By Craig Murray 

Beyond doubt, a significant number of Scottish citizens are disturbed at what they perceive as a systemic bias in the BBC against Scottish independence.

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.

That BBC bias is displayed in the selection of which news stories to present related to independence, in the selection of guests on programmes, in the selection of which facts to highlight within the selected stories, in the comment provided by BBC journalists, and in the treatment afforded to guests, the way guests are presented, the respect they are or are not given and the opportunity they have to present their arguments.

Wednesday'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.

The BBC’s own journalists presented the report solely as indicating Scotland had a fiscal deficit, without the BBC commenters saying that Scotland’s finances were much better than the rest of the UK – despite the fact that the determination of the comparison is the avowed main purpose of the report.

The BBC subordinated the GERS report to a commentary by the Fraser of Allander Institute allegedly indicating Scotland’s economy was too weak to sustain independence. They ran the story all day but did not reveal once that the Fraser Institute is a New Labour “think-tank”, and its head is the husband of Wendy Alexander, failed Scottish Labour leader, and brother-in-law of shadow Foreign Minister Douglas Alexander.

Fraser has an appalling forecasting record, having issued dire and completely wrong forecasts on growth ever since the SNP came to power in Holyrood.  It is, in short, not a real economic institute at all but another New Labour device to fund undeclared political contributions in effect to the party (cf the Smith Institute).

The GERS report was also subordinated in news bulletings to a “leaked” report about Scotland’s future spending choices. The apocalyptic tone of the BBC reporting of this bore no relation to the report’s contents. They continually showed the report with a graphic of a cover stamped Top Secret – an entirely false graphic actually made by the No campaign and circulated by them with a press release. This leaked report was the number one news story, and television guests invited to discuss it in the course of the day were unionist to nationalist in the ratio of 17 to 3.

Just one day, but part of an unbroked pattern of behaviour by BBC Scotland.

Broadcast media does have a real impact on public opinion and voting intentions. BBC Scotland is particularly influential as there is limited alternative broadcasting which reflects across its output of Scots culture and interests.

Fairness in an election campaign is a much wider concept than the process of voting, and fairness of access to broadcast media is an extremely important component of that. It is plain that, as things stand, the referendum campaign will not be free and fair.

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, ponounced Oh Dear!) deploy immediately an election monitoring mission to cover the referendum.

I have witnessed ODIHR monitoring operations in action, and once had a job interview in Warsaw to be Head of ODIHR. In this, the pre-campaign period, ODIHR will immediately despatch a small team to Scotland of which the principal task will be media monitoring. They will be guided by this ODIHR media monitoring handbook.

This details what they analyse, including these criteria:

  • Were election candidates and political parties given equal opportunity to present their campaigns and platforms to the electorate through the media?
  • Did election candidates or political parties have equal or equitable access on a non-discriminatory basis to public/state media?
  • Were the relevant types of television programmes, such as news programmes or debates, unbiased?

Yes, ODIHR can and does monitor referenda as well as elections – the guidelines are easily followed mutatis mutandi.

It Salmond asks for an OSCE observation mission, I have no doubt it will be granted – there is a strong presumption in favour of missions within the OSCE, and member states like Russia repeatedly complain there should be more monitoring of the West, not just the East.

It is hard to see on what grounds the Unionists can oppose international election monitors. They could not in practice stop it. Russia and Ukraine, for example, hate OSCE election observers in their country but have been obliged to accept them. To refuse would likely mean expulsion from the OSCE.

I believe the reason international observers have not yet been requested is a false understanding of their brief, ie that they only check the balloting and counting. That is not true at all – they monitor all the issues around fairness in a holistic way. Their brief is much wider than that of the UK Electoral Commission. The referendum already having been announced, we are already in the designated pre-campaign period. The OSCE observers would come immediately.

The clock is ticking. Alex Salmond must ACT.

Courtesy of Craig Murray - - Craig Murray is an author, broadcaster and human rights activist.  He was British Ambassador to Uzbekistan from August 2002 to October 2004 and Rector of the University of Dundee from 2007 to 2010.


# call me dave 2013-03-08 23:24
Toute de suite!

At least it will put eyes and ears out into the debate to look ; hear and report back because I'm sure that I'm not paranoid but they re out to get me!

Roll on 2014.

# george davie 2013-03-09 14:08

BBC Newsnight interview with Derek McKay (SNP) and Ken McIntosh (Labour) this week.

Number of occasions that Gordon Brewer interrupted each guest?

McKay (SNP) 16 McIntosh (Labour) 4
A ratio of 4 to 1.


Interruptions of McKay were aggressive and bullying in tone.

Interruptions of McIntosh were apologetic and respectful in nature.
# Fungus 2013-03-08 23:26
It Salmond asks for an OSCE observation mission, I have no doubt it will be granted

I have said this before, the BBC can lose us this referendum. The majority of voters are not on sites like this but get their news from the media, especially the BBC and who are their neighbours on Pacific Quay?.

