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Wings Over Scotland

Pay up and shut up

Posted on November 25, 2013 by

So today we got a response from the BBC to our Freedom Of Information request concerning this story. Those of you who’ve ever sent an FOI request to the state broadcaster before probably won’t need to read any further.



Or in other words, “Sod off”. We don’t think we’ve ever seen the BBC actually give an answer in response to an FOI request. As pretty much everything it produces can be deemed either “journalism”, “art” or “literature”, it seems to us that the FOI Act may as well not apply to it at all.

(The BBC also dodges the Act if you ask it, for example, how much of our money it pays to cover Scottish football, although we can’t immediately see how that would fit into any of the three exempt categories.)

We’re at a loss to understand what possible legitimate justification there would be for keeping the answers to any of the above questions a secret. Unless, of course, there was something to hide.

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    148 to “Pay up and shut up”

    1. The Penman says:

      “Maintaining our editorial independence is a crucial factor…”
      Oh, how we laughed. 

    2. desimond says:

      So anything can be shown as NEWS yet doesnt actually need to be justified as its filed under ‘journalism’. No wonder attitudes of BBC and Unionist MPs both appear to be totally alien to that of the Scottish psyche!

      To be fair, the BBC have already declared they are under no obligation to be impartial despite the once held belief of the population that its a reputable fair organisation.

    3. James Kelly says:

      How would clarifying whether a news report was real or a work of fiction in any way compromise “freedom of expression” or prevent the “imparting of information or ideas”?  Bizarre response.  The only thing answering the question would prevent anyone from doing in the future is hoodwinking viewers into thinking that a fictionalised scene is real, which is hardly a noble enough cause to warrant the mention of the European Convention on Human Rights.

    4. ‘Only the names and places have been…’
      Been there, done that. *sigh* 🙁

    5. Patrick Roden says:

      So, Put another way:
      Wings now has written confirmation that the BBC are not the honest, upfront organisation, that people from Scotland as well as those people from other countries believe they are.
      This can do the whole BBC brand a huge amount of damage.
      Lets spread this fact to our friends at home and in other nations.

    6. Yesitis says:

      “We’re at a loss to understand what possible legitimate justification there would be for keeping the answers to any of the above questions a secret. Unless, of course, there was something to hide.”
      It`s the BBC – there`s something to hide.

    7. Illy says:

      I know in the USA they’ve established by the courts that “the news” doesn’t have to be factual or accurate at all.  They can say whatever the hell they want, present it as “the news” and not be held accountable.
      I thought we were all told that the BBC was better than that.
      Oh well…

    8. James Kelly says:

      Come to think of it, if journalists really want to continue “imparting ideas” such as a fictional Better Together leafletting blitz, they’re perfectly free to do so in an honest way by simply putting a caption on the screen saying “This is a reconstruction”.

    9. creag an tuirc says:

      I think you should appeal to the IC that not all these questions are exempt under the act quoted

    10. Marian says:

      Hiding behind the ECHR will not do when it is being wrongly used as cover to fend off legitimate concerns about whether the video was a put up job or not.
      This should be taken further – all the way in fact – with the Information Commissioner.

    11. HandandShrimp says:

      Oh I don’t know, I think “creative activities” just about sums up the whole event. It certainly was not real news.

    12. Doug Daniel says:

      “(The BBC also dodges the Act if you ask it, for example, how much of our money it pays to cover Scottish football, although we can’t immediately see how that would fit into any of the three exempt categories.)”
      Well, shafting Scottish licence fee payers the way the BBC does is somewhat of an art.
      Oh, and if they told you, then you might do some journalism with the figures.

    13. Les Wilson says:

      I would seem an admission of guilt not by answer something clear and easily understood. ” If Westminster allows us to do this stuff, we will, RIGHT”
      Now sod off ! But in truth it ain’t funny, it is a slide into creating a desired result in their favour, democracy is no longer the UK, and probably hardly exists at all when it comes to Scotland. We need all this to be monitored by a really, respected group and reported on by them.  Oh, and yes they should be based out with the UK.

    14. Graeme Purves says:

      ‘Worth an appeal to the Commissioner I think.

    15. Jamie Arriere says:

      Speaking of the BBC, I’ve just come across this page called the Referendum Library, which appears to be a page of links to the main reports and studies on Scottish independence from both sides of the argument…unless of course there are obvious omissions! Might be worth a thorough check as, on first viewing, it appears a useful link.

    16. abigdoob says:

      Yep. The tone of the FOI I got back from them was pretty much the same. GTF.

    17. Wingman 2020 says:

      O/T  There is an independence event in London.  (I had booked up for it then realised the location)  
      I am letting you know Rev, in case you are in London that day.  🙂  Might be worth sitting in.  Cannot be many independence events in the vicinity of Bath.

    18. annie says:

      I think the guys in the clip pretty much put their hands up to the fakery when they produced the spoof Yes Scotland video doing the same thing.

    19. Bobby Mckail says:

      How does their editorial independence work, when it collides with their duty bound promise to report whatever Tory Governments ‘News’ is for the day? Mmmmmm….

    20. orkers says:

      He should have said ‘fuck off you insolent Scotch bastard’.
      It’s just a more convoluted way of saying it.

