The BBC is the big loser in this election

In this election there have been several candidates in Scotland who were suspended by their parties for allegedly making anti-semitic or racist comments or for allegedly inappropriate behaviour. There have been a number of Conservative candidates, a number of Labour candidates, and an SNP candidate. Guess which one BBC Reporting Scotland decided to headline on Monday and to doorstep? Why yes, it was the SNP one. There was no mention at all that other candidates in other parties have been suspended. Fancy that.

By far the worst of these allegations concerned the Conservative candidate and former MP Ross Thomson who was suspended from the party and his own constituency chair refused to sign his nomination papers after he was accused of a sexual assault – which he strenuously denies – on another MP. Yet from BBC Reporting Scotland this evening, not a word.

Around the same time that Neale Hanvey became the subject of allegations of anti-semitism, the Labour party suspended their candidate in Falkirk, Safia Ali, after it came to light that she had posted allegedly anti-semitic comments on Facebook. If you were waiting for Glenn Campbell to hare about her constituency looking for her, you’d have been disappointed. If you were waiting for Reporting Scotland to even mention that she had been suspended, you’ll still be waiting.

Ali wasn’t the only one. The Labour candidate Kate Ramsden was forced to quit in Aberdeenshire following a row over anti-Semitism. Ramsden was forced to stand down from the Gordon constituency where she had been a contender after the Jewish Chronicle published a blog which she had written which compared Israel to an abused child who went on to become an abusing adult. No mention of that in this evening’s Reporting Scotland hatchet job on the SNP.

Another Scottish Labour candidate, Frances Hoole, was dropped after she shared a meme on Twitter which called for her SNP opponent, Joanna Cherry to be sprayed with bleach and which referred to Joanna as a TERF, which is widely considered to be a term of abuse for women who are gender-critical. Glenn Campbell went to town on that story. Oh no. Silly me, of course he didn’t.

Meanwhile, on Monday of this week the Politics Home website claimed that Labour’s West Dunbartonshire candidate Jean Anne Mitchell had shared an allegedly anti-semitic comment about the BBC’s senior political editor Nick Robinson to a Whatsapp group. The comment was alleged to have claimed that Robinson gave Johnson an easy ride in Friday evening’s leadership debate because Robinson has Jewish heritage. During the indyref, BBC Scotland went to town on independence activists who had the temerity to challenge Robinson’s impartiality – a challenge which was founded in video evidence about Robinson’s behaviour and which in no way referenced his heritage or background. Naturally Glenn Campbell was all over this breaking story about an allegedly anti-semitic verbal attack upon one of the BBC’s most prominent journalists. Oh wait. No. He was off in Fife looking for Neale Hanvey.

The Conservatives have lost as many candidates as Labour. As well as Ross Thomson, the Conservatives have been forced to suspend several other candidates in this election – some of whom were using language which was far more egregious than Neale Hanvey or some of the suspended Labour candidates. Flora Scarabello, the Tory candidate for Glasgow Central was suspended for allegedly using Islamophobic language. Meanwhile the Conservative candidate in Aberdeen North, Ryan Houghton, was suspended for allegedly indulging in the bigotry hat-trick, and making a series of posts to an online forum which were allegedly anti-Semitic, Islamophobic and homophobic. Glenn Campbell was hot in pursuit of all three of them. Oh wait. No. They weren’t mentioned on Reporting Scotland at all.

Neale Hanvey isn’t hard to find, yet the report constructed a faux narrative that a man who is out and about in his constituency in the middle of an election campaign is somehow in hiding. Despite the fact that he has been suspended from the party and cut off from all SNP support, and that Nicola Sturgeon has personally called on SNP activists not to campaign for him – which has earned her the oppobrium of many independence supporters – Labour’s Lesley Laird was given airtime to assert unchallenged that Neale Hanvey was still being supported by the SNP. The report left the viewer with the clear impression that the SNP is the only party with a problem in Scotland, and that it was winking and turning a blind eye to allegations of anti-semitism.

I am not going to get into the rights and wrongs of what any of these suspended candidates is alleged to have said or written. That’s not the point here. Now we have a different issue, one which clearly illustrates how the broadcast media in Scotland scarcely makes any attempt to fulfil its commitment to neutrality, which tells us exactly what we can expect from BBC Scotland in a future independence referendum.

