Because of this I am going to the BBC Bias Peaceful Protest in Glasgow tomorrow.
Other stories which didn't make it
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|
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.
"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
"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
Glance over the BBC
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. - Guardian Newspaper 19th of February
|"Britain could benefit from a Fascist leader," David Bowie (but he didn't mean it!)|
Glance over the BBC
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."
"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.
|Got Impartiality? - note this was not the picture the BBC used|
The Press In-Action
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
The Confederation of British Flip-Floppers!
"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
“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
BBC and Big Business Chums!
Perhaps this long standing relationship explains headlines such as "Scottish Independence: CBI U-turn 'not due to pressure'"
(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 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:
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“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”
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.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.
...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'
If I could turn back time...
"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
|"I wonder if we can also go back and stop Jeremy Clarkson learning any nursery rhymes?" BBC Executives [probably]|
Anothing thing about pensions that you don't need to know (according to the Main Stream Media)
"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're pretty sure a 90.3% success rate is better than 88%|
We like Unicorns!
"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
|Member of 'Unicorns for Independence'|
"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
U Know I'm Petrified! (of consistency!)
"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
"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
"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
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
|Kirsty, at Yes Scotland HQ last year|
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: http://vimeo.com/81532918 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 (https://twitter.com/Sign4Scotland) or our friends at Scottish Deaf Independence (https://www.facebook.com/ScottishDeafIndy?fref=tshttp%3A%2F%2F).
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
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
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.
"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
"...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."
"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."
It's almost as if the BBC don't want you to know...
"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!|
"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
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?
BBC in Scotland. Shall we list the problems with this graphic? Thankfully, Scot Goes Pop has already done this:
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
"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 QuestionThe 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?).
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.
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 JuneProfessor 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.