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Lagging behind the story

Posted on March 06, 2013 by

Students of the Scottish media weren’t exactly surprised when the BBC’s Glenn Campbell published a story yesterday lunchtime (12.07pm) entitled “Scottish independence: Luxembourg warns against ‘going separate ways'” and opening with the more specific line “The government of Luxembourg has warned against Scotland becoming an independent country.”

scotlux

Experienced observers were considerably less than astonished when the government of Luxembourg issued an angry denial a few hours later (reported at 5.57pm), claiming that their minister’s words had been misrepresented by the UK state broadcaster. News site Wort.lu reported:

“Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister has backtracked on a comment about Scotland’s independence which was quoted in the British media, saying it was misinterpreted.”

So far so standard, then.

But even the most cynical reader might have been taken at least a little aback when, another five hours later (at 11.16pm) and after the official refutation of the BBC’s spin had set social media aflame the Scotsman blithely decided to repeat the incorrect version, except with an even more directly and unambiguously untruthful headline than the BBC had used: “Luxembourg warns against Scottish independence”.

The Scotsman in fact carefully avoided justifying its headline in the body copy, which studiously declined to attribute any specific comments about Scotland to the minister. Curiously, it also decided to excise any reference to the comments’ intended wider meaning, even though Wort.lu had spelled them out in the plainest of terms:

“The Luxembourg Foreign Ministry confirmed Mr Asselborn’s full quote as follows:

“As we are all facing serious economic and social challenges , this is a time for solidarity between Member States of the EU and within Member States, rather than for going separate ways. This being said, Scotland’s constitutional future is a matter to be decided by the people of Scotland. But its future within the EU is a matter for the whole EU and can thus only be determined with the agreement of all Member States.”

It would seem that there was no misunderstanding on the part of Scotland’s parliament, which interpreted the minister’s comment as directed at the UK’s anti-Europe stance.

A Scottish Parliament spokesperson told wort.lu/en: “These comments reinforce what we have said about the biggest threat to Scotland’s EU membership coming from the UK government’s attitude towards our European partners.  The  Deputy First Minister made Scotland’s position clear in Brussels last week – we are committed to continued EU membership following a ‘yes’ vote in 2014.””

It’s hard to construct a legitimate journalistic excuse for being more than five hours off the pace on a story, and given the Scotsman’s known willingness – some might say active enthusiasm – for continually updating its pieces on the hoof (cough), there’s even less of a defence for the article still carrying the misleading title.

Maybe, given the recent loss of its Google rankings status, the Scotsman just doesn’t care what appears on its pages any more. And judging by its sales figures, an ever-increasing number of Scots don’t care either.

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    73 to “Lagging behind the story”

    1. Bob Howie says:

      Alex Salmond should bring this up in parliament as it is a blatant spin on the original story and we pay the BBC to mislead us!!!!!

    2. Angus McLellan says:

      It’s the Scotsman, think Hanlon’s Razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.
      Today’s editorial rant about bases, which now accurately states that this mess is bad for the No campaign originally looked like this (compare the last sentence with the current revision online).
      And having phoned to check, I know which version the dead tree Scotsman that was pushed through my mother’s letterbox has in it. But can you guess which it was?

    3. MajorBloodnok says:

      It’s like the Scotsman is losing its marbles and is in a carehome now, mumbling to itself in an armchair and smelling of wee and mothballs.  We know they are there and feel sad about it, though visiting less often than we used to; and as their mind continues to deteriorate we know that they don’t recognise us anymore and, increasingly, we don’t recognise them.  Like King Theoden in Lord of the Rings, I was thinking.

    4. Vronsky says:

      @MajorBloodnok @ 1:35
       
      Vivid.
       
       

    5. Tamson says:

      The Scotsman looks like its Google pagerank has been restored, Stu. The google search on “scottish news” has it almost back on the front page of results – the paper itself is now top of page 2.
      I know that Interflora, who seem to have been the company guilty of using the media pageranks, have had their punishment reversed. Although for them, disappearing off the face of Google in the week prior to Mother’s Day was undoubtedly a disaster.
       
       

    6. Rod Mac says:

      As a matter of interest does anyone know of the 32,000 odd copies of Scotsman “sold” each day how many are freebies in hotels etc?

    7. muttley79 says:

      Serious question here: Why are BBC Scotland, with Glenn Campbell predictably leading the charge, going to such lengths to question other European Governments, when they have not asked any questions about Scotland’s status in the EU in the event of a No vote?  If there is a No vote then it looks increasingly likely that we will be out of the EU.  You would think then that they would be in the No campaign’s faces like they are the Yes campaign.  More to the point is the Yes campaign ever going to point out this blatant double standard?  If not how are the Yes campaign going to get their message across to the electorate when everything is being twisted?

    8. kininvie says:

      @ Rod Mac 1.53
      Approximately 10%

    9. John Lyons says:

      Rod Mac says:
      6 March, 2013 at 1:54 pm

      As a matter of interest does anyone know of the 32,000 odd copies of Scotsman “sold” each day how many are freebies in hotels etc?
       
      31,999. Angus Maclellans mum buys the other one.
       
