Saturday, 28 June 2014

BBC special

The BBC is biased against Scottish Independence. We have academic studies (and here) which confirm this, we have motive in the form of the net payments it receives from Scotland and its dependence upon Westminster MPs for its licence fee.

Because of this I am going to the BBC Bias Peaceful Protest in Glasgow tomorrow.
Although there may be scientific proof of impartiality from the UK state broadcaster, my main reason for protesting is because I have been compiling articles for our 'not in the news' series over the past few months and time and again I have come across how the BBC has distorted and surpressed the news. So, to save you checking back through every one of them (although you are more than welcome to do so!), here is our 'not in the news' BBC special.

Other stories which didn't make it
Quantifiable proof that the British State Broadcaster has been biased in its referendum coverage came to light following research from the University of the West of Scotland. STV was also found to be favouring the 'no' campaign, but not quite to the same extent. We first came across this story on Newsnet Scotland which was once again ahead of the mainstream media.
The research proves that the BBC broke article 1.3.2 of its own charter and it follows the revelation that BBC Scotland was found guilty of breaching editorial guidelines on accuracy by the BBC Trust, completing a miserable month for Pacific Quay.
Glance over the BBC
While the story of Labour voting against their own policies (extra childcare provision and hot meals for young children) was taking place, another, vastly most important issue, was dominating the BBC News website.
Scottish Independence: Call for 'truce' during Glasgow 2014 was the big headline. The 'story' was about the sincere hope of Lord Jack McConnell, Baron McConnell of Glenscorrodale, that athletes won't be used for political gain during the upcoming Commonwealth Games. The story became embarrassing for the Peer when Westminster's Secretary of State for Scotland, Alistair Carmichael, made the following statement just a few days later:
Whether that's the British Lions [sic], or next month's Winter Olympics, or of course, our astonishing achievements in the London 2012 Olympic Games. At those Games, the UK won 29 gold medals. And over the Games, as the tally went higher, so did our collective sense of national pride. Chris Hoy, Jessica Ennis, Andy Murray, Mo Farah, Katherine Granger. Those outstanding athletes weren't cheered on by parts of the UK, but by all of us. They were our representatives. They worked together, they competed together – many had trained together at facilities across the UK. Their success fed our pride."
Lord Jack McConnell, previously using athletes for political gain
Although the Commonwealth Games will be a fantastic sporting event, we don't believe that the referendum debate should be put on hold (and we're not going to be influenced by 'Peer' pressure).

Scotland would be 11% better off immediately following independence
Stories regarding Scotland's economic strength have featured prominently online throughout the referendum campaign (with Business for Scotland achieving over 100,000 unique visitors and one story being shared 23,000 times!) however these tend to be dismissed and ignored by our Main Stream Media. Now we have confirmation that it isn't the medium but the message that the BBC, STV and the newspapers are opposed to.
The Financial Times released a bombshell story on Sunday, the 2nd of February which confirmed that Scotland would be far stronger economically following independence, even if we continued Westminster's wasteful expenditure.
"If its geographic share of UK oil and gas output is taken into account, Scotland’s GDP per head is bigger than that of France. Even excluding the North Sea’s hydrocarbon bounty, per capita GDP is higher than that of Italy. Oil, whisky and a broad range of manufactured goods mean an independent Scotland would be one of the world’s top 35 exporters.
An independent Scotland could also expect to start with healthier state finances than the rest of the UK." Financial Times, 2nd of February 2014
Even this may be underestimating the economic strength of an independent Scotland, with the full value of corporation tax and VAT being potentially understated.
"Neither do the figures account for companies operating in Scotland who currently pay taxes via head offices in England – taxes like Corporation Tax or VAT for example.  After independence these companies would have to pay taxes on their Scottish operations to the Scottish government, not the UK Treasury as they do at the moment.  It's very difficult to quantify just how much extra this would bring in, but it's certainly a substantial amount." Newsnet Scotland, Guilty of bias by ommission
It's almost as if the BBC in Scotland is biased...

Glance over the BBC
The BBC took the unusual step of blocking their own news broadcasts from being viewed this month. The reason - well, Reverend Stu at Wings over Scotland has the full story.
No ch-ch-changes
Also this month, the BBC had to pick which stories to cover. Whilst happily cheering the news that David Bowie is against independence (although he sent someone else to say this at a pop music award event in London), the story regarding former Prime Minister Tony Blair's 'advice' to Rebekah Brooks, which broke the day before, was deemed to be less important.
He said the inquiry would be “Hutton style” – a reference to Lord Hutton’s inquiry into the death of David Kelly – and would “clear” her, but warned that “shortcomings” would have to be accepted as a result of the report.
He said the inquiry would be "Hutton style" - a reference to Lord Hutton's inquiry into the death of David Kelly - and would "clear" her, but warned that "shortcomings" would have to be accepted as a result of the report. - Guardian Newspaper 19th of February
He said the inquiry would be “Hutton style” – a reference to Lord Hutton’s inquiry into the death of David Kelly – and would “clear” her, but warned that “shortcomings” would have to be accepted as a result of the report.
He said the inquiry would be “Hutton style” – a reference to Lord Hutton’s inquiry into the death of David Kelly – and would “clear” her, but warned that “shortcomings” would have to be accepted as a result of the report.
"Britain could benefit from a Fascist leader," David Bowie (but he didn't mean it!)
And now something that was in the papers!
Just not the ones in Scotland. The most glaring example were reports that a Scottish Pound linked to Sterling was viewed as sensible by Deutsche Bank. Our newspapers, the BBC and STV didn't believe this was worth mentioning (which was a bit careless of our journalists, wasn't it?) It's almost as if they didn't want to report the facts. We can only speculate as to why...
The Media Standard is Poor
Whilst another 'Standard' was making the headlines, Credit Rating Agency Standard and Poor were giving their assessment on the credit worthiness of an independent Scotland. Their conclusion:
The BBC, alongside the rest of the print media, didn't consider this to be very relevant, and offered minimal coverage. This lack of attention couldn't be because it directly contradicted Westminster MP Danny Alexander's claim in January that Scots would face a £5,200 hike in mortgages due to higher borrowing costs, could it?

