Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Open letter to SNP list MSP Joan McAlpine: ‘rise up and be an MSP’, because your knees must be killing you toadying and grovelling!

Dear Joan

I think I have to take you to task for your propaganda piece in the Scotsman.

So, let’s get started you state:

“The corporation’s decision to kick Alex Salmond into touch raises questions about its ability to cover Scottish affairs properly”.

Why did you feel the need to try and create an impression that Alex Salmond was somehow the victim of some type of emotional violence?

You started the piece off to convey the impression of Alex Salmond as a victim, as his ‘in house’ propagandist, this is a very crude piece of writing.

Then you really blow your argument by doing a bit of classic clumsy oily toadying up to your Scotsman editor doing a pathetic ‘nodding dug’ act because he happens to fit your agenda.

“Editing a newspaper these days is probably the definition of executive multi-tasking. You need a business brain as well as a nose for news, an understanding of the bottom line as well as the snappy headline. If an editor finds time to practise his old trade, you know the subject must be important”.

Sucking up to everyone is the road to contempt by others, and using the 'he's really bright so I must be too because I recognise it' pitch should have sent alarm bells ringing in your head along the lines of 'danger Will Robinson danger'. Sadly it didn't hence you plough on and under.

Let’s turn to former BBC trustee Jeremy Peat, who you say stated:

“we should pay attention. Mr Peat had argued in these pages that more thought should be given to how Scottish news and current affairs is covered by the BBC.”

Haven't you heard of Reporting Scotland?

It is on every week day night! You also have the main BBC news programme which gives a balanced view of UK and international news.

As to your “Scottish Six O’Clock News”, does combining both Reporting Scotland and main BBC news into one programme create better news?

The answer is no!

Let me repeat that again, the answer is no!

If you are over concerned then why not petition for a transition link to make both programmes appear seamless.

Why do I like the current BBC set up?

Because it isn’t overloaded with provincial news, some of us what to know what happens outside Scotland!

My version of a Scottish Six bulletin:

‘And here is the Scottish news. Alex Salmond today opened a cake factory where he was presented with a selection of cakes to take up the road, in local news Mrs Smith has lost her brolley on the number 62 bus, she described it as black in colour with a black handle, all information to Strathclyde Police. In sport, Pollok FC has appointed a new groundskeeper who has called for action on littering in Sports ground. He has delivered a petition to the Scottish Parliament calling for government action. A Scottish Government spokesperson said, we have been working very hard behind the scenes because we recognise the importance of a clean stadium and are working with partner agencies such as the Police to combat this problem’.

‘And finally; the weather it’s cold wet and miserable!’

Yes, the prospect of provincial news fills me with dread, rather like catching a segment of River City by accident and wanting to cut both your wrists because of the acting. I am still waiting for the episode where the nuclear power station gets hit by a plane as the biggest earthquake in Scottish history happens and terrorists takes over the gaff and a tribe of cannibals eat everyone and then there is a massive nuclear explosion at the end.

Sadly I wait in vain.

"A senior BBC insider told me recently that the “Scottish Six” was still “not on the table”.

Presumably because Scotland doesn’t generate enough news of a high enough quality to make it viable!

Your point:

“Recently, two separate BBC figures have told me of conversations with senior executives who dismissed demands for better resources in Scotland on demographic grounds, arguing that there were more people in north west England than in Scotland. There was contempt for the concept of this country as a nation”.

The BBC is a national broadcaster for all of Britain. It isn’t called the Scottish Broadcasting Corporation in Scotland is it!

And here is a cracker from you which you have pinned to the mast:

“I hope Lord Patten was informed of the words of the great Welsh writer, Raymond Williams, who coined the phrase “metropolitan parochialism”. Williams observed that where power is excessively concentrated, the powerful often forget every reality but their own”.

Try walking down the corridor to Mike Russell’s Office to tell him that on regional mergers of colleges!

So, your piece is really about this:

“the odd decision to withdraw an invitation to the First Minister to appear on a sports panel in advance of the Scotland-England Six Nations rugby game”.

The BBC was wrong to withdraw Alex Salmond’s invitation but by the same token do you think it is right that we all should be subject to this continual whinging about a stupid game played on a piece of grass?

As a junior sidekick to the First Minister, you would serve him better if you told him that this is an issue that should be dropped.


Because it looks what it is petty!

Whether you like it or not, the BBC is off limits, you aren’t parking your tanks on their lawn and it’s their ball.

Your other point that:

“the group is to be chaired by the BBC Scotland controller Ken MacQuarrie and includes Mr Boothman, a controversial figure because of his past links to the Labour Party, and also the head of UK news in London”.

What about the unofficial policy of some MSPs such as yourself employing people with links in the SNP?

You are claiming cronyism aren’t you?

Didn't you employ someone married to a SNP MSP; who is closely linked to Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon who smeared an innocent man by making false allegations?

If you are going to call the kettle black should you get your own house in order first, and is it not being abit hypocritical that Scottish Government hasn’t tackled this problem on its own doorstep?

If you're going to throw shit make sure your own smells sweet.