      Mutley, I used to play basketball in school with a lad who would shoot at the hoop the way you take a throw in at football. Our PE teacher berated him every time for four years, then one day he did it and scored. He turned to the teacher and simply said “See?”
      Glen Campbells approach is the same. Eventually he will either find someone who will come right out and say Scotland should not be independant or he will manipulate their words and they’ll fail to retract them.
      And anyway, how many people who read these things stick around long enough to also read the retractions?

    10. MajorBloodnok says:

      I’m thinking of writing to my MP to raise the important issue of BBC bias in the House.  On the other hand he’s a wee Labour squit who has a clip-on red tie who can’t even do up his own shoelaces (Ian Murray MP) so I won’t be holding my breath.

    11. Jeannie says:

      @Bob Howie
       Alex Salmond should bring this up in parliament as it is a blatant spin on the original story and we pay the BBC to mislead us!!!!!
       
      Ah, Bob, you’ve brought out my parody gene again – I can say what I really mean about the BBC better in song.
      To the tune of The Old Bull and Bush:  The Old BBC
       
      Come, come, come and tell lies to me
      Down at the old BBC
      da da da da da
      Come, come, tell porky pies to me
      Down at the old BBC
      Hear the judge sentence me
      If I don’t pay your licence fee
      Look down upon me and sneer
      Come, come, come and take a rise out me
      Down at the old BBC
      At Pacific Quay
      Alltogether now……….

    12. Yesitis says:

      I agree with Muttley.
      The Scotsman is falling by the wayside, it won`t go without a struggle, but it`s mostly delirious, disorientated and in it`s death throes now; the BBC in Scotland, on the other hand, is taking control of the referendum (manipulated by Labour spin and smears). BBC Labour/Better Together in Scotland seems to have free reign to twist and manipulate any story it likes, with no repercussions for lying or manipulation.
      It also seems to be the “public face” of the source of Labour`s attacks of the SNP at FMQs.
       
      The Luxembourg story is a classic example of the BBC manipulating facts, it is clear for all to see, and it is not the first time. The Scottish government must use the chances (that cannot be twisted or muddied by opinion) to hit out at those aspects of the Scottish media who masquerade as impartial, but who are, day in, day out, delivering constant streams of anti-independence propaganda.
      BBC Labour is more powerful than the Labour Party in Scotland and cannot be allowed to become a political force to back up any individual political parties or views.
       
      The Scottish Government should be reminded that the Scottish public pays a TV license for the BBC, and for the news in Scotland from the BBC, and not for BBC in Scotland news “stories”.
      The people of Scotland voted for the SNP to govern Scotland, so isn`t it time the Scottish government fought back against BBC Labour in Scotland, pointing the finger directly at Pacific Quay and asking “What`s the story here, then?”
       
       

    13. Yesitis says:

      Oh, I forgot. A Scottish Government attack of the BBC in Scotland would not be about State intervention of the press; rather it is, in this instance, about stopping a Pravda-like state press becoming so powerful that is is untouchable.

    14. muttley79 says:

      @Yesitis
       
      I am not sure that would work as the media would just portray it as bullying by the S.G.  I have said for a while that what is required is someone from within the BBC in Scotland disclosing what we can see happening in this referendum campaign.  If it does not happen then I fear that too many people will not question the tactics from BBC Scotland, and we will lose the vote.  Trying to influence the most important decision in Scotland in hundreds of years is a serious accusation, and without evidence from inside the organisation then it looks like the Yes campaign is pissing into the wind.  I have not been convinced of how the Yes campaign is meant to succeed without an important player in the media strongly supporting independence.  We really need it to happen soon because otherwise the message will never get through the media fog.   

    15. Training Day says:

      @Muttley
      “Trying to influence the most important decision in Scotland in hundreds of years is a serious accusation, and without evidence from inside the organisation then it looks like the Yes campaign is pissing into the wind”.
      Muttley, there is no evidence that anyone at the top of Yes Scotland thinks the BBC in Scotland is in any way biased.  Indeed, public pronouncements so far from Yes suggest the opposite.  Whether Yes actually believe their public pronouncements is open to conjecture. 
      What would disappoint me most of all would be a scenario where Yes Scotland blindly place faith in the likes of the BBC, the Scotsman and the Herald accurately to report what Yes are saying (if they report it at all).  Too naive an attitude to be possible?  I await evidence to the contrary..

    16. Baheid says:

      31,999. Angus Maclellans mum buys the other one.
       
      And she only buys it because it fits the bird cage nicely:)

    17. Yesitis says:

      I get you, Muttley.
      But what happens if no-one comes out of the BBC closet to reveal all? Do “we” just allow the BBC in Scotland to become the backbone or a branch of the Labour Party in Scotland?
      But I agree; something needs to happen soon. If the Yes campaign can render the BBC in Scotland as obviously biased, then the fear factor will diminish significantly, and the public itself will want answers as to what has been going on at Pacific Quay with license payers money.
       
       
       

    18. muttley79 says:

      @Training Day
       
      Given that Salmond has once called the BBC in Scotland the “British Brainwashing Corporation” I would find it almost impossible to believe that they are that naive.  Therefore, the Yes campaign obviously think they can win without saying anything publically about the BBC in Scotland.  However, we are now faced with a situation where the BBC in Scotland are touring Europe looking for quotes to back up their buddies in the No campaign, while at the same time asking the No campaign literally no questions about the growing likelihood of Scotland leaving the EU in the event of a No vote.  This is going well beyond misrepresentation, it is effectively censorship and a news blackout.  I am concerned that this will prove very difficult to overcome because the information from the Yes campaign will not be read by many people.  Instead it will be castigated by the media regardless of its merits.  There has to be a media strategy in play by the Yes campaign, because if there is not I fear we will be looking at a No vote.