The BBC ignore protest and are offhand with complaints, indeed have a complaint procedure you need a golden thread to find your way around. The only thing which has the power to stop this blatant attempt to interfere with the democratic process is independent monitoring by Europe.
Please First Minister, get them in before it's too late.
# proudscot 2013-03-08 23:34
NNS Editorial Team, can you pass a copy of this article to either Alex Salmond or Nicola Sturgeon, possibly better if passed to the latter, as she is officially in charge of the SNP referendum campaign, as far as I am aware?

The blatant bias of the BBC with their unremitting anti-independence and anti-SNP skewed reporting and comments has to be curtailed. Factual reporting and balanced comments and interviews are all that is asked. Currently the BBC are acting more like the TASS news agancy of the former Soviet Union.
# Macart 2013-03-08 23:45
This week's behaviour by the MSM as gone beyond simple bias. They are openly misleading the public with no fear of repercussion. Surely something can be done?
# From The Suburbs 2013-03-09 20:24
What astonishes me is why has none of the newspapers / media taken the Bitter Together campaign to task over doctoring the front page of this "secret document" and deleting the first five pages of the document which could have put the one year old document in context of possible scenarios and perhaps highlighted facts that proved Scotland was in a better place than the UK at present.

For a reasonable analysis go to
# Astonished 2013-03-09 21:33
From the suburbs : My first thoughts were :

"reasonable analysis" - The hootsmon - Are you nuts ?

On reflection - possibly, just possibly the worm might be turning. Although it is an enormous worm and an enormous 'volte face'.Still they MAY have finally figured out a way to improve their paper's circulation.

Still they have a very,very long way before I'd buy their paper.
# Big Eye 2013-03-08 23:53
I find it difficult to express how much I support such an idea. I am fed up watching the BBC behave as explained above and as someone who has wide experience of Eastern Europe I know how people there, having finally freed themselves of Pravda type reporting would react if someone tried to reintroduce it to their countries.

Can I also suggest to everyone that as well as complaining to the BBC which we know achieves little, copy all complaints to Organisations like the Heritage Foundation in the USA , reporters without borders, CNN, yes even Fox news in the USA.

What we need to do is to display to the World the manipulation of news in Scotland by the BBC. at the end of the day if we can achieve major damage on the BBC international reputation then people in London will start asking whether the bias in Scotland is worth it, if it destroys the BBC internationally .

Box clever as this article advocates!
# Spirtle 2013-03-09 10:31
Lets get the wheels rolling on this pronto! Lets not leave it and hope that it happens in a haphazard fashion. Get organised. Get active.
The BBC look to work on the insecurities that the great body of the undecided harbour. The BBC will do all it can to support the british establishment agenda.
As Newsnet Scotland are a small team and already stretched by the demands on their time and energy we need more people to come together on this issue.
Surely amongst the readers of the site there must be enough media expertise and knowledge, campaign organisers etc to put together information to be distributed to all media monitoring outlets across the globe highlighting the areas of concern. The world needs to know the concerns.
# jinglyjangly 2013-03-08 23:54
Brilliant work Craig (as allways) glad to see your blog appear on Newsnet, now everybody go out and buy Craigs Books, well worth a read.

NNS how about also running Craig's piece about New Labour's gerrymandering of the maritime boundary between Scotland and England.
# xyz 2013-03-09 00:06
This is an excellent article and gives me some hope that maybe the BBC et al can be defeated and exposed.

I've been watching less and less of their propaganda because my blood is nearly boiled away.

.. but I made the mistake of watching a bit of STV news this evening where they let Darling spout his lies about the leaked document, the finances and the pensions while leaving it entirely unchallenged and giving no time over to anyone from our side to set the record straight. Instead they aired our deputy first minister talking about 'entrenching local government' in a future constitution. This is their pretence at balance.
# Ian Brotherhood 2013-03-09 00:28
Craig Murray has a formidable set of cohones on him - his input should be welcomed. WingsOverScotla nd have now linked him.
The brilliant analysis of BBC Scotland's misbehaviour regularly provided by this site also bolsters an unanswerable case for scrutiny by international observers - it's been well-documented here, and elsewhere, that the BBC is bang-out-of-order, nae doots aboot it.
With every omission, distortion and obfuscation, they dig themselves deeper and provide more empirical evidence of their agenda - we need to keep the heid, let them carry on, and trust that AS and Yes Scotland have the right people in place i.e. folk who know when best to deploy a concise summation of how these liars have been operating. It should be a good read, and well worth the wait.
# Tinyzeitgeist 2013-03-09 00:58
I have posted this article on my facebook page. Do what you can to spread the word about the propagandist BBC Scotland. Every little bit helps!
# Am Fògarrach 2013-03-09 01:08
Excellent article. Regarding author Craig Murray’s statement, “Action must be taken now” The Scottish Government should call on the services of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) who have a long record of fair and impartial monitoring of national voting activities. They possess the experience and personnel to oversee fair and impartial referendum. Both the Scottish and the UK governments would gain international and domestic credibility by such mature action.