What we witnessed this evening on Reporting Scotland was a ridiculously biased and one sided report which would have left any fair minded observer with the impression that it was only the SNP which has an issue with candidates who have been alleged to make inappropriate comments. There was not even a token mention at the end of the piece that other candidates in other parties had been suspended for alleged anti-semitism, islamophobia, or homophobia. It appears that BBC Scotland has deliberately and consciously set out to tell the Scottish voting public that it’s only the SNP which has a problem here. That’s indefensible. It’s inexcusable.

This happened on the very day that ITV’s Robert Peston and the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg have been accused of spreading fake news propagated by the Conservatives. It was alleged by unnamed “senior Tories” and the story spread by Peston and Kuenssberg that the Conservative Health Minister Matt Hancock was assaulted by a protester outside the hospital in Leeds where a four year old boy with suspected pneumonia had been left lying on a pile of coats. The story was not true. But as the saying goes, a lie has gone around the world by the time the truth has got its boots on. Now the story isn’t just about how Boris Johnson refused to look at a photo of the child, it’s about how the Conservatives invented a lie about the aftermath and that lie was propagated by a media which is all too willing to give the Conservatives the benefit of the doubt – despite their constant and repeated lies.

Whoever wins this election on Thursday, the big loser is what is left of trust in our public broadcaster. The BBC, and BBC Scotland in particular, is unfit for purpose.

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56 thoughts on “The BBC is the big loser in this election

  1. Time to get rid of the BBC.

    They are now well beyond the pale.

    Why are any of us paying to be fed pure unadulterated propaganda – because that’s all it is.

    I am so angry about this.

    • Take your name off the open register. Don’t pay. I stopped paying in 2012. They send me letters I ignore them. Lots of us are doing it.

  2. In 2015 David Cameron, before the election, threatened to close down the BBC (supported by Murdoch/Sky). After the election he put in place as Culture Minister, an opponent of public broadcasting—then he met with the Chairman of the BBC—we don’t know the contents of the meeting, but the BBC has been cowed ever since. Now Boris is threatening to ” look at” the licence fee—to remind the BEEB who is boss. The same old, same old.

    If the BBC wants defenders, it need not look north.

  3. They anounced the BBC Scotland report on Neale Hanvey at the start of the 06.00 news. Just another desperate SNP bad story which they report with a slobbering glee. Didn’t bother watching it. No doubt there will be a lot more of the same before we get to the vote on thursday.

    • The BBC must be scared Lesley Laird will lose her seat. They won’t want Labour to be reduced to only one again. Old allegiances die a slow death at BBC Glasgow.

      • I wish I had the license so I could quit it again. As Alex Massie once said: “It is the ‘British’ broadcasting Corporation. It’s a pro union propaganda system, that you pay a tax for. There is a perfectly legal way to quit it and I would heartily recommend that you do so.

  4. I’m so glad I don’t watch TV – I’d have thrown something at it by now if I did.
    Thank god for Netflix and Amazon Prime. And thank god for you, watching this biased garbage so we don’t have to, as I said before, you deserve a medal!

  5. Only idiots believe that the British Nationalist media in Scotland is fit for a democracy. Non stop propaganda is their mission.

    The majority of Scots do not look kindly on the Britnat media and neither will history. The people who serve this maleovalent force in Scotland will not be looked upon with anything but contempt.

  6. As I have pointed out before all these candidates being held to a certain standard but the current Prime Minister Johnson is worse than any of them. Does the biased Britnat media make this point – no. No like Johnson they are a bunch of lying barstewards.

  7. Well said Paul, glad I don’t have to watch it..
    Now that their “contaminated water” scam has fizzled out after weeks of trying to promote it, BBCS are desperate for another negative SNP story to promote before Thursday.
    The ball for the Hanvey story was passed them by C4. Having watched this story pasted as #1 Exclusive falling to #2 slot after 2 days of getting no traction, it remained there until today when it suddenly dropped to #35 where it belonged, the 4th December slot.
    Whoever is behind this muck-raking exercise (DC?) believes there are legs on it yet, enter the loyal band at Pacifier Quay, and not a flute to be heard……

  8. There is an EU legal concept called “emanation of the state”. An institution is effectively a part of the apparatus of the state when it takes instructions from government, or is similarly controlled. The Westminster government appoints key members of the Board of Governors who in turn appoint the other members. Once out of the EU, the BBC can be privatised because they will no longer have the protection of EU law. Take a look at a response today from ABdePJ.