    21. gordoz says:

      Stu: Ive had much the same treatment relating to ‘Brewer & NN Scotland’, I think its a little more ‘teutonic’ than sod off !
      Condescending ?
      What an apalling excuse for a state broadcaster / ‘propaganda’ is no longer beyond the pale as we see, here.
      Would you mind if this were used (in redacted form) relating to the BBC (as a given authority), in a notional ethics situation with students ?

    22. Robert Louis says:

      Why oh why would they not wish to answer????  Surely the BBC, our dear old wholly unbiased aunti beeb, isn’t up to no good???  Surely they have ‘nothing to hide’?????
      Seriously, the BBC in Scotland is the most disgraceful symbol of rampant corrupt Westminster colonialism anywhere in the world.  It is a disgrace to democracy, and has shown time and time again to be deliberately running a completely biased anti Scottish independence agenda.
      Only today, Newsnet Scotland has clearly demonstrated, yet again, the disgraceful anti independence bias due to the blatantly biased BBC.
      Something needs done urgently, to involve international media montiors in the referendum, or the BBC will simply carry on pumping out blatant pro – London rule propaganda, whilst lying to everyone about how ‘unbiased they are’.  They are the untouchables of broadcasting, they are accountable to NOBODY in Scotland.
      How much of this needs documented before the Scottish Government act to get foreign observers, before the referendum????  The day after a NO vote it will be much too late.
      In the meantime, expect utter bilge from the propagandist BBC in their coverage of the white paper tomorrow.  They will make a pretence at coverage, whilst ensuring they pump out the anti independence message.

    23. msean says:

      Just keep on paying up lol.We know whats good for you.

    24. gordoz says:

      Robert Louis – totally agree
      Maybe we need to write to Mr Salmond direct on the matter and pronto

    25. sneddon says:

      the stock BBC response. to put people off reuesting information. I would suggest that you contact the ICO as some of the information requested is certainly covered by the FOI act.  If you check the ICO Decision Notice section you will find the BBC has been required to apply the FOI Act to information it claimed was outside the Act in the past.

    26. DRD Woodward says:

      Time maybe to be making a note of names and making it known, particularly as the inevitable outcome becomes clearer, that actions or inactions that cannot be justified, will have consequences when the playing field is changed. I for one want the names of those who orchestrate and choose to implement actions that are clearly out-with the stated objectives of the corporation. Those of impartiality, accountability  and honesty. Just make sure those at the top know they are being watched and logged …… and whilst they might smile now with smug  assurance …. I suspect those grins will disappear rapidly as they begin to fully take on board what the consequences to their actions will be!!!!

    27. Robert Louis says:

      You know ,the evidence has been accumulated by NNS and others, in great detail.  The facts exist.  Now if it is the case that the Scottish Government cannot do anything about it, I’d like them to publicly say so.
      It just gets a bit tiresome explaining independence to people, only for them to then see utter rubbish propaganda masquerading as ‘balanced coverage’ by the BBC later the same day.  It just will NOT do.

    28. Jon D says:

      I think, therefore, that the Yes campaigns take on this is worth another airing.
      After all, anything they can do WE can do better

    29. Rod Mac says:

      There is absolutely no point in greeting ,and bleating on here.
      There will be no international monitors.
      there will be no change in the coverage, the MSM will not play fair.
      They will go to any lengths to stop Scotland seceding.
      All we can hope for is like in 2007  and 2011 the people of Scotland see right through it.
      If not there will be a lot of people feeling cheated out of their democracy.
      Westminster will have to reap what they sow with this blatant anti democracy.
      One thing is for sure no country ever seceded from London without a bare knuckle fight.

    30. Jon D says:

      Sorry, above link should read

    31. Jimsie says:

      I got a similar response from the BBC when I complained that I could not hear the newsreader for the rythmic drum beating in the background. I can”t even understand why they do that. But they have us over a barrel with this licence fee. Pay up and shut up sums it up nicely.

    32. Robert Louis says:

      Rod Mac,
      There is NOTHING preventing the Scottish Government from stating quite clearly the situation, and that they are powerless, as the BBC is accountable to nobody in Scotland at all.
      It needs said.

    33. Rod Mac says:

      It needs said.
      i disagree Robert Louis ,that would merely give the corrupt broadcasters a platform to ridicule and accuse the SNP of running scared of the polls and the “truth” etc.
      We have to live with it and do what we did in 2007 and 2011 boots on the street

    34. Graeme Purves says:

      The essential point is that the footage appears to have been fabricated to further a Better Together narrative under the pretext of “balance”.  Surely that is a matter for the BBC Trust?

    35. Donald Kerr says:

      Appeal then take to Information Commissioner.

    36. Ron Burgundy says:

      At the risk of someone at the BBC / No Scotland having me up for inciting law breaking – I think it might be a good idea, should NO win next September, that some kind of structured and organised effort is made by Scots to stop paying the License Fee.
      The BBC will have been key contributors to the Unionist win and must be made to realise that the supine consensus which exists to pay tribute to them no longer exists amongst lage parts of the Scottish population.

    37. Andy-B says:

      Any doubt that the BBC isn’t an entity un to itself, can now be put to bed.
      Even though this anti-independence leviathon is publically funded, they do exactly as they see fit, and neither the change from Entwhistle to Patten has made one iota of difference, in there arrogantand clandestine attitude.
      If ever an institution needed gutted out its the BBC.