Due to the action of the Scottish Democratic Alliance (SDA) in sending a Memorandum to the Secretary General of the OSCE, requesting that the OSCE monitor the referendum issue, the OSCE are fully cognizant of the situation regarding the referendum due in Scotland in 2014 and will probably provide assistance in forcing BBC to provide unbiased coverage of Scottish news.
# chicmac 2013-03-09 01:15
While I have already lauded this suggestion by Craig several times over on WOS, and thoroughly recommended supporting it, I have also pointed out the financial barrier to seeking more punitively effective measures through the ECHR put up by the wonderful British system of justice.

However, in the light of recent pronouncements by a Special Rapporteur of the UN regarding the exponential increase in British people becoming reliant on free food banks to eat, I suggested the possibility that the gross propaganda policy pursued now by the Scottish media, in particular the BBC, might also attract the attention of a Special Rapporteur if they are made aware of it.

This possibly has as much chance, or maybe even more so, of making it on to the electorate's radar.

Just another suggestion.

After all,one would hope even the bottom feeders of the press cesspit will see a light if it is strong enough.
# ButeHouse 2013-03-09 01:20
Brilliant article which brings hope to everyone in the YES Camp. Unquestionably we need outside help on this one and the ODIHR will certainly fit the bill.

Great to have Craig on board, I'm sure there are more out there with his kind of expertise slowly drifting towards YES.

VOTE YES in 2014
# jurist 2013-03-09 01:29
It's not just BBC Scotland, the 'Herald' is a disgrace too. It has abandoned any pretence at being anything other than a mouth-piece for Labour jaundiced spew.
# dadsarmy 2013-03-09 03:00
I emailed the Electoral Commission about this, but recceived the answer that it is not in their remit to monitor the media, just the referendum itself.
# dadsarmy 2013-03-09 18:18
I should point out by the way that that email was about a newspaper, not the BBC, It's possible the state broadcaster could be covered by the EC.

Another option is a petition. Not by some ordinary punter like me though. More a well-kent name and face like Denis Canavan, Margo, perhaps best of all Henry McLeish, if anyone has any contact with these ...

It'd be best worded neutrally "there is bias in the BBC coverage of the Scootish referendum", so as to appeal to YES, NO and the great majority of uncommitted voters.

Get maybe 20,000 signatures and then try to get MSM interested - they don't like the BBC either.
# Guig 2013-03-09 05:02
As far as I'm aware under the Broadcasting Act TV news companies have to be unbiased. Certainly the Beeb doesn't seem to be un biased.
# clootie 2013-03-09 07:04
It's all been covered by the posts above.

Keep exposing the bias. I see the BBC different from the other sources such as the Herald - I can make the choice,as many have, not to buy it and it therefore suffers a decline in revenue. The BBC is being paid for by the people it is attacking.
# mealer 2013-03-09 07:51
Good piece of work.I'll try to make time to gett some emails off.Can anyone tell me how many people have been fined/prosecuted for failure to buy a tv license in the past year?
# MAcandroid 2013-03-09 08:24
Ask your MSP and their researcher will ask SPICe in the Scottish Parliament to find out.
# UpSpake 2013-03-09 07:55
It is heartening and encouraging to read such a well written and argued article. In so many ways if validates the pre-emptive action taken February 2012 by the SDA in alerting all 56 member states of the OSCE to the denial of democracy by the activities of the Press and BBC Scoaland.
Frustrated by the lack of proactivity by the Scots government towards the hostility of almost 100% of our media to the very existance of an SNP majority government, the SDA decided to help.
Now, its up to our government itself to make the running for it is them and only them who can vaildate the call.
One might be tempted to ask what their reticence is in this as it is to their total advantage to balance the debate.
# Macart 2013-03-09 08:01
As IanBrotherhood has alluded to above, we're all aware that Alex Salmond and indeed his entire team are not short on intellect. The FM has operated at the pointy end of politics for a long time and is perhaps the finest political mind in the UK at present. I find it hard to believe that there is no strategy in place to combat UK media bias. Must admit to being as frustrated as hell with what appears almost silent acceptance of every smear and attack on both the SG and YES campaigns. I'm hoping though that as and when the other shoe drops, certain institutions get everything that's coming to them. After the actions of the media and 'better no' this week, I am heartily sick and done with trying to see the other persons POV.
# Marian 2013-03-09 08:31
The only explanation I can come up is that AS is letting them have enough rope to hang themselves thus ensuring he has sufficient grounds to introduce draconian measures to combat the bias.
# bunter 2013-03-09 08:03
Salmond has stated numerous times, that Scotlands referendum will meet the gold standard.
I would like to think he has something up his sleeve regards neutralising the bias of the media in the run up, and that is why he has been far!
Oh and I would like to think he is collating a dossier of the lies, spin and bias for the attention of the UN, as they take a nations right to self determination rather more seriously than the state broadcaster.
# Leswil 2013-03-09 08:17
What Craig Murray has suggested is in my opinion an absolute must.
We need to put a spoke int wheel of the MSM and this seems the way to do it, possibly the only way.We must all email the SG to get this done, because the believers are absolutely fed up with the totally Bias way
of reporting across our media.
I really cannot see any reason why this cannot be requested right now, no further delay.
# Astonished 2013-03-09 08:28
I agree with all of the above.