Budget Analysis
Finally, the funding of the Scottish Parliament was cut in the budget. So of course, the main headline in on the BBC Scotland website was: Chancellor freezes duty of Scotch whisky. Sigh...

Glance over the BBC
The third largest party in Scotland held it's annual conference. It's guest speaker was the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, and it was given massive coverage on the BBC and other Main Stream Media outlets. However, throughout March, there were other large gatherings taking place. Radical Independence attracted a huge crowd to protest outside the Tory Party (Scotlandshire branch) conference and encouraged over 80 people to their second mass canvassing event in Drumchapel. For some reason, the BBC didn't want to offer the same degree of coverage to these.
The BBC did manage to cover town hall meetings accross Scotland although...
I asked people as they filed out the door if the [Yes] meeting had helped.
"No, not really," came the reply from one man. "It was good to hear other people's point of view, but it was basically a propaganda meeting. It would be good if the 'No' and the 'Yes' campaigns could get on the same platform and come to towns."
But what the reporter didn't explain was why the two campaigns aren't having more public debates:
"I don’t think that there is a gaping hole in the debate market that we need to fill. I don’t really see the need for us to have a specific debate organised by the campaigns when there are so many debates organised by third parties which both campaigns are participating in." Rob Shorthouse, no campaign director of communications in response to a proposed debate in Glasgow with Yes Scotland.
The impression given by the BBC was that there were many meetings being held by both sides, with Yes perhaps offering more, yet this is to massively undersell the chasm between the two camps. Wings over Scotland has provided numerous articles which show the number of Yes and no activists, as well as the reality of no campaign events.

Got Impartiality?
Finally (for this month) we had the hard hitting and vitally important "Cows connected to web to boost milk" story featuring on the BBC Scotland News website. We know this was important because it was placed above "Scots constitution to be published". It even got it's own picture!

Got Impartiality? - note this was not the picture the BBC used
On an entirely separate note, we're sure that the news coverage offered the BBC has not, in any way, shape or form, been influenced by the fact that a 'Yes' vote is likely to cost the BBC £193 million every year.

The Press In-Action
This is a new section which looks at some of our favourite stories on-line which look at media bias in Scotland. If you know any good blogs that look at media bias, then please leave a comment and we'll check them out!
Munguin's Republic - In most countries, the press would brag about this...
Newsnet Scotland - Will the real No campaign please stand up?
BBC presenter Andrew Marr accused of breaking guidelines on referendum coverage
A week in the life of Reporting Scotland Fairness in February and The Dirty Dozen - The case against BBC Scotland
Wings over Scotland - Double Standards and What you didn't read this week
Business for Scotland - 11 good news stories for Yes
Letter from America
There were two speeches made in the United States of America in early April: one was by a democratically elected politician who was acting in his capacity as head of a national parliament, the other by an unelected lord who has as much significance and relevance to Scotland as a turnip. Which do you believe received the most coverage from STV, the BBC and the papers?

The Confederation of British Flip-Floppers!
The Daily Express managed to take our comedy award for the month (see above), but they were pushed hard for the title by the CBI and the BBC.
The story began with the CBI (a group consisting of around 70 businesses and other organisations in Scotland) declaring it's support for a 'no' vote in the referendum. This triggered an outflow of members who wished to remain neutral in the debate. This included a number of universities, Scottish Enterprise and STV (the BBC eventually stated that they would remain in the 'no' campaign body until a few weeks before the vote, with the intention of rejoining immediately afterwords).
"Since announcing its backing for the No campaign, the CBI has been hit with a mass exodus of organisations in Scotland.  Broadcaster STV resigned immediately, claiming that the decision had compromised its own neutrality in the independence referendum." Newsnet Scotland, 26th of April

Just one week later, the CBI announced that they were withdrawing their application to the Electoral Commission to be officially part of the 'no' campaign.
“When the Sunday Herald contacted CBI Scotland director Iain McMillan, he directed all enquiries on the matter to the UK press office. Asked if the decision to register with the Electoral Commission was made after discussions with Scottish or UK members, a CBI spokesman said: “We have talked to members regularly in Scotland and across the UK at CBI events and via our system of committees and councils.”, He added that the “final position” was signed off by CBI Scotland’s council – its membership decision-making body.” Herald Scotland, 20th of April

"Following a review by the CBI board and in the light of legal advice from its lawyers and Queen’s Counsel it has emerged that the application should not have been made: it did not have approval under the CBI’s normal corporate governance procedures and was not signed by an authorised signatory." CBI Press Release, 25th of April
In just 1 week, the Confederation of Business Industry has gone from claiming it had consulted its members to ascertain their views (which they didn't) and that it's council in Scotland had signed off on the decision to join the 'no' campaign, to saying that the application was made by a 'unauthorised signatory'. It seems these people don't understand how to run an organisation!

