Friday, 18 September 2009

Anti-Glasgow, Anti-SNP and Aunty Beeb

The news agenda has (once again) been set by a Labour soundbite, the Scottish budget is apparently proof that the SNP are biased against Glasgow.

The BBC are pursuing this claim as though it had merit. There appears no analysis of any kind of the allegation, nor a requirement on anyone from Labour to define it. The budget has been ignored and in it’s place we have a wholely contrived ‘debate’ on whether the SNP is indeed guilty of such a charge.

Allegations of bias and/or prejudice are very serious, especially when they appear malicious and made in an opportunistic and flippant manner. It is one thing to decry the cancelling of GARL, however it is quite another to allege prejudice on the part of Government ministers or the party they represent.

The Labour politicians indulging in this latest smear campaign must at the very least explain what they mean when they say the SNP are anti Glasgow? They appear to be suggesting a form of intra-regional racism or regional xenophobia on the part of the SNP.

To suggest that the cancellation of GARL is justification on it’s own is simply ridiculous when we remember that the Edinburgh airport link suffered the same fate and no such charge was made. Furthermore, the SNP were very much against the Edinburgh trams project and again no such charge was made.

So, what other evidence is there to support this latest Labour smear?

Since the BBC have decided that this irresponsible allegation is the major issue of the budget, then it is surely their duty to ask the leader of Labour at Holyrood exactly what this phrase means and what evidence he has to justify it.

A failure to do so will leave the BBC in Scotland facing accusations that it is is quite happy to headline any Labour attack regardless of merit and to put any Labour allegation to SNP politicians whatever the allegation may be.

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Florence said...

Ref: Anti-Glasgow.

Re your final paragraph, this would appear to be the BBC's raison d'etre.

Alasdair said...

I wouldn't expect any any explanation from the Labour leadership in holyrood, except perhaps for some minor disgruntlement about his own sound bite being largely ignored, "sweeney todd"? what utter tosh.

Wasn't Purcell touted as a potential Labour leader in holyrood at one point? I'm sure his most recent silly outburst is merely par for the course when it comes to training future leaders.

Dramfineday said...

So, the question is, how do we force the BBC to address this bias with being dismissed as biased ourselves? Do we, like the torries of old, start a media waitch team. If so it needs to be an SNP government minister that takes responsibility. To be honest, I've been a little puzzled as to why SNP ministers have been so polite to the likes of Campbell and given the rest of them a free run and not challenged some of the asumptions and statements they make.

Anonymous said...

Someone on the Blether with Brian page left a note saying a Labour/Megrahi headline was proudly sitting on their front Scottish politics page for almost two weeks. What other news body leaves ancient news up? They've since removed it.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately for the British Nationalists who control the BBC and blatantly misuse it for anti SNP pro unionist propaganda purposes, the days when 17million people watched peak viewing programmes, never mind the news is long gone thanks to digital TV.

Could account for why the SNP are still topping the polls.....I say, how galling!!

Anonymous said...

The BBC Scotland team in the morning are shameful Labour supporters and the ones who are not are Tories.

They are all to a man unionists.

Off the ball Sunday supplement has more relevant political coverage than Morning Extra. It covers all the political opinions

Anonymous said...

These conspiracy theories are ridiculous.

Look, the budget was a pretty boring one - no great headlines came out of it. However, when the leader of Scotland's biggest council makes claims of an "anti-Glasgow" agenda it is perfectly fair to test these claims. And that is all the BBC is doing. You'll note that every other news outlet also covered the same story. Every one.

Swinney and other SNP politicians were on the BBC putting up a pretty good defence and I think the public can make their own judgements.

Yes, the news agenda IS sometimes set by a Labour soundbite. It's also set by Conservative and SNP soundbites too. That's the nature of any news organisation. I can recall a Tory debate about schools dominating the news agenda just the other week.

Clearly some people would like the BBC to be an SNP fanboy, continually saying nice things about the government and trying not to put any of their claims to the test. But that's surely not the BBC's role!