Is there a mole in the BBC Scotland website?



Today, the BBC Scotland website did a piece on growth in the Scottish oil and gas sector with barely a sign of a ‘but’. They’ve let one or two such reports slip through, over the past year or so. If they’d only had a word with Reporting Scotland, they’d have got a big contribution from them along the lines of ‘ah but, thousands have jobs were lost in 2016’ or ‘ah but, the UK treasury got no tax revenue in 2016’ and then a repeat of that prediction from the Edinburgh University professor saying it won’t last long. Remember:

An Edinburgh University Professor says North Sea oil and gas has only ten years left while the Wall Street Journal describes it as an ‘oil hot spot’ and Oil and Gas UK doesn’t recognise his figures. Who’s right?

Anyhow, they didn’t and headlined:

‘Oil and gas production predicted to increase’

It was still a bit hesitant compared to Insider and Energy Voice, who went for:

‘North Sea output expected to beat forecasts’


‘North Sea operators to deliver 2.8billion barrels extra, OGA says’

They went on to say:

‘The oil and gas industry regulator has raised its forecast of what can be recovered from the waters around the UK over the next three decades. Changes in the way the sector operates are thought to have unlocked the potential for a further 2.8 billion barrels of oil or the gas equivalent. It is now estimated that 11.7 billion barrels could be recovered between 2016 to 2050.’

That’s a bit pessimistic compared to this, from the Torygraph ten years ago, and before the recent technological advances and lowered costs:

‘Dr Richard Pike, a former oil industry consultant and now the chief executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry, said: “Rather than only getting 20 to 30 billion barrels [from the North Sea] we are probably looking at more than twice that amount.” His analysis is supported by petroleum experts who believe there are some 300 fields off the coast of Britain still to be explored and tapped properly. If energy prices continue to soar, companies will become increasingly willing to tap previously uneconomic oil fields. Dr Pike claims that the industry knows the true figures but refuses to release them because of commercial secrecy.’

Mind you, even the 11.7 billion barrels at the current going rate of £76pb means gross income of $889 billion for producers and several billion in tax revenue for a Scottish treasury.

The BBC report also mentions in passing: ‘More than 43 billion barrels have been extracted from UK waters so far.’ Again, even at today’s prices, which are lower than in the past, that was $3.2 trillion and many billions of tax revenue, which paid for Thatcher’s de-industrialisation of the UK and for building the infrastructure of London and the South. I suppose the webmaster will be too young to remember that.


15 thoughts on “Is there a mole in the BBC Scotland website?

  1. Stan Wilson March 2, 2018 / 10:12 am

    Is there a very slight attempt towards impartiality being addressed?

    Are the signs that the Establishment may not be able to withstand a breakup of the UK giving institutions moments of panic or doubt?

    Let’s hope so.

    Liked by 2 people

    • johnrobertson834 March 2, 2018 / 10:52 am

      That would take top-down planning and control. My impression is that the junior staff self-censor to keep their jobs.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Alasdair Macdonald. March 2, 2018 / 10:59 am

    It was reported on Reporting Scotland this morning – straightforward factual reporting with no comments, ifs or buts,

    There was also an interview with THE COLONEL, in which she was interrupted several time, so frequently, she actually complained.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Alasdair Macdonald. March 2, 2018 / 11:16 am

      Sorry. It was on Good Morning Scotland.

      Liked by 2 people

    • johnrobertson834 March 2, 2018 / 3:50 pm

      Thanks. They’ve gone for Tomkins too. Are they dumping the Tories for Labour again?


  3. John March 2, 2018 / 12:48 pm

    I think Ruthie was very taken aback this morning when Haylie Miller had the audacity to challenge her a couple of times, and even ask her to apologise for saying the Scottish Government ‘s report on the economy on Brexit was scaremongering ,considering theirs was even worse .I think though that the BBC have not had a change of allegiance at all , I just think they in a huff with Davidson and Mundell because they asked them for comments on Good Morning Scotland recently and they wouldn’t oblige !


    • johnrobertson834 March 2, 2018 / 3:51 pm

      A huff is def possible. Hayley sounds pretty self-important. But, as you say probably not a sign of conversion to independence. They just can’t.

      Liked by 1 person

    • johnrobertson834 March 2, 2018 / 4:02 pm

      GAP seemed still unimpressed

      ‏ @GAPonsonby
      8h8 hours ago

      What a stroke of luck for Ruth Davidson that the hapless Hayley Millar was chosen to interview her. Millar contrived to completely f*ck up an interview despite having three killer questions requiring *minimal preparation* and that Davidson should have struggled with.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ludo Thierry March 2, 2018 / 1:34 pm

    Rapid visit – The July to December 2017 ABCs appeared today. The Scotsman again ‘pretending’ to a circulation rise – this time of 2%. The htfp piece indicates that only 76% are paid for – and we know from previously that the discounting is massive for much of the remainder. I can’t access the ‘certificate’ page which gives better info but am giving the link in case someone else can manage to access it. I’ve tried to cull the relevant Scottish papers’ info – hope it prints out OK. PS – Well done to SNP for apparently winning the Alva and Tilli by-election – And REALLY well done to all the electors who struggled out to the polling stations to do their democratic duty yesterday.