But even more pressure may fall upon the BBC. The list of 25 questions from The Alderman Wotisname Memorial Playing Fields cover the vast majority of these, including 'why is the BBC a member of the CBI?', 'where does the BBC publish and publicise its membership of the CBI?', and 'during the time the BBC was aware of the CBI’s stance, how many times did it quote the CBI on the issue of independence?'
And perhaps most important of all, 'how will the BBC rebuild trust in its integrity?'
BBC and Big Business Chums!
On Tuesday, the BBC announced that they had been members of anti-independence group the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) for 'at least 10 years'. But investigative work from BBC reporter James Cook found that 'at least 10 years' was is reality at least 34.

Perhaps this long standing relationship explains headlines such as "Scottish Independence: CBI U-turn 'not due to pressure'"

The BBC hand over £22,191.94 of our money per year for membership of the officially anti-independence CBI however no reason has been forthcoming as to why the UK state broadcaster is a member at all. The National Union of Journalists expressed their concerns by stating that their impartiality "is entirely undermined by the BBC retaining a link with an organisation allied to one side of the independence debate." Even when the CBI announced that their members were backing a no vote, the British Broadcasting Corporation stood side by side with their Big Business Chums. We can only speculate as to why.
(A little side note: although £22,191.94 looks like a lot of money, it is small change compared to the £193 million per year the BBC stands to lose with a Yes vote!).
The 'no' campaign's well fertilized grass roots
The organisation 'vote no borders' was highlighted by the BBC as "A new grassroots pro-Union group. A report in the excellent Craig Murray blog describes in detail just how far the British State Broadcaster is willing to stoop to shore up a 'no' vote.
"The registered office of Vote No Borders, a private limited company, is at 24 Chiswell Street, London, EC2Y 4YX . Which is perhaps surprising for a “Scottish grassroots campaign”.  The directors are Malcolm Offord and Fiona Gilmore.

Now pay close attention: Fiona Gilmore is chief executive of Acanchi a PR Consultany which specializes in “Country Branding”.  Its clients include Israel, Dubai, Bahrain and “England”.  Yes, it actually specifies “England” on the company website.  Acanchi also works for DFID – in short, it gets UK taxpayers’ money, plus Israeli and Gulf Arab money.  Are you familiar with the word fungibility?

Malcolm Offord, it turns out, has donated over 120,000 pounds to the Conservative Party plus made personal donations to Michael Gove.  He is the author of the report “Bankrupt Britain” on the Conservative Home website.  In his paper Offord suggests that further cuts in UK public spending should continue to be made  even after the present debt crisis has been passed and urges government to:
“Reform the bloated benefits system of this country to reduce the burden on the state and, just as importantly, boost the growth rate of the country”
And the wee retired care home nurse Elizabeth Bashir?  Well, she’s not quite as “grassroots” as shown by the BBC either..." Craig Murray, 2nd of May 2014

Investigative work by Douglas Daniel of Wings over Scotland also highlighted the very un-grassroot origins of the entity itself.
"Vote No Borders registered as a permitted participant [by the Electoral Commission] on the 19th March 2014 – 43 days before the launch of their website. If that seems odd, No Borders only registered with Companies House on the 18th March 2014. It became a permitted participant the day after forming.

...within 44 days of forming, this “grassroots” campaign has already managed to amass funding totalling a whopping £150,000, despite having absolutely no public profile. Wow, even we’re a little jealous." Wings over Scotland, 'While we're investigating'
The BBC talked about the gathering momentum behind 'Vote No Borders' just one day after it's public launch (with a feature recorded on the day of its launch). It's almost as though the BBC and the 'no' campaign were trying to give people a false impression.

If I could turn back time...
The BBC, in it's usual impartial way (see: January, February, March, April and April Part 2 editions of 'Not in the News'), ran with the headline "Lord Trimble: Scottish independence vote 'threat to NI peace'" on Friday, the 2nd of May. The very next day, Lord Trimble spoke on the BBC's 'Good Morning Scotland' radio programme and stated his actual views.
"I want to correct what you [BBC] said...[BBC website] reported me as saying that [independence] would threaten the peace process. I did not say that, that is not my view.
Actually, a Yes vote in Scotland would reinforce the argument against violence, because it's a demonstration of how you can achieve major change through the political democratic process." David Trimble, 3rd of May 2014
This in and of itself would probably have been enough to be entered into this blog, however the story took two unusual twists. Firstly, the BBC did not change their website story until the 5th of May (two days after being told by the individual themselves on their own programme that they were wrong).
The second twist was how the story was changed. Quite often news agencies will post alterations to their existing online output. This is done to fix spelling errors, allow a right of reply or to make a story more readable. However the BBC used this system to change a major aspect of their story (it's title and main argument) instead of issuing a public correction. They then chose to suggest that the change took place on the 2nd of May (thus make future analysis and review more difficult).

