Wednesday 2 March 2016

A Scottish News Programme: Yes or No?

There's a deal of controversy over the proposals for a "Scottish Six".

Would it just be an extra half hour of poor, biased reporting by the wider and extended Labour family that rules at Pacific Quay?

If that's all it is, then I guess most of us could do without it. More snide snarling from Union Jack ie Bird is more than most of us could take.

On the other hand those of you who watch the BBC news at 6, will know that article after article is given over to very specifically English news. What is happening in the English Health Service; the English Education Service; Justice; Environment; Roads, etc, etc.

Unless some massive story erupts, no one bothers about anything that has happened in Scotland,  Northern Ireland, or Wales (although to be fair some English matter affect Wales too).
The Union Jack(ie) gets upstaged and doesn't look happy.
Those of us in the peripheral countries have to wait till the region news programmes to get our information about matters which are devolved. These are low budget poorly put together magazine programmes

But English regions have devolved news too; what's going down in Melton Mowbray, or Wolverhampton. Cats stuck up trees in Slough or Blackpool.

So, the BBC sees English national news as UK news, and anything else is regional.
Look North (well, we'd have to look south)
That's OK. We know that 85% of the population of the UK lives in England and so it is not unreasonable for it to dominate UK news.

But it is of absolutely no interest to us. They might as well tell us what is happening in Angola, or Andorra, Zimbabwe or Zambia.

Worse than just being boring, it is also misleading. 

People hear that there is to be a doctors' strike, and immediately start worrying about their appointments for clinics; their chemo, speech therapy, physio ...will it be cancelled.

They don't know whether it's illegal to boycott good from the occupied West Bank, as announced by the London government?

Do the A level results affect us? Why do we have headlines in our country about exams that aren't taken here?
Yep, all standing up and clapping for her because... erm, she was born.

Are universities really going to charge more for tuition?

Are the police really being semi privatised?

And so on...

So, despite the possibility that the News at Six in Scotland will be fronted by a sour faced bunch of cringing misery, be underfunded to the point of ridiculousness, and generally be the cringeworthy stuff they spew out from Glasgow, I tend to be for it.

What about you?

Delighted to say that Shaun's campaign to raise funds for the North British News was successful.

Thank you to Munguin Readers for their support.


  1. The BBC news website is split into regions and local news, so I can't see any problem with them working their revamped Six o'clock slot to follow a similar pattern.

    What the BBC needs is to be rid of the BBC Trust. That has been recently recommended. It also needs a restructuring to undo a lot of the damage caused by Birt. Also required is a massive clearout of those involved in cover ups over Saville and Co. Get real industry people in there, not political appointees.

    But while the BBC is biased - look at the anti-Trump articles, even though he is obviously winning they cannot accept it - there needs to be a degree of caution when criticising the company in general.

    The biggest mistake was that protest outside Pacific Quay. Doesn't matter who organised it, the party has been forever linked to it. Added to this was the ill-advised Hogmany show on ITV with the Sturgeon family. She should never have agreed to this.

    Now with these two examples, is it any wonder why people criticise the demand by the SG that broadcasting is fully devolved? Doesn't matter that it will be politically independent. There is a definite BBC vs SNP conflict, and any attempt by either side to maintain control (best phrase I can think of!) attracts criticism - either the BBC is in hock to Westminster or the SNP want a state propaganda machine.


    1. Well, as I said, a public broadcast station will always be in hock to whoever pays for it.

      Maybe STV a private company should be running a proper Scottish Six.

      Personally I don't think we need a public broadcaster.

      I agree about the Hogmany stuff, although I didn't see it. But as far as I know the SNP or the government had nothing to do with the protests, which, in fairness, were justified. As far as I can make out from a little observation, and reading academic studies, the BBC was horribly biased and actively worked against the Yes campaign.

  2. Saw some tweets on Twitter yesterday Tris calling for John Snow to front the Scottish Six just so long as that TWAT Dan Snow stays oot o Scotland! LOL

    Just a wee aside.

