By a Newsnet reporter
The number of programmes broadcast by the BBC which contain the word 'British' or 'Britain' in the title has increased twentyfold since the SNP came to power at Holyrood.
Research carried out by Newsnet Scotland has revealed that in that last year of the Labour/Lib Dem administration at Holyrood there were just 25 separate TV broadcasts of shows which had the words Britain or British in the title.

However for the period between Jan 2013 and Jan 2014, that number had risen to a whopping 516.

A breakdown showed that the number of broadcasts containing the word British totalled 15 in 2006, however this number rose to 308 in 2013.

Those programmes with the word Britain in their title totalled a mere 10 when Jack McConnell was First Minister but rose to 208 under Alex Salmond.

The figures also showed that the variety of programmes to contain either Britain or British in their title also tripled from 9 in 2006 to 28 in 2013.

Although some programmes refer to sporting events such as the British Masters and comedy shows such as Little Britain, the huge rise in the number of programmes and broadcasts that appear to be pushing the idea of Britain or Great British will cause concern amongst supporters of independence.

The research looked at programmes broadcast on either BBC1 or BBC2, but did not include repeats which may have appeared again on other BBC Channels such as Iplayer and BBC digital channels.

The emergence of the figures will fuel speculation that the broadcaster has been trying to subliminally promote the idea of 'Britishness' in the run-up to the independence referendum.

One show, the Great British Bake Off, makes prominent use of the Union Flag along with red white and blue imagery.

Scotland and Scottish

The number of programmes containing the words Scotland in the title in 2013 totalled 54, however on inspection almost all were either sport related (Scottish Bowls, Scottish Rally) or were party political broadcasts by Scottish Labour/Lib Dems etc.

Similarly, of the over 1300 broadcasts in 2013 containing the word 'Scotland', almost all were made up of Reporting Scotland, Newsnight Scotland and the Politics Scotland programmes.

There were nine broadcasts of Artworks Scotland, one BBC Proms in Scotland, seventeen BBC Scotland investigates, Twelve Grand Tours of Scotland, one Storm Force Scotland, one The L.A.B Scotland and sixteen of Watching Ourselves: 60 Years of TV in Scotland.

[The data used official BBC figures from the period 01 Jan 2006 to 01 Jan 2007 and compared them with figures from the same dates using years 2013 and 2014. The stations included were BBC Scotland and BBC2 Scotland.]


# thejourneyman 2014-02-16 01:22
This information comes as no surprise to me and I believe the work to Britify BBC output in the lead up to the referendum goes deeper. At this point I have to confess that there are times when I question my own observations and the possibility that I am being overly sensitive. However, reading this article has makes me think that I'm not as paranoid as I may have thought.
I am convinced that more and more of the regular output contains the deliberate placement of symbolic British images like the Union Jack. This takes the form of simple things like cushions, posters and branding in reality shows, soaps and some news output. I have always had an eye for continuity issues and I am convinced that this kind of placement has increased in recent times and the numbers in this article would suggest such a strategy probably does exist.
# macdonald88 2014-02-16 20:56
The 2013 statistics seen to show 516 Britain related programmes and 1300 Scotland related ones. I am struggling to see what is so biased about this. The paranoia on display in these posts is extraordinary. I suggest we concentrate on rather more important issues like EU membership and the currency options...
# Massan_Gow 2014-02-16 01:30
Thanks for confirmation of what we already expected.

Just another string to the BBC's (in particular) anti-Independence bow.
# cjmasta 2014-02-16 01:51
Call it propaganda if you want, at the end of the day it`s a form of mind control we`re seeing here. Only this week during a discussion on what Scotland`s currency options were according to the BBC when talking about joining the Euro they showed briefly an image of riots.
We know many unionists have and still try to say we will somehow be forced to join the Euro. Not a popular choice at the moment but then have the BBC ever really given us the pro`s and cons? The fact is at the moment it is not a popular choice.
As for the words British and great British this and that i`ve mentioned this to friends and work mates. They have also noticed it. It`s so damn obvious what they are up to. It`s up to us to expose them for what they are. Is Call Kaye still on the go?
# ButeHouse 2014-02-16 02:42
As well as the blatantly obvious number of 'British' programme titles, the union jack has been been appearing in every other TV set from soaps to talk shows.

