independence parties.
# src19 2013-03-06 09:31
No chance when these so called jurno's leave the BBC their contract include a gagging clause. As seen in the media recently
# rabkae 2013-03-06 09:29
Usual guff from Aunty this a.m....

"Go Alone Scotland 'faces challenges'"

What is it with this emotive, tabloidesque rubbish from our beloved state broadcaster?

Why not simply 'Independent Scotland faces challenges'?

Silly me - that doesn't fit with instilling fear of the unknown amongst the electorate. Headlines must be in keeping with the 'bankrupt, isolationist small country surrounded by hostile neighbours' agenda which the BBC is intent on peddling. (Apologies NNS, don't mean to turn the comments section of your excellent article into a slag the BBC frenzy).

I too am now a £10 per month subscriber/contributor to NNS via bankers Standing Order - I'd encourage others to do likewise...
# alexb 2013-03-06 10:10
While I agree wholeheartedly with all the comments made here about the B.B.C, by the time we speak the damage has already been done. Generally people only hear the original story, not the later corrections, if indeed that ever happens and this will occur right up until the referendum takes place. Please don't underestimate the power of either the Westminster Government, or it's media outlets, the B.B.C, and practically all newsprint publications, to promote their view of sticking with the Union. Bravehearts, there are still too many "fearthearts" in this country, too wee, too stupid, and too poor, to ever convince them that a Yes vote is our only salvation.
# farrochie 2013-03-06 10:48
This is a very good point alexb, and the media also know this and are slow to print any correction, or more likely, they defend their inaccuracy.

I do believe in that these stories are now seen as scaremongering, and to be taken with a pinch of salt.

It is becoming more and more important to speak one-to-one to people, correct this misinformation, and ask people to spread the facts.
# Jamie Black 2013-03-06 11:17
"As we are all facing serious economic and social challenges, this is a time for solidarity between Member States of the EU and within Member States, rather than for going separate ways.

I can't see how there has been misrepresentati on - this is a clear reference to the UK and how seperation is not a good idea at this time.
# Jamieson 2013-03-06 11:24
Saw a very good interview with Gordon Wilson on Scotland Tonight. He made many good points about the campaign and how it needs to be pushed always bearing in mind that Referendum boredom could be a danger if too much is done too early. I agree with GW that the BritNats are now running out of steam repeating the same old scare stories dressed up to look like new each time. I mean ... the EU is now so boring, boring, boring and yet the Bitter Together mob are STILL pushing it.
# Edulis 2013-03-06 11:28

Good link. I notice coincidentally that Alan Cumming has moved from being a Labour supporter to being a high profile supporter of Independence. I wonder how many others are of similar mind?
# Welsh Sion 2013-03-06 11:41
Your wee, pretendy, so-called journalist B-linkered B-ritisher C-ampell, has been a very busy bee:

"The BBC asked all 27 EU member states and Croatia, which joins in July, to comment on how Scottish independence would be handled by EU countries."

You really must go to the naughty step, Glenn, learn some journalistic integrity. You're becoming a by-word for misrepresenting the views of EU Foreign Ministers, be they Irish, Latvian or Luxembourgian. Tut, tut - what must your employers, us licence payers, think of what you're doing?

You hyperlink those articles where you misrepresent these Foreign Ministers yet you have no articles which feature the ones seeking further clarification (e.g. Poland) or remaining neutral (e.g. Germany).

And your piss poor "Luxembourg piece" is *still* up - without a single retraction.