    Our truck. a.k.a. the Battle Bus, has just returned from the Graphics shop all "Battled Up!" LOL

    1. There's another idea Arbroath. Channel Four, Jon Snow. That would work for me.

    2. Send me a photo of the battle bus... we'll put it up on the blog :)

    3. I'll see what I can do Tris. Taking photos is no problem it's getting them from phone onto computer in a suitable place/format to put up on line that is the problem. LOL

    4. Great... see if you can. Would be good to get it up on here.

  3. We can all now see how important BBC propaganda is to the Unionists.
    The idea that it might act independently of London control in Scotland fills them with outrage and a determination to ensure that the project doesn't get off the ground.
    The story isn't about evil separatists wanting to control TV output from the UK state broadcaster but rather the loss of control London centric politicians perceive will happen.
    If nothing else,as far as value for money goes,pooling and sharing it ain't but rather more along the lines of the Barnett formula where London takes all our money and decides how much of it they are prepared to spend in Scotland.
    Until the referendum,I was a staunch supporter of an independent state sponsored TV broadcaster who could be depended on to provide quality non partisan output.
    The referendum changed all that when it became clear that the BBC was (as with the Scottish Governor General) London's voice in Scotland.
    If this is not true,why are the unionists screaming about the broadcaster having a degree of accountability to Scottish viewers who pay their wages?

    1. I've never been a tv person, bringiton, but I've usually had one there for emergencies, or an occasional programme worth watching.

      It's long been my opinion that a state broadcaster, paid by poll tax was past its sell by date.

      When there was only the BBC is was reasonable; when STV came along, not so much so. Even less so when there was Channel 4 and then 5. But now, when you can get a few hundred channels, why would you pay for the 12 or so provided by the BBC?

      The referendum, by all accounts, was reported ridiculously, and you're not alone in having your mind changed by it.

  4. Tris

    To be honest I just don't really care anymore. Reporting Scotland closely followed by Scotland Tonight and Scotland 2016 are all very very poor. I just don't bother most of the time and get my news from twitter and blogs.

    Even when I do see them I am always disappointed by what I find. The lack of balance, the lack of challenge, the lack of facts, the lack of journalistic integrity and the lack of truth switched me off a long time ago.

    I wouldn't care if the scumbags called Tories sold the bloody thing off. Scotland has been short changed forever with this pish and I won't miss it so to answer your question, no don't really care about a Scottish 6 at all.


    1. Fair comment Bruce.

      In my experience only older people watch tv now, and most of them don't watch BBC.

      My neighbours, mainly elderly, either watch an endless diet of soaps and reality stuff like "I'm a celebrity", or they are watching football.

      I'm sure the BBC would fetch good money. It beats me what parties that would sell their grannies for a few pounds, won't sell off the BBC... not even SOME of the BBC.

      It does suggest an ulterior motive, don't you think?

  5. I'd go further, and have all the news bulletins for Scotland; made in Scotland. It is not about the SNP controlling the output, as some are saying, but about the news being relevent to those viewing it.

    1. That's what I would be looking for. I think there are many people fed up with not knowing what's happening in Scotland, but up to speed with what's going on in England.

  6. If it's the same crew at PQ, thanks, but no thanks. More of the same would not interest me.

    1. What about an STV or Channel Four team BSJ?

  7. Anything that puts us a little bit further out of the Union gets my vote. But I do have misgivings about a whole hour of SNP VERY, VERY, VERY, VERY , VERY BAAAAAAAAAAAAD!!!! WHY AREN'T YOU VOTING LABOUR YOU MORONS!!!!????

    Being an eternal optimist, I would think that if things are controlled from Scotland then it would be more balanced but there would have to be fundamental change. The BBC has to go.

    I haven't seen any of its news output, but I can't imagine RTE news programmes telling Irish viewers how keich they and their country is every day.

    1. When I was in Dublin last year I did watch a bit of RTE, late at night. Not for a minute would I make a judgement about the news coverage based on one report, but it seemed to me relevant to Eire, and there was nothing about Jeremy Hunt of Michael Fallon...always a bonus.

      Btw, Icelandic tv, much derided by Macintosh, who, if he wants a career in politics, really needs to learn not to insult one of our closest neighbours, just because they are small, is reputedly of high standard.

  8. I think an hour of murrdurrs,fluffy kittens and fitba plus the Bird would be more than my brain could stand.

    1. No, an hour of Union Jack, ie would be enough to make us all emigrate to Iceland and watch their tv, even with the voice of Macintosh screaming in our ear "It's RUBBISH. It's not English"!

