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  By a Newsnet reporter  
 
Last week BBC Scotland spent a day comparing the Scottish NHS with its English counterpart.
 
In a rather bizarre series of broadcasts last Thursday, both on radio and TV, the corporation spent the day informing Scottish listeners and viewers of the benefits of the English NHS.

According to BBC Radio Scotland, their health correspondent Eleanor Bradford had conducted an investigation in order to determine “whether Scotland has the better system or whether it is being left behind”.

The ‘star’ of the investigation was a woman called Beth Butterfield, who described her experiences as she tried to arrange personal care.  Interviews with two doctors, one from England and one from Scotland - that BBC Scotland just happened to find - gave a clear message; that Scotland was indeed being “left behind” and England’s embracing of GP empowerment was the way forward.

The item re-appeared on that evening’s Reporting Scotland.  Shoe-horned into the evening news programme, it looked ever so slightly out of place.

That evening’s Newsnight Scotland had virtually the same piece, this time supplemented by the fruits of Ms Bradford’s investigation, which turned out to be an unexplained and unexamined claim that ‘costs’ of patient care in the English region of Trafford was cheaper than in Scotland.

The odd fixation with the English NHS ended with Scottish Health Minister Alex Neil leaving BBC Scotland presenter Raymond Buchanan looking slightly foolish as he batted away point after point put to him by the BBC man.  By the end, Mr Buchanan was reduced to scrabbling around for newspaper headlines with which to throw at the Minister.

What was BBC Scotland doing not just reporting on the English NHS, but apparently trumpeting reforms being pushed through by the UK government?

It was a puzzle until Newsnet Scotland came across a little known report that had been compiled by a respected freelance journalist.

The report by Oliver Huitson gave a clue as to the reasons the reforms were given such an uncritical high profile.

Huitson's investigation didn’t look at BBC Scotland, more’s the pity, instead it focused on the UK BBC’s reporting of matters relating to the English NHS - especially these very reforms.

According to Mr Huitson, he discovered evidence of widespread bias and censorship on the part of the state broadcaster in favour of UK Government reforms to the English NHS.

The report uncovered evidence that suggested:

  • the BBC failed to report on the lack of democratic mandate for the changes to the English NHS
  • the broadcaster consistently presented the bill using the UK government’s own highly contested description
  • links between healthcare firms, the Conservatives and the House of Lords were never reported
  • the significant role of the private sector in the new health market was never explored
  • the role of private firms in creating the bill was never examined or reported
  • sources with significant links to private healthcare were presented without a disclosure of their interests
  • lobbyists were used in place of genuine impartial experts
  • stories were reported that were biased
  • the BBC censored other important stories

The published report begins:

In the two years building up to the government’s NHS reform bill, the BBC appears to have categorically failed to uphold its remit of impartiality, parroting government spin as uncontested fact, whilst reporting only a narrow, shallow view of opposition to the bill. In addition, key news appears to have been censored. The following in-depth investigation provides a shocking testimony of the extent to which the BBC abandoned the NHS.

Some of the accusations the report levels at the BBC will be familiar to readers of Newsnet Scotland.  In short, the report effectively accuses the BBC of breaching its own charter, which calls on the broadcaster to report impartially.

One story that the BBC allegedly ignored was revealed by Channel 4 News who reported:

“GPs say they have firm evidence now that the government is planning to privatise the National Health Service as part of its reforms… In a document seen by Channel 4 News, plans are laid out for how services will be bought for patients… Under the NHS reforms, GP practices will form consortia and they will manage about 60 per cent of England's NHS budget.  But it has been acknowledged that some GPs will not want to - or be capable of - managing such huge enterprises.”

The report also cited an excellent piece by Media Lens, entitled The End Of The NHS: Buried By The BBC, in which they note of the NHS reform Bill:

“On the very day the bill passed into law, the tag line across the bottom of BBC news broadcasts said ‘Bill which gives power to GPs passes’.  The assessment could have come from a government press release, spin that has been rejected by an overwhelming majority of GPs.  The BBC has also repeatedly failed to cover public protests, including one outside the Department of Health which stopped the traffic in Whitehall for an hour.”