    19. Alex Grant says:

      The Yes campaign and the SG are afraid to criticise the BBC as it will be suggested that they are trying to interfere with the media. I would think they would like the criticism to come from elsewhere. What we need is a group of non aligned non political heavy hitters to complain to the BBC Trust – particularly as BBC Scotland claim they don’t have to balanced until the immediate run up to the referendum!!!

    20. cath says:

      “BBC Labour/Better Together in Scotland seems to have free reign to twist and manipulate any story it likes, with no repercussions for lying or manipulation. It also seems to be the “public face” of the source of Labour`s attacks of the SNP at FMQs.”
       
      Yes, it’s the sheer level of co-ordination that bothers me. You can see it – reports on BBC and in newspapers that follow absolutely the spin and language that will be, or has been, used by the three headed Westmisnter party at Holyrood – themselves often co-ordinated. Who is doing the ultimate co-ordination and why? And why are people from within those organisations not speaking up?
       
      After all, your country possibly securing independence, and a really good, democratic debate on that should be something any journalist or writer worth their salt would leap on – it’s history in the making and a brilliant story. What kind of journalist or writer willingly lies down and allows him or herself to be prevented reporting it and instead become a mouthpiece for propaganda to prevent debate, democracy and the independence of their own country?
       

    21. Yesitis says:

      @Training Day
      Muttley, there is no evidence that anyone at the top of Yes Scotland thinks the BBC in Scotland is in any way biased.  Indeed, public pronouncements so far from Yes suggest the opposite.
      This is hugely disappointing. Is there a method to their madness? We (hopefully) shall see soon enough. Surely?

    22. Tearlach says:

      I am currently on a train from Edinburgh to Inverness, with a free copy of the Edinburgh Evening news in front of me. Its still running the orginal story as well. In fact yesterdays orginal version.

    23. tartanfever says:

      In a complete reversal of this stories thread, i see the BBC (or the Fraser of Allander institute that have produced the report) have developed the powers of time travel or how to see into the future.
      This from a ‘breaking’ story on the BBC Scotland website:
      ‘The Scottish economy grew in the last quarter of 2013, but austerity has cast doubt on whether that can be sustained, according to a new report.’
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-21688927
      Ehh ‘last quarter’ ? We haven’t even had one quarter of 2013 yet, so even if the report meant to say ‘the previous quarter’ it would still be wrong.

    24. cath says:

      Metro ran it today too. They just couldn’t give a toss about the truth.

    25. muttley79 says:

      @Yesitis
       
      But what happens if no-one comes out of the BBC closet to reveal all? Do “we” just allow the BBC in Scotland to become the backbone or a branch of the Labour Party in Scotland?
      But I agree; something needs to happen soon. If the Yes campaign can render the BBC in Scotland as obviously biased, then the fear factor will diminish significantly, and the public itself will want answers as to what has been going on at Pacific Quay with license payers money.
       
      If there is no whistle-blowing from within the BBC in Scotland then we have a major problem.  As I don’t think it will happen then it is something that needs to be discussed, as the broadcast media, particularly the BBC, still reach the largest audience in Scotland, and over a long period of time as well.  This was always going to be a major problem in winning a independence referendum in Scotland.  There was a very good reason that Broadcasting was never devolved to the Scottish parliament.  The British state wanted to keep its premier propaganda station under its own control.  How do you deal with this?  The best way is to destroy its credibility from within.  Everything else is much less effective.  Complaints about bias just get brushed aside, and they will not pay any attention to complaints anyway.        
       

    26. Doug Daniel says:

      Speaking of co-ordination, when I was trawling the internet last night (to find out that John Boothman, the Head of News & Current Affairs for BBC Scotland was once censured for offering media training to Labour candidates) I came across something I’d forgotten about.
       
      In November of 2011, the three unionist parties got together to decide how to co-ordinate their attacks on independence. This was the same month that BBC Scotland decided to stop allowing comments on the Brian Taylor and Douglas Fraser blogs.
       
      Anyway, the Scotsman, the BBC and BetterTogether all look to be “jumping the shark” at the moment. All three have started completely abandoning any semblance of common sense in their quest to bash the Yes campaign. They’ve reached a point of ridiculousness I thought it would take them at least another 12 months to reach. The worrying thing is, they can only get worse…

    27. Training Day says:

      @Muttley
      “I am concerned that this will prove very difficult to overcome because the information from the Yes campaign will not be read by many people.  Instead it will be castigated by the media regardless of its merits.  There has to be a media strategy in play by the Yes campaign”.
      Agreed.  And yet there seems to be a faith that the inherent justice of the Yes cause will win the day, proselytising Campbell and Gardham and Gordon and Peterkin as the truth sets them free.  Nope – at some point the Yes campaign is going to have to confront the ‘Scottish’ media head on, because pretending that they receive a fair crack from the latter makes it easy for the media to make Yes appear weak and reactive.

