Reporting Scotland and two sources with anti-SNP agendas exploit deaths of the elderly

The First Minister is making a very good impression in her Covid-19 briefings. On a daily basis she demonstrates clarity, honesty, compassion and morale-promoting qualities. She looks like a leader. Her Scottish rivals seem insignificant. The Westminster elite come across as evasive, callous, immature.

Recent Opinium opinion polls reveal high levels of approval for her among SNP, Lib Dem and Labour supporters. Even among Tory supporters around 1 in 5 approve of her performance.

When this trauma subsides and a return to constitutional affairs seems appropriate, she and her team will be very attractive to the electorate. It’s not just her. Freeman and Forbes seem much more competent and trustworthy characters than their shadows.

Leading members of the Unionist elites in politics and in the media sense the risk but cannot attack directly for fear of seeming insensitive or petty, at this time. Jackson Carlaw had a wee go at the FM last week but was then slapped down by leading Tory journalists for misjudging the moment.

Short of reliable ammunition, the leading media platform for the Union, Reporting Scotland, has used, over the last two days before today, two willing sources who are prepared to come on and say anything in an ill-informed rant, entirely evidence-free, some of which will stick in the minds of some viewers. Tonight they paired them up like a couple of ugly tag-wrestlers from 70’s TV.

Robert Kilgour, Tory donor and founder of an anti-independence group in 2014, was introduced as Chairman of Renaissance Care and prompted to speculate off the top of his head that care home deaths linked to to covid-19 were much higher than published figures, and then supported him in his claim that more testing was needed. The First Minister’s clarification of this issue today, that the testing was only really to reassure relatives and did not change the basic practice of social distancing which the care providers has a duty to implement, was not mentioned. Glasgow Live has quoted a care worker alleging a failure to do just that but Reporting Scotland does not, of course, rely on single sources, unless it suits them.

Immediately the reporter moved on to tell us that: ‘one trade union has accused the Scottish Government of failing to protect the care sector’ before we get a repeat of the previous day’s rant from Gary Smith, Trident supporter and mouthpiece of that most Unionist of unions, the GMB. Does Smith speak on behalf of the whole union anytime he launches into an attention-seeking rant? Remember his tirade about ‘Filthy Glasgow’ last year? It’s puzzling that the hard-left Smith does not accuse greedy care home -owners of failing to protect their patients but, I suppose for some, the Union trumps progressive policies.

Reporting Scotland’s pairing of these two and general disregard for the First Minister’s briefing comments is one of the more explicit pieces of propaganda we’ve seen since this the virus outbreak began.

5 thoughts on “Reporting Scotland and two sources with anti-SNP agendas exploit deaths of the elderly”

  1. This also exemplifies the symbiotic relationship which, egregiously, exists between some trade union officials and senior members of the Scottish Labour Party with employers and Tories. In 2014, this relationship virtually destroyed the Scottish Labour Party when hundreds of thousands of former voters removed their support and have not returned. Labour in Scotland claims to have learned from the fiasco of this closeness, but, while it might not be the chumminess of ‘Better Together’, the wording of the press releases and statements show a remarkable similarity in wording and the attack lines at Holyrood and in Council chambers are the same. Scotland in Union is still run by former Labour MP, Ms Pamela Nash. Former Minister, Mr Brain Wilson writes biliously in The Scotsman and his ex-colleague, Mr Douglas Alexander, makes cavilling and petty British nationalist tweets about the Louisa Jordan Hospital.

    PS The ‘B’ in the title of the GMB union stands for ‘Boilermakers, which was one of the unions which was amalgamated to form the GMB. My late father joined the Boilermakers’ Union in 1920, so I have a sentimental affection for the GMB. I was a lifelong trade unionist.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. My poetry class now meets by Zoom on Wednesday evenings, so, perhaps my brain was still affected by it.


  2. I think Mr. Kilgour is not quite as rock solid anti SG as it appears from the BBC . He has a very interesting article in today’s Scotland section of the Times which is pretty favourable towards the SG and rather sceptical about figures being released from down south. It appears the BBC might have been selectively reporting his views . Heavens forfend!


    1. The Times seems to have an ongoing mission to undermine the Scottish Government and Scotland’s health and social care services as this example reveals.

      A known critic of the Scottish Government author an article in that newspaper today. It actually acknowledges a ‘positive’ concerning the SG’s assessment of Covid-19 statistics. It then draws a comparison with the approach being taken in ‘London’, expressing a negative view of the latter.

      As alert readers will note, the headline writer for The Times seems steeped in the current corporate culture of this once great newspaper of ‘record’. The headline shows the crafting of a blatantly negative message on the situation in Scotland by use of careful juxtaposition of phrases.

      The headline is reproduced below but firstly what does the article tell us (at least that part visible without going behind the paywall)? Written by the seemingly ever present media darling, the care home empire owner Robert Kilgour (how does he find time away from his day job?), The Times article states this:

      “I am on a Whatsapp group with around 500 UK care home operators and they have little to no confidence in the Office for National Statistics data.

      The first minister RIGHTLY cautioned against treating the 33 per cent of deaths in Scottish care homes as the true figure. Some countries further along the curve have seen 40-50 per cent of deaths in care homes. France have been counting care home deaths for quite some time.

      The first minister said there was no reason to think that Scotland was different. The government DESERVE SOME PRAISE for moving to a more accurate reporting system. I wish that were being done in London.”

      That all seems clear. Let’s look at the headline chosen by The Times:

      ‘Coronavirus in Scotland: I don’t believe official data on deaths reflects reality’


      Now I’m sure that if challenged, The Times would push back: it would point to the full content of the article and even to its willingness to publish it at all. However, it is blindingly obvious what its headline writer was aiming to do, to influence readers through a misrepresentation – unless this is evidence of professional incompetence, of not being able to express ‘meaning’ clearly. Aye right!

      Let’s fix the headline: ‘Cornavirus in England: I don’t believe official data on deaths reflect reality.’ Perhaps BBC Reporting Scotland will offer Mr Kilgour another opportunity this evening to inform its viewers on this matter.


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