There was something remarkable about Leggo’s blog today, and it had nothing too do with the possible return of Dave King to the Ibrox boardroom. No the real pearl of wisdom in todays blog was his observation that the Easdale brothers had sealed their fate with the Ibrox faithful by giving an interview to BBC Scotland. If confirmation was ever required just how toxic this organisation has become amongst the Rangers support, then this proved to be the meat on the bones. What a damning indictment for the once respected BBC. The Rangers support could perhaps forgive the fact that one of the interviewees had a previous conviction for fraud, but to give an interview to BBC Scotland was beyond the limit of this supports forgiveness.
Those who follow my articles will be eminently aware that BBC Scotland have long been the target of my angst. What is interesting however is the change I have seen within the Rangers support towards this organisation. My early articles suggesting an anti-Rangers agenda within BBC Scotland caused a mixture of responses. Some agreed, some vehemently disagreed, while perhaps the vast majority were unconvinced by my argument. Perhaps that legal juxtapose, which is unique to Scotland, best summed up the opinion of the vast majority – Not Proven.
But fast forward today and the position is entirely different. The doubters are gone with even the most stalwart of sceptics grudgingly conceding that BBC Scotland’s attitude towards our club has been less than favourable.
Much as I would like to, neither myself nor any of my fellow Rangers bloggers can claim credit however for this seismic change of attitude amongst the Rangers support towards BBC Scotland, for to use an old military term, this has been very much a self inflicted injury. Furthermore, disdain and distrust of BBC Scotland is not confined to the Rangers support, the club themselves deciding enough was enough and banishing them from Ibrox recently. Considering our club, unlike some others, are not prone to banning journalists, this is perhaps and indication of just how far BBC Scotland have fallen.
Journalists such as Graham Spiers would describe the attitude of the Rangers support towards BBC Scotland as one of “paranoia”. Of course in referring to Mr Spiers as a “journalist” I am using the term very loosely, as anyone trawling through his various columns over the last few years would have more chance of finding Shergar than a Graham Spiers investigative scoop.
The problem with the paranoia accusations however is that they don’t stand up to closer scrutiny, and criticism of BBC Scotland over their coverage of Rangers is not confined to the Rangers community. Veteran broadcaster Archie MacPherson was particularly scathing of his former employers, even going as far as to taunt Mark Daly in a recent article to formulate a documentary about the men behind the Rangers Tax Case Blog. It will come as no surprise to us that BBC Scotland appear to have neither the inclination nor motivation to rise to Archie’s challenge.
Which brings us on nicely to the next question – What is the difference between Mark Daly and the authors of the Rangers Tax Case Blog ? – Answer nothing (except we know the identity of Daly) Both were the recipients of awards. Both were the recipients of stolen evidence. Both put their very own slant on the interpretation of that stolen evidence and both were ultimately proven wrong.
But Daly and his documentary about Rangers Tax affairs is probably the catalyst to the absolute disdain felt by the Rangers support towards BBC Scotland. One has to wonder at the motivation of media organisation, who on receipt of stolen evidence, fail to return it to the authorities and instead embark on a documentary which presents a very slanted view of Rangers tax affairs, a view which a subsequent tax tribunal of real legal experts, did not agree with.
But again we will go outwith the Rangers community to measure the objectivity of this documentary, and present Lord Nimmo Smith’s very learned opinion to officiate. The following is taken from his report into the SPL enquiry of Rangers.
 Meanwhile, BBC Scotland came, by unknown means, into possession of what they described as “dozens of secret emails, letters and documents”, which we understand were the productions before the Tax Tribunal. These formed the basis of a programme entitled “Rangers – The Men Who Sold the Jerseys”, which was broadcast on 23 May 2012. BBC Scotland also published copious material on its website. The published material included a table containing the names of Rangers players, coaches and staff who were beneficiaries of the MGMRT, and how much they received through that trust. It also listed the names of people where the BBC had seen evidence that they received side-letters. This event appears to have been the trigger for more activity in response to the SPL’s request.
The use of the word “trigger” provides the indication. The documentary was so sensational, so slanted in a particular direction with it’s accusations and claims that it became the catalyst for frenetic media and SPL activity in respect of Rangers.
Objective journalism ? The result of the Tax tribunal provides the answer to that question.
So BBC Scotland’s standing with both our club and support is very much a case of reap what you sow. At a time when nationally the corporations standing is at an all time low due to the continually damaging Savile revelations, BBC Scotland have managed to further alienate a considerable section of Scottish society. I doubt very much this situation is repairable, certainly not in this generation or perhaps the next.
Whether the BBC will be a publicly funded organisation in the next generation is another matter. The conduct of BBC Scotland has certainly swelled the numbers of those who believe the BBC’s right to demand a licence fee should be abolished.
I hope Mr Daly thinks his award was worth it.