This is the reform that BBC Scotland was pushing as an improvement that Scotland ought to be pursuing and this investigative report makes it clear that there was more to these reforms than the state broadcaster would admit.  Whilst BBC Scotland gave a brief mention of objections south of the border to these reforms, it did not explain the extent of these objections, which appears to have been considerable.

Far from supporting these reforms, most GPs in England are against them as this article in the Guardian makes clear.

Indeed the phrase, ‘empowering GPs’ used by the BBC to describe the reforms is also challenged by Professor Colin Leys, author of The Plot Against the NHS, who when asked by the report’s author whether he considered the BBC’s line to be accurate and balanced.  He replied:

"The BBC routinely described the Bill as a reform to empower GPs - the government's description - rather than as turning the NHS into a market driven by shareholder interests, which was what the critics maintained - accurately, as is now becoming clear.  The BBC's public service remit should surely have required it at least to present the Bill's purpose as contested."

According to the report, the episode “marks the culmination of the BBC’s slide into a far more traditional ‘state broadcaster’, an organisation afraid to challenge power and terrified of controversy.  In its reporting of domestic affairs the BBC seems resigned to the role of a bland and compliant megaphone for established interests.”

"A compliant megaphone for established interests" - the phrase jumps out at the reader, especially those of us forced to endure BBC Scotland's very peculiar brand of impartiality and balance and where censorship, in the shape of closing down Scottish online forums, is still allowed despite non-Scottish forums remaining open.

The report, which should be read to be appreciated, begged the question: Was BBC Scotland pushing English NHS reforms at the behest of its London controllers?

We’ll never know.

But this report should serve as a warning to those people who casually insist that the BBC in Scotland can be trusted to cover the independence referendum in a balanced and objective manner.

The full report can be downloaded and read here: http://www.opendemocracy.net/ourbeeb/oliver-huitson/how-bbc-betrayed-nhs-exclusive-report-on-two-years-of-censorship-and-distorti

Comments  

 
# UpSpake 2012-10-01 07:23
As I said the day after this broadcast, the BBC had crossed the Rubicon by castigating the Scots Government for its unwillingness to embrace the changes happening in England to its NHS.
This leaves the BBC in Scotland totally at odds with its supposed neutrality and makes it what it says it in in its very own Charter Review, a department of State and the license fee, a hypothicated tax.
That's telling it like it is, plain and simple. The BBC and in particualr the BBC in Scotland is the propaganda arm of Westminster nothing less. Were the population of Scotland free to ignore this state sponsored drivel and not be obliged to pay then fair enough. This is therefore taxation without representation as the BBC universally ignore complaints about its bias and quasi political slants on stories it publishes.
Last Thursday was indeed the last straw. Why Scots continue to pay for this garbage I fail to understand. Conditioning I suppose but there does come a time when enough is enough and last Thursday was definitely that day.
 
 
# clootie 2012-10-01 08:02
It was pathetic.

Cost "Facts" were produced without any foundation or evidence. Costs 50% higher in Glasgow were simply stated without any evidence or counter arguement - propaganda not journalism.

State broadcaster should not mean controlled by the state.
 
 
# bodun 2012-10-01 14:41
And now BBC Scotlandshire has come out on the side of Ed Miliband Shocking:

bbc.scotlandshire.co.uk/.../...
 
 
# Dundonian West 2012-10-01 15:10
AND--"Due to the huge number of complaints, comments are no longer banned on BBC Scotlandshire News pages."
SHOCK! HORROR!

Whatever next? A face to face tea and Abernethys with the High Heid Yins (the Puppeteers) in London HQ.
 
 
# Harrbrian 2012-10-01 08:03
The underlying problem is that the BBC - the metropolitan chattering classes, the Westminster home counties elite, call the clowns what you will - still think they know what's best for everyone.
The fact that the UK has had, for over a generation, the most economically incompetent leadership of any country in Northern Europe has completely escaped their attention - google productivity, GDP per capita, percentage industrialisati on, balance of payments history, total (private + public + corporate) debt as % GDP, etc.
They have also provided the least socially competent leadership of any North European country - google social mobility, Gini index, percentage of women in positions of power, pay differentials, pension regulation, percentage of youth in training, liveable cities, renewable energy capacity, obesity, cocaine usage, teenage pregnancy, % GDP spent on Health, % of the population in prison, etc, etc
They do not bother to learn from foreigners or know the numbers for any of the above, let alone learn detailed stuff - for example that the privatised US style system costs 18% of that country's GDP while the North Europeans typically spend about 14% GDP and the UK spends about 10% GDP.
They know best by osmosis or something - aaach, words fail me.
 
