By G.A.Ponsonby
Labour’s under fire health spokeswoman Jackie Baillie has been forced to admit that claims she made that patients in a Paisley hospital had been forced to share blankets were entirely false.
The admission, published in the Sunday Herald, from the Dumbarton MSP follows accusations she made at the Scottish Labour conference in Dundee this weekend.

Ms Baillie had claimed that SNP cuts had left patients at Paisley’s Royal Alexandra Hospital with a shortage of blankets that meant people were forced to share.

The Labour MSP claimed that some patients had been forced into using dressing gowns as an alternative.

In her Dundee conference speech, she said: “Don’t believe the SNP spin about protecting the NHS, they can see all too well the practical consequences of SNP cuts on their wards.

“This is not just an NHS straining to cope with increased demand and fewer resources, this is an NHS which is in danger of crumbling around us.

“And the SNP can’t even get the basics rights.  In one hospital, in Greater Glasgow and Clyde, patients are even having to share blankets because of the cuts.

“The truth is, the fault lies with the SNP because even in times of plenty, they have underfunded the NHS. “

However, a spokesperson for Greater Glasgow and Clyde immediately questioned Ms Baillie’s claims saying they had been proven false weeks ago.

“This matter was raised with us a few weeks ago, and we were able to provide proof that there was no truth in this claim.

“Extra blankets are available in all our hospital as and when patients need them.” said the spokesperson.

A spokesman for Ms Baillie defended the accusations saying they had “clear correspondence from a number of constituents showing this was the case”.

Implying a possible cover up on the part of the health board he added: “If the Health Board tries to cover this up rather than deal with it, that is an extremely serious matter.  It is unacceptable for patients to have to use their dressing gowns as a blanket because there are not enough.”

However, buried away in a Sunday Herald article, the Labour health spokesperson has now admitted that her claim that patients were being forced to share blankets was entirely false.

The admission from the Labour MSP comes barely two months after similar claims were exposed as untrue.

In January Ms Baillie issued a statement attacking the SNP by claiming that the Scottish NHS topped the European league for hospital infections.

Ms Baillie’s claims were later exposed as false after it emerged that the league table placings were actually based on data from 2005/6 – a period when Ms Baillie’s own party, Labour, had been in charge.

[Newsnet Scotland comment – This latest accusation by Jackie Baillie received widespread coverage from the Scottish media.  In January her false NHS infection claims received similar coverage – with BBC Scotland allowing Ms Baillie a platform in order to broadcast the accusations.

The suggestion of a cover-up by Ms Baillie’s spokesman when responding to health board claims that the blanket story was nonsense, and had been proven so, has served only to compound this latest blunder.

Despite these latest claims now being shown to be absolutely false there has been no similar high profile coverage of this admission, nor any apparent desire to pursue Ms Baillie for an explanation.

Politicians will embellish, obfuscate and interpret figures to suit their own political agendas.  However when politicians resort to fabrication and, what amounts to bare faced lying, then it is incumbent on our ‘guardians of democracy’ to shine the spotlight on the culprit, especially if the media have been duped into promulgating a falsehood … more than once.

This article and comment is on our front page.  We do not have the coverage of BBC Scotland or the circulation of our national newspapers – we did though manage to attract over 89,000 unique visitors to this site last month, so quite a few people will be aware of this story who otherwise may not have.

Let’s see if a radio presenter will read out this article headline on Good Morning Scotland when they review the newspapers – after all, it’s unlikely anyone else will cover the story and the BBC will surely want to address a myth that they have been unwittingly duped into circulating.]