All very casual of course, a cushion here, a bedspread there, a tray here a box there, a rug here...... but I think you get the picture.

Not technically subliminal but coming close and most definitely a deliberate attempt to remind us at every turn of the Great Empire that no longer is but would still like to be.

Needless to say the poodles in Pacific Quay have NOT returned the favour with Saltire bits and pieces, on the contrary when not following suite with union jacks they show limp saltires where poss, or the queen's lion rampant or show a union jack above the saltire or bigger than the saltire or even without a saltire in sight.

Democracy - London/British/English style.

# Purr 2014-02-16 03:00
The BBC are a joke! totally and utterly a waste of space,
We are forced to pay for their garbage.
Union flag fest, even on the repeats of repeats
David Barbie is still appearing regularly, the poor guy died about two years ago.
Respected broadcaster my Backside!
# Legerwood 2014-02-16 03:39
It is not just the fact that they have 'British' in the title it is that they have zero non-English content. For example, a programme on British painters of the 20th century - all English - no Welsh, Scottish or Irish. Another example was a programme on saving Britain's heritage was all about English Natural Heritage and the NTS in England. If I remember correctly there were three programmes in the series and about two sentences which said that Wales and Scotland had their own organisations miss that though and people would be left thinking that it was one National Trust for the whole UK.

I do not have a problem with programmes that concentrate solely on English painters or English historic building just so long as the title makes it clear that it is about England
otherwise 'British' and 'English' become one and the same.

It has been obvious for some time now that the BBC is the wedge that is driving the UK apart not the glue holding the UK together.
# gus1940 2014-02-16 05:49
And now we are getting 'The Brits Who Built The Modern World' to add to all the others.
# BillCo 2014-02-16 08:24
Why was Basil Spence not included in the top six I wonder? Oh, yes, he was Scottish of course.
# Breeks 2014-02-16 06:57
Don't know, maybe the subliminal message has worked on me, but I don't mind seeing the flag everywhere. That's what nations tend to do. The twist is that it hasn't made me feel included in the British family. More and more I've felt like an outsider looking in than a Britisher looking out.
I don't find it objectionable. The UK feels threatened by Islam, Europe, and our own Scottish independence, and immigration. Personally I find it sad that waving the flag is seen as the answer.
I don't feel hostile to the Union flag, just detached from it.
Much more sinister than unconvincing pro-Britishness is the BBC and its hateful distortion of our debate across the whole spectrum and misrepresentati on of all things Scottish and pro independence.
You won't motivate me to wave the Union flag by telling me to put down the saltire. The saltire is mine, and British or not I'm keeping it. Compel me to choose, you have my answer.
# hiorta 2014-02-16 08:00
Aye, this 'britishness' reminds me of the story of Canute. Looks like they're facing an unstoppable force too.
# martin morrison 2014-02-16 11:41
Not Canute; he tried to convince his people that he wasn't a god. This crowd clearly have other ideas.
# Marian 2014-02-16 08:33
I thought so. More proof that the BBC is trying to brainwash Scots.
# Kinghob 2014-02-16 08:49
Don't worry about it, it is a rather obvious overuse of the word 'British', it smacks as being a bit desperate to promote a word like this does it not?
# martin morrison 2014-02-16 08:57
It doesn't stop with TV. I saw a packet of Ryvita with a Union Flag motif grinning out of the packaging.
# maxstafford 2014-02-16 09:08
It's all starting to remind me of the DDR 40th Anniversary Commemorations of 1989.
Let's hope it ends the same way.
# blantyreexile 2014-02-16 09:16
How many programmes have used the words England? Wales? or Northern Ireland?

The BBC have used the words British, that is because we live in Britain, the BBC is a British broadcaster.

Over the past few months Newsnet Scotland has written some very good articles about the BBC. I am afraid this is not one of them.
# Spirtle 2014-02-16 09:43
Is this all just coincidental then?
Propaganda is a dark art and works on many subtle nuanced methods to impose and reinforce an idea.
Maybe there is another explanation then eh?
I concur with Breeks regards the sense of threat and the feeling of the need to reinforce and conspire to invoke the contrived sense of the great british spirit.
# D_A_N 2014-02-16 12:19
This is BBC Scotland so programme names containing England etc is kind of irrelivent and its is only pointing out that the programmes with these titles have increased since the SNP came into power not in general. Even if its somehow unintentional it's pretty irresponsible.