"I wonder if we can also go back and stop Jeremy Clarkson learning any nursery rhymes?" BBC Executives [probably]
Unfortunately for the BBC these things can be tracked via websites such as 'NewsDiffs', and as long as we have sites including Wings over Scotland, Newsnet Scotland and Bella Caledonia (amongst others) they'll always be caught out. Perhaps BBC executives just don't care anymore.

Anothing thing about pensions that you don't need to know (according to the Main Stream Media)
Wings over Scotland came up with another fantastic article regarding media bias regarding pensions. It has been well known for quite some time that state pensions will be unaffected by Independence, yet the 'no' campaign has continued to use murmur and smear in its poster campaigns to suggest otherwise, but on Tuesday, the 6th of May, there was even more conclusive proof:
"That sounds pretty darned definitive, right? A named UK government pensions minister speaking on the record in Parliament making clear that pensions were NOT at risk. So we looked forward to the big news being all over the media this morning." Reverend Stuart Campbell, Wings over Scotland
We weren't surprised that this story was restricted to a mention in the inside pages of the Herald and the Press & Journal. The BBC website, STV website, Good Morning Scotland radio programme, Daily Record, Scottish Sun, The Times, The Telegraph, Scottish Daily Express and the Scottish Daily Mail all thought that the intervention by Pensions Minister Steve Webb MP wasn't worth your attention.

A lot of the Scottish Media is acting on a 'need-to-know' basis - if it helps the Yes campaign, then you don't need to know!
While you wait
Waiting time figures for Accident & Emergency patients were released this month. 93.5% of people were seen within 4 hours of arrival, which was below the Scottish Government's target of 95% (an earlier target was 98%). The BBC declared 'Three times as many A&E patients waiting over four hours'. But is that the full story...
Well no. The BBC, in their impartial wisdom, came up with their 'three times as many patients waiting' quote by comparing the latest sets of figures (December 2013) not with the previous year (which were 90.3% - showing a significant improvement) but with December 2009. Why a seemingly random date as December 2009? Because they were the best recorded figures that had ever been achieved in Scotland.
But the BBC has a history of selective figures in this regard. Last year Newsnet Scotland exposed the BBC's claim that the figures for A&E waiting times were the 'worst since monitoring began'. There have been plenty of years where the number of patients seen within four hours was lower than 90.3% - including in 2005:

We're pretty sure a 90.3% success rate is better than 88%
We're sure that Johann Lamont will be astonished!

We like Unicorns!
The Alderman Wotisname Memorial Playing Fields had another great blog, this time looking at the BBC's dismissive attitude towards Scotland. The story began with Professor Gavin McCrone suggesting that an independent Scotland would be better off having it's own currency which is linked to the pound Sterling rather than through a formal currency union. The BBC put its own interpretation on this:
"The title of the piece is “How many unicorns do you earn?”, and below that is a large fantasy fiction style picture of the mythical beast. After asking “How many unicorns would it take to do your weekly shopping?”, the piece begins: “This sounds like the start of a bad joke”." Trevor Chaplin, 7th of May 2014
Instead of offering serious consideration to what was one of the four options listed in the Scottish Government's White Paper on Independence, the BBC made a jokey headline mocking any potential new currency.
Member of 'Unicorns for Independence'
The first name used was the Unicorn, which was a gold coin that was used in Scotland in 1484 to 1525 and named after the heraldic symbol on one side. Second was Groat, which was a coin worth around 4 pence and was used throughout the UK (it was never an Scottish currency). This was followed by the 'Penny' (see 'Groat' above) and Merk (which ironically is the name I'd like for a Scottish currency).
The purpose of this piece by the BBC was to associate Scottish money with things that are worthless or fantasy. It is dismissive in tone and substance and does the flagging BBC no favours.
"People pretend they think a Scots currency would be called the Groat to belittle and ridicule the idea, and make the notion of a Scottish economy seem antiquated and obsolete. It's just a cheap shot by people who want to suggest an independent Scotland would be backwards, and a Scottish currency crude and naive.

The Unicorn was introduced to the story not by McCrone, but by BBC reporter Jamie Ross. The imagery is clear enough: the idea of having our own currency is a fantasy, and – as the opening remark tells us – “a bad joke”. This is all very familiar to those who have read Frantz Fanon; Jamie Ross is telling us that once left to our own devices by our Westminster saviours, Scotland “would at once fall back into barbarism, degradation and bestiality” (p169, Fanon, 1967, "The Wretched of the Earth"). Is he doing it on purpose? Possibly, but more likely he just knew what sort of thing would go down well: a jokey, fatuous, and patronising piece. The sort of thing no BBC reporter would ever turn in on Sterling." Trevor Chaplin, 7th of May 2014

And finally...
Finally, we would like to point people towards a fantastic article on Newsnet Scotland 'post referendum reconciliation will not be possible unless we address the poison now'. It provides a great summary of the referendum coverage offered by the BBC, STV and the main stream media in general.
U Know I'm Petrified! (of consistency!)
If you watch BBC coverage then 1) you have our sympathies and 2) you will be familiar with the name Sanya-Jeet Thandi. Ms Thandi was a prominent member of the UKIP youth wing who left the party prior to the European elections. She stated on her blog that the party was running an "anti-immigrant campaign" and trying to "exploit the ignorance in British society". This was the lead political story on the BBC on Wednesday, the 14th of May.

