Why Sturgeon is not to be trusted with the BBC

NOWHERE IS the communal deafness of Nationalist supporters more transparent than in their attitude toward the media and broadcasting. Nicola Sturgeon’s plans for the BBC are all about Nationalist control of the jewel in Britain’s crown. Just like the Tories and New Labour before her, she wants the BBC brought to heel and, instead, see paymasters like Rupert Murdoch in the ascendancy in Britain. AhDinnaeKen fulminates:

Sturgeon Wrecking ball

Sturgeon seemed duly appalled by the sexist nature of this Sun feature but it didn’t extend to challenging Murdoch’s media power – just like the Tories and New Labour before her. Funny that.

By Longshanker aka @ergasiophobe

“The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.” – Peter Drucker

NICOLA Sturgeon’s Alternative McTaggart Lecture speech last week had much to say about print media and broadcasting, particularly the BBC.

Mooted as more circumspect and less aggressive than Alex Salmond’s frothing diatribes against the corporation, it still held to the tediously familiar SNP drone that the Nationalist party – and by association the sovereign will of the people of Scotland – was let down by the institution’s news coverage during the Indyref.

Before Sturgeon revealed her plan for a devolved BBC (SBC) under Nationalist parliamentary control, she took time out to garner sympathy by playing the woman against the odds card.

She said: “And when I see sexist media portrayals of public figures, I don’t get upset on my own behalf – I’ve become personally quite inured to it. But I do feel angry about the potential impact on women and young girls who might be driven away from pursuing a career in politics or public life because of it – and, unfortunately, I speak to many who are.”

It’s a rehashing of the words used after her sexist photoshopped portrayal as a tartan clad Miley Cyrus on a wrecking ball in the English edition of the Sun.

Then, as now, there was no mention of Rupert Murdoch or his corporation’s broadcasting and print plans for Scotland – a curious omission which speaks volumes about Nationalist intent.

There is not one line in Sturgeon’s lecture on tackling Murdoch’s power. There is no reference to media ownership and not one SNP MP has made so much as a little white rosed squeak about taking Murdoch on.

Just like Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair and David Cameron before her, Sturgeon is compliant, meek and mild in the face of Murdoch’s projected power and future media intentions.

This picture could just as easily have been Tony Blair. It tells the same story.

This picture could just as easily have been Tony Blair. It tells the same story.

Sturgeon bears the same guilt, blame and shame as her predecessor for the SNP’s “tawdry” pursuit of political support from the Murdoch media machine.

The ex-Deputy Firstminster was Salmond’s shield of truth and integrity when the Leveson inquiry revealed the extent of Salmond’s clandestine meetings with Murdoch and his henchmen. When she locked horns with the BBC’s Gary Robertson on Good Morning Scotland in April 2012 she provided a stout, repetitive, mantra like, defence of Salmond’s “prostituting of the office of First Minister.” It was all about “jobs”.

Then, as now, whenever the Murdoch affair is broached the defensive mantra from the Nationalists is “Jobs”.

All fine and upstanding until you realise not one realistic, or hypothetical, Scottish job was ever promised, proposed or promoted by any of the Murdoch network in their single minded pursuit of monopoly control of the Sky UK Ltd network.

Yet Salmond and, by definition, the SNP were still willing to ‘prostitute’ the office of First Minister to lobby the UK government to further Murdoch’s monopolistic ambitions.

The half-witted, the credulous and the Indy apologists might accept the “jobs” explanation as justification for the “prostituting” of the First Minister’s office. Judicial scrutiny provided a smidgeon more scepticism and insight into Salmond’s motivations.

Indeed, the Nationalists jobs excuse was as credible as the legal advice Salmond told the BBC’s Andrew Neil he possessed on the European Union.

The Leveson inquiry revealed that Alex Salmond had held more than two dozen meetings with Rupert Murdoch, his son James and their senior henchmen – many of the meetings were undeclared and kept secret from parliamentary record, public scrutiny and the sovereign will of the Scottish people.

