More news the BBC doesn’t want to report

So where shall we go today on our journey to independence? There’s Jeremy Paxman and his conviction that we’re only considering independence because we hate the English, UKIP’s Scottish MEP for Kensington Jibberjabber the Hutt has been jibberjabbering about getting a Yes vote overturned because he’s in love with neverendums, or it’s tempting to have a bit of a dig at the BBC’s favourite archaeologist who’s been making windswept claims that Scottish people are sleepwalking into independence – when in fact we’re paying attention to the independence debate, it’s just his programmes we sleep through.

But the news today is news that the Scottish media, particularly its Pacific Quay branch, has decided hasn’t happened at all. On Sunday there was a demonstration outside the BBC’s Scottish headquarters at the end of what can only be described as a disastrous week for the Mickey Mouse McCorporation and its McDonaldsification of the referendum debate.

The new flagship news and current affairs programme has bombed after a launch that was hyped as much as the London Olympics. Sadly it didn’t get a gold medal, or even a bronze. It was left at the starting block and limped off for medical assistance in the first qualifing heat. Almost 90,000 people tuned in to view the first edition of Scotland 2014, but by the end of the week that figure had plummeted to a mere 22,000, approximately the same number of people in Scotland who gave a shit about the Royal Wedding. There are more readers on this blog than that, and this comes to you without £5 million quid of your money being spent on it. Mind you, if someone wants to give me £5 million quid, I wouldn’t say no. I’d spend it on bribes in exchange for a yes vote and suborn dog owners with doggy chew toys in the shape of Labour’s devo-nono policy. That died without a squeak too.

Not that I’m bigging up the blog or its site stats, 29,000 unique readers and 110,000 page views last month isn’t that huge or influential. This is not a national daily newspaper. (Although it gets almost three times the readership of the Guardian in Scotland. Ha ha Severin.) This is not Wings Over Scotland, Newsnet Scotland, or Bella Caledonia, just a quiet and quirky wee corner of the interwebbies full of Scottish political jokes – like the entire output of Vote Nob Orders – self-determination toilet humour, and the occasional foray into Iberian politics, Scottish languages and Glesca Corpie trams. Of course the numeric comparison is not exactly comparing like with like, but it does serve to illustrate an important yah-boo-sucks-to-Ken-McQuarrie rhetorical point.

This is just a wee pisstaking blog devoted to pouring a urine bottle of nasty smells over the Scottish media and Better Together and going HA! It is written by a full time carer during breaks between emptying urine bags and not a highly paid media professional with experience on UK national telly. Moreover this blog makes no effort to promote itself, yet it still gets more readers than BBC Scotland’s flagship news and current affairs programme gets viewers. That alone tells you that there is something seriously wrong in the Scottish media. When viewers lose faith in a broadcaster, they seek alternative sources of information. Even Scottish referendum news junkies like me have switched off Scotland 2014 in disgust.

The failure of the programme comes as members of the NUJ at Pacific Quay have making rumbling noises about taking strike action, a political earthquake far more significant in Scottish terms than anything achieved by the ubiquitous Nigel Farage. Nige is never off the telly. After the European elections and the English local elections he’s now billed to make daily appearances on Bargain Hunt where he’ll scour antiques markets looking for 1950s social attitudes he can try and sell to the public at inflated prices. Then he’ll be presenting the One Show as the cosy sofa based face of how very dare you call me a racist, and making guest appearances on the three programmes per day with Great British in their titles. So at least he’ll be on the telly slightly less often than he has been of late.

The BBC has largely avoided any mention of its own difficulties, but the ramifications will be more significant in Scotland than anything from Nige or his pal Jibberjabber the Hutt. The staff and (most but not all of) the presenters at Pacific Quay are not the problem with BBC Scotland, they just produce and front the programmes and take the flak for the public manifestations of policies originating from BBC management. It’s their professional reputations which are being trashed by Ken McQuarrie and John Boothman, and quite naturally they’re not happy about it.