But if you watch BBC coverage, then you will be less familiar with the name Gary Wilson, a Labour Party member who was the no campaign co-ordinator within the Edinburgh East Labour Party. Mr Wilson stepped down from this position and joined pro-independence group Labour for Independence.
"I had to step down from my role as I gradually realised that we are not in fact 'better together'. I have listened to all of the arguments whether economic, social or emotional and I am now convinced that independence is the right thing for Scotland." Gary Wilson, Labour for Independence
Why was one of these people highlighted by the BBC and the other ignored? We couldn't possibility say!
Oil Well that ends Well
"UK's oil, coal and gas 'gone in five years'" was the headline on the BBC on the 16th of May. It follows from countless other stories from 'no' supporting media outlets which have for decades been telling us that North Sea oil is about to run out (you can see links to 29 of them on the Wings over Scotland blog entitled 'The oil debate for busy people').

We've been lied to repeatedly by politicians and London centric media outlets for decades whilst Westminster has wasted our natural resources. What is worst is that many people are left unaware of the real situation. Every journalist in Scotland should be ashamed whenever blatently wrong statements such as "we don’t have the resources – like oil and gas – we’d need to keep Scotland afloat" are made.
Of course, this latest scare goes against numerous reports of record investment in the North Sea oil industry as well as the UK Government's own internal expections of future revenue. This story has been lampooned repeatedly and shows that the only thing drying up are the excuses coming from the Westminster Defence League.
How valued are journalists?
At the tail end of April, the National Union of Journalists wrote a little to the BBC's Director General, Tony Hall, requesting that the broadcaster resign from anti-independence group the Confederation of British Industry. They stated that the temporary suspension of membership during the official referendum campaigning period wasn't enough. The BBC Scotland members of the NUJ voted to back the following motion:
"This Chapel is concerned by the damage being done to the work of its members, and to the reputation of BBC journalism, by the Corporation's membership of the CBI.

We note that the CBI is seeking to de-register with the electoral commission as a non-party campaigner for the Union. But the damage of assocation remains.

Please, Director General, back your Scottish journalists, allow us to do our jobs, re-assert our impartiality, and immediately resign from the CBI." National Union of Journalists letter to Tony Hall
And the respose from the BBC? To not even suspend membership as previously promised:
"As the CBI is no longer registered with the Electoral Commission as part of the Scottish Referendum Act, the BBC believes that it is no longer necessary to suspend its membership." BBC Statement, Thursday, 15th of May
With disrespectful actions such as this, it is no surprise that internal surveys are showing an increasing disillusionment within the British State Broadcaster's Scottish division.
"When asked if "Communication at the BBC is open and honest" only 10 per cent at BBC Scotland NCA agreed." Newsnet Scotland, reporting on the findings of the BBC's latest internal survey, Sunday 18th of May
Unfortunately, it isn't just the BBC who are ignoring the NUJ:
In the communications, one senior union official expresses his frustration at the refusal of the Scottish newspapers to cover the story saying: "the papers have - once again - ignored us. And largely ignored the story..." Newsnet Scotland, 20th of May 2014
Still, it was hilarious to find that the CBI's 'junior' member of staff who signed the application to officially make the organisation part of the 'no' campaign turned out to be CBI Senior Campaign Advisor Jon Harrison and Senior Political Adviser Richard Maughan. But that is of little comfort to the NUJ, who have to do their best in very difficult circumstances.
The story is...Sign for Scotland?
Sign for Scotland received it's first mention on the BBC (although this certainly isn't their first mention on our website...see here, here, here, here, here above and below for just a few examples!). The headline 'Scottish independence: Deaf voters critical of referendum campaigners' with the first line reading 'Scottish independence referendum campaigners have neglected the needs of deaf voters, it has been claimed'. This article was also mentioned on the Limping Chicken and through the BBC's See Hear Facebook page.

Kirsty, at Yes Scotland HQ last year
The story is about the number of Sign Language DVDs of the White Paper has been issued (29). They spoke to John Denerley of Deaf Connections who said "it's ridiculous, shocking, and frankly embarrassing only 29 copies have been ordered." This comment matched the theme of the piece with the article almost entirely focused on the Scottish Government and Yes Scotland, with no direct criticism of the 'no' campaign. The mention of Sign for Scotland came as part of the response from 'Yes Scotland' (neither ourselves nor Scottish Deaf Independence were approached by the BBC).
As we noted in our Facebook response, the BBC report failed to mention the BSL version of the Scottish Government's White Paper (which you can view here: and had received over 500 views by the time of the article being published) the size of our group which now has over 1,000 likes and more than 1,600 followers on Twitter ( or our friends at Scottish Deaf Independence (
The BBC found this information through a freedom of information request. As far as we know, no such request was made on UK government produced anti-independence documents.