Poor show all round, Glenn.
# Jamieson 2013-03-06 11:44
Like NewsNet I now take every opportunity to denigrate the BBC and its journalists on every site I visit especially on the Telegraph and Guardian.
I also attack in the same way the journalists on those sites and other sites which are hostile to Independence. I seldom engage now with the commenters BTL on the anti sites because it is a waste of time. But if all of us keep dripping poison in the wells of the liars and misinformers who write the stuff we can do our little bit to help gain Independence.
# nemo 2013-03-06 11:44
I see the BBC headlines and sub-headlines continue to present a negative picture from only part of the story - "Go-alone Scotland faces challenges" - though the rest of the article admits that the UK faces the same challenges and Swinney remarks that an independent Scotland would be best placed to deal with those challenges". Good news in the other headline - "Scottish debt lower than UK level" but the line immediately under the headlines says Scotland spent more than it raised in revenue last year. Again, so did the UK - hence the reason for the debt. But all the while a negative spin is put on all news and without going into the article further and thinking about the issues in a relative way, these headlines I'm sure, are intended to leave an overall negative gut impression in a large section of the populace. Shameful journalism with a clear agenda!
# neoloon 2013-03-06 12:02
This is getting ridiculous.
BBC "Scotland" is beyond parody.
Far be it from me to encourage people to break the law,but concerning our payment of the license fee...
# tartanfever 2013-03-06 12:04
The thing I want to know is when the BBC talk of 'geographical share' of North Sea Oil and Gas, just how much is that ?

10%, 80% or 90% ?

Accuracy please BBC ! It makes a huge difference to the figures what rate you are using, so you should tell us.
# Training Day 2013-03-06 12:20
There is no doubt that the BBC in Scotland is not reporting the news around the independence debate, but rather seeking to manufacture that news with an obvious slant.

That is why, in my opinion, there needs to be a clear focus for the disquiet about the lack of a balanced debate. That focus, with every respect to the organisers of the recent rally, should be the BBC. Otherwise, from whom are we seeking a balanced debate? The Daily Mail? The Scotsman? Magnus Gardham? That will not happen.

No, the focus should be the state broadcaster which has the temerity to levy a tax upon us to deliver its agenda driven distortions - and I speak as someone who enthusiasticall y attended the demo at Pacific Quay last July.
# chicmac 2013-03-06 13:02
I, of course, completely agree. Plus, point out again, that STV, while not perfect is infinitely fairer these days than the BBC and should be encouraged in that regard rather than tarred with the same brush.
# ochyes 2013-03-06 12:44
The BBC is part of the British establishment; therefore part of their remit is to ensure that Britain remains. The BBC is therefore doing its duty.
I couldn't imagine the state broadcaster in any nation providing balanced coverage for an area of their 'country' that wished to secede.
# clootie 2013-03-06 13:11

.......but I'm paying for it!
# chicmac 2013-03-06 13:19
Whatever the BBC regards its 'duty' to be, the British government is required by law (under freedom of expression in the ECHR treaty) to ensure that its state broadcaster operates with balance and plurality when reporting on legitimate political parties or opinion.

Also whether Scotland's case is one of secession or dissolution is legally moot, as conceded by their own legal advisers, but that's by the by.
# chicmac 2013-03-06 14:46
Replying to myself because of the space restriction.

The financial barrier to justice in the UK courts is the highest in the world, another Union dividend. So unless some public spirited millionaire decides to take them to task, first through the UK human rights court and then, when that inevitably finds in favour of the government, to the ECHR, the UK government's failure in this matter will not be brought to book.

Finally, I suspect that the thing people find the most repugnant, is not the lack of plurality and balance, illegal as it is, but the feigned impartiality. That amounts to the biggest lie of all and makes a mockery of democracy.
# ynot 2013-03-06 13:45
[quote name="ochyes"]The BBC is part of the British establishment; therefore part of their remit is to ensure that Britain remains. The BBC is therefore doing its duty.

That is probably a correct assessment of what the BBC thinks it should be doing, but that does not excuse the fact that a) there could be already a majority of BBC licence -payers in Scotland who wish to vote for independence, and therefore potentially the Beeb is acting in an undemocratic way, and b)there is absolutely NO excuse for telling LIES in what purports to be a civilised society which recognises basic human rights.

