On the website (above) and on BBC 1 at 07:27 am, repeated throughout the morning we heard:
‘The Scottish Conservatives are calling on the spending watchdog Audit Scotland to carry out a full investigation into the construction of the new Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh. It comes after a ‘senior’ trade union official suggested part of the building may have to be pulled down due to drainage problems.’
This is essentially a Scottish Conservatives press release, written up for them by BBC staff and using unsubstantiated rumours from an agenda-driven trade unionist who is allowed to present himself, sickeningly, as a worried father of two speaking ‘as a parent.’ The report clearly contravenes BBC editorial guidelines in relying on a single unqualified source quoting other unnamed sources. The report may not breach Daily Mail editorial guidelines. This is the second day of a hospital scare story running across the Scottish MSM in a way comparable to the pigeon poo infection stories s earlier in the year. Yesterday, we were able to compare (on Twitter) the highly politicised reports calling for dramatic responses including the resignation of the Health Secretary and now tearing down the building with the situation over a Liverpool hospital scandal where only the contractor was attacked:
‘The number of companies in Scotland declared insolvent has risen by 46% in six months.’
This based on statistics for a period of only six months. Even a beginner knows that you cannot meaningfully identify trends in such a short period and typically 3 to 5 years is recommended. The importance of not reacting to short-term change is revealed these reports for 2018 and 2017:
‘The cost of rural crime in Scotland has soared by more than 60% in just one year. That’s according to farm insurers NFU Mutual…..the steepest rise in Britain!’
First, this is ‘research’ by an insurance company. They have a clear aim to maximise their premiums. Second, as you can see above, the headline story is ‘Rural crime costs far less in Scotland than in the rest of the UK.’
Put together, these three stories can only have had a powerful downward effect on viewers’ morale. We know that low morale leads to conservatism in action including in voting for or against change.
For the umpteenth time, I’m not suggestion a conspiracy because one is not needed. The possible choices of which story to run passed before the editor’s mind like falling snowflakes. He or she then reached out for some and not for others, because they seemed, to them, to be the right ones and they seem to be good choices because of the editor’s subconscious processing developed over years in an education system and in a Scottish media world saturated with unionist preferences.