15 to 6! ‘Weaponising’ Scotland’s Health Service: How BBC Scotland is developing a new Project Fear: Part 2: 1st to 20th January 2017

I’ve been keeping a note, for Reporting Scotland and STV since 1st January 2017. I plan, of course to release a more full report later but I think there’s a place for interim reports so here’s the second. I’ll be comparing BBC and STV evening news broadcasts to use the latter as a kind of benchmark for what is reasonable and not openly anti-independence propaganda. I’m now fairly sure that STV have made a commercial decision not to drive away their many Yes-supporting viewers, in the interests of maintaining their advertising revenue.

In the first seven days to the 10th January we had 7 reports with the potential to undermine Scottish Government management of the NHS, on BBC Reporting Scotland and only 3 on STV. Further, the STV reports tended to offer more contextual information to put the reports into scale and perspective. You can see the detail of the first set of stories at:


From the 11th January, on Reporting Scotland, we had:

11th nothing

12th First Minister under fire for delays in new trauma centres, targets for A&E not met since September, only one out of all eight targets met

13th A health board apologises to five pregnant mothers who were turned away [7 miles] from the maternity unit a Glasgow’s ‘flagship’ hospital because of a shortage of beds

14th Nothing

15th The Chair of the BMA in Scotland is warning that the NHS [Scotland] could be moving toward ‘system breakdown.’

16Th Nothing

17th Waiting time target for A&E missed for first week in January, delays to Trauma centres

18th Nothing

19th Re HIV cases surviving in 50s but ‘leading charity is worrying about what it describes as as a social care time bomb.’

So, that was eight scares in these nine days. STV were only to cover the delay in the traumas centres on the 11th, the missed A&E targets on the 17th and to repeat the delay in the trauma centres story on the 18th. So, for STV, there were only 3 comparable stories.

From the 1st to 19th January, we now had BBC Scotland reporting often very dramatically 15 scare stories about NHS Scotland while STV reported only 6.

I’ve discussed the actual flaws in the reports which make them clearly ‘scare stories’ rather than responsible news reporting elsewhere on this site.

The picture is now even clearer than it was a week ago. BBC Reporting Scotland remains, it seems,  desperate to undermine the Scottish Government at every turn using, irresponsibly, NHS Scotland as a weapon.

The possible negative effects on potential patients, patients, relatives and staff, of this strategy, are discussed more fully and referenced with evidence at:

Is BBC Reporting Scotland’s ‘Weaponising’ of NHS Scotland likely to actually increase both physical and mental health problems?




16 thoughts on “15 to 6! ‘Weaponising’ Scotland’s Health Service: How BBC Scotland is developing a new Project Fear: Part 2: 1st to 20th January 2017

  1. elgoldave January 21, 2017 / 9:15 am

    Spot on John


  2. Annie January 21, 2017 / 9:59 am

    Roll on the day we have our own broadcasting company- or at least one capable of delivering factual news and not just anti ScotGov propaganda


  3. google6497 January 21, 2017 / 10:09 am

    Keep it going John , WE know what they are doing , but for some , statistics are needed even if it just confirms what they think might be the case .The BBC are now onto the local election battle ,if they keep talking down the Snp and do not include any positive reports , the uninformed electorate will vote for anyone but the Snp .


    • johnrobertson834 January 22, 2017 / 3:54 pm

      Yes, full propaganda mode. Won’t save Labour but might boost Tories.


  4. Finnmacollie January 21, 2017 / 11:14 am

    I don’t watch or listen to BBC ‘Scotland’ any more as it seems to be just another propaganda tool for running Scotland down.

    When I did listen to GMS there was a pattern developed where they would ‘review’ the daily papers and invite a couple of journalists from the daily papers to comment on their invariably Scotland is rubbish stories. The stories would then be picked up by Tory/Lab/Lib politicians who would then issue a press release citing the press stories as proof that Scotland was rubbish. GMS and RS would then run the story based on the press release. Hamsters on a wheel. If and when the story was proved to be a complete fabrication the press would issue a postage stamp sized apology buried away on page 34 underneath an advert for a second hand Ford Escort while the BBC would quietly remove it from their website with no further explanation.

    I understand that BBC complaints will be handled by OfCom come April. Will that make a difference? Maybes aye Maybes naw.


    • Clydebuilt January 21, 2017 / 11:38 am

      Is there any difference in the methods being used by our state broadcaster in Scotland and those used in The Soviet Union.


      • YES Scotland 2014+ January 21, 2017 / 1:16 pm

        The Soviet Union no longer officially exists. However Russia, China, and many many many new communist/capitalist hybrid combos also have an overpowering influence on the official state broadcasting networks. The main difference between ‘them’ and state broadcasting imposed upon the countries within the United Kingdom is almost nothing, although (as far as we are aware) UK state broadcasting does not necessarily result in dissidents being immediately executed….. more anon….


    • johnrobertson834 January 21, 2017 / 7:17 pm

      In the Soviet Union everyone knew it was propaganda thus ineffective. Some people here still believe?


    • johnrobertson834 January 21, 2017 / 7:19 pm

      I complained about a Herald article to OfCom some time ago. The circled the wagons and waffled their way out. Sorry about the metaphors.


  5. broadbield January 21, 2017 / 2:13 pm

    Well, unlike the SU no one’s actually holding a gun to their heads. But it’s propaganda nonetheless and we have no accountability and no way holding them to account.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ron Maclean January 21, 2017 / 6:37 pm

    Has anyone with the power to exert influence or pressure shown any interest in using your work?


    • johnrobertson834 January 21, 2017 / 7:20 pm

      One or two of the newer SNP MPs did then they went quiet. Policy from the top is to be passive. Salmond might have been more keen to fight back.


      • Ron Maclean January 22, 2017 / 1:35 pm

        Thank you and as I feared. One of the more disappointing aspects of SNP leadership behaviour has been the snubbing of active creative people.

        Liked by 1 person

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