Why this good news on the Scottish economy is reported but other examples are not


(c) Insider

Today on BBC Scotland News, six times before 9am:

‘Scottish retailers recorded their best month’s performance in more than four years, last month. Figures from the Scottish Retail Consortium showed total sales increased by 2.4% compared with May 2017. Food sales were up 4.2% while non-food sales rose 1.4%. The SRC says garden furniture, barbecues and summer clothes and footwear all performed well.’

This will, no doubt make the three Reporting Scotland shows today, too. So, who says BBC Scotland doesn’t give us good news on the Scottish economy? Well, in the last few days, they missed:

  1. Scottish growth ‘outpacing UK as a whole’
  2. Scottish growth three times UK level
  3. ‘Foreign Direct Investment in Scotland at ‘unprecedented’ levels
  4. 8% of the population, nearly 9% of the exports but only 5.25% of the imports

from these reliable and easily accessed sources:





Before I offer an explanation as to why some good news on Scotland’s economy gets reported but other examples do not, one wee detail. Notice ‘best month’s performance in more than four years’ but ‘2.4% compared with May 2017’, only one year back? Would the percentage increase on the level more than four years ago have looked too good?

Anyhow, here’s my thesis:

  1. The sales figures are allowed because they are the result of retailers ‘performance’, weather or horror of horrors, borrowing, and not, apparently anything to do with the SNP though you could say that sales reflect wages and jobs and that the government of the day gets some credit. Of course, Westminster policies can also be given credit for this.
  2. Sales figures are not evidence of core economic strength of the kind suggested by growth, investment and exports. It seems certain that these owe something to inherent strengths plus SNP economic policies and should not be mentioned.
  3. The growth, investment and export/import figures allow favourable comparison with the rUK and this, too, does not fit the Unionist agenda.

4 thoughts on “Why this good news on the Scottish economy is reported but other examples are not

  1. John June 13, 2018 / 3:37 pm

    Nailed it John , my thoughts exactly , while it is good that retail figures are up , largely due to the weather , it is the fundemental economy figures that matter . The ecomomy figures are the important ones , it lets you how your whole country is performing not just what is happening in shops . Now this is where the BBC don’t want good figures talked about , it makes people think that the country is doimg well , that the SNP must be doing good things and maybe they are worth voting for . The BBC will not put these good news stories forward , I might make people in Scotland think they can run their coumtry on their own ,without interference from Westminster , that would never do ! .


  2. Contrary June 13, 2018 / 9:22 pm

    Have you listened to this podcast? Lesley Riddoch talking to an activist/lawyer in Iceland, I thought it quite thought provoking -it’s about 16mins long:


    On this article: it’s not just what they pick and choose to report, it’s the way they report it too -language used, placement with other reports (did I hear GMS say this morning ‘overpopulartion problem’? Um, do we not have the opposite? That was in amongst bullying phone ins and other dire terrible news to distract from the constitutional crisis brought about by Westminster – maybe they are trying to sell us Brexit by telling us we don’t need immigration?).

    Anyway, I spoke to a rare politically aware colleague late this afternoon, after the headline-reading-football-only-one-team-supporting-unionist ‘I don’t employ more woman because they dont fit in with the team not because I’m against diversity’ type colleagues had gone away, and she had seen that the SNP had walked out of Westminster and thought it outrageous,,, but she did admit to only seeing one news clip. That’s the media for you.

    So I asked if she knew why the walk out, and what happened last night with the voting – the constitutional outrage of the tories, and labour, ignoring the Scottish government & destroying devolution etc – but no, she didn’t have a clue! I was quite shocked. Anyway, I made the best fist of it as possible to explain, but didn’t have enough info on today’s events to say if it was justified – it very much was, now I’ve looked into it!

    The podcast above gives some interesting views on uncertainty and fear – how it is used by the media – but how uncertainty isn’t something anyone should be fearing. Only with change can good things come to pass, we should be embracing change and making it work for the better.

    Liked by 1 person

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