Is this a new low?

We are now accustomed to BBC Scotland trailing tragic images and sentences behind them and across our TV screens. We’ve had weeks with images of the health secretary, caught looking upset or tired, as the words imply her responsibility for the deaths of a small but sad cluster of babies, infants and old folk. Sometimes the story would run every day for a week only to return when an inquiry had been forced on the Scottish Government.

This, steel yourself, is a new low. So low that no correspondent seems to want to be credited for this report. I see the face of Lisa Summers but there are others.

I do not, of course, criticise Mr Burt, above. As far as we can see, he has said things that many might well say, in understandable grief. Like many before him he has been exploited by journalists with all the ethical standards of an iguana.

The background:

When Derek Burt’s mother was diagnosed with a terminal illness six weeks ago, she asked for one more trip – a holiday with her family. “MND is such an evil and unpredictable disease,” Mr Burt says. “We have no idea if she will be able to go on a family holiday with us when all the Covid craziness is over, so had to make the tough decision and deliver on one of her wishes now.” With trips to Florida and Croatia already cancelled, they settled on Portugal when quarantine restrictions were lifted two weeks ago. But now the family from Dunfermline in Fife is having to race to get home from the Algarve to beat the new restrictions that come into force at 04:00 on Saturday in Scotland.

Mr Burt then goes on to explain what happened and to express his views on the role of the ‘governments‘ in that:

Mr Burt says the family researched different holidays and tried to follow the guidance available, but “nobody has a clue what the governments are thinking“.

Although the virus rates seemed on the high-side in Portugal, he “assumed the government knew what they were doing” and would not return the country to the quarantine list. So the family travelled to the Algarve.

How stupid was I to show any faith in our countries’ decision-makers?” he says.

Mr Burt says he is “incredibly frustrated” by the decision of the Scottish and Welsh governments to impose quarantine rules, describing it as a “complete shambles“.

Readers will, of course remember the First Minister repeating warnings like this on an almost daily basis.

This [re-imposition of quarantine] reinforces the point that these matters are subject to change at short notice and so my advice is to be cautious about non essential foreign travel.

Not strangely, this comment does not feature in the BBC Scotland report.

23 thoughts on “Is this a new low?”

  1. As far as the ABC concerned it is most certainly more than fair to state that in sheer desperation to carry out their masters bidding that indeed
    They are now scraping the bottom of their
    Empty barrel
    And to play upon genuine Human misery
    Is completely unacceptable
    Their descent into the pits of hell merely
    Accelerates and with a leaden BOOT gifted by Rooth the Mooth upon the muck
    That they peddle

    Liked by 2 people

    1. At Daily Mail Level
      I think not
      They are way way below that
      You do not have to purchase the Daily Mail
      Law forces you to pay the licence fee for The ABC
      And such is the current Law of Our land in ScotlABC
      So Break the Law
      Know thy Foe
      And never ever afford ones as insidious as the ABC any respect whatsoever
      I would rather give a Nazi salute than my licence dues and thats all to give the ABC
      Think as to the lifestyle and salaries paid to the higher echelons of this most sophisticated of State Propaganda Broadcasters
      Well Not with my Money

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You don’t have to pay the license tax at all, if you don’t watch the BBC, at all on any ‘device’. You can own 100 tv sets, don’t be scared off because you have a TV. Our aerial went caput years ago, too costly to fix, ditched BBC, never looked back, we have 3 TV sets, several PC’s etc…never watch BBC. We have Netflix, amazon prime, (paid for) youtube,open culture, short of the week, nls moving image archive, (all free) and the list of films progs to watch is endless…

        Also, they can’t harass you in Scotland, just tell them you don’t require a license, also you can’t be locked up for ‘debt’ in Scotland, so they can’t threaten you with
        the jail either…like they do to people in England, where some do end up behimd bars for not paying for BBC propaganda, in, 2020.