  9. The point is how do you stop the bbc.from getting away with after day.and the SNP.should be suing the likes of the express.the mail.and others.what they are getting away with is unbelievable.the SNP.should be hitting back at anyone in Scotland.votes for any unionist party is truly beyond me.there is only one party in Scotland fighting Scotland’s corner 24/7.the SNP.wake up Scotland.lets get out of this discredited union.

  10. On Good Morning Scotland this morning, we had two ‘experts’ giving their views on how the parties were doing. Essentially, everybody except the Tories is doing badly and the Tory vote in Scotland is ‘holding up’. These ‘impartial’ experts came from The Spectator Former editor, Mr B.Johnson, ChairmanMr A. Neill) and Politics Home (owner, Lord Ashcroft).

    There is clearly a coordinated agenda in the broadcast media that ‘the Tories have it won’.

  11. One Independence candidate dropped was a silly own goal.

    The Red or Blue Unionists that were dropped, in many cases, were a handy way to consolidate the Unionist vote round one candidate without the embarrassment of an electoral pact.

    Better Together rides again.

  12. On the Question Time ‘debate’ tonight all the party reps were asked about housing and their party’s policy .
    Step up Humza Yousaf of the SNP and half way through his excellent response he was interrupted by host , Emma Barnett , who began interrogating him about the 7% Scottish ‘deficit’ and the ‘fact’ that Scotland would not be allowed back into the EU as an independent country .

    This was clearly a strategy to have a dig at the SNP as earlier , while answering another question , Humza was thrown another curved ball asking , out of left field , why he would still want independence if Brexit was halted as there would be no grounds for it .

    It really is time to say NO MORE as far as the BBC is concerned !

      • Revisited this clip this morning Jack to check whether my immediate impression was mistaken, then watched that entire section on housing from elsewhere…
        Barnett reminded everyone of the question before inviting Yousaf to speak, the last for the evening… 26 seconds into his response she launched her diversion into fiscal responsibility and deficit, fairly obviously coordinated to invite Swaynseeon to bale in, ensuring his answer to the question over housing was never completed as the programme ended…
        Deliberate and scripted for sure, but I suggest NONE in the audience were fooled this was anything other than a deliberate ambush to drown out SNP and SG accomplishments…
        Barnett only succeeded in proving the Beeb are unfit southward as well as nothward….

  13. Just caught up with this farce via I Player. What a toss pot Glenn Campbell is.
    They thought they would inject sly humour into the piece by filming Campbell searching in vain, peering through windows, acting like prize tosser to camera in his car, as he searched for Neale Hanvey who it was inferred, not implied was somehow in hiding.
    Disgusting little piece, with the ‘Shadow SoS Laird making her first appearance on TV moaning that the disgraced anti-semite was still using SNP Yellow on his election material.
    Will she be in the Red Tory seat at tomorrow nights Get Nicola Sturgeon ‘debate’?

    My only comfort from this is that this lady will surely be tossed out on her ear.Not a bit of it.
    It will be the GMB Shop Steward.

    They are getting desperate.
    Roll on Independence when we can convert Pacific Quay into something useful, like a Sewage Treatment Plant. Oh, wait, that’s what it is at the moment.
    As I observed earlier, the scandals, sex, expenses, sectarian, racist Brit Nats will be ‘hunted down’ tomorrow and Wednesday. You have been warned.

    • Hadn’t planned to look out for it but that clip was also on the same channel Jack… I tend to look in on it now to see what else they’ve spotted ever since they followed up on the BBCS/Sarwar’s “blood stained babygro” farce…
      Campbell – “Do you have a problem with Jewish people?” ??? What kind of stupid asks a question like that without a lobotomy, was he expecting, “Vell, yas, sings havnt bin ze zame arund hier zince ze zird reich left fur Lundn in 1945…” cut to studio…

  14. I would clarify that the story that isn’t true is that of the punch, it reads to me like you’re describing the boy on the hospital floor story as not true.

