The Agenda: Fiona Bruce misquotes the Scottish Government

On Question Time last night, after Dr Philippa Whitford had made a general and constructive point about the NHS, all parts of it, being still open and making no comparison with Scotland’s better data, Bruce pounced:

And, Phillipa, let’s talk about Scotland for a moment because large parts of Scotland, I mean, the Central Belt, the most populous areas of Scotland, have been pretty much in lockdown since September and yet the Scottish Government has admitted, as has around the UK, that Covid is running out of control, so what’s gone wrong?

This was prepared. It’s a lie. It’s an agenda to try to present Scotland and the Scottish Government as not having done any better despite the data showing far lower infection and death rates.

Whitford had no option but to point that out and Bruce pounced again with the above.

Faced with the fact that the death rate in Scotland too is currently half the level of England, Bruce adopted Andrew Marr’s strategy of making a selective and irrelevant comparison with an earlier period.

Again Whitford was able to counter but Bruce’s work was done. What will viewers remember?

Finally, ‘out of control?’ Try searching for ‘Scottish government covid out of control.

I found one case only in the First Minister’s speech on the 19th December. The word ‘control’ appears 4 times:

  • 4 weeks ago, London’s cases were very low too – and now they are running out of control.
  • But if we act now, we have a chance of keeping this situation under control while the vaccination programme continues to makes progress and get case numbers back to very low levels again.
  • The situation of the new strain though means that until we are sure it is firmly under control – until we are sure we are not facing the same situation as the south of England or Wales –  we must slightly change our plans for how schools operate after the Christmas period.
  • After that, assuming we are confident we have the virus under control we will aim to reopen schools fully but at least until the 18 January, schools will go online only other than for the children of key workers and the most vulnerable.

Bruce’s claim is a clear lie.

19 thoughts on “The Agenda: Fiona Bruce misquotes the Scottish Government

  1. This complaint submitted:

    Fiona Bruce said: ‘and yet the Scottish Government has admitted, as has around the UK, that Covid is running out of control, so what’s gone wrong?’ I have checked thoroughly and no Scottish Government representative has said this, for the obvious reason it would not be true with the infection level less than half that of England and now falling. The First Minister did say in her briefing on 19th December, stressing the need for Scotland to stay in control: ‘4 weeks ago, London’s cases were very low too – and now they are running out of control.’ Please have Fiona Bruce correct this error on the next broadcast of QT.

    Liked by 8 people

  2. Indeed Bruce is a liar.

    From EuroMomo: England Death rate (z-score) currently 11 Scotland 4.2

    In first wave Scotland was 15.9 at peak. England was 35.9

    QT has never been a fair platform for Scotland.

    Liked by 8 people

    1. Dont watch any BBC now as won’t pay the propaganda tax.
      Until they asked me every time, on any device, if I had a licence, I used to check every so often what they were up to. Now not worth lying to do that.
      I miss odd things like Landward, Cameron McLeish, and Spiral (sad about that but on Amazon, I think), and various things on Alba, like Eorpa.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Another piece of the propaganda mosaic put in place. It is an organised and coordinated campaign.

    Bruce doesn’t ask questions of SNP MPs…she makes statements and quickly follows up an interruption to ensure that the reply is less effective. This breaking of the response line thread is a well worn Unionist tactic.

    Liked by 7 people

  4. I watched this travesty and joke of a so called questioning of societal leaders in a political
    But our Dear Phillipa was caught completely off guard by the 1st question,but this woke her up for the later ones
    This is extremely poor planning by SNP strategists and planners
    Bloody well wake up and take the gloves off
    I would have had all the actual facts in my head and would immediately called Bruce out
    By informing her before answering
    Fiona you have just bowled a curved bouncer
    So and you Do NOT even think about interupting me as i most kindly respond with
    The truth whole truth and nothing but the FACTS and all derived from UK Gov sources
    But i warn you that such will shock English viewers to the core
    After all is it not the duty of the ABC( BBC)
    To inform, educate and present the real facts
    In a fair and balanced manner
    So here we go
    Christ the Editor is pulling the plug


