Is the BBC Scotland website getting dangerously close to Nationalist sentiment?



Good Morning Scotland broadcasts with the latter two still fierce distorters in defence of the Union. However, more than one respondent has drawn my attention to the fact that the website has been reporting good and accurate news for Scotland. I’ve put it down to the fact that the top brass at Pacific Quay know that social media is already dominated by Yes-supporters but that TV and Radio still offer them an older and/or more passive, audience that can be propagandised into staying with the No side. It’s what Karl Marx called repressive tolerance. You allow some media outlets to speak the truth so that you can deny propagandising overall. However, today’s example took me by surprise:

A new phase of Highland history is unfolding in Sutherland as land still owned by the family of the man blamed for the Highland Clearances is to be sold to descendants of those he evicted. It is seen as a significant development for an area which still lives with the legacy of the decision by the infamous Duke of Sutherland two centuries ago to remove his tenants to make more money from sheep farming. The English nobleman inherited the vast tracts of northern Scotland when he married and quickly set about making what he called “improvements”. He carried out extensive clearances between 1811 and 1820, with his factor Patrick Sellar personally supervising the eviction of any tenants who showed reluctance to leave.’

What next?

‘Scottish soldiers used as cannon-fodder by English generals in World War I?’


Footnote: If you read these articles quite soon after I’ve posted them then you might miss some of the excellent responses made later by readers. It’s well worth returning 24 hours later to see some of them. Quite a few have even more information of interest than my starter.


6 thoughts on “Is the BBC Scotland website getting dangerously close to Nationalist sentiment?

  1. Dan Huil August 14, 2017 / 4:10 pm

    Could be that more and more Yes supporters are refusing to pay the bbc tax.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ludo Thierry August 14, 2017 / 7:43 pm

    Hi John – Hi all.

    Blimey John – I’ve hardly been able to keep up with your output over the course of the day! – I was already trying to catch up with the weekend stuff when you suddenly went into overdrive.

    Like you I was somewhat staggered that the beeb website was carrying such a good array of stories – which didn’t seem to have been put through the usual ‘Scotland is Rubbish’ filter first.

    Something distinctly odd going on – still can’t help but wonder if the close scrutiny from your and other sites is having a positive effect (at least for short periods).

    Dan’s point is a good one – I read very recently that Scotland is now the BBC ‘National region’ with the lowest rate of licence payers (approx 10% – and rising trend – opting out of licence fee). I myself stopped paying the BBC tax many years ago (gave up having a TV altogether) and haven’t regretted it at all.

    I get loads of beeb licence letters (they become quite threatening-seeming after a bit). I no longer respond and the letters and envelopes have ever increasing quantities of red ink and ‘BIG’ writing! I reckon if they are chasing after me (‘ our agents will visit you very soon…’) then they have less time to chase after some poor single mum who doesn’t have the dosh and simply can’t pay the beeb tax even if she wanted to.

    (Plus every pound spent on letters to me is a pound less to be spent on ‘Scotland is Rubbish’ stories for Jackie on the tea-time news).

    The HMRC methodology change stuff is fascinating. I don’t pretend to any knowledge but was very pleased to see the piece on Richard Murphy’s website and that he is planning to look into it further himself. Also saw a post from Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp on Richard’s article which indicated that a consultation is happening re. GERS to which Gordon has been asked to give observations.

    From what I can gather HMRC are generally edging towards gathering their figs using VAT receipt flows (as these are now reckoned to give greater accuracy).

    I think we can already say that the changes, so far, have been good for Scotland in terms of the debate (challenging the blanket Better Together assertions of the ‘Black Hole’ by quoting HMRC’s own figs back at them). Hopefully, as HMRC try to improve their own info capturing (for their own purposes), we might be able to identify more accurate stats for Scotland as a by-product.

    Further brilliant performance from the Scottish farmed fish/salmon producers. Like you I was somewhat surprised at the quoted costs of treating/preventing sea-lice. Apparently Ian Bricknell @ Uni. of Maine (originally hailing from Aberdeen) estimates the global industry lice control costs at £400M annually. (So I don’t know how Scotland’s share sits within that total?).

    Seems to be a variety of treatments. Use of Hydrogen Peroxide in the water (with veterinary approval). Also ‘dosing’ with warm water or fresh water (for approx 20 seconds) which dislodges the lice. (These thermolicer pumps are costly to fit and operate apparently). NOTE: I culled this info from a beeb website article from Feb 2017 (So it must be TRUE).

    Other fish disease is treated with antibiotics – and here the news looks pretty impressive for Scotland. The beeb article reported antibiotic use rising to 24 grammes per tonne of fish produced (from what previous quantity and over what time-frame not clear) but reducing (very significantly) in 2015 to only one gramme (1 gramme). The comparison was made with Chile which is applying 573 grammes of antibiotic per tonne of fish produced). Again I have nil expertise but that does sound significant and might help explain the ‘premium’ price that Scottish production continues to enjoy.

    Hopefully the wrasse lice-eating fish will soon be a major part of the lice management armoury. (I seem to remember that the whole wrasse use process was having to be established from scratch – with ‘hatcheries’ for the wrasse being established etc – so I live in hope that this is all happening right now).

    Small update on Dundee as the centre of Digital Design. Noticed a wee piece in Courier re. Dundee’s street lighting (planned and operated by SNP controlled Dundee City Council):

    The Annual Street Lighting Partnership review also shows the city consumes the least amount of electricity per street light and has the lowest carbon dioxide emissions.

    Next week Dundee City Council’s city development committee will consider the report which also reveals that in 2015/16 more columns and lanterns were replaced as part of a planned maintenance programme than in any other Scottish city.

    Mark Flynn, the committee’s depute convener said: “Any way you choose to cut this report it is a shining example of the benefits of the street lighting partnership between the council, Tayside Contracts and our neighbours in Perth and Kinross Council.

    “To help reduce the fear of crime and to help the authorities with facial recognition Dundee also has the highest percentage of modern white light sources in Scotland, and the highest percentage of dimmable street lights of any city in the country.

    “Our move to more than 4,200 LED street lights has stopped 2,165 tonnes of carbon dioxide being put into the environment over three years.

    “The street lightning partnership has also used its expertise and experience to bring customised coloured lighting to the waterfront at Slessor Gardens and I am sure that it will continue to go from strength to strength until its three yearly review in 2018.”

    That is an SNP City demonstrating how today’s Scotland is using her ‘smarts’ to have better lit streets, using lighting to improve the city aesthetics and visitor experience, keeping the streets safer and putting less emmissions into the atmoshere (saving electricity and money). That is the New Scotland that I see emerging round about me. A new and better nation.

    Thanks, Ludo

    Liked by 1 person

    • johnrobertson834 August 15, 2017 / 7:27 am

      Blimey Ludo – so much feedback. you’re a blog on your own really. I’d like to think I had an impact but that way vanity lies. I still think it’s because they don’t think the Union has many votes online anyway


  3. daibhidhdeux August 15, 2017 / 2:05 am

    Thank you, Ludo, too; the Prof and all the insightful commentators on this sight also.

    Cracking stuff widely shared.



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