 
# breastplate 2012-10-01 10:11
hear hear!
 
 
# Canmore 2012-10-01 11:52
Quoting Harrbrian:
The underlying problem is that the BBC - the metropolitan chattering classes, the Westminster home counties elite, call the clowns what you will - still think they know what's best for everyone.
The fact that the UK has had, for over a generation, the most economically incompetent leadership of any country in Northern Europe has completely escaped their attention - google productivity, GDP per capita, percentage industrialisati on, balance of payments history, total (private + public + corporate) debt as % GDP, etc.
They have also provided the least socially competent leadership of any North European country - google social mobility, Gini index, percentage of women in positions of power, pay differentials, pension regulation, percentage of youth in training, liveable cities, renewable energy capacity, obesity, cocaine usage, teenage pregnancy, % GDP spent on Health, % of the population in prison, etc, etc
They do not bother to learn from foreigners or know the numbers for any of the above, let alone learn detailed stuff - for example that the privatised US style system costs 18% of that country's GDP while the North Europeans typically spend about 14% GDP and the UK spends about 10% GDP.
They know best by osmosis or something - aaach, words fail me.


I have always refered to this as Norman Overlord Syndrom. They are only interested in keeping the privileged top 5% in the privilege top 5%. Why the English population stand for this time and time again is a mystery. Its Ping Pong between Tory and Labour promising the world but nothing ever changes. In Scotland we had enough and want different things and they hate us for that.
 
 
# Harrbrian 2012-10-01 19:57
Thank you for the shorthand phrase - I shall use it often but suspect that living in England I will have to explain it. I agree about the motive - when you meet "posh" people all they really care about is being able to send their offspring to private school.
(When I was living in Munich a woman asked me why so many of the English acted so superior and seemed unable to hear her. The conversation lasted awhile, and amongst other things covered why it was that the Scots and the Irish expats tended to learn German while the English did not.)
 
 
# Jiggsbro 2012-10-02 08:54
Quoting Canmore:
I have always refered to this as Norman Overlord Syndrom.


I've always believed that the algebra of Scottish independence is "Scotland - England = 1066". That is, the difference between Scotland and England, which makes independence not only desirable but inevitable, is the Norman invasion of 1066. While the Davidian revolution introduced many Norman ideas (and families) into Scotland, Scotland was not conquered by the Normans and therefore did not have quite the same degree of class division - that 'Norman Overlord Syndrome' - that the Normans introduced in England. The Norman invasion changed both Scotland and England irrevocably, changes which still have effects today, but the changes were quite different in each country, due to the manner in which they were introduced. 1066 is when the aims and interests of the two countries radically diverged, never to reconcile. England cannot be truly successful in the modern world until it addresses its Norman past. Scotland cannot be truly successful until it ditches England's Norman past. The UK could succeed if England could become more Scottish...but that would probably require genetic modification of pigs with avian genes.
 
 
# Diabloandco 2012-10-01 08:45
Was it just avoidance technique and this puerile piece of scaremongering without fact was the best they could come up with?
Someone should send this article to the BBBC Trust complete with clips.

Does anyone think that there is a single soul in BBBC Scotland who recognises the bias and misinformation ? Or are they all just " I'm alright Jack and stuff the licence payers , the SNP ,those in favour of independence and those in favour of truth"
They can't ALL be so stupid can they?
 
 
# Vincent McDee 2012-10-01 20:53
And why not?
 
 
# J Wil 2012-10-01 09:06
It is hard to understand what motivates the BBC. We are told that they are biased against the Tories. That what is written in the Guardian is effectively their charter. Can it be that the BBC nationally would overturn that just to support the anti-independence campaign of BBC Scotland? It sounds like the tail wagging the dog.
 
 
# Jim Johnston 2012-10-01 09:11
Well done that reporter and Oliver Huitson, another Exocet missile smashing the myth that the BBC is worth the candle.