I have grave doubts about the electoral commission. An unbiased overview is long overdue. ODIHR seem exactly what we need.

We should contact them immediately.

As I have said before the 'Yes' campaign have not yet begun to fight.But I do wish they would hurry up.
# tartanfever 2013-03-09 09:05
You know what would help the Independence campaign ? A 10,000 strong rally against the BBC. A proper protest, something the media could not ignore, something that has never happened to the BBC in it's entire history.

It's that simple. It creates a platform for other journalists and politicians to comment on. Lets do it.

Glasgow has a population of 600k. It's immediate surroundings have another 600k. Out of that number, do you think it's possible to get 10k to march if there are ,say 300k indie voters in the area that are a short bus ride/car journey away ?

Unfortunately the answer currently is no. We should be ashamed of ourselves. It's not the SNP letting the side down, it's us.
# Robabody 2013-03-09 11:30
[quote name="tartanfever"]

We should be ashamed of ourselves. quote]

Correct - let's stop leaving it to others and get on our feet. Perhaps the SNP could lobby the branches and get some of the members out?
# Zed 2013-03-09 09:26
Please everyone make sure you make good use of the social media sites like Twitter & Facebook.
# Aplinal 2013-03-09 09:30
I have read the BBC charter - it's online - and interestingly it DOESN'T require it to be unbiased! I think the clue is in the name.

@Macart and Marian
I share your puzzlement and have had the conflicting feelings for some time now. There is still 20 odd months to go. As a trainer, one of the principles I do believe in is the so called the "recency" effect. This maintains that people tend to recall the things they heard/learned last. So all this bluster by the pro-dependency campaign is so much wasted effort, as in the last 4 months or so (when the rules insist on equal time in the media) the referendum CAN be won.

However! If the background propaganda is allowed free reign for long enough, will the recency effect be enough to overcome this?

Finally, it IS interesting that despite ALL the pro-Union guff over the last 12 months, it is the NO voters who are shifting to "don't know".

It is on a knife edge IMHO
# Ready to Start 2013-03-09 09:36
A source close to SNP tells me that SNP strongly complains to the BBC on a regular basis but if anyone does this publicly they are ridiculed by the Daily Mail or Daily Express etc.

On BBC and New Labour former Labour culture secretary James Purnell has been appointed "Director of Strategy and Digital" at £300,000 a year.

And Adrian Van Klaveren who was removed from Newsnight after approving the transmission of smear allegations against Tory Lord MacAlpine has been rewarded as the £200,000 a year Executive Editor of the BBC's planned extensive coverage of World War celebrations in the run up to the 2014 referendum.

This is how your licence fee is being squandered in London while jobs are cut in Scotland.
# Stevie Cosmic 2013-03-09 09:37
Glad to see that one of the big two indy sources has published this blog entry. I feared for a day or two there that this enlightening article would not get to as many readers as it deserves.

Well done NNS.
# alasdairmac 2013-03-09 09:53
What bothers me is that the BBC's bias during discussion programmes like Newsnight is not challenged on-air by SNP and YES participants as it happens. There is far too meek an acceptance of Brewer's interruptions etc. A brusqe "shut up and let me answer" might help.
# alexb 2013-03-09 10:08
I commented earlier this week about the danger of media bias. I'm afraid it's endemic throughout, and as I said before people only remember the original story, however much of a fabrication that happens to be. On a personal note, I was so sickened by the reporting on B.B.C Scotland this week that I have given up watching any of their news programmes. What I disagree with is the idea that the S.G should complain about this now very obvious bias. I think A.S and co. are deliberately playing this low key, keeping their powder dry until nearer the referendum, exactly the right strategy in my opinion. We don't want to be seen as whining, and weak, so do your best to ignore the lies, difficult I know, and spread the truth to everyone you meet.
# gfaetheblock 2013-03-09 10:10
The queation that needs to be answered is that why is this perceived bias not addressed by either the Scottish government or the SNP? If it is as bad as it is perceived then action must be taken. There is the defence that can be presented that support for independance is a minority position currently and that the party of government will alway get a hard time from broadcasters, but if there is real bias in the media, this needs to be debated in parliament.

We should all contact our MSPs and get this raised at Holyrood.
# MAcandroid 2013-03-09 10:32
This is not spin - this is doing Scotland down and her people by lying - pure and simple.
# Breeks 2013-03-09 10:36
Does it have to be the SNP Government which does this? Can YES ask the question instead? Or can an individual make the request?

I think we are all wasting our time appealing to the BBC. In fact, I'm coming to believe the complaints will be used to their advantage. I also think it's a similar waste of time complaining to the BBC Trust directly, and even Westminster.

We are preoccupied with the BBC when what we really need is a replacement broadcasting service, then the BBC can do what likes in it's self imposed obscurity.
# bunter 2013-03-09 10:43
Dont fret too much folks. The new website '''' is under construction and now open to the public. This promises, if properly resourced, an answer to the lies and misinformation that we are currently being fed.
Take a look!!
# Dundonian West 2013-03-09 14:13 Facebook direct link:-- Main page direct link:-

Keep up the great work Newsnetscotland .
# theycantbeserious 2013-03-09 10:44
Does it have to be the Scottish Government that apply for ODIHR's assistance, or can it be the Scottish people as their human rights are being abused?