  15. “And that was another British nationalists political broadcast by the BBC”………………………. “Until next time…have a good evening and…….”……………..,…………………. “God Save the Queen!”. 🙂

  16. There are 1000 of ? faith in Edinburgh. 5000 people of ? faith in Glasgow. Not a major problem in Scotland. Tomkins wife is American with Republican connection. A migrant family. Yet the Tories want to chuck out migrants. Ruin the economy and cause unemployment. Brexit. Deja Vu. They had to get rid of Thatcher. Geoffrey Howe.

    The only thing that improved the economy after Thatcher was closer ties with Europe, The unrest and violence of the Thatcher years can be forgotten by some people. Or by ignorance Unemployment at 15% and interest rates at 17%. The only place where unemployment was under 10% was in London S/E.

    How can people vote Tory unionist in Scotland after Thatcher? People voted Labour to keep the Tories out. Now they can vote SNP for better governance and to improve the economy.

    The £12Billion (UK) EU contribution does not even cover the cost to the EU countries of the illegal wars and the crisis UK/US France have caused. In the Middle East and Europe. Other European countries have to pick up the pieces and the cost. The UK/France (US) carved up the Middle East. Took all their revenues, resources and caused havoc. Balfour Agreement. Picot/Sykes Agreement.

    Netanyahu and his associates are facing charges. The economy is tanking. US military base funded by the US, Three? inconclusive elections. D’Hond’t? Now there has to be another one. They are destroying their economy with discrimination,

    The Tories are destroying the UK and world economy with Brexit. They could not make a bigger mess. They cut NHS/Education and welfare funding. They gave tax cuts to the wealthiest and support tax evasion. The reason for damaging Brexit? The EU are tightening up tax evasion regulation.

    The trouble with Amazon and Netflix etc is they pay no taxes. The BBC is spends £5Billion gets back some in revenues. The BBC is controlled by Westminster. The Head is appointed by the Westminster Gov and reports to Downing Street,

    The SNP Gov had to mitigate all the Westminster austerity cuts. They have done a better job. Scotland is in a better place because of Devolution 2000. It would be even better Independent. Not paying for illegal wars, financial fraud and tax evasion. Paying for Hinkley Point, HS2 and Trident. Paying for Westminster debt not borrowed or spent in Scotland. Paying for Gov administration on the Mall instead of jobs in Scotland. £Billions spent around Westminster and in London HQ’s.

    Thatcher secretly and illegally took funds from Scotland to spend in London S/E building Tilbury Docks and Canary Wharf. Funding bankers who fund the Tory Party, They ruined the economy. Thatcher/Reagan etc deregulated banking causing the world banking crash.

    Thatcher deregulated and sold off utilities. Demutualised Building Societies owned by the members, The banks gambled the mortgage books on the stock exchange. The inflation of mortgage value in London and the Midlands. Out of control.

    Brexit will be even worse, especially for Scotland. Even the fishermen are starting to realise and speak out. In support of the SNP. The SNP Gov have major plans for Scotland. It could be an investment hub for world exports. From East to West, a hub at Orkney or in the North for freight vessels. A hub at Prestonpans for ties and trade with Europe.

    The EU costs nothing and benefits Scotland. The UK Union takes from Scotland. £20Billion a year on average. Scotland could be like Norway and raise £80Billion. Scotland raises £63Billion. Still £10Billion more pro rata than the rest of the UK.

    The UK is one if the most unequal places in the world. The most cohesive, happy and successful countries are more equal.
    The lack of democracy for Scotland outvoted 10 to 1.

  17. I agree with the point made by others in this discussion – what do we do about this kind of bias? I think that the problem is actually much broader than the occurence of anti-indendence items on the BBC news in the weeks before an election. If you look across the whole output of the BBC and BBC Scotland, there is a lot missing. For example, we need TV forums where local people can properly discuss (ie not just soundbites and political point-scoring) local issues.

