True to their useful (awful) form, BBC Scotland has misrepresented and already dodgy piece of reporting by a single partisan source.
First, the actual report by the Federation of Small Businesses does not use the word ‘evaporate.’ In August they told us that it had been ‘battered.’ This is BBC Scotland hyperbole from a dark place in the subconscious thinking of state broadcasting reporters.
Second, the FSB research sampled 1 245 small businesses across the UK. The Scottish sample, unstated, will be 8% or 100. The FSB in Scotland has around 19 000 members.
The sample is 0.52% and, probably self-selecting, thus useless. BBC Scotland, of course, do not care about or do not understand research methods.
Third, this is a second offence, at least. Reporting Scotland Down told us this in August:
‘Business confidence in Scotland has taken a BATTERING (heavy emphasis)’ based on a Bank of Scotland Business Barometer survey.
We also heard that ‘there was a 17-point fall during the first half of July’ (a two-week trend?) and that confidence was at the lowest in Scotland. The Scotsman and the National went for falling and sliding rather than battering in their headlines.
Somewhat confusingly the same Bank of Scotland Business Barometer at the end of June had report confidence 17% higher in Scotland and higher here than elsewhere in the UK!
Fourth, this reliance on single-source report contravenes the BBC’s editorial guidelines. This teeny unrepresentative sample of opinion needs to be set against a wider array of reporting on Scotland’s economy such as these: