Newsnight Journalism: Sticking to the ‘story’ regardless of the facts

Allan Little on BBC Newsnight last night, suggested:

‘But there is little doubt that an affair that began with allegations of sexual misconduct by as powerful man has had the effect of damaging a female head of government who had been enjoying unusually high levels of public trust and approval. There’s a special anguish in this for long-term campaigners. The bitter feud between the two outstanding figures in Scottish politics gathered momentum at a time when support for independence had been surging to new highs sustained over many months, it’s now fallen back. A few weeks ago, polls were showing that 55% were planning to vote for the SNP in the constituency vote in May. That would have given them an overall majority. That too has dipped back into the 40s.’

This is a clear example of kind work even the better journalists do and demonstrates their unreliability.

Leaving aside Little’s lazy conflation of SNP popularity, trust in the First Minister and support for independence, only the same thing for uninformed outsiders, this report on the 22nd March ignores the last two polls, published days before, suggesting the dip may have been temporary:

BBC Newsnight has a level of support staffing most media outlets can only dream of. Not updating Little’s comment that support for independence has fallen back, did not result from shortages of time or staff but a determination to stick with the narrative he and they liked, regardless of changing facts. These people are storytellers before public servants. An apparent recovery of support does not fit the story they wanted to tell, days before.

On support for the SNP:

In the last four polls, support does seem to have ‘dipped into the 40s’, but only just, and the BMG poll suggests it may be climbing back out. However, more important, Little emphasises the risk to the SNP’s overall majority and so any future referendum, when the last poll suggests an overall majority of 3 and with the Greens, a ‘whopping’ pro-indy majority of 19!

James Kelly explains this best:

Also, where is the evidence that the Fist Minister is damaged? I’d put money on her coming out of this more trusted.

Finally, I’ve now heard two experienced campaign managers suggest there has been no loss in support for independence but merely a vaccine rollout boost for the Union. Immunity from the desire to leave the Union may only last for a few weeks.

11 thoughts on “Newsnight Journalism: Sticking to the ‘story’ regardless of the facts

  1. Alex Salmond and Nicola have been treated badly by the Press and Media. Alex Salmond was found not guilty in Court and cleared. Nicola was cleared and found not to have broken the Ministerial Code. They are both innocent. Alex was cleared by women witnesses, a majority female jury and a female judge. Nicola was cleared as well by a prominent legalist.

    They have both been through a terrible ordeal but that is the state of politics. The corruption of the Westminster Parliament. The culprits in all of this are Westminster appointed Evans and Wolfe. They have lost £Million in taxpayers monies. Illegally broken rules and procedures.

    They will both be gone. The damage Westminster is doing to the economy. Killing People. Once the smoke and fog clears people will realise this and support for the SNP and Independence will be even higher. The truth will out. Liars always get found out.

    Alex Salmond with his great support could start up an Independent Party. If he can be bothered. There is a need for another credible Party. Two Independence Parties could hover up the list vote.

    Or change the system. 1st Preference votes go in the bin. To let 3rd rate losers in. Imposed on the electorate without a mandate. So the SNP/Independence could never win a majority. The support has broken the system but it still needs overhauling. People do not understand it and vote against their own choice. Diluting their vote. Without realising how it works.

    They cast votes for candidates/parties they are opposed believing that is required by the layout. The voting paper. People just do not understand it. It can lead to apathy. People believing their vote does not count.

    Both Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon have done so much for Scotland, They have made it a better place. Nicola is the best leader the SNP/Independence has ever had. Even more people have joined to give support. There is no doubt Independence will happen. It is just a matter of time and when,

    All supporters should join together to make it happen as soon as possible. To save the economy and the world, The Westminster corruption is destroying the economy and the world. Make the world a better place vote SNP/SNP. Going forward.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. “The culprits in all of this are Westminster appointed Evans and Wolfe.”

      And, since WM was up here at pains to point out that they had to check civil servants were safe, because they had ultimate responsibility for them NOT SCOTGOV, surely that’s where the buck stops. Do I hear calls of “RESIGN!!”? (Rhetorical)

      BTW, surely part of the remit of the Committee was to find out who SNAFUed. It’s not really for us to decide that. After all, the Committee obviously didn’t bother investigating that.

      Let’s not fall into the trap of acting the same way.


  2. I see that, as the mud didn’t stick, they’ve moved on to manure.

    “There’s a special anguish in this for long-term campaigners.”

    Some of whom seem to have been the ones flinging the mud. Is *their* anguish caused by the fact that the ‘dip’ is only slight?

    The newer NSP members/voters, if they’re anything like me, aren’t anguished – they’re what my daughter calls “ragin'”.

    For the record, my pig-in-a-blue-ribbon forebears would have been too. Principle trumps politics. (I know! What sort of tories were they?! 🙂 0


  3. Our colonial media, including the BBC, thought all their Christmases had arrived with the trial of Alex Salmond, and ever since they have milked an anti-SNP/independence theme for all they were worth.
    And, in the lead-up to an election, they wont let this go.

    At no time have the London media ever subjected the English parliament/government to the same scrutiny or criticism.


  4. There’s a mile of difference between the (c)onservative outlook shared by much of Scotland, and the chauvinistic cultural exceptionalism that characterises English Torydum. So I hope folks don’t feel I’m hostile to their identity, or that of their parents. I’m trained to support inclusive social emancipation and open democracy for all, not just those who support our self-determination. Though I draw the line at including the radical-right, who have brought Britain to the brink of collapse, and a state of authoritarian totalitarianism. 😉

    On the Foundation of Rights to Political Self-Determination: Secession, Non-intervention, and Democratic Governance


  5. Simples
    2 words explain ABC (BBC) actions and words

    Wishful Thinking
    I believe such people plant eggs in the hope they grow chickens


  6. I am surprised that Alan Little made such comments, because I had got the impression from several pieces he had written (separate from the BBC) and interviews with him, that he was sympathetic to independence.


  7. Alan Little did a programme reviewing Devolution 20 years on and I don’t remember him being that sympathetic.


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