Should SNP leaders be tackling BBC bias head-on as Mike Russell did in 2010?

You’ll know that I’m utterly opposed to division within the ranks until the war is over. I rage against insider criticism of the SNP even though I may share some of the concerns raised myself. Until the great day, we should only have time and energy to support Scotland and all the parts of the Yes movement. We should only have time and energy to mount attacks on our clear enemies in the Yoon media and in the Unionist parties but especially in the dread Tories.

On the great day, I’ll be able to push the socialist, republican and pacifist values that matter most to me but I know that only an independent Scotland, free of England’s extreme-right, can provide the place where they are possible.

So, I hesitate to write something that seems, is, I suppose, a criticism of the current SNP approach to BBC bias – gently goes it? I was happier with Salmond’s more combative style but if it’s too divisive to win then I accept the Sturgeon strategy. You could, of course argue that Salmond led the Yes movement from 25 to 45% while Sturgeon only seems to have taken it up from 45% to around 47%. I’ll say no more.

Anyhow, see the above inspiring example of how a leading SNP politician took on the frankly dishonest Gordon Brewer back in 2010. I still enjoy a re-listen.

Footnote: I remain puzzled and concerned about Sturgeon coming out in support of the dread, hawkish, corrupt, Hilary Clinton before then gailly recommending we read something by the war-criminal Henry Kissinger! How did she spend four years at Glasgow Uni doing politics and miss this? I feel sure Salmond and Russell would know.





19 thoughts on “Should SNP leaders be tackling BBC bias head-on as Mike Russell did in 2010?

  1. Scott August 1, 2018 / 10:06 am

    I forgot about this one and the way he was getting all the shouting so I had a look at the way he conducted his interview with the then FM Jack McConnell very different.Mind you I don’t have much time for Brewer.Hope you might have time to have a look at the link below.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Robert Graham August 1, 2018 / 10:32 am

    On countless INDY supporting sites and blogs a lot of people are urging the SNP representatives to wisen up , this BBC in Scotland are activly working to undermine the Scottish Government every single day , their whole output regarding anything in Scotland is driven by press releases from unionist parties , every live interview must have a challenge to this government funded propaganda channel , the days of cooperation and treating this lot with respect are long gone , This BBC in Scotland are no friends of the INDY movement so dont treat them with any respect ever .

    Liked by 5 people

  3. TSD August 1, 2018 / 11:21 am

    Reblogged this on Ramblings of a 50+ Female and commented:
    The brilliant Mike Russell in action! Come on SNP, please take a leaf out of Mike’s book and call out the MSM.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Brian Powell August 1, 2018 / 2:33 pm

    Also, the walk out in Westminster on the power grab by Ian Blackford, brought 7000 upwards new members and a boost in the ratings. So action had a real effect.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. gavin August 1, 2018 / 4:12 pm

    Good news! Good news!

    Conservative Home has Boris way out in front to replace Treeza when she gets dumped.
    Remember Boris’s anti-Scottish poem?

    “The Scots–a verminous race” etc etc…………………..

    Its going to be out there, whenever Boris comes to call…………………….
    Will Ruthie and Fluffy be at the airport to welcome him to Scotland?
    Oh, happy day!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. John August 1, 2018 / 4:45 pm

    Had not seen that before , good for Mike , what a difference to the interview with Mc Connell . If it shows you nothing else it shows you Brewster’s complete disrespectfulness to a Scottish SNP Government Minister , and absolutely nothing has changed by any of the BBC journalists in the years since .
    The problem is that SNP Ministers are all far too subservient , with the exception of a few , during interviews with the BBC in particular . They all need media training , they need to know their brief inside out to be able to fend off questions that are untrue and they need to have the confidence to speak in a forceful and concise manner when challenged .

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Contrary August 1, 2018 / 9:58 pm

    John, you are right to voice any concerns, then you can get input from other people? I doubt I can allay them though, because I think you want something from the SNP that they can’t be, or rather what their strategy can’t be. Alex Salmond is good eh, a clever man, very sharp and a good dose of charisma, and he deals with interviews excellently (interesting when he talked about his new show that it was actually much more difficult to be the interviewer!), but when you say he is ‘divisive’ if sounds like the BritNat media talking – I think he stepped down from the lead role for several reasons but one is likely that opinion on him is too polarised, he’s been in the game so long there are too many people against him personally (as well as for, but if you are selling an ideology, a too-strong personality can get in the way). It would have been good to still have him in Westminster, he knows how to play that game.

