The truth about COP26 and excluding the Scottish Government

But the SNP does! See:

Alasdair Macdonald:

Today we heard several times from the former Coordinator of the COP26 Conference who had been summarily dismissed from her post by the PM. She is a former Conservative MP and Minister. She was heard saying that ‘the Scottish Government had behaved disgracefully in contracting the venues around the SECC’. The intention of this was to give the impression that the SG was behaving spitefully by PREVENTING these venues from being used for the Conference.However, on the BBC website the story is lead by how the PM ‘heartily and saltily’ had rejected any involvement of the SG in COP26 and the story is headlined to imply the PM’s spitefulness. The report, in its second half, then reports the often repeated broadcast quote I give above.This looks to me like propaganda by GMS.


Yes, I definitely thought this one interesting. There have already been rumours of the Scottish Government being excluded from the climate summit, so was keeping half an ear out for anything happening with it.On the radio this morning the reporting covered a few things:a) minister summarily dismissed from her post of organising this event
b) minister annoyed with SG for its seeming actions of preventing the use of buildings that she wanted to use
c) minister stating that as a consequence she suggested to PM that SG should be fully involved with planning and participating in the event
d) association made between minister being dismissed and her support for involving the SG
e) statement made on the PM view that the minister was not up to the task and was going too slowSo, what do we get out of this confusing morass of reportage? That the SG/Nicola Sturgeon is sneaky and underhand, that the PM is strong and stable, that the Minister was a bit of a radical and should not have had that job?I would say that logic dictates that for (b) she was not furious with SG, but with PM, otherwise she would not have suggested (c).What I will be really really very incredibly curious about is how the other countries attending will view the situation/event if the scottish government really is excluded.

Alasdair Macdonald

Although it is a Labour partisan site, Left Foot Forward carries this report on what the former Coordinator, Conservative MP and Minister said. shows just how selective GMS has been.


Seems like the BBC in Scotland is an organisation losing its credibility, its audience and the respect of that audience. It is using tabloid-style shock stories to cover its political bias and lack of journalistic ethics, so it can appear relevant in modern Scotland.
For me, it doesn’t seem to be working, and it is paddling hard down the Swanee to catch the Hootsmon and Herod. Audience figures anyone?

Ed: around 300 000?

Published by johnrobertson834

Retired Professor of Media Politics Not-for-profit independent political analysis

5 thoughts on “The truth about COP26 and excluding the Scottish Government

  1. A link to her full letter is within this article in the Guardian. Strangely there is only passing mention of Scotland and Ms Sturgeon and, as far as I could see, no mention of the Scottish Government contracting venues. That seems to be a recent addition to her list and, being cynical, smacks of someone trying to get back into the good books of her former bosses in the party by attacking the SG.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi all – thanks for the fascinating insights into the development of this curiously framed story by the beeb. May I add a further few details below:

    Note how beeb Scotland manage to work ‘blame’ of the SNP Scottish Govt into a story that is, principally, designed as an attack on Johnson’s commitment to climate change ideals in general and the Glasgow COP26 meeting in particular. Link and snippets below:

    In para 5 Claire O’Neill is quoted as saying the Scottish Govt behaved “..disgracefully..” by renting a location adjacent to the COP venue:

    (Para 4) Ms O’Neill also accused the Scottish government of behaving “disgracefully” ahead of the conference.

    (Para 5) The key UN-led summit is due to be held in November at the Scottish Events Campus, which includes the Armadillo and the SSE Hydro.

    (Para 6) Ms O’Neill claimed the Scottish government had been contracting buildings from the site which should instead be used by the climate change conference.

    MEANWHILE – down at para 15 (which may never be read by the casual reader) the wording, ever so slightly, changes: see below:

    (Para 15) She also said she had been told that “the Scottish government has absolutely behaved disgracefully and has been contracting buildings from the COP site, for example, that should absolutely be made available to the conference”.

    (Para 16) She went on to allege that there was a “complete stand-off between the two governments, and that her suggestion had been that we “need everybody in” and that the “playground politics, the yah-boo of this, has got to stop”.

    NOTE: The wording changes: “She also said that SHE HAD BEEN TOLD that “the Scottish Govt had absolutely behaved disgracefully and has been contracting buildings from the COP site, for example, that should absolutely be made available to the conference.””

    QUESTIONS that, just might, have suggested themselves to an alert reporter = WHO TOLD YOU that the Scottish Govt had behaved disgracefully? WHEN were you told that? Might that SOMEBODY who told you have ULTERIOR MOTIVES for suggesting this? Do you have ANY EVIDENCE that this ‘..disgraceful behaviour..’ actually happened? Did you contact the Scottish Govt to discuss your concerns? What was the response? Is it possible that the alleged “..disgraceful behaviour..” was ACTUALLY sensible action by the Scottish Govt acting in a responsible manner?? etc etc etc.

    Within the article these claims are rebutted by the Scottish Govt spokesman – but the ‘reputational damage’ is done at the top of the article – and the beeb Scotland ‘framing’ means that the Scottish Govt explanations are given a potentially ‘defensive’ quality although no defensiveness is required (or intended) by the spokesman. See Paras 7 and 8 below:

    (Para 7) The Scottish government later confirmed it had booked the Glasgow Science Centre, which sits opposite the events campus, for the duration of the summit – but said that this had been done after the COP26 organisers had booked what they needed.

    (Para 8) A spokesman said it was not surprising or unreasonable for the government to have a base of its own when the event is happening in Scotland, and pointed out that Ms Sturgeon, the Scottish first minister, had been invited to and attended the previous three COP summits.

    Thus, by careful ‘framing’ beeb Scotland attempt to turn a ‘Johnson behaving badly and incompetently’ story into a story involving bad behaviour by both Scottish Govt and Johnson – Certainly Claire O’Neill may be an ex-tory MP, an ex- toryMinister and ex-tory appointee as President of COP26 but she is sufficiently aware of what side her bread is buttered to feed the beeb precisely what they need to deliver a ‘bad behaviour all round’ story – Sharing the Blame as it were – rather than fully dropping Johnson in the brown stuff.

    Whatever their failings in news gathering skills beeb Scotland don’t lack skills in framing and re-framing stories to, better, fit the Ukanian narrative when required.

    Overall – despite the careful ‘framing’ my suspicion is that the story is being tied down by events as a ‘Johnson is incompetent and rather a nasty piece of work’ story – and that Glasgow and Scotland’s COP Conference is being damaged by his pathetic petulance. The recent encouraging polling evidence suggests that ever larger elements of the Scottish people can see through this media manipulation and are starting to do their own sums on the evidence available.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Also curious that the TV cameras were in the Radio 4 Today studio to film her when she made her claim about the SG contracting the venues and then that clip ends up on Reporting Scotland.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. BBC coverage of COP26 so far reminds me of Indyref, ie. led by London based editors with no input from BBC Scotland (literally) just opposite the conference site. Surely an opportunity for the UK government and its publicity machine to demonstrate that much vaunted even handidness? Not!


  4. There is an available building that the Johnson regime could use for COP26, adjacent to the Science Centre.

    It is already an extension of 10 Downing Street operations in Scotland.

    I refer of course, to Pacific Quay where the existing tenants could be shunted off to the canteen for their “operations”.

    They are, after all, only reading from pre-written scripts, written for them in Victoria Quay (or St Andrews House, built most appropriately on the site of Calton jail)!.

    Liked by 1 person

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