# cardrossian 2012-03-05 08:14
Well said Newsnet
# The_Duke 2012-03-05 08:17
Second that.
# Holebender 2012-03-05 08:28
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: it’s written all over Jackie Baillie’s face that she was a sneaky wee clype as a girl, and that wee girl is still in there. She probably used to get her own way by telling lies about her fellows to the grown-ups, and she learned that such behaviour worked. Now she’s a grown-up herself she is still following the successful strategy she learned as a child.
# brusque 2012-03-05 16:46
[quote name=”Holebender”]it’s written all over Jackie Baillie’s face that she was a sneaky wee clype as a girl, and that wee girl is still in there. quote]

Do you mean Jackie ate her!!!
# mealer 2012-03-05 08:32
Thanks to NNS for bringing this to my attention.I’ll make it my business to pass this on to at least five people today.Is this not the kind of thing the Scottish Sun would pick up and run with ?
# fynesider 2012-03-05 09:52
I’ve already linked it from my Facebook page and, in addition, have drawn it to the attention of the staff at ForArgyll.
# nottooweeorstupid 2012-03-05 13:06
Unfortunately Jackie Baillie can do no wrong at ForArgyll so don’t hold your breath!
# Lucas 2012-03-05 08:36
# clootie 2012-03-05 08:39
The BBC bias – quite obvious to everyone now.
# Siôn Jones 2012-03-05 10:58
last week’s Guardian had whole article on how the BBC would be spit when Scotland becomes independent. The arrogance of the assumption that Scotland would want any of it, especially after it has played its loyal unionist part in the campaign, is absolutely staggering.
# Robert Louis 2012-03-05 08:55
So, here we are again. The ‘state’ broadcaster has been shown yet again quite clearly to have been giving free airtime to absolute lies. Lies which can only be damaging to ONE political party, the SNP and the Scottish Government.

At what point will the so-called ‘journalists’ of Scotland start doing what they should be doing, and point out the bare faced lies being repeated verbatim by the Labour party in Scotland.

The BBC needs to think carefully about how this quite clear partisan behaviour is leading people both in Scotland, and importantly abroad, to deduce that the BBC cannot be trusted, and is merely a London Government puppet in ALL instances.

As for Labour, they are nit just deceiving the people of Scotland with these bare faced lies, they are treating them with utter contempt.

So, how about it BBC?? Will you give the same airtime to point out the bare faced lies of Labour which you have spread???

I’ll not hold my breath.
# Keep UTG 2012-03-05 10:38
I was in Slovenia last week for the Football,in the three days i was there i was approached many times regarding the referendum,the common theme was to be wary of propaganda from your opponents. Even on the bus that takes you to your Aircraft a gentleman said he`d been in Pitlochry for a business seminar and the discussion at dinner had turned to the question of Independence,th  e result of the discussion would have had Scotland Independent the next day.

Slovenia is a nation of 2 Million people,they grasped their Independence with a 94% yes vote,they seen through the scaremongering,  so will we!
# Legerwood 2012-03-05 10:55
And they have a really good football team by all accounts. Although did we not hold them to a draw?
# chiefy1724 2012-03-05 13:33
The following too wee, to small, too stupid independent countries of around 6 millions or under are also ahead of Scotland in the FIFA Rankings.


However, I don’t think that we can blame our poor ranking on London though, although it is quite clear than in an Independent Scotland, we would win the World Cup, The Olympics, The European Championships and the Euromillions.

Lets face it. Our footballers are almost as bad as the rugby team 🙁
# ButeHouse 2012-03-05 16:45
The Scottish problem in all sports from football to snooker (Stephen Hendry and John Higgins apart) is lack of confidence and low self esteem leading to lack of belief.

Our macho mentality prevents our guys getting involved with some simple psychotherapeut  ic interventions which would make all the difference.

They prefer to allow bravado to mask their lack of real confidence and self belief.

