By G.A.Ponsonby
It’s been an interesting week in Scottish politics; The Unionists continued with the ‘investment uncertainty’ line whilst Amazon and Michelin opted for investment certainty.
Amazon’s new facility in Fife is the size of fourteen football pitches.  In a first for BBC Scotland the broadcaster paid scant attention to a Scottish story with a football angle.

Meanwhile, Michael Moore, the man who wanted the post of Scottish Secretary abolished to save money, spent even more money creating a Scottish business group.

Why? Well your guess is as good as mine.  Moore seems to have spent the last fortnight telling anyone who will listen that nobody will invest in Scotland until the independence referendum is out of the way.

Perhaps Moore’s business group are going to issue regular monthly press statements confirming that they are certain about being uncertain.  Then Moore can cite them as proof of the uncertainty he is certain about.

One thing is certain though, as sure as night follows day the constitutional debate will receive the usual coverage from BBC Scotland as we have come to expect.  The tabloidisation of the BBC in Scotland continues unabated.

As I sit here writing this piece late Saturday I had a look at BBC Scotland’s online news site and here is how it looks:

The top five stories involve death.  Of the 10 top stories, seven involve someone dying and one other is a story about a violent knife attack.  Is this really the Scotland I woke up to on Saturday morning?  Are the tragic deaths of five unfortunate souls really the top news items in our nation?

There are two other stories in the online page that are treated as sidebar items when they should be big talking points; energy prices and the problem posed by the UK’s ageing nuclear submarine fleet.  But hey, if you miss the real stories then you don’t have to analyse them.  This is selective tabloid news at its worst and something we pay the BBC to avoid. 

Here at Newsnet Scotland we do go on about BBC Scotland’s political coverage, and for good reason.  As the independence debate gets going the BBC seem to have employed a one way filter that deems certain stories off limits.

That’s why when Alex Salmond revealed this week that a senior Tory in the north east of England had been lobbying against investment in Scotland, we noticed that BBC Scotland didn’t give it the coverage it deserved - if any at all.

Linda Arkley, Tory mayor of North Tyneside, wrote to the UK coalition complaining about the success of the Scottish government in attracting inward investment (no uncertainty there), the Mayor urged the UK Government to do more to help north-east England to “compete against its near neighbour”. 

Ms Arkley - revealed the First Minister on Thursday - had also attended the Conservative party conference on October 5th where she lobbied the UK Chancellor George Osborne regarding the success of Scotland in attracting inward investment.

Afterwards, Ms Arkley said: “Ministers have agreed to look at this” – a statement described by Mr Salmond as “dangerous”.

The concerns raised by the Tory Mayor were followed by claims by George Osborne that global companies were expressing concern about investing in Scotland.

Osborne was joined by someone called Willie Bain, a Scottish Labour MP who claimed he had held talks in the boardrooms of respected financial institutions, the heads of which had also expressed concern.

Now, call me naïve but this revelation by Scotland’s First Minister of lobbying by a senior English Tory demanding the UK government address Scotland’s business ‘advantage’ just before Osborne ‘attacks’ Scotland’s investment credibility was surely worthy of significant coverage.

But no, this timely and topical revelation from Scotland’s First Minister was – how shall we put it … pretty much ignored by the BBC in Scotland.  It's not as though Mayor Arkley's lobbying of UK Ministers was a secret.

It's bizarre but not unexpected.  Attack Scotland’s economic credibility and one can be assured of uncritical wall to wall coverage, reveal evidence (albeit circumstantial) that the attacks might be politically motivated and nothing.

On the day of Mr Salmond’s 'revelation' BBC Scotland political editor Brian Taylor thought it better to highlight the Scottish Labour leadership contest on his taxpayer funded online blog.  Blogging is an area that BBC Scotland presenters inhabit along with their ‘regional’ colleagues from other parts of the UK.

Which brings me to a rather insidious development in this particular area of cyberspace.

The blog (web log) allows BBC presenters and journalists to publish their opinions and views on topics of the day.  Those views are commented upon, and occasionally challenged, by members of the public – it’s 21st century democracy in action.

There are blogs on sport, music and of course politics and all have a moderated forum that invites comment and debate from us, the licence payer.  Or rather they did until very recently.

You see there is one section of the BBC’s blogosphere that, henceforth, public comment is to be disallowed.  BBC Scotland has introduced a new policy that prevents public comment on opinion pieces authored by Brian Taylor and Douglas Fraser.

A virtual war of words has now erupted around this cyber-censorship amid claims of discrimination.  It has elicited interest from Scottish politicians of all hues and looks certain to cause Pacific Quay not a little discomfort.

At a time when Scotland looks to its constitutional future and the clamour for debate begins to grow, it is highly suspect for our state broadcaster to adopt a backward step and eschew the benefits of modern technology.

The reason given, that comment will be opened up on selected (selected!!) news items is spurious – and begs the question, which stories and who will decide?

It’s a story that Scotland’s traditional news outlets won’t cover and it tells you all you need to know about the role of Scotland’s media.  It’s not the act itself that is most disturbing, it’s the complete lack of interest from those employed to protect the right of free speech - licence fee notwithstanding.

In this age of apparent uncertainty, it looks increasingly certain that the opportunities of ordinary Scots to voice their opinions and concerns will continue to diminish as the referendum approaches.

On this morning’s [Sunday] Business show on BBC Radio Scotland we were treated to two media commentators discussing the ‘uncertainty’ caused by the prospect of independence.  One of them was Peter Jones a journalist from the Scotsman newspaper, the other was Alf Young a former Labour party senior advisor.

Jones came across as objective and fair.  Young was predictably critical of the SNP, repeating or referring to much of the Unionist arguments we have heard this last two weeks.

If the BBC continue to rely on commentary from former Labour party advisors then they should not be surprised when the views expressed are pro-Union.  They should also not be surprised when members of the public complain about this kind of 'loaded' debate.


# Scottish republic 2011-11-20 01:46
The Britnat Broadcasting Company has more Labour activists in it than the Labour party does itself.

I long for the days when journalism actually reported the news fairly and in a balanced manner instead of trying to make it up.

Newsnet reports the facts and lets the readership decide for themselves.

The unacceptable aspect is we do pay the BBC licence and should expect professionalism - we don't get it.

The Scotsman is becoming worse and worse a sort of middle-brow Daily Record.

This will only end when we gain independence and not before unless we buy these institutions... but we can't buy the BBC.
# Exile 2011-11-20 10:48
"I long for the days when journalism actually reported the news fairly and in a balanced manner instead of trying to make it up."

if it's anywhere, SR, that day's in the future, not the past. BBC propaganda and news manipulation has just become an issue now because we're focused on it. But I reckon it's always been thus.
# Rabbie 2011-11-20 14:32
A micht be giein ma age awa noo, but BBC Scotland the day minds me o the pre-war an WW2 braidcasts fae Lord Haw Haw an his gaffer, Dr Joseph Goebbels.
# Arbroath1320 2011-11-20 15:06
I always wondered what happened to them. Now we know. Safe and secure at Pacific Quay. :D
# Sleekit 2011-11-20 20:19
Well the Herald is not much better.

Theres a fluff piece on there by Michael Moore on "We need detail from the SNP, not political attacks"

I logged in and commented about 12 hours ago to ask that he provide details on the benefits of staying in the union as opposed to independence.

Needless to say, this did not get published. Nor has any other comment except 1 pro union post by one of the Trolls that haunts every article on the SNP.


Maybe I'm giving Moore too hard a time...

He's obviously tapped into the public subconcious when no-one will post againt him.

On the other hand....
# Sleekit 2011-11-20 20:22
HA HA...

Just noticed that when I log into that story now it says on my anti-virus...

We tested this site and blocked content that is dangerous and suspicious....
# ButeHouse 2011-11-20 02:01
Personally I'm getting tired of these anti BBC stories, not because i disagree with them but because there is no leadership from the SNP about tackling the problem.

What are we as individuals supposed to do write to Points of View?

Two obvious things are mass demonstrations at Pacific Quay which would get European and US coverage and then eventually be picked up here should the Brits try to ignore it in the first instance. The other is withdrawal of the license fee, but both need concerted action.

So please don't expect many of us to get too agitated about the BBCs Zimbabwean approach to democracy until you are reporting that the 'following action' will be taken.
# ananinginaneana 2011-11-20 02:54
What are we as individuals supposed to do write to Points of View?

Several people who post here have done so, but it hasn't got them very far. They have been pointed in the direction of the labyrinthine complaints procedure (message #25).
# Jim Johnston 2011-11-20 09:59

I don't think it would be a very good idea for the Scottish Government (SNP) to take any independent action against the BBC or MSM.
This would play right into a Unionist trap. Imagine the field day these people would have if they could spin any SNP action as promoting law breaking, or being afraid of the BBC. It would be a disastrous mistake to go down that road.

I just don't buy a licence and if demonstrations such as you suggest were being promoted and led by, for instance, the Scottish Democratic Alliance, I would be more than happy to demonstrate on Pacific Quay any day of the week.

Complaining to the BBC is a total waste of time, a bit like talking to the wall, a demonstration by non payers of the licence would encourage others to stand up and be counted. It would certainly bring the issue to public attention and may work wonders. Who knows ?

I note on BBC Alba when trying to view Friday night 9pm programme Diomhair :

"The story of how successive British governments worked covertly to discredit the SNP.
(Not available)"

That speaks volumns to me about everything coming out of the BBC.

ps I give much more to charity than the cost of a licence, and will continue to do so long after Scotland is Independent and the BBC are forgotten.
# chicmac 2011-11-20 11:14
# whitburnsfinest 2011-11-20 16:16
It's on tonight at 10pm on BBC Alba:
# exel 2011-11-20 11:16
ButeHouse 2011-11-20 02:01
“Personally I'm getting tired of these anti BBC stories, not because i disagree with them but because there is no leadership from the SNP about tackling the problem.”

Like you, I am tired of such stories, but not as tired as I am of, the paranoid anonymous mutterings on the internet media. At least on the so called msm stories and views are obviously biased and attributable.
# Angus Ogg 2011-11-20 13:16
Quoting exel:
At least on the so called msm stories and views are obviously biased and attributable.

Are you willing to try again with that one? It is not making much sense. I'm sure you know what point you want to make but I cannot see it....
# Exile 2011-11-25 14:37
Angus, I think it's a troll at work. On previous experience. It's probably not meant to make much sense. The paranoia reference probably means cybernats, or am I just being paranoid. Help! No! Don't take me away yet, I'm almost finished. Pleeeeez!!!!!
# Roll_On_2011 2011-11-20 02:10
Osborne was joined by someone called Willie Bain, a Scottish Labour MP who claimed he had held talks in the boardrooms of respected financial institutions, the heads of which had also expressed concern.

Nice to see Labour stood shoulder to shoulder with their comrades the Tories, damaging Scotland.

With regards the BBC many posters across the cyber world have been calling it the EBC for some time.

Maybe if certain events unfold they will have been right.

English move away from being British

The British identity is in steep decline south of the border with the number of people who would describe themselves as English over British soaring, a poll has revealed.

The study found that the number of people in England who would now describe themselves as English rather than British rose to 63 per cent, as opposed to 41 per cent in 2008.

The YouGov poll also discovered that just 20 per cent of the UK population preferred a British identity to any other, down from 42 per cent three years ago.

The poll, taken last month, appears to show that English nationalism is on the rise at the same time as Scottish nationalism is the predominant force in politics north of the border.

Appears that the British Empire is dying on its feet.

For anybody who is interested the poll can be downloaded (in PDF format) below:

I wonder if the EBC will cover the above poll
# oldnat 2011-11-20 05:14
Thanks for the link. I don't have the resource available on this wee Netbook to do any analysis of the tables, but the negativity to the EU and "foreign" countries seems to be greater in England than in Scotland.

As for main identified nationality percentages

Nat, GB, Sco
Eng, 63, 7
Sco, 8, 68
Welsh, 5, 0
Irish, 1, 1
Brit, 18, 22
Eur, 2, 2
Oth, 2,0

“John Curtice, professor of politics at Strathclyde University, said that a weakening of “Britishness” in England could have massive repercussions for the future of the Union”
# uilleam_beag 2011-11-20 06:35
Thanks, Oldnat. Obviously there's the usual caveat about the small size of the Scottish sample (179 weighted to 153 out of a Britain-wide total of 1,764), but it seems strange that British-identity is four points higher than the overall average -- not at all what I'd have expected.

At least we're better off than the Welsh, as their figures aren't clearly identified, lumped in with the Midlands; if I were Plaid I'd be fuming about that (where's Welsh Sion?). Still, I note that they didn't even bother asking the poor old Northern Irish.

The generational spread is also intriguing (no regional breakdown). It puts the strongest sense of Britishness in the 18-24 bracket (29% of 213, wtd), and lowest among the over 60s, where it's down to just 17% (of 497, wtd). That's lower than any single regional sample, though strangely the same as the level for women.

