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  By a Newsnet reporter

It’s hardly a surprise to find that the British Broadcasting machine’s Scottish outpost has kicked into full war mode when the future of the United Kingdom is under threat, this after all is what state broadcasters do.

The first ‘law’ of broadcasting during any war is to provide as much ‘news’ as possible to ensure the man (or woman) in the street keeps faith with your side.

Downplay your opponents gains and exaggerate your own is the rule.

The war of course is the independence referendum, the WMDs (weapons of mass distraction) are words and the foot soldiers are the ‘reporters’ of BBC Scotland - well some of them.

The publication of the report that details Scotland’s fiscal health has confirmed that Scotland is subsidising the UK.  There’s really no other way to portray the figures contained in GERS.

Well, not unless you are BBC Scotland who yesterday provided yet more evidence to the growing list of incriminatory episodes that are fast leading to the conclusion that there is a corrupt element at Pacific Quay.

In the introduction to last night’s News at Ten, Jackie Bird trailed the Scottish slot with the following statement: “The official figures that show how much Scotland relies on oil money to pay the bills if it became an independent country”

Scotland apparently produces nothing at all – save for some oil and gas near our shores that is volatile and running out, it’ll be gone the day after we vote for independence.

The late night introduction ended a particularly bruising and brutal day for those of us who longed for the days of honest journalism.  It began with a carefully contrived ‘leak’ of a document that set the tone for how BBC Scotland would approach the release of official figures that demonstrated the relative wealth of those Scots who pay their wages.

The leaked document was timed to deflect attention from the GERS report, as was the ‘downgrading’ of the Scottish economy by the Fraser of Allander Institute, the Mystic Meg of economic forecasters.

In any war, the propaganda vehicle must diminish the ‘gains’ of the enemy whilst embellishing positive news for its own side.  Thus, BBC Scotland’s role yesterday wasn’t to report on the GERS report in a factual manner, it was to diminish the effectiveness of the figures and blunt what was certain to be a considerable boost for the Yes campaign.

The Reporting Scotland tea-time news item witnessed former Herald Political Editor Douglas Fraser dispense with any pretence of journalistic integrity as he sought to turn good news about his own nation into bad.

The introduction from Jackie Bird was always expected “Can we afford independence? … the Government are spending a lot more than Scots are paying in tax”.

Fraser’s job as the Business and Economy Editor ought to have been restricted to the report itself and an explanation of the figures.  Indeed it is acceptable to highlight the deficit if it is clearly explained that this is the norm for countries and that Scotland’s deficit as a proportion of GDP is a sign of rude good health.

But alas what we got was a mixture of the BBC ‘leak’ and a prediction of doom from a think tank that has well documented links to the Labour party.  The mixing of three different subjects allowed Fraser to dilute the effectiveness of the GERS figures and introduce all kinds of politically motivated rhetoric.  Good news thus sounded bad when all three were mixed and conflated.

Douglas Fraser on Reporting Scotland

It’s worth pausing to look at the downgrading of its forecast of Scotland’s economic performance by the Fraser of Allander Institute – deemed of such importance by the 'Fraser of BBC' that it was included along with the GERS figures (well some of them).  In November last year, this same think tank - headed by one Professor Brian Ashcroft – downgraded its prediction for the Scottish economy insisting it would shrink in 2012.  In fact the Scottish economy grew by 0.4% in 2012.

 

Also popping up later that evening on Newsnight Scotland just in time to pour cold water on any thoughts that Scotland would be better off unshackled from Westminster was the CPPR in the form of Jo Armstrong - another think tank with links to the Labour party.  The same key words, “oil” - “volatility” - “rapidly depleting” that marks out the Unionist mindset were all there.

Finishing off the trio was the OBR – a think tank created by UK Chancellor George Osborne – and another forecast of oil doomdom.  When facts harm your argument then predictions from three Unionist leaning think tanks come rapidly to your aid.

This is Unionism and journalism meeting head on and the desperate day ended with Gordon Brewer confronting Derek Mackay with headlines from pro-Union newspapers who were claiming another ‘leaked’ report showed the SNP were planning cuts to welfare in an independent Scotland.  Such reports and articles are routine whenever a big story emerges that damages the case for the Union.

The sham was complete when Brewer cut off Mackay’s response which sought to highlight the McCrone report - the biggest scandal of all and one that remains under-reported.

How Newsnight Scotland covered the GERS report

The days careful reporting of the GERS report by BBC Scotland was shocking, even by Pacific Quay’s standards and is a signal of intent from the station.

It followed news that yet another Foreign Minister had claimed comments made by his office relating to Scottish independence had been misrepresented by the broacaster.

The alleged culprit was Glenn Campbell who had reported Luxembourg as apparently “warning” against independence.

Campbell’s track record in the handling of politically sensitive issues is less than boastful and his ability to allow his political leanings to infect his news reports and interviews is legendary.  Indeed this morning on Good Morning Scotland he popped up again covering the headlines promoted by Brewer the previous evening and astonishingly refused to confirm if the leaked report actually contained the cuts claimed by the Unionists.

BBC Scotland refused to change when Scotland embraced devolution, they are even further behind as the nation moves forward again and gears up for the 2014 referendum.

What we are witnessing now is a self-policing broadcasting machine that has morphed into a colonial broadcaster unable to check itself.  Unionism is eating away at its soul and a lack of accountability is allowing a minority to indulge their prejudices.