    28. John Lyons says:

      Whilst I don’t think this is as big a problem as it would have been ten years ago it is still a problem. But much of the message is getting out there through twitter and facebook and sites like this. As many of us as possible need to continue sharing articles like this one so our freinds who may not share the same political views see them.
       
      Also, the yes campaign wants everyone who already believes to convert one other believer. It’s not up to the main stream media, it’s not up to the politicians. Its up to us to get out there and win it. I could lay claim to at least four converts, but they were all don’t knows or possibly already leaning towards yes. I’m working on three nos and I actually believe two of them can be turned. The third one I just wind up for shits and giggles, but the other two will be massive wins and they are possible. Typically both run thier own business and are doing well for themselves and are scared of an independant Scotland because of all the Corporation tax scare stories and how they think it will hit thier pockets.
       
      We don’t need to attack the BBC and give them ammunition to publicise stories about nasty nationalists, we can simply use current technology to by pass them completely.

    29. The Man in the Jar says:

      @Training Day
      @Mutely
      I could not agree more. Someone has to do something about this. I get frustrated at Yes / SNP turning the other cheek all the time. They simply must be aware of this going on.
      WoS. NNS. And others do their bit but how will the general public find out about this. I agree that there needs to be a very high profile exposure of this propaganda.
      I am sorry that I can’t remember his name, however that history professor hit the nail on the head when he declared the BBC “Not fit for purpose”

    30. muttley79 says:

      Training Day, if the media was impartial or even just a little biased towards the No campaign, then the Yes campaign would walk the referendum.  It would just be a matter of having the campaign and then voting.  I hope they think about that because I see no media strategy at all.  Have they got the thumbs up from somebody already in the media that they are going to be given some real media ammunition?  The problem is that the Unionists strategy is to get as much misinformation through the media, particularity the BBC in Scotland, as possible in this period. and hope that the Yes campaign is always playing catch up.  This is the case at present, and it will only intensify from here on in.  The BBC in Scotland, by their actions already, are only interested in preventing independence for Scotland, and preserving the British state.       

    31. cath says:

      “But much of the message is getting out there through twitter and facebook and sites like this.”
       
      But the problem is far too many people still see MSM sources as “unbiased” whereas sites like this, Newsnet and the Yes pages can all be claimed to be “biased” by those in the MSM, political parties and the NO campaign. Far too many people are totally unaware of the bias of the media, that it’s following a Westminster line, or even of the co-ordination between Labour, Tory, the media etc.
       
      Also, that level of co-ordination and a stifling of the debate means that when people look for information on the internet, they find the same lies repeated over and over – the ones from the front pages. That is the real danger, imo, that a sense of “oh the real media must be telling the truth because they, plus all the politicians and parties can’t *all* be lying. Therefore these sites and blogs that are saying something different must be lying.
       
      Of course, on the other side, the fact that they actually *are* all lying, and in such a co-ordinated way is also a real risk for the No campaign, because if and when people do see through that, the kind of anger we’re feeling now will be felt by all of them! And there’s 18 months, and a growing grassroots movement.
       
       

    32. Braco says:

      Muttley and Yesitis,
       
      all that would be lovely. It most likely is not going to happen however. You both appear to believe that without the longshot of The BBC somehow imploding or changing its long held (90 year) pro British Government bias within the remaining 18 months, then the referendum is lost. 
       
      We will win this referendum the same way that we have won all the powers Scotland currently has, that is the hard way! The BBC is not the all powerful institute it was and the more blatant and more obviously anti Scots their reporting becomes, the weaker they make themselves. Word of mouth from trusted people who engage in actual dialogue and produce evidence for their beliefs will trump any broadcast propaganda.
       
      The only problem with this technique is that it simply does not show up on the radar of these self same MSM and broadcasters that we are forced to rely on for info. Even if it did, it would require to be ignored in order to fit the ‘narative’ being pushed.
       
      Add to that the polling companies express policy of reducing to almost zero, in their weighting system, those they feel are unlikley to vote in general elections. Again this leads to serious distortions in the actual results to be expected as, in a referendum, this is the very group that will be targeted by the YES campaign in a national registration drive. This is also the group that are most supportive of independence. In this way the mistake is multiplied.
       
      Can you think of another so called developed, mature western democracy whose media, broadcast and political class could have been so completely blindsided by such a ‘catastrophic’ landslide towards one party, in a four party proportional electoral system? (Including the party that won!)
       
      I hope that my previous comments help explain how this occurs in Scotland and why your worries, although well founded in the day to day media and political output that is available to us, are in reality just over magnified. Like the weather maps, they can spin a miniaturising perspective but Scotland in reality still stays that enormous big top half of Britain it always has been.
       
      Keep the faith, we have the tools at hand. We must just be sure to use them to their fullest extent and to the fullest of our capabilities. Ignore what you cannot change but change completely what is in your power to change!

    33. Yesitis says:

      Perhaps if the SNP used a party political broadcast to “playfully” expose the BBC as obviously biased against independence – maybe a fake five minute version of Reporting Scotland, with ludicrous, yet touching a nerve news stories. It might, just, just, might allow the mindset to develop in the public that Auntie Beeb has “issues” with the truth, and we are paying a license to be lied to and fed unionist propaganda.
       
      Basically, that there is no BBC Scotland, only the BBC in Scotland.

    34. Training Day says:

      @Braco
      Much sense in your post, cheered me up no end!