  2. Every sympathy for the lad’s predicament, but it’s hardly the fault of government that the pandemic effects are fluctuating, nor that he gets roped into this blatant propaganda campaign to rubbish SG’s decisions over quarantining.
    As you observed on the Grauniad in the previous article “Not for the first time, we have to go to an English newspaper to find out what actually happened in Scotland”… The “News where we are is not the news where you are” is beyond a joke, it’s blatant propaganda.
    On similar theme it was interesting to note a previous comment on the different angles reported on the Schapps confection from BBC Wales and Scotland…

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Watching the britnat bbc makes you ill. Don’t do it! Don’t pay the bbc tax. Leave it to professionals like The Tusker, who have stomachs lined with stainless steel, to do the watching and reporting.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. John, you said in a prior comment: “‘If you are going to spend half your time slagging people off (most articles are criticising a person, are they not, these days?)’ – don’t know, count them and work out the %?” and I wanted to say that wasn’t the right criticism to make (from me) – like here you rightly slag off the BBC, and that’s an institution, not a person, and it’s justified. I think what has been really bothering me and I didn’t articulate it well, is that the overall effect of the focus of the articles produced this year (Alasdair’s recent article made me realise what I was trying to say) gives me the feeling that Scotland is shit and only the Scottish government is good.

    Whether or not you are criticising the MSM and particularly the BBC, it’s still nearly the only thing you report on now and so we never hear about anything good happening going on in Scotland (because it’s all focused on the British propaganda) – maybe there isn’t anything and Scotland is indeed pretty shit, I’m not expecting anything to be made up – and I think that aspect of finding alternatives to MSM news used to make this blog unique. You can’t equate the Scottish government to being the whole of Scotland, it’s a devolved administration, and is only one part of Scotland, not the whole – but even with that the focus has been on the rubbish that’s said about them. Criticising the criticism.

    I’m not suggesting you shouldn’t morph or change the focus of the blog, just for my benefit – but I liked your ideas behind setting up TuS, and thought it really worthwhile to give people a morale boost and see that there are lots of things going on that make Scotland a normal and potentially successful country, things that we won’t hear reported in MSM headlines – but like you’ve often told me I can go and do my own blog if I want my own focus.

    But just to say, constantly telling me that that Scotland has a bunch of arseholes that are happy to think of themselves before anyone else doesn’t make me think Scotland is a great place. The title of the blog TuS no longer feels descriptive of the content. I know you have always focused on BBC reporting – that is your profession after all – but with the mix we had, and finding the hidden good stuff in the past was a real morale boost and a relief from the constant bad news and fear-mongering – but things are now back to ‘thought control Scotland’ – would it be too much to have the two blogs running simultaneously, and then we could make a choice in type of content? I really think the TuS is a unique thing that would be nice to have preserved, but I understand that it can be far too much work as well.

    And yes, I WOULD go and find stuff, but free time is not on my side at the moment. Maybe set aside a day a week that that has only non-critical articles? I know they aren’t as popular, but it would give a mix, and those that wanted the relief would know what day to come look at the blog, and I could have a deadline for finding at least one thing to contribute? Or am I the only one?!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. There are briliant things happening in Scotland all the time. However to find a ‘non critical article’ in a daily rag, is that even possible?
      Might this help?

      Also I am delighted that the ScotGov have just put £millions of funding in place to help the arts and culture sectors recover, it can’t be easy to find spare cash at the moment, but they are at least trying. A good news story?


      1. ArtyHetty, That’s what we used to do all the time – that was the premise and what renaming of the blog to TuS was about – why don’t you write an article about them so John can post it?


      2. Arty Hetty, in addition to what I said, my interpretation of talking up Scotland was not just about seeking out actual good news, it’s about looking at the news we are presented with and imagining it in a positive light – so instead of criticising the way the news is reported, we can take the information given to us, and see if it can be interpreted in a different way – one that actually shows Scotland to be a fairly good place, or with lots of potential. Most of the MSM just twists something that would normally be barely worth comment into something that makes Scotland look or feel bad. Try reading some of their articles, put a different headline at the top, and see if you can get the information to mean something different. Just constantly moaning about how they’ve said something crap doesn’t actually tell us if there is anything good as an alternative. And if it is all bad, why bother mentioning it? To my thinking anyway.