The aforementioned presenters - it’s becoming increasingly difficult to call them journalists - probably aren’t aware just how obvious their behaviour has become, they are too close to the problem.

Not all at BBC Scotland are this journalistically corrupt – is there any other phrase to describe what’s going on? - but those who display these tendencies are allowed a significantly higher profile than those who genuinely do report in a professional and non-partisan manner.

It’s probably why people like Derek Bateman and Isobel Fraser are consigned to weekend morning slots where their excellent journalism will have minimal impact.

Their reputations are being sullied – they, and a great many others, are being tainted by a hard core minority.  The Catholic Church in Scotland is evidence of just how a few rotten eggs can taint a whole institution if no-one acts to curtail inappropriate behaviour.

The independence referendum is too important an issue for the good and honest to remain silent, they really must speak out.

Comments  

 
# cuckooshoe 2013-03-07 01:03
I found this article from the Economist.

It is dated Jan 14th 1999

It gives various scenarios based on the price of oil..

including a 'relatively optimistic figure of $14!

www.economist.com/node/182380

The idea that an independent Scotland could balance its books with the revenues from North Sea oil has been disproved by new research

Your article shows nothing has changed except the price of a barrel of oil...

www.bbc.co.uk/.../overview

...$111.04
 
 
# BillDunblane 2013-03-07 01:10
Brewer was an absolute disgrace on Newsnicht last night - not allowing the SNP spokesman to answer any questions and continually talking over him, while giving the Labour party spokesman comparatively free reign. As for showing the Better Together version of the GERS report instead of the official one, well, that just speaks volumes.

Holyrood MUST act - as long as the government does nothing to challenge the continuous bias output, and the non-reporting of what is actually happening we are actually in danger of losing the referendum at the hands of the BBC.

It will be no use coming back after the referendum and saying we should have...

There are of course dangers in challenging them, but on balance, to let them continue in the manner they are at present is a much bigger danger.
 
 
# Hugh Kerr 2013-03-07 03:56
Excellent article I wonder whether someone will be tempted to report the journalists concerned to the NUJ for breach of the Journalists Code Of Conduct.Number 2 says "Strives to ensure that information disseminated is honestly conveyed accurate and fair"
 
 
# jurist 2013-03-07 04:44
The great danger in attacking the disgrace that is BBC Scotland is their probable use of the time honoured tactic of wheeling out a bone-head like Ian Davidson to accuse them of being biased in favour of the SNP and Independence. As ridiculous as the accusation would self-evidently be, the BBC would be off the hook claiming they must be balanced if they're being attacked by both

It's very worring.
 
 
# Early Ball 2013-03-07 06:48
Yesterday was planned. They knew the GERS figures were good news for Yes so it was a full-on counter attack.

It looks like they are seeing what they can get away with and taunting the SNP to complain.


It is working at the moment because people as a rule trust the BBC.

Might be worth going along to their next strike and quizzing the journalists on the subject.

I know it is a long game but this propaganda machine is worrying.
 
 
# G. P. Walrus 2013-03-07 06:49
"The average punter in the street is too brain-dead to not be taken in by them."

Sorry but where is your evidence for that? Just because the BBC hold the megaphone doesn't mean that its enforced audience agrees with every bit of propaganda they produce.

Look at how much Newsnet has raised in a week. The average punter is seeing through the "mass distraction". Look at any BTL discussion on independence. The overwhelming strength of reasoned articulate opinion is on the side of independence or at least agnostic about it.

BBC Scotland news output is produced by a steadily decreasing band of under-resourced badly demoralised journalists and it really shows. It's influence on public opinion is becoming marginal.

Excellent job NNS in showing up just how poor the quality of BBC journalism is.
 
 
# jurist 2013-03-08 01:08
The evidence is all around you. Lose your rose tinted specs. 'BBC Scotland's influence on public opinion is becoming marginal' - don't talk daft!
 
 
# ochyes 2013-03-07 07:20
BBC Scotland is the UK Govt state broadcaster, as are all interations of the BBC. Therefore it's raison d'être is to broadcast pro British news. We just need to keep reminding people of this and they will never get impartial or balanced coverage of the Scottish independence debate from the BBC.
 
 
# UpSpake 2013-03-07 07:27
It is interesting to note that BBC Scotland regard the government of Scotland to be principally a rural group of MSP's and exclusively as regards SNP ministers who can only be interviewed outside the warm cosy studio by reverting to a dodgy often technically difficult - video link.
I am happy with the obfuscated version of GERS, I am so glad we will be poorer and unable to afford our welfare costs Mr. Frase. You have just convinced me to vote Yes so that I can be poorer no more.
 
 
# Dowanhill 2013-03-07 07:30
Bill in Dunblane is correct. The BBC is doing the job of the 'Yes' campaign. Alastair Darling doesn't even have to make an appearance while Scottish Government ministers accept the barrage of inept, sloppy journalism.

Don't under estimate the wave of ridiculous assertions still to come when we're in the midst of the referendum campaign itself. It's about time the Scottish Government took a lead on this to at least try and curb BBC Scotland stupidity or we will already have lost the referendum before it has officially begun.

The Scottish Government will not win the 'Don't knows?'. Margo Macdonald made the point that the Scottish government should be picking their fights, I agree.
 
 
# pinkrose 2013-03-07 07:40
When I see them behave like this, I remind myself that they did this with Megrahi and SNP over and over, trying to turn the public against the SNP, however it didn't work as they were voted in after relentless attacks, with a majority. Are the Scottish public aware of the propaganda? I think they are.
 
