How Reporting Scotland INVENTED a crisis of infected hospitals for us

twodeadpigeon babiesdieafter

‘After because of’ or ‘after just later?’

They don’t always report the news, though they like to pretend they do. Sometimes they just make it up. Consider these:

NONE of the five patients who died recently in two Glasgow hospitals died BECAUSE of hospital acquired infections from pigeon-droppings or from any other source.

ALL forms of hospital acquired infection are MUCH less common than they were only ten yeas ago

Surely that’s not true. We all saw the dramatic headlined stories repeated daily, on the deaths of three in the Queen Elizabeth, and on the two babies in the Princess Royal, in the last week of January 2019.

With regard to the three at the QEUH, Reporting Scotland, repeatedly but incorrectly, said that the deaths had been ‘as a result of’, ‘after’ or ‘from’ the fungal infections they did have. This was untrue. In one case the patient had died from an unrelated cause and in the other two, the infection had been only a ‘contributory factor.’ I complained and the editor replied, first to admit that their reporting ‘did not quite come out as intended’ and then, after a second complaint, to admit that they were ‘wrong’ and to ‘apologise’. Full details at these:

When Reporting Scotland are caught lying, they say it ‘did not quite come out as intended’

Reporting Scotland editor apologises for Jackie Bird being wrong and ‘has a word with her’

Despite the above, they went on to use these misleading terms, implying causality again.

When reports of the deaths of two babies with hospital acquired infections, at the Princess Royal, emerged, we saw the same use of suggestive but inaccurate language. The babies had died ‘after’ infection. Today Reporting Scotland were careful not to say that the infection had caused the deaths but left the impression that the hospital infection was the story.

Here is the real news on the three main groups of hospital acquired infections:





So, not one patient had been killed by a hospital-acquired infection. Despite this and the reality of fast-falling rates of such infection, the media frenzy led by BBC Scotland with the opposition parties in joyous support, the Scottish Government will allow an inquiry:


Now everyone, including the Scottish Government, knows that five deaths, among many thousands of other deaths, where a hospital acquired infection was only a contributory factor in these five, is not the objective basis for a national inquiry. This is a classic moral panic and a classic scare story with politic and irrational human emotions, not science or reason, at its origin. The reporting and not the actual, low and falling, level of infection in hospitals, has caused the inquiry.

Unable to ‘lay a glove’ on the most competent and popular government in Scotland’s history, the state broadcaster is using the NHS to conduct a proxy propaganda war against the whole idea of an independent Scotland capable of running its own systems.

When they cannot find a real problem within an infinitely improvable public service where such do often emerge, they are prepared to go well beyond any form of responsible journalism, to actually construct part of the reality of their viewers’ lives and to scare them into an aversion to change of any kind..




16 thoughts on “How Reporting Scotland INVENTED a crisis of infected hospitals for us

  1. Marlene February 23, 2019 / 11:06 am

    It is infuriating. What’s also infuriating is that a decision against holding an enquiry would just have added fuel to the story: “SNP refuse to investigate Hospital Deaths” And no doubt something along the lines of “Reporting Scotland will not let SNP Hide This Failure of Care” or “How Many More Scots Have to Die Before Jeanne Freeman Acts?” Hey, I could get a job as a BBC headline writer!!

    Liked by 1 person

      • Marlene February 23, 2019 / 11:52 am

        State. Does that rule me out as a BBC headline writer?

        Liked by 1 person

      • johnrobertson834 February 23, 2019 / 3:25 pm

        One of my students went for an interview with BBC Scotland and was only state-educated one there.


      • John Munro February 23, 2019 / 11:15 pm

        Aww! come on Prof. I was privately educated but I wouldn’t lower myself by applying for a job at the state propaganda service. Some of us poshos have standards as well, you know.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Alasdair Macdonald February 23, 2019 / 1:18 pm

    An excellent analysis and expose of this baleful journalism.

    Currently, there is a similar piece of fiction going about with regard to the ‘split’ in the Labour Party. The antisemitism accusation is now on its third outing. The media present it as a fact that there is antisemitism and do not challenge any of the assertions being made.

    I give this as an example to show that it is a well-used piece of misinformation against any group which challenges the hegemony of the BRITISH story and the entitlement to power of those in the circle. Mr Chuka Umuna and Ms Luciana Berger are examples of this.

    A fair amount of the opposition to independence – and we heard it in the speech to the LibDem chinwag by Ms Jo Swinson – is that it challenges the toehold such people have on power. They are well-heeled people – often millionaires – who are i thrall to the growing power of the Billionaires who run global finance. Quite a lot of people from relatively humble backgrounds, some of whom I know well and get on well with are millionaires because of their property ownings – one house, plus one inherited from parents, who were first time homeowners.


    • johnrobertson834 February 23, 2019 / 3:27 pm

      Yes, as you say, same phenomenon. Yet they can be quite indignant apparently believing they are mere conveyors of the objective truth.


  3. Kelpie February 23, 2019 / 2:55 pm

    I was also intrigued by their careful use of the word “associated” with pigeon droppings.

    It made me suspect they were trying to imply “caused” by pigeon droppings when there was no evidence that was the case. Rather than allow there are several possible sources of the infection and the source in this case could not be pinpointed much better propaganda to choose one known common source (pigeon droppings) that sounds icky and implies poor hygiene control.


  4. Norman Martin February 23, 2019 / 4:01 pm

    I expected some such truth when I saw the broadcast. Thanks for this and please keep on following up. Sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. johnrobertson834 February 24, 2019 / 7:34 am

    John, I know lots make it through the posh system to emerge as good folk. In some ways they’re heroes to have done it against the odds. A touch of poverty gives some an unfair advantage. 🌚


    • John Munro February 24, 2019 / 9:59 am

      Actually Prof, I was a fraud here. My dad drove a lorry and my ma was a school cleaner. I got in through a scholarship. Mind you, I suppose I became a semi-posho.


  6. anne martin March 1, 2019 / 3:50 pm

    Radio 4 Gardeners Question Time from Queen Elizabeth Hospital 30 minutes ago described as having problems and 2 patient deaths from HAI’s. Even if it was true would you really deliver such an introduction in the location in front of patients there? I know we more or less exist in a permanent state of ‘beam me up Scotty’ but this one had me questioning my own lithium processors.

    Liked by 1 person

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