  9. I've wondered about that moment of the Queen at the BBC. I've seen it in a video on YouTube. The incident is described as "bizarre" and "awkward." I'm not sure why, except that the people in the newsroom were apparently supposed to stay at their desks. Instead, everyone started following her around and she found herself staring at the news anchors and they (remaining seated at the desk) staring back at her. No one apparently knowing what to do for a considerable period.

    1. For heaven's sake.

      What are they like. You'd think it was someone who had arrived from another planet.

      She's a human, female. She's no different from you and me.

      Some of the comments on that video make me despair.

    2. Aye but she's bluidy expensive, they wanted to see what they're paying for.

    3. I suppose most of them, even at the overpaid BBC have never seen a coat and hat that cost more than a Trident Submarine.

  10. If it annoys the Yoons, it must be a Good Thing.

  11. tris

    No any national/regional (snigger ) news the wery idea of constant snp
    lies distortion and obfuscation being bashed into yer brain via yer tellly. Fills me
    with dread

    And I now await and expect indeed DEMAND your fulsome apology time after time I
    Have said council tax should be raised for those wealthy individuals within Scottish society .
    Which you shamefully decried time after time .Turning your back on hardworking but struggling

    And now your Leaderene has ( after reading your blog and my comments ) come to the same
    And rightful conclusion as moi . Thus knocking the shoddy legs of your council tax stool and
    Bang ! you fall on your arse ....

    I await your apology and conans jimminy et al forwith if not sooner....I am off to
    Bake youse lot one big humble pie for you to eat

    1. You can shove any notion of an apology, where the sun don't shine.
      Thanks to your favourite government, dahn saaf, in wastemonster. I'll now have to work, laying brick and block ( some weighing in excess of 90lb ) till I'm 75.
      Thanks ever so much, I'm really excited about pushing my zimmer frame round the scaffolding, whilst dragging my decrepit shell behind it.

    2. Jimminy

      I totally agree with your pension comment its a right piss take

      its time the young uns stood up for themselves forget about
      Labour snp etc etc this is a generational war and u lot need
      to start fighting...
      if the young went out and voted they would win and get whatever Government they wanted but they gotta vote..

      90LLBS now what block is that maybe concrete ???

    3. It's solid concrete, 440*215*215mm, known in the trade as a grunter; for obvious reasons.

    4. There are also window cills that can weigh 70+ kg and steel or concrete lintols, equally heavy if not more.

    5. As regards pensioners and pensions. Other cultures (inferior foreigners Mr Macintosh), don't regard their elderly as a burden but as an asset and source of wisdom.

      Perhaps by not spending billions of pounds on atomic bombs, we could allow working people to retire earlier and with a bit of dignity.

    6. Aye, well, that's a novel idea.

      Just don;t see it quite working for the Tories though.

      They say: Look at her majesty. She's still working at 90, why can't you?

    7. Jim: remind me not to fall out with you. You must pack a punch with that kind of muscle.

    8. I would never dream of punching you Tris, Munguin would have my head.
      Believe it or not, you do get used to the grunters, or I did when I was a younger man. A couple of hundred a shift, good money was to be had, not now though. I can still work with them, but I'd rather not.

    9. LOL I'm not sure I'd ever get used to them, whereas Munguin tosses them around for fun, and he's less that 6 inches tall!!

    10. Small and mighty, Munguin and Scotland both.

  12. tris /Conan and the other wrong uns
    Upon our side, we who were right all along
    Bliss was it in that dawn to be to be alive,
    But to be young was very heaven!--

  13. niko feeling smug very very smug if I felt any more smugge
    I'd explode

    1. You will note, that it is the "wealthier" among us that are to pay more.

      Not Kez's 1p in the £, across the board, so those less well off were going to be paying more too.

      I'd tone the smugness down a bit, if I were you. You may do yourself a mischief.

    2. Dear Heavens, Niko.

      What, I seem to recall, you demanded, was that all council tax go up.

      What the SNP has done is to announce that Council tax will go up on the richest three bands. Thus, my rich friends will pay more, and I shall not.

      I can accept that you'd rather have Gidiot on the telly than John Swinney. Personally I like it when Philip Hammond comes on, because I can guarantee that within the minute I will be fast asleep. Nothing like Hammond for a good night's sleep.