 
# X_Sticks 2013-03-07 10:22
They aren't finished with the Megrahi story. I think it is going to rear its ugly head again soon.

There is a police team due to visit Libya to seek "evidence" of Megrahi's involvement in the Pan-Am bombing.

It would suit all the british establishment to "find" this incriminating evidence.

In spite of the all the evidence that has come to light since the "trial" (what a farce that was!) of Megrahi that points to him having little or no involvement in the bombing I'm sure our boys in blue will manage to find evidence that will exonerate all of the guilty. The guilty include westminster, the courts, the police, MI5, MI6, the CIA and the American government.

With regard to the bbc - the behavior of the Haw Haw Bird and Private Fraser is only to be expected. They are fighting for the survival of their beloved britain.
 
 
# WRH2 2013-03-07 07:45
Unless I'm missing something, the leaked report is a pretty straightforward document outlining the work needed to progress from our current "tethered together" situation to full independence. It takes into account the fact we will be managing all our tax income and public spending - exactly as other countries do. Of course there are going to be differences and concerns that we must take into account but that's just normal independent country stuff. How MSM manage to interpret the report in the way they do is beyond me.
And as for the latest BBC nonsense about cuts to pensions this is based on selective reporting of section 39 in the report. Glenn quoted only part of the sentence. The whole sentence says, " For example, I expect that the Working Group will consider the affordability of state pensions as its work on fiscal sustainability proceeds." That doesn't suggest to me an intention to cut pensions rather ensuring we will be sustainably funding them.
 
 
# admiral 2013-03-07 07:48
Funny how all the "newspapers" are leading with this, this morning. Now let me guess - what will wee Joanna ask at FMQs today?

BTW, if an independent country is not viable if it runs a budget deficit, then how do you explain the phrase "Better Together"? Since the UK's structural deficit is proportionately larger than Scotland's, surely that should be "Worse Off Together"? Doesn't make sense, does it?

And how are oil prices going to be less volatile if Scotland remains part of the UK - do "Better Together" have some magic, oil price fixing ability?
 
 
# davemsc 2013-03-07 07:52
One point of detail which I have noticed:

In paragraph 16, there is talk of the FoAI's prediction that Scotland's economy will shrink in 2013, then the point is made that "(i)n fact the Scottish economy grew by 0.4% in 2013." Since we've only had two month of 2013, I think it is wise to perhaps check whether you should be talking about 2012 rather than 2013.

If NNS is critiquing the behaviour of the BBC, basic factual errors need to be eliminated in order not to weaken the case you are making.
 
 
# Breeks 2013-03-07 08:27
John Jappy reminds us that Scotland's economy was in surplus before we discovered North Sea Oil. So even to accept the Unionist spin, (I don't), any 'dependency' on oil is a phenomenon developed under Westminster's mismanagement which didn't create an oil fund 40 years ago.

With regards to the BBC, I agree that it's a matter for the Scottish Government to address. I won't be satisfied with anything less than an independent Scottish digital news channel. That will take time to set up, but it feels like the entirely correct thing to do, but the process needs to be starting.

Don't waste your time complaining to the BBC trust, the complaint process is designed to keep complaints disjointed and uncoordinated. Lobby our Scottish Government, because this is a big deal.

I have faith in the Scottish people's power to know lies from the BBC, but it's healthier for the debate if the BBC's monopoly was downgraded and its input less relevant.
 
 
# nellie8 2013-03-07 09:05
Can I just ask how many of you who post on this site pay your licence fee, I don't, I refuse to pay money to this corrupt organisation, Also I have been on the last two demonstrations against same BBC, I am a pensioner and managed to get out of bed to travel to Glasgow from Fife two weeks ago on a freezing morning for the last one. I am on many sites on the internet and it amazes me how many people complain about the BBC and yet both demonstrations have had very poor turnouts, If we are serious about things needing to change then WE need to be the change. We won't get anything done sitting complaining on our computers.
 
 
# Old Smokey 2013-03-07 09:09
I find the BBC a complete disgrace. What I found interesting is that the BBC were (and its clear to be seen what is in Brewer's hand) using a hand out from the Better Together campaign (unless of course the Scottish Government have taken to use a arty comedic 'Top Secret' splash on the front page of a report) The so called leak came from Better Together. It was a hash of an old assessment report. Yesterday and no doubt today it will be about rubbishing the GERS report and doing everything to divert attention form the GERS. The Scottish Government really need to get a grip of the situation, as do the Yes Scotland campaign
 
 
# rapid 2013-03-07 11:24
whilst not defending the presenter or script - Mr Brewer was very clear with the audience that the over-dramatic splash cover was created by the Better together campaign and the source of the leak was the Better together campaign.

It's a pity that they didn't balance the article with the *real* data.
 
 
# Old Smokey 2013-03-07 11:46
Not so on the BBC in Scotland website
'Go-alone Scotland 'faces challenges'
Scotland's Finance Secretary John Swinney responds to a leaked government paper by saying there would be economic challenges in an independent Scotland.
Which is the 'header' item on the politics page bbc.co.uk/.../...
Yet when you click through to the actual article, by magic the headline paragraph changes to 'John Swinney was responding to the contents of a draft government discussion document on the country's financial position after independence'http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-21679760
Still doesnt get awy from the point that the BBC in Scotland are pandering to the Better Together campaign by using the BTG made up document without any 'health advisory'
 
 
# snowthistle 2013-03-07 11:48
I thought Mr Brewer seemed slightly embarrassed about that, ...so it must have been bad!
 
 
# farrochie 2013-03-07 09:23
As far as news is concerned, most people I know are highly critical of the BBC news reporting. It is highly selective and protective of the Westminster establishment.