    35. muttley79 says:

      @Braco
       
      all that would be lovely. It most likely is not going to happen however. You both appear to believe that without the longshot of The BBC somehow imploding or changing its long held (90 year) pro British Government bias within the remaining 18 months, then the referendum is lost. 
       
      No, I never said the BBC would implode, I said it would take a whistle-blower, and I also said I did not think that would happen.  Nor did I say that if it does not then the referendum is lost.  I think it would be a much less difficult task to get a Yes vote if we had major media support though, as it would put the other side under much greater pressure.  I agree with some of your points but it did seem rather a ‘keep the faith we are going to win regardless’ type argument.   
       

    36. Braco says:

      John Lyons,
      Spot on!

      Doug Daniel,
      Encouraging isn’t it!

    37. NorthBrit says:

      http://www.scotsman.com/the-scotsman/politics/luxembourg-warns-against-scottish-independence-1-2820567%2011.16pm
      This page doesn’t exist!  I wonder why?
       
      “We are sorry to say that you have found our ‘sorry’ page while visiting http://www.scotsman.com
      You may be attempting to get to a page that doesn’t exist or our web gurus are currently trying to fix the issue.
      Click here to try again
       
      Alternatively if that fails and you return to this error page, please click here to try the homepage

    38. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      Because I’m a bonehead who tacked the timestamp onto the end of the URL. Fixed now.

      *redface*

    39. Yesitis says:

      @Braco
      Oops, sorry, didn`t see your post 🙂

    40. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Perhaps if the SNP used a party political broadcast to “playfully” expose the BBC as obviously biased against independence – maybe a fake five minute version of Reporting Scotland, with ludicrous, yet touching a nerve news stories.”

      That’s a splendid idea. I do think they need to take a more combative approach in interviews in general, bringing up stuff like the Ireland and Luxembourg misrepresentations on-air.

    41. Albert Herring says:

      @The Man in the Jar 
      That was Tom Devine.
      @Yesitis
      Good idea, but it wouldn’t need to be fake.
       
      Alex Salmond put a marker down a while ago with the bias dossier presented to Lord Patten (since when, they’ve got a lot worse). He doesn’t do that sort of thing for nothing, and I suspect there’s something rather large up his sleeve.

    42. ianbrotherhood says:

      @Yesitis-
      Do you mean something like this?

      (If it doesn’t link, Youtube ‘cassetteboy vs BBC news’)

    43. cath says:

      “The only problem with this technique is that it simply does not show up on the radar of these self same MSM and broadcasters that we are forced to rely on for info.”
       
      That’s not necessarily a bad thing. If the Yes campaign builds quietly and under the radar at grassroots and the No campaign are complacent and believe their own propaganda, that seems like a pro for the Yes side, for now at least. Especially since the leaders of the no side are mostly based in another country (and one that they don’t even believe is another country!)

    44. Westie7 says:

      Ha,ha,ha its like the fire-sale clip in Die Hard 4

    45. Braco says:

      Training day,
      thanks and you are very welcome!

      Muttley,

      Yes, I do think we are going to win and yes, I think keeping the faith and staying positive is essential to staying focused on what will win this for us and not have us running off on energy sapping fools errands through panic.
       
      I am not criticising yourself, or anyone else who is willing to spend the time tackling the MSM and Broadcasters in the hope of a gamechanging breakthrough. I, like you, feel victory would self evidently be easier that way. I however like to plan for the worst but hope for the best.
       
      I have sited some of my evidence for my beliefs (and could expand on them but for the boredom factor), so I don’t think I am just a ‘keep on keeping on’ kind of person in the face of a losing strategy.
       
      It’s just that I think the strength of our strategy is that it barely intersects with ‘normal’ or ‘conventional’ modern political media messaging techniques but rather relies almost completely on itself and it’s own nationally specific electoral logic. Hence the disconnect in the MSM being able to report, predict or even see it happening before their very eyes.
       
      I think many political PHds will be written about this particular freedom struggle and it’s political methods in the face of seemingly overwhelming media bias. What they will all most probably underplay though is the Scots Electorates long, slow education in the ways of British political fair play. (Weesmilything)

    46. cath says:

      ” I think keeping the faith and staying positive is essential to staying focused on what will win this for us and not have us running off on energy sapping fools errands through panic.”
       
      Agree Braco. Also one of the things that engages people, I think, is the sense you’ve learned or discovered something yourself. You can tell someone over and over that the BBC is biased, or try and explain the McCrone report and get only a sneering look making it clear that person thinks you’re paranoid or some kind of loony – I would have taken that view of someone telling me about them myself a couple of years ago. It’s only coming to these realisations yourself (or feeling like you have) through shares, reading, conversations down the pub etc, that make you start re-evaluating.
       
      That may be part of the Yes/SNP thinking behind not challenging the press too much. If they were responding every day with “you’re all against us; you’re all biased” people wouldn’t believe them and they’d seem too defensive against sources people do trust. Bashing away with awareness raising like this site, and giving the media plenty space and rope to prove it themselves is perhaps a better approach. Especially if the BBC are going to be daft enough to put people like EU ministers in positions where they’re having to explain they were misrepresented.

    47. Braco says:

      Ianbrotherhood,
      so glad you are now on our rusty orange brillopad hair sprouting, Forgewood Bucky swilling, bouncy castle puking, Alsatian mix loving team. Top find!