Finally, the figures seem to add weight to the stereotypical characterisatio n of Tory voters (I don't mean in Scotland!) as "Little Englanders". Just 13% of the party's supporters see themselves as primarily British, compared to 76% who feel English more than anything else, the highest of any single subsection. It would be ill advised to read too much into that, for no other reason than the party's disproportionat ely poor showing in Scotland, but it's interesting none the less.
# Welsh Sion 2011-11-20 17:25
Thanks for your concern, and summoning me up, like the witch of Endor...But haven't you already appreciated, we are very much merely an annex to England, politically, legally and economically - and have been for many centuries longer than you Scots have? And that we should be so grateful for the umbilical cord that attaches us to Mother England?

I fear that Plaid at the moment are too interested in navel-gazing and trying to sort out who will be their leader in the National Assembly when Ieuan eventually goes. In the meantime, radical, forward-thinking, dare I say it, nationalism, seems to be coming from the Labour Government.

(See my previous link in another posting, but reproduced here:

But I'm backing the nae limits approach. If it's good enough for you, then it's good enough for my nation too.
# oldnat 2011-11-20 15:35
E&W data extracted from GB figures

Nat, E&W, Sco
Eng, 68, 7
Sco, 2, 68
Welsh, 5, 0
Irish, 1, 1
Brit, 19, 22
Eur, 2, 2
Oth, 3,0
# uilleam_beag 2011-11-22 04:46
Cheers Oldnat. I did multiply out the Englishness figures but you went much further than me. Interestingly, if you exclude the Midlands&Wales, the percentage identifying primarily with an English identity goes up to 70.5%.
# mudfries 2011-11-20 02:14
BBC Scotland - desperate to see Scotland fail.
# mesmiths 2011-11-20 02:35
Excellent article with which I agree wholeheartedly. Onwards and upwards for Newsnet, as part of the solution!

Here's the thing- The Scotsman, The Record and the rest of the press are privately owned and quite entitled to present the news as they see fit- in spite of how crazy making this can be for the rest of us. It's their choice and they pay for it by looking stupid and seeing their circulation wither.

The BBC, however, is paid for by all of us, (another subsidy from us towards London incidentally). It is the state broadcaster and is supposed to properly report the issues.

The Corporation has no right to mislead and misinform the Scottish people, like it's some massive podcast from The Scotsman. Enough of this has gone on and we've had enough of it, I hope.
# ananinginaneana 2011-11-20 02:48
Current articles on BBC Scotland News, Politics and Business pages where comments allowed = one, but that was closed for comment on 17 November.

That is despite this from Daniel Maxwell (BBC)

Thanks for getting in touch. I've decided to close the comments on the Brian and Douglas blogs as a rule of thumb. Instead I am opening up comments across all our content more regularly - that way I am giving people the opportunity to comment on a wider range of subject areas
# tartanfever 2011-11-20 11:14
Yes, little bit of quick arithmetic here.

For the month of October we roughly had 11 reports from Brian Taylor that we could comment on and 7 from Douglas Fraser.

So far in the last two weeks, we have been able to comment on the '103m to Scottish renewables story' and the recent 'Law reform report/consultation'.

So two is our total so far. It was also interesting to see that the 'renewables funding story' was also present on the main UK news page - so this may cast some suspicion as to the origin of this report - this also being hampered with the BBC's on going policy of not authoring the reports.
The 'Law report' story was available to comment on for 24 hours, it is now closed.
# Robert Louis 2011-11-20 02:55
In a democracy, the state funded BBC in Scotland is a disgrace. It is a London managed, pro unionist, politically jaundiced, propagandist mouthpiece, no more, no less. Now it prevents comments from those who see it for what it is.

It is unfit for purpose. Shut it down.
# Jimbo 2011-11-20 03:05
They're subverting democracy in their own way, RL.
# dogbite 2011-11-20 13:43
absolutely Robert it is now not fit for purpose. Dood to see NNS keeping a diary and letting us know of the shenanigans at Pacific Quay
# Jimbo 2011-11-20 03:02
In this age of apparent uncertainty, it looks increasingly certain that the opportunities of ordinary Scots to voice their opinions and concerns will continue to diminish as the referendum approaches.

Well, they can't have the nasty Cybernats constantly challenging their lies/misinformation and giving people Internet links to alternative articles bearing the truth, and/or passing on information not aired by the MSM.
# Displaced Patriot 2011-11-20 03:33
I have complained many times , it is just a waste of effort.
they always send back a reply denying the criticism.
when you ask for further clarification ...silence.
These people should know ,that sooner or later broadcasting will be in Holyrood.
when that happens we should have a clear out the following day.
# km 2011-11-20 04:07
I know that the stories on the Scotland portion of the BBC website are all about murder and mayhem, but so are those of England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. It's almost as if there's a missing layer in the BBC, between the UK-wide stories (which in reality are very shallow - there is a lot of quantity, but little quality) and the local stories that you can pick up in any local paper. If you want in-depth and balance on any topic, you have to look elsewhere.

I had actually missed the original story of Mayor Arkley, but so it seems did many others - there are only 8 comments on it, since its first publication on October 4th. Seems that it was posted on the English section of the UK part of the web, which is possibly why I and others didn't see it. But it is very interesting that even English Tory MPs are looking enviously towards Scotland.

Kenneth Roy pointed out last week that BBC Scotland hasn't devolved to the same extent that the Scottish government has. It provides a service that is way short of what it should be considering the funding it receives, plus of course it is blatantly biased, despite its protestations to the contrary.

Agree with Bute House above, the SNP seriously needs to figure out how to address the bias. Various other posters have said in the past that the SNP hierarchy is well aware of the problem, but seems at a loss as to how to deal with it. They did get a majority, so they must have done something right, I suppose - but much more is needed. I think Rangers FC might have provided part of the answer, but a refusal to give interviews would have to be accompanied by setup of a separate independent news channel to get the message across.

It might be expensive, but so would another generation under Westminster rule.
# Jim Johnston 2011-11-20 10:04
Please see my response to ButeHouse above.
# tartanfever 2011-11-20 11:20
km, with all due respect, I don't care as much what stories appear on the English,Irish and Welsh pages of the BBC. Remember one very important factor - none of the countries are heading towards a referendum on independence. That issue alone should should 'bias' BBC Scotland to report on this subject.

The SNP can't complain - they will just have the 'cybernat' paranoia tag hurled at them from all and sundry.
# km 2011-11-20 16:32
Ach, you guys [JJ and Tartan] are probably right. I would still like to see how Angus Robertson & co are planning to get around the bias. I'm sure they have a plan, clearly it worked last time, whatever it was.

I think individual complaints to the BBC do have some effect, if nothing else, it forces them to be a bit more subtle, and they will trip over themselves sooner or later.

I've thought in the past, as have others, about an independent review of BBC output. But even any truly independent review would just be dismissed as those "rebellious Scots", and so could just as easily backfire.

What to do? 1) Stop paying the license fee; 2) Complain to the BBC at every opportunity; 3) Spread the word as best you can.
# tartanfever 2011-11-20 16:39
km - do all three of those things, in particular complain to the BBC. If we don't then we have no case.
# ace182 2011-11-20 06:37
ButeHouse: You have it right. The only way to get through to the B.B.C. in Scotland is to picket Pacific Quay. Until you do things will NEVER change.
# RaboRuglen 2011-11-20 07:00
Hi there,

Its not just the BBC. Last night STV gave five minutes to the Springboig fire death as its main item. Every death is a tragedy, but did we really need interviews with the neighbours saying what a nice old soul the victim had been and that she liked chocolate biscuits brought in with her messages? A 20 second item "dumbed down" to become a "feature".

(I wonder if she might have had a cat and if it got stuck up a tree after the fire - sorry, that's disingenuous to the old dear's memory, but that its about all the report missed.)

These are the items we have to put up with is when STV "News" is not regurgitating previously covered ITV "National" news items, using ITV staff, from London, (three parties only exist there apparently) and not making a very good job of it.

I've said it before and I will say it again. Not outside the history of the eastern block has a nation been as ill-served by its own media as Scotland is now.

Post Independence - stuff your "Truth and Reconciliation Committee" - Scottish Unionist Media - first against the wall!


ps For the avoidance of doubt "Unionist Media" excludes Newsnet personnel, and please feel free to make other nominations.
# hiorta 2011-11-20 09:50
Indeed. Scotland is to be reported as negatively as possible, as often as possible:
Too wee
Too stupid
Too cauld
Too wet
Too feart
Too violent
Too unhealthy
Too Everything Negative
Keep oot
Stey away
Don't go near it
But gies' yer oil and yer money
Shut up an' dae as yer telt.
# Mei 2011-11-20 11:42
Too far north?
Too unenglish?
Too scotch?
# Robabody 2011-11-20 19:51
What no snow on the list?
# clootie 2011-11-20 07:03
First class article - Several posts state the Scottish Gov. should do something?

How can the government tell the media what to write - we would then be open to the same accusation we are claiming about the present situation.

The newspapers will fail due to circulation loss but the BBC remains a statebroadcaste r funded by us to campaign against us.

The protest outside the BBC office has merit but would it be reported? If it were reported what would the spin be? ( A turnout of a few thousand could easily be spun to suggest the majority support the BBC).

The only answer is a long memory. Post independence we must ensure there is no place for a BBC Scotland service.

It does prove that charters such as the BBC's are meaningless.

The positive is that it is no longer in the shadows - the BBC in Scotland have clearly shown that they are:
a) The media wing of the Scottish Labour party
b) The state broadcaster for the unionists.

Know your enemy.
# Macart 2011-11-20 10:40
Good post clootie, you're on the same hymnsheet as myself here. Newspapers are dying and their demise is being helped along by their bias.

I've been lucky enough to work with a real old fashioned editor in recent years who many would have called boring by todays standards. He only printed absolute fact undiluted with opinion. OK the paper was a local but his view was that newspaper should mean just that, a sheet which presented news. Hence the whole 'Just the facts maam' post the other day.

On broadcasting, I also agree. No government should be allowed to tell media outlets what to say. There be dragons! There is some merit to peaceful protest at Pacific Quay, it would certainly get noticed, most especially if say, SKY and STV were invited along.

But as you say perhaps the best weapon is a long memory. If I were working at Pacific Quay I'd be truly worried about job prospects in Scotland in the near future.
# Jester 2011-11-20 07:12
A day of protest on 30th November is needed. Stand up for Scotland on St Andrews day.
# wee folding bike 2011-11-20 07:43
The 30th has been hijacked this year by some campaign to get Labour back into power at Westminster and make them look different from the Tories.

I'm not happy about it being pushed on us in this way but a day off work on the 30th will be put to some kind of good use. I might take the kids up a hill or some other out door activity.
# Alba4Eva 2011-11-20 08:17
I print off NNS flyers (A6) and leave them around the place... work, waiting rooms, pubs with flyer stands etc... anywhere that they will reach the public ...

I just made my own flyer up, but to you mods, if you were to design an official one and put it on this site for people to download and print off, everyone here with a printer could help advertise and spread the word.

Do it in the form of 4 flyers per A4 sheet. *;0)

We are the NNS army... give us the weapons and we will take the fight to the MSM and BBC!
# Fortitudine 2011-11-20 08:54
Now there is an excellent idea Alba, I for one would certainly be more than happy to distribute such a leaflet.
Perhaps sample headlines with brief article summary lines could be printed on them, showing just enough information to counter related MSM articles??
# Alba4Eva 2011-11-20 09:00
Yeah, on occasions, issue specific flyers could be done. I there should also be just a generic one for anytime use though.
# dogbite 2011-11-20 19:40
count me in too Alba I work offshore but when I am home I will gladly pass the message around.
# Saltire Groppenslosh 2011-11-20 09:49
Alba - get in there! Brilliant idea.
# Saltire Groppenslosh 2011-11-20 09:52
Hows about the the flier that gets posted at traffic lights and such? People will scan anything when they're sitting bored at traffic lights so it needs to be readable from a short distance. Perhaps there could be two types of flier then?
# Alba4Eva 2011-11-20 11:32
You have to be careful with bill posting Groppy. NNS could get prosecuted. The general rule is dont glue posters or flyers to anything. It's illegal.
# mudfries 2011-11-20 10:01
Good Idea Alba4eva, I've had the NewsnetScotland .com sticker on the back of my car for months, we should all get one each and do this, loads of people will have seen it by now and I'll bet at least some of them will have checked this site out and started to see the BBC and print media for what they are - Uninoist mouthpieces.
# FREEDOM1 2011-11-20 11:03
I bought the Newsnight Scotland Sweatshirt six months ago and allways wear it while out shopping.
# clootie 2011-11-20 16:29
I've missed something? where do you get them.
# tartanfever 2011-11-20 16:40
A Newsnight Scotland sweatshirt ? I wouldn't wipe ma a**e with it let alone do the shopping.
# clootie 2011-11-20 18:58
I think it was newsnet?
I hope so!
# Macart 2011-11-20 10:50
Single downloadable news sheet in pdf format works best. Most folks don't have rola blade desktop cutters at home. Run off about 20 sheets each and leave em where they'll get noticed. Also coordinate with newsagents and local newspapers for drops or inserts for any more professionally printed materials. Simples!
# LadWiThePhilabeg 2011-11-20 20:17
I'll be printing off some newsnet scotland christmas cards for December.