“If we are to have a referendum that is a straight choice between the status quo and independence, then you cannot have the topic discussed in the traditional, UK four-party set-up – it should be balanced for and against. But how can the BBC really pull this off when the vast bulk of its political reporters and producers have all their contacts in a Westminster village dominated by anti-independence parties? This is reflected in the language used in coverage. If a supposedly impartial BBC reporter spoke of the “struggle for Scotland’s freedom” there would be, quite rightly, an outcry. Why then is it acceptable for them to use the equally loaded term “separation”?”

Who’s fault is it that there is a lack of Scottish SNP MPs at Westminster?

Have a guess, no, let me tell you, it’s ours, that’s right, the Scottish National Party’s fault. Our fault we didn’t get more elected and our fault we aren’t networking more effectively with the press there.

Perhaps if SNP MPs were to comment on English issues in the chamber of the House of Commons we would appear more credible.

Our 'little Scotland' approach makes us look bad. It was the wrong policy to adopt and it is the wrong policy to continue with, if we are so clever why aren’t we showing our English cousins how the Scottish Government has changed Scotland by engaging in these debates?

That makes us credible, not refusing to turn up because it is an English only matter.

“Independence is about joining in – being part of the family of nations, enjoying an equal relationship with our other partners on these islands. Independence is a neutral term and that’s the one that should be used. Lord Patten should also be left in no doubt that the cuts to current affairs coverage in Scotland are unacceptable”.

That is pure crap as our policy in Westminster so clearly shows.

“For Radio Scotland’s budget to be slashed, with quality programmes such as Newsweek and Janice Forsyth axed while Radio Four is protected as a “jewel in the crown” is not just metropolitan parochialism – it is downright arrogance”.


You are a clever writer, I will give you that, but jumping on the bandwagon over a rugby game is nonsense, you have already got a publicly unelected list seat at Holyrood, rise up and be an MSP, because your knees must be killing you toadying and grovelling.

You haven't scored a 'try', you are just trying!

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University


Winston said...

I think you're a bit deluded George if you think the BBC is impartial.
It offers no alternative voice to it's pro Union, pro EU, pro global warming being real nonsense etc....
It's ideology means you only ever hear half of the argument because it doesn't think the alternative argument is valid.

Oh and you got the idea behind the Scottish 6 o'clock news wrong.
It was never about man buys dog in inverness. It was a world news programme and how this may effect Scotland. A bit like you would get in Luxembourg / bahrain etc where they do a world news programme and how it effects them.
At the moment we get English health news, English justice news etc with some English cricket and some English football thrown in. Sometimes we get 15 seconds of Scottish football ( Rangers v Utd the other night on BBC One at 6 - I timed it ).

I'm honestly surprised if you haven't seen any of the splicing of Alex salmond to make him look bad. Ditto with John Swinney and even Ally Mcoist.
At least Rangers ( a team I normally can't stand ) had the cojones to tell the BBC to get lost. This impertinence has meant Rangers are now open season for BBC Scotland. Especially for the sweetie wives on Off the Ball etc.

Conan the Librarian™ said...

You are missing the point George.
A Scottish six would actually reflect what is important to Scots, not how England is doing at cricket or how London is basking in sunshine/covered in snow.
Because Scottish news currently covers only Scottish affairs it's seen as boring and provincial, but I would welcome international news seen from a Scots perspective, not a London one.

Anonymous said...

Disagree George. The BBC is the propaganda mouthpiece of the London Establishment.

Duncan said...

Simon Johnson, living up to his normal cowardly standards, by telling lies and not allowing comments.

"Alex Salmond tried three times to 'gatecrash' BBC's Six Nations party." Is quite simply a grotesque lie.

It is not unusual for an FM or PMs office to seek to gain exposure for their boss on prime time media that is what they are there for. To promote the profile and political interests of their boss. David Cameron has been seen commenting on various sporting occasions and doubtless will be in the run in to the London Olympics. Boris Johnston is not backwards at coming forward. Does this mean that all politicians are now to be banned from the BBC, in these interesting times. Or just Alex Salmond?

What about Gordon Brown on the field after the 2007 Rugby World Cup final, trying to (incongruously) cash in on England's success in getting there? Or what about Jack McConnell's lengthy interview during the TV coverage of the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne? Or the countless thousands of other examples of politicians of all parties commenting on sport?

You would have thought that the BBC would have allowed a decent time to elapse before contradicting Ric Bailey’s ad hocery. But no, within five days of the decision to withdraw the invitation to Alex Salmond to discuss the rugby, David Cameron is on the BBC discussing the recent resignation of Fabio Capello and speculating about his successor! They don’t even bother to put themselves to the trouble of trying to excuse their contempt for their Scottish viewers any more.

The BBC continues with it's anti Scottish anti SNP agenda in it's fundamental breach of the principle of impartiality. It has gone where Pravda led.

You would think in such circumstances that the BBC justification given would be watertight, but it was anything but - the reference to the local elections just added to the impression that they were scrabbling around for any spurious reason they could think of, because we're way, way outside the statutory campaigning period.

It's hard to escape the conclusion that Ric Bailey subscribes to the grotesque prejudiced Paxman worldview that Alex Salmond is not a "normal" politician (he's instead in the Mugabe or pre-ceasefire Sinn Féin category), and that completely different rules of engagement should therefore apply in relation to him. If so, the prospects for anything approaching even-handed coverage of the independence referendum look distinctly grim at this stage.

Anonymous said...

winston are you shure you not a woman because you moan like one
keep putting messages on you are good for a laugh woman