    38. ronnie anderson says:

      jimsie, & others here You have a clear choice ( pay up or shut up ) dont pay up, like myself & others on here & Yes Scot site, Im still on my four letter, I wont just pay up Bbc have a case to answer, & for my part I want my day in court to hold them to account

    39. scaredy cat says:

      You should appeal the decision not to release the information Stu.
      The IC is normally pretty strict with public bodies and lots of decisions have been overturned on appeal. FOI legislation is intended to allow information to be released to the public unless there is an extremely good reason not to (national security, matter is sub judice etc). It doesn’t seem to be the case here.
      Can’t do any harm anyway.

    40. Jimbo says:

      @Bill Dunblane
      Only the names and places have been…’

      Been there, done that. *sigh*
      Ditto. Trying get anything out of the BBC is a complete waste of time. Anything from an FOI request to a programme complaint seems to always have a Pro Forma letter ready and waiting for the addressee to be typed in. But, of course, as we all know, they’re doing it on purpose so as not to encourage complaints.
      OT. I see Carmichael is getting a roasting on his blog.

    41. Andy-B says:

      O/T   I do apologise.
      Just came from Alistair Carmichaels blog, of which he’s taking a real doing, I left him a piece of my mind, I’ve not much left now.
      Mr Carmichael has the audacity to rant on about tartan nationalists and bravehearts nonsense, how arrogant can one man be.

    42. Les Wilson says:

      Andy B
      No Andy they do what Westminster wants. Westminster corrupts, it is true but the BBC are already corrupt, so even worse, and spend our fees to pay for negatives for Scotland. You could not make it up. They are, rightly, a disgrace.

    43. Papadocx says:

      The security services main objective is to Protect and defend HMQ (The State) against all threats and that includes US! All powers are available including direction and use of all press and broadcasting services. (Hence control of the licences).
      We are fighting the British state here so don’t be shocked, be wise. There is only two ways to do anything! The right way & the wrong way! The state is struggling as to how to handle us at the moment and are being to heavy handed (obvious). Now if things start slipping our way and against BT then things will get interesting. BT is probably heavily supported by security services. Surprise, Surprise. YES!

    44. EphemeralDeception says:

      I think exclusion from FOI for the purposes of ‘art’ covers any fictional scenario, including propaganda as art.

    45. sneddon says:

      Donald Kerr- You can’t appeal under the FOI Act as it only applies to information ‘caught’ under the act.  Best to go to the ICO first as any appeal under any BBC Complaints procedure will take months and result in the same answer (Cynical me?) 

    46. WND says:

      Waste of time complaining.
      Just keep ripping the piss out of the obvious bias, time and time again, until everybody with any sort of listening equipment has heard.
      Making sure any satire or parody involved is clearly tagged as such in mile-high letters, of course 🙂

    47. ronnie anderson says:

      Tea cakes , noo Oat cakes, is that fucking balloon gonna eat his way thru Scotland, thats why he tain the job on,

    48. Marcia says:

      To quote from the film ‘Oh Mister Porter’, ‘Your wasting you time’.
      Better Together campaign techniques;

    49. Wayne says:

      The fact is the BBC are almost untouchable, whether we like it or not, and the SNP YES Scotland are wary of taking them on directly, albeit Salmond has been known to have the odd swipe now and again, and completely annihilated one of their radio journalists not too long ago.  For fear of being called paranoid conspiracy theorists or be attacked for challenging press freedoms they stay well clear.  There may have to come a point where the soft-touch approach needs to be dropped.  Some on here would no doubt he in favour of that.
      However, these articles and the focus on them is absolutely crucial as it allows the uninformed to come to sites like this and get a perspective and a level of analysis they won’t get anywhere else.  By continually deconstructing BBC coverage and laying bare its lack of impartiality, or more often just the dreadful absence of basic journalistic standards, there is a strong cumulative effect.
      Somehow however YES needs to make inroads in the ‘air war’, as victory in the ‘ground war’ seems to be a fait accompli already. How do they do this?  This is their biggest challenge from now until 18/9/14.

    50. theycan'tbeserious says:

      We or should I say the Rev. could accuse them of “Heresy!”  “Heresy is usually used to discuss violations of religious or traditional laws or legal codes” and are we not brought up to believe in telling the truth, which is good and right and proper, whereas to lie is a sin and therefore bad and against religious and traditional teachings not to mention illegal in a court of law? 
      Burn the witch!

    51. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Can anyone think of any other circumstances where citizens are forced to pay someone to lie to them?
      Not paying their rotten poll tax needn’t be illegal – just do a bit of homework, adjust your viewing habits accordingly, and enjoy the improved quality of life.

    52. Gayle says:

      The fact they have classed it as “creative arts” pretty much answers the question as to whether it was deliberately staged. I would also think someone taking part in a creative arts project would be compensated. Only part of the query not answered was whether BT had commissioned it or not. However, given the BBC are the mouthpiece for Labour (backed up by another FOI and how much money they spend covering each political party) it would be consistent with their behaviour to date. So, essentially by trying to evade the answer they actually answered it. 