If we can get people talking about it at Christmas when people are socialising more with family, friends and work nights out, it will help spread the word more rapidly than usual.
# zorbathejock 2011-11-20 08:23
Slightly o/t.With Osbourne and Moore etc stating firms are questioning investing in Scotland I wonder what they think of this
Financial Times Firms 'rethinking investment plans' Seems it's not just Scotland.
# Saltire Groppenslosh 2011-11-20 10:00
Perhaps there needs to be a statement from a business analyst in Scotland which says -

"Yes - we're advising businesses to rethink their investment plans in England, as post Scottish independence any investment would become stranded in a dwindling English economy"

Some might say - "quid pro quo" eh?
# fesak 2011-11-20 08:25
Raboruglen, how things have changed in the former Eastern Comecon Countries.I have most of my work in Czech.I have copied and pasted many of the more blatant anti Scottish articles in Prague,Pardubic e,Jaromer,and Brno, to Czech,Slovak and Hungarian friends,They are astounded at the similarity to the old ČSSR RADIO AND ČTV Broadcasts as well as propaganda Communist pro Soviet Rags. such as Růdý Právo.I have to find Scots news in German,Czech and Slovak media.Three friends produced a very funny spoof of present day Scotand and her Communist BBC output ,you know the sort of things .Soviet Czechoslovak paternally friendly societies met to announce and salute the output etc etc, and had a Fraternal Scottish and English comrades welcomed the improved output of Great British oil monies and revenues to the development of our freedom loving London Comrades building International spleandour and spreading world wide wars.For their out standing production exports of 250% our comrades in Scotland are to be awarded a second Royal Wedding to cement our glorious Union of Kingdoms etc etc They were in tears of laughter as they published this in a Czech magazine.They are now roaring in laughter at the Prussification of the U,K in its pursuit of uniforms,wars, Butcher's Apron( a term loved in Czech a Slovensko) and our Kaiserlich und Koniglich old Austrian Empire.I as a Scot enjoy their black humour, but I am not laughing or joining in their laughter.
# Caadfael 2011-11-20 11:08
Any chance of a reprint/translation in english Fesak, I'm sure we could put them to good use here!
# fesak 2011-11-20 11:58
I am on to it and have sent a request to Prague already my closer colleagues and friends say they will write a belter within a few days ad in English.Shall I send it to yourself? I have no contacts in Scotland other than my SNP membership.You can never be too careful who you are talking to in present day Scotia.We have had "Diomhair" nights in pubs and also several of my friends are members of the SNP as well.
# Ken500 2011-11-20 08:43
The BBC is in Westminster pocket, always has been and always will be. Just ask Greg Dyke.

If you don't agree with programmes, don't watch them. Fast forward or tune out. Nothing will change until Independence.

The public in Scotland can see through the spin, in any case.
# UpSpake 2011-11-20 08:43
Once again we are debating our concerns with the BBC in Scotland. Once again !.
Debates, letters, articles and outspoken comments all fail to penetrate the iron clad walls of the BBC.
The BBC are omnipotent and utterly beyond criticism. Such is their arrogance that the poor souls who take the trouble to write are fobbed off with a condescending high handed reposte and told to go home and not to trouble them again.
A guaranteed income stream insulates them not only from the real world but also from the damage they are reeking over our democracy.
The concept of the BBC journalists secure inside their glass fortress at Pacific Quay and unaware of the great unwashed outside is graphic.
It is not for the government however to do anything about this perilous state of affairs. That action rests with the people. Something just as simple of non payment of the fee would be the single biggest reality check that the BBC could receive. There really is no other option that would have any sort of impact on the BBC as this.
After all, at the end of the day, it's all about the money !.
# Exile 2011-11-20 11:06

They'd still spout their poisonous propaganda in Scotland, even without any licence money from Scotland. I cannot fathom why anyone in Scotland aware of what the BBC are up to would give them another penny. But it won't be enough to stop them. Direct action of some sort is definitely required, or at the very least some sort of visible protest on the streets.
# Scottish republic 2011-11-20 09:34
There is nothing the SNP can do about the BBC as far as I can see.

- They are not reliant on advertising.
- It is very difficult to prove deliberate bias.
- The company for all its faults does let the SNP speak on issues with the other parties.
- The SNP either joins in on BBC or it doesn't. If t doesn't then it is not heard.
- The Britnat Broadcasting didn't stop the SNP victory in May, thus knocking on doorsteps is perhaps more important than TV politicians putting their point across.

To be fair, the BBC managed to destroy Labour in the May election by simply letting them speak. The embarrassing insult of the Labour campaign spoke for itself and the BBC interviewers didn't let them off easy.

Yes, they are pro-Labourite/pro-Britnat but it's the only game in town.

The SNP have to play by their rules till... they don't.
# Alx1 2011-11-20 10:51
Hi Sr,

I do believe we in Scotland have a different law!

How would it be if the Scottish Gov. would de criminalise non payment of the licence fee?

There's more than one way to skin a cat as they say. :-P
# Aucheorn 2011-11-20 11:12
Not just decriminalise, go further state that the bbc tax is voluntary.
# Alba4Eva 2011-11-20 11:40
Unfortunately broadcast licensing is reserved to Westminster.

That's why it should be devolved to the Scottish Parliament... and probably why it won't be!
# J Wil 2011-11-20 09:34
As well as the criticism of the BBC in the article, I also take exception to the Andrew Marr show on a Sunday morning. It is on air at this very moment. It is the same format every week. The same papers are discussed (all London based) and the same paper reviewers are recycled on a regular basis and the same politicians (you know. The ones from the real government). The show is 99% London-centric. It is an insult not only to Scotland (does it really exist?), but to the other devolved nations too.

The fact that it is a Scot who presents the show seems somehow to absolve the BBC (in their opinion) from being accused of London introspection. Not in my book. In fact the presence of Marr seems to exaggerate the London naval gazing. He leans over backward in this respect. I saw Marr respond to Angus Roberston recently whan Angus accused him of ignoring Scottish papers. Marr angrily pulled the Sunday Herald out of his bundle, just to confound Robertson it seems. It is not enough. As far as I am aware not one Scottish reviewer has been invited to the sofa and not one Scottish paper has been reviewed.

It is another case of a scot in a position of influence in the great London midden, apparently having to show that he is not giving undue attention to his own country and bends over backwards to go in the very opposite direction, just like Gordon Brown.
# alexmc8275 2011-11-20 09:45
I just stopped paying them money. What they going to do to me fine me? There's a good auld saying, you can't take breeks off a bare bum so let's see what they plan on doing to me for my Jockish arrogance, in those immortal words, Bring it on !
# A_Scottish_Voice 2011-11-20 11:54
Thats where I am at the moment.

I'm looking forward to them contacting me so I can explain exactly why I am no longer paying.

Maybe they can run the story at the top Reporting Scotland. Then again maybe not.
# gt-cri 2011-11-20 15:05
Maybe, as I posted on another thread, it would be an idea to collate the responses received from the BBC regarding non-payment of their fee? I too have stopped paying it & just received a letter asking to re-instate my direct debit or contact them confirming I do not view content "as it is broadcast" & they may confirm this with a "quick visit"!

Aye, right! They won't get past the step but it would be interesting to see what methods they apply & they are consistent with everyone?

Knowledge is power, as they no doubt say inside Pacific Quay!
# Massacre1965 2011-11-20 16:04
I too have just cancelled my direct debit to the BBC TV licence. I also have just had my letter mentioning I may get a visit. That is fine - they wont get in and there is nothing they can do about it.
# Arbroath1320 2011-11-20 16:21
Massacre, if your "visitors" try and prevent you closing your door on them by putting their foot in the doorway, I believe that will be construed in the courts as illegal entry. Just don't tell your "visitors" that. :D
# mealer 2011-11-20 09:51
Theres quite a few comments here suggesting the SNP leadership should do more about the BBC.That its time for them to go on the attack.The reason the SNP arent attacking the BBC at the moment is becausee theyve made a reasoned calculation that,at the moment,it would do more harm than good.The BBC is generally highly respected and trusted by people.If Salmond attacks them,just think how it would be reported in the media.Its up to us to spread the word that the BBC isnt what it used to be.That the BBC isnt as accurate as it used to be.Not just in politics but in everything.You cant really trust the BBC like you used to.
We have to open peoples minds to the possibility that the BBC could be biased.We do that by telling people on line and in the street.WE MUST NOT SIT BACK AND EXPECT MR SALMOND TO WIN ALL BY HIMSELF.Do your bit today and every day.Keep it positive,not girny.
# Jimbo 2011-11-20 10:51
Its up to us to spread the word that the BBC isnt what it used to be.

Was the BBC truly ever what everyone believed it to be?

I don't think so.
# cirsium 2011-11-20 15:24
good point JImbo.
# Macart 2011-11-20 11:05
Well said mealer!
# James Irvine 2011-11-20 14:45
Mealer - That's my own view. We must point out the bias whenever possible, using whatever means possible, but in calm and reasoned terms. Undermine the BBC's propaganda about itself. Once it's widely seen as a unionist organisation and not a neutral one - in terms of Scottish politics - that is the time for non-payment campaigns, etc.
# gedguy2 2011-11-20 09:51
I have just read this article in a Polish magazine called the, 'Cooltura' issue number 398, page 36. I asked my partner to translate it for me.
It is too long so I will have to post it several times to get it all in

Part 1:

Alex Salmond, the leader of SNP, made a massive attack on the government in London and demands a referendum of independence for Scotland. Are we now, 300 years after the foundation of the UK, observing the beginning of the end of the United Kingdom?
By Radoslaw Zapalowski
When, in the elections in May, Scottish SNP gained 53 per cent in Holyrood, London experienced a political shock; such a success of Salmond’s party was not expected by anybody. Political politeness quickly took hold and words of congratulations were sprinkled towards the leader of the SNP; that is because the success of the party was simply irrefutable. The achievement of the majority in Holyrood was a parliamentary earthquake after years of political domination of the Labour party. Straight after the election success the leader of Tories, David Cameron, announced that London would not use its legal prerogative and would not block a referendum of Scottish independence. During the last conference of the Conservatives Cameron announced that the referendum should take place now, not in following three years as A. Salmond wants.
‘The times when a conservative prime minister tells the Scots what they are supposed to do have passed irrevocably’- replied the leader of SNP. Timing is a key point for the both politicians. As for now, polls anticipate a victory of the unionists. However, the number of independence supporters is still growing.
Salmond thinks that politics of London will bring even more supporters of Scottish independence. According to many political commentators, so called ‘Scottish revolt’ was generally caused by last year national elections that resulted in David Cameron’s declaration of ‘new Thatcher’s revolution’. The Scots still remember ‘the real Thatcher’s revolution’ from the 80s, that was carried on the shoulders and wallets of North England and the Scottish people. The UK’s industry was largely situated here, at that time, and it was destroyed by the then Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher. It was the place where the majority of the working class lived and it was them, who lost most during/after those transformations , bearing the economic and social costs of the Conservatives’ policy. In the 80s massive unemployment and inflation reigned in Scotland. Ghettos of people, who were excluded from the common weal, became the norm, factories shut down, businesses restructured, lack of social protection and low benefits led to the lost generation. At that time the Scots neither had their parliament nor a strong politically mature separatist party. Now they have the parliament, as well as political voice, they decided to articulate loudly. Going this way the future of the referendum does not seem to be so sure as the unionists would like. Especially that Cameron brings into being his new Thatcher’s revolution in rapid pace, destroying all sort of social democratic remains of welfare state, cutting mighty expenses and recommends the society almost deadly belts clenching. So it is possible that in their referendum the Scots will choose independence not because of their patriotism and national pride, but because of economic and social common sense.
# gedguy2 2011-11-20 09:52
Part 2