The NUJ had already forced BBC management to concede that the headline round up at the end of current affairs programmes was hopelessly biased because the papers are hopelessly biased, so online media headlines were included too. We have the NUJ and the professionalism of ordinary BBC staff to thank for that, not BBC management. Reeling from cuts and demoralised by poor leadership, staff disaffection was already crystalising around the issue of the BBC’s membership of the CBI and the arrogance of management in refusing to recognise that there was any issue at all. Threats of industrial action were already in the air.

And then as the week ended, its new flagship programme gone the way of the Mary Rose, its rotten timbers sunk in the mud off Pacific Quay, BBC’s management demonstrated yet again that they have the lightness of touch of an elephant on a steroid rampage, and the tact and diplomacy of Attila the Hun after he’s trapped his bollocks in his saddle.

You do not have to be an admirer of the collected oeuvre of Gary Roberston to recognise that if any BBC employee has slogged his wee guts out on behalf of the Corporation, it’s Gary. He’s pulled long shifts and fronted radio shows in the morning and tv shows at night, all because BBC management have taken a lawnmower to their own grassroots staffing. And for his pains, Gary‘s getting his jotters because his bosses would prefer to bring up expensively paid journos from London who are clueless and out of touch with what’s been going on in Scotland since they high tailed it south in search of career prospects. We’re all being short-changed. One Isabel Fraser is worth 3000 James Naughties.

Yesterday Gerry Hassan tweeted that Gary’s sacking was “directly linked to outgoings of six fig salaries of Jim Naughtie & Sarah Smith. BBC Scotland management in deep crisis.”

He’s got that right. BBC staff are up in arms. There are calls for strike action, and the BBC itself is now very firmly centre stage amongst important referendum issues despite the careful efforts of management not to report on the Corporation’s own newsworthiness. Boothman and McQuarrie are in for a shock, far more people care about the BBC than care about currency unions, or watch the intelligence insulting Scotland 2014.

The people who should be getting their jotters are John Boothman and Ken McQuarrie. They couldn’t even write a successful blog, never mind run Scotland’s national broadcaster. It’s not the staff or the presenters, not even the most biased amongst them, who has brought this about. We’re all biased, the fact that some BBC presenters allow their biases to show is the fault of poor management. But far worse than that, BBC management have brought the organisation to the brink of strike action during the most important referendum campaign in Scottish history, a campaign which could have profound implications for the BBC. That is management failure of the most spectacular kind.

At this juncture in Scottish history, above all others, BBC management should have been keeping its eye on the ball, unfortunately Ken and John think that keeping your eye on the ball meant they should give us mair fucking fitba instead of intelligent news and current affairs analysis.

Keep Gary. Sack John and Ken.


0 thoughts on “More news the BBC doesn’t want to report

  1. With only 22,000 viewers by the 4th edition on Thursday, a mass boycott by Independistas would kill it off. Let’s do that!

  2. ok what happens when we stop our licence fee anyone know ? or suspend it as a protest and i don’t remember being asked if our BBC could fund a political organisation such as the CBI surely this is a breach of their own rules I am not sure so won’t spout on about anything until i get the facts but i’m bloody hopping mad about this lot

  3. I trust that your aware of the impact that you are having?

    You are completely entitled to ‘big up’ your blog on the statistics posted.

    You matter more, to more people, than the Royal Wedding.

    Who’d have thunk it?


    As edulis nearly says, your stats are better than their stats!

    Best wishes on this journey to September……

    • I trust that you’re aware of the impact that you are having?

      Not really. I don’t get out much. I’m more of an annoyed wee dug that barks away not really caring whether it’s heard or not. Getting out to the WoS social do the other night took weeks of planning and organisation (seriously), and I really wasn’t expecting all those people seeking me out to tell me they love the blog. It was pretty humbling. And more than a wee bit overwhelming. But it really did confirm my faith in the huge numbers of people from all sorts of backgrounds who are all united in their desire for Scotland to choose its own path.

      And I got an iron and a bottle of wine out of it too. Win win.

      • Not really?

        Well barky wee dug or not, you’re doing what many of us wish we had the talent, knowledge or expertise to accomplish. You’re standing up for those of us who don’t have that resource and putting our thoughts and feelings on this page. Trust me when I say you’re giving a lot of people a voice.