    The thing is, the SNP are now the party in government, they have to act responsibly to run our country (the devolved parts anyway), and I’m sorry, but I don’t want a bunch of radicals obsessing about one issue when there is a lot of work to be done (and little support) – I am assuming there was a decision at some point within the party to show a responsible face, and Nicola Sturgeon to take a more serious role. A lot of complaints about the SNP are that they are now just bland administrators, which is not great for pushing the one key issue, but in fact is great for running a country without corruption and without hatred and without prejudice – so I like them in government, but that leaves a big gaping hole where we need a more focused stance.

    The way I see it, the SNP have created a situation where they can enable a referendum to happen – let’s face it, we would not have a majority for independence in Holyrood if it weren’t for their careful management of our resources, and by being careful, they keep enough power to Give Us a Choice. It is us that have to be the activists (if only I could get off my fat arse). I do feel it is an awkward situation.

    The msm are not kindly, towards the SNP or us, but I really believe they have to treat the media with kid gloves – with so little air time as it is, and negativity, i can imagine any aggressive stance on their part will just make it worse. We are never going to win over the msm before independence, so we need alternative ways to show people independence will be good for us.

    I have concerns as well, but more to do with what I feel is the effect of spin doctors in the party advising on certain issues – I can’t say what any of them are, but on some issues the SNP response has made me feel ,,, uncomfortable? Too ‘establishment’? And that makes me worry they will just dissolve into the establishment.

    I have to agree with your footnote. Declaring a favourite (I would not advice choosing any candidate in a foreign election when you are a government leader) anyway did not seem wise, but choosing Clinton,,, saying she admired her. Well, each to their own, I guess, but admiring such people makes me suspect poor judgement. But then, we have to remember, all these people are Politicians and they look at other politicians in a different light from us. It never ceases to amaze me how they can have vicious nasty debates and commentary about or to each other, then turn round and say what great pals they are and how they admire each other. It’s a game to them.

    Hmm. Maybe you are right John – I am, after all, just trying to rationalise some behaviours here – maybe we need a bit less establishment and a bit more passion. And maybe I need to start writing to my MP and MSP again, they probably haven’t managed to read my mind, AGAIN.

    Liked by 1 person

    • johnrobertson834 August 2, 2018 / 8:43 am

      Interesting, Interesting. ‘re Alex being divisive I think they had some kind stats showing that. I like him.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Marian August 2, 2018 / 8:43 am

      I wouldn’t be so certain that the SNP leader has created a situation where they can enable a referendum to happen as its solely dependent on one thing namely that the UK leaves the EU without a deal in March 2019 as its still possible the EU will come up with some fudged deal with PM May in order to ameliorate the damage on their own economies and which could drag out the Brexit leaving process for many years to come.

      It would be more sensible if the SNP stepped back and re-focussed on the democratic deficit that has brought Scotland to this position where its very economy and institutions are under threat

      from the actions of a Westminster form of government that rides rough shod over Scotland at every opportunity.


      • Contrary August 2, 2018 / 7:30 pm

        Mmm. Yes, I see what you mean Marian, I think this is one of the things that is being influenced by the spin-masters, that they are implying a referendum is wholly dependent on brexit, when in fact we have already gone far beyond the situation that calls for a referendum, weegingerdug had a good piece yesterday about a Westminster committee report that has stated devolution is not working – so even they can see things are beyond the pale already.

        I have made the wild and unsubstantiated assumption that we will be given the choice, a referendum, with or without Brexit, and they are just messing about with timing. I maybe shouldn’t be making that assumption. And the longer they leave it the less time we have to make friends and influence people. And we must dissolve the union before Westminster declares its emergency powers, that is definitely not going to be an acceptable position to be in.

        As Garry says below, the SNP appear to always be on the defensive – they need to be more confident and self-assured, for certain.

        What I meant by the SNP enabling a referendum was that they are being elected in enough numbers to keep the independence majority in Holyrood going – and I believe they keep those numbers by being good administrators. That is, I just meant in general, not this specific one one we want now.


  8. Donald McGregor August 2, 2018 / 6:29 am

    Thanks for this – and in answer to your headlined question, my answer is ‘er, yes, of course!’

    Your sample interview though shows how skilled you must be to push back against the time of Brewer questioning that Mike Russell was subjected to.

    Too easy for something like that to turn into 2 people shouting. Politics seems a world where many skills are needed – including a deep understanding of your brief.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Gerry Roberrtson August 2, 2018 / 9:34 am

    Yes while I have the highest respect for our FM I do often miss the ‘robust’ responses given by AS and people like MR. There is almost a defensive attitude being employed by some SNP MSP’s these days. Like manyI’m sure I scream at the TV willing them to attack the nonesense that seems to spew regularly from the lips of Unionist politicians without challenge and the media especially the BBC. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK.

    Liked by 1 person

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