It is purely and simply a Westminster state propaganda cancer that needs eradication. Pun intended.

I recall the people in Sheffield giving the First Minister rapturous applause when he told them on Question Time, "Don't let these people [Tory / Labour / LibDem politicians] destroy YOUR NHS.
 
 
# Roll_On_2011 2012-10-01 10:32
Alex said:

“ You are allowing these three parties to destroy your National Health Service. “

www.youtube.com/.../

It was in Liverpool not Sheffield.
 
 
# Dundonian West 2012-10-01 12:41
Alex Salmond's piece begins at 1'44" [one minute forty four seconds]. Thanks for reminding me re his Liverpool QT.Excellent comments by many 'Youtubers'
www.youtube.com/.../

OH!Roll on 2014 when we can all vote YES,and rid ourselves of these Westminster parties singing from the SAME song sheet----with the occasional change in key to satisfy their core voters.
 
 
# Jim Johnston 2012-10-01 14:06
I stand corrected R_O on venue and exact wording.

Thanks for the link to remind me, it was a treat to watch again.

Thanks
 
 
# Roll_On_2011 2012-10-01 10:10
OT

Well whod a thunk it?

UK government to back Scotland on minimum alcohol pricing

bbc.co.uk/.../...
 
 
# PrideoftheClyde 2012-10-01 10:23
The NHS in England is being sold down the river. I feel sorry for my old colleagues and the English people who are being force-fed this neo-liberal tripe. Typical Raymond Buchanan story with very selective 'facts'. Is he auditioning for a job on Fox News?

Slightly OT:

Please support this new facebook group by liking and sharing content: www.facebook.com/.../

We have to get the word out to all those people in Scotland who still believe that the Labour party is a party of working people. If the BBC are intent on burying the story, social media can be used to plug the gap.
 
 
# chicmac 2012-10-01 10:31
Yes. But how can we do anything about it (demonstrations etc.) when high ranking members of the SNP issue pronouncements that the BBC is not biased?

We know that is not the opinion of all at the top of the SNP, in particular Alex Salmond's "British Brainwashing Corporation" jibe and other comments, makes his position very clear, which, incidentally, rather gives the lie to the one man band/tyrant accusation.

However until the nay sayers at HQ are sorted out, any attempt to bring the BBC anti-independence bias to the attention of the international media (just about the only thing which will make any difference) will be stymied.
 
 
# tartanfever 2012-10-01 13:57
I've said it many times before, so sorry to repeat myself but this is for chicmac's benefit.

You can demonstrate against the BBC by questioning the 'quality' of their news production. This has nothing to do with bias, it has nothing to do with political leanings, or indeed, political parties. It has nothing to do with independence.

It is to do with hearing all sides of the argument and journalists asking pertinent questions.


For Reporting Scotland ideas could include:

Reduce the number of stories in the 30 minute programme from an average of 17 to 10. This will force the BBC to extend stories by a couple of minutes, meaning that they have to fill that time with more interviews and questions, which means the viewer should be made aware of more facts.

Reporters to start asking questions 'on camera' so that the audience can hear the question and hear the response from the interviewee as it happens. Just now what we hear are press releases from parties or organisations which reporters just repeat verbatim. I ofen see the regional BBC London news asking questions on camera to Boris Johnson, and sometimes he is completely stumped by them, it's brilliant.

Not being afraid to have one story dominate a large portion of the programme. Remember the Egypt/ Libya conflicts ? Virtually the whole of the News at 6 was dominated by this one story. The same happened with the Banking crisis, Peston would be on our screens for 10-15 minutes of the whole programme.

Independence is as big an issue as any of these situations, so when big stories emerge about it, then cover it properly.

More interviews. For example, in all of the EU scare stories happening recently, have you ever once had a BBC Scotland interview with one of the officials that the unionists claims to say that Scotland will have to re-apply to the EU ? No, of course you haven't, but why is that ? - Well, you may shout 'bias' at the telly all you like, but it won't get you anywhere, but if you turn round and say ' you know what, why aren't we hearing from so-and-so about this', then it can become a question of 'quality'. This will get you much further and most likely have more of the population agreeing with you.
 