      As for working longer for pensions... yes. Nightmare. I can accept that when pensions were introduced (if I'm right the Liberals introduced something when you got to be 70...but few did).

      I imagine it was one of Labour's reforms that made a proper pension, but people lived only a few years. Now of course, they live for 30 or 40 years in retirement, and there are millions of them.

      There are troubles doing what the Tories are doing:

      First, anyone doing physical work will struggle as time goes on, to do what they used to do. In today's dog eat dog world they will be hauled in, disciplined and sacked if they can;t keep up with the 19 year old they took on last week.

      Second, anyone doing office work will have to continue to stay abreast of the very latest in technology. No use trying fax something these days... If you ain't cool with the iPad, iPhone, facetime, like that 19 year old... it's bye bye.

      And of course, although many of our people live on to 90 or 100 these days, they often spend a deal of their lives being kept alive by drugs and treatments that weren't available 10 years ago. So the 40 year retirement is likely to be a lot shorter. What inventions will they come up with in 20 years that will keep people alive till they are 140? With the last 50 of them being lived in a chair looking at a tv screen with Union Jackie badmouthing Munguin's republic.

      Big problem. Someone has to pay.

      Council tax will have to go up again, I suppose... Just as well we have you to think of these ideas for us Niko.

    3. tris

      not much of an apology...bit grudging of you...
      someone has to pay,,,,that would be a Capitalist
      response perhaps capitalism has bumped into a problem
      it cant it did with the inventing
      mum and all the unpaid work she does

    4. This would be better on a standalone topic, Tris. Mainly coz I have a couple of points!


    5. Well, it wasn't meant to be an apology Niko, my boy.

      And the truth is that if you want your pension (the most niggardly in the Western World bar Mexico's, they given that it comes in good old bank of England coin, it has to come from somewhere. I don't really think that's capitalist.

      Do you?

      I suspect that North Korean or Cuban pensions have to come from somewhere...

    6. Yes, it would be a good topic as a stand alone.

      Now here's an idea... what don;t you make a post out of your ideas and email it to me... and lo, we shall have a guest post and Munguin will give me the day off.


  14. There has been quite a lot said about this particular topic already, ranging from, not if its just going to be more of the same, we don't have the talent, arguments about which government is going to control and dictate what the output and agenda should be.
    The reality is, that's we have now, not so much programming as being programmed. What to think, when to think it, our social attitudes to foreigners, benefit scroungers, jocks, separatists, subsidy junkies, the great British everything. We are fed Shite because the establishment think we are mushrooms.
    Our producers and broadcasters, media hacks and presenters are selected because they tow the establishment line and it is exactly the same south of the border as we have here. Is Jackie Bird more or less arrogant and obnoxious than Susanna Reid, are you likely to get a better or worse breakdown on the economy from Douglas Fraser or Robert Peston, will Glen Campbell ever manage to get through a broadcast without SNP bad, when does Jackie Baillie get her own show. Are the broadcasters political affiliations more or less blatant south of the border than they are here.
    The real problem though is not anything above,nor is it a lack of talent, its not money, its not because of a dearth of ingenuity or creativity. What we have is a complete and abject failure in accountability, whether from the press or broadcasters, no redress available that's worth a button for misinformation, slander, lies and bias.
    Until and unless we the public have true redress against the manipulators and vested interests, things will regrettably remain the same and I do not see that changing till Scotland enshrines her citizens right to truth in its constitution.
    I personally welcome the S6, but we will have to shout and scream and be prepared to protest publicly if turns out to be as dire as now. We have to let them know we want this, but on our terms, not theirs.

    1. Good points Golfie.

      I think we probably do get the telly we deserve.

      I've read that if you complain about anything you get a stock answer which tells you nothing. Even the Rev Stu can't get anything out of them, and lord knows he's tenacious enough.

      Maybe a private company would do it better.

      Maybe Scotland wants rid of the BBC altogether?

    2. Tris, private company?

      You know who the SG would choose - Murdoch. So we'd exchange a company that covers up child abuse to one that hacks phones and has no morals whatsoever, as long as it makes headlines. At least with the BBC it can be reformed. And political parties have learned over the years that private media organisations always, always look at what is best for them.