Vote YES 2014
# Marian 2013-03-09 10:57
The BBC charter is just a fig leaf to try and give some legitimacy to what is in reality a state-sponsored propaganda machine.

That is why complaints to the BBC are fobbed off with disdain and why they can operate with impunity free from Freedom Information legislation and any other scrutiny that could expose their close links with Whitehall's spooks who routinely plant stories via the BBC and MSM "in defence of the state".

The sooner Scots wake up to knowing who their enemy really is the sooner we will have a fair fight on our hands.
# bunter 2013-03-09 10:59
Oh and what about Gordon Brewer holding up the leaked Scottish Government report on Newsnight with the made up photocopy cover labelled ''Top Secret''.
Can they not be ''done'' for misrepresenting an official Gov document or something or is that kind of behaviour also part of their now discredited not worth the paper its written on , charter!
# Clydebuilt 2013-03-09 11:05

The US Holocaust Memorial Museum

Lessons In Propaganda

“In contrast to the ideal of an educator, who aims to foster independent judgment and thinking, the practitioner of propaganda does not aim to encourage deliberation by presenting a variety of viewpoints and leaving it up to the audience to determine which perspective is correct. The propagandist transmits only information geared to strengthen his or her case, and consciously omits detrimental information.”

Exactly what has happened this week, more than any other.
# robroy 2013-03-09 11:17
Just in case A. Salmond and Nicola don't get around to reading this, I have e mailed both of them with this website.
# Clydebuilt 2013-03-09 11:21
The US Holocaust Memorial Museum

Lessons In Propaganda

Monitoring the Media

Where's the line between news and propaganda? Propagandists intentionally spread biased information designed to sway public opinion. In Nazi Germany, the press served as transmitter for government propaganda by disseminating only state-approved news. This example illustrates the danger to a society when propaganda is unchecked and competing messages are silenced. An educated and engaged citizenry is the best defense against propaganda. Explore these links to organizations concerned with media bias and press freedom.
# bowtow 2013-03-09 11:28
Half-truths and lies broadcast often enough and without counter clarification BECOMES the truth in the public's eyes. Websites like this are all well and good (vital really) but to the mass majority of voters are completely invisible.

And mentioning invisibility, the YES campaign, and in particular its leader Blair Jennkins, are nowhere to be seen. Yes, we see SNP politicians aplenty but the YES campaign is supposed to be the leading force in this. Voters who are inherently anti-SNP are turned off by their constant presence as spokespeople. Besides, by asking for input from SNP MSP's, the BBC can then legitmately seek response from the other main parties thus negating the answer by a factor of 3 to 1. One YES representative can only be countered by on BT representative. On this level playing field, I have no doubts as to the outcome!

It's up to the YES campaign to complain to OHDIR and not the SNP.
# Kinloch 2013-03-09 11:50
I think the responses above and the article itself explain why the Belters' Together are getting so hysterical, they just cant win the argument with reason or fact. Keep up the amazing work NNS, Yes to all of the comments here and Yes for Scotland in 2014.
# bunter 2013-03-09 12:06
If you look at how the right wing media in connivance with the Tories, have twisted the facts regards the cause of Labours financial disaster and has turned the minds of the ordinary Joe so that the poor, the elderly, the unemployed are all to blame for the UKs financial woes,and not the politicians and their banker friends. Its quite scary really!!
There is a strong argument to nip this ''mass brainwashing'' in the bud.
But how? Will new media be enough?
# velofello 2013-03-09 12:21
tartanfever expresses it correctly "We should be ashamed of ourselves"
Much handwringing and expectations that somebody will sort out the BBC Scotland propaganda - on your behalf.
It is you who is being deceived and lied to. And it is you who are paying for this disservice.So why not grow a pair and stop paying the license fee. No telly then? Presently you are prepared to accept a UK government dictum that you cannot listen or watch TV from any part of the globe transmitted to us free of any charge unless you pay for a BBC service you object to?
Or collectively the embargo on watching free foreign TV is challenged by all of you. But then only 200 turned up to protest a Saturday or so past in Glasgow, so its not that important to you, or is it?
# clootie 2013-03-09 12:44

It is important and that is why I started travelling at 5a.m. to get there. However it is obvious that Glasgow is not working as a venue and perhaps we should look at Perth, Stirling or Aberdeen
# bleach 2013-03-09 13:05
Quoting velofello:
stop paying the license fee.

That's exactly what I do - for some seven years now - well worth it for me as I rarely ever watched the TV anyway.
The monthly stream of various "warnings" that i've received since then have kept my shredder on the boil and the two visits from their 'enforcement officers' (lol) have seen the door slammed in their faces. They have no authority to enter your home and have very little legal powers, practically none (unless they actually catch you in the act of watching/recording a programme as it is being broadcast !), but want you to believe that they do so that you keep on paying them.

The BBC really are a shower of con-artists. Corrupt to the core.
# UpSpake 2013-03-09 12:32
Bowtow. The OHDIR simply will not respond to an un-elected pressure group from any persuasion.
As I stated earlier, they will only respond to any appeal from a democratically elected government and a majority one at that.
The SNP simply must exhibit all the strength and committment of a government and not that of an overblown 'Parish Council' that the establishment thought they had created.
The people of Scotland proved them wrong.
# From The Suburbs 2013-03-09 13:20
Douglas Alexander is in secret talks with Millionaire Tory Donor Lord Ashcroft "to discuss polling and election strategy"

How expect to see lots of Labour call centres in England being geared up to bombard us with the Bitter Together propaganda.

Gordon Brown refused permission by STUC to address them on the constitution.

Alistair Darling claims Alex Salmond has "snubbed" his call for debates on Scotland's future ignoring fact that Blair Jenkins is his equivalent opponent.

Darling please send up David Cameron rather than acting as his human shield.
# weegie38 2013-03-09 15:52
Quoting From The Suburbs:
Douglas Alexander is in secret talks with Millionaire Tory Donor Lord Ashcroft "to discuss polling and election strategy"

In terms of whether Labour could win the 2015 UK election, this is good news - significant, of course, in that many Scottish Labour voters still cling to the notion that Labour can win at Westminster.
Douglas Alexander's record as an election campaign co-ordinator is almost comically bad. 2007 Scottish, 2010 UK General Election, David Miliband's leadership election, 2011 Scottish - all lost. Though let's be fair: he was also Gordon Brown's leadership campaign co-ordinator, and he did win that one...
# WRH2 2013-03-09 14:10
After reading and hearing all the sound and fury over this "leaked" document, I'm beginning to wonder exactly who leaked it and why. It was a pretty straightforward document and out of date, and it took real fiction writing to make it anything else. SG will be publishing a paper about pensions and it makes me wonder if there isn't another big banana skin waiting for the "tethered together" mob. Remember all the huffing and puffing about the single question and just how flat that fell?
And how do you ensure any subject gets airtime without interruptions? First Minister's Questions of course!
# X_Sticks 2013-03-09 14:33
We were told at the Yes campaign that Darling has said he will not appear on the same forum with Blair. I wonder why?

Darling can't argue other than in a political vein. He knows full well that he wouldn't have a leg to stand on against Blair.
# velofello 2013-03-09 14:33
@ Clootie; Yes I did note your correspondence before the rally regarding your travel distance and early start and I commend you for your attendance. My journey was only 40 miles. I'll attend the next rally wherever it scheduled. Stirling would be nice, I haven't visited Stirling for some time.
# brusque 2013-03-09 15:31

""SNP anger at 'enemies' in the BBC boils over""

Not sure if anyone else has linked this, it is very interesting. Try to ignore the ignorant/uninformed and hostile comments - not good for your blood pressure!
# Dee 2013-03-09 16:20
Been screaming about the bbc Scotland for years and hope that we are finally going to get something done about them. I notified The European Parliament ,, letting them know the way the bbc were manipulating interviews with foreign governments to suit their unionist opinions. Also listen to the weekend news programmes on bbc radio Scotland with Isobel Frazier and co. and they seem to have this resident journalist who also enjoys giving the SNP a kicking (I think he is a Times reporter) but I just realised that I am paying for that guys fees every weekend, now you tell me how that is fair and balanced reporting. Should the guest reporters not be one from one side and one from the other. Will also be at next rally ,, let's march directly on Pacfiic Qauy. Finally ,, thought I would throw this one out to you to see what you think,, what if we get the Sun newspaper onboard and get them to attack bbc bias on our behalf, after all there is no love lot between them and the bbc.
# Peter Stewart 2013-03-09 16:36
Just a point of interest - On the BBC Trust's website it
also provides "The Agreement". This Agreement with the Secretary
of State:

"..provides detail on many of the topics outlined in the
Charter and also covers the BBC's funding and its regulatory
duties. The Agreement is an important constitutional document..."

On Page 20, paragraph 44 (1) it says:

"The BBC must do all it can to ensure that controversial subjects
are treated with due accuracy and impartiality in all relevant

To me, that means the BBC ought to be unbiased.
# Shamloki 2013-03-09 16:37
I am the only one that sees the bias of the bbc as a weakness for the no campaign

If the Scottish government complained about it it would backfire on them

The best thing to do is highlight it

I also think the reporters are asking legitimate questions even glen Campbell :) it is the way their reports are edited and broadcast that is biased (whos in charge of this?)

the interviewers are directed (who by?) to ask questions of a certain nature, is it coincidence that the questions are from a unionist perspective?

take strength from the fact that this is all the unionsts have, the foundations off all their arguments are built on sand

highlight it don't solve your enemys problem
# Macart 2013-03-09 16:40
There's another independence march in September I believe. Now if its anything like last year, thousands in attendance. Perhaps a dedicated group of illuminate marchers? Banners, flags and handouts for the crowd? If it gets anything like the coverage it did last year, well instant publicity for illuminate the debate.