        What you and the other sites do? Well its a bit like yesterday’s post. Much like independence, you can’t put a price on it.

        From small acorns and all that. 🙂

      • If I’d known you were there I’d have bought you a drink, though if everyone who enjoys your blog had done that you’d have had to be carried home.

        I’m really sorry I missed you. Keep up the good work.

  4. WGD If you had 5mins at the end of Scotland 2014 I have no doubt that figures would rise. You funny and optimistic writings are a joy to many of us.

    I always keep your pages till last because i am guaranteed to feel better afterwards . I always leave your blog feeling cheerier. Considering all the scares and smears this blog is a breath of fresh air ,

    As for the UKIPBBC more and more folk now take everything they say with a large pinch of salt.

    I will not pay for the license again as a protest to their actions over the referendum.

    Nor will i buy any of the rags,Sunday Herald and sun included .

    I get my news , with a comedy twist, from a Wee Ginger Dug and that’s the truth

    Big thanks for the laughs again and congratulations on the stats .

  5. Thanks once again for great post & well done Paul for one of the best blogs in Scotland. I just love your nae so wee, quirky corner of the interwebbies-such a great turn of phrase, naebody can do it better. Yours aye

  6. Newsnight’s replacement is dire. Can’t make up its mind whether it aims to be a serious politics show, a chat show for women, a sports programme, or a techy/brainless thing about tweets and celebs. And oh so fifties with the legs. It reminded me of those fifties, non PC ads of bright young things draped over car bonnets, as if you bought the car and the scantily clad female was thrown in as a wee extra.

    Politics nerds who watch late night politics programmes don’t want their fix diluted with any such rubbish. What was needed was a programme of reasonable length, not squashed in between Newsnight London and the weather, where politics in Scotland and anywhere else in the news could be discussed from a Scottish perspective. Given the low voting figure and the lack of information on the EU, we would also want sensible coverage of what was happening there and whether square sausages were still Ok or if a law was being passed to change them to diamond shaped. Light needs to be shed on what our representatives do while there.

    Those who run the BBC in Scotland seem so devoid of ideas and so thirled to the past that a bit of tidying up is not what is now needed. Instead the BBC requires a total overhaul under a new management team in touch with the type of broadcasting their funders and viewers expect.

    Such a great blog, Paul and so energising to read your take on what is happening. Posting every day is extremely hard work. So be sure you are appreciated.

    • Aye; but at least Roland had a wee bit of character aboot him 😅, I’m afraid it’s too late fur BeebScotland. ….

  7. Well, I come to this wee corner when I can. And then go out of my way to spread it around the interwebs. Paul, you bring me a smile and hope. Thanks.

  8. Ma Wee Ginger Dug disnae know how much he matters!

    Ehm, I look here every day in the hope ye’ve found some time tae write something. Nae matter how rotten ma day is (and it usually is) I read these blogs and before I’m hauf wey doon the page the tears are running doon ma face. Ye gie me a different point a view, and I learn stuff tae.

    Yer a joy tae hiv aboot and am so gled a found ye.

  9. Arrrrrre you still posting? Loving oneself too much is like masturbation…. you will never create a new creature or country….. so, I think it would behuve you and your “independent Scotland” to consider humility…….with all sincerity….

    • You widnae know sincerity if it bit ye in the arse. By the way, I’ve banned you again. No great reason, just that I think you’re a wanker. If ye cannae play nice John, you’ll lose your balls.

      And it’s “behove” ya illiterate twunk.

      • Paul – sorry you had to respond to such illiterate ravings. I think more than a bit of projection from the original poster. Oops, didn’t mean to feed the troll 😉

          • Still, it was a satisfying wee nip you gave him. Here’s a biscuit, Wee Dug. ( Or should that be Medium Sized Dug?)

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  11. Waiting here in dreich Oban waiting for the Craignure ferry the WGD’s blog puts a wee smirk on one’s kisser😅….a good start!.

