I return to this theme often as my latest evidence of BBC bias is attributed to a paranoid conspiracy culture which I embrace. Like Chomsky, I have never pointed to any media conspiracy and like him, I know you don’t need one to get the kind of biases prevalent in our MSM.
Anyhow, ‘everybody’ tells me that the folk at BBC Scotland are all paranoid about me and some other bloggers conspiring to get them. Well we are but we never plan anything. I’m in a ‘deviant’ subculture, like the mods or the punks, along with Wings, the Wee Ginger Dug and many other cybernuts, acting in our own interests we seem to serve the shared interests our group. Nobody tells anyone what to do.
Back to the main point of all this, seriously, I feel the urge after a dog-walking reflective process, to clarify again.
There is a subculture called ‘Scottish journalism’ in which, historically, one of the central values influencing behaviour by its members, has been Unionism. Not surprisingly, that value is at its strongest in the Scottish branch of the state broadcaster.
The value of the Union has its roots for BBC Scotland in Lord Reith’s pre-war aim to have the sound of Big Ben heard in the remotest croft. Again, no all-powerful figure told the troops what to do. The staff were initially appointed by people sharing that value unconditionally and from within the mainstream of a predominantly Unionist Scottish press. No one had to tell them who to appoint. They recognised their own and in a special deal, a Labour Party elite, Glasgow University educated, were allowed the same influence that the Eton/Oxbridge elite had long exercised in Broadcasting House. MI5 had, of course, oversight and final approval.
Then in the 21st Century, as Scottish independence began to threaten seriously, Pacific Quay became the centre of the resistance to constitutional change. Senior figures, all Labour-connected, led the campaign in the run-up to 2014 and their work was supplemented daily by the biased reporting of their juniors, eager to please but, crucially, rarely if ever bullied into compliance. Secure, salaried and pensioned, with a kind of security not found anywhere else in their trade even the most ambivalent about the Union would see the sense in doing what was ‘right’…for their families, mortgages and cars.
Finding ways to please their superiors by picking at supposed failures in public services and by demonising the leading SNP figures, ensuring a daily flow of propaganda aimed at scaring the old and the weak, they may well have stolen the referendum result.
Now, many of the big beasts have gone but younger ones, fully acculturated in Unionism, survive, especially in the teams at Reporting Scotland and Good Morning Scotland.
It won’t be over until Brian Taylor sings at the farewell do for the whole bloody thing.