# McDuff 2013-03-09 19:16
Excellent information Craig.
We need this kind of monitoring desperately as the media `s relentless anti SNP propaganda is and will have a serious effect on the Yes campaign.
I am concerned at the SNP`s lack of passion and assertiveness to the extent that independence and the logistics involved may be a monster they are too scared to achieve.
# Independista 2013-03-09 19:20
Ive been banging on about this bias for years now. Thank goodness Craig Murray has written this excellent article for his blog, and thanks to NNS for repeating it. I like McCart's idea for the big march in September- maybe it should be in Glasgow this time, and we march on Pacific Quay. Time also for an updated "Diomhair' too methinks.
Interesting article in the Evening Times about spying civil servants.
# IWantToBreakFree 2013-03-09 19:35
As much as I agree with peaceful protest and a march which brings attention to the bias produced by the BBC. I personally feel that a more direct approach is required - a permanent demonstration at Pacific Quay would help to highlight this injustice.
# Dee 2013-03-09 20:09
I agree with you, some kind of march on Pacific Quay needs to be arranged.
# scotswhahae 2013-03-11 09:18
Quoting Dee:
I agree with you, some kind of march on Pacific Quay needs to be arranged.

There have been TWO demonstrations at the Quay already, I attended both, I also attended the Glasgow march a few weeks ago, I shan't though attend another. Call me a quitter if you like, but this quitter at least attended, felt disappointment, then felt used.
As it has been stated here many times, the government CAN do something, the YES campaign CAN do something. I just feel it IS the foot soldiers who are being left to do all the marching & the fighting.

The turnout on all 3 protest were pathetic considering the amount of people that moan about the BBC Bias, ALL of the YES people, from all political parties & none, should have been at these meets.

I am just now fed up & tired of being disappointed by my fellow Scots.
# pinkrose 2013-03-09 20:44
I think the best way to defeat the BBC is to ensure that friends/family/neighbours/colleagues etc. become aware of what they are doing. Once it becomes public knowledge then the BBC has no power anymore.
# From The Suburbs 2013-03-09 21:59
You can expect English newspapers like the Mail, Express, Telegraph and Times to be hostile to Scottish self-determination but when indigenous papers like Herald appoint Marcus Gradham as political editor recruited from Daily Record (Labour's Pravda) or Scotsman make former Labour spin doctor Peter Macmahon a deputy editor what chance is there of balance?
Normally you could rely on an impartial BBC but head of Scotland News is John Boothman, partner of a former Labour MSP, and Raymond Buchanan brother in law of Brian Wilson, vicious anti SNP former Labour MP, is the BBC's leading political reporter what chance do we have?

And Kirsty Wark went on regular holidays with former Labour First Minister Jack McConnell.

If you don't believe Craig Murray read

# cirsium 2013-03-09 23:28
FTS - The Herald is owned by Newsquest, a division of Gannett, a US media holding company. The Scotsman is owned by Johnson Press, a UK Regional Newspaper Publisher. Here is a good article on the decline of The Scotsman from national to regional newspaper

The British Broadcasting Corporation has never been impartial. It serves the state which set it up. Here is an interesting essay on its mission to silence "popular sovereignty through the transmission of British state ideology"
# balbeggie 2013-03-09 23:41
The Sunday Herald in contrast to the weekday Herald has been more balanced than the rest of the broadsheets. Tomorrow's edition looks interesting. The front page of the Sunday Herald is per the link below.
# cuckooshoe 2013-03-09 22:41

SCOTLAND'S payments to the European Union could rise from £124 million to £673m under independence, official figures suggest.

An independent Scotland, with oil reserves, would become the third richest country in the EU in terms of GDP per head.

# willie boy 2013-03-09 22:47
A read of " Low Intensity Operations " by Brigadier General Sir Frank Kitson will give an insight into how Britain's military-security-inteligence operates at both home and abroad to resist independence movements.

The book, having ben previously removed from stores wnd catelogues is available again as a reprint from Faber Finds.

A most informative read as to how the establishment will operate to destroy an anti establishment political will. Indeed, to quote ...... " to destroy a fish you have to poison the water "
# Jamie Black 2013-03-09 23:25
Is this what it`s com ing to? Is the Yes campaign going to be dominated by accusing the BBC of bias? You are giving the BBC prime slots nns, to the detriment of REAL Indy issues. This site provides little to actually support Indy, rather a dumping ground for all your moans when things do not go your way.

Come on, get it together or risk being seen as an almost extreme Nationalist ego massaging blog.

Just saying...
# cuckooshoe 2013-03-10 14:28
Quoting Jamie Black:
Is this what it`s com ing to? Is the Yes campaign going to be dominated by accusing the BBC of bias? You are giving the BBC prime slots nns, to the detriment of REAL Indy issues. This site provides little to actually support Indy, rather a dumping ground for all your moans when things do not go your way.

Come on, get it together or risk being seen as an almost extreme Nationalist ego massaging blog.

Just saying...

