Showing proper respect for the First Minister’s trip to Dublin: How STV did. Why BBC Reporting Scotland just couldn’t

Comparing the two reports of the First Minister’s trip to Dublin offered no surprises for those of us familiar with BBC Reporting Scotland. As you might expect, there were differences, as once more BBC Reporting Scotland in the person of Glenn Campbell, had to remind us that Westminster is still the boss and that we should remember we’re really too wee and unimportant to count in European Affairs. Here’s how STV opened:

A number of senators in the Upper House of the Irish Parliament have voiced their support for Scottish Independence. The calls were led by the former Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic. Today NS became the first serving head of a foreign administration to address the Upper House of the Irish Parliament.

So two clear successes for the First Minister but Reporting Scotland could only mutter:

‘Nicola Sturgeon tells the Irish Senate that Brexit is deeply unwelcome. As leader of the devolved Scottish government, the Speaker of independent Ireland’s parliament has honoured her with an invitation to speak.

Notice the grudging tone, the patronising reminder of our lesser status should we forget it and the, of course ‘accurate’, vocabulary in the BBC’s opening comments. In the STV report, Sturgeon was given time to speak at length directly to the viewer but for the BBC, Campbell clearly felt it better to further reduce her/our substance by putting it in his own words. That’s arrogance. You see how to let someone speak for themselves in special surroundings can make them seem important? We don’t want that do we?

When we move on to hear the senators respond, STV give us:

‘For this country, independence has become a remarkably and completely transforming thing and I have no doubt that the genius of the Scottish people once released through full independence will achieve the same thing for Scotland.’

From STV reporter Bernard Ponsonby:

‘And then Senator after senator voiced support for the central goal of the SNP, that of Scottish independence.

Then on with four more senators:

‘I welcome the debate that you bring around the whole issue of nationalism, that’s not an insular thing.’

‘What can Ireland do to help Scotland achieve its full potential and to achieve its independence?’

‘When will you make the decision to ask the Scottish people to vote again for an independent Scotland?’

‘The nationalism that you espouse is very similar to the nationalism espoused by the women and men of 1916.’

But, over to BBC Scotland and Glenn Campbell clearly saw little of this and reported:

‘And from some in this house, support for the independence option.’

It wasn’t to be your day in 2014 but I know Scotland’s day will come and I know you will succeed in the future.’

‘I wholly and unambiguously support Scotland in its movement for national independence.’

So STV thought five senators were representative of the gathering while assuming Glenn was there, two were enough to show that it was only ‘some’. Actually, shouldn’t ‘some’ mean that at least one senator actually was unsupportive? Notice the word ‘option’? It’s only an option. Remember 2014, eh?

Glenn reminds of the British ambassador being in the audience. It’s as if they need to keep, reminding us that we’re still in Britain. We haven’t forgotten. Then Glen sums up with

‘Nicola Sturgeon has been well-received in Dublin but she knows only too well that the approach to Brexit will not be decided here but by the Government in London.’

He doesn’t of course, at that point, mention the Supreme Court decision that the Welsh and Scottish Parliaments will have a say.

Back to STV and Bernard Ponsonby, clearly more impressed by events, summed up:

The words were warm, the applause warmer. This was a mutual love-in. In some respects the contributions today during the open session were truly extraordinary. Senator after senator rose in their place to argue for Scottish independence. All of this,  from parliamentarians in a foreign country.

Glenn won’t be finishing that way thank you very much. He has something up his sleeve and it looks like Ruth Davidson:

‘And of course, in terms of independence, the Scottish Conservatives tonight have said the FM should take off the table talk of another independence referendum because that would cause more division and upheaval. The First Minister is not prepared to do that even though it seems at the moment she has more support for the concept in the Irish Senate than she does in the Scottish Parliament or in the wider Scottish public.’

Remember the trip was about Brexit. When propaganda is so explicit, so hypnotic, you wonder if it might actually fail. I wish.



50 thoughts on “Showing proper respect for the First Minister’s trip to Dublin: How STV did. Why BBC Reporting Scotland just couldn’t

  1. John November 30, 2016 / 9:18 am

    As usual, an excellent article that should be spread far and wide.

    How can anyone not see the BBC Scotland for what it actually is, a pure anti-Scotland propaganda outfit.


    • johnrobertson834 November 30, 2016 / 9:35 am

      Cheers John. I think a lot of us do. Just not enough yet? I’ve hit a chord with this one – 1100 views already. A lot for me.


  2. johnrobertson834 November 30, 2016 / 9:20 am

    And Mr Campbell:

    1. This is the democratically elected leader of the most trusted government in Europe (ref below),where virtually of of it’s Westminster MPs are members of her party and where opposition MSPs mostly came second or third in constituency votes. After the council elections next year, Pacific Quay might find itself more an island of colonial ideas in the midst of a sea of SNP politicians at all three levels of government.