    It is hard to see how BBS Scotland can change this side of an independence vote. But, once its funding and remit comes under the control of the Scottish Parliament, it would be important to have an alternative model in place as soon as possible. Is anyone already working on this?

    • It is quite clear, don’t pay the license fee and urge and assist others in doing the same. Aunty won’t reveal how many in Scotland are refuseniks but when the nice young man rang me after I registered to not pay the fee and asked why and I replied ‘for Scottish political reasons’ he was not in the least surprised and even seemed to understand.

      I thought that in itself was very revealing.

      My opportunity came when my wife left me, she was stopping me doing it. She also took the telly, with my blessing. I bought it for her to play her games on and I suspect it gets used for game playing more than TV watching these days. She says kicking butt in a game is great after a hard day at work. Personally I prefer to go for a run breathing clean Scottish air.

      I was a full time asthmatic living in London, then we moved up here to just above the beach in Dundee and I don’t even have an in-date ventolin inhaler. So long as I run fairly regularly to keep my lungs clear I’m fine. You couldn’t pay me enough to move, or to watch BBC ‘News’.

  18. I have just watched the Love Actually rip off by Boris Johnson – I want to believe it is a spoof but my head says somebody in the background thought it a brilliant idea. It was on the Revs twitter feed where there’s also a lovely photo of a slightly larger than expected Wee Ginger Dug

    As for the wee soul on the floor in the Leeds hospital , since the hospital has already apologised and acknowledged the truth , why would the BBBC continue to erode public trust by spinning on behalf of the buffoon – that’s not a question.

  19. Under pressure from the Conservatives in 1926, – the *1920s* – the BBC didn’t allow Labour voices to be heard during a general strike. It has always been the voice of the establishment. Scots woke up to that in 2014. The rest of the UK is just finding it out now.

    The BBC is actually a pretty good broadcaster, so long as when it comes to news, we make sure we get it from more trustworthy sources.

    • And to the rest of the trolls and ‘high heid yins’ who think they can control us…they have no idea about Scotland and it’s people.

      The broadcasting is vile, the newspapers are only suitable for puppy pee and I hope the multiple liars’ teeth will all fall out with the toxic salivating froth they spout…

      • Some say ‘don’t hate the media, become the media’.

        Unfortunately the media themselves make the former inevitable most days, and the latter near unthinkable as a consequence.

  20. We see it. I saw the 6pm lead in on doorstepping Hanvey and thought “they won’t do this to the other suspended candidates”. Switched off. I wondered if they’d at least mention the Labour and Tory ones in passing, or try to pin in solely on the SNP since it was so close to the election. Now I know.

    Can’t say I’m surprised. It’s been relentless. This must be what it’s like in Russia.

  21. The BBC now has ANOTHER contender for the best shooting Scotland in the face title !
    It is wings over Scotland ! Worst still he has been using genuine YES visionary people’s money !

  22. I’ve submitted a complaint to the BBC about this programme. I used to do it regularly but gave up because of the dismissive and arrogant replies I received. I demanded that they urgently (before the election) do an item where all the candidates who were dropped have their behaviour put before the viewers. I am not holding my breath.

  23. Stop this constant carping and whining about the BBC ??!! Stop paying their “licence fee” ! If you must “watch” something use Netflix or Amazon Prime or use Utube. Get your information by using websites and blogs such as this one plus Off Guardian, Craig Murray and many other informative and reliable sources, all on your computer ! Best of all educate yourselves and read books ! Remember them ?

  24. Let’s play ‘Better Together Bingo’ tonight, during the SNP BAD and Nicola Sturgeon Badder Farce chaired by the Hon Sarah Smith, and featuring those well known , sorry, well, pointless, buffoons manning the Branch Offices Up Here, Carlaw, Leonard and Rennie tonight at 8 pm..

    The 150 invited audience members are included in the gameof BT Bingo too, with the usual Mary Scanlon Orange Jersey Man plants in the audience pump priming the Three Stooges, and of course the impartial chair, as they run through the gamut of Project Fear Better Together too wee too poor too stupid tropes,

    I’d imagine that they’ll wade in first on Health, following yesterday’s boy on the floor scandal at Leeds General Infirmary .

    Carlaw will be anxious to lead on that.