Why are there so few shows about Scotland in Scotland?
# blantyreexile 2014-02-16 23:58
It is also the BBC, the first B being British.

If you looked at BBC Wales, how many contain Wales? How many contain Northern Ireland on BBC NI? How many contain England on BBC England, but there is no BBC England!

I have no idea why there are so few shows about Scotland. What sort of programmes are you looking for?

I repeat my earlier point, this is pretty poor reporting.
# Leswil 2014-02-16 09:18
Another great reason to withhold the licence fee en masse. A campaign to convince people to refuse payment, should be started.
# taimoshan 2014-02-16 09:53
Blantyreexile - so you think the massive increase in the use of "British" is purely coincidental - you really think the British establishment is that stupid that it won't use the state broadcaster to propagate the state when it is in a dire situation? I think the British establishment is pretty stupid but they won't miss this chance to try to fool the "thick Jocks"!
# blantyreexile 2014-02-17 00:13
I think the BBC have found a range of programmes that work, The Great British Sewing Bee, The Great British Bake Off etc. Being the BBC, they take something that find successful, and work it into the ground. Viewers will tire of these shows eventually.

What the report doesn't explain is if each single episode of The Great British Bake Off is being counted, which will of course push up the numbers given there are about 12 episodes per series. Add similar numbers to the Great British Sewing Bee and other similar programmes.

What other examples of programmes contain the words British?
# govanite 2014-02-16 10:02
i read the headline & thought 'are we becoming paranoid, swivel eyed ?'
But no, the stats are quite stark.
BBC cheerleading as a unionist stakeholder.
# troutbag 2014-02-16 10:40
Quoting govanite:
i read the headline & thought 'are we becoming paranoid, swivel eyed ?'
But no, the stats are quite stark.
BBC cheerleading as a unionist stakeholder.

I have noticed this increase in "SUBLIMINAL" Union Flag (UF = British in many programs and TV adverts e.g. hair product with Union Flag Cushions in shot etc, basically product placement. I have stopped buying food stuffs and products with the U/F on the packaging. I put products Scottish first and always. It did concern me and thought I was becoming paranoid. But now I casually drop it into conversations and say how desperate the Westminster establishment has become. It is very noticeable, but I use it as a conversation starter. Troutbag
# macgilleleabhar 2014-02-16 10:13
Before becoming concerned pause for a moment and think of the quality and appeal of these programs. I find the baking programs especially to be tarted up over egged drivel.
# Leader of the Pack 2014-02-16 10:19
I thought I was the only one to notice.
# Johnston 2014-02-16 10:23
I thought I was becoming paranoid. Thanks for proving I'm sane.
Now how about the use of the Union Flag?
In supermarkets and in Tv programmes.
# 1314 2014-02-16 10:24
It's called subsumation*.

The UK Government/elite are playing the long game and have been for many years. Our bairns (children) and grandchildren (grandbairns) are part of this process. In one more generation the process will be more or less complete.

Unless. of course, we vote YES

* "There ensued more whooping, back-slapping and general subsumation of all into one single unified consciousness."

You will find it here (with other glad tidings)
# mealer 2014-02-16 10:32
The question is,can a brunch of ordinary Scots stand up to the British establishment and it's entire media and win their country's independence?
# UpSpake 2014-02-16 10:53
Britishness ought to be an amalgum of all that is good emminating from the constituent nations of these British Isles.
Instead, it is far from it. Rank Englishness or everything being seen through an Establishment perspective produces a thoroughly distorted viewpoint that is sold worldwide as the settled view of all of us here.
It most certainly not. Luckily, we now have the opportunity to wave this lot in terms of their concept of the world, bye-bye.
That's what September means to me. Meanwhile, I don't need to watch these Britishness shows and so far, have avoided them.
# Breeks 2014-02-16 11:10
I hope and look forward to a free Scotland where we decide what we broadcast.
I have had what feels like a lifelong antipathy towards soap operas. I hate them with a passion and always have. Instead of active spontaneous recreation, these programs resemble the invasion of the body snatchers - lose concentration a moment and lose your free will and personality.
I knew a lass once who's entire free time was organsed around soaps. Funny thing was you could wait until the episode finished and ask her what had happened and she would struggle to know. It is switch off TV; anaesthetic for the masses.
Eastenders, Corrie, Emerdale, Home and Away, Neighbours, Crossroads, they have destroyed generations of human vitality turning people into cabbages and couch potatoes. John Logie Baird must be spinning in his grave.
# Muscleguy 2014-02-16 14:27
In my own family trying to get my kids to see how useless soaps were I told them they were 'Mind Candy' as good for your mind as candy is for your teeth and as nutritious.