    53. Xander says:

      Never mind (the b*llocks), Rev Stu. Attempting to obtain the truth from the BBC is like trying to obtain blood from a stone. Don’t be dispirited though, as the BBC and the media can be used against itself.
      My parents were both dont-knows this time last year and relied on the BBC for their news. The Lucinda Creighton affair provided the perfect opportunity to compare the broadcast footage and spin against the unedited footage. I think it is fair to say that my parents were stunned and no longer trust the BBC in the slightest. They both will be voting Yes next year.
      I also have an aunt who is a union rep in Scotland. This time last year my aunt would simply refuse to countenance any possibility of discussion surrounding independence. This week, while talking about general family matters, I was stunned myself when she brought up the issue of the referendum without any outside prompting. She said ” A year ago I was a staunch no. Now, I’m starting to waver. It’s because of all the bullshit that Westminster, the BBC and media are throwing out there. I am not persuaded to vote yes, but I am considering not voting no”. Given previous occasions when I’ve asked about independence, I never ever thought I would hear my aunt say such a thing openly.
      Catch the BBC or newspapers with a misrepresentation or outright lie. If you can see or hear the unspun, unedited footage,  then so can the electorate. I am having some success with this approach, and have converted 5 from dks to yes and 2 definite nos to dks (not including cases above). That is a conceit though, as I have not persuaded anyone. I merely pointed them to various online sources of information, suggested they question everything, and they are making up their own minds.
      The pro-independence bloggers are having an impact on the debate. It is difficult sometimes to see the result of this impact, however I am certain that I am seeing an impact in the people I know best – my own family.

    54. Jim Mitchell says:

      O/T it was with a mixture of relief and confusion that I received my latest up date from Better Together today, relief because it’s been such a while I thought that I had maybe caused some offence and had been dropped from their list.
      Confusion, well………. Their great leader claims that they are going to be working at railway stations on Tuesday, here in Alloa, we have one of the newest and it’s only about half a mile or so from the office of Transport Minister Keith Brown, but apparently they have no plans to work in Clackmannanshire at all until Sat 30 Dec, my confusion increased when I realised that although they were working in the Wee County, they still called themselves Better Together ‘Stirling’, believe me that, when it is pointed out to the locals, will go down like a lead balloon, but it will be as nothing compared to how they are going to feel when they learn that all the wards they have listed as their targets are down as part of Stirling!
      Even then they cannot cover the whole of the county, here in central ward we are just finishing off putting out the YES newspaper, before that we put out two leaflets and have held a street stall, and by we, I mean the activists from the local branch of the SNP in the ward and we are looking for ways to improve!
      Here read for yourselves:


      Dear Jim,

      We are now less than 24 hours away from the launch of the White Paper which sets out the SNP’s manifesto for breaking up the United Kingdom.
      This is a big moment in the referendum campaign and that is why we are embarking on our biggest campaign week to date as we take our message to every city, town and village in Scotland.
      Starting on Tuesday 26th November when we hand-out special editions of our new newspaper outside train stations across the country at rush hour in the morning and in the evening. To join your local event click here
      On Saturday 30th of November and Sunday 1st December we will be delivering newspapers in every part of Scotland. If you wish to join your local event please click here and find your nearest campaign event
      If you can’t help us out on the streets this week, you can still play your part by donating to the campaign. The nationalists will be using taxpayer’s money to promote the White Paper, we rely on your support.  
      If you can donate £10 today, or whatever you can afford, it will help us take our case to the people of Scotland

      Alistair Darling
      Better Together


    55. alexicon says:

      Question time is being held in Falkirk this week
      Strange that no one knows where the venue is.
      More secrecy from the biased institution.
      Just a pity that no one could hold a dignified demonstration outside the venue as the audience entered.

    56. Jimsie says:

      I am absolutely fuming following the latest anti- independence piece of propaganda from the BBC on the 6 o clock news. Something really will have to be done about these people.

    57. Jimsie says:

      This latest piece from the BBC will probably be repeated at 10. If you watch it you will be so angry you will not be able to sleep.

    58. gillie says:

      So how many FOI requests have the BBC turned down in the basis of “journalism”“art” or “literature”?

      Now that is a FOI question that cannot be turned by the BBC on the basis of “journalism”“art” or “literature”.

    59. Murray McCallum says:

      “latest anti- independence piece of propaganda from the BBC on the 6 o clock news”
      It was embarrassing. Both my kids were born in England and have lived here all their lives. They don’t really think about nationality, especially the youngest (age 16). She simply burst out laughing at the piece saying how ridiculously one-sided it was.

    60. Jimsie says:

      Murray McCallum                                                                                                    It was ridiculous but Daily Record and Sun readers swallow this type of crap.

    61. BuckieBraes says:

      @Jim Mitchell
      That No campaign events map is a hoot. Confusion indeed…
      The marker shows the rendezvous point for Thursday’s planned newspaper hand-out at Perth station as actually being in the middle of a field beside the River Earn, close to Dunbarney burial ground. Still, it’s as good a place as any.
      Meanwhile on Friday, it seems that Dunkeld will be masquerading as Perth city centre. They also promise to show up in Dundee ‘in the Maryfield’.

    62. Norrie says:

      If no don’t have to wait to read the white paper nor do I.

    63. muttley79 says:

      Where is the White Paper being launched (I know it is in Glasgow)?

    64. kendomacaroonbar says:

      The Glasgow Science Centre

    65. handclapping says:

      Science Centre, I believe

    66. handclapping says:

      Hi Kendo. Great minds and all that 🙂

    67. david says:

      sally magnuson-   “what are we going to do”

    68. handclapping says:

      Has the director of Scottish News ever discussed the political impact of Scottish news items with (a) representative(s) of political parties operating in Scotland other than through the BBC complaints procedures or in a public open meeting?
      Journalism, art or literature; no, no and no?