We have produced over 20 videos and Scottish Deaf Independence have made even more. Perhaps if the British State Broadcaster did research beyond 'no' campaign press releases they would know that!
P.S. We'd like to say thank you to Newsnet Scotland for posting an article about this story.
Good morning Scotlandshire!
Back in March, Newsnet Scotland started a public fundraiser for the producing an academic study to review an aspect of BBC output. The ambitious goal of £6,500 was reached and exceeded with 259 donors giving an average of nearly £30 each reaching a final total of £7,065.
Newsnet Scotland decided to monitor Good Morning Scotland and the results were startling:

The research team (headed by Professor John Robertson) made several key findings:
  • Broadcasts were balanced, in crude numerical terms, but, in every other respect, unfair to the Yes campaign and favouring the Better Together (no) campaign.
  • Broadcasts began too often with bad news for Yes and, too often, featured heavy repetition of such messages over several hours in a manner conducive to unconscious absorption of warnings.
  • Statements, from the Yes perspective, were often reactive while those favouring BT were commonly initiating.
  • Interviewers intended, too often, to adopt aggressive techniques with Yes supporters while only doing so on two occasions with BT supporters.
  • There was a selection and use of expert witness of dubious credibility and of evidence from partisan sources, the broadcasts were clearly unfair to the Yes campaign.

Certain quotes from the report were disturbing to read:
"A further piece of evidence emerging from these broadcast transcripts which seems clearly to favour BT was the tendency of interviewers and interviewees to interrupt, almost interrupt and to cut in quickly to break flow of statements in support of the Yes campaign. The totals give a ratio of almost exactly 3:1 in favour of BT." Academic Study, May 2014

"The repeated treatment of Sturgeon with multiple interruptions and irritable tones is notable and worthy of reflection. No accusation of deliberate discriminatory practise is suggested but this form of aggressive interviewing directed at a confident and articulate woman and not matched with male equivalents such as Lord Robertson or the former Pentagon adviser is unsettling." Professor John Robertson, May 2014
This report is very similar to one produced in January which found longstanding bias in BBC and STV news programmes. Will the British State Broadcaster react to this analysis? We can think of 193 million reasons why they might not.
BBC and UKIP (better together?)
The European Elections in May saw good results for the two standing pro-independence parties (the SNP won the popular vote and the Scottish Green Party saw their best ever results, albeit just shy of recording their first seat), however the most striking result was for the UK Independence Party.

But what helped UKIP, which has no MPs, MSPs, Councillors, electoral success or large numbers of grassroots members in Scotland, narrowly achieve this outcome? Well the revelation that in the month leading up to the vote, BBC Scotland had offered "...four times the coverage for UKIP as for Scotland's party of government [SNP]," may have something to do with it. The BBC has, as yet, offered no explanation for this editorial choice in Scotland.
There are legitimate reasons for not wanting Scotland to be part of the EU (indeed we wrote about them in our blog: EU or not EU, we'll gain either way with a Yes and the Scottish Democratic Alliance have stated that they want to offer people in an independent Scotland a referendum on the issue) but UKIP's far right messages and attitude towards women in the workplace, the NHS and the Scottish Parliament are hard to justify. And yet, if we don't vote Yes to independence on the 18th of September, they will be the party setting the agenda where power over Scotland lies (more people voted UKIP in the European election than the entire size of the Scottish electorate combined). And the BBC is going to ensure that you and everyone else receives their message.
The difference between a country and a region
Brian Taylor, the BBC's political editor in Scotland, described the EU results as follows:
"They (the SNP) had set out to win three seats and, concomitantly, to deprive UKIP of an electoral stake in Scotland. They did neither...supporters of the Union would - on balance, just, all things considered - prefer UKIP to take a seat if the alternative is a discernible SNP advance." BBC website, 26th of May 2014
But how would the results have looked if Scotland wasn't a region, but a nation? Let's start by looking at how these two things are different within the European parliament.
As a region, Scotland is limited to just 6 representatives. Every country with a population over 5 million has 13 (Finland, Slovakia and Denmark, who have populations nearly identical to ours, are each entitled to 13 seats). So how would the seats have broken down:

This was worked out by applying the D'Hondt method (which is how European election seats are currently allocated) to the actual election results. It shows that there would be more representation for the SNP, Labour, the Conservatives, the Scottish Green Party and the Liberal Democrats (something supporters of each of these parties should be welcoming). Even though it only took us 5 minutes to work out (it took longer to apply different colours to each bar) we haven't seen a graphic like this on the BBC or STV...we can only guess as to why this information isn't in the news.
No borders = No limits?
Controversial 'no' campaign group 'vote no borders' found itself in the centre of another mis-information claim. This time, they received a rebuttal from Great Ormand Street Hospital for children regarding the wording of a cinema advert they produced. You can see the response below: 
The Wings over Scotland article on this topic also has links to when the Joseph Rowntree Trust, the Economic and Social Research Council and the London School of Economics was mis-represented by the 'no' campaign. Still, you're not going to see the BBC make a freedom of information request to find out about something that might hurt the 'no' campaign. Perhaps that is why their political viewing figures are plummeting.
Who what when where and why, CBI?
The Confederation of  British Industry, of which the BBC is a member and pays substantial amounts of money to every year, got themselves into another muddle at the tail end of May at is was revealed that further inconsistencies with regards to their application to officially campaign for a no vote were revealed.