    • Jeezo Macart – did you have to redirect me to the drivellings of Ms Davidson and the BBBC?
      I was just enjoying Wee Ginger Dug , like a favourite sweetie , and foolishly followed your lead .
      I know ,I know I should know better than to touch the BBBC with a tarry pole but I’m just up and my lert was not!
      I’ll just have to re – read several of Wee Gingers blogs ,past and present to take the sour taste away.

      • Apologies. 🙁

        I really should have marked it with a warning first.

        On the upside it really was a winner in terms of presentation. 😀

        If this is how wee Ruth is set on presenting the Strathclyde commission devo proposals, then its a big step toward job done. Not even the Beeb could spin this mince into an attractive or even palatable offer for the Scottish electorate. All three unionist parties have had their say and all three have come well short on expectation.

        Smile, its a Monday morning. 🙂

        • Thoroughly conservative and thoroughly unionist document. Well, good luck with that Ruthie.

          Wonder who she was talking to there? George and Davie, perhaps? Sarah Smith maybe, in prep for an appearance on Scotland 2014? Certainly couldn’t have been the voters.

          • Rev’s done a good dissection over on Wings. Fifteen months to come up with a sixteen page document which promises little or nothing more than is in the updated Scotland Act plus the responsibility to gather taxes. Better yet, no guarantees. Just that they’ll promise to stick their proposals in their next manifesto, honest. 😀


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  13. I do put the wee ginger dug link on comment columns e.g. the Guardian, and even put the whole of the Dictionary for Unionists (attributed and in quotation marks of course) in the comments in the Telegraph! My apologies if I broke a copyright.
    One person there did say it was the best post on the column and it wasn’t voted down, nor did it attract the usual pro-union banshees.

    • Apparently not enough to put the management off their coffee. I think the only way they would bother if their space was invaded and they know we are not going to do it.

  14. hey wee dug! I don’t normally go on the website as your wonderful service emails me your outpourings, so I don’t know if I would be counted amongst your web statistics. However, I do appreciate your style and your sense of humour.

    I also enjoy your wanderings into the technicalities and wonder of language. I enjoy it but don’t have your technical knowledge. Keep up the good work. You are a very colourful stitch in the great tapestry that is the YES movement.

  15. Mair powr tae yer pen Mr Kavanagh. It was an honour to meet you on Friday and be able to say how much I enjoy your writing.

    “The people who should be getting their jotters are John Boothman and Ken McQuarrie.”

    I’d add Ian Small and Daniel Maxwell to that list, though Boothman and McQuarrie are undoubtedly the main culprits for the dismal state of bbc Scotland.

    I hope they have a back up plan for the 19th September.

    • Plan B, xsticks, they do not even have a plan A. I do hope they have all bought a good pair of running shoes if this goes their way and if it goes our way they may still need them.

    • Agreed xsticks, but since I believe that the S.G have guaranteed that all existing B.B.C Scotland employees will have their present contracts honoured during the creation of an S.B.S, where does that leave the likes of McQuarrie and Boothman? And while there are rumours of strike action by the “journalists” at P.Q over the non-renewal oof Gary Robertson’s contract, surely they have been, at the very least, compliant, in carrying out their bosses bidding in opposing Scottish independence. I’m afraid I don’t subscribe to the notion that the poor little things have been coerced into their attitudes, although I would concede that they would be very well aware of their masters leanings, and so being anxious to please and avoid the fate suffered by Gary, whom I never thought of as a Yes supporter judging by his interviewing technique, they have complied. It’s going to take many years to clean out these particular stables, but my hope is in an independent Scotland, we can have a national broadcaster worthy of it’s name.

  16. I am late to this party but may I add I would miss the wee ginger dug, bark and all and coming from someone who is slave to another wee barker that is saying something.
    We need you and would miss you, without your blog the day would be a lot less bright. Sometimes I just have to come here for reassurance that I am not mad and you do that. Sometimes it is for your fine turn of phrase. As Macart says, you speak for us all, those who do not have your talent.