    69. muttley79 says:

      She directed that to Margaret Curran as well!  BBC Scotland/SLAB: as thick as thieves…

    70. We love Labour politicians says BBC.

    71. Another Union Dividend says:

      “The BBC also dodges the Act if you ask it, for example, how much of our money it pays to cover Scottish football, although we can’t immediately see how that would fit into any of the three exempt categories.”

      When I did an FOI a few years ago on how much BBC spent on Sport in each of four home nations and they claimed FOI didn’t cover it. When I challenged that assertion they resorted to the old “commercial confidentiality” excuse despite fact I stressed I was not asking about individual contracts but total expenditure.

      There is no point YES politicians  complaining about BBC bias as the MSM would attack  them and it becomes counter productive as we would be accused of trying to silence debate by the Unionist press.

    72. Another Union Dividend says:

      Meanwhile back to the Rev’s FOI request.
      To be fair to BBC etc they regularly ask each side or political parties  to advise where they could film in advance of an event which is then often “stage managed” by the political party or organisation concerned.
      However that is no excuse for our tax funded State Broadcaster refusing to reply honestly to licence fee payers requests.

    73. Mark Coburn says:

      Sorry but what kind of shitty-assed answer is this from the BTC?

    74. handclapping says:

      However that is no excuse for our tax funded State Broadcaster refusing to reply honestly to licence fee payers requests.
      Well that’s my question oot the windae then.

    75. Paula Rose says:

      Where are we at now?
      Is there anything the No camp can say that is positive?
      The affirmed No voters I meet are swayed by the lies etc documented here.
      Are we now at a tipping point as described by Scottish Skier and others?

    76. gordoz says:

      Guess this helps explain their affiliation to all things UKOK when a YES piece is presented. Its all balance you see.

      ie UKOK only have to be reactive in all things since BBC will always let them have a response (and a wee studio slot to snipe). 

      It would seem we are over reacting since UKOK never say anything in advance  no perspective no road map to change  – nothing.

      ie BT = No plan A never mind B (or C for that matter) and no criticism from BBC or STV

    77. msean says:

      Maybe i’m just thick(don’t answer that )but why is something as open as ‘art’ beyond a foi?Is it a convenient vehicle for filing all sorts of stuff?Hidden in plain sight?

    78. Macsenex says:

      Every spokesperson for YES must challengethe justification behind every interviewers’ questions

    79. kendomacaroonbar says:

      Black ‘arts’ are exempt from FOI requests obviously ?

    80. twenty14 says:

      slightly o/T – but have been thinking about Wednesday nights debate between Nicola and Carmichael. Being a bit cynical but we are all thinking she’ll eat him up and spew him out and if we know this so do the Anti Indy brigade – wonder if Carmichael’s already had a dry run and has been coached prior to the event – we now know they will stoop to whatever it takes to wreck any positive message getting out

    81. tartanfever says:

      I’m a little surprised that some posters didn’t know about this ‘get out of jail’ card that the BBC has. If you want to follow the progress of FOI requests on all sorts of institutions, including the BBC you can do so here:
      The BBC FOI requests are listed here:

    82. orkers says:


      Look at the material they have to work with.

    83. sneddon says:

      twenty14- he’s getting coached out of his head just now.  But the spinmeisters can only work with the raw material.  Would you have confidence in someone like the SoS to be anything but cannon fodder?

    84. Papadocx says:

      The English are so kind, they are up to their necks in dept and they demand that we peasants in North Britain take £1000 each to help us out. That’s what you call a friend or a liar and thief. 
      They need us more than we need them. YES!

    85. msean says:

      It looks like the no campaign have used the uk treasury again to misdirect and misinform the Scottish electorate.

    86. kendomacaroonbar says:

      o/t  Scotland Tonight on now… painful to watch.. looks really really dodgy to me

    87. Early Ball says:

      The question of how much Scottish Football receives from the BBC was asked at the Aberdeen F.C. AGM.

       The chief executive Duncan Fraser said he did not know the exact figure. He was then asked “Why was it a secret?” He said it wasn’t and to contact the SPFL of which Mr. Fraser is on the board. I think he then said they got 18 million altogether and the bulk of that was from Sky and BT Sport so you can work out it is a “pittance”. I may be paraphrasing him but I am sure he used the word pittance to describe the BBC’s contribution. He seemed quite open and relaxed without actually giving the figure. 

      Has Wings contacted the SFPL about this before?

    88. annie says:

      Re Scotland Tonight, I get the impression that a few of these undecided’s want to be convinced, husband says it’s just my wishfull thinking.

    89. Krackerman says:

      Watching ScotlandTonight as well – it’s good – that’s a roomful of people who WANT to vote for independence – well except for one bloke – they just need the confidence…

    90. Andrew Morton says:

      Just watching ‘Our Friends in the North’. So far it’s even handed but no doubt the boot will go in eventually.

    91. Bill C says:

      Re Scotland Tonight – Like a few others I got the impression that about 7/8 of the panel would vote YES if they thought Scotland would be fairer and better off. To be honest, I think the guy with the English accent was a No voter and was therefore a plant.

    92. msean says:

      Mr Greysuit didn’t seem very positive.