‘Who do we want to be: rich Scots or poor Brits?’- The question asked nearly decade ago again appears in Scottish media. In the 80s, when oil barrels in Aberdeen were caught as easy as haddocks, Scottish nationalists convinced that black gold could be spend two ways: either support British economy or modernise Scotland. ‘Margaret Thatcher chose the first solution and we were left with no say’- claims Salmond. ‘She destroyed our home economy in Scotland and then tried to hush up the problem of mass unemployment with the revenues coming from the Northern Sea. ‘
Though it may be too late, for the modernisation of Scotland by using the oil revenues, the resources from the North Sea are drastically diminishing however the leader of SNP is still willing to proclaim the idea of the ‘re-industrialising of Scotland’. In its manifesto the SNP presented a plan of the North Sea transformation from Eldorado full of black gold into Windy Saudi Arabia. The idea is based on putting, around Scottish shores, gigantic windmills and building an industry based on renewable energy. It should be a Northern answer on the old Thatcher’s idea of the post- industrial future. The idea is unusually tempting/luring especially comparing to the economic mood in England, where the future appears to be gloomy. The SNP, instead of painful cuts, talks about growth, prosperity and hope. In times of crisis Salmond and Swinney throw on the political table an economic strategy that is to solve labour market problems as well as to be a metaphor of national rebirth. Industrial rhetoric in Scotland, the country where ‘not only ships are built of steel but also the people’, falls onto a receptive ground and are beginning to take seed.
The unionists claim that SNP lives in the world of economical fantasy, instead of treading firmly on economic ground. Michael Keating from the Aberdeen University considers Alex Salmond’s ideas to be economic schizophrenia. ‘Edinburgh, at present, is as much economically independent from London as a teenager getting his pocket money’- he writes- ‘The Nationalists benefit from that, because they can spin economically absurd plans, on one hand promising huge expenses like in Sweden, on the other hand low taxes like in Ireland. That is economic voodoo’.
As for now any serious scientific resources presenting balance of profits and losses have not been presented in case of possible separation from the UK. It is not known what per cent of profits from oil trade will be fallen on Scotland or what part of national debts will Holyrood inherit. Currency is also an uncertain issue as well as an economic philosophy that an independent Scottish government is going to choose. Is Scotland going to keep the Anglo-Saxon economy model or become more like its Scandinavian neighbours by the sea and decide to bet on egalitarianism? The question of Scottish independence is not only in the splitting of the economy and property, there are also social, political and international complications. Such question as: Who will have the right to vote in the referendum arises as well. Is it only 5.2 million people living in Scotland that have the vote or are they also including 500 000 English people, who live there, as well? If Scotland gains its independence should Cornwall, Wales and Northumbria follow its steps? Relations with EU will need to be defined as well, with which Scotland will have to deal with from the scratch and interestingly enough, is it going to build cold relations in London’s style with it or opt for deeper integration and choose the European state project? Its membership of nuclear weapons and NATO will need to be regulated, especially a question of location of NATO’s bases and troops that are situated now in Scotland. Regardless of the problems and possible complications the Scottish government is determined to forge ahead. For many years Scottish independence used to be a political fantasy, empty page, where people could put arbitrary/any political and social hopes. Starting from national pride of having their own government, through to the dream of a highly ethical nation that in contrast to their neighbours do not take part in ‘illegal and morally doubtful wars’, ending on hope of a society that better cares for its people and efficiently fights social inequality. Soon probably these daydreams could be confronted with the reality. And there will be no English elites that could be blamed for a possible failure.
# ianbeag 2011-11-20 09:57
For those who have not already seen the programme Diomhair and missed the repeat on Friday evening it will be shown again tonight on BBC Alba at 10.00pm. Here is how it is rightly described on the Alba programme guide
'The story of how successive governments up until the 1970s worked behind the scenes to discredit the Home Rule movement'.
We had better study the machinations of a previous era of twisted Westminster politicians and their Whitehall mandarin helpers and brace ourselves for more of the same.
# Jim Johnston 2011-11-20 10:14
Thanks a lot ianbeag, I WON'T MISS IT THIS TIME !!!
# tartanfever 2011-11-20 11:34
The Diomhair programme is available on You Tube:

Watch it there at your leisure..
# Arbroath1320 2011-11-20 15:27
I watched it on Friday night. Excellent!

Just one wee itsy bitsy little question though.

When the Macrone report was published in the 1970's, the British government of the day decided to keep the report and its findings secret for 30 years. Now as every one who has read this report will tell you the report was explosive in its findings.

It is my understanding that the report was initiated by th government and, in my view, should therefore have been made available to everyone at the time. The fact that this report and the evidence contained within it was withheld from the public, and our representatives , smacks of denial of our human rights.

I wonder if we could take the Wastemonster government to court over this "denial of Human Rights". It would br interesting, and fun I think, to see them squirm over their pathetic excuses for denying our right to knowledge in the 1970's.
# chicmac 2011-11-20 16:17
There is definitely a violation of the Human Right to freedom of expression (which also covers the right to receive information).

Here I reproduce art. 19 of the ICCPR to which the UK is a signatory:

"Article 19

1. Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference.

2. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.

3. The exercise of the rights provided for in paragraph 2 of this article carries with it special duties and responsibilitie s. It may therefore be subject to certain restrictions, but these shall only be such as are provided by law and are necessary:

(a) For respect of the rights or reputations of others;

(b) For the protection of national security or of public order, or of public health or morals. "

The ECHR of which the UK is also a signatory, is very similar but has a couple more weaselesque provisos now:

"“ Article 10 – Freedom of expression

1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This article shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.

2. The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilitie s, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.

However there have been several successful cases against governments in regard to the political plurality and balance of public broadcasters e.g.s Spain and Moldova. See previous post.

Because of the nature of the oil lies, there may well be a case against Westminster under Article 1 of the ICCPR as well.

"Article 1

1. All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.

2. All peoples may, for their own ends, freely dispose of their natural wealth and resources without prejudice to any obligations arising out of international economic co-operation, based upon the principle of mutual benefit, and international law. In no case may a people be deprived of its own means of subsistence.

3. The States Parties to the present Covenant, including those having responsibility for the administration of Non-Self-Governing and Trust Territories, shall promote the realization of the right of self-determination, and shall respect that right, in conformity with the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations. "

My emboldening.
# Arbroath1320 2011-11-20 16:28
I think the closer we get to the referendum date the more open this "Pandora's box" will become and the more heartache for Wastemonster.

ALBA gu bràth!
# Flora Macoo 2011-11-20 10:02
I don't know the legalities of it but projecting a suitable image onto their Pacific Quay building at night would get some attention.


"Projections on buildings are very spectacular and really stand out. That is why many people capture it on film (video camera or mobile phone). It has shown that recordings of these spectacular projections are being placed on internet video platforms like YouTube and Vimeo. Because of this the message / performance you will not only reach a broader audience, but also get a far greater lifespan than that of a regular advertisement."

I suppose they would say that given it's their business but it makes you think...
# Exile 2011-11-20 11:11
If you have the tehcnical knowhow, Flora, go for it!
# jafurn 2011-11-20 13:34
'Flora Macoo'
An interesting suggestion but I doubt that the bbc would give the necessary permission...

In order to execute a projection on a building, a license is always mandatory. In many cases this is a time consuming procedure. It is therefore of utmost importance to start early. It is also possible to ask for a Letter of Intent. Usually this can be done on short notice and the development process can be started while the official bureaucracy takes its time.

In some cases a license is not an option. One can think of a situation when moving images, the animation, draws attention of people who participate in traffic and because of their diverted attention can cause dangerous situations. In this situation a license is seldom issued.

Large buildings along the high way are perfect for projection however in most cases it will be very difficult to get a license and/ or the procedure will take a long time and will cost you a lot of effort. Our advice therefore is to start the procedures for licensing as early as possible in order to prevent frustration and loss of valuable time. Some city officials will see the benefits of 3D projections for their cities and will cooperate in a quick and efficient way, other cities have strict policies for example New York, it is virtually impossible to get a license for 3D projection.

Another point of focus next to the license is permission of the legitimate owner of the building chosen for the projection. In many cases the owner will ask money for permission. We advise you to try and convince the owner that this project will be fantastic advertisement for his building, this might save some expenses. In case this doesn’t work, a fee will need to be paid.
# Flora Macoo 2011-11-20 16:03
I was thinking more from the perspective of NOT asking for permission. Didn't The Sun do this to the Daily Record just a few years back? I doubt if permission would've been granted there! However, if it's illegal then that's another avenue closed off. :(
# tartanfever 2011-11-20 16:18
You'll never get permission to do a projection onto the BBC building and I think you would be shut down within 10 minutes of starting by the police.

Get a huge tug/ship/canal boat or whatever, anchor it in the Clyde - erect a projection screen onto it and off you go. You can project from the non-BBC side of the river onto the screen (a translucent one), reverse the image being projected and when viewed from the BBC the image will be the right way around.

Either that or erect the screen on the opposite bank of the BBC if a favourable land owner will let you.

hen you can do it for as long as you like I would imagine.
# Flora Macoo 2011-11-20 17:16
Looks like the cost is going up all the time - ships, land...!

A billboard campaign would be more cost effective. That's something I'd happily contribute to. Alternatively, a regular leaflet drop in each postcode area shouldn't be too expensive, maybe targeting the "hostile" areas primarily.
# mountaincadre 2011-11-20 10:04
Morning lads and lassies,As upspake says the only thing that will really hurt them is to not pay the fee, now there are a lot of people out there who would like to but are scared of what might happen if they don't, it is our job to educate them. I stopped paying just over 18 months ago and have been trying to force them to take me to court ever since, at first i told them that i would not pay a fee to have to watch blatant lies against my own country and people but now i also tell them that YES i still watch tv but i'm still not paying it, what are you going to do about it. When i inform them of this and that i want them to take me to court they fizzle out like a rain drop on a hot pavement. Alba4eva your on the right track with the poster stuff, there must be a cybernat, out there who could do this A.S.A.P. then we could get out there and start to show people just what there license fee actually pays for, this would tie in nicely with what fesak's on about as well. We need to start this now folks,the union's greatest weapon against us is there power to control the media,if we can get enough people questioning there stance on things then the whole corrupt thing will fall in on its own, if we do then come the referendum there will be no one willing to blindly accept what they are saying.
# exel 2011-11-20 11:30
mountaincadre 2011-11-20 10:04

Great idea (NOT) How many licence fees would be lost?

At least with the BBC we are aware of the bias (we know the enemy). With the internet blog we do not.
# mountaincadre 2011-11-20 11:44
Not sure i get where your coming from Exel, if i take your point correctly then we should keep paying the fee but keep righting letters to them in protest?
# exel 2011-11-20 12:44
mountaincadre 2011-11-20 11:44
"Not sure i get where your coming from Exel, if i take your point correctly then we should keep paying the fee but keep righting letters to them in protest?"

What I am saying is, you have as much chance of changing, the msm bias, by writing to them, as you have of changing the anonymous, non attributable bias in the internet blog media.
# Angus Ogg 2011-11-20 13:04
Quoting exel:
mountaincadre 2011-11-20 11:44
"Not sure i get where your coming from Exel, if i take your point correctly then we should keep paying the fee but keep righting letters to them in protest?"

What I am saying is, you have as much chance of changing, the msm bias, by writing to them, as you have of changing the anonymous, non attributable bias in the internet blog media.

I disagree there are still some journalists out there with integrity and principals. The last thing the BBC wants is to get a reputation that puts them down there with the likes of Pravda. I read some comments recently that Al Jezeera now have more credibility internationally amongst journalists than the BBC. I am going to e-mail them about the Scottish blogging political scene. They more than anyone understand how it works.
# exel 2011-11-20 13:23
What do you disagree with Angus?
# pa_broon74 2011-11-20 13:50
Same here.

I just put their letters in the bin unopened.

As an aside, I think the reason they don't take people to court isn't as much to do with the idea they think it'll highlight the bias. Its because a private company now 'enforces' the licence fee and I doubt they take any one to court because it'll cost them money.

Fear among the populace is enough to ensure they are made to pay but mostly its fear of the unknown. In a very real sense, people are bullied into paying but the threats are empty.

I would add a caveat though, I can't find any numbers for how many people are prosecuted these days for non-payment, before enforcement was handed over to Capita. (Who seem to spend most of their time on strike anyway.)
# J Wil 2011-11-20 10:13
With reference to the Polish article:

It shows that there are countries who are aware of the situation in Scotland.

The article perhaps could have pointed out the way maritime development in Scotland is controlled under the Crown Estates formulae, with licences having to be issued from London and with all the revenues from these permissions going into the UK treasury, with Scotland having to depend on Westminster largesse in order to develop the wealth of the country. It would be interesting too to see how Polish people would react to the knowledge that the Queen takes 15% of all these revenues directly.

Then there are the grid connection charges, biased against Scotland in production of energy resources.
# gedguy2 2011-11-20 10:27
Considering the amount of Poles who are resident in Scotland and therefore entitled to vote in local elections but not in UK wide elections we should try to get those people on board the nationalist agenda. Just mentioning to them about what the Poles had to put up with when they were under the thumb of the USSR and relating this to how the Scots have been treated by the UK government then we might get more voting sympathy.
Are Polish residents going to be allowed to vote in the referendum if they are resident in Scotland?
# pa_broon74 2011-11-20 13:53
I was speaking to a Polish friend about independence, he was worried that if it happened he'd be made to leave the country.

I said of course not. Not sure if this is a common notion though.
# Jimbo 2011-11-20 17:12
Hi PB,

I wouldn't be surprised if some-one has been doing a bit of scare-mongering within the Polish community.

