Reacting to Sarah Smith’s gleeful analysis of the Derek Mackay incident and opportunistically lying about Scottish education on Politics Live yesterday, Alasdair Macdonald remembers seeing her among her ain folk:
By chance, I happened to be in the same location as a Labour Party event during the recent General Election. When I arrived at the place where I sometimes undertake voluntary work, I could hardly get in because of the congestion due to the number of media vehicles and media people. All of the faces we see on the Scottish and UK News bulletin reports were there. Although the BBC had the full complement of those who usually do the BBC Scotland reporting, Ms Smith was there, too.
When the Labour campaign bus arrived, most of the reporters remained inside leaving the camera people to film and take photos. However, Ms Smith was at the front at the foot of the steps of the bus, and as the various Labour people descended, she greeted them with embraces and took a number of selfie-type photos with her phone.
She was clearly among friends, which is not surprising given her late father’s long career in the Labour Party and her mother’s continuing involvement. There is absolutely nothing wrong with such friendships and warmth, indeed, it shows a human side.
However, it raises a question about why she was there and in what capacity. Was she there in a personal capacity? If so, that is completely acceptable? But, if she was there in a BBC capacity, especially as the BBC had a significant presence there already, we are entitled to ask why. Given the cordiality of her relationships with many of the Labour team present, is she able to give a balanced and impartial report?
If, as you show above she has reported something false, and which is obviously false, and since this is not an isolated occurrence, then, I think her objectivity and that of her organisation is compromised.