Examples: Savile is being "disappeared" from the news; "Fernbridge" has never been mentioned.

Similarly, in Scotland, there is always a panda or a walrus to be discussed. Any suggestion that independence could be good for Scotland is to be witheld or buried.
 
 
# Diabloandco 2013-03-07 09:32
Might I suggest that you e-mail all complaints about BBBC Scotland directly to the chocolate tea pot himself - Lord Patten?
After all BBBC Scotland have this unsatisfying , more in sorrow than in anger response ready and waiting to be signed by some bozo , no use to man nor beast - but a constant barrage of pi$$ed off punters might annoy the " great man "into action,or at least one of his minions.
 
 
# Neale SNP 2013-03-07 09:53
I have yet to calm down about this appalling spin of the facts. Something seriously needs to be done about this. A few folk turning up at PQ did nothing, the illuminate the debate rally did not gather many folk. Expect this to be a topic of discussion at conference.
 
 
# cynicalHighlander 2013-03-07 09:53
OECD: Oil Prices Could Reach $150-$270 By 2020: online.wsj.com/.../...

Quote:
LONDON--Oil prices could rise to anywhere between $150 and $270 a barrel by 2020 as demand growth in emerging markets like India and China out paces expected supply, the OECD said Wednesday.
 
 
# tartanfever 2013-03-07 10:07
This is a taste of whats to come. Yesterday the BBC released 4 distracting news stories to divert from GERS, including a pre-planned visit from Blair to a pensions talk in Edinburgh which turned into a rant for the union.

In the weeks leading up to the vote, we will see this every day for days, if not weeks. You will have rigged polls, you will have false reporting, you will have all the dirty tricks. The only goal for the BBC is to win the referendum - no matter the consequences.

Do we think we are strong enough to battle through this by generally ignoring them, or do we take on the BBC now ?
 
 
# alexb 2013-03-07 10:21
Please don't expect an unbiased report on anything to do with Scottish independence when the institution that produced it is headed by Professor Brian Ashcroft. (Mr Wendy Alexander).
 
 
# Rafiki 2013-03-07 10:24
When will we get an honest admission that the major cause of the UK's deficit - ie National Debt - increase, was the gullibility and ineptitude of Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling, staunch defenders of the status quo.
 
 
# Jamie Black 2013-03-07 10:32
May I suggest that readers look at Charts 5 and 6 of the 'Secret Report' and maybe explain the general trend? It relates to oil revenues, was compiled by the SNP and shows a very clear predicted trend.

I'll not pre-empt this, as I might be accused of scaremongering. This would maybe bring the debate about this report slightly more on track than yet another rant about the BBC.
 
 
# cuckooshoe 2013-03-09 15:42
Is that the bit of the report that uses the Office for Budget Responsibility's prediction for the future price of oil which turned out to be too low?

I don't want to alarm you but..

heraldscotland.com/.../...

''Last week, trade body Oil & Gas UK said firms were planning investments totalling around £100 billion on the UK Continental Shelf. It predicted investment in the UKCS will rise to a record £13bn in 2013, from £11.4bn in 2012.''
 
 
# cokynutjoe 2013-03-07 10:35
BBC Scotland,
"Sic a parcel o rogues in a station!"
 
 
# Astonished 2013-03-07 21:53
Spluttetred the coffee - again !
 
 
# bunter 2013-03-07 10:42
There is a danger that if this continues and the Unionists keep on with their spin and misrepresentati on of the facts, that some hotheads may take it upon themselves to do something silly.
The Unionists would like nothing better than to tar the whole independence movement with ''Nasty face of nationalism'' headlines!
 
 
# creag an tuirc 2013-03-07 10:43
Where are the whistleblowers? It's much easier nowadays for someone to send an anonymous e-mail with documented evidenced attached and not jeopardise their position. Send Newsnet the evidence you cowards.
 
 
# Dundonian West 2013-03-07 11:10
The British Broadcasting Corporation operating in Scotland.
It's one of the pillars of the British Establishment.
For the next 18 months they should stick to Waterloo Rd.
They've been rumbled as unfit for purpose on all matter Indy.
 
 
# Jo Bloggs 2013-03-07 11:20
What an embarrassment for the BBC. If their mendaciousness weren't enough, they can't even spell deficit.
 
 
# Grenscot 2013-03-07 12:57
Quoting Jo Bloggs:
What an embarrassment for the BBC. If their mendaciousness weren't enough, they can't even spell deficit.

Exactly if they can't get that right what can they get right. When I saw that photo of Fraser standing in front of the screen another word beginning with defec*** came to mind, although admittedly in the more commonly known shortened version.
 
 
# Carnaptious Curmudgeon 2013-03-07 11:26
Have I missed something or are the Yes campaign and SNP sleepwalking towards defeat in the referendum. Biased media is the single biggest threat to independence. On a regular basis we see Moore's, Lamont's et al's ineffectiveness for the BT campaign. They are not vote swingers. The great Scottish public are, in my experience, not as savvy as some here would have us believe. They feed away at their lazy news trough, filled daily by the BBC, Daily Record, Scotsman etc. It is this diet that will influence their vote. I strongly support independence but I'm starting to despair at the lack of response from Yes Scotland and the SG to this most serious threat to our once in a generation opportunity. (contd).
 