 
# chicmac 2012-10-01 19:02
Well, of course it would be possible to complain about the quality of BBC programming but what would that achieve?

The only thing which might possibly make the BBC pull back on the anti-independence propaganda is the interest of foreign countries and a concomitant threat to their ill-deserved reputation for fair and balanced reporting.

Other countries are not going to be interested in complaints to the BBC about programme quality, but they may and indeed did, take an interest in claims of anti-independence bias and demonstrations.

Complaining about quality may be safe but ultimately pointless.

I am not even sure your main point regarding quality is even true, that the BBC are reluctant to do something in depth, there have been plenty of examples of them flogging things to death when they perceive them to be anti-SNP or anti-independence. Lockerbie/Megrahi, 'Scottish' Banks, the fingerprints fiasco, the Trams, etc. Whereas, indeed, there has been little or no coverage on what should have been major stories a classic example of that being the whole Purcell/Glasgow Aleo/Security thing.

It isn't a quality control issue it is a political control issue.
 
 
# tartanfever 2012-10-01 22:17
Just a suggestion chic, you asked how we could go about complaining effectively without calling them 'biased' as many of the top SNP brass do not think they are, and I've offered what i think is an alternative.

It also seems to me that the report on which this article is based seems to point out in detail precise reports/timings/comments and so on and rarely uses the word bias, or uses it in conclusion.

Life experience tells me that if I shout 'bias', I'll have it thrown back in my face and an argument will ensue that will lead nowhere. However, if I give pertinent facts, thoughts and suggestions, as I have above, i'm more likely to be taken seriously and more likely to win support for my point.

Think of it another way. Have you ever complained to the BBC ? Many of us have, and we have all received the same standard response along the lines of 'we defend our journalism and our story wasn't bias' or whatever. Thats easy for them to do that, they do it all the time, especially when the claim of bias against independence comes up. Thats what they want you to complain about because it's easy for them to churn out another standard reply because they know at the end of the day, a lot of the population will just believe your a cybernat nutter. I think your making it too easy for them.

And lets put things into perspective. Ian MacWhirter wrote a damning piece a couple of years back about BBC Scotland, it's news coverage, it's presentation, it's top brass etc and what has changed since then ? - Absolutely hee-haw. And we aren't getting the same coverage as Ian MacWhirter.

There is no accountability of the BBC as who will report it? The rest of the media, in this case tv channels ? - of course not because they don't step on each other's toes. And without media coverage, how do you get the word out ? You don't. The BBC has a captive audience of 60m viewers in this country, and nothing comes close to having that kind of influence over the population, not even government.

So you can shout 'bias' at the top of your voice, but no-one is listening, as my complaints of 'quality' aren't being listened to either. But I want to conduct myself as I feel the SNP would, with calm, logical thought, without name calling, with facts and with suggestions.

I can't help feeling that the shouts of bias are more akin to a Lamont-style verbal onslaught, the typical remit of Scottish labour.

I also think that taking the message outside of this country requires thought out, well researched ideas to highlight issues of concern, it requires persuasion.

It's up to you what you do, this is just my suggestion.
 
 
# chicmac 2012-10-02 11:23
You start with

"you asked how we could go about complaining effectively without calling them 'biased' as many of the top SNP brass do not think they are, and I've offered what i think is an alternative."

I can see how my opening question

"Yes. But how can we do anything about it (demonstrations etc.) when high ranking members of the SNP issue pronouncements that the BBC is not biased?"

may appear to be asking for an alternative form of complaining other than in regard to BBC bias, but it was not. It was a rhetorical question, the assumed obvious answer to which being "we cannot."

I also did not say 'many of the top SNP brass do not think they are [biased]', I doubt very much whether many, or even any, really believe that. They are not stupid.

In a previous post I went at some length to explain the different constraints which apply to politicians compared to that which pertains for non-elected pro-independence supporters.

I explained how the silly political game requires, for the present, that such protest needs to be made by non-politicians (well maybe a back-bencher or two)with cross-party and no-party affiliations.

For the SNP government to do so would require the right timing. That time was nearing, but Ian Davidson cleverly pre-empted that by making the ludicrous accusation of pro-independence bias.