    93. kendomacaroonbar says:

      @Bill C
      I agree, I’ve studied body language for many a year and there was something uneasy about his contribution. Compare and contrast with the lady who sat to his right.

    94. Papadocx says:

      Scotland tonight audience sounded open to honest Sincere debate, was very impressed and my faith in human nature and fairness of the Scottish people has been well lifted. Enjoyed the show Well done stv. Not often I say that! Thanks to the participants even the no voter.

    95. rabb says:

      Watching our friends in the north on BBC2
      I’m still waiting for the kick in the balls! I’m sure it will happen shortly.

    96. Andrew Morton says:

      Blimey! Nearly the end of the programme and still even handed!

    97. Papadocx says:

      Sorry but back to bumpkin of the isles, A Carmichael has just stuck the boot into the Scottish farmers re EU payback to “Scottish farmers”. Dough head voted for it to be divid up with rich English Gentleman farmers for whom it was not intended. He followed the cabinets line and dumped his own Scottish farmers. Shows his backbone. Fine man and what principals.

    98. Bill C says:

      @kendomacaroonbar-  Whit a mouthful by the way, whit’s that all about????? Yeah you’re right he looked very uncomfortable in trying to look undecided. Really tried hard to let it be known that Indy was a bad idea and failed miserably to convince anyone that he was undecided. I don’t think he would make much of a spy!

    99. msean says:

      Our friends in the north-seems ok to me.bring it on.We can adapt it to Scotland.

    100. rabb says:

      OK “Our friends in the north”. Did that just happen on the BBC? My sanity is still intact and I haven’t screamed at the telly.
      Something isn’t right!

    101. kendomacaroonbar says:

      @Bill C   I like macaroonbars and the label on the back of mah semmit says Ken 🙂

    102. Andrew Morton says:

      How did they sneak that one through? After all there’s no requirement to be even handed! Perhaps the tidal wave of criticism has made them feel uncomfortable . . .

    103. msean says:

      It was a mistake – someone got confused they were supposed to broadcast the doom monger mix with added questions and uncertainty.

    104. TheGreatBaldo says:

      ‘Our Friends in the North’ was as the BBC SHOULD be……
      Excellent, balanced and in parts inspiring…..undecided folk should be encouraged to watch it on the iPlayer ….especially the part on Norway.
      There IS another way….the pain of Thatcherism was completely unnessecary and Alan Little didn’t just shine a light on it…….he turned the ‘Super Trouper’ on it……
      And with a crap ABBA joke I’m off ta ma kip with a smile on my face.
      PS…..Mr Little is clearly from the Derek Bateman/Issy Fraser school rather than the Glen Campbell/Douglas Fraser school of BBC journalism. 
      We need to see more of him and less of Glen Auntie

    105. annie says:

      Re Friends in the North – how can anyone not be furious at the British Government’s negligence in not starting an oil fund, Thatcher and Co have a lot to answer for,

    106. Bill C says:

      @kendomacaroonbar – Superb!

    107. TheGreatBaldo says:

      …..And it might have just been me but you know I swore I just saw that Fraser Nelson on telly saying an Independent Scotland could make a go of it !!
      …and based on the high Tax Swedish model as well !!!

    108. mr thms says:

      A pro-independence broadcast by the BBC?
      must be a lot of the world’s media in a Glasgow tonight..
      still the biased broadcasting corporation

    109. JPJ2 says:

      I caught half of the Alan Little program, “Our Friends in the North” and much of what I saw was good EXCEPT he said that “most of the oil is gone” and he also left the impression that the Norwegian oil fund was 40 years old when I believe I am correct in saying it dates only from 1990.
      For me that undid quite an element of the good work, as it implies to the uninformed listener that the opportunity that oil presented to Scotland has gone for good.
      Sadly it looks that, through ignorance ( PERHAPS) in this case, Mr Little has given Better Together yet another boost.

    110. rabb says:

      I think it’s safe to say most if not all of us are furious. It’s one of the copious reasons I’m voting yes.

      What that program did was paint a positive picture of what Scotland can aspire to and indeed acheive if we can get our hands on the tiller 🙂
      Alan Little flew that one under right under the NAYDAR!

    111. FreddieThreepwood says:

      Re Friends in the North … hate to sound bitter and ungrateful but anyone taking a camera crew to Finland, Sweden and Norway and NOT finding relative wealth, social cohesion and progressive politics would have to be an eejit. For me the whole thing was as predicted – even the disappointingly “even-handed” pay-off line from Little at the end … ‘Could we not replicate this within a devolved settlement?’ he asked.

      Eh, a sovereign wealth fund? A defence budget smaller than that for childcare? No Alan, we couldn’t. Even if we would be allowed.

    112. annie says:

      Freddie –  I agree totally, I think Rabb’s “kick in the balls” came in the closing comment.

    113. Ken500 says:

      RT will have better coverage of the White Paper release

      Nordic model – Yes please.

      Independence Now

    114. Seasick Dave says:

      Friends in the North…
      Nae bad but why the focus on education and hospitals when that is under our remit anyway?
      Also, the ‘most of the oil is gone’ canard again.
      Still, it was a nod in the right direction and hopefully opened some peoples’ eyes to what we could aspire to.

    115. JRH says:

      Re freinds in the north
      Did I dream it or did they not infer that Norway had a 40 year start on Scotland with their oil fund when it was only started 14 years ago and also that most of our oil has already gone! Other than that was reasonably balanced although the bit about why could we not do the same as the nordic countries under devolution was a laugh.