 
# Carnaptious Curmudgeon 2013-03-07 11:41
(contd). NNS and Wings Over Scotland are welcome contributors, but let's not get hoodwinked into thinking they can counter the MSM in the short time left. The increased readership of both is very impressive, but the majority of their readers are, like me, already Yes voters. Its not them who need convincing. Those of us who regularly read the "independence friendly" media can easily slip into the belief that because we read many posts from like-minded, politically astute posters that we have a massive, insurmountable groundswell behind us. The MSM propaganda machine is, unfortunately, infinitely more powerful than we believe, and time is scarce to convince the mob that their message is tainted. Yes Scotland and the SNP are keeping their powder keg dry too long, I fear.
 
 
# taimoshan 2013-03-07 11:41
I'm gutted and very despondent at what these people are doing and will do to the people of Scotland. I don't mind Fraser being a unionist but I do expect a balanced and honest report on our improving economy, compared to rUK. After all every individual in Scotland, whether unionist or nationalist or of no feelings about it all, rely on the economy improving. Disgusting is the only way to describe the BBC in Scotland!
 
 
# Jamieson 2013-03-07 11:41
If the people who organised the marches against BBC bias really want to be effective they should seriously consider organising a mass opt out of paying the BBC TV licence fee. That would generate wide publicity and seriously concentrate minds at BBC HQ. And if enough people did it there is nothing the authorities could do.
 
 
# Glenn Outrage 2013-03-07 11:59
Quoting Jamieson:
If the people who organised the marches against BBC bias really want to be effective they should seriously consider organising a mass opt out of paying the BBC TV licence fee. That would generate wide publicity and seriously concentrate minds at BBC HQ. And if enough people did it there is nothing the authorities could do.


I agree.

I stopped paying over a year ago and apart from letters that go in the bin I have't had any hassle from the authorities.
My neighbour who doesn't pay either got a visit before Christmas and told them to where to go and has heard nothing since.
Why pay good money for this abysmal, biased service?
 
 
# jinglyjangly 2013-03-07 12:00
A few years ago (2007 i think)) the Gers report was submitted to forensic analysis, which found that not all tax revenues raised in Scotland made their way into the credit column of the Gers report
and on the debit side we were hit by
100% of Trident and Nuclear proection cost,(Scottish) Royal Proection,
Army Payroll office in Glasgow Costs. Share of English/Welsh Court costs etc,
So if you add up all the taxes raised in
Scotland and take away the above plus
costs of white elephant Aircraft Carriers, foreign wars, foreign military bases in germany, cyprus, falklands and others, imperalistic foreign and commonwealth office, Capital infrastucture projects which are deemed to be British, etc. you will
find that Scotland has a healthy Surplus.
 
 
# Caledonian Lass 2013-03-07 12:37
There are no depths to which the BBC, newspapers and Better Together lot won't
sink in order to churn out their usual lies, smears and propaganda.

It smacks of desperation as they're terrified Scotland becomes independent. The more afraid they become, the bigger the lies will be.

I hope the general public will become sick and tired of all this nay-saying. The Scottish Government and Yes Scotland will soon pull out all the stops and hopefully convince people of the mainstream media's deceit.

Meanwhile, it's up to us to make a determined effort to convert the don't knows into yes voters.
 
 
# Old Smokey 2013-03-07 12:50
The spectacle of the Troika of unionist leaders in Holyrood all asking and pushing the same question based on a made up document, hashed together by the Better Together campaign, was farcical to say the least. Why dont they just sit together and appoint one single spokesperson to ask the questions at FMQ, would save time and embaressment. Even when corrected Lamont continued to stay on script
 
 
# Bob 2013-03-07 12:51
The BBC in Scotland is not the one to worry about. Westminster and Whitehall have yet to unleash the masters of lies and deceit into the fray.
Independence has nothing to do with politics, it concerns Scotland becoming independent. Party politics can be sorted out after the referendum. You do not have to like or vote SNP.
Let the people of Scotland decide.
Yes 2014
 
 
# fynesider 2013-03-07 12:52
Douglas Fraser seems to "forget" that John Swinney has to balance Scotland's budget every year - AND HE HAS SUCCEEDED - so I
he just ignores that bit - as usual!
 
 
# ynot 2013-03-07 12:55
I share the mood of despair in many of these posts, not helped by the appalling GMS top slot this morning again discussing (Willie Rennie and Hayley Millar, but no-one from the YES campaign) the "leaked " document. Apparently we are better together as the UK can secure the future for ever (by borrowing/printing more money and getting deeper into debt, (but of course this wasn't admitted to!) whereas too wee, too stupid Scotland couldn't cope by managing an economy based on oil.
As far as the BBC is concerned I feel the only way to attack them without giving the opposition ammunition is to get another institution or country to do so. Heaven knows there is a growing number of EU countries who must also be hacked off by the BBC and although I haven't a clue about how to get tem to complain I would have thought that we, the people, surely must be able to seek redress through the European Court for this blatant misrepresentati on and distortion by a state broadcaster?
 