In the run up to the 2007 Scottish parliament elections a Pakistani friend of mine was told by a Labour canvasser that, if the SNP won, any Pakistanis not born here would be deported back to Pakistan. They were both quite concerned. It took some serious convincing from myself and a councillor friend to get him to understand that that would not be the case.

There is no low that some Unionists will not stoop to.
# pa_broon74 2011-11-20 18:26
I sort of pointed out that the Scottish Government are more keen on Europe generally than Westminster is.

Its a difficult position for me, I'm not that keen on Europe myself, the open borders thing has been problematic. Although I would say, its not their fault for coming over, it was the last labour Governments fault for not seeing what would happen and not plan for it. They thought only 15 to 20 thousand europeans would come to the UK, there are that many in Leith alone.

Don't want to get into that debate though, its off topic.
# alang 2011-11-20 10:18
I made a comment on the BBC about paying all these high salary packages to the great and the good. My comment was polite and did not flout any rules whatsoever, but they refused to post it. I appealed against the moderator decision to block my post and the reply was that I did not keep to the rules.

BBC Scotland is a joke!

Mountaincadre has a point and we should do something
# J Wil 2011-11-20 10:26
Not to put too fine a point on it, the BBC is party to state censorship.
# loamfeet 2011-11-20 10:44
I do not like the idea of a political party - any political party - using its power in government to attack the media. What the SNP and we should be focusing on is reform. The question is: how can we ensure impartiality and a fair hearing for all political interests.

The BBC has all sorts of complaints procedures and oversight built into its charter, but they all a bureaucratic nightmare to navigate. I think what we should be campaigning for is a clarification and simplification - and strengthening - of the checks and balances on the BBC's impartiality and I think we need to sound humble rather than righteous as we do that. We do not seek favour for ourselves; we seek fair treatment for all.
# gedguy2 2011-11-20 10:51
The problem is that you are a decent person asking for a decent answer to a decent question. Remember that you are asking the BBC in London to go against the BBC in Scotland, which is infested with Labourite supporters. Don't hold your breath waiting for an outbreak of decency in Labour's BBC Scotland.
# Hirta 2011-11-20 10:48
Is it not about time the majority SNP government asks the same questions of the BBC as Newsnet Scotland has?

The BBC now go out of their way to talk down Scotland, rarely championing our great little country.

Like the author of this article, I too viewed the BBC Scotland website last night and thought the exact same - I'm glad someone had the foresight to show how dire the "Corporation" is.
# Jim1320 2011-11-20 11:01
I'm afraid the only real solution is to do what Labour supporters did in the past and move in wholesale to the Beeb.

Given the level of support the SNP has in the country and amongst the young in particular there will be a degree of inevitability about this simply through voter demographics. One of the reasons the BBC is largely pro Labour now is because during the 80s and 90s Labour was just about the only show in town. The SNP will by 2016 have had 9 years at the helm. That is a decent opportunity to become the establishment.

By all means complain when bias is beyond the pale but better still use the breadth and depth of support for an alternative perspective to become fixed in peoples' minds and from there obtain access to the media reins simply by being there in numbers. In a sense this is already working by the Beeb closing down the comments section. This also cuts off access to the other parties too - ultimately this is unsustainable.
# Clarinda 2011-11-20 11:42
I concur with your (Jim 1320 at 11.01)evolution perspective as, by the BBC pulling up their Scottish political comments drawbridge etc. they must be fully aware of the potential 'enemy at the gate'? This defeatist behaviour must give us some satisfaction that they recognise a legitimate threat.
The BBC, Scottish subspecies in particular, are protected and deluded by their complex and traditional self-preservation mechanisms but now find themselves increasingly besieged through their intransigence to natural change.
I have written frequently through a variety of access points like many others here - but to no satisfactory avail - they can't say they were not warned.
# rouser 2011-11-20 11:54
having written to and read the post on points of view, i have come to the conclusion that a concerted effort using any means at our disposal to bring the BBC to task over there bias toward the SNP and the independence movement.
the lengths they are going to to try and
discredit a majotity scottish government must be illegal. iknow broadcasting is not a dvolved matter,but i think hollirood should make a lgal stand in this case
# shazzi 2011-11-20 12:04
The EBC has been biased for years not just against the Scots but the working person as well. I remember going through to Hamilton as a post person to support our members who were taking legitimate industrial action and was being interviewed by the reporting Scotland journalist when he got a phone call from his bosses telling him to cancel the interview as the EBC were to take a negative stand on the postal dispute regardless of the rights or wrongs of it incidently I stopped paying the unjust regressive TV licence tax years ago.
# cynicalHighlander 2011-11-20 12:11
Criminalising television licence evasion.:


This chapter has examined the Criminal Statistics far England and Wales between 1980 and 1994 in order to explore the criminalisation of female poverty in relation to television licence evasion. Despite the difficulties involved in understanding trends in prosecution and sentencing, it has been suggested that there have been real increases in this type of 'crime of poverty' over this period. It has further been suggested that perpetrators of television licence evasion are doubly punished through the imposition of fines, which they often cannot afford, and which may consequently lead to their imprisonment for fine default. Television licence evasion now constitutes the largest single instance of female crime, and after excluding motoring offences, accounts for the largest number of imprisoned fine defaulters. One possible solution which could end the criminalisation of people living in poverty would be to abolish the licence fee and raise the level of general taxation as an alternative method of funding the BBC.

Could the Scot Gov not decriminalise this and make it a civilian offence?
# Aplinal 2011-11-20 12:22
I'm not sure they could. Media is a reserved matter, and I assume that ANY legislation in this arena would be similarly reserved. This should not prevent the SNP from raising this in Parliament.

One thing that frustrates me is that the SNP do not use FMQ as they do in Westminster and have more 'planted' questions. Many of the things we talk about on these pages will only see the light of day in the MSM if raised at Holyrood. Let's use FMQs as a way of exposing the hypocrisy in the unionist institutions.
# rouser 2011-11-20 12:40
AMEN to that
# Angus Ogg 2011-11-20 12:59
Quoting Aplinal:
I'm not sure they could. Media is a reserved matter, and I assume that ANY legislation in this arena would be similarly reserved. This should not prevent the SNP from raising this in Parliament.

One thing that frustrates me is that the SNP do not use FMQ as they do in Westminster and have more 'planted' questions. Many of the things we talk about on these pages will only see the light of day in the MSM if raised at Holyrood. Let's use FMQs as a way of exposing the hypocrisy in the unionist institutions.

Having said that Kenny Gibson was good during last FMQs and got the point across well about the industrial sabotage being implemented now by the Unionist cabal.
# manxbhoy 2011-11-20 16:23
it already is a CIVIL (not criminal) offence here in Scotland. Thats why BBC/TVL and their Capita offshoots are still resisting taking me to court. \i have not subscribed to this extortion racket since my student days in the 1980's when coverage of the miners strike by the BBC peed me off.
# pa_broon74 2011-11-20 16:50
Quoting manxbhoy:
it already is a CIVIL (not criminal) offence here in Scotland. Thats why BBC/TVL and their Capita offshoots are still resisting taking me to court. \i have not subscribed to this extortion racket since my student days in the 1980's when coverage of the miners strike by the BBC peed me off.

I don't think that is strictly true. Capita is a private company, they don't have to pursue anyone through civil courts for the licence fee, its a criminal issue.

However, it still costs them money to do that which is why they don't. They get enough people with their empty threats.
# manxbhoy 2011-11-20 17:15
hi pa, yep its true. the sole reason capita or their bosses will not defend their position in the criminal courts here is because there is no such crime in existence. For them to attempt to pursue via the criminal courts would be dissmised out of hand as the EEC/ECJ court have already accepted that both Article 82 and 86 should be read together. Tough on the brits i know, but even blair and brown couldnt use their infamous statuatory Instrement at wastemonster to overule/overide this judgement. THE BBC TAX IS UNLAWFUL, ILLEGAL UNDER EUROPEAN LAW, BUT THE GOOD AULD BBC DOESNT WANT ANYONE TO KNOW THIS.

google BBCRESISTENCE and uk tvlicence resistence, Biasedbbc etc.
# Arbroath1320 2011-11-21 12:45
Apologies for playing the total numpty card here.

What is the difference between something being a Civil offence or a Criminal offence?

Is it just a simple fact that in a Criminal offence you end up with a criminal record or is there more to it?
# rhymer 2011-11-20 12:28
I have made 5 complains tothe BBC in the past couple of months (Re shutting down responses to B. taylor's blog) The first to were ignored, the third got a BBC-speak gobbledgook answer and the last two were ignored. My licence fee is now teetering !
# rouser 2011-11-20 12:32
i have no objection of none payment of the BBC licence fee,but the twisters would use it against us saying we are criminals defying the law. more importantly it would in no way influence them to change tack,as they are government sponsored!
# A_Scottish_Voice 2011-11-20 12:46
I wouldn't worry about about us being called criminals.

Show me one person who has never driven a car over the speed limit.

I would be more concerned that people are being forced to pay an organisation that broadcasts a political agenda they do not agree with.

I would suggest that in itself may be criminal in the view of some.

You have to remember just because someone has passed a law does not make it right.
# rouser 2011-11-20 13:18
A_S_V i am with you especially the bit being forced to pay an organisation that broadcasts a political agenda they don't agree with, should be deemed illegal, or damned maddening at least!
# Angus Ogg 2011-11-20 12:56
Quoting rouser:
i have no objection of none payment of the BBC licence fee,but the twisters would use it against us saying we are criminals defying the law. more importantly it would in no way influence them to change tack,as they are government sponsored![/quo[quote name="rouser"]i have no objection of none payment of the BBC licence fee,but the twisters would use it against us saying we are criminals defying the law. more importantly it would in no way influence them to change tack,as they are government sponsored!

Civil disobedience is a very effective weapon that we can use against the state broadcaster, it is one of the tools in a very large box. The best weapon is of course to vote for the SNP at every single opportunity, that is the quickest route to independence. If the SNP have another landslide next May during the council elections things will really gather pace.

Sticks and stones will break our bones but names will never hurt us.

All the Unionist cabal have left is name calling and negative bigotry.

Their arguments for the union have all been shown to be based on myths and lies.

Edited by Mod. Newsnetscotland cannot publish comments which may put it at risk of litigation. Please refrain from posting such comments in future.
# Arbroath1320 2011-11-20 15:32
How about replying to the "criminal" accusation by saying "Ah yes but I am a PATRIOTIC criminal". :D
# Alba4Eva 2011-11-20 12:34
Has everyone seen this...

At first I thought they might be the English equivalent of the SNP& Plaid.

From their manifesto...

1.5.2 There should be fiscal devolution so that the English, Scottish, Welsh and N. Irish parliaments become responsible for financing their own expenditure. This will save the taxpayers of England a substantial amount of money. it looks like they have a bit to go. Why don't they just go for full independence? They claim that England subsidises Scotland, but seem to still want to be in the union... surely if they were convinced of this, then they would simply adopt the general stance of the SNP?
# exel 2011-11-20 13:10
The English Democrats are an English federalist political party, committed to the formation of a devolved English Parliament with at least the same powers as those granted to the Scottish Parliament. Whilst not supporting English Independence, the English Democrats consider themselves the English equivalent of the Scottish National Party in Scotland and Plaid Cymru in Wales Their motto is "Not left, not right, just English". At the English local elections in June 2009, the party's candidate won the Mayoral Election for the Metropolitan Borough of Doncaster.
# pa_broon74 2011-11-20 14:00
They seem to want to have their cake and eat it.

English 'Independence' paid for by Scottish tax pounds.

I think not.
# rouser 2011-11-20 12:48
nice to see wee have english competition
# Alba4Eva 2011-11-20 12:52
Sorry, I read a bit more and made a wee edit.

Why do the English have such a hole in their political choices?

Surely an ENP, based on the SNP would do well!

I'm going to send them my thoughts... I'll reproduce my letter( E-mail) to them and any response here later hopefully. [Need to do that on my PC rather than my smartphone].
# Legerwood 2011-11-20 12:58
Like the author of this article I looked at the BBC (Scotland) News website on Saturday and was struck with the list of the top stories ALL involving deaths. Tragic as they are is that all that happened in or is happening in Scotland?

As to the stories about the nuclear submarines Reporting Scotland has covered this story twice in different bulletins and on neither occasion could it be said that the coverage clearly set out the seriousness of the problem the decommissioned subs represent.

I would take issue with one statement regarding the Amazon story. Reporting Scotland did do a fairly lengthy - lengthy by their standards - piece about this in their evening broadcast and also on the Michelin story.

Otherwise I think the general thrust of this article is spot on.

O/T The Sunday Herald has some good articles today including an article on Lord Hope's remarks at a conference in Dunblane an editorial on the same which makes for interesting reading if you remember the furore and froth by the Unionists when the SG pointed out that Scots Law was being treated differently from England, Wales and N Ireland.

