Its been a busy week for The Samaritans in Glasgow. Thankfully they have been doing what they do best – counselling, instead of being detracted from their normal duty by having to tell BBC Scotland their montage of Ally McCoist falling to his death was repugnant. But if it wasn’t bad enough the Advertising Standards Authority ruling that Rangers were indeed the most successful club in Scotland, more woe was to follow for a certain section of Scottish society.
For the Samaritans phones have been buzzing with the news the Republican Guard has taken a helluva beating. No not Saddam’s – the other one – BBC Scotland. For a couple of very persistent and determined Bears of the Vanguard variety have struck a critical blow in the armour of this Rangers bashing, publicly funded, broadcasting organisation. I’m sure most of you have read the comments of the BBC’ s own Editorial Standards Committee, (if like me more than once) which criticises BBC Scotland’s inaccurate use of language with regard to the description of our club.
It was of course a long drawn out affair of nearly 14 months and required numerous escalations of the complaint. The 2 authors of that complaint displayed both considerable and exemplary perseverance in their quest. The Editorial Standards Committee are in fact the final arbiters in complaints to the BBC Trust. But of course not only the ruling but the process must cast serious questions about the integrity and judgement of those involved at BBC Scotland with regard to how they view our club. That this complaint progressed through the various bureaucratic levels of management at Pacific Quay without any of those managers having either the sense or objectivity to uphold this complaint should be of concern to us all.
On a personal note I find not just the ruling, but the considerable failings it highlights at BBC Scotland as something of a vindication of an article I wrote nearly two years ago for Vanguard Bears – A River Runs Through It.
In view of what has transpired since that article was written, perhaps it would be appropriate to replace the river with a Tsunami.
However I took the time to research some of the previous complaints which the Editorial Standards Committee had adjudicated on with regard to our club and discovered the following complaints had been presented before them :-
Tampering with an interview with the Rangers manager
Regular snide comments from news and sports reporters on BBC Scotland
Biased and inaccurate comments from BBC Radio Scotland presenters
Repeated factual inaccuracies
A failure to consider or in any way investigate other institutions
A lack of regard, consideration or empathy for the traumatic content of the Rangers saga to employees, shareholders and fans throughout the past year or more
Now call me old fashioned but shouldn’t alarm bells be ringing within the BBC at the frequency of complaints they are receiving in respect of our club, particularly where in this most recent instance some of those complaints are being upheld ? It seems clear that despite the horrific failings of this organisation in view of the Savile revelations, that they have learned very little with regard to early warning systems.
Furthermore their recent false and erroneous reporting in respect of the Help For Heroes Charity, demonstrates that the issue of “inappropriate editing” is not confined solely to our manager.
It would be fair to say that this is an organisation which fails to learn from it’s mistakes and calls into question the editorial control at all levels.
Of course BBC Scotland will be bound by the terms of the Editorial Standards Committee ruling in respect of their description our club. But in the absence of a follow up enquiry by the BBC themselves this will not really address the source of the problem – the clear absence of neutrality and objectivity at BBC Scotland with regard to our club. In fact I noticed a certain Mark Daly making an appearance on twitter last night attempting to stir things up in respect of some of the Charlotte Fakes content. I of course had to respond to him via social network.
In view of the clear and consistent failings within the BBC to tackle the problems within Pacific Quay it leaves little scope for a Rangers support wishing to defend our club from the numerous and spurious attacks.
Perhaps it’s time for us to join forces with an existing tsunami which is gathering momentum – the huge tidal wave of public opinion calling for the abolition of the TV licence.