Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Is BBC Scotland the "No” campaigns most powerful propaganda weapon? 

Why was a major new source of Financial news on 2 February 2014 ignored?

Almost every day on BBC Scotland we hear some item of news portraying a negative picture of a future Independent Scotland, e.g. a prominent business person saying how much his business would suffer, but never to balance things out, another businessman saying why he was going to vote "Yes".  There are some things that would be difficult to object to, but are nevertheless anti-Independence propaganda.  

For example, take "Good Morning Scotland Paper Review" often described as "a gallop through the papers".  Almost every heading comes from the Right Wing Press, such as a new "Scare Story" with no one ever being asked to challenge.  This propaganda is then beamed into a million homes every morning of the week.

Then moving to the Saturday morning programme we hear Angus Macleod, who is in the pay of a right wing newspaper, and known for his hatred of Alex Salmond, given the opportunity to comment on the main political stories in his weekly roundup.  I have also heard instances of anti-Independence views being broadcast prior to 8:00 am, with no one appearing to challenge them until after 8:30 am by which time most listeners will have left for work.

Challenge the BBC on this and all you will get is the stock answer that "No one was available at this time".  I have been told that the SNP submitted a "Dossier of Concerns" to the BBC in 2011, and that this has simply disappeared. 

However, on 2nd February 2014 came an item of considerable financial importance relating to Scotland becoming a successful Independent country, which was completely ignored, and has since been dubbed by the "Yes" campaign as "Bias by silence".  It came from a highly respected establishment institution – "The Financial Times". 

What did it say to frighten the BBC into simply ignoring it?  

I quote – 

"Among the blizzard of contention and spin that surrounds the Independence debate, some points of broad consensus are clear.  Nationalists argue that being part of the UK has held Scotland back, while their opponents countered that the union has been central to its economic success.  But the leading players on both sides accept that Scotland has all the ingredients to be a viable nation state".

"If its geographic share of UK oil and gas output is taken into account, Scotland's GDP per head is bigger than that of France.  Even excluding the North Sea's hydrocarbon bounty, per capita GDP is higher than that of Italy.  Oil, whisky and a broad range of manufactured goods means an Independent Scotland would be one of the world's top 35 exporters."

"An Independent Scotland could also expect to start with healthier state finances than the rest of the UK.  Although Scotland enjoys public spending well above the UK average – a source of resentment among some in England, Wales and Northern Ireland – the cost to the Treasury is more than outweighed by oil and gas revenues from Scottish waters."

"One of the favourite citations touted by the Nationalist Yes Scotland campaign is a quote from a 2007 Daily Telegraph article by David Cameron, now UK Prime Minister, that argued there was no point in trying to keep Scotland inside the union, "through fear of economic consequences" of leaving.  "Supporters of Independence will always be able to cite examples of small, independent and thriving economies across Europe such as Finland, Switzerland and Norway".  Mr Cameron wrote "It would be wrong to suggest that Scotland could not be another such successful independent country".

Have you ever heard BBC Scotland even hint that David Cameron made such an important statement?

Analysing the Financial Times figures is both fascinating and revealing.  Their calculations are shown in clear graphics, so immune to false interpretation.  Using Westminster's own data, it shows that immediately on becoming Independent all Scots will be 11% better off.  That works out at around £7 billion a year.  In simple terms, as the Financial Times quotes – "this is equivalent to £1321 a year for every man, woman and child in the country, or £5,812 a year for the classic 2.4 children nuclear family."  

This eclipses the figure of £824 a year for every Scot as revealed by the UK Government's own figures (Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland) for 2011/12 published in April 2013.

Was it the case that the BBC felt unable to challenge these figures coming from such a respected source as the Financial Times, which lead to a conspiracy of silence?

P.S. I would urge everyone seeing bias on BBC Scotland to get in touch with them as soon as possible.  I suggest that you do so by letter, as a phone call can "disappear" and an e-mail ignored.  The BBC has recordings of all its programmes so a 48 hour delay in your letter getting to the BBC would not make any difference.