However, there was still no requirement whatsoever for a declaration from the SNP that there was no BBC bias.

This was in fact exemplary of very worrying developments in regard to a tendency toward internalisation by the SNP. All organisations are at risk of developing an arrogance and conceit which prevents them from seeing the bigger picture. I have spoken of this before although I do not want to list the major mistakes made on a public forum.

It is, IMO, however the biggest threat to the attainment of independence, bigger even than the MSM propaganda machine.
 
 
# tartanfever 2012-10-02 13:14
Sorry Chic, didn't get the rhetorical question bit in your first post. Interesting to hear your thoughts on internal issues, which of course could lead to public perception issues, we have the perfect example with labour in Scotland to see how arrogance can derail a campaign.

I don't know about such matters with the SNP - but I think while labour continue their problems, the SNP are relatively safe

As for the BBC, I say well done to those that campaigned outside Pacific Quay some months ago, but we need more numbers. In fact it got me thinking, I can't remember any large scale demonstration against the BBC taking place - I wonder if a noisy crowd of 20,000 outside would draw some attention ?
 
 
# xyz 2012-10-01 19:22
.. but to call it a quality issue rather than an issue of institutional unionist bias at the BBC is to be disingenuous. It's propaganda plain and simple. That is their disgrace.

The cuts in funding may tempt those in charge to try to claim an inability to report Scotland fairly but that would just be another unionist big lie.
 
 
# John Souter 2012-10-01 10:34
Forget the political piffle - the bottom line is, Westminster regards the NHS as a hugely profitable market for a cartel of private health providers.

Further it massages the private/public employment sham values to the benefit of the private sector and consequent leverage power it would control.

And, as a consequence, reduces the responsibility of government to at least maintain, if not advance, the welfare of its citizens.

In short it is a cash cow for greedy ideological bigots to further feather their nests by plucking more down from an already balding flock incarcerated in a battery shed.
 
 
# Mad Jock McMad 2012-10-01 10:36
What a week that was:

Westminster, in effect, throwing the baby out with the bath water to the extent that even long term Lamont apologist Mr McKenna of the Guardian has had enough.

New Labour condemned not only by Scots commentators and agencies (that should be their natural allies) but, after Ed Balls train crash at the TUC conference, their main Union backer.

It may be a weird statistical anommoly but apparently the SNP with, no base or candidates in the North of England, have a bigger support there than the Libdems.

Here we have any pretence of BBC even handedness shredded not by a 'cybernat' but by a respected investigative journalist.

Two years out and any pretence at an open debate over the NHS or independence by the Westminster lackies is already demonstrably never going to happen. The tear off strips on Westminster politicians' teflon gusseted Y-fronts and knickers have all been used up. Now they can not hide the reality from the public anymore - they are cacking their pants.

A wee thought maybe with Nicola gone from NHS Scotland the BBC thought they had a chance to humiliate the new guy .... well that worked, didn't it?
 
 
# Marga B 2012-10-01 10:45
In another world, but another story about BBC corporatism and censorship, though a sad one:

guardian.co.uk/.../...
 
 
# bringiton 2012-10-01 11:25
When the unionists use the emotive term "separation" as part of their No campaign people should remember that Scotland already has:

A separate land mass from England
A separate parliament
A separate legal system
A separate health service
A separate Fire and Police service.
Probably others I have missed.
All that is left is to separate Westminster from Scotland's cash which of course is what they are really afraid of.
Until the last item is separated from Westminster,cri tics cannot accuse the Scottish government of anything meaningful as they are having to operate within severe constraints imposed by London.
 
 
# wee folding bike 2012-10-01 17:21
Education too.
 
 
# Clydebuilt 2012-10-01 11:33
Can't get the www.opendemocracy.net link to work...entire site seems to be down
 
 
# Dundonian West 2012-10-01 12:10
"What was BBC Scotland doing not just reporting on the English NHS, but apparently trumpeting reforms being pushed through by the UK government?"

It is the British Broadcasting
Corporation with the puppeteers stationed in London HQ with a branch in Scotland,thus automatically ruling itself OUT of any unbiased reporting on Scotland's services and/or politics.
THE CLUE IS IN THE NAME.
COMPLIANCE is the name of the game with Pacific Quay's bosses and senior editorial staff
BBC is exactly what it says on the label.
 