I came across this blog by Beppe Grillo..
He is the comedian turned politician whose party won the most seats in the recent Italian General Election.. In it he describes the mainstream media's treatment of his party's newly elected representatives ..

scroll down to

In the book called "White Fang" by Jack London each night a wolf lures a sled dog into the forest.

what would you do?
# Jamie Black 2013-03-11 12:54
I came across this blog by Beppe Grillo..
He is the comedian turned politician whose party won the most seats in the recent Italian General Election.. In it he describes the mainstream media's treatment of his party's newly elected representatives ..

scroll down to

In the book called "White Fang" by Jack London each night a wolf lures a sled dog into the forest.

what would you do?

In short - grow up and face the wolves like grown men and woman, not spoilt kids desperate to get their own way without earning it. The SNP seem incapable of handling the opposing side of the debate in a mature way - it's embarassing sometimes.

The answer to challenging issues/questions tends to be - ignore it and accuse the plaintive of bias, negativity and being 'Little Englanders'.

# SCOTLAND YES 2013-03-09 23:34
Its not just the political commentators but the so called "economic experts" who are wheeled out without declaring their Labour connections.

Alf Young is a former Labour Party researcher.

John Maclaren and Jo Armstrong from The Centre for Public Policy for the Regions or the Fraser of Allander headed up by Mr Wendy Alexander all have allegiances to the Labour Party but this is never mentioned by the BBC.
# Indy_Scot 2013-03-09 23:51
I have believed for some time now that the SNP has to take on BBC Scotland as I feel not to do so could be something they and many of us may well regret. In saying that I have noticed over time that BBC Scotland’s clear bias is becoming more and more blatant to the point that I have been desensitised to it and it now feels normal to me.

I can only assume that they somehow feel threatened by Independence and think that nothing is off limits in order to protect themselves.
# alasdairmac 2013-03-10 00:24
Could we start a campaign addressing letters (with whatever content you wish) to:
John Boothman
Labour Press Office (aka News and Current Affairs)
BBC Scotland
Pacific Quay etc
# IWantToBreakFree 2013-03-10 01:45
I appreciate your support for my assertion that a permanent demonstration should take place at the BBC's Pacific Quay premises in order to highlight the injustice of the Independence reporting bias - however words are easy - action is desirable and lethargy exists.

We have to mobilise! We need Yes Scotland and Blair Jenkins to appreciate this need to disrupt this corrupt cosy cartel. The vast majority rely on this medium for their opinion and their ultimate vote.

We cannot afford word of mouth assertions regarding BBC bias to friends, relatives and neighbours, that assumes they share your political outlook, which they may do publicly but not necessarily privately.

We have to go beyond our personal networks and encourage 'foreign intervention' in order to highlight our plight. We have to be more pro-active. Keyboards are not enough!
# UpSpake 2013-03-10 07:41
Since what BBC Scotland are up to is an affront to democracy then it follows that to highlight disquiet at this deplorable state of affairs that protest must be made, not to the BBC itself but to where democracy is housed in Scotland. Our Scots Parliament.
Given that this institution works only Tuesday to Thursday effectively, then such a demonstration of grieveance whould be held there, midweek.
Just across the road is the wee cupboard that acts as the BBC's studio in Edinburgh, in itself, an affront.
Weekend demo's are a complete waste of time, standing in the cold outside largely empty offices with only security staff gazing on in bewilderment !.
# staypos+ve 2013-03-10 09:09
A submission study is probably being collated, there is now an abundance of evidence showing an undeniable trend of bias displayed by the collective unionist media. Without realising the perpetrators of this bias and their masters are digging a hole for themselves.

A Scottish Government/Yes Campaign presentation of such a submission to the ODIHR couldn't fail to gain their immediate attention.

Again a valuable contribution from Newsnet Scotland - Well done.
# Clydebuilt 2013-03-11 10:37
@ Clootie; Yes I did note your correspondence before the rally regarding your travel distance and early start and I commend you for your attendance. My journey was only 40 miles. I'll attend the next rally wherever it scheduled. Stirling would be nice, I haven't visited Stirling for some time.

We should have a series of "Light Up The Debate" demos across Scotland. maybe one every 2 or 3 months.....This would spread the word and increase the numbers in the Demo.
Would be good not to let the police confine the march to back streets. Before Christmas an Orange Order Parade (enormous one) came down to George Sq. via West George St. crossing Buchannan St and going past Queen St. station some of the busiest places in Glasgow.
# Martyn 2013-04-04 13:11
Emailed Nicola today, will see what happens

Hi Mrs Sturgeon

I wanted to pose a quick question to you regarding a certain aspect of the Independence Referendum.

I am a pro Independence supporter as well as being a 3rd generation SNP voter, I am of course looking forward to the opportunity that our party have given me to vote for self determination for my country. Over the years, and more so since it became clear that the SNP were going to call a referendum I have become very annoyed at the level of misinformation coming from our state broadcaster, One can expect this level of misinformation and bias from other mainstream media as they are privately owned companies with vested interested in keeping the status quo.
# snowthistle 2013-04-04 13:23
I think you emailed her mother;)

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