    Jul-Dec ABC YoY change
    The Scotsman 19,792 2%
    The National 9,746 -6%
    Press & Journal 48,208 -7%
    The Courier, Dundee 35,813 -9%
    Edinburgh Evening News
    16,660 -9%
    The Herald, Glasgow 25,869 -10%
    Dundee Evening Telegraph
    13,321 -11%
    Aberdeen Evening Express 22,736 -12%
    Glasgow Evening Times 20,874 -12%
    Dundee Evening & Weekend Telegraph 13,321 -11%

    Flagship daily The Scotsman also posted an increase of 2pc, with 76pc of the copies paid-for
    less than 10,000 of the Scotsman copies were at full price, rest were discounted and free

    Click to access 48777241.pdf

    Will try and put the Sundays in a separate post to make the reading less confusing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ludo Thierry March 2, 2018 / 1:41 pm

    Here’s the ABCs July to December 2017 for the relevant Scottish Sunday papers (and the WHFP – no idea what it’s politics are like since it severed direct connection to Brian the Britnat). Note – again JP trying same trick with SoS and claiming a 1% circulation rise – like the Hootsmon it beggars belief. The figures for the local weeklies are even worse – holdthefrontpage has very full tables – but you have to comb through all the UK titles to find the Scottish ones dotted around – frightening drops and tiny circulations for so many Scottish local titles – can’t see them surviving much longer in many cases.

    Product ABC Total YoY change
    Scotland on Sunday 16,289 1%
    West Highland Free Press 5,600 -8%
    Sunday Herald 18,387 -13%

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Ludo Thierry March 2, 2018 / 1:50 pm

    Sorry for error in info due to rushing! – The Hootsmon acknowledge only 76% are paid for – so 24% are dished out as ‘comps’ – However – of that 76% paid for – only an element are paid as full price – with large chunk ‘paid for’ but massively discounted – apols for any confusion in my previous post! – Trying to type too fast!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. William Henderson March 2, 2018 / 2:53 pm

    Maybe it’s just that their senior censor is snowed in and couldn’t get to work on time.

    I’m not feeling charitable!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Ludo Thierry March 2, 2018 / 6:07 pm

    Hayley Millar’s interview with Col. Davidson was pretty disappointing. To be scrupulously fair she did actually put a few questions – rather than the usual ‘puffery’. So shocked was Col.Ruth that she was completely ‘thrown’ and there was a potential for a really sticky interview – but then Hayley just backed off and Col. Davidson scampered home to safety.

    Just to help put Hootsmon’s circulation in context there seem to be 2 other local ‘dailies’ operating in Scotland – Assuming their ABCs are quoting ‘paid for’ copies they are not so very far behind (I’ve no idea what their ‘political’ stance happens to be – but they don’t have the endless free ‘pushing’/advertising by the broadcast media that the Hootsmon receives: see figures below:

    Jul-Dec ABC YoY change
    Greenock Telegraph 8,959 -6%
    Paisley Daily Express 4,508 -6%

    Again – just for contextual info re. the relentless grinding down of ‘local paper’ coverage I have picked a few of the better known ‘local’ titles in Scotland – One can see how some are heading into free-fall: see below:

    Oban Times 10,538 -2%
    East Lothian Courier 9,969 -3%
    John O’Groat Journal 5,048 -7%
    Inverness Courier (Fri) 7,719 -10%
    Perthshire Advertiser (Fri) 6,067 -12%
    Hamilton Advertiser 8,404 -13%
    The West Lothian Courier 5,555 -13%
    Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser
    6,046 -15%
    Highland News 3,201 -17%
    Banffshire Journal 2,051 -23%

    Many of the ‘local’ titles will be increasingly dependent on the ‘statutory’ requirement for Local Authorities and similar public bodies to place ‘Notices’ in the ‘local’ press (at high cost advertising rates). Should the Scottish Govt and Parlt choose to revisit the idea (previously considered – but not pursued) of Local Authorities being able to post official public notices on their own websites (without the statutory requirement for them to be placed in the print press) then the bulk of ‘local titles’ would be up a particular creek sans paddle. (I seem to recall the potential savings to Local Authorities and public bodies being estimated at several £Ms per annum). Interestingly the hyperlocal paper The Arran Banner (circulation 2,930) bucked the trend and added a fraction (0.3%) to its circulation (I understand that it doesn’t put its material online – and relies exclusively on paper sales and being well known in its community).

    JP operates large numbers of these ‘local titles’ and they are all losing sales pretty heavily. Mr. Ajer Christensson and Alex Salmond were, naturally, aware of the trends but had seen some prospect for adjusting the business model to give the group some hope. I wonder what bearing (if any) these latest figures will have on the plans which were being laid some months back? I wonder how the fabulously salaried CEO of JP Ashley Highfield (ex-Beeb executive) will try and spin these latest ghastly figures?

    Liked by 2 people

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