 
# Leswil 2012-10-01 12:13
The BBC are without doubt the Tory mouthpiece. They were trying to convince Scots that in England, dismantling and privatisation of the health service will lead to overall benefits for all.

However, this is actually not the case on the ground as derision for this policy is everywhere in England as I have seen complaints across many articles about it.

Contrast the difference with the NHS in Scotland, while of course we do sometimes get things wrong, but that does not mean that we cannot strive to improve and the S/G has made solid commitments to continue to do just that.

What is worrying though is the fact that many top Tories have apparently have interest in beneficiary companies that may be involved in the privatization of parts of the health service, but refuse to divulge just who and what!

So we should have faith in the S/G who are much more genuine in their desire to make OUR health Service better.
 
 
# hiorta 2012-10-01 12:20
The BBC is now the active enemy of the citizen, and I remember the tales we were fed about the disgraceful Soviet media.

Imitation is the sincerest form of...........
 
 
# CharlieObrien 2012-10-01 12:46
We still need a media outlet to the people that don't have a PC.That is the only way we can combat the biased BBC.
 
 
# pinkrose 2012-10-01 13:36
Alex Neil for next First Minister! Very articulate and engaging.
 
 
# X_Sticks 2012-10-01 14:01
I'd rather have Dennis Canavan myself!
 
 
# pinkrose 2012-10-01 14:11
Yes he would be fantastic too, and Nicola! Great to have so many options, but let's hope Alex Salmond is here to stay for a good while :)
 
 
# gus1940 2012-10-01 15:29
It is becoming apparent to me that the weird happenings last week on the Scottish Unionist Political Front show the development of a grand strategy for Scotland should we be stupid enough to vote no in The Referendum.

That strategy is to totally emasculate Holyrood by repealing all legislation that has made Scotland different from the rest of The UK and that includes imposing NHS privatisation on us.

Once they have achieved the elimination of any differences the next step would be - What is the point of a separate Scottish Parliament - Bingo - Job Done and another 300 years of colonial misrule..
 
 
# creag an tuirc 2012-10-01 17:34
Maybe, the UK government is going to make such drastic cuts that the SG has no option but to revoke all the freebies, Labour says "Told you so" but once the finacial case is made by the SG I think this will backfire on this unionist ploy.
 
 
# Mark MacLachlan 2012-10-01 16:36
They have history with Mrs Butterfield.

bbc.co.uk/.../...
 
 
# brusque 2012-10-01 18:40
Quoting Mark MacLachlan:
They have history with Mrs Butterfield.

bbc.co.uk/.../...



I just knew she would turn out to be someone with a history of complaining about her care (or perceived lack of) under the NHS.

Did any of the BBCs "Investigative" reporters think to ask her if she was thinking of moving back to England and paying for her services?
 
 
# hiorta 2012-10-02 07:00
The use of the word 'summoned' says it all. How frightfully colonial.
 
 
# Embra 2012-10-01 17:58
Slightly OT, but this is the sort of thing we don't get to hear about:

chicagotonight.wttw.com/.../...


Our First Minister really is class...
 
 
# govanite 2012-10-01 18:36
That's magic.
 
 
# Roll_On_2011 2012-10-01 20:24
Embra

“ Slightly OT, but this is the sort of thing we don't get to hear about:

chicagotonight.wttw.com/.../...


Our First Minister really is class... “

Thanks for the link Embra I watched the main vid and also the full length vid of Alex’s ‘Hugo Young’ speech… Indeed “Our First Minister really is class…” not only as FM but also an ambassador for Scotland, second to none.

Roll_On_2014
 
 
# scottish_skier 2012-10-01 18:16
Well, this explains Lamont's shift to the right-wing. Here's Ed Cameron addressing the Conservative party conference.

tinyurl.com/94e26nb

Looks kinda familiar huh.

static.nme.com/.../...

The transition is complete. Labour is dead. The Union with die with it.
 
 
# Gordon Hay 2012-10-01 20:33
Last week in the Scotsman Alex Massie was "bigging up" Lord Adonis and the English education system, now this on the E&W NHS - if someone now does a piece in the Herald/Record on how much better the Police service south of the border is we'll know what the new anti-SNP strategy is.
 