Michael Moore also has an article in the Sunday Herald but I do not know if it is allowing comments.
# snowthistle 2011-11-21 13:03
They are allowing comments on the Michael Moore story.
No use spending all our time preaching to the converted so I've added my tuppence worth.
# cynicalHighlander 2011-11-20 13:20
Taken from the latest comment from POV message boards.

How to take part in NewsWatch:
# Early Ball 2011-11-20 13:41
They did an item on Scotland a couple of months ago. Joan McAlpine was on. General consensus was no problem here move on.
Since then I feel that has given them the green light to be as anti SNP as possible.
Usually they have a punter doing a video piece then they get someone from the Beeb to discuss their complaints. The banning of comments would be a brilliant one for someone to do.
# J Wil 2011-11-20 13:24
Moore sounded a bit less mono-syllabic today on the politics show, going on several times about the UK and Scottish Governments' working together.

BTW; It looks as though Isobel Fraser has been given the bums rush, as not being anti-SNP enough and has been superceded by Raymond Buchanan. They just gave her some time to get back after her holidays before showing her the tradesmens exit.
# daveniz 2011-11-20 13:41
bbc politics Scotland show showing ian smart from labourhame website and Kate higgins from burdzeyeview.wordpress presenting both of them as a ligit commentators when there both labour supporters as is obvious with both there comments!
# Electric Hermit 2011-11-20 13:42
Following requests I have introduced boards on the Referendum Debate forum specifically for comments on the blogs to which Mr Ponsonby refers.

Brian Taylor:

Douglas Fraser:
# Marga B 2011-11-20 13:46
Totally OT, but have you seen the astonishing article heading the Herald today?

Scottish court system is anti-English

ONE of Britain’s most senior judges has spoken out against the “corrosive anti-English sentiment” in Scotland’s courts, describing it as an obstacle to legal progress.

Many will see the comments by Lord Hope, a Scottish judge and Deputy President of the UK Supreme Court, as an unprecedented counter-attack on the Scottish Government for its assault on the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court earlier this year.

Lord Hope warned against moves to limit the court’s ability to hear appeals against Scottish convictions.

Moves to make such appeals possible only if cases are sent to the Supreme Court by Scottish judges through a process known as certification have been backed by the Scottish Justice Secretary, Kenny MacAskill. Certification is used by courts in England and Wales, but Lord Hope said: “Much has been made of the unfairness of the lack of certification in Scotland when such a system is in place in the other two jurisdictions [England and Wales, and Northern Ireland] but the comparison is not as sound as has been suggested.

“There is [in England and Wales] none of the feeling of antipathy towards cases being sent to London that lies just below the surface here in Scotland ... This is a phenomenon which occurs whether the case is civil or criminal.”
# Electric Hermit 2011-11-20 13:56
I note that Lord Hope refers to the "antipathy towards cases being sent to London" as lying "just below the surface". A self-serving way of saying that it is undetectable by anyone outside the "initiated" clique of which he regards himself a leading member. Pompous oaf!

Referendum Debate:
# Marga B 2011-11-20 14:13
EH, I think we are beginning to see that the real problem with the referendum will be the Supreme Court. Sorry, back on-topic... and nice site, thanks.
# Robert Louis 2011-11-20 15:44
I do hope that we will not see much of the likes of Lord hope becoming progressively more involved in what, in a democracy, are purely political decisions.

This concept of 'fairness' to which the London based Lord Hope alludes, is a peculiar notion which I haven't seen anywhere else in law. Are we to take his word on this matter, that merely due to rightful antipathy towards the pretendy UK 'supreme' court in London, which was created at the behest of a politician, Tony Blair, just over four years ago, that somehow Scottish courts should have NO SAY on leave to appeal to London?

I must say, that from what Lord hope appears to be saying we will in future need to adopt a truly Orwellian concept of 'fairness', in that he seems to suggest that ALL legal jurisdictions are equal, but some are more equal than others.

Methinks that perhaps Lord Hope and his supreme court ilk should abide by the treaty of Union, and leave Scots law and Scots courts to Scotland, else we might presume these law lords themselves are unable to observe the rule of law.

It serves no good, in a democracy to have Law Lords involving themselves in politics. Politicians as DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED representatives of the people, make the law. The role of judges is merely to uphold it AND NOTHING MORE.
# Legerwood 2011-11-20 20:09
Also in the Sunday Herald Paul McBride QC had a very good rebuttal of Lord Hope which ran along beside the article about Lord Hope and his remarks.

The Sunday Herald leader was also very good. Although I have to say their tune has changed somewhat from the position they took when the SG first raised the issue earlier this year.
# J Wil 2011-11-20 20:54
Paul McBride's article is here:
# Jimbo 2011-11-21 12:33
Since Scots Law is a devolved matter, is there anything that stops the Scottish government from setting up our own Supreme Court to deal with Human Rights issues?
# cirsium 2011-11-20 15:45
interesting comment, Marga B. I do not understand Lord Hope's statement. Is this Scottish judge saying that the lack of certification in Scotland is due to the fact that his fellow Scottish judges have an antipathy towards cases being sent to London? In other words, they would make a decision on the basis of this feeling rather than a point of law?
# Mad Jock McMad 2011-11-20 18:17
Last Night of the Union.

Lord of Hope and Tory
Master all to thee.
England's last colonials
Scotland is to be.
Tired, still and tired-er
Unionist arguments be,
Scotland's no longer beholden
Westminster, to thee.

Lord of Hope and Tory,
Gang an leave us be.
We're aa heart'ly spewin'
Wi lies aye telt frae thee.
There's na been ony benefit
Frae Union's barkit tree.
Foulkes, Forsyth and Martin
frae all thon cybernats flee.

Lord of Hope and Tory
Master all to thee.
England's last colonials
Scotland is to be.
Yon Supreme Court's fou' an glakit,
Daft fir aa tae see.
The Sovereign Scottish people
Will na let yon be.
The Sovereign Scottish people
Will na let yon be!

(As performed by the EBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and choir...)
# Alba4Eva 2011-11-20 19:14
Mad by name... Mad by nature. *:09

Nice one MJMcM. *;0)
# roboftheburnawn 2011-11-20 19:52
Alba4- made a suggestion on the same idea at bottom of thread. The idea taken from your earlier suggestion - just in case you sue me for copyright :}
# .Scot 2011-11-20 15:15
It is odd that the BBC for Non-Scottishland viewers were fed a diet of Mr Cameron telling his hated Union of Europe that uncertainty of the Euro single currency was harming business investment in Britain?? Methinks this and the last unelected British cabals speak naturally with a forked tongue! I am still furious that the job of the BBC is to protect and defend the Union which includes lying about the Scottish government and the SNP which it has proscribed as an enemy of the state. Just listen to the poor prerecorded coverage of FMQs on BBC Scotland? where once, only Jack McConnel was given the oxygen of publicity, now only the British paid questioners are heard and the FM's answers are now abridged by a State paid actor supposed ading his personal oppinion such as those described in the above article.
# velofello 2011-11-20 15:23
lord Hope has surely been misquoted?
I would prefer to believe that a Scottish judge declared that Scottish law is not English.
# Scotsfox 2011-11-20 15:32
Please Sign up and pass on...
# Electric Hermit 2011-11-20 15:40
Quoting Scotsfox:
Please Sign up and pass on...


Babies and bathwater! It is a regrettable fact, but a fact nonetheless, that the BBC is the sole bastion of public service broadcasting. That, and the independent funding which facilitates it, has to preserved

It is the current management/editorial ethos which must be condemned until it is changed. Something that will probably require the kind of clean sweep which will only be made possible by placing broadcasting in Scotland under the control of the Scottish government - where it rightly belongs.

It is the anti-Scottish bias that we need to eradicate. Not public service broadcasting.

Referendum Debate:
# Edna Caine 2011-11-20 23:41
EH -

I totally agree with you.

Public service broadcasting remains a bastion against the agenda-led factions that dominate commercial broadcasting. FOX Alba anyone??

If we could only rid the BBC of similar agenda-led bias, then the people that work for them could get back to what they are supposed to be doing - reporting the news (whether it's about tragic fires or not), examining society, entertaining us and, above all, making programmes.

(Just come from watching (again) Diomhair on BBC Alba)
# Arbroath1320 2011-11-20 15:46
The EBC website has an article about John Swinney as its top story, at the moment.

No matter how good, bad or indifferent you think the article is you are left in no doubt at the end that the EBC are still trying to push the "Scotland is full of scroungers" theme.

The proof is there in black and white for all to see. Check out the paragraph 6th from the end and the last paragraph. I may have missed something here but I don't think so.

paragrph 6th from end of article
In his "wish list" letter to the chancellor, Mr Swinney has also urged the UK Treasury not to cut benefit incomes next year, to reconsider a decision to end tax relief for the video games industry and to look at measures to increase access to affordable finance for businesses."

Last paragraph of article.
In his "wish list" letter to the chancellor, Mr Swinney has also urged the UK Treasury not to cut benefit incomes next year, to reconsider a decision to end tax relief for the video games industry and to look at measures to increase access to affordable finance for businesses.

I leave you to make up your own minds.
# Edna Caine 2011-11-20 23:56
John Swinney, as the representative of a nation that the UK Government regards as just another department is responding to the usual request to make submissions prior to the Autumn Statement (which will become "The Budget").

There is nothing sinister here. John is advising the Chancellor, as many of the respondents are sure to do, that the current "austerity" and investment-stagnant strategy is flawed. His views will be echoed by many other contributors to the consultation.

He is correct, of course.
# Seagetagrip 2011-11-20 15:53

Just finished John Le Carre`s "Our Kind of Traitor" He fairly has a go at the present English establishment. I think he speaks from experience. Convinced me that it was not advisable to buy a used car from that lot. Sooner we cut the cord the better.
# jafurn 2011-11-20 16:14
There is nothing new in this. I have been having a look at some recent history about this topic and it is interesting that all of the grievances aired in the article and the comments have been the subject of much discussion.
Perhaps the fact of the impending referendum has focused attention.
I may be wrong but I think that this is the most important aspect of the debate on Independence.
I am of the opinion that if all the issues could be opened up and debated without the taint of partisanship, from whichever side, then the positive case for Independence would win the day over the (my opinion again) negative and backward looking case for continued dependence on political parties and a parliament (Westminster) whose first allegiance is demonstrably not with Scotland.
I can understand the reluctance of the Scottish Government to get involved in this matter but not to get involved could, I think, be even more damaging to the cause of Independence.
SOMETHING has to be done to address this constant bias displayed on the BBC by all of the actions exercised in the post/comments above.
I agree with those who say that the print media owned as it is by private companies have no obligation to be fair and unbiased (they will, I hope, suffer from that through falling sales/ad revenue) that is up to them.
The BBC on the other hand are a publically funded body and have duties and responsibilitie s with regard to trusts/charters and it surely cannot be beyond the wit of the Scottish Government to somehow find a way to address this imbalance or at the very least point the people of Scotland in a direction in which they themselves can do something about it.
This is far too important in the context of a free and open debate with regard to the future of this country.
I, like others here, have complained about the conduct of the BBC but it is pointless they do not listen because they do not have to listen. There has to be some way to make them listen.
(Ok that’s my rant for the day)

Strangely enough I can also look at it another way. I can see a situation where the BBC carries on with their distortions and negative portrayal of all matters Scottish and like me, and obviously, most people here on NNS the general public start to see through all of it and then the BBC by their own actions actually do what they seem determined not to. Maybe that is the grand plan …give them enough rope …if so it’s risky but maybe it will work.
# jafurn 2011-11-20 16:15
Part 2 (my post was too long)

Below are some of the sites I was looking at earlier.

The article below is from
Thursday 12 June 2008
BBC journalists accused of London bias

Here is a speech from A Salmond from 2007
First Minister Alex Salmond
The case for devolution of broadcasting powers
August 8, 2007
First Minister Alex Salmond has announced a commission to look into Scottish broadcasting. He called for the Scottish Parliament to be given powers over the area, currently reserved to Westminster.

DATELINE: 9/8/07

The CPBF (Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom)
welcomes the recent announcement by Alex Salmond, First Minister for Scotland that he is to establish a Scottish Broadcasting Commission to look into the future of broadcasting in Scotland. The Chairman of the Commission will be Blair Jenkins, former Head of News and Current Affairs at BBC Scotland. The Commission is expected to meet during the autumn and report in early 2008. The Campaign looks forward to co-operating with the Commission and hopes to submit evidence to it, following consultation with CPBF supporters in Scotland at a meeting in the near future. Details of the meeting will be circulated and placed on this website.