  17. Hi Paul, I’ve enjoyed your articles way back to the early Newsnet days, and impressive visit figures for the WGD. Also nice to see Hazel Lowry popping in with a comment.
    Dugs are great pals, I’ve had collies all through my adult life.

  18. My daily visit to the Dug and the other sites restores my sanity. As for Ruth’s latest drivel, David Cameron said just a couple of weeks ago that there would be nothing in the manifesto about more devolution. So this is just more lies. Maybe they should text each other more often.

  19. As with the Fraser / Naughtie ratio, so your blog squares up to the pale imitations for analysis we get from Pacific Quay.

  20. Excellent article. Keep up the good work! I enjoy giving a wee nip to the ankles of the beast, but the ginger dug is tearing chunks out of their arse! Attaboy!

  21. Have any of you thought that it might suit BBC and their paymasters in Westminster to have the perfect excuse for a news blackout on the referendum by engineering a strike? They’ve spread enough poison already through the State Broadcaster and in this run up where BBC are supposed to be more closely monitored for neutrality. What better way to dodge any such examination than by arranging to be off air when it matters most. The Tories have plenty of track record for arranging fights with unions when it suits them and at times of their own choosing – think of the carefully planned build up to the miners’ strike.

    When you get used to wallowing in lies as a matter of state policy why should anyone trust anything you do?

    • Very true Dunkie, and also very possible but we have noticed how punctilious they are all being presently, NHS England, laws concerning England and Wales this morning on Sky, now when did you ever hear that?

  22. Good stuff again Paul. These tossers running BBC Scotland deserve all the opprobrium thrown at them. Have to say I didn’t like Gary that much but to be tossed aside by the tossers in favour of very important London-based presenters is scandalous.

    ..approximately the same number of people in Scotland who gave a shit about the Royal Wedding. And a republican too! Nothing not to like here 🙂

  23. Good post on the BBC and so glad to see you’re more popular than Scotland 2014! Well deserved. I too feel sorry that Gary Robertson is being sacked, especially if the reason is to afford the salary of James Naughtie & Co. It can’t be because of any pro YES bias. But the BBC are thoroughly discredited in Scotland now so your visitor figures will probably soar by September.
    But they have felt the need to report on the Common Weal paper today (of course rubbished by Murdo Fraser – that’s for “balance”):

  24. As always spot on.

    Further to @dunkie

    The referendum & all the events taking place this summer makes 2014 Scotland’s most important year EVER, with coverage going to a worldwide audience of billions.

    The BritBastirtCult are manipulating & planning a summer of discontent against its ain staff, backed up by the quisling NUJ.

    They can then blame Scottish striking staff for even shittier coverage of the referendum, if that was at all possible.

    They can claim no enough staff to cover the commonwealth games & imagine the furore from the U.S if they mess up coverage of the Ryder cup.

    They will then say to the world “told you the jocks were shit at everything”.

    Couldn’t care less about Robertson, wish he was going now with all the rest of them.

    Come on people hit them in the only place that matters, dump their tv license, dump all msm papers & don’t access any msm online.

    • You’ve seriously misjudged the NUJ and its motives. They’re amongst the forces of light and goodness in this saga. Calling them quislings just makes you look like a fully paid up member of the tin foil hat brigade, and that does the independence cause no favours at all.

      I can appreciate your anger, but dispelling it in a welter of blanket accusations of the “every single one of them is a bastard and so’s their dug” variety does nothing but make it boomerang back and wallop you in the face. Focus dear, focus.

      Our issues here are with BBC management and the structures and policies of the organisation – not with the vast majority of journalists who work there, or with the NUJ.

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  26. Cheers Paul, even your Slapdoons are spot on.

    The NUJ have had numerous occasions to up the ante, ‘re cbi, but now look like calling for a strike just as coverage is most important.

    I will now return to my tin foil hat

  27. There’s a bizarre rumour over on Bella Caledonia that Ken MacDonald’s “Headlines” is being replaced by “Crossfire” headed up by Labour MSP Kezia Dugdale. If so, that’s the last programme left on Radio Scotland that I bothered to listen to now defunct. Are we living in a banana republic? (not to insult banana republics!)

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