    2. Too long!! I have ADHD plus plus.

      Doesn’t being negative about our negative media folk weaken the effects of their negativity thus enhancing our positivity about the things they were being negative about?

      Thus I’m bringing good news all the time?

      As for good news stories, I’m reactive. They’re not popping up so I can’t report them.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No, in this case a double negative does not necessarily give a positive. See positivity lesson no. 1 to ArtyHetty above on how we don’t need actual good news stories – it’s a different interpretation we need on most of them.

        Heh. I’m ADHD-ing right back at ye 😉 – my problem is hyper-focus though, not lack of attention span 😀

        It does help knowing when the media is producing mince, I’m not putting that down – it’s just when you are doing the same as them – negative reporting – and not presenting a positive alternative ever, well, it’s not really talking anything up is it?


      2. And you aren’t going to be finding any good news stories if you spend all day reading The Herald, however hard you look.


      3. Ananrasad,

        For a start, if you read my comment, you’d have seen I said what John’s original blog was called.

        Under that title, and it is related to Chomsky’s thinking, it was about educating us on the ways in which the media influences our thinking.

        Consequently John changed the theme of his blog, because it turns out watching the BBC – and being aware of what they are doing – can be harmful to your health. And then he created a new blog with a new name to reflect a different type of content, in the main.

        Knowing that, and seeing the change in the blog content from what was originally intended, I see no harm in checking if this is the true intention.

        Of course John doesn’t need to listen to anything I say, and he has every right to change his mind on the type of content.

        For your information, we have had this discussion many times over the years, and have absolutely no need for your input.

        Far from it: there will always be a balance between popularity of articles and sticking to original aims. However much you like it, the blog content no longer reflects the title, and I see no harm in asking if that’s intentional, and explaining why I think that way.


  5. Not to be unnecessarily critical of Mr Burt and his wish to grant his mother’s wish, but given he states that he researched different holiday options and settled for Portugal how did he manage to miss the warnings that all travel carries risks including the possibility of quarantine?
    Is it not more likely that he recognised that the risk of any destination being placed on the quarantine list and took the chance, hoping that his family would not be affected? Clearly, the Scottish government could not give any guarantee that any particular country would remain safe to visit and the nature of the pandemic is that local circumstances can change rapidly. Certainly over the course of a week infection rates can increase very quickly requiring appropriate actions to be taken. In any event, a government can’t make decisions about how best to protect the health and lives of all its citizens on the basis of one family not having their holiday plans made in the middle of a pandemic disrupted.

    But the State Propaganda Unit has its mission and carries on steadfastly, cynically using any and every opportunity to attack the democratically elected government of Scotland on behalf of the English parliament and Establishment. Exploiting one family’s misfortune for the sake of a cheap and cynical shot at the dreadful SNP is just another opportunity.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. The last paragraph about thinking thrice before any non essential travel abroad is what’s crucial here. Many want life to go on as usual, holidays in the sun etc, but this year it’s just not realistic. The England based media and government are just not getting the message through to people though are they. That’s the crux of the matter. The Scottish government are more cautious, and acting on more sound scientific advice, and of course that means things can change one day to the next.

    Scotland is beautiful, needs people to stay and support the tourism industry, why go abroad during a pandemic. The BBC are a disgrace, they are a huge part of the problem in ‘confusing’ people, and it’s all about demonising the SNP, even if it means lives could be lost. Despicable, ‘new low’ their lows are infinite.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Did anyone else see the BBC1 news report yesterday in which a man was interviewed after arriving back at an English airport from Portugal? He was VERY angry as, thinking he and his family were going to have to quarantine for 14 days on their return to the UK, he’d paid a lot of money to change to an earlier flight, missing two days of their holiday. On getting back to England he realised the quarantine wouldn’t have applied in their case. Not sure who he was blaming, although the report was implicating the Scottish and Welsh governments of course. If I’d been him I would have quietly gone home to contemplate my own stupidity and lack of judgement, rather than broadcast it!

    Liked by 1 person

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