 
# Will C 2013-03-07 12:57
@Jamieson - Totaly agree, I for one would stop paying my licence fee if I was part of a mass movement. We did it over the Poll Tax and this is arguably much more important. I would also be happy to help in the organisation of a non payment campaign. Anyone else interested?
P.S. Check out todays copy of the Sun. An honest assessment of the independence debate at long, long last!
 
 
# MAcandroid 2013-03-10 08:09
Perhaps a mass meeting and burning of licences would make the newsrooms around the world ?
 
 
# Dee 2013-03-07 13:00
Can newsnet Scotland give me any advice on how to rid myself of the rage and frustration and impotance that I feel every time bbc Scotland come out with this trash.??
 
 
# Indy_Scot 2013-03-07 13:10
This seems to be a common theme with the unionist media outlets, BBC Scotland and the No Campaign. They continuously put out incorrect, over exaggerated and misleading claims into the public domain, and when they are shown to be fabricated nonsense, they never apologise.


What they fail to realise is that many people now use the internet to get the real facts, and that you can only fool the public for so long.
 
 
# cynicalHighlander 2013-03-07 13:35
Who scares?: thescottishsun.co.uk/.../...

Quote:
Because frankly, the scare stories are wearing a bit thin.

The latest is over a leaked SNP document that’s cue for a doom-laden warning about slashing pensions, cutting defence spending and shedding public sector jobs.

Strip away the hysteria and what you actually have is a sensible Government prepared to make sensible decisions about spending.
 
 
# reconvene 2013-03-07 14:05
I agreed with Margo Macdonald in her speech at the Yes campaign in the Princess Street Gardens last summer. We have to get along with our fellow Scots, when some of us happened to have voted no in the Independence referendum.

But people being people, some of them will have long memories, and will remember the ones that were actively involved in the media to boost the no vote by telling the public half truths, out right lies, and generally giving false propaganda about the yes movement efforts for an independent Scotland.

After independence, the BBC will no doubt, be overhauled and made different to suit Scotland’s needs and requirements. I only hope that some of them who are now employed with that organisation will have some other kind of employable training or useful skills, so that they can earn a living to provide for themselves in the future.
 
 
# Diabloandco 2013-03-07 19:34
They'll be fine - their overpaid and under talented.

Sadly they are overpaid by the majority of us.
I find it quite unbelieveable that they can sit there arrogantly undermining Scots and Scotland with absurd reports ,faux outrage and inaccurate comment.
Should we vote for independence I vote we close the whole shebang and those interested in an impartial Scottish broadcaster have to apply via audition and interview.
I am mindful of the talented young from the erstwhile RSAMDA (Conservatoire kinda sticks in my throat!)many of whom would enjoy presenting,acti ng ,directing and working on the technical side in a newly formed national broadcaster.
 
 
# Ready to Start 2013-03-07 14:08
The only way to counter Unionist newspapers and British State Broadcaster is to get knocking on doors and speaking to people one to one, Answer their concerns and have a positive vision for Scotland as a small social democratic nation able to pay its way in the world.

btw What was Lamentable on about with her reference to squirrels.

Is she a grey squirrell?

heraldscotland.com/.../...
 
 
# Breeks 2013-03-07 14:30
I had to chuckle when Derek Mackay did his best to mention something else on the subject of leaked reports from the 70's, (which I'm sure was the McCrone Report).

The Unionist 'rent-a-panic' reaction was priceless. "Yada! Yada! Err, I want to change the subject!"

What's wrong Mr Brewer? Was it the BBC or Labour who briefed you to avoid any mention of the McCrone Report?
 
 
# gopher3 2013-03-07 14:49
Labour told the EBC, who then told Mr Brewer
 
 
# johnlove54 2013-03-07 15:03
to all the readers on this website here is more startling news .i have just found out that as from the 28th of march of this year please note that all crisis loans are being stopped this is from the D.W.P. what are people who through no fault of their own going to do now when there money runs out or there is an emergency. ps as a footnote there is 2 new sites on the web for independence they veterans for independence, and rangers supporters for independence i implore everyone to check this out and pass this on to everyone. also as a matter of interest i have downloaded the mccrone report in full and printed it off and if any one wishes a copy i will gladly send them one please contact me on (01383 419025) anytime. vote yes in 2014
 
 
# John Souter 2013-03-07 15:45
I would urge Newsnet to print this document in full - including the disingenuous and naive post-it notes of the better stuck camp.

As I posted elsewhere - read it and weep, not for the future but for the last forty wasted years throwing a nations wealth into the sink-hole of Westminster.
 
 
# From The Suburbs 2013-03-07 15:56
This is the financial overview conclusions in John Swinney’s leaked document

Para 27 From 2017 -18 onwards public spending is therefore expected to grow in line with the economy. This would imply real terms growth in Scottish public spending of between 1,4% and 2% a year. There will therefore be some opportunities to provide additional resources in priority areas. However there are also inherent real terms cost pressures within public sector budgets. One of these – debt repayments – I have already set out. There is also likely to be an increase in the real terms cost of providing existing public services in Scotland after 2016-17. We will need to be mindful that these pressures could reduce the resources available to provide additional public services.
 
 
# From The Suburbs 2013-03-07 16:40
Further to above

The real conclusions in the leaked document which were grossly mis reported by the Unionist Press and British State Broadcaster.

Financial overview – conclusions
Para 26.
The forward projections of the likely overall fiscal envelope provide a challenging context.
However by 2016-17 the Scottish public finances are expected to have returned to a sustainable position with tax receipts broadly matching public expenditure and public sector net debt slowly declining as a share of GDP.

