by Paul Kavanagh
Last week’s BBC opinion poll continues to attract oppobrium. In their Moral Quest™ to make the Daily Record appear like a bastion of serious unbiased reportage, the BBC poll helpfully told us that it was a Labour policy which attracted the greatest support of Scottish voters. The findings of the BBC poll have now been reported and repeated as fact by most of the Unionist media. After all it’s a proper poll. It’s got numbers and percentages in it. It must be science.
The policy in question was a proposal to reduce waiting times for cancer treatment. This is a policy which everyone can happily agree on, as it’s rather unlikely that anyone would say, “I want to wait longer for cancer treatment. Why should we make oncologists lives easy for them, eh? Bloody consultants and their BMW motors.”
The Labour manifesto is being hurriedly rewritten to take account of the BBC’s findings, and will include new policies such as taking a strong stand against kicking away the crutches of people with broken legs, and resolute opposition to drowning kittens in the canal. Glenn Campbell is currently flying off to Florida where he’ll do a lengthy interview with a woman with 247 cats. The SNP’s failure to explicitly mention opposition to kitten in canal drowning in its manifesto has disgraced Scotland in the eyes of the world.
The fact that Labour’s cancer waiting times policy is based on fantasy made up figures, like everything else in their manifesto, went unmentioned by the BBC. Also unmentioned was the BBC’s long-standing policy of not commenting on political opinion polls during elections, far less commissioning them. The BBC’s policy of not letting punters comment on the Bladder With Brian blog was of course in full effect.
If it’s a BBC conspiracy it’s a conspiracy of the terminally dumb, although given Nicholas Witchell’s gushing praise of Kate Middleton’s ability to walk and talk simultaneously it appears that terminal dumbness is well represented in the BBC. But I don’t believe that the BBC poll was a conspiracy. It was too inept and transparent, like a wee dug who believes it only needs to hide its head beneath its blanket and it becomes invisible when you notice the wet patch on the sofa. We’re not dealing with supervillians here, we’re faced with media village idiots. We’re being patronised by morons.
The BBC’s decision to undertake this poll and the manner in which it was carried out and presented point more to the incompetence and carelessness of people who’re not as bright and sophisticated as they’d like us to think they are. The pseudo-sophisticated can’t treat Scottish affairs with the same degree of gravity as British affairs. If it’s Scottish it’s parochial, not terribly important, and just a bit of a laugh really.
This is the world-view that permitted BBC Scotland’s news executives to commission a poll about a Scottish national election with as much scientific validity and value as a questionnaire in Astrology Today magazine: Which party manifesto is your star sign most compatible with? Are you a Virgo, the eternal maiden? Annabel’s sensible shoes and twin sets are the party for you!
The message from the BBC is that the Holyrood election isn’t really an election at all, it’s just a pretendy wee opinion poll giving Scotland the chance to tell London Tories that they’re smelly poo poo and we don’t like them. Only things that happen in London are important.
Ed Balls said as much and he’s a London politician. Every Scottish election a London politician traipses up to Scotland to tell us things we’re too thick to work out for ourselves. Faithfully and reverently reported by the BBC, Ed came all the way from London to tell us that the SNP wants independence. All across Scotland you could hear the sound of foreheads being slapped in realisation. We’re Scottish you see, and have difficulty comprehending long words like independence. Ed thought that most of us had misheard Alex Salmond and believed he’d said Undie Pin Dance. It fell on Ed to inform us that we won’t be getting our tickets to a night of burlesque with Roseanna Cunningham after all. Another broken SNP promise.
The BBC rates the relative importance of issues through a London Metropolitan prism. Like Ed Balls it believes we’re too wee, too poor and too stupid to decide for ourselves what is relevant and far too dumb to see the bleedin’ obvious. We need to be guided and steered by BBC Bombastic Unionist London Luvvies Spouting Hysterically Ignorant Tripe.
This attitude is not solely on display during Scottish elections, although it’s during elections that its effects are most pernicious. There are two events scheduled for the coming weeks, one will have serious and important effects on the lives of all Scots, for ordinary Scots the other has the importance and relevance of an episode of Footballers’ Wives. Yet compare the amount of airtime BBC Scotlandshire is giving to a Scottish national election, or indeed anything Scottish at all, to the amount of time they’ve devoted to a shindig that rumour has it is being held in London later this month. You know, the other party that the BBC is hell bent on ramming down our necks.
Because there’s currently a shortage of global conflict for the Six O’Clock News, the BBC sent its defence correspondent off to interview the Household Cavalry about rehearsals for that wedding. We were solemnly informed that it will be a once-in-a-lifetime pagentry of pomp to fill the nation’s heart with pride. But if you want to watch men in thigh-length boots and polished leather straps parade down the street to celebrate queenery, you can see it every year at Gay Pride.
Newsnet commissioned an opinion poll using the same methodology as the BBC’s poll. The poll asked the Scottish public about the BBC’s wall-to-wall coverage of the royal wedding, asking whether they would instead prefer to see:
- a) Nicholas Witchell stripped naked and horsewhipped with royal wedding commemorative tea-towels.
- b) A night of burlesque with Brian Taylor.
- c) A CCTV recording of paint drying, followed by a 3 hour documentary on plank warping.
- d) Indoor bowling from Coatbridge.
Respondents overwhelmingly opted for A, although worryingly a small but significant minority selected B. All this went unreported by the BBC, which is fair enough because I just made it up. But the BBC is blythely ignoring the fact that you, me, your granny and your granny’s dug with its heid under the blanket are all terminally bored by the event already. And it’s not even happened yet. God help us on the day.
Since the BBC is so intent on taking over our airwaves with fatuous irrelevance that no one is interested in, maybe we should return the favour and organise some fun-filled irreverence of our own. Let’s have Crap BBC street parties on the special day. Pacific Quay is a lovely big space. We could all wave to our mammies on the Squinty Bridge during Reporting Scotlandshire, accompanied by synchronised red balloon bursting. We could string up republican bunting and do a conga-line chanting ‘the BBC is bollox’.
The BBC wants us to watch hours of people in fancy costumes parading about, we can dress up in fancy costumes and parade about too. The more artistic could use old copies of the Daily Record to make papier maché masks of Brian, Glenn, Catriona and all our other BBC favourites. Or for a Latin American theme you could make piñatas shaped like the BBC logo and fill them full of sweeties that rot your teeth, then beat them with a brightly coloured slap-stick. As a bonus you’ll discover there is something useful you can do with the Daily Record after all.
Use your imagination. Make it fun, make it funny. Tell the BBC we don’t take them seriously. Create a Carnival of BBC Crapulosity and make it a celebration of all that is joyous and fun about being Scottish, like our national prowess in bursting the bubbles of the self-important. It’s a public holiday and there’s bugger all on telly, so why not have a party of our own. A party that annoys and shames the BBC and tells them that we’re not convinced by their bias and spin, and that we’ll decide what’s newsworthy, not them. Give them a good old fashioned sherrackin.
Amidst noise and music and general hilarity we could bugger up any plans the BBC might have of broadcasting from their studios. And just about anywhere they might think to do an outside broadcast. Follow their cars and vans and reporters as their leave their secret underground lair at Pacific Quay. Let’s do a walkabout of our own. Use Twitter, texting, call your pals and have a street party wherever the BBC goes. Make a point and have a laugh at the same time.
A nation united in laughter and fun on that very special day, that’s what they want right? Let’s give them it.
Just remember to invite lots of elderly people with sandwiches to scare away Iain Gray.