    3. Why not STV?

  15. The amount of money BBC scotland receives is pretty poor but included in the uk spending are programs like sherlock, topgear ect which im sure many in scotland enjoy. I stopped paying the license fee some 10 years ago being a student i was up late studying and a show called "coming of age" came on and it was aimed at me, i saw one episode nd decided my money will never go towards such crap again.
    I dont watch live bbc now but any step towards a normal broadcast for our country is surely a benefit, their propaganda isnt going to affect people that support independence, and will hopefully give more ammo for the likes of GA ponsoby to expose their crap. Like the Scotland bill any step in the direction of more autonomy is going to help us in the long run...

    1. Yes, I agree. People in Scotland get the benefit of English made programmes. I know that many watch programmes like Eastenders and tv is a lifeline to many elderly people who don't have computers and can't get out much.

      The point I was making was that there is a huge imbalance between the money taken from Scotland, and the money spent in Scotland. Money which goes into the local economy.

      They appeased their "North" by building the big centre in Manchester and spending a bit of money there.

      It would be nice if they would make programmes here too, spending money in the local economy.

      At one point they thought about doing it. Didn't they suggest that the Question Time team move to Glasgow, and didn't old Dimbledore refuse point blank to be away from London? And didn't they just fold their tent instead of telling him that that was the deal and if he didn't like it he could leave?

      You have the answer though. Like me you simply stopped paying for the BBC. I disconnected the set and now it is a decorative feature in the living room. :)

  16. Just about the only programme I watch on BBC 'Scotland' is FMQ and if any apologies are going round it should be from 'Scottish' Labour for inflicting Kezia on us. Other than that if they take out the SNP bad slant from their programmes the six mentioned could fit into six minutes,

    1. Yes, that's true. We really don;t need 60 minuted of news, because they could just say SNP Baaaad at the beginning, and repeat it a few times, have Kezia whine it, and Macintosh bemoan the fact that we aren't England and Ms Baillie tell a few of her well known whoppers and sign off with the Posh Boy singing there's always be an England. Repeat nightly.

  17. Being a bit fickle I forgive the BBC as Jackie Baillie just got a roasting on Good Morning Scotland!

    1. That's a rarity. It must have been a particular whopper. Was it over council tax, or the fact that 9 billion jobs are dependent on UK being able to send off a rocket when America tells them to?

    2. Yes to both but I think you exaggerate a bit - it was only 8 billion jobs.

    3. Oh thank goodness. We just couldn't afford to lose 9 billion jobs!

    4. I heard that this morning too, was taken aback by the doggedness of the interviewer, made a refreshing change.

    5. He's not gonna have a long career in the BBC if he treats Priceless Jackie like that!

    6. Are we talking about the short or long scale billion? Very important as there is a factor difference of 1,000.

      Tsk tsk, have we been listening to politicians giving advice on numbers?


      Note: Short scale - 1,000,000,000
      Long scale - 1,000,000,000,000

      Population of Scotland (raw) - 5,300,000 (approximate)
      Employed (ONS figures) - 2,631,000
      Employed (SNP figures) - 5,299,999 (1 unemployed is the Sec of State)
      Employed (Con figures) - 2,631,000 but simply not good enough. 3/10 see me...please.....pretty please.....I am the Sec of State...anyone?
      Employed (Lib Dem figures) - what was the question again?
      Employed (Green figures) - unavailable due to tree hugging session
      Employed (Lab figures) - 250,000 (based on combined calorie intake of Labour MSPs)
      Employed by Faslane (SLAB) - 2,500,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

      Getting carried away here.........literally.......

    7. Aye, well, maybe we'd best keep it open then, but without the nukes.

  18. I'd just like a political news media that distinguished between International news, English news and our news.

    I have a real objection to their (English) news being fed to us as if it were our news.

    I despair about this homogenisation of our identities.

    I would assume that London would rail against a news programme, the Scottish Six perhaps, thrust down their throats? It seems to me that pot is calling kettle black.

    If, on the other hand, BBC (Scotlandshire) continues to treat us all like, malleable fools, well, hell mend them.

    I seriously think that the Samizdat that you represent is now a stronger force than traditional media.

    1. That's bang on.

      There is an assumption that we all need to know about English stories, about English government departments, English laws and English sport.

      We don't, not any more than we need to know about French stuff, or (Ken macintosh cover your eyes) Icelandic stuff.