      P.S. Watch it, I went to Braidhurst. (smiley)

    48. The Man in the Jar says:

      @Albert Herring
      Re. Tom Devine thanks!
      Can’t be said enough.
      “BBC in Scotland is not fit for purpose”

    49. Yesitis says:

      @Ianbrotherhood
      Do you mean something like this?
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-kbMF1GF2A
       
      Cheers, Ian. I`ve seen that before, it is hilarious.
      I was actually thinking along the lines of actors sitting in a studio (or outside standing beside some foreign minister`s bin – Glen Campbell) made up to look very similar to Reporting Scotland.
      Almost a duplicate of Reporting Scotland (think BBC Scotlandshire). The actors would just read out ludicrous news stories which become increasingly bizarre…lots of subliminal union flags, Eleanor Bedford (yes, Bedford) investigates etc.
      You know how it goes.

    50. Braco says:

      Cath,
      I think you are exactly right.
       
      To me the strategy seems like actively showing people the truth, but in their peripheral vision. The image will seem inexact and incomplete but when the time comes to focus, those same people will have an image to direct their concerns onto and then complete it themselves using their own colours, shading, priorities and thinking.
       
      This ‘completing it themselves’ aspect was for me (and sounds like for you too) the deal clincher and will, I think, be for the rest of the population. Of course this technique is only open to those that trust the electorate’s intelligence and are sure their arguments are true and can stand up to scrutiny.
       
      This is also unfortunately why it will be a useless template for future general political campaigning theory. (sadweesmiley)

    51. R Louis says:

      As regards our wonderful blatant propagandist London BBC in Scotland, it of course helps them a great deal that MI5 Scottish HQ is in the building next door (allegedly) on pacific quay.
      I agree with others above, that if the YES campaign wish to challenge this blatant and self admitted bias by the London BBC in Scotland, then they need to do it soon.  It will not matter close to the referendum, and will be laughed at afterwards.  Maybe they believe that the BBC and Scottish media will adhere to the usual requirements for balance in the run up to an election or referendum, but I seriously doubt they will.  Winning this referendum is everything to London, and I do not doubt they will see losing BBC impartiality in Scotland as a price worth paying in order to gerrymander the referendum in their favour.
      The propagandist London BBC in Scotland serve London and Westminster.  They do not serve democracy or the truth, and most importantly, they certainly do not serve the people of Scotland.
       
       
       
       

    52. Jeannie says:

      @yesitis
      You wouldn’t need to look too far for material either – you could start with A Scare A Day on National Collective and add in some BBC Scotlandshire and you’d have all the material you need.  I was in stitches the other day reading tweets between Rev Stu and a certain Mr. McRobbie in which they were suggesting increasingly absurd, but funny scenarios in an independent Scotland.  I think it would make a great broadcast – certainly far better than the absolutely dire Party Political Broadcast on behalf of the Labour Party I just saw on tv.

    53. ianbrotherhood says:

      @Braco-
      You really are too kind. I pretty much fit the description already, but have to draw the line at Buckfast as it reminds me of Helen Lidl (or is it Aldi?). Is there a Lambrini option? 
      @Yesitis –
      You’re onto something there – why not approach the Comedy Unit at the Beeb with it? They’ve been ripping the proverbial out of the football pundits and commentators for yonks but seem unable to do likewise with News – maybe because it’s beyond satire?

    54. Braco says:

      Ian,
      That person’s ‘acceptance’ speech at Monklands East was the moment of no return for me and my ‘nationalism’. It really was the most graceless and divisive piece of public oratory I had witnessed up to that date.
       
      Easily outdone in later Scots election after election by Labour’s choices of representative, but it still holds a special place in my heart as the first to burn a very sore hole in my political consciousness.
       
      Let’s compromise and leave the red’s alone. How about a wee bottle of Four Crown?

    55. ianbrotherhood says:

      Braco, Rev et al –
      Some gremlin, technical or otherwise, is playing havoc with this thread – comments are disappearing, reappearing as others go missing.
      Seriously. Someone’s at it…
      Right now, by my watch, it’s 10.07.

    56. ianbrotherhood says:

      @Braco-
      I don’t know what ‘Four Crown’ is, but I suspect, from suppressed memories of scanning the options available, that it’s some form of Sherry? I don’t think I’ve ever sampled it, but will make a mental note to do further research.
      BTW, that wummin you alluded to in your last post (which may disappear at any moment) – I had to serve her, as a wine waiter, in Glasgow, early ’97. It was a table of fourteen. Ruth Wishart was at that table as well. Neither of them had any bevvy, stuck to water. All I remember about Lidl is that she was very very shiny – every part of her seemed to be highly reflective, despite a serious make-up job and eyebrows which someone had drawn on what they presumed to be the correct part of her unusual forehead. It was the most mirthless collection of people I ever had to ‘serve’, and they spent a pitiful amount on actual ‘booze’ – that’s maybe why the guy ‘in charge’ of the table (a prominent Trade Unionist, I was assured) handed me a small pile of shrapnel as my tip for looking after them all night.
      Bitter? Moi?