The tragedy is our guys are as capable of winning as any other nation, but no matter how good we are, lack of belief prevents us from performing at the top of our game, or in some cases, anywhere near it.
# Holebender 2012-03-05 17:34
It’s all down to the dependency culture, and a good dose of independence is the cure. Seriously.
# Hing em high 2012-03-05 17:52
Better order your pine box, unless ofcourse you plan to be cremated. I am not much for holding my breath either.
# megsmaw 2012-03-05 22:38
Did anyone else try tweeting this to BBC Scotland news? I did, and await a reply…

…should get one any minute now…

# UpSpake 2012-03-05 09:02
Without challenge the abysmal standards reached by Labour in Scotland and the BBC, will continue to sink to below gutter levels.
We get what we are capable of receiving without protest. We pay through the nose for this rot to be pushed down our throats on a daily basis. More fools us.
# thomsor 2012-03-05 09:08
Serial lying seems to be the norm within the labour party. I would be ashamed to live my life like these chatletons. Vote yes for Independence.
# Seagetagrip 2012-03-05 09:09
Gary Robertson tells me in an e mail that he can see no evidence of an admission from Baillie in you story. Also he could not find it in the Herald! Maybe you could enlighten him at .uk
# dogcollar 2012-03-05 09:37
# chiefy1724 2012-03-05 09:38
I’ve mailed him.…/…

In the 4th paragraph of this article, we see

“Baillie later admitted that this claim was wrong: no patient had been left without their own blanket, only that some patients wanted more blankets.”

Fairly clear IMHO.
# tartanfever 2012-03-05 09:52
Thanks chiefy, was just going to ask if anyone knew where that article was.

Think we are getting to the point where some protests wouldn’t go amiss.
# steveb 2012-03-05 10:02
Now your talking.

The better weather is fast approaching so a protest at pacific quay needs to be organised.
# dogcollar 2012-03-05 11:55
Steveb I can organise a few to come down from Aberdeen. I work offshore so I need to get dates as soon as, so transport can be arranged etc.
Would like to get in touch with Tommy Sheridan as well so we can get a ‘celebrity’ with great communication skills.
We need names and numbers folks so get organising.
# clootie 2012-03-05 12:00
I’m North of Aberdeen and also work offshore – count me in I’ve had enough.
# TOHILL 2012-03-05 13:07
Cootie/D.C./Et al

I have been trying to get this organized for a good wee while now, actually got to the stage of meeting and speaking with like minded bloggers here in Glasgow last time off, this just to “talk” about a plan of some description, Afraid to say this has petered out after a while as I also work away month/month. reach me @ . Will be available from 20/03/12 onward for any serious type of action that may be being considered.


Quoting dogcollar:
Steveb I can organise a few to come down from Aberdeen. I work offshore so I need to get dates as soon as, so transport can be arranged etc.
Would like to get in touch with Tommy Sheridan as well so we can get a ‘celebrity’ with great communication skills.
We need names and numbers folks so get organising.
# Caledonian Lass 2012-03-05 12:23
Quoting steveb:
Now your talking.

The better weather is fast approaching so a protest at pacific quay needs to be organised.

If a huge protest meeting could be organised outside Pacific Quay to refute the lies told and highlight the BBC’s biased antics, it would certainly help if a lot of international journalists and TV crew from abroad were there to report on the peaceful demo.
# D_A_N 2012-03-05 12:55
I’m there… As long as I’m not at work (offshore too). Does anybody want to take responsibility as head organiser? This person could give us their email address to which we can all send our email address/phone numbers. Because we need a list to maximise numbers as some folk may miss certain articles..

May also be worth letting newspapers know we’re there.
# Aplinal 2012-03-05 13:59
without being paranoid everyone, you might want to organise this, names, email etc OFF this site! Who knows who’s watching?
# D_A_N 2012-03-05 14:51
This is why I suggested we have somebody (good at organising) post one email address, preferably not their main one and everyone else can email our email addresses and/or phone numbers to this email address.

I think that should be safe enough 🙂
# snowthistle 2012-03-05 15:20
set up facebook page?
# The_Duke 2012-03-05 15:45
Excellent idea snowthistle.

