I should have posted this sooner but I’ve been doing so much that I haven’t got round to it, so apologies all round for that.
When my research revealing BBC Bias against the Yes campaign was published, several people correctly identified that I had not exposed the way good news stories about Scottish independence were often ignored by the BBC. At the time, I knew that to do so would make it easy for critics to accuse me of selection bias. It’s more objective to simply look at what is broadcast and find what is there in the editorial selection and in presentation so that is what I did. But my critics were correct in that bias by omission is a very important form of bias. So, I thought I’d point to examples of it now in the last few weeks before the vote and disseminate them as widely as I can. I’ve set up a Facebook page (at my age!) and invited friends to contribute. I’m already indebted to the very well-informed Cindie Reiter who sent me the very useful Adam Smith Institute piece below and to newsnetscotland.com which on a daily basis provides a powerful counterbalance to BBC Scotland’s bias. In only two days, three excellent examples have emerged, countering the criticism of alleged weaknesses in the Yes campaign – currency, the banks, detail – and from high status ‘establishment’ sources which former chancellors will be hard placed to contradict. It’s a pity FM Salmond didn’t make much of them in his first debate with Alistair Darling. BBC Scotland has ingnored them all.
Tuesday 5th August 2014
Let’s see if BBC Scotland report this important expert view from former RBS Chief Executive and Chairman Sir George Mathewson in yesterday’s Financial Times. He probably knows a bit more about this than the BBC financial ‘experts’.
Wednesday 6th August
In a press release from the Adam Smith Institute, champion of liberal capitalism and no friend to the Social Democracy favoured by Scots, Kate Andrews, Research Director, demolishes Better Together’s suggestion that the SNp’s lack of a plan B matters so much. She writes:
“An independent Scotland could flourish either by using the pound sterling without the permission of the rUK (or by setting up a “ScotPound” pegged to sterling through a currency board, which would achieve a similar end). This ‘sterlingization’ would emulate a number of Latin American countries that use the US Dollar without an official agreement with the US government. Because Scottish banks would not have access to a currency-printing lender of last resort, they would have to make their own provisions for illiquidity, and would necessarily act more prudently.
“Scotland actually had this system of ‘free banking’ during the 18th and 19th centuries, during which time its economy boomed relative to England’s and its banks were remarkably secure. And Panama, which uses the US Dollar in this way, has the seventh most stable financial system in the world.
“Everyone says Mr Salmond needs a Plan B if the rUK does not agree to a currency union with Scotland. But unilateral adoption should be Plan A, making Scotland’s economy more stable and secure. The UK’s obstinacy would be Scotland’s opportunity.”
Wednesday 6th August
What exactly happens if you vote no?
We’ve heard repeated calls for the Yes campaign to provide more information on currency, the EU and pensions. BBC commentators have encouraged viewers to see these as areas of failure by, especially, Alex Salmond.Yet we hear no real criticism of the No campaign’s failure to explain exactly what voting No would mean. So much for balance? Ian Bell of the Glasgow Herald wrote beginning with this below.
‘If the long argument over independence has had a sub-text, it has been the demand for information.
To hear it told, there’s a national shortage. Nervous voters are asked to make a leap into the forbidding dark without so much as a few flimsy parachutes of facts.
So the No side would have it, at any rate. Yet where the future is concerned they don’t stock many facts themselves because that is not, it seems, their job. Will David Cameron and Nick Clegg be offering another coalition if we vote No? Will Scotland remain in membership of the European Union beyond 2017? Which coalition deeds – which deeds specifically – will be undone if Ed Miliband wins office?…’
Powerful arguments from mainstream sources omitted from coverage because….? I’ll keep this up till the big day.
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