Feel free to steal the term.
# Nation Libre 2014-02-16 11:11
Admin, can we get a link to the data please?
# gus1940 2014-02-16 11:21
I see that the BBC are having multiple orgasms over Barroso's statement on this morning's Marr show.

Right now Brillo and a panel of 'neutral' commentators are waxing lyrical about this latest alleged disaster for The SNP and no doubt the ensuing Scottish opt out will be writhing in shrieking ecstasy in their habitual 'neutrality.

Of course there isn't a shred of evidence that this is a pre-planned stunt between our Colonial Masters and their tame cheerleaders at Broadcasting House. Like Hell it isn't.

What is omitted of course is the fact, as we are frequently told, that The UK is a Partnership Of Equals and that if we vote YES on 18/9 The UK will cease to exist on Indpendence Day leaving 2 distinct countries both of which currently comply with all the rules of EU Membership and whose citizens are Citizens OF The EU.

Given the hatred of The EU coming from England they may be vetoed or kicked out.
# cuckooshoe 2014-02-16 14:52
Although he does not say so, Mr Barroso was talking about Article 49 of the Treaty of the European Union. So yes, it would be impossible, since neither the territory, or the population of the EU will be increasing by Scotland 'joining' the EU. However had Mr Barroso been asked specifically about Article 48 of the Treaty of the European Union, and if Scotland and the rUK were both continuing states, then he would have given Andrew Marr a different response.
# WRH2 2014-02-16 11:23
The increase in everything British is so noticeable that its laughable. Silly programmes fronted by nonentities that are straight out of the type of women's magazine that was outdated when I was young immediately post war. And of course, some of this is aimed at just that kind of nostalgia, but don't be fooled by it. The 1950's have got to be the most drab 10 years ever complete with meat and sugar rationing and very little variety of anything in the shops.
O/T it seems that it's maybe not a case of "better together" after all. Scottish Borders MSP John Lamont, Ruthie's best bud, is wanting to go to Westminster. Let's make it a short lived job for him! VOTE YES 18 SEPTEMBER.
# Onwards 2014-02-16 11:30
I don't doubt that there has been a pushing of the British brand since the referendum campaign started, but I think the best logic is to emphasize that Scots will still be partly British after independence - just not politically.

It is counterproducti ve to alienate those with some British identity. Scots will still be appearing on all these types of TV shows afterwards.

Like it or not, many Scots do have some British identity, and independence needn't be seen as a threat - more of a progression towards a better Scotland and a better Britain.
# James01 2014-02-16 11:46
I remember a couple of years ago a Scottish contestant baked a Better Together collection of cakes in the final. Proclaiming the he was against independence and that the UK was greater than the sum of its parts. Yes, he was allowed to make an overtly political statement on a baking show!
# taimoshan 2014-02-16 12:31
Onwards - how will we "partly British"? We live on the island of Britain - we are British. But, hopefully, in the near future we will be politically Scottish. Nothing wrong with Britain and some of the brand or those who will cling to Britishness, but it's the continual jingoistic use of the Union Flag that some are beginning to find offensive. And it's not just Scots! Many in different parts of the globe do not like the Union Flag!
# X_Sticks 2014-02-16 12:39
It's the British Brainwashing Corporation.

That's their job.
# gus1940 2014-02-16 12:47
I see Sillars is writing for The Daily Mail - no further comment required.
# Indy_Scot 2014-02-16 13:11
The BBC and specifically BBC Scotland are no more that a tool used to spread disinformation into the Scottish public domain.