Count me in…. (I’m a stay at home dad, so i hope my boys aged 5 and 2 will be welcome?)
# clootie 2012-03-05 15:47
Not for me – I’ll never touch it 😀
# D_A_N 2012-03-05 17:05
I think we should set a date as soon as possible and work towards it. Could set up a newsletter type thing where all updates are sent to an email list. I think April 1st would be an appropriate timetable. Almost a month to get folk together, time to make signs etc… It’s before the main campaign kicks off and it’s on April Fool’s Day. Could make for some good sign worldplay. Don’t let the BBC fool you.
# dogcollar 2012-03-05 19:01
can you set it up snowthistle?
# snowthistle 2012-03-05 19:22
eh, no. Sorry I am a complete technophobe, I haven’t a clue where to start. It was a (not so) helpful suggestion rather than an offer.
# D_A_N 2012-03-05 23:34
I’ll start to set up the facebook page tomorrow to get the ball rolling.. Hopefully some folk with more time and some skills who’ll be able to make a site or whatever.. as this won’t be a one off.. We’ll have to protest a lot before we’re heard I’d imagine.
# Mako 2012-03-05 15:47
Count me in aswell. I live in Govan, new build beside the Gocan Underground, so will be more than happy to provide refreshments and a place to stop off before/after.
# steveb 2012-03-05 20:24
I work offshore, I go away in the middle of March till the beginning of April.
I am game for this one.
# denmylne 2012-03-07 04:07
i work offshore as well…………there seems to be a lot of us about. oddly enough, politics isnt really an issue on the rigs
I m up for it, we need some sort of demonstation to highlight this, something than they cant ignore, hid etc
the more the merrier,
# fynesider 2012-03-05 09:54
At least he (Gary Robertson) knows the way to the site….
# Marga B 2012-03-05 10:38
One of the problems with the Herald as I found out to my cost is that if you choose to receive an apology for a misleading story on the internet version of the newspaper, what they do is merely attach this to the original story as and when filed, in the archive.

The apology or correction does not appear “live” on-line on the date of agreeing the correction, as it would in the printed press. So effectively they satisfy the Press Complaints Commission without actually remedying the wrong, which in this case affected readers of the digital paper – a scam.

At least that was my experience. So if you manage to extract an apology or correction out of the Herald, be very careful when choosing where it is published. Due to this sleight of hand, the correction of my complaint never saw the light of day even though the PCC found if was justified and required that a correction be published.
# Macart 2012-03-05 09:11
What goes round, comes round. Ms Bailie’s lies will sink her career without trace and that goes for those who aid in spreading those lies too. There’s a lot of punters reading these pages and the word will spread.
# thomsor 2012-03-05 09:29
Seagetagrip, your point shows what we all know about BBC Scotland that even when a quote was made and printed they will not cover it if it is negative to Labour. I dont know if the quote is in the Herald today but it certainly was in the Sunday Herald yesterday. Perhaps this is his get out clause.
# Ben Power 2012-03-05 10:01
Without hampering freedom of speech and freedom of the press/media, as both are essential to democracy.
Could there not be a law that insists on the same amount of media space and location promptly to any story that is proven false or misleading.
If the lie is on page 1 and newsboards the truth has to appear in same location sort of thing for the same number of editions. It might sound naive but it seems fair to insist on it as a media standard.
# steveb 2012-03-05 10:03
# Marga B 2012-03-05 10:42
Ben, I quite agree. See my post above, where under present PCC conditions, the letter of the regulations is obeyed without real remedy being made.

I don’t believe the PCC have legal force behind them, but even the weak guidelines they have are run rings around by the media they find against.
# Des58 2012-03-05 10:03
I remember a blogger saying a few years ago:
“We are all the media now.”
The game is up for Labour, especially with young Scots,

Comment edited by NNS Mod Team
# Old Smokey 2012-03-05 10:08
Why am I not surprised!
Its now a regular occurance that anything that Labour come out with and in particular Jackie Baillie, turns out to be not true
# Des58 2012-03-05 10:11
Friends, here’s an interesting article I just followed a link from one of the Highland SNP candidates facebook page:
“Dinosaur Labour is back”…/…
# Aplinal 2012-03-05 10:29
I liked this line

“There were moments, raiding Ms Lamont’s speech, that I wondered if the last 35 years had even happened.”