    57. Morag says:

      Ian, RevStu is “at it”.  He has said so.  He is trying to move the blog to its own domain.  Why so suspicious?  You sound like the paranoids on NNS who shouted shenanigans every time their ISP went down, claiming hijacking of the domain and all sorts of silliness.

    58. ianbrotherhood says:

      @Morag-
      It was an honest observation, right? As it happens, I wasn’t aware of this paradigm-shift, so I just reacted to a conversation being interrupted, and did so in good faith.
      What is it you think I’m suspicious of?
       

    59. frankieboy says:

      So the Scotsman are not  google rankers?…I was sure that’s what the guy in the newsagent called them

    60. Yesitis says:

      @Ianbrotherhood
      “You’re onto something there – why not approach the Comedy Unit at the Beeb with it? They’ve been ripping the proverbial out of the football pundits and commentators for yonks but seem unable to do likewise with News – maybe because it’s beyond satire?”
       
      Maybe someone at the Beeb already has a notion to push the envelope out just that extra mile? I mean, if the Beeb isn`t biased, what`s stopping the comedy unit from taking the piss from the “hand that feeds it?”
      The analogy wouldn`t be wasted on the Scottish public. Perhaps?
       
      @Morag
      Goodness sake, could you be more insulting to those here who also post at NNS?
       
       
       

    61. Morag says:

      Oh come on, you’ve seen it too.  Every time the domain goes down and the link defaults to the ISP’s holding page, people start shouting that the domain has been hacked and coming up with all sorts of daft ideas.

      OK I don’t suppose they’re doing it now, with the time and length restrictions on the comments, but it was a regular feature a year or so ago.

    62. Yesitis says:

      @Morag
      I know, I know. But maybe just be a wee bit less…you know, pointed about it. Cut them some slack, that`s all. I`m not saying bite your tongue, but, maybe be a wee bit less nippy about it. That`s all.
       

    63. CameronB says:

      Thought I’d share this cracking post on an Alan Cochrane article in Tuesday’s Telegraph.

      RolftheGanger

      Yesterday 10:15 PM

      As usual the Unionists stare at the passing river of events and notice only the obvious. (One never actually visits the same river twice, is the reference)

      Unionist focus is always on the bleedin’ obvious of what happens. Change of paradigm is about HOW it happens.

      So these comments are for the sake of southern readers actually interested in how the slide to independence is occurring (given that the coming Yes vote will pitchfork them into independence likewise, but with a totally unprepared, unaware and incompetent Westminster in reactive not proactive mode, ie yet another perfectly forseeable crisis to “muddle through”)

      Let us take three examples of the HOW pattern of changing debate.

      Unreported to you. the last political bastion of the Union – Labour in Scotland is in meltdown.

      For instances:
      Crumbling at the top – two lead MSPs (McLeish, former First Minister and Chisholm – a rare exception in Labour’s ranks as almost uniquely being widely regarded as a man of principle) have made public announcements on their shift to supporting independence.

      Crumbling in credibility. Milli-what’s-his face is an unseen, no impact factor in Scottish politics. You can gauge the impact in the South.

      Crumbling in the power structure. Ostensibly power was supposedly devolved to Lamont to lead Labour in Scotland from Holyrood. It was always a charade. Her incompetence and lack of impact now has the Alexander kid stepping in from Westminster with a ‘leadership’ speech – cutting across Lamont’s avowed stance.
      Ie. the weasels are fighting in the sack.

      Crumbling intellectually. The Labour Hame site was trumpeted as the forum for Labour In Scotland to reinvent itself. Try a look. One new article (Alexander’s diversionary foray) in the last 3 months – and no debate even on it.

      Crumbling at grassroots level. The Communications Union. Firemen and other Union groups publicly support independence now. The STUC has distanced itself and Labour Unionists no longer control a monolithic automatically pro-Union movement.

      There is now a Labour for Independence formal organisation growing steadily. And surprise of all surprises, a Rangers Supporters For Independence group.

      In fact it is getting to the tipping point where the disaffected rank and file and the pro-Union snouts in trough ‘elite’ are parting company. Matter of time.

      So what is being said and reported on the media stage is increasingly at odds with what is happening backstage.
      What is done appears solid – how it is evolving goes unreported.
      Yet another “SNP surprise landslide” in the making.

      Second, the terms of the debate has imperceptibly moved on. Now the tenor of the debate is about the mechanics of negotiating, formalising disengagement and arrangements after independence. Do I really need to spell out the difference from a year or two ago?

      Third. Successive waves of Unionist propaganda effort have swept up, being broken up and have retreated in disarray.
      “Subsidy junkie dependents”
      “Can’t afford it”
      “How will you manage without us”
      Attempted character assassinations.
      Calman tokenism
      Progressively more desperate and ridiculous negativity and scaremongering.
      Anyone watching HOW the game evolves will see a pattern of Unionist ineffectualness and threadbare negativity. The Union philosophy, intellectual, moral and political case has burnt itself out. All that is left is Bitter Together ashes.