 
# fergie73 2012-10-01 20:55
The BBC has been truly shocking over the privatisation of the NHS in England. However, as those reforms gather pace and people start to realise, that should focus minds nicely on just how biased they have been over this, which can only help us here.

They are also allowed to get away with things like saying NHS Scotland is not being reformed. This is rubbish. The public sector in Scotland is being reformed, probably in a more ambitious way than that in England is. Services are being integrated and joined up, streamlined. Huge savings are being made with the potential of a lot more.

But what they're not doing is privatising everything for the benefit of donors to political parties. But this is always reported as "not reforming the public sector/NHS" as if the only legitimate reform is privatisation.
 
 
# Roll_On_2011 2012-10-01 23:02
After BBC’s visit to NHS fantasy land it is time to plant ones feet on terra firma (AKA reality):

Patients handed fast track care deal

scottishdailyexpress.co.uk/.../...

Health Secretary Alex Neil said:

Patients in Scotland are being treated quicker than ever, and this fast treatment will now be protected by a legal guarantee.

“We are continuing to meet our full 18 weeks target from GP referral to treatment. Now, as part of this journey, once patients are diagnosed and agree to the treatment, it will start within 12 weeks. In 2007, more than 29,000 people were stuck on “hidden waiting lists”, not getting the treatment they needed.

“I am proud that Scottish patients are reaping the benefits of what the NHS can achieve by protecting its founding principles.

“The Charter marks an important step forward in giving people more say in their health service. It is remaining in public hands so we want patients to be as involved as possible.
 
 
# Barontorc 2012-10-01 23:07
Yip! - Alex Neil's certainly hit the ground running - he'll do well in Health - and by God we'll need him there!
 
 
# Roll_On_2011 2012-10-01 23:21
Barontorc

“ Yip! - Alex Neil's certainly hit the ground running - he'll do well in Health - and by God we'll need him there! “

Aye Barontorc, my thoughts exactly.

.
 
 
# chicmac 2012-10-02 00:01
Kenny Gibson is another to watch.
 
 
# Roll_On_2011 2012-10-02 00:25
chicmac

“ Kenny Gibson is another to watch. “

Aye the SNP Government have not only got a first class leader, and not only at home but abroad, but also a talented team of Ministers whose confidence and experiences are growing at an almost daily rate.

What have the Unionist's side got…. at this point words fail me so I will do a Lamont… ‘not available for comment’.

.
 
 
# km 2012-10-02 02:15
Salmond's intention of putting a cap on funding of the Yes and No camps in the referendum, as reported in the Scotsman, unfortunately doesn't include the immense amount of money and effort being spent by the BBC in spreading lies and half-truths at every opportunity.
 
 
# call me dave 2012-10-02 21:40
Woe, woe and thrice woe
(as Shakespeare didn't write)

Were all doomed again, as implied by BBC Scotland tonight.

Whisky sales have stalled at 1.8b£
Spanish sales have dropped dramatically
France has raised their whisky tax and sales have dropped by 25%

They though we better hear about. . .

Nothing for it 'better together' is best then.

Aye right!
 
 
# xyz 2012-10-03 20:01
The BBC talking Scotland down at every opportunity, what a disgrace. ... and we fund them!

Here's what the BBC presumably omitted to mention:

Scotch Whisky Exports Remain at Record Levels, Wed, 03 Oct 2012 source: Scotch Whisky Association

scotlandfoodanddrink.org/.../...

The on-line BBC report is fine apart from the typically negative headline:
"Growth stalls for whisky exports" picturepush.com/.../10604992
bbc.co.uk/.../...
 
 
# chicmac 2012-10-03 20:31
"The on-line BBC report is fine apart from the typically negative headline:
"Growth stalls for whisky exports""

Like I said before. They are careful to make sure the international reputation for BBC fairness is retained by reflecting something closer to the truth on radio and website which are both subject to international scrutiny. However for TV, which is all they really need to control the masses, they go to great pains to make sure there is no international access (i-player not accessible abroad). In that way they can keep their dirty little activities in Scotland a secret, destroy Scottish self-esteem and still preserve their precious international reputation.
 

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