Says it all really.
# nottooweeorstupid 2012-03-05 12:27
Here’s my favourite bit:

“Moreover this was a speech showing that Scottish Labour are giving the Liberal Democrats a run for their money in the Most Childish Political Party stakes.”
# hiorta 2012-03-05 10:12
The once principled Labour Party of McLean and Maxton are now reduced to this?
How utterly desparate these Unionists are, all their veneer of respectability now in tatters.
These are the dead-beats who want to rule us and run our country? And behind them cower the BBC who peddle such deliberate lies.

No wonder their Empire is long gone.
# km 2012-03-05 10:16
Party conferences are meant to energise the faithful and generate a positive message. But this weekend seems to have been an unmitigated disaster for Labour, what with Baillie’s lies about the NHS; Lamont’s failure to understand European law, the procurement process and/or who set it up; and Milliband being, well, Milliband. I reckon they must have lost several thousand votes this weekend.
# Seagetagrip 2012-03-05 10:22
Well done guys and gals. I knew I could rely on you. He is still maintaining in his latest E that it was because he was away for the weekend that he did not see Baillies denial.
There you have it! Robertson must write the script for the programme!!!???
# Barontorc 2012-03-05 10:57
S – I think that’s now been nailed down – what’s puzzling is that he gets 100% backing from the might of the BBC. NB/ puzzling, should probably read troubling! Don’t the BBC have a non-conformance policy – they have a quality policy writ large in the form of their Charter.
# Aplinal 2012-03-05 10:24

Not really the right place, but …/lamonts-lamentable-speech is an interesting dissection of Lamont’s speech. Some of you may already have seen it.
# scotsmanc1 2012-03-05 11:23

Thanks for the Link.

Having listened painfully through her diatribe, I appreciate the destruction of the rubbish she was spouting. A good piece of work in the response provided.
# A_Scottish_Voice 2012-03-05 10:44
Jackie Baillie is clearly not fit for purpose.

She should go. All she is doing is making the Labour party look like a joke.
# X_Sticks 2012-03-05 11:32
A_Scottish_Voic  e

“All she is doing is making the Labour party look like a joke.”

She’s not alone there!
# Legerwood 2012-03-05 10:51
O/T but there is a great letter in today’s Herald from mary Robinson, former President of Ireland. A must read.

As to Ms Baillie, no, why spoil a beautiful morning thinking about her.
# DonaldMhor 2012-03-05 10:54
Lying for labour is their default mode when the argument has been lost. For example we saw Lamont in her speech still telling the lie that the bridge steel contract could and should have been serviced from Scotland, when in fact there is no steel of this kind made in Scotland.She had this explained to her in the last FMQs, and still the complicit MSM lets her tell the lie, they are as bad as Labour.

She actually also said that 360 women a day are losing their jobs in Scotland at the last FMQs, obviously this is such a ridiculous statement that every one just assumed it was a faux pas.

They are also allowed to try and cause damage to Scotlands commerce by continually perpetuating the lie that companies are holding of investing when it is the opposite case. It is there malicious lies that are causing the damage. That these people are prepared to deliberately talk down and potentially damage Scotland out of an obsession with, and hatred of the SNP, should be enough to send them to obscurity for ever. They are utterly beneath contempt.
# Caledonian Lass 2012-03-05 13:09
I agree, 100%, DonaldMhor.

What worries me is that many people reading the lies and half-truths in the papers and hearing them on the BBC may believe them. They might not find out that the propaganda was false.

The McCrone Report and the theft of 6,000 square miles of Scottish water should be ‘hammered home’ to the Scottish public to let them see the duplicity of Westminster.