It demonstrated Salmond’s contempt for Holyrood as an institution and his willingness to ride roughshod over the democratic trust of the Scots. All for the sake of some positive publicity in one of Murdoch’s institutionally “sexist” newspapers.

If the Firstminster’s proposals for the BBC are to be taken with anything other than a large pinch of Scottish salt then she must make plain that the Nationalists intentions are honourable and trustable.

Nothing said or done so far by the First Minister suggests that they are. In the alternative Mactaggart lecture she said:

“To those who say this is about the SNP wanting to exert political control over the BBC, I say that is, quite frankly, arrant nonsense.

“This is not a question of whether a parliament has responsibility for the broadcasting framework – it’s a question of which parliament has that responsibility.

I think it would be basic common sense for the Scottish Parliament, which already has responsibility for culture and for press regulation, to also have responsibility for broadcasting.”

Yet, despite the considerations of the Scotgov commissioned McCluskey report and a full blown parliamentary debate on post-Leveson press regulation, the Scottish Government, which has control/responsibility of culture and press regulation, opted to do hee haw and instead defer to the will of Westminster.

It was plain and simple cowardice in the face of a potentially hostile pre-referendum Murdoch press – a shirking of “responsibility” so to speak.

Stronger for Scotland? – Cringing for Scotland more like.

BBC bashing is all the rage amongst certain types in Scotland today. It plays well with the Indy mob, passes the blame for the failed Indyref campaign, and has more in common with the Tories fiscal hobbling of the corporation. So no surprise there then. Pink champagne and haggis all round etc.

By demanding control of the BBC while remaining mute on Murdoch’s media ambitions Sturgeon sends a powerful message to those able to hear it – the Nationalists are not be trusted when it comes to media and broadcasting.

According to a BBC Trust survey, 52% of Scots feel the BBC does not reflect their every day lives. Therein lies a serious challenge for the BBC in terms of its Scottish output. It needs to change. No neutral, sceptic or BBC apologist would argue otherwise.

But not reflecting every day lives is not the same as being found lacking in trustworthiness.

Notably, a BBC Trust survey conducted for the Scotland Annual Review 2014/2015 also found that:

“Audience research suggested that BBC Scotland was the dominant broadcast source of referendum coverage in Scotland, and the most trusted.”

The BBC is the most trusted for the simple reason it is the most trustable. It’s principles and editorial guidelines make it more trustable than any politician – particularly hard core career politicians like Nicola Sturgeon – and it’s more trustable than virtually anything broadcast or published by News Corp.

Sturgeon’s Alternative Mactaggart Lecture speech spoke volumes about the Nationalists attitude to the BBC. Not in what it said, but in what it didn’t say.

Centralising Nationalists want the BBC reined in under their control while the likes of Murdoch is given carte blanche with the tacit assistance of the SNP.

AhDinnaeKen came into existence due to disbelief at the Scottish Sunday Sun’s first edition. The Day of Destiny exclusive – most likely provided by Salmond – had a fawning, backscratching, transparently contrived editorial penned by the Firstminster himself.

No one from the Sun or the SNP said that Salmond had anything to do with the declared date on the papers headline screamer. They didn’t need to.

Sturgeon’s Mactaggart Lecture on broadcasting said virtually nothing about Nationalist intentions for other broadcasters in Scotland.

As Peter Drucker said, “The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.”

Discerning Scots heard Nicola loud and clear: you cannot trust her intentions.

If only the Indyref deaf could hear it also. Then the question of who to trust in Scotland might not be so poignant.



Filed under Media

2 responses to “Why Sturgeon is not to be trusted with the BBC

  1. Senior Moment

    Couldn’t agree with you more. Murdoch has a number of hatreds towards things in this country, the Monarchy, the BBC and the Labour Party.
    It’s a real shame this government fawns on him.

    • To be fair, since 1979 all governments have fawned on him.
      The Nationalists were supposed to be different.
      Or at least that’s what Westminster economist banker Alex Salmond would have had us believe.
      Sturgeon is his slightly subtler progeny in that regard.

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