    116. Indy_Scot says:

      As much as the Our Friends in the North programme did appear fairly balanced, Allan Little did say that most of the oil was gone.
      Surely that is opinion rather than actual fact. To state this without mentioning the potential of more discoveries in the North Sea and the billions that are now to be invested in the oil sector does not seem too balanced to me.

    117. rabb says:

      Freddie, annie,
      My perception of his parting shot  was that it could never happen in a month of Sundays under the current settlement.

    118. Bill C says:

      I think one of the most important points to make in the next 10 months, is that there is the same again amount of oil in Scotland’s North Sea, West of Shetland is now coming on stream and Scotland’s West Coast remains untapped. Scotland is sitting on another black gold bonanza, the trick is, getting the truth out to the people of Scotland.

    119. Bill C says:

      Two facts on oil: 1. Norway discovered oil in the mid seventies at roughly the same time as Tony Benn and his Westminster parasites decided Scotland was of some use after all;  2. Norway will benefit from its’ oil for many decades to come, Scotland will continue to be robbed of its’ oil unless we vote YES. FACTS!

    120. JRH says:

      Re Freinds in the North
      On previous post Sorry I was so shocked at the lack of bias that I could not count Norway started the fund in 1990. 24 years ago but not 40 as was the impression given.

    121. Ken500 says:

      Sweden and Finland don’t have Oil

      Oil is a bonus

    122. Ken500 says:

      Oil Fund started in 1995

      Still time to catch up.

    123. GrahamB says:

      Quite uplifted by ‘our friends in the north’ even with a couple of small negatives. Overall it seemed to say ‘why can we not be doing as well as the Scandanavians?’ Surprised that Denmark and Iceland were not included but that would have stretched the programmme out an extra 30 minutes or so. At least BMcD did not get his BBC right of reply at the end.
      I needed that programme after a weekend visit from my partner’s brother and sister-in-law. He is one of the ‘rich NOs’ and I tried to avoid wasting time debating against his entrenched views, he is one of the unchangeables. AS is a dictator! NS is a poison dwarf! The SG is corrupt because they are allowing river mouth salmon netting which is spoiling the fly fishing on river beats FFS. I endured a good half hour listening to the dilemma of his annual new car selection – is the Discovery better than a Range Rover? Took him to the People’s Palace on Saturday which mellowed him a bit looking at the deprivation that a huge proportion of society has had to endure and some still do, but he still managed to say that ship-builders on the Clyde were lazy b*st*rds and deserved their decline/demise.
      Only time I cracked was when the SoS appeared on BBC news mumbling nonsense about currency union and fiscal union being one and the same thing and as he mutterred agreement I advised him to study the Eurozone currency and fiscal arrangements then try and tell me if France, Germany, etc. had identical tax regimes.
      Rant over, normal service resumed …

    124. GrahamB says:

      Also meant to remark that Norway only used 4% of the *interest* from their oil fund investments to fund infrastructure and social improvements (the capital invested is their pension fund!) and even with that their economy temporarily overheated. Even now with 40 years of our oil revenue squandered we can still have our cake and eat it as the Norwegians have demonstrated.

    125. Barontorc says:

      Given that the BBC is against same aim the majority of Scots aspire to in becoming independent, is this not a clear issue of propaganda-ism by the BBC on behalf of a continuing state of the UK and could not the Scottish Government put a restraint on it?
      In other words – the SG should tell the BBC to butt out, big time.

    126. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Mike Dailly: ‘We will have less independence if we separate from the UK’.
      Just said it on Radio Scotland, approx two mins ago. 

    127. Adrian B says:

      Mike Dailly: ‘We will have less independence if we separate from the UK’. Just said it on Radio Scotland, approx two mins ago. 
      Have they given up on squirrels and decided that black is white and white is black.
      And you wonder why people don’t pay attention to politicians. Labour are finished.

    128. john king says:

      Since the breakthrough in talks with Iran the oil price has been steadily falling which you can bet the no campaign will use against us, however its worth remembering the Norwegians built the bulk of their oil fund up while there was no trade embargo against Iran so low oil price or not we still stand to recover a huge amount of wealth from the black hole (as they’re so keen to point out) from Westminster.

    129. msean says:

      Less is more.Or at least they would like to think we would believe their rubbish.

    130. bannock hussler says:

      Herald today: Meanwhile, Alistair Carmichael, the Liberal Democrat Scottish Secretary, visited visited Nairn’s oatakes in Edinburgh as he kept up his profile following his weekend appearance on the Andrew Marr Show.
      “Liberal Democrat Scottish Secretary” takes the biscuit.

    131. Ken500 says:

      £20 a week to get rid of the Tories and protect NHS/Education a bargain. Spend less on Trident/Defence save £1.5Billion. Put a tax on cheap drink save £1Billion+

      Stop sending £Billions to the UK Treasury – Spend it more wisely.

    132. sneddon says:

      Darling spouting the same old rubbish, half truths and outright lies he normally smouts.  You can hear his twitching and foaming at mouth on Radio 4.  Also they interviewed some zoomer  at an Aberdeen estate agent, the rubbish he spouted would make the most convinced NO voter change their vote to YES.  He thinks the oil indusrty would be ‘negatively affected’ by independence, no evidence or details just a bland assertion.  Bah! typical estate agent 🙂

    133. Bunter says:

      darling on R4 with Naughtie, has to have been the biggest puff piece yet. Think Naughtie asked two soft questions and the rest was a Darling rant with no interrogation of his assertions. Will be interesting to compare to Sturgeons later.

