For three years now this story, with the parents ‘probably’ groomed by Anas Sarwar, has returned to MSM reports at least eight times, according to my records. Most recently in the days before the election, Anas Sarwar shouted ‘what about Millie Main’ as a debating point with Nicola Sturgeon.
Today, 27th May 2021, the story of the death of one child has returned to headline for BBC Scotland in the above ridiculous terms.
On May 3rd, in time to not help Labour’s vote at all, it seems, Reporting Scotland headlined the story.
As for the cause of death, it was cancer. A hospital infection may have been caused by the presence of something in the environment which may have contributed to the death.
The parent is upset and angry but is not qualified to judge. The medical experts do not know anything for sure.
I do know it’s propaganda.
As for the ‘review’, it found (page 54):
No single source of ‘exposure’ to specific micro-organisms which may cause infections had been identified across the six year period.
In March 2021, the Herald inadvertently illustrated the creepy uncle feel to the Labour campaign:
He was desperate, after the latest Opinium poll placed him 5th and last, as the best candidate for First Minister, after ‘None of these’, ‘don’t know‘ and Douglas Ross. That last one’s a slap.
I’m not suggesting that Scottish Labour have been grooming this family in the way that the Scottish Conservatives seem to have been grooming the Ayrshire family whose daughter was murdered and who are calling for the culprit to be banned from the area after release, or the Lib Dems when one of them ‘saved my daughter’s life’ then rushed to the media to tell them, but sources have told me they are.
Sarwar has returned to ‘support’ this family as they leak a report which might be referring to their child:
Leaving aside the ethics of reporting a release, this is certainly, shoddy and not probably shoddy journalism. Here’s the key part:
A case note review, which is due to be published on Monday, looked into the cases of 84 children who developed infections while undergoing treatment at the hospital and found that a third of infections “probably” originated in the hospital and the rest were possibly acquired there. Families of patients referred to in the review were given sight of an embargoed copy of the report ahead of its publication. The report does not name the child who died but Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar said he had spoken to Kimberley Darroch who believes the patient referenced is her daughter, Milly Main.
If you were teaching journalism students, this would be a great example, for a 1st Year class on ethics. Would they believe it had actually been published?
If you were teaching politics students, this would be a great example for a 1st Year class on ethics. Would they believe that a party leader could sink so low?
In February 2020, the story was already old but quickly heated up:
Let’s start with a fact:
‘We have fully tested the water supply and ward surfaces in Ward 6A and also reviewed individual infections and found no links between individual infections and no source of infections in the ward.’
Jane Grant, Chief Executive, NHSGGC, 1 December 2019
BBC Reporting Scotland have returned to this tragic case to further milk it morbidly after spending ten days on it in December. Accompanied with heart-breaking exploitative footage, once more, we hear:
‘Health Board bosses in Glasgow have referred the death of 10 year-old Milly Main to prosecutors. The move came after her family wrote to the Lord Advocate to call for a fatal accident inquiry following revelations about infections linked to the water supply at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.’
To be clear, only those unqualified to do so, the parents, Anas Sarwar and some journalists, have ‘linked’ any infections to any water supply. The link is journalistic, not scientific and, more worryingly for patient and staff morale, it’s wrong. There is no meaningful link. The referral to the prosecutors is because there is no scientific link and, so, still being accused by the unqualified, it has no choice but to pass it on.
The fuller website report uses the word ‘link’ eight times, only once to recognise the Health Board’s rebuttal. Seven times the inaccurate suggestion of a link is repeated.
Sickeningly and astonishingly brass-necked, Anas Sarwar, accuses the Health Board of cynicism. You have to laugh if you manage to keep your stomach down.
Also in February 2020, we saw how differently the English media treated far more serious cases:
‘The BBC discovered at least seven preventable deaths since 2016’ and ‘four further families have now spoken out saying their babies would not have died if medics had provided better care’ but all ‘the government’ need do is to ‘receive the Healthcare Safety Branch’s report into the 25 cases later, as well as a Care Quality Commission report from an inspection carried out in January.’ Also, ‘In two of the cases, the mothers said the actions of the trust left them feeling they were to blame for their babies’ deaths.’
Can you imagine what Lisa Summers might make of the above? Can you see the tear-sodden extended interviews so close that you can see the tears? Can you guess just how many days the story would be extended over? Seven? More?
In the four English reports above, there is not one mention of the health secretary by name and certainly no suggestion that he might be responsible or, don’t be daft, resign. There is no interview with an opposition politician where they might be allowed to rant and to demand that heads must roll. It occurs to neither the BBC nor the opposition to politicise these tragedies. They know the health board is responsible.
But in Scotland:
This is an editorial policy and a culture among reporters in BBC Scotland which may damage the SNP far more than any sex scandal could and it should be called-out by the leadership.