It is for this reason I believe, that many people find it difficult to fund them.
# kenneth_clark336 2014-02-16 13:13
There is a rallying around the flag mood emanating from the London establishment.

The last James Bond film was a riot of union flags, with even M's bulldog ornament, the only thing to survive the destruction of MI6 headquarters (get the message?) draped in one. I spent a lot of time groaning while watching it. There was a lot of head turning and muttering amongst the audience after the bizarre quick fire QnA session. Questioner, "Country?". Bond, "England!"

The end shot, of Bond on a roof with an army of union flags behind him, was vomit inducing.

This, from a film which explored his Scottish roots! His family home, "Skyfall"(?!)was blitzed in an orgy of mayhem. As the old joke goes, "Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get me". :)
# RTP 2014-02-16 13:16é_Manuel_Bar roso‎
This is worth having a look at,did not know that he was once a communist.
In his college days, he was one of the leaders of the underground Maoist MRPP.
# iain2013 2014-02-16 13:27
It's also worth looking at how 'Nation' has started popping into programme titles. BBC4 seems to be little other than a government nostalgia newsreel.
# theycantbeserious 2014-02-16 13:36
The union flag is England and the English see it as their flag. England and the union flag are one in the same. The same as the use of the title British or uk. They are just other titles for England.

Therefore the use of all of the above are just the promotion of the English state controlled by the Eaton elite in Westminster. It is not done accidentally but is very much controlled and imposed on the peoples of these islands to normalise the notion that we are all the same, and that we should identify with the controlling elite.

"Whoever controls the media, controls the mind." - Jim Morrison.
# hetty 2014-02-16 14:18
As many have said here, 'British' really means English. The British flag has become so in your face, on tv, and especially on products, even some made in Scotland. Rarely do you see a Saltire flag on products.
Thing is it has become so in your face as to have a sinister element to it, and it is an attempt at the indoctrination of a certain mindset. The purpose seems to me to be to promote a certain type of patriotism that narrows any sense of identity rather than broadening a sense of identity.
It indicates an intense insecurity, which is of course not the intended aim, the population are bombarded with it and subliminally they most probably see it as a comfort blanket. Except in Scotland of course.
# gopher3 2014-02-16 15:34
When the medals for cycling at the Bejing Olympics were being presented the commentator (translated) said, "and now the National Anthem of England", they then played God Save The Queen and raised a Union flag.
The gold medal winner was a Scot.
# proudscot 2014-02-16 16:11
Personally speaking, like many other pro-independence posters on here I too am more than a little fed up with the noticeable rise in "British" references and union flags on TV. My reaction is to deliberately avoid buying any item with a union flag depicted on its packaging. I also buy Scottish whenever possible, especially foodstuffs.

I lay part of the blame on Gordon "North British" Brown, but also because of the current crop of rabidly anti-independence Labour/LibDem MPs (and the wee soor-faced Tory Mundell) with their frankly anti-Scotland rhetoric and statements, both in Westminster and in the press and media.
# Ayes On The Prize 2014-02-16 16:17
In our canteen at work I've noticed we now have 'British'cheese, and 'British' chicken. What next ?

You are breathing 'British' air ?
# mellster 2014-02-16 16:37
If this sort of thing has never been much on your televisions prior to this discussion--and suddenly it jumps out at you this much--chances are very good that "the broadcaster has been trying to subliminally promote the idea of 'Britishness'".

Being American, all I can say is "Thank God you can see your television network trying to do that to you!". This is standard operating procedure in the United States for pretty much anything having to do with our own politics, and has been for at least 30 years that I can easily count. It's polluted our televisions, radios and newspapers right down to our professional sports. The difference is that here, way too many of our people get sucked into it and given a choice such as you face, would willingly vote against their own self-interests. Don't let them get away with this nonsense in Scotland, please! If they've gone to that much trouble, your independence really threatens someone.
# setondene 2014-02-16 17:15
I noticed a change in 1999 about the time the Scottish Parliament was re-established. The BBC seemed suddenly to be sensitive to potential Scottish aspirations and was trying to damp them down. I wondered at the time if Alasdair Campbell was behind any of it on behalf of the Blair administration. Of course it's now glaringly obvious and right in our faces. I'm disappointed that Ken MacQuarrie should be part of this - considering his position it's impossible that he doesn't know what's going on.
# BetterTogetherForWho 2014-02-16 18:22
This has been source of much hilarity between myself and friends over the last couple of years. Right back to the 'One' show.
# EricF 2014-02-16 18:53
A letter in our local paper recently asked people to get in touch with the BBC if they were part of the "Great British" generation - ie won the war, sang "Bluebirds Over the White Cliffs of Dover", that sort of thing. They seem to be making a programme about it. Wonder when they intend to broadcast......?
# Marga B 2014-02-16 19:17
To be fair, we have had a London "British?) Olympics in the meantime, which may account for some of the goods.

