Posts Tagged ‘Scottish independence’

I know that it isn’t possible to extrapolate from a single interview the overall level of institutional bias in a broadcaster, so I’m making it clear that’s not what I’m trying to do in posting this video.

The fact is that studies have already shown strong levels of bias against Scottish independence in BBC coverage,

The interview in question, from the Sunday Politics Show, was conducted by Andrew Neil (a former Tory party activist and editor of Rupert Murdoch’s Sunday Times) and featured the Scottish socialist and Yes campaigner Tommy Sheridan.

Tommy Sheridan is undoubtedly a talented public speaker, and Andrew Neil does a more-or-less professional job of asking the questions he’s supposed to.

The problem with the interview wasn’t the fact that Tommy Sheridan was asked questions, but the way the questions were asked.

The interview started out with the classic Unionist tactic of trying to conflate Scottish independence with the SNP. Sheridan eloquently rebuffed this stance, pointing out that the SNP are actually the elected government of Scotland, and will remain so until 2016 – no matter which way the referendum goes. Then he went on to explain that the Yes campaign is about the whole future of Scotland, not just the success or failure of the SNP.

One of the tactics used by Andrew Neil was to use a Trotsky quote to try to undermine the case for independence, but it came across more as a tactic to smear Tommy Sheridan as a “Trotskyite” than anything resembling a good faith attempt to learn anything about the socialist case for independence.

Tommy Sheridan raised the subject of BBC bias several times during the interview, although he was careful not to make it a personal accusation against his interviewer. One of his complaints was that a report predicting a Scottish oil and gas boom had had no BBC coverage at all since its publication.

The lack of coverage of this positive oil report contrasts sharply with the blanket uncritical publicity afforded to the scaremongering comments of Ian Wood the week before.

In their desperation to bash the SNP and fearmonger about the Scottish oil industry, the BBC and the rest of the mainstream media failed to even note the massive discrepancy between Ian Wood’s projections and those of the Westminster establishment.

It is desperate fear mongering by the BBC – Biased Broadcasting Corporation.