Given that BBC Scotland has traduced 3 EU member states by distorting or misrepresenting there statements recently, as well as acting against the democratic rights of 5 million EU citizens in Scotland there must surely be some mechanism for seeking action by the EU?
# mealer 2013-03-06 13:08
I wonder if NNS could to a bit of investigative journalism into BBC licesnse fee avoidance and the actions BBC takes to deal with non-payers.I've heard rumours that prosecutions for non-payment rarely happen these days.Whats the truth of the matter ?
# tartanfever 2013-03-06 13:30
and on that note mealer, whats happened to my last 3 complaints that still remain unanswered ?

So much so that last weeks complaint I've taken screenshots of as a reminder of what I've sent.

I used to receive an e-mail from the BBC that my complaint had been received and they issued a reference number, that all seems to have stopped now ?

Have the BBC changed their complaint procedure without telling us ?
# iReferee 2013-03-06 13:36
Off topic, there may be trouble ahead. Can someone who knows about numbers analyse this document without the Better Together spin?
# balbeggie 2013-03-06 13:39
# From The Suburbs 2013-03-06 16:10
Which "impartial" civil servant leaked this to Bitter Together?

Why was the introductory page and first four paragraphs redacted?

Was it because it put the whole paper in context and had favourable comments to the Indy case?
# Edulis 2013-03-06 13:40
I have just been listening to the BBC Scottish News. The opening headline was the usual negativity, but the body of the report was more balanced. There is one point though that I wish douglas Fraser would make clear and that is that when reference is made to the UK, that includes the figures for Scotland. Since these are comparitively better than UK, then they should be even better than rUK.
# Barbazenzero 2013-03-06 20:16
To be fair to him, the Tangerine one does actually mention that pont at I'm not suggesting he's unbiased, but his pronouncements are definitively less awful than D Fraser's.
# ButeHouse 2013-03-06 13:59
I would suggest reading this longish article posted by src19:

# src19 2013-03-06 01:44
Spotted this on Twitter it's an old article from the Scotsman from 2002 but still valid today about how close the BBC Scotland and Labour are too each other :-

The one good thing is the number of former labour people like Alan Cumming now supporting the YES Campaign.

VOTE YES in 2014
# Dundonian West 2013-03-06 14:30
BBC Scotland News/Politics-----if people in Scotland must watch/listen to them,sup with a long spoon and a large dose of salt.
# balbeggie 2013-03-06 16:13
Another updated GERS article
# bringiton 2013-03-06 17:33
What we are going to see in the near future is increasing oil revenues going to Westminster and decreasing pocket money coming back to us making the gap between what we contribute and what we receive ever wider.
Hopefully,come 2014,we will no longer be dependent on Westminster for our income and be able to put our revenues to better purposes.
# Willow 2013-03-06 21:02
It's obvious that the BBC in Scotland are running the No campaign.

They have made it quite clear that they have no intention of providing a fair platform for both sides of the referendum debate.
Just take a look at their "Scotland's Future" section. I'd like to know how many people are working on Scottish articles/research in the background?

I wonder what would happen if every yes supported cancelled their licence on the same day? Like others I so grudge paying towards unionist propaganda.

Great to see the NS funds are going well but will twelve grand be enough? Newsnet has produced some great articles, just think what it could do with a fund twice the size it's asking for.

The local book dealer gave me £50 for my scruffy old books, I'm delighted to add it to the NS funds.

Dump your junk & earn some cash for Newsnet.
# Andy Anderson 2013-03-06 21:41
The BBC is a national disgrace and is being openly used as a political tool against the democratic rights of the Scottish people.

When, in spite of their best efforts, we win the referendum we will need to have a root and branch reform of the Scottish Section of the BBC and those so called journalists who have been willing to act as political tools for the Unionists can expect no place in a proper objective Scottish Broadcasting Corporation.
# cuckooshoe 2013-03-07 15:25
The story is covered in The Telegraph..

SNP anger at 'enemies' in the BBC boils over

The SNP labelled the BBC its "enemy" yesterday after accusing it of misrepresenting what foreign governments thought about an independent Scotland's place in the European Union on three separate occasions.


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