The Scottish Broadcasting Commission was established to conduct an independent investigation into the current state of television production and broadcasting in Scotland and define a strategic way forward for the industry.
The final report is here:
Although the above matters are reserved, it is still possible for the Scottish Parliament to debate them. We can see an example of this in the situation surrounding dawn raids in Scotland.
After a dawn raid on a family of failed asylum seekers attracted much media attention and public outcry, the subject was debated in The Scottish Parliament even though issues of immigration and nationality are reserved. Although it was possible for The Scottish Parliament to pass a motion condemning the treatment of children during dawn raids, in reality it was not possible for The Scottish Parliament or the First Minister to do anything more than highlight Scotland's concern.
# Marga B 2011-11-20 17:03
I'm not sure that any medium of communication can escape the "duty of fairness". The PCC does not only cover the public media.
# jafurn 2011-11-20 17:17
Quoting Marga B:
I'm not sure that any medium of communication can escape the "duty of fairness". The PCC does not only cover the public media.

Fair comment but I was more pointing to the fact that as private companies their first duty is to their shareholders.
As for the PCC, well they havent exactly covered themselves in glory recently.
# Marga B 2011-11-20 20:47
Indeed, but the fact that the PCC like many other "watchdogs" in the UK, is toothless, is another scandal. Presumably the principle of fairness remains in law at some level, even if it is not honoured.
# jafurn 2011-11-20 21:04
Quoting Marga B:
Indeed, but the fact that the PCC like many other "watchdogs" in the UK, is toothless, is another scandal. Presumably the principle of fairness remains in law at some level, even if it is not honoured.

Maybe another job for the Giant Hadron collider
# Diabloandco 2011-11-20 16:26
"‘Scottish court system is anti-English’

ONE of Britain’s most senior judges has spoken out against the “corrosive anti-English sentiment” in Scotland’s courts, describing it as an obstacle to legal progress."

Could not this also be construed as "English court system is anti Scottish"??
Or,indeed ,Lord Hope is an arrogant ,ignorant and subversive unionist??( He's not a buddy of the bearded wonder at the DT who wrote a scurrilous article agin' the FM over the Scottish governments reaction to interference by the so called "supreme court"?
# Marga B 2011-11-20 17:07
Sorry, OT again, but perhaps the most interesting point is that this speech was made at a legal conference in Scotland also attended by Kenny MacAskill, and the judge in question apparently dropped his bombshell and left before MacAskill got there.

If that doesn't show "corrosive anti-Scottish sentiment" I don't know what does. Good old "they should know their place" rearing its head again, but in rather unexpected quarters.
# Barontorc 2011-11-21 00:29
As the UK Supreme Court has 5 English judges and two Scottish judges, I believe, is it significant that one of these Scottish judges was the one to make the "corrosive" comment?

Should he not practice the principle of declared interest in such matters affecting Scotland and its relationships with the aspirant overseeing UK concoction, which the UKSC is?

If he is indeed of a Scottish legal trained mind - will it not have passed his notice - that there are prior superior strictures which protect Scottish Law, not to mention the Vienna Convention of 1969.

Perhaps it would have too much of a hot-potato for an English judge to take on!
# rhymer 2011-11-20 16:50
Did I "mis-read" the herald today - as I though lord Hope was paraphrasing a comment made by another (now deceased) judge ?
If so this is on par with Osbornes "discussionion with companies (that I can't name) who were orried about investing in Scotland ?
# hafpipe 2011-11-20 17:23
BBC = Biased Broadcasting Corporation
# ananinginaneana 2011-11-20 19:37
It would be great if someone could put together an up to date list of the individuals working at Pacific Quay with connections to the Labour party - and anything dodgy they've gotten up to. The only info I have is over a decade old (linked below).

Of course, former employees should be also included for completeness.
# J Wil 2011-11-20 19:52
"It would be great if someone could put together an up to date list of the individuals working at Pacific Quay with connections to the Labour party..."

Joan McAlpine did an article on this some months ago and had a link to a website which listed such connections.
# Alx1 2011-11-20 20:09
ananinginaneana ,

Maybe this will help too.
# ananinginaneana 2011-11-21 00:57
@ Alx1

Good info, thanks.
# ananinginaneana 2011-11-21 00:56
@ J Wil

Cheers, I read Go Lassie Go but must have missed that one. I've been ploughing through the site but haven't come across it yet - I've got a long list of other articles to read though.
# Roll_On_2011 2011-11-20 19:41
OT Breaking News:


The founder of transport giant Stagecoach is reported to be mulling a bid for BAA's Edinburgh airport.

Sir Brian Souter, who was at Buckingham Palace on Friday to receive a knighthood, is considering the offer through his buyout vehicle Souter Investments, the Sunday Times said.
# Legerwood 2011-11-20 20:15
Was it reported anywhere that he was at the Palace to get his knighthood? I do not seem to remember it on the News or on the web site - no photo of the moment then.
# roboftheburnawn 2011-11-20 19:48
What if flyers were sent to thousands of households- Not from NNS, the Scottish Government, the SNP or any other Political party or movement. No names, no contact numbers, no website.

A simple flyer stating the bare facts about the bbc, no too long, just brief and to the point. I think this would be the cheapest and most effective means of getting the truth out there. Play them at their own game, don't state anything that would land on the legal side, just ask people to take a closer look and let them decide for themselves ( put a few examples to give them the idea ) You could get about 20,000 out there for about £200, with no cost for delivery as I'm sure we would have a few thousand volunteers to do that part.
# EdinScot 2011-11-20 19:52
Its good to see healthy debate in Scotland regards the biased EBC. Its all down to Newsnet and articles like this when for years it has been a closed shop amongst the print press, putting up their Berlin wall on vital issues like this. So democracy is all the better thanks to journalists like this.

I have also been at my wits end about what to do about their bias. Ive done all the letter writing to their various panels etc all to no avail, denial is their middle name. I want to bring to people's attention the children in need Scottish show last friday. I waited to see if it appeared anywhere in the print media which it hasnt yet to my knowledge. There was a children's choir which was made up of kids from all over Scotland, Jackie Bird went on to inform us they had travelled thousands of miles from the Shetlands etc to take part in it. In short, they give it a big build up with excerpts of kids in the choir talking excitedly about their big moment on live television and one wee boy saying he couldnt wait to be on telly. She then said join us at 8.30pm for the song. Well, it transpired we were with Wogan and co in London at that time, he then announced the choir was a national sing a long of kids in all the regions of the UK and on the main stage there was the London kid, with all the other regions having video links behind this. During the song, it went round all round the 'regions' including Belfast and Cardiff but not Scotland! When it next went to Pacific Quay (15 mins later), Jackie Bird's only mention of the choir was that if you want to see it you can see it on saturday at 5.40pm the next day! It seems incredible and beyond belief that they could do this to children. I thought there surely was some mix up but for my own sanity i viewed saturdays repeat showing and i got to the bottom of this. On saturday they showed us just the Scottish choir singing which either they must have recorded at the time or frantically later on friday evening in Pacific Quay as a sop to make up for London not featuring them live on friday evening as they should have.

Incidentally and bizzarely, the Scottish viewer never got to see any acts live on friday evenin from our end of the show with London pulling the plug on Pacific Quay as and when required, it seemed they were playing havoc with BBC Scotlands schedule. I cant recall this ever happening before. The the viewer at home, it was bewildering in wondering when on earth they were going to show us an act on the Pacific Quay stage. On the saturday, we got to see the acts we missed! Unbelievable, no apology, of course they dont do apologies at Pacific Quay as we all know. Is this the Union dividend? It does seem the only thing that happened was that London pulled the plug on the Scottish show for the public here and put Pacific Quay into meltdown live as they said goodnight to us weirdly at 9.30pm from Glasgow, the earliest theyve ever pulled down the shutters. Surely this is an advert for Independence in itself as with our own broadcasting, this could never happen to children again. Unforgiveable.

Something does need done about the EBC. It doesnt matter what that organisation thinks of protests, i would fully expect them to ignore it. This action is for us and our democracy. European, American and other world broadcasters can be alerted to our protests. Other broadcasters in the UK i think would cover it and the EBC would be made to justify their bias by those world broadcasters and crucially ignoring the peoples democracy. It would also reach our target audience, the rest of the public in Scotland unaware of their bias and alert them to our cause and that would really put the cat amongst the pigeons with a backdrop of protests against the Unionist spouting state broadcasters leading up to the Scottish Independence referendum.
# Robabody 2011-11-20 20:38
Thank you ES I was scratching my head about the choir business myself - but as I was baby sitting and playing "horsey" at the time I thought I'd just missed it.
# roboftheburnawn 2011-11-20 20:10
An idea mentioned before - do something bizarre, funny, extreme, a stunt - whatever and then put it on Youtube with the message behind it about the bbc bias. If it's done the right way it goes viral worldwide, then people start to take a closer look-

And to all you guys reading this at the bbc right now - up yours
# gt-cri 2011-11-20 20:13
LMAO! Up theirs indeed!
# Legerwood 2011-11-20 20:18
Jackie Bird's only mention of the choir was that if you want to see it you can see it on saturday at 5.40pm the next day! It seems incredible and beyond belief that they could do this to children.

particularly incredible when you know that Reporting Scotland in their news bulletin had covered the fact that the choir were going to be on Children in Need. Then when it comes to the bit they don't!
# J Wil 2011-11-20 21:06
My grandson and his school class had practiced long and hard to sing on a Save The Children show. He was most disappointed when his slot was taken over by Jackie Bird who had claimed it to sing a duet with a celeb. I thought it was somwhat selfish of her and she is a rotten singer anyway. She hasn't got any better recently either, as evidenced by her performance on Friday night.
# jafurn 2011-11-20 20:32
totally off topic so apologies
mainly for 'alba4eva'

Wouldnt it have been cheaper just to start a few fires in the building? *;0)
# J Wil 2011-11-20 21:08
"The council said the only damage identified by contractors was a cracked window."

The dead don't talk!
# Alba4Eva 2011-11-20 21:16
I'm with you Jafurn... WTC7 came down a lot neater than that demolition and took a lot less effort. (by official accounts)!

It does make you wonder why spend all that money, do all the planning and make such a deal of a demolition in Motherwell, which could have been much more simply achieved with a can of petrol and a clipper... as the official 9/11 story goes.

Just a few small fires and perfect linear collapse achieved (8 hours after the twin towers were both hit by unidentified aircraft)... and even clairvoyantly predicted by our 'trustworthy' BBC before it even actually happened... (now that's what I call efficiency!)

Propaganda... it's what the BBC do!

Ps. Credit to them though... they didn't overestimate the general public and got away with the greatest crime of modern times completely Scot free. Indeed, they did it all live on international TV ... quite the heist!
# jafurn 2011-11-20 21:48
So far! I live in hope
# Alba4Eva 2011-11-20 22:02
As I said, I moved away from my 9/11 research for the sake of my sanity more than anything... so that is the first time I have seen that specific video of WTC7 going down and you get a great view of the flashes from the explosive charges. (Particularly near the top right hand side at the vertical collapse line). One very pronounced 'squib' about 4 floors from the top.

Incredible piece of evidence of CD.

And can we ever forget Larry Silverstein... seems this brave reporter hasn't...

Silverstein made billions from insurance from the events of 9/11 for those unaware of who he is...
# Alba4Eva 2011-11-20 22:26
I just had a thought about how hard fought Scottish Independence is going to really be!
# jafurn 2011-11-20 23:02
Quoting Alba4Eva:
I just had a thought about how hard fought Scottish Independence is going to really be!

Nothing worthwhile is ever easy but is still worth it.
# EdinScot 2011-11-20 20:56
Robabody - No problem. Re the Scottish choir, i thought i also had just looked momentarily away for a split second myself, thats why i made a point of catching their highlights show on the saturday to see if i was mistaken and what they'd do. Their saturday show baffled me more as it showed the band JLS live in Manchester from the MEN Arena when it was billed as the Scottish part of the show lol!

Legerwood - Exactly. Im still incredulous and with it children being snubbed, hoping that i imagined it. Sadly not. A new low for the EBC that took my breath away. No 'technical difficulties' offered up as a reason or excuse.

The good thing is, they made the case for Independence perfectly as the scottish kids would have had the limelight to themselves if we were in control of our own broadcasting like normal countries do. .
# Barontorc 2011-11-21 00:36
These wee disappointed kids will have votes one day!!
# Angus Ogg 2011-11-20 21:09
Like the blasted union this looks as if it did not go as planned either. Symbolic?

These demolitions are supposed to fall in on themselves this one did not do that and appears to have got a wee bit to close to other buildings!!!!
# Caadfael 2011-11-21 09:30
No Angus, just a cheapo job.
You're right though, there should have been more charges internally and "kickers" about half way up the lower half to knock those big slabs inwards.
The Dundee dems were good examples.
# bilco 2011-11-20 21:15
I complained to the BBC about the comments being disabled on Brian Taylor's blog and got the following e-mail in reply - however I didn't understand what it meant so I may ask for more clarification :-) :

Dear Mr xxxxxxx

Thank you for taking the time to get in touch. If I may explain our
thinking on this then please allow me to do so. I have disabled the
comments on both the Brian Taylor and Douglas Fraser correspondent pages
as a rule of thumb. In the interests of allowing people to comment on
our stories I have decided to enable comments on a wider range of
stories - a recent example being minimum pricing. By not having
comments automatically included on two pages it enables us to pick other
stories with comments enabled.

