Scotland Editor misses the obvious

BBC Scotland’s senior reporter, James Cook, chooses library closures in Glasgow, potholes and climate change as key issues for voters. Typically, he offers no evidence for these choices though we can all see the value of the first two if you want to support Scottish Labour on an election day.

Cook knows, of course, that the cost of living crisis and Partygate are the real issues likely to affect the vote. Why has he avoided writing about them?


6 thoughts on “Scotland Editor misses the obvious

  1. “Cook knows, of course, that the cost of living crisis and Partygate are the real issues likely to affect the vote. Why has he avoided writing about them?”
    – Rooth advised it was a to be avoided like the plague ?

    You can only laugh at the headline when his “national questions” stops at the border, but his most ludicrous statement was “Another challenge for whoever takes charge of Scotland’s 32 local authorities will be coping with climate change”, as if Holyrood’s administration is somehow changing, or Westminster’s trite soundbites will transform to a viable policy.

    The cost of living and energy crises will be primary concerns at these elections, partygate merely confirmed what most suspected anyway, London is corrupt to it’s core and stuffed with charlatans.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. ‘BBC Scotland’s senior reporter, James Cook, chooses library closures in Glasgow, … as key issues for voters.’

    For a bit of perspective, a House of Commons Library briefing from 13 January 2021 reveals:

    1) ‘The number of public libraries is measured in service points to include mobile as well as static libraries. … As at 31 March 2005 there were a total of 4,367 service points that were open 10 hours or more per week across England, Wales and Scotland. At the same date in 2020 this figure stood at 3,667 – a reduction of 700 (16%).’

    2) ‘.. in 2019/20, there were approximately 215 million visits to public libraries across England, Wales and Scotland – representing a reduction of roughly 121 million visits (36%) from a peak of 335 million in 2005/06. From 2006/07 onwards, there was a year on year decrease in visitor numbers.’

    3) ‘Between 2004/05 and 2019/20, the total number of books issued for loan fell from approximately 323 million to 166 million – a reduction of 157 million (49%). … since reaching a peak in 2010/11, the number of requests for specific items in libraries has fallen by around 3.7 million, from 15.5 million to 11.8 million in 2019/20 (a fall of 24%).’


    So public library provision has been changing over a long time. Glasgow City Council and the SNP have a lot to answer for!

    By the way, I just checked the Glasgow Life website today ( ). I counted 33 public libraries open in the city!

    I wonder in how many wards – and for how many voters in these wards – will ‘libraries’ be the key deciding issue in Glasgow today? After all there are just 23 wards within the City Council area -and served by 33 public libraries across the city! Only BBC Scotland ‘knows’!

    Liked by 4 people

  3. O/T – albeit it still on journalism!

    Just published is the latest edition of the World Press Freedom Index. Compiled by ‘Reporters Without Borders’ annually since 2002, its purpose is to compare the level of press freedom enjoyed by journalists and media in 180 countries and territories.
    The assessment methodology defines press freedom as “the effective possibility for journalists, as individuals and as groups, TO SELECT, PRODUCE AND DISSEMINATE NEWS AND INFORMATION IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST, INDEPENDENTLY from political, economic, legal and social interference, and without threats to their physical and mental safety.” The analysis is based on the evaluation of five indicators: the political context, legal framework, economic context, sociocultural context, and security.

    (I couldn’t resist emphasising certain parts of this definition. Knowing the situation in our part of the UK, might there be merit in modifying this to include ‘IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST GENERALLY AND NOT JUST SECTIONAL ONES’?)


    We learn that: ‘Northern Europe has the highest levels of media freedom worldwide and Norway was ranked first. It is followed by Denmark and Sweden in the top 3 while the top 5 is rounded off by Estonia and Finland.’

    The UK ranked 24th is classed as in a ‘satisfactory situation’. Ireland ranked 6th is like the Nordics classed as ‘good’.

    It’s interesting to compare and contrast rankings for the UK and Ireland on the five indicators:

    Political environment – Evaluates the degree of support and respect for media autonomy, vis-à-vis political pressure from the state or from other political actors.
    UK = 18th
    Ireland = 9th

    Economic environment – Evaluates economic constraints linked to governmental policies, to non-state actors (advertisers and commercial partners) and to media owners.
    UK = 12th
    Ireland = 8th

    Legislative environment – Evaluates the legislative and regulatory environment for journalists (including the level of censorship, the level of impunity for violence against journalists, and the ability to protect sources).
    UK = 48th (recall this is out of 180 countries!)
    Ireland = 14th

    Social environment – Evaluates social constraints based on such issues as gender, class, ethnicity and religion, and cultural barriers to questioning certain bastions of power or influence or covering certain issues, because it would run counter to the prevailing culture.
    UK = 32nd
    Ireland = 4th

    Security environment – Evaluates the ability to identify, gather and disseminate news and information in accordance with journalistic methods and ethics, without unnecessary risk of bodily harm, psychological or emotional distress, or professional harm resulting from, for example, loss of one’s job, confiscation of professional equipment, or ransacking of media installations.
    UK = 49th
    Ireland = 2nd

    No reason why an independent, progressive Scotland could not be more like the Nordic countries and Ireland … is there? They set the benchmark to which Scotland should aspire.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. As I’ve said many times before Stewart, when I left the UK in 2000 to begin over, I was amazed by the information I found circulating in Ireland on all matters, those concerning the UK particularly intriguing since they were so at odds with what I was acquainted with circulating in the UK itself.
      It was a different world a ferry ride away, but what stunned me most on regular returns to Scotland was realisation it was my perspectives which had changed whilst those I knew were stuck in a loop.

      The Irish were better acquainted with the realities in Britain and Scotland more than those who actually lived there, solely due to the standards Irish media held themselves to – A public informed could engage in serious discussions over anything – The Irish were discussing openly crucial aspects of world politics whilst the UK public obsessed over some irrelevant character in a soap opera with an odd scripted line 🙄

      Scotland will with certainty benefit from being freed from the “In my opinion…” of BBC Scotland, the complete load of Bol’s pieces from the Herod, and perhaps even Chris Musson might even be convinced to take up therapy rather than reporting.
      We might even rescue the printed word from it’s current suicidal spin into obscurity for the sake of political manipulation.
      Scotland will with certainty have a free press, no matter how much the UK or the imminent rUK object, whar form that takes is for us to decide, not Tory politicians nor their Press Baron chums…

      Liked by 4 people

    2. Some gems in there, Stewart but mainly confirming what most of us already knew (or suspected) without actual checking. In particular the 48th out of 280 for Legislation


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