How could any journalist with an ounce of integrity can interpret this into the negative Daily Express, Daily Mail, Times, BBC headlines is beyond me.

Note 1. Scotland will become independent in 2016.
Note 2. Since publication of this report, Oil and Gas revenues are now predicted to increase over the next few years hence huge recent investment.
 
 
# Ready to Start 2013-03-07 16:11
YES Scotland has prepared a paper on pensions

www.yesscotland.net/.../

As stated at FMQs Scotland spends 38% of revenues on social provision whereas the UK needs to spend a higher 42.3% of revenues on social provision.
 
 
# UpSpake 2013-03-07 16:36
Reconvene. I would rather hope that upon independence we don't need to sort out the BBC, they will be a foreign broadcaster. For Scots who simply can't give up their Eastenders, then they can happily and freely purchase the output from the BBC, at will via an encrypted service a la Virgin /Sky.
As for the saner of Scots, we simply don't need the State broadcasting to us in any way shape or form and certainly not through some form of Scots TV license. Let's wavy goodbye to this ancient colonial form of mind control, once and for all.
 
 
# RTP 2013-03-07 16:37
What no one seems to be asking is who leaked the document in the first place,also,Lamo nt and Davidson are asking for openness and telling the Scottish people,what about the Unionist being open and transparent about "Labour Government's" 1997 devolution policy which is being with held by the Scottish office.On another subject has Davidson and Lamont corrected there "MISTAKES" they made in there questions and answers.
 
 
# Willow 2013-03-07 16:41
Craig Murray has an excellent piece on the BBC propaganda.

It covers the BBC & yesterdays GDP along with the altered maritime boundaries carried out by the Labour party in 1999.


Perhaps Newsnet Scotland could ask permission to publish it here?

“Propaganda against Scotland”

bit.ly/13Iqji1
 
 
# ace182 2013-03-07 16:47
Folks who want independence should take time to tack up notices all over the country sayin don't believe the lies put out by the BBC. Remember this is controlled by Westminster in England.
 
 
# James01 2013-03-07 18:27
Some posters on here seem to be under the impression that most Scots are not only politically savvy but media savvy and are well aware that they’re being fed a daily diet of unionist propaganda, I very much doubt that. Why do you think it is that so many Scots believe we’re too small, too poor etc, it’s because that’s what we’ve been told for decades and it will continue right up to the day before the referendum. Without a balanced output from the print and TV news media there is no chance that Scots will vote yes.
 
 
# Dee 2013-03-07 18:27
Is the Sun newspaper on board now, ??we need all the help we can get till we overcome this outrages reporting. Also heard we might be joined by Henry MacLeish.
 
 
# chicmac 2013-03-07 18:27
References found over on WOS:

“”Oil production should revive from recent levels for a period of several years, particularly with the higher-price scenario, where the increase could be substantial,” the study by Alexander Kemp and Linda Stephen [of the University of Aberdeen] concluded.” (Reuters, 5th December 2012)

“Oil & Gas UK reckons oil receipts will be £3bn higher in 2017 than forecast last year. While Brent crude prices are now around $110 per barrel, by 2017, the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change predicts they could hit $130 a barrel, while the latest OECD predictions put them higher, at an eye-watering, record $150 a barrel.” (The Guardian, 7th March 2013)

“Oil prices could rise to anywhere between $150 and $270 a barrel by 2020 as demand growth in emerging markets like India and China outpaces expected supply, the OECD said Wednesday.
 
 
# MacSenex 2013-03-07 19:16
It's not just the national press and media. At our YES meeting last night we decided to ignore the local rag as it is refuses to publish anything about our campaign and is a constant mouthpiece for the local unionist mp and snp.

We've resolved to deliver leaflets every month to each home in our area with a family of volunteers.

Initially we use the YES leaflets but we are preparing ones for the local area to localise the benefits of Independence to our communities
 
 
# Hwanofbute 2013-03-07 19:16
It's not all doom and gloom. The Scottish Sun rode to the rescue today in it's editorial. Bear in mind it has the largest circulation in the country too.

thescottishsun.co.uk/.../...
 
 
# chicmac 2013-03-07 19:18
How about this from Stephen Nickell a member of the OBR‘s main steering committee.

Source Telegraph March 2011 (my eboldening)

“The OBR forecasts oil prices to peak this year at $113 a barrel, but to remain at $107 or above through to the end of 2015.[currently Mar 2013 - $115 per barrel] ...
...But, Mr Nickell added: “Forecasting oil prices, as anyone knows, is a mug’s game.”

Note no significant oil price drop predicted by the OBR through to 2015.
In actuality prices have gone up and industry forecasts (see last post) are for a further increase.

Also note a virtual admission that they do not know what they are talking about

Westminster ministers talk up the UK’s future oil revenue to external bodies it is only Scotland that gets the U-certificate censored version.
 
 
# ggreig 2013-03-07 19:46
Interesting commentary from Craig Murray: craigmurray.org.uk/.../...
 
 
# mealer 2013-03-07 22:38
Lots of countries similair to Scotland manage very well.So I think an independent Scotland,with its massive resources,would manage equally well.But the unionists believe me,my neighbours and colleagues are to useless to be able to run our own country well.How big an insult is that to any self-respecting person?
 
