The Scottish Independence Podcast 125 – Phantom Power

For the 125th episode of The Scottish Independence Podcast on Monday past I spoke with the filmmaker known to us all only as Phantom Power.

ktOewHWk.pngHis films are definitely some of the best independently produced content out there and include The Bigger The Lie with Prof John Robertson, which documents BBC bias in the run up the referendum, The Gallery of Rogues – The Art of Satire in the Scottish Independence Referendum with Greg Moodie, and there are many more on his channel, including one with a certain podcaster person.

I asked him what inspires him to make his films and more.

Hope you enjoy…

You can download here if you right click THIS LINK and “save as”

You can listen to the show online at its web page or you can subscribe with itunes. We can alse be found on youtube and on facebook too.

These podcasts are independently minded and independently funded, you can help to keep them going by making a donation.


A Little History Of The ‘Scottish Six’

To echo a recent comment piece in The National, independence supporters who are against a ‘Scottish Six’ programme, might want to take a look at who is/ was against it, and why.

The reasons given against a ‘Scottish Six’ news show by independence supporters are often that BBC Scotland is incompetent and/or biased and would make a mess of the whole thing.

Angel TonyThe reasons given against a ‘Scottish Six’ news show by unionists are usually that it would reduce quality or would increase costs (whether or not the current BBC News output is either quality or value for money is also worthy of scrutiny).

However, it seems that those latter objections, when this debate came round a few years ago, may well have been put forward for motives that were less than transparent…

Let’s take a look at this story in the Guardian from 2002

The Scottish National Party is heading for a showdown with the BBC’s director general, Greg Dyke, after it emerged Tony Blair blocked the corporation developing a “Scottish Six” evening news bulletin in 1998.

But it didn’t start with the bLIAR…

The Blair revelations were made in an interview given by the former director general, John Birt, who said he asked the prime minister to help undermine moves to abolish UK-wide BBC news bulletins.

Lord Birt believed at the time that a Scottish Six O’Clock News would have been “totemic” of the break-up of the UK, only a year after Scotland had voted for devolution.

I argued that we should follow constitutional change; it was not our role to lead it. Mr Blair was quick, as ever, to grasp the case. ‘Let’s fight,’ he said,” Lord Birt revealed in an interview with the Sunday Herald.

The underlined above might also give you a line on the mentality of some of the higher echelons of the BBC when the referendum came around.

Of course, as ever, Blair went to his ‘go to’ man, who also happens to be everyone else’s ‘go away’ man…

It is alleged that Mr Blair enlisted the help of Peter Mandelson, then minister without portfolio, to prevent the proposal going through, even though it had the backing of the Broadcasting Council for Scotland and BBC Scotland management.

The last line of the Guardian article is also interesting…

The BBC is committed to reviewing its Scottish programming after the parliamentary elections next May.

That review finished with not much changing. It would be an opportunity missed if that were to happen again.

My own view is that a ‘Scottish Six’ can only be an improvement on what we get now. If you are not convinced of that then at least take a look at who is against it (and why), and then think again about whether you want to support it.

Suggestive Biscuits?

After the Tunnocks nonsense (that probably goes for all involved), does this letter given by the Liberal democrats to journalists at their conference become even more sinister, given what we now know about the wafers they were giving them?

Errrm, no. I think the fact that they were casually congratulating journalists for their partiality in important constitutional matters would still be the important thing.


The Scottish Independence Podcast 120 – Jack Foster on NewsShaft and the Media

LOGOTOPbw.pngFor the 120th episode of the Scottish Independence Podcast I invited Jack Foster, one of the filmmakers behind the documentary Scotland Yet, and in more recent times one of the organisers of NewsShaft to come on and talk about the beginning and unfortunate demise of the NewsShaft project.

We also discussed some of the things that go into producing alternative media that sometimes go unseen. Another topic we got into is the current state of both mainstream and alternative media in Scotland.

4200_bcbdShould the various alternative media sources in Scotland help each other more, or is it just a nice sounding idea that can’t really go anywhere? And what to make of some of the more hysterical stories that are showing up at the moment? There is all that and more…

Hope you enjoy…

You can download here if you right click THIS LINK and “save as”

You can listen to the show online at its web page or you can subscribe with itunes. We can alse be found on youtube and on facebook too.

These podcasts are independently minded and independently funded, you can help to keep them going by making a donation.

Media Studies Friday 8 – It Ain’t What You Say, It’s The Way That You Say It

In a recent BBC World Service Programme called “The Bin Laden Tapes“, the BBC got round to mentioning something that probably a lot of you felt might have been discussed more in recent years.

Specifically, in passing they mentioned that the US government had been funding Bin Laden and the Mujahideen in times gone past. The story goes that this was because his group was being used against the Russians in Afghanistan. None of this is secret anymore.

One thing that struck me as odd about the way the BBC handled the matter in this programme however, is that they described it as “awkward” for one of the sides involved, but not the other.

Skip on to about 9 mins 15 and you can hear it for yourself.

Now why would they describe it in those terms?

Altered State

I have to be honest and say that I had been putting off watching this documentary by the fabulous Phantom Power.

This wasn’t because I didn’t think it would be good, quite the opposite in fact, because his other films are great. However, I did know it was likely to make me angry, and that kept me back.

I just watched it and it did make me angry, but it is a must see just the same.

Media Studies Friday – 6 – In Safe Hands?

blairgrilledThe Chilcot Inquiry has still not reported and with every passing day the criticism regarding this increases.

So my question today is this, if you wanted to make a documentary to convince the public, even if it won’t necessarily be true, that everything will be fair and above board and done with a real intent of finding the truth, wouldn’t you make something similar to the BBC Profile show of John Chilcott?

Have a listen to it, the technique is interesting. Get a couple of little criticisms in at the beginning and end and then give it heavy with the adoring praise.