Over in Spain there's a lot of Union Jack stuff about, much of it in sales and pound shops ;))
# ramstam 2014-02-16 19:32
Haud me back! Has naebody noticed the other use of language that is used by unionists from Scotland when obviously feeling vulnerable "I'm a Scot, a proud Scot - a Highlander" etc. Ye ken anybody saying this is a unionist. If you are a YES campaigner naebody questions your loyalty to Scotland. How these people are regarded by the likes of George Osborne we cannot know. With contempt I would imagine! Their usefulness will nae doot be short lived.
# jdman 2014-02-17 06:56
I ve noticed this as well and its also very obvious in shops most noticeably Tesco's
I went in there after a several month period when the wife fell out with them for some reason or other and it was like stepping into a street party in Camden town in 1953 the array of union flags was bewildering and to top it all Scottish produce like Marshalls, Tunnocks (ha) et al were consigned to a a particular shelf as if Scotland was a minority in its own country, I actually took this up with the store manager to have some techno babble response.
# Blanco 2014-02-17 08:14
The imperial British pageantry was ramped up in the last days of the raj in India.

This is smaller scale, but along the same lines.
# Iain MacIlleChiar 2014-02-17 10:29
I too had noticed the insidious creeping British propaganda in the BBC and had intended writing about it, but this is better researched than any individual could achieve. The blatant political prejudice most of us can pick up on but the subliminal Brit, Brit, Brit drip is obviously intended to have an effect on the uncommitted. Frequently some of these presenters overcompensate - are they trying deliberately in some cases to avoid the word English? - and refer to pre 1707 institutions as being British - a thousand years of British monarchy, the British navy defeating the Armada even!
# gus1940 2014-02-17 13:20
Let's not forget the disgracefully distorted Weather Map which shrinks Scotland to about 1/3 of its actual size relative to England & Wales.

A few minutes ago on BBC 1pm news some London BBC uninformed tube speaking on College Green came out with the most monstrously distorted mince re the happenings of the last week - trying to make out that YES is on the back foot, Salmond is discredited and The YES Campaign is disintegrating.

The said gentleman is in line for a big surprise when the next Opinion Polls are published (unless they are fiddled) when it will be obvious which side of the debate is on the run and disintegrating.
# The Warrior Badger 2014-02-17 22:37
Mentioned this ages ago to a friend, and suggested it'd only get worse. I made a note of some possible prime-time scenarios [then] - and this was without even really looking that hard. It's not just the BBC, though they are central:

6:00 I own Britain's best home
7:00 Great British Menu
8:00 Britain: A natural history

6:00 Britain's best 2008
7:00 Britain's got talent
8:00 Britain's next top model

6:00 A history of Britain
7:00 Britain's got more talent
8:00 The trees that made Britain

6:00 History of modern Britain
7:00 In Search of Medieval Britain
8:00 The great British body

6:00 Lost buildings of Britain
7:00 Britain’s lost worlds
8:00 Marco’s great British feast
# scotsgal 2014-02-20 12:20
I do believe this may back fire especially in many where we have the areas of England split into its regions and then you have Scotland and Ireland lumped into a section all of their own as if Scotland and Ireland have nothing unique to offer a prime example is Masterchef.
# Anagach 2014-02-21 00:27
The BBC is as balanced and fair regarding Independence for Scotland as any other organization looking at a possible loss of £ 500 million a year. (BBC budgets are available on line, £340 million from fee payers, and 8.7% of BBC earnings adds £ 160 million, total identifiable spend in Scotland £ 86 million).

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