      Fourth. The stance of the political commentating chatterati is adapting slowly to the shifting sinking sands that were former solid Unionist territory – (and given the low level of self awareness, observation, discrimination and event classification skills of that skill-challenged sector; this is a process invisible to themselves)

      For instances:
      A number of political editors and commentators are subtly shifting away from previous hardline Unionist stances.
      Keen Cochers watchers will have seen him shift:
      From boosting Goldie, then Davidson as Tory Party in Scotland leaders – to pleas for help, then increasingly blunt criticism of shortcomings.
      From lambasting Labour and Lamont the nominal leader – to pathetically hailing her as the new standardbearer of the Unionist cause.
      From unflinching ostensible confidence in the ‘rightness’ and competence of Westminster and Whitehall – to articles such as the above reluctantly stating the obvious – yet more incompetence from the Union institutions.

      Fifth change indicator in how the debate is conducted.
      When all the ammunition is used up, the ship of state is in dire straits – burn the floor boards to keep the boiler running.

      For instances.
      In the past couple of months, the B BBC Scotland has blatantly selectively cut and distorted the views of no less than three Foreign Secretaries of countries with which the UK state is in alliance. Plus the views of Barroso of the EU.
      I refer to the twisting of the views of:
      The Irish Foreign Sec distorted in ways that lady has publicly protested about and repudiated. What went to air was supposedly critical of Scottish independence.
      The views of the Latvian Foreign Sec prospective EU leader.
      Ditto,
      The views of the Foreign Sec. of Luxemburg. A comment about the need for European unity – directed at Cameron’s threat to quit the EU, was twisted into a supposed negative towards Scotland’s independence.
      Scots are used to the McPravda behaviour of BBC Scotland – and discount it accordingly. Now at the stage of total counter-productiveness. We know we are lied to, you do not.

      It is southern readers who should be apprised of the reckless way in which goodwill and international longer term relationships are being ruthlessly ‘burnt’ in the cause of manufacturing some desperate short term and totally unavailing pointscoring against the independence cause. A truly shocking betrayal of the interests of all citizens.

      But there you have it gently readers. All is fair in love and war. The Westminster/Whitehall elite’s love of themselves and their status and privileges – and the war to hang on grimly to over-centralised power and control And damn the consequences to you peasantry.

      Neither you not we can tolerate such a system. Vote Yes. Vote different – vote for reform.
      Best wishes.
      RtG

      (Edited by author 16 hours ago)

    64. Yesitis says:

      @CameronB
      That was excellent 🙂

    65. CameronB says:

      @ Yesitis

      I’d love to claim it as my own post, but it was by RolftheGanger. I didn’t even find it myself, my brother showed it to me. Still, I did think of sharing it. Glad you liked it. 🙂

    66. Vronsky says:

      @ianbrotherhood
       
      Problem was that mid-evening the site went into a kind of limbo.  You could get on to the podgamer site as usual but if you clicked on the comments balloon you were redirected to the new site.  It took me a while to realise what was happening and when I did I just stopped posting.   It’s all the Rev’s fault really.
       
      @CameronB
      Thanks for that re-post – excellent.

    67. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      You could get on to the podgamer site as usual but if you clicked on the comments balloon you were redirected to the new site.”

      That was a test to see if you were paying attention. You FAILED.

      😉

    68. Davy says:

      That was a brilliant post by RolftheGanger, what a difference to the bias shit I am hearing on the B BBC radio scotland just now. They have Willie Rennie giving his negative slant on everything that independence would give Scotland, the commentator could have tore him to bits if she had make the simplist of efforts, he was crap.
      Vote yes, Caesar! Gu snooker loopy!
       

    69. ianbrotherhood says:

      Okay Rev, hands-up, we failed, but give us some credit – at least we did it on an appropriately named thread.

    70. Training Day says:

      Following on the BBC theme.. Someone texted Pacific Quay this morning to point out that GMS presenters reading out the headline on the front page of newspapers was in itself a biased act, since those newspapers were uniformly anti-independence (and jeez, if you haven’t seen a newsstand this morning the notion that we have anything other than a monolithic media has gone for a burton).
      The response of David Millar on GMS (one to watch in the stakes of rivalling Campbell in slavish pro-Unionism as I mentioned last week)?  ‘But that’s what the newspapers say!’
      Ah, that’s ok, then.  ‘Look, that’s what the Volkischer Beobachter is saying!’

    71. douglas clark says:

      We appear to have a media in a self feeding bubble of negativity.

      It is very difficult for me to even watch BBC news and current affairs programmes from Scotland these days.

      I used to think, well, I suppose it is the job of journalists to question the veracity of our elected government at Holyrood.

      But this is just getting ridiculous.

      We have to make a change. Lets stop calling them anything other than what they have become. They are the propoganda wing of the British State.

      Despite all their propoganda, there are a lot of positives as CameronB linked to up thread.

      However, for them, none of that is ‘news’. And, lets face it, they decide what is news and what isn’t.

      One has to wonder why? Have they been ‘instructed’?

      The duty to inform has been overtaken by the underlying requirement to preserve a corrupt system.

    72. ianbrotherhood says:

      @douglas clark-
      Kin right. It is ridiculous.
      Perhaps those presenters and journalists who are being forced to deliver material they know is dodgy could let us know via some code. Don’t know if you’re a fan of Off the Ball, but they had Pat Nevin as a guest, maybe early last year, and during OTB they challenged him to use certain words during that night’s Sportscene, when he was doing his pundit. The words were suggested by listeners, and they selected six or seven. He took up the challenge and managed to slot them all in bar one.
      A raised eyebrow, a subtle wink, a ping of Brian Taylor’s braces…no end of ways it could be done.
       



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