    2. Your salary is paid for by people of whom around 50% are confirmed supporters of independence. STV as a business seem to realise they must now be fair.

    3. You are exploiting your position to freely indulge in ideological commentary when your employer has a charter proudly claiming to inform and to educate. I see little sign of the latter.

    4. Resign

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Jimbo November 30, 2016 / 9:47 am

    Glen Campbell clearly thinks that disseminating his own viewpoint is more important than doing the job he is paid with our money to do – honestly reporting the news.


  4. Alex Beveridge November 30, 2016 / 9:59 am

    Well said John. I see Macart in W.O.S is suggesting that the media should have ” a big riddy” over their coverage, or lack of it, about Nicola’s triumph in Ireland. Some hope. Led by their cheerleader, your favourite, the B.B.C, they will toe the Westminster establishment line, desperate to hold onto their cash-cow, Scotland, as a last ditch attempt to prevent us gaining our independence.
    Keep up the good work, because in the weeks and months ahead the propaganda from the B.B.C will become even more virulent, especially in the run-up to Indyref2, which will, I believe, occur within the next two years. I certainly hope so, so I can pass on to my great-grandchildren, an independent Scotland.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ghillie November 30, 2016 / 10:16 am

    Prof John Robertson, thank you for your analysis and the light your work sheds on the murky waters in which Britain’s media chooses to lurk.

    Nicola Sturgeon’s address to the Irish Seanad, the welcome and respect she received should be broadcast in full to viewers in Scotland at least. It was an historic event!

    The words and warmth of the Senators of Ireland fills me with renewed hope for our future place in the world as an Independent country.

    If STV are beginning to come closer to being reporters of news in Scotland then that adds to that hope.

    Please keep on doing what you are doing = )


  6. Ghillie November 30, 2016 / 10:19 am

    Happy Saint Andrew’s Day!


  7. Clydebuilt November 30, 2016 / 11:12 am

    Great post John……. After watching STV then switching over to the BBC …… The difference is very obvious……. We should encourage folk to view both…….
    The sooner the Bill Boards are up the better……. Right now it’s one way traffic.


    • Robert Galloway November 30, 2016 / 8:53 pm

      I note that Jackie Bird is kept for certain information on B.B.C. news nights,plenty of muddy waters from Mr Mundell especially on matters such as defense and generosity from Westminster.Gordon Brewer is like a dog with a bone when confronting anyone that is S.N.P is he also a Unionist? The Express and Mail have for weeks on their front pages spreading mis- information, with the odd change of direction one day a week on how well Theresa May,s Brexit Planning is going !! On Donald Trump,s sexist revelations both Nicola Sturgeon and Kezia Dugdale spoke out, Ruth Davidson left it henchman Jackson Carlaw to say something,Ruth Davidson not know which way to jump,not to offend her un-elected boss in Westminster, a friend of Donald Trump? The E.B.C. sorry B.B.C.! is always wary to tell the truth,glad to see S.T,V. better! at reporting.


  8. finnmacollie November 30, 2016 / 12:28 pm

    Can’t believe 1100 views are a lot for your site considering the work and referenced research you put into it.

    I choose not to watch MSM or buy the Dead Tree Press – doctors advise that people of my age should keep an eye on their blood pressure – so rely on the internet for news. I did used to swear a lot and become outraged at the TV and radio so I can only commend you for watching it on my behalf.

    It seems to me that the summing up by Glenn Campbell was totally unnecessary in the context of the report – but then he did deduct 50,000 of the welcomes Nicola received. I did watch her speech and the Q&A session on the Irish Parliament website (without technical hitches) and you could feel the warmth of her reception. Undoubdtedly the BBC have had a wee prod from the Ruth (Don’t mention the Tories) for a Strong Opposition Party – Queen’s X1 Branch. After all we can’t have the First Minister getting too popular when everyone knows it was really Ruthie wot won the election!

    Apparently GMS had “technical problems” again this morning during an interview with an Irish politician who was very supportive of our First Minister.

    On a darker note, the success of the First Minister’s visit and her increasing popularity both here (media excepted) and abroad has unleashed a torrent of unionist abuse and threats via the internet aimed variously at Nicola, the SNP and Eire. Whilst sure that much of this is simply hot air and froth, I do hope that the FM’s security is beefed up accordingly.


  9. John November 30, 2016 / 1:48 pm

    I’m English, came to Uni in Scotland, stayed, settled, married had kids and now have grandkids. I’ve spent many years hoping, and praying for Scottish Independence.

    However, I simply cannot understand how so many Scots do not see through all the BBC propaganda. Surely, even without the internet, they must see how BBC Scotland never has a good word for the Scottish government, and has the same tired old Labour ‘experts’ wheeled out ever so regularly to back up their false claims.

    I can only hope that slowly but surely (much too slow at times!) the message might get through – more power to your elbow, Sir.