    The QEUH infant deaths, Bird droppings, contaminated water and air ventilation failures.

    It’s all that Jeane Freeman’s fault.

    And what about the new Edinburgh Sick Children’s hospital?

    Opening delayed for another year.

    And the mesh implant scandal, bullying culture in NHS Highlands, GP and Consultants shortages.

    Time for Sturgeon to resign too.

    Rennie will lead on teenage mental health and child care. A disgrace.

    Did anyone demand that Sturgeon resign yet?

    Leonard will join in drawling stiltedly about A&E and failed targets…

    The anonymous QEUH whistleblower will add credence to his friend and colleague Jackson Carlaw’s description of pointless infant deaths on ‘Sturgeon’s watch’.

    By then you will have completed a line on your Nicola Sturgeon is a Basturd Bingo card.

    What next? The Economy, or Ejukashun?

    Willie never tires of raging about the £15 billion deficit that Independnet Scotland would inherit from WM.
    The 7% deficit according to GERS figures, the financial basket case and massive increases in poverty through cuts that would face the Scots if they dared choose independence will get its usual lying airing.

    Then the scandal of the Pisa figures. It reports Improvement in reading and writing but average and falling in maths and science. John Swinney must resign.

    They’ll all join in a three part, no sorry I forgot Smith, four part, no sorry I forgot the Mary Scanlon plants in the audience, a five part harmony of ‘This Is The End’.

    Next, Fishing. Anti Semitism, (Waiting for two for a full house now!!!!) SNP Car Park charges (waiting for one!!!) POLICE. BINGO!!!!!!!!

    This disgrace will play itself out over the course of an hour. In a country where at least half the electorate would vote YEs, and 62% voted Remain, Sarah Smith and the BBC Ministry of Truth wil dance this juvenile Danse Macabre and 90% of the time will be devoted to Project Fear SNP Bad.
    Perhaps someone in the audience may remind them that this is a WM GE, not Toodle Oo The Noo’s hatchet job every Thursday during FMQ?
    I doubt it,
    BBC Scotland, the Northern Outpost of the Great British Empire.

    Eyes Down for an Empty House.

    ‘On its own, Nicola Sturgeon’.


    • “…They’ll all join in a three part, no sorry I forgot Smith, four part, no sorry I forgot the Mary Scanlon plants in the audience, a five part harmony of ‘This Is The End’.” – and Jim Morrison WILL turn in his grave…

      • The Heart Of Darkness, Apocalypse Now, Rennie, Leonard, Carlaw and the Hon Smith, John.
        They think that they can lie to Scotland, and the larger country to the South will back them up.
        There’s a name for people like that.
        No more.
        Eyes down for an Empty House that is Pacific Quay.

    • Aye Jack , that’s been the well used script since 2013 or even before, being its so predictable I would urge Nicola to scare the bloody pants off them , do the unpredictable , point out the three or four to one disadvantage that in no way reflects the views of the Scottish voting public , but is in fact the usual way this BBC in Scotland are told to present their vendetta against the SNP because they are a real danger of loosening the grip on the last cadged hostage of the Empire .

  25. I met with friends from the English Midlands last week in Alnwick, a half way point in terms of travel time.

    One person started talking about balance of trade and Scotland being dodgy. As I am into all this I showed him a Sept 19 HMRC report on my phone that shut him up. UK trade deficit is over 44% negative. Scotland is 24% in surplus. Also the only past of UK with a surplus in trade is us and Northern Ireland. Every part of England trades at a loss.

    I then showed him that Scotland had a budget surplus of over £44bn since 1999. No £13bn per year loss on sight as Gers is a lie.

    Fake news is easily answered with saved links on your phone. Why does our SNP people not do this?

    • I agree. I keep photos on my phone of various factual pages. Quicker than trying to google etc. Much better than trying to verbally make your case. Britnats do not like the truth. It’s like kryptonite to them as their brains are full of lies.

  26. You’re mostly right, but please don’t use the term “gender-critical” to excuse transphobia. I like and respect Joanna Cherry, and we all owe her a debt of gratitude for thrashing the Government twice in court… but her attitudes to trans women are not acceptable, and we need to stop giving her a pass on that.

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