    134. Dcanmore says:

      Despite the Iran talks oil is currently at $108 per barrel, a $3 plunge from last week. In 1990 when Norway started their oil fund I believe the price per barrel was around $15.
      I would like to read a report on the outcome of this forthcoming meeting: Aberdeen Breakfast – Maximising Economic Recovery from the UK Continental Shelf

    135. john king says:

       just watched Nicola Sturgeon on bbc  “breakfast ” and she was immense she came across beautifully I was so proud of her, and BBC  news presenter  Bill Turnbull did not interrupt her once, if only Scottish presenters were as deferential independence would already be won.

    136. john king says:

      thanks for that Dcanmore, I wonder what the price of a barrel of oil would be today if inflation was the only factor? I imagine not more that 80$ in which case the price of oil would need to go back to 1974 prices to see Scotland lose out on the opportunity to catch up with Norway’s oil fund,
      btw any one know what the comparison is of Scotland EEZ  as opposed to Norway’s? I get the feeling there is a larger proportion of sea open to Scotland to exploit than Norway has, given (if I’m right) Norway’s coastline quickly shelves into deep sea beyond the reach (for the most part) of the oil drillers whereas Scotland’s continental shelf is larger making more seabed accessible for the exploration rigs eg Clyde estuary, the strong possibility is that Scotland has still got access to more oil than Norway will ever have!

    137. caz-m says:

      And I just listened to the biggest car crash interview on BBC Radio Scotland GMS, with Hailey Miller trying to put a question together without constant stuttering and hesitations.

      She was trying to ask Alistair Carmicheal the downsides of the White Paper. His answers were as bad as her questions. Usual answers of wont be able to use pound and higher taxes.

      If we cant beat this lot then we want to give it up.

      Typical Project Fear interview.

    138. DougieDouglas says:

      Do any wingers know where the white paper launch live stream can be accesses from overseas?

      8 minutes later – sorry have found it:

    139. DougieDouglas says:

      Just another off topic post (sorry…is there anything else to be said about the BBC?)
      I have spent a fair bit of time reading the Telegraph and Guardian online and the comments associated with Scottish stories.
      Now of course there is the usual bile countered by legends such as Conan The Librarian however I think i am detecting a subtle change in tone from many English posters.
      They seem to starting to sit up and take notice and discernibly more are understanding why our movement is happening.  I.e. they are recognising that this is as a result of Westminister and the corrupt political elite and establishment.  It is refreshing to see them actually understand that this not about them and us but about us and the establishment and that we have had enough.  They seem to be increasingly making noises that are outright support (not in the ‘just fuck off and leave’ style but as in ‘if this happens we can change things too’)
      Is it just me seeing this?
      Exciting times, I think.

    140. Robert Kerr says:

      Can someone list ALL the TV networks present at the White Paper Launch?
      i am still convinced that the World is watching us and the BBC.
      The real prize is to remove BBC World Service from its trusted position.
      That is our leverage against BBC Bias here.

    141. Barontorc says:

      It really is amazing that this publication date has attracted so much interest not just from our near neighbour but from the whole world and it is now carrying  a sense of accomplishment, a stage reached, a permanent line in the sand and overnight the whole pace of the referendum process has been ramped-up and seemingly outwith the malicious intent of the BBC, etc. Very interesting times ahead.

    142. David says:

      On a related topic re the BBC, the BBC Trust have published their consultation for guidelines for coverage during the referendum.
      Has anyone done any work on analysing them to see their strengths, weaknesses and omissions which we could use to help frame responses to their consultation. I think we should try.

    143. liz says:

      Re BBC bias I had the misfortune of catching BBC news a 10 as Hubby wanted to see what they were saying about the bank(s) – note plural.
      They stuck the boot into RBS – as expected – but did not even mention Lloyds – it was the better half who told me Lloyds were also involved.
      Then we had wee Scotland – Corby – spoke to 3 Scots who mumbled something about 300 years together, fought together in the war and then an old English couple who were for independence, so they could stop financing us.
      Also brief mention of Portsmouth vsv Govan and no mention of BEA systems being a private company.
      The BBC is playing a dangerous game as I’m sure the English couple thought they were being truthful due to propaganda.
      Derek Bateman said that the main news is for English consumption so I’m not sure what they are up to.

    144. Vee says:

      Is propaganda classified as journalism then?

    145. Albert Herring says:

      I wonder what the foreign journalists present made of the breathtakingly moronic contributions of Her Majesty’s press this morning.

    146. Russell says:

      To be fair, I think you approached this wrongly by using FOI – the act clearly doesn’t apply to BBC news output and they’re not going to give up any ground on that. Why should they?

      Nonetheless, their own policies have strict requirements on impartiality and on not presenting misleading information. The impartiality requirement is a statutory obligation. The better response is to use the BBC’s normal complaints process, asking that they investigate this and explain the apparent ‘set up’ video segment. Request a written reply once their investigation is complete.

      Even if they do try to wiggle out of it, it’s likely the journalist involved is going to get some advice on never pulling that stunt again.

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