  5. I watched this hatchet job. I also sat through extended, almost hysterical rants by the Gov. Minister in defence of her Gov’s. actions. Not much by Bruce in pressing her on the Gov’s specification for meals to be delivered which was not greatly different from those (totally inadequate) that were delivered.
    Ashworth got his dander up at one point but was, in comparison in air time to the Minister, largely ignored.
    I can’t re-view the programme to check my observations so am left, as will most viewers, with first impressions.
    An unbalanced, poorly moderated display of BBC bias in favour of the Gov. apologist and prepared, highly prejudicial claims made to Whiteford whose responses were interrupted or cut through abruptly.
    Bruce is no professional in this TV format. Simply a scripted talking head displaying the bias of the programme editor or the anti Scottish culture within the BBC.
    Another disgrace pumped out by the Gov’s official broadcaster.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. Fiona Bruce is typical of the Anglo types born and educated outside the UK.

    They try harder to ape Anglo culture and do England’s bidding more fanatically than those native born, in an attempt to be accepted (and not thought of as a foreigner by those they want to be like).

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I noticed that Dr Whitford was one of the guests on QT last night so dipped into the programme at one point to see how it was going.

    They had just started to discuss the vaccination rollout. Mr Ashworth, Labour Shadow Health Secretary (?), and the Tory rep had formed a mutual appreciation society so not much light being shed on the issue by those two. Eventually after the other panellists and many in the ‘audience’ had rambled on for what seemed an inordinate amount of time Fiona Bruce turned to Dr Whitford and said, I paraphrase, ‘why is Scotland behind the rUK in vaccinating people?’. Dr W was somewhat taken aback but soon recovered and reeled off the stats – 80% care home residents etc.

    Clearly the whole point was to frame the question in such a way to suggest Scotland was not doing well. I then switched off but from what John has said in his post that was not the only instance where the Chair introduced a topic by stating/suggesting that Scotland was not doing well compared to rUK. It is a pattern of questioning that is designed to put the person being questioned on the back foot and to suggest to the viewers or listeners that the interviewer has all the facts which, as we know, is rarely the case.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “… where the Chair introduced a topic by stating/suggesting that Scotland was not doing well …”

      This technique is one that is also commonly deployed towards an SNP panel member by Chris Mason, the chair of Radio 4’s Any Questions. In some cases Mason’s interjection will bear little or no relation to the subject raised by the listener’s original question.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Stopped watching QT ages ago when it became all too obvious it’s purpose was propaganda rather than discussion, then came “Orange Jaiket Man”, the majority anti SNP Dundee audience etc..

    I foolishly thought with an epidemic on their hands the media would behave, instead it went into full propaganda bombardment…
    Could be worse I guess, PQ’s SS Division could be editing QT, “Philippa Whitford said nothing..” fade out…

    OT slightly, read this article from IR2 Links this morning –

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I watched this last night. Bruce was openly an anti SNP participant rather than a neutral chairperson. She made little attempt to be anything else. Its becoming something which is par for the course on the BBC. Its turning into the Tory Broadcasting Corporation. They’re being dragged into line by the Tory placemen put at the top of the corporation.

    Liked by 5 people

  10. Some charts and data for you on this matter:

    I don’t have data back before 7th July, so can’t confirm trends in the initial Covid surge, but I’m sure the Travelling Tabby website can do the rest.

    From the period 7th July to 13th Jan, Scotland’s daily cases/M figure was higher than England’s on 18 of 190 times (9.5%). Or if you prefer, England’s was higher than Scotland’s 90.5% of the time.

    The deaths data for July to September is largely flat / low, but there’s two large positive and one large negative blip in England, which is almost certainly statistical ‘rejigging’ of the numbers. So for simplicity, I started at the data from the 20th September, and from then to the 13th January.

    The instance of deaths per million in Scotland exceeding England in Sep to Jan data is 27 of 116 days (23.3%). Or, if you prefer, England’s data was higher 76.7% of the time.

    Note than all charts are 7-day rolling averages to reduce spiking and a messy chart.

    So to sum up, Scotland’s cases per million are lower than England 90% of the time, and the deaths per million are lower 75% of the time. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I have no sympathy the game is rigged, SNP don’t do BBC programs
    use the terms and conditions of the act of union and declare it void
    or are you too interested in the status quo FFS


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