BBC Scotland High Heidyin, Sarah Smith, ponders why a fire won’t light when she and her kind have denied it oxygen


‘No, this stuff stays locked away! We don’t want those Jocks getting ideas above their station.’

(c) New City College, Hackney

I’m always amazed when media executives fail to recognise that the level of public interest in an event is largely the consequence of the amount and type of attention they and their colleagues have chosen to give to it in the first place. For most people, reality is mostly constructed for them by the editorial decisions made in ‘mainstream’ media organisations. Where else would most get their perceptions of reality from except in the rare exceptions where the event has happened in their own town or to someone they know personally.

The recent reporting of knife and gun violence in Scotland is a clear example of how that can be inflated to promote the level of fear of such crime beyond that which the actual and falling level would justify. See these for more detail:

BBC News tries to spread knife crime crisis into Scotland to tell us: ‘You’re no different. Don’t get any ideas!’

BBC Scotland lie and distort to try again to spread violent crime crisis into Scotland despite it having only 3.5% of the gangs for 8% of the population, falling levels of violent crime and because of falling levels of fear of crime?

Today, Sarah Smith, High Heidyin for Scottish News at BBC Jockland, disingenuously or stupidly, wonders why Scots are not aflame with indignation at the UK Government’s plans to roll back devolution via their Brexit strategy. She writes:

‘What happens if Holyrood rejects the EU Withdrawal Bill? Her (Nicola Sturgeon) problem is that this argument has not caught voters’ attention. The right of the Scottish Parliament to have a definitive say over regulations governing the use of pesticides does not appear to cause great concern to Scots.’

Notice her tendency to personalise a problem which all of Holyrood, other than the Tories, clearly share together, to one which is presented as only Nicola’s. It’s a reminder of the way, the Yes campaign’s disappointments were characterised, by BBC Scotland, as just Alex Salmond’s, in 2014.

However, more important, is her failure to recognise that the reason the argument has not caught voter’s attention is because of the extent of, and the way in which, it has been reported. Her sneaky use of the example of pesticide control is simply one of the strategies they have used – choose something boring or of apparently less importance as your example of the attack on devolution and, quelle surprise, there is, you claim, little interest in the wider issue.

Second, choose headlines which are designed to hide conflict and to prevent excited interest such as:

Holyrood set to reject Westminster Brexit powers bill – BBC News

Scotland Brexit: ‘Door still open’ for powers deal – BBC News

Scotland Brexit – BBC News

Brexit dance continues during Europe Day celebrations – BBC News

Leonard calls for cross-party talks to break Brexit deadlock – BBC News

MSPs debate consent to Brexit powers bill – BBC News

Here are alternative headlines from those supporters of devolution but opponents of independence, the Daily Record and the Guardian:

Westminster proposals aim to take away Scotland’s say on most …

Tories using Brexit to grab back devolved powers, say ministers …

Westminster is using Brexit to put devolution at risk. Scotland will not …

Had BBC Scotland blown some air into the damped-down fires of their many mature viewers and listeners, with headlines like these, might they have sparked a bit of interest?

Finally, deny the First minister the chance to give a full account of the situation. Even the Herald allowed, the at-times-good, Iain McWhirter, to present the case:

Come-on Sarah, stop pretending to be asleep.


6 thoughts on “BBC Scotland High Heidyin, Sarah Smith, ponders why a fire won’t light when she and her kind have denied it oxygen

  1. John May 15, 2018 / 4:32 pm

    Smoke and mirrors John , smoke and mirrors . Is this the same Sarah Smith that NEVER has an SNP minister on any of her programs , is this the Sarah Smith that goes to great lengths to speak to every Tom , Dick and Harry from every Unionist party relating to every Unionist matter in the England but would never seek any opinion from any pro -independence party . Her studio is wall to wall blue , red , and some Lib-Dem yellow Politian’s , THAT Sarah Smith . It’s not that she doesn’t know about what is happening in Scotland , like the rest of the BBC she just couldn’t care less !

    Liked by 2 people

    • bigjon999 May 15, 2018 / 4:42 pm

      I think she cares a lot, but wants to hide it all as most stories would show Scotland in a good light if honestly reported.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ludo Thierry May 15, 2018 / 4:42 pm

    Sarah used the example of Pesticide regulation to suggest that the power grab is of limited interest to Scottish public. She should look a bit more widely on the beeb’s own website – she’ll find interesting stuff about Pesticide regulation and the valuable work done by the EU – usually in the teeth of UK Govt opposition:
    Pesticides put bees at risk, European watchdog confirms
    By Helen Briggs BBC
    • 28 February 2018
    • Most uses of insecticides known as neonicotinoids represent a risk to wild bees and honeybees, the European Food Safety Authority has confirmed.
    • The use of neonicotinoids has been restricted in the European Union since 2013, following earlier risk assessments.
    • Nations will discuss a European Commission proposal to extend the ban next month.
    • Neonicotinoids are the world’s most widely used insecticide.
    • The new assessment considered more than 1,500 studies on the impacts of three neonicotinoids – clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam.
    • “There is variability in the conclusions, due to factors such as the bee species, the intended use of the pesticide and the route of exposure,” said Jose Tarazona, head of the European Food Safety Authority’s pesticides unit. “Some low risks have been identified, but overall the risk to the three types of bees we have assessed is confirmed.”
    • Real-world situations
    • The EU banned the use of the three chemicals on flowering crops – seen as most attractive to bees – almost five years ago in a move then opposed by the UK.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Brian May 15, 2018 / 5:42 pm

    BBC remit: “educate and inform”. If the public doesn’t recognise that the power grab associated with the EU Withdrawal Bill presents a genuine problem for Scotland, then you deserve a big chunk of the blame, BBC.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Terry callachan March 29, 2019 / 11:34 pm

    Sarah smith doesn’t have the brains her dad had nor the integrity , she’s living on his reputation but not quite smart enough to make anything of it so every mistake she makes is so obvious.
    She has a backstop though, she will wheedle off to London when the dust settles and then she will see her inclusion somewhat,reduced as her services are no longer required.
    A sad future awaits her.


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