With best wishes,

Daniel Maxwell
Newsnight Scotland & News Online
BBC Pacific Quay
40 Pacific Quay
Glasgow G51 1DA
# snowthistle 2011-11-21 10:04
I guess we need to start keeping a log of how many articles are opened for comment.
# snowthistle 2011-11-21 21:11
Haven't found any articles which allow comments today
# dogbite 2011-11-21 10:20
nope I have read this and have come to the conclusion that this reply is utter nonsense
# Fortitudine 2011-11-20 21:54
Sorry O/T.. anyone seen this??

Discussions starting about dismantling the rusting nuke subs..

'Rosyth in Fife and Devonport in Plymouth are the two preferred sites being considered as locations for removing the radioactive material from the vessels'

Not my preference.. may I suggest the Thames??
# Arbroath1320 2011-11-21 02:20
I hear HMS Astute is already on its way to Devonport for dismantling.

Unfortunately it keeps running aground. :D
# Old Smokey 2011-11-21 09:24
I saw that and saw the Reporting Scotland piece, which was done up like some kind of Blue Peter 'and this is the inside of an old Sub'
I was incredulous at not only the way the BBC were repotring this, but at how something like this is happening.
Are the people of Rosyth aware they have a potential disaster on their door step?
Why were these hulks allowed to be dumped on Scotlands doorstep in the first place? is it a sick joke? or is it the MOD in London's idea that well we have already dump radio active waste in Dalgety Bay, may as well dump the rest of our (more hazardous) radioactive waste on Fife. Is it part of the union dividend?
Just think on this, if these subs had been dumped at sime scarpping yard in India, we would be watching a Panorama special on how the UK is dumping its radioactive ships on poor unsuspecting Indians!
# roboftheburnawn 2011-11-20 21:56
Whatever you do - don't print of adhesive labels stating how bias the bbc are, and furthermore don't ever stick them at bus stops, train stations, subway stations or any points that people will gather. That would be so wrong.

Another thought- don't even think about sticking them at Universities, Colleges, concert venues or areas where people will populate for any events.

As I clearly stated - Don't even think about it !
# dawve30 2011-11-20 22:01
Ooops i did that with be part of better stickers before the election.
# ButeHouse 2011-11-21 01:24
Jim Johnston at 09.59 on the 20th. You are right John. Salmond is playing a blinder as he and his team keep their cool while most of us would have our hands 'playfully' round the neck of these BBC interviewers.

I was tired, angry and letting off steam last night but knew it wasn't the best move as I wrote it. However, that shouldn't stop SNP command having a quiet word with The Democratic Alliance or some other respected group from organising it on a non political basis, he said, tongue in cheek.

Or indeed for Salmond to 'gently' challenge the BBC to explain itself when it goes off the rails or to ask if it thinks that murder and mayhem is all the Scottish public are interested in.

I'm surprised the BBC/STV doesn't have a permanent mobile studio outside the High Court in the Royal Mile because that is their staple diet of news.....that and dog bites cat, can you imagine, on a so called national news programme it's f*&%$ng ridiculous.
# gus1940 2011-11-21 09:09
Don't forget the permanent studios outside Ibrox and Parkhead together with the one at Glasgow Airport for asking the same inane questions of footballers and managers every time the disgraceful duo fly in and out to be routinely stuffed in Europe.

Another thing I cannot understand is EBC Weegie's obsession with Fatal Accident Inquiries.
# dogbite 2011-11-21 10:23
now now Bute house i have never been on BBC news or have I owned a cat
# spurtle 2011-11-21 11:59
I find it hard to believe BBC Scotland and BBC Alba are part of the same organisation - the former , a tartan Pravda . The latter , informative and generally excellent . Hope the beeb bosses don't find out .
# snowthistle 2011-11-21 12:14
I fear 'tis only a matter of time
# Old Smokey 2011-11-21 16:15
Actually there is a slight and probably for the BBC a niggling difference
BBC Scotland's editorial and general output is overseen from London.
Where as BBC Alba is a joint venture operation between the BBC and MG Media. So in effect its has autonomy over its output. It can draw on BBC facilties and content but is free (as we have seen) to broadcast what it wants
# Nautilus 2011-11-21 15:58
Well, it doesn't surprise me that BBC Scotland is going down the tubes. I used to listen to the morning program in Leicester and it was leagues above GMS. Even with brand new state-of-the-art studios, it’s not much better than hospital radio. We have the same 4 news items repeated at least 3 times hourly, the weather, sport (football), traffic 4 times hourly and interviewees cut off in mid-conversation on a regular basis. Why don’t they just record the first hour and play it back for the next two? It would be cheaper and just as informative.

When BBC radio Scotland finally folds, these amateurs will be stacking shelves. Nobody would want them as journos.
# tartanfever 2011-11-21 16:56
Last week the Daily Record was doing Labour's job for them by asking readers to send in questions for Davidson and the Scottish Affairs Committee on the referendum, now the BBC today have a direct link to SLAB's website for people to sign the petition 'Stop the great SNP train robbery'.

So now the BBC is directly carrying out petitions on behalf of the Labour party.

The depths pathetic quay will stoop to.
# J Wil 2011-11-22 15:58
2...Last week the Daily Record was doing Labour's job..."

This is probably directly connected to Labour promises to help out the Scottish media financially (i.e. with our money) when they got into power.
# jafurn 2011-11-21 17:55
That is confirmation that the bbc now works for the labour party.
A direct link on the bbc site to labour scotland where you are invited to sign a petition which says...

{The SNP government has published a plan for the future of Scotland’s railways. But instead of getting a better deal for the public, the ideas they have put forward include:

•cancelling the sleeper service
•stopping cross border trains that go to beyond Edinburgh, so there are no direct trains from Dundee, Motherwell, Perth, Inverness, Aberdeen to London or anywhere south of the border
•splitting off the more profitable parts of the ScotRail network
•increasing the cost of peak time tickets
•longer journey times to “improve” punctuality – but with fewer trains
•changes on capacity which could result in overcrowding, being told to wait for the next train, or standing the whole journey

This isn't a serious plan for the future of Scotland's railways. Please add your support.}

This is totally outrageous.
It is a consultation
The Scottish Government have to question the bbc over this.
# zedeeyen 2011-11-21 18:44
Could we not use Freedom of Information to request any internal communucations pertaining to comments policy on their Scottish blogs?
# tartanfever 2011-11-21 19:24
I have just posted on the BBC Points of View message board about this link on the BBC website to a Labour petition.

For those that feel so inclined, please head over there and give me a little support. Here's the link:
# jafurn 2011-11-21 19:51
Quoting tartanfever:
I have just posted on the BBC Points of View message board about this link on the BBC website to a Labour petition.

For those that feel so inclined, please head over there and give me a little support. Here's the link:

I have done just that and am awaiting moderation.
thanks for the link tartan
# A_Scottish_Voice 2011-11-21 21:57
Consider it done.
# Arbroath1320 2011-11-21 22:18
Donedid! :D
# X_Sticks 2011-11-21 23:41
They have closed the discussion and hidden the leading post.

What have they censored now?

Is it petty spite because the Weirs generously donated to the independence campaign?
# Arbroath1320 2011-11-22 02:23
X Sticks I assume you were looking for the BBC Scotland article about the Labour Party and its petty "Stop the Great SNP Railway Robbery" petition. If so then here it is.
# chiefy1724 2011-11-22 17:27
I just posted - no problems and no modding !

While I was at it I took Peta's advice and went off to Newswatch where you CAN actively send a post directly about the BBC Website

"For comments, criticism, compliments and queries about the BBC News website or coverage of an event or story ".

Well, it may not surprise you to know that I wasn't posting compliments, but I have Queried as to What in the name of the wee man they are playing at with such a direct, overtly political action !
# daveniz 2011-11-22 03:15
more bbc Scotland helping the labour party after there disgraceful direct link to SNP trains campaign advertised on bbc Scotland even though its a consultation!
# Arbroath1320 2011-11-22 03:27
Nice to see good old EBC keeping up the close ties with Labour.

Does any one remember if the EBC carried out a live Scottish Conservative leadership hustings programme?

I don't, maybe I blinked and missed the programme. :D
# gus1940 2011-11-22 09:47
The BBC are always banging on about cutbacks and having to save money.

Here is a suggestion of how to fill up an hour of peak time viewing not just on BBC Scotland but on BBC1 National.

Show Diomhair if necessary rejigging it totally in English.

Something tells me that Hell would have to freeze over before they took up the idea.

In fact it amazes me that the original program was allowed to be made far less broadcast on BBC Alba.

On a similar thread I can't recall 'The Cheviot, The Stag and The Black Black Oil' ever having been repeated since its original showing in the 70's.

It is as relevant today as it was then - surely a copy of the program exists somewhere.
# J Wil 2011-11-22 23:39
I didn't get it today!

The main BBC news had an article about the Dalgety Bay radioactive pollution, during which they paraded Gordon Brown up and down the foreshore saying what should be done about it. BBC Scotland also did an article on the subject, but no Gordon Brown footage. Unusual and sinister init?

Have they resorted to hiding him away in Scotland because of the effect he might have on the leadership election?
# chiefy1724 2011-11-24 12:56
FMQs - The Real Story
And so, once more, in order to save everybody looking, here is Brian's Report on FMQs...

Dear friends, a dark day for the political life of North Britain is upon us.

You can almost hear the smiles on the faces of the secessionists.

No more will the weak and ineffectual so-called “First” Minister be subjected to the surgical and forensic dissection of his puerile arguments on a weekly basis.

Yes, dear friends, that colossus of North Britain Political life, the inheritor of the great tradition of Donald Dewar, Henry McLeish and Jack McConnel, that Gladstonian, Disraelian and Churchillian figure, Iain Gray, puts his burden down today.

No more will He lead The Scottish Labour Party.

His has been a thankless task. Pilloried by the ranks of the secessionists and their Cybernatical auxilliaires. Untruths have been told about him. His sexuality questioned. His courage and valour (so amply demonstrated on the killing fields of Rwanda) called into doubt.

So, to his final questions. Once more and with aplomb and élan never before seen, he marshalled the damning statistics much as Wellington marshalled his troops at Waterloo. From many years of absorbing the blows of the separatists, he has taken all that they could throw at him and now, as Montgomery did to Rommel, flung the troops forward to invade the shores and drive them back to the bunker. Flag flying, one could almost hear the mighty swelling strains of “Rule Brittania” echo ghost-like around the chamber.

Did the separatists not know that 72% of the people of Scotland did not want Independence ? It was clear – the opinion polls said so !

Reeling backwards from this irrefutable body blow, the almost physical imprint of the Piece of Paper on his forehead, Salmond sank back.

Feebly, he meekly riposted that HIS opinion polls were better, and showed that Iain Grey was wrong ! Of course, he could not present any proof of this, and so, once more, demonstrated his complete unsuitability for this high office.

It would be unfair of me to comment further on Iain’s performance today. History will show this, his last FMQs, as the defining moment of this Parliament.

Ruth, lovely Ruth. She must hold the fort alone for a brief while against the native hordes whilst we await a new Scottish Labour Leader to arise, phoenix-like, from the ashes. The drums beat load, the claymores may rattle, but as Boudica stalled and harried the Roman hordes when they invaded our Great Britain, she must stand proud for us all until relief arrives.

Her strident tones already rising to the task, she challenged this weak administration on its plans to let murderers and rapists stalk the streets of North Britain. Clearly, Salmond should hand over not only the keys to the Parliament but the keys to the Jails as well – for he and his band of self-proclaimed Braveheart Rebels were not fit to hold either !

The blows raining down remorselessly upon him, Salmond must have felt that this was The End. His response, pathetically, was that he and his tame hordes would “follow parliamentary process and bring forward a bill for the chamber to discuss”.

This is not democracy, dear friends !

This is dictatorship.

Wille Rennie asked a question too.

I weep silent tears as I write this valedictory tale of Iain Grey’s last FMQs. My keyboard swims with my grief, as I express the grief on behalf of us all.

For He has left us.

The Greatest First Minister that Scotland Never Had.

And now, we Never Will.

I am Bereft. He has been Stripped from us.

Gone, one hopes, to his reward in a better place, may one humbly and leally suggest to Her Most Brittanic Majesty, a place where the benches are red and the trim is ermine ?

Where his intellect, bravery, forethought and common sense will be better used and appreciated for the betterment of all upon this royal throne of kings and queens, this scepter'd isle, this earth of majesty, this seat of Mars, this other Eden, demi-paradise, This fortress built by Nature for herself against infection and the hand of war, This precious stone set in the silver sea, this blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England !
# Caadfael 2011-11-25 16:50
Aye Cheify, yer a terrible man!

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