Whether or not they received legal advice first, how senior the figures who signed the application where, when individuals knew about the application and even why they gave certain responses during interviews with media outlets are now subject of debate. Perhaps the CBI will one day find some people who know how to run an organisation.
'Cause I'm the Pax-man!

Jeremy Paxman, a long standing presenter of various programmes at the British State Broadcaster, made a number of statements during an interview on BBC Radio 4 on Saturday, the 31st of May:
"It's interesting, isn't it, that in this union of supposed equals only one side gets to vote on whether the union should continue or not." Jeremy Paxman, BBC Presenter, 31st of May 2014
The argument regarding allowing people resident outside of Scotland to vote in the Scottish independence referendum has very little logical basis. Firstly, England could host a referendum on ending the union. People living in Scotland would have no right to interfere. The example of a husband and wife having an equal say on whether they should get a divorce was used by Scot goes Pop.
I must say, I am looking forward to Mr Paxman arguing that voters in France, Romania and Italy should be allowed to take part in the EU referendum that is due to take place in the UK in 2017!
"...since there's such a head of steam building in ... Scotland for hating the English, I find myself describing myself as English when in fact I'm a quarter Scottish."
This argument from Mr Paxman echoes that used by Andrew Marr last year. In both instances, neither provides evidence or sources, and, as far as I am aware, neither has received even a reprimand from their employer. Indeed, official figures have been produced which show that the low amount of anti-English racism in Scotland has decreased since the referendum was announced. Mr Paxman and Mr Marr are not the only ones to use this argument (which suggests that anyone wanting Scotland to have the governments it's people vote for is fundamentally racist), but how can they pretend to be impartial and professional when they publicly state these views?
You could understand if these were isolated incidents, however they are not (see here for Mr Paxman and here for Mr Marr) and they do lend weight to the theory that the culture at the BBC does not support the diversity we have in Scotland.
To be fair to Mr Paxman, towards the end of the interview, after being prompted by the programme's host, he added:
"Hate is too overstated and I expect I overstated it, and I do apologise. But it is to do with a detestation of being ruled from London."
The story was covered in the Sunday Herald, which looked at the most controversial claims regarding a 'head of steam in Scotland for hating English'. The headline in the Daily Mail was 'Jeremy Paxman risks the wrath of Scottish nationalists - by claiming the kilt was invented by ENGLISH'. I always thought the kilt originated from France, or perhaps even China...
Russia Today
There was a protest outside Pacific Quay, the headquarters of the BBC in Scotland. There wasn't much coverage offered by the British State Broadcaster even though it attracted international attention. You can watch the footage from Russia Today here as well as a video from the event itself. We've also added a few photos from the event:

It's almost as if the BBC don't want you to know...
P.S. A second protest will be taking place on Sunday, the 29th of June between 2pm and 3:30pm. You can find out more information about this protest on this Facebook page
Yes You Can (but my mate Dave would prefer if you didn't!)
US President Barack Obama made a comment in June that the United States would recognise Scottish Independence and his personal view was that, "from the outside", he would prefer decisions regarding Scottish welfare, defence and economy were made at Westminster. However, the story is a little more interesting than that.
The White House was approached by the UK foreign office (which has been pleading with other nations and world leaders) to make a statement against Scottish Independence. After some compromise, President Obama agreed to make a comment in a personal capacity if he was asked by a journalist. It is at this point that Downing Street spoke to the BBC and told them to ask the question.

That same day, leaflets with 'NOPE' written on them were being produced by the no campaign, with one featuring on flagship BBC in Scotland news programme 'Reporting Scotland'. In the words of Newsnet Scotland correspondent G.A Ponsonby:
"There was a wonderful moment on Reporting Scotland when the political editor Brian Taylor flourished a Better Together campaign leaflet in front of the camera.  It depicted Barack Obama with the word 'NOPE' emblazoned beneath – a corruption of Obama's famous campaign slogan 'HOPE'.  The metaphor, lost on Taylor and the Better Together campaign, was that a No vote kills hope.
With so few foot-soldiers able to deliver its leaflets, Taylor's leaflet stunt was probably worth a million quid in free promotion to the Better Together campaign." Newsnet Scotland, 5th of June 2014
Check out more 'daffy' BBC in Scotland moments here!
But the statement from President Obama is very different from that of his predecessors:
"National aspirations must be respected: people may now be dominated and governed only by their own consent. Self determination is not a mere phrase; it is an imperative principle of action..." President Woodrow Wilson, 8th of January 1918
Still, it was a good distraction from our next story...[note: this leads onto 'Another thing Alistair Darling is wrong about']
Lights, camera, action!
The much ridicled 'no' campaign cinema adverts were recorded at Pacific Quay, the headquarters for the BBC in Scotland. Impartiality from the British State Broadcaster...not a chance!