    • finnmacollie November 30, 2016 / 3:00 pm

      John, I, like you, cannot understand how so many Scots fall for the propaganda we are bombarded with on a daily basis. Nor can I understand that those same Scots denigrate a First Minister who commands such respect abroad.
      “A prophet is not without honour except in his own country”

      Liked by 1 person

    • Morag November 30, 2016 / 5:45 pm

      A couple of months ago I met an English guy who lives in Invernessshire who voted No in 2014. He said he was now a firm Yes due to Brexit. He also said that in 2014 he was howling at the TV because he felt the BBC was constantly pushing PRO-independence propaganda.

      Nowt so queer as folk.


  10. Mike November 30, 2016 / 2:42 pm

    And this morning on GMS from 2:08:40 leader of the Irish senate Jerry Buttimer starts talking about indy and gets cut off, technical difficulties. Straight to a story about how Scotland is failing asylum seekers.


      • macnakamura December 2, 2016 / 3:08 pm

        GMS this morning focus on police Scotland.
        Final question……. Why so reluctant to comply with FOI enquiry ?
        This from the BBC !!!


    • Sam November 30, 2016 / 5:40 pm

      Well you can get a bad phone line, the give away was that no attempt was made to reconnect, for what was their top report after the 8am news. Think the BBC were telling the Irish Gov. they weren’t happy with the red carpet treatment rolled out to Sturgeon.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Dunphail November 30, 2016 / 8:42 pm

    Another excellent demolition of the state broadcaster’s propaganda and their feeble attempt to pass it off as news coverage. Should be shared widely


  12. Patricia Cairns November 30, 2016 / 10:02 pm

    Thank you for your excellent work, Professor Robertson


  13. thomaspotter2014 November 30, 2016 / 10:36 pm

    You’re the foremost expert on showing exactly what the psychological default position of all anti-indy unionist MSM has been pre-determined.

    One day soon people like yourself,G.A.Ponsonby,Wee Ginger Dug,WOS crew and Stu Campbell,Scot goes Pop and many outstanding others will be recognised for setting Scotland free from the tyranny of WM.

    Free at last.

    Best regards and it’s much appreciated.


  14. Dave McEwan Hill November 30, 2016 / 11:01 pm

    Marvelous stuff John. In Dunoon we will be showing “London Calling ” in our local cinema and hope toraise a substantial sum towards the crowd funder to have 50,000 DVDs of it produced


  15. Jim Howie December 1, 2016 / 6:49 pm

    Excellent stuff, John.


  16. Clydebuilt December 1, 2016 / 9:06 pm

    Max Keiser of The Keiser Report on RT has called for a “Propaganda Index”….. There’s an opening here for some original work by an expert on control of populations thought processes. A “P.I.” Would allow ready comparison between interviews of Unionist and Independence politicians. People get awarded Nobel Prizes for less.


  17. Black Joan December 1, 2016 / 9:33 pm

    Thank you — one could not hope for a clearer demonstration of how the BBC Misreports Scotland. I posted a link on WoS as soon as I read it. This piece has the power to open many eyes to the truth.


  18. johnrobertson834 December 2, 2016 / 10:34 pm

    I’ve been hospitalised for a week of two so no new post for awhile. Will be back.


    • finnmacollie December 3, 2016 / 12:39 pm

      Get well soon Prof. You are missed – and needed!


    • Clydebuilt December 4, 2016 / 2:37 pm

      Get Well Soon John. You’re needed back on the Statebroadcasters case….btw Craig Murray’s hospitalised right now as well …… All the best


      • johnrobertson834 December 5, 2016 / 11:15 am

        Thanks. Recovering. Didn’t know abt Craig. Hope he is well.


      • Clydebuilt December 6, 2016 / 10:42 am

        Just heard on Radio Scotland….. Scotland’s just had it’s worst ever results in the PISA tests. Although we have just had very good Higher etc. results. Could say that the good performance in our own exam system puts the PISA result in doubt. On the other hand are the good results in our national exam system a case of teachers teaching to the test.

        Is there any doubt with the PISA results.?

        Think this is definitely one for you John.


  19. Clydebuilt December 8, 2016 / 10:39 am

    T h e P I S A T e s t

    The PISA test used to be carried out in 2nd year , but I’ve heard in the past few days it’s 15 yr olds that sit it now. In Scotland, National Tests were removed around 8 years ago since then 15 year old pupils in our state schools have no experience of sitting a test under exam conditions ie. in the assembly hall.

    Scotland certainly doesn’t teach to the PISA test. If we did we would rapidly climb the rankings. As A country did recently, think it was Hungary……. So if international prestige is top of our targets to aim for we should be teaching to the PISA test. This would certainly get the press of the Scot. Gov’s back. Would this get more pupils to better outcomes?

    BUT Scotland is certainly getting something right, we’re sending record numbers of our youth to further education. And /or a positive outcome……. So perhaps it’s a case of steady as she goes.

    An average PISA outcome is not a strong case for any great upheaval in our education system.

    Liked by 1 person

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