 
# Clydebuilt 2013-03-07 23:07
From Craig Murray's blog.

Another scam from the BBC


Propaganda against Scotland

by craig on March 7, 2013 10:28 am in Uncategorized

Part 1

A particularly sickening trick from the BBC a few weeks back raised my blood pressure whilst in hospital and almost finished me off. A French Euro MP was asked for “the French view” on Scottish independence. She said that France would oppose it and the French government takes the view that an independent Scotland would be outside the European Union. I was absolutely astonished that the BBC had managed to find the only French person in the entire world who is against Scottish independence, and that she was telling an outright lie about the position of the French government.
 
 
# Clydebuilt 2013-03-07 23:31
Part 2

Then I realised who she was – the former research assistant (and rather more) of New Labour minister and criminal invoice forger Denis Macshane. She worked for years in the UK parliament for New Labour, in a Monica Lewinsky kind of way. All of which the BBC hid, presenting her simply as a French Euro MP. There are seventy million French people. How remarkable that the one the BBC chose to give the French view of Scottish independence was a New Labour hack!
 
 
# cuckooshoe 2013-03-07 23:16
News night Scotland are covering a report by the Commission on School Reform.. It's covered in this BBC Scotland article

bbc.co.uk/.../...

Scottish education 'falling behind' other countries

I looked up the Commission on School Reform -

reformscotland.com/.../...

In November 2011 the think tanks Reform Scotland and the Centre for Scottish Public Policy set up the Commission on School Reform to consider whether the school system in Scotland is meeting the present and future needs of young people and to try and reach a consensus about specific recommendations on areas for improvement or that require further enquiry.

The Commission was chaired by Keir Bloomer and published its final report, 'By Diverse Meanse: Improving Scottish Education', on 4 March 2013.


Who are they and what is their objective?
 
 
# millie 2013-03-07 23:30
Gordon Brewer was a disgrace on Newsnight Scotland tonight. – In school standards debate Keir Bloomer had to pull him back from forcing his ‘own agenda’.

BBC in Scotland is becoming a law unto itself.
 
 
# cuckooshoe 2013-03-08 02:00
I looked up Reform Scotland and found this..

en.wikipedia.org/.../...
 
 
# cjmasta 2013-03-08 00:52
The BBC in Scotland can and do say whatever they like.
They have no care for democracy in Scotland.
And we let them get away with it, i`ve given up on the Scottish Government being able to handle the media and get their message out through them.
They get bogged down in arguments shaped by the unionists so as to divert and spread misinformation through the general populous.
People now have it in their heads that the SG are a bunch of liars.
Lets just face it, we`ll be lucky to get a yes vote if everything carries on as is and has been.
I challenge anyone reading this to stand up to the behavior of the BBC and get off their ass to come to the next demo at Pacific quay.
 
 
# Dee 2013-03-08 11:19
I will be at any rally that meets at Pacific Quay. Is there a date planned for it??
 
 
# bruman 2013-03-08 06:10
I'll be at the next demo mate, no worries. I'm also prepared to publicly refuse to pay my TV license when it's due, even if that means jail.

Vote AYE!
 
 
# Shooie-B 2013-03-08 10:05
What a fantastic performance for Alex Salmond yesterday at FMQ’s, he ripped into the bitter together mob and even Westminster got some too, I think we need more of this from AS, he was on top form and the predictions for the North Sea totally blew apart the unionist scam on the people of Scotland that the oil is running out.

Keep it up AS that was top class !!
 
 
# Alba4Eva 2013-03-08 12:11
Quoting Shooie-B:
What a fantastic performance for Alex Salmond yesterday at FMQ’s, he ripped into the bitter together mob and even Westminster got some too, I think we need more of this from AS, he was on top form and the predictions for the North Sea totally blew apart the unionist scam on the people of Scotland that the oil is running out.

Keep it up AS that was top class !!


The BBC still managed to report on FMQ's as; "The Opposition Party's Mount A United Attack On Salmond and Scotland's Ability To Afford Independence."
 
 
# Diabloandco 2013-03-08 14:19
As did STV.
 
 
# Dundonian West 2013-03-08 15:55
Ex Ambassador writes about BBC SCOTLAND and Labour.Craig Murray.
"I have read some sixty internet articles to the same effect in the last 24 hours. There is a citizens internet revolt against the mainstream here."

-----"Yesterday’s coverage of the official, civil service prepared GERS report indicating that Scotland subsidises the rest of the UK’s public finances brought these matters to a head."

A MUST READ,and please spread it on by Twitter/Facebook.

craigmurray.org.uk/.../...
 
 
# Breeks 2013-03-08 18:49
That's an excellent article Dundonian West, I second the MUST READ.

To quote some more from Craig Murray:

Action must be taken now. That necessary and urgent action is for Alex Salmond and the Government of Scotland to approach the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and request that the subordinate Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR, pronounced Oh Dear!) deploy immediately an election monitoring mission to cover the referendum.
 
 
# mmarsattacks 2013-03-10 11:47
I wonder what would happen if a large group of people were to publicly declare that they were refusing to pay the TV licence on the grounds of institutional bias, and to _insist_ that this be seen in court. We have plenty of evidence folks, who's game?
 
 
# cjmasta 2013-03-18 12:58
As little as 100 people doing such a thing could actually work I think. I`d be up for it.
 
 
# an Olaindeach 2013-03-10 11:48
Isn' t there something like a European body of Jounalists or media where a case could be made? Independent media are a very important condition for democracy.
 

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