Every now and again BBC Salford will drop BBC Scotland ‘right in it’ by reporting good news about NHS Scotland only to be followed by BBC Scotland appearing to not have heard of the story at all. BBC England has reported on the excellence of A&E in Scotland and on the integration of health and social care services, leading to less ‘bed-blocking’ in Scotland only for BBC Scotland to ignore it and go for something negative instead.
This morning, Tuesday 25th October 2016 at 08:12 we heard the above quote followed by an extended and quite assertive interview with an unconvincing and wriggling NHS England representative. Only 15 minutes later BBC Scotland led with:
‘The Scottish Police Federation (trades union) has criticised Police Scotland for waiting 12 hours before releasing details of the attempted murder of two officers.’
I’m no police procedural expert despite watching a few TV versions so with the union naturally wanting the chase to begin as quickly as possible and their HQ wanting to establish the facts first and get on with the job, perhaps with good reason, before dealing with the media, I was left thinking this was not much of a story.
Then we had reports on the missing airman, Brexit affecting research and airport expansion at Heathrow.
So, once more, we have the elderly and the sick in Scotland getting their early morning dose of anxiety-inducing news. A frightened population is easier to manage and more likely to vote for the status quo. It doesn’t require a conspiracy just a well-established pattern of editorial decision-making and ‘working toward the editor’ by reporters, born out of years of conditioning, in Unionist institutions such as school and university, as a junior reporter and, of course, from years of watching a Unionist news agenda on TV, from childhood. Add to that, of course, living with parents and grandparents who are themselves victims of an even more Unionist social conditioning, dramatically intensified by war propaganda, and you wonder how any support for independence survived.
Why does BBC Salford do this? Don’t they know it will spoil BBC Scotland’s efforts? Well, of course, they don’t know. They are utterly focused on things in England and if they even thought about it they don’t really give a stuff about anything in Scotland including BBC Scotland. The BBC England agenda comes first and last and saving the Union is down the list some way. BBC England’s primary agenda is based on saving themselves from the nasty Tories. What they really want is a return to a kind of Blairite Britain where their funding is safe and where they can spend time pleasantly with like-minded ‘centrist’, ‘moderate’ people. By this they mean people who pretend to want a meritocracy and who do want to reduce poverty and inequality a bit. They want to be able to tell themselves they are more caring than those rabid, right-wing, Europhobic, nasty, Tories but still, of course, want big pay differentials, perks, holiday-homes in France, a property portfolio derived from expenses, and so on.
So, BBC England’s agenda is to attack the right-wing of the Conservative party whenever they can. Though fearful at all times, this means that they will report on failures in NHS England which reflect well on NHS Scotland. The BBC elite are mostly Europhiles thus Brexit has seriously reduced their ability or desire, for that matter, to criticise the SNP when Sturgeon is coming across as the kind of ‘moderate’, ‘sensible’ politician they wish England had.
All of this puts BBC Scotland on the back foot with their reports following on from negative reports on NHS England and positive ones on, especially, Nicola Sturgeon. Their agenda to undermine the Scottish Government and to protect its Tory opposition is more than ever seriously undermined. Even those without a BA Propaganda Studies must now be aware of the confusion and contradiction at the heart of their reporting.
And, that’s why I’m against the idea of a Scottish six. We need BBC England on our side!
Running total 21/9/16 to 25/10/16* Number of reports
Bad news for SG/SNP 20
Good news for SG/SNP 9
Bad news for Labour 1
Good news for Labour 5
Bad news for Conservative Party (CP) 0
Missed bad news opportunities for CP 143 (estimate)
Good news for CP 3
* Monday to Friday only