BBC Strangelove (or how I learned to stop thinking and love the bomb)
Oh the BBC. They are, by far, the most frequent contributor to our 'not in the news' series. Without them we wouldn't receive our near daily laugh at how ridiculous our media currently is or how, time after time, they consistently miss the point or completely ignore reality. On this occasion, they were discussing the results of the annual British Social Attitudes survey.
Here are the results of people's attitudes to the question: 'Are you in favour or against Britain having its own nuclear weapons?'

This question does not consider independence or our opportunity to remove Trident and other non-conventional weapons from Scotland, only the principle of whether Britain should host Atomic Bombs. As you can see, the attitude in Scotland is very different from that in England and Wales. So how will this be reported on the BBC in Scotland?

Oh BBC in Scotland. Shall we list the problems with this graphic? Thankfully, Scot Goes Pop has already done this:
  1. The overall survey shows that the Scottish Public are against Britain having nuclear weapons, so it is ridiculous to argue that people want Trident to stay in Scotland when they are against the weapons in principle.
  2. Most respondents are therefore looking at the practical situation based on the assumption that these weapons will remain (essentially because they have already been asked if they want Atomic bombs or not).
  3. This is a sub-sample poll, which means that the margin of error is larger than normal. The 9% lead for the UK scrapping Trident is much more robust than the 4% lead for these weapons staying on the Clyde on the basis that they will remain in the UK arsenal.
There is also a fourth issue: the question asked to people in Scotland was different to those in England and Wales. Despite the BBC reporting that the question was '"do you think that the United Kingdom should be required to remove its weapons in an independent Scotland," the real question asked was:
"How much do you agree or disagree with the following statement? If Scotland becomes an independent country, Britain's nuclear weapons submarines should continue to be based in Scotland." Social Attitudes Survey Question
The Vanguard-class submarines are capable of using alternative munitions, meaning that this question doesn't address the central issue. Of course, the only reason someone would ask such an awkwardly worded question is if they wanted to show artificial support for nuclear weapons in Scotland.
The BBC, providing comedy instead of news for just £145.50 a year (perhaps we are being unfair - if they did start reporting news then the Westminster MPs who control their funding may act upon their threats. It's much safer to stay in their good books, isn't it?).
Cupcakes (a subject close to my heart)
The licence fee is expensive, isn't it? £145.50 for colour TVs. Imagine what you could buy with that money in your pocket. Enough for cupcakes for an entire production crew with change left over! We know this because one BBC executive did just that!

Shane Allen, comedy commissioning controller (which I am sure is an absolutely vital job), thought it would be a nice gesture to buy cupcakes for staff involved in the making of two programmes he was involved with. He then thought it would be even nicer if he passed on the £120.00 bill to us. Thank you Shane. I'm glad that I could contribute to the cupcake bill at the BBC!
But what other food and drink costs do the BBC pass on to licence fee payers? Well someone did make a freedom of information request but the British State Broadcaster is a little slow in responding...

Money, Money, Money
The BBC (yet again) got its facts wrong.

In the original report regarding the first days of the Republic of Ireland, the BBC wrongly claimed that the Pound ceased to be used and that the state created its own currency from day one. In the corrected version they finally acknowledged that this wasn't true. The Pound was used for 7 years without any issues. We have already explained why this would be the case in our blog 'so who else can't use the pound?'
Protest? What protest?
The protest against austerity in London was recorded in much of the international press in June. An estimated 50,000 people were present making it a pretty significant story. But the BBC and other controlled media outlets barely offered a mention.
The BBC had time to cover a much smaller protest by some London Taxi drivers, and to track down a Scot who was cheering on Uruguay at the World Cup, but not this? It's almost as if they were simply there to protect and advance the interests of the British State.
Other media outlets in Scotland are free to exercise any bias they like. They don't bother me because I'm free to ignore and ridicule them. But with the BBC we are compelled to pay a poll tax every year if we want to watch any television program. So that's why I am going to protest on Sunday, the 29th of June. If you can make it to the BBC in Scotland headquarters in Glasgow then please come along, and if you can't, remember that you can help by sharing stories which highlight the inherit bias the BBC has.
Dun telling the truth
The BBC and the Daily Record both posted dramatic images and headlines: "Costs of setting up separate Scottish state could top £2bn" cried the Daily Record.

The story's are allegedly based on a report by Professor Dunleavy. Unfortunately for the BBC and the Daily Record, Newsnet Scotland and Wings over Scotland have been checking their bleak interpretations.
"Professor Patrick Dunleavy has said the £1.5bn figure, touted by newspapers and the BBC is, "not a figure I accept"." Newsnet Scotland, 28th of June
Professor Dunleavy explained that he believed the likely set-up costs (the cost of returning jobs to Scotland and setting up IT systems) would be £200m. He added that over a 10 year period the maximum charge would be an additional £400m. To put these in perspective, the cost of the UK pulling its military forces from Afghanistan is going to be £300m.

So the BBC has been caught exaggerating by 700% (or, if they simply don't understand the difference between start-up and transition costs, by 250%). The Daily Record was even worse. Wings over Scotland highlighted 4 separate lies in its 5 sentence report. They need to try harder to make every sentence a lie.
The British State Broadcaster prides itself on its perception of fairness. Let's shine the light of reality onto this lie.