Scotland would have been prosperous had our oil revenues not been taken over by Westminster and we would not have had to suffer the destruction of our industries. Instead of prosperity we had years of austerity, thanks to the Unionists.
# Louperdowg 2012-03-05 11:17
From the Scottish Labour website it is instructive to note the following:

Johann Lamont, Scottish Labour Leader
Changing Labour, Serving Scotland

In her free time she takes part in half marathons, and listens to country music: “The more mawkish the better”.…/

Party before country.

The country music comment hardly needs mentioning!
# expat67 2012-03-05 11:20
Keir Hardie would be birling in his grave!! How are the mighty fallen! Where oh where have the ideals of the early labour party gone?
# pictic-1 2012-03-05 11:59
Sold to Mephisto for thirty pieces of silver.
# Old Smokey 2012-03-05 14:07
Interesting you should mention Keir Hardie.
I listened to a bit of Milliband’s dire speech. A bit that caught my attention was when he tried to infer that Scotland was not a left wing or socalist country
That would really send Keir Hardie into a spin
Its funny that Labour are always trying to air brush history as wel as their own history.
Such as the fact that Keir Hardie, the founder of the party, actually wanted Scotland to be indpendent, his number 2, was the founder of what became the SNP
New Labour really hate that
# the wallace 2012-03-05 11:56
Maybe the political editor of the scottish sun andy nichol, could do a story about ballies blatant lies over the nhs recently, that would put her gas at a peep.
# freeussoon 2012-03-05 11:58
I have shared this with as many as I can.

In my local area she is highly regarded by some….go figure!
# Dundonian West 2012-03-05 12:04
Another one for BBC’s Lord Patten’s in-tray?
Perhaps we can point him in the right direction,if he doesn’t already know.

steveb Quote”The better weather is fast approaching so a protest at pacific quay needs to be organised.”
They wouldn’t see it as worthy of reporting.

Does Lord Patten know what is happening in one of his Regional News outlets? It’s bringing his good name,and that of the worldwide BBC into disrepute.
# Islegard 2012-03-05 13:12
Surely the correct full statement in any story like this should be rather than “Ms Baillie had claimed that SNP cuts had left patients at Paisley’s Royal Alexandra Hospital with a shortage.” it should be “Ms Baillie had claimed that SNP cuts which are as a result of Labour’s mismanagement of the the economy nationally and locally had left patients at Paisley’s Royal Alexandra Hospital with a shortage. Further Labour are against any cuts but can offer no alternative other than to continue to spend out of control.
# Marga B 2012-03-05 13:20
See the Herald is still plugging the “scandal” of no “Scottish steel” in the bridge story.

What company is it about, anyone with access to the Herald, and is there any new information or is it just the same old lie?
# Legerwood 2012-03-05 15:18
It is more or less the same info although they did put part of the headline in inverted commas. But the online version has some good comments attached to it most of which point out the absence of steelmaking in Scotland and whose to blame for that.

One of the comments even has a link to the statement I mentioned in my post on yesterday’s story about the Forth bridge.

So at least some valid points and info are getting through.

I have noticed that stories in the online version of the Herald are attracting more comments and the omissions and commisions in the articles are bering pointed out.
# Marga B 2012-03-05 18:36
Great. I might have a look later.
# sid 2012-03-05 13:21
they might not report it but they would need to change the backdrop for misreporting Scotland if the correct position was chosen .
we also have STV not that far away and of course their “Scottish news” is on first!
would they take the chance?
would the sun take the chance?
A good opportunity for murdoch to do some stirring and attack the BBC
# RTP 2012-03-05 13:27
# Seagetagrip 2012-03-05 08:09
Gary Robertson tells me in an e mail that he can see no evidence of an admission from Baillie in you story. Also he could not find it in the Herald! Maybe you could enlighten him at .uk

I hope you don’t mind me coping your comment,just to let you know I emailed him using your link but it has come back undelivered.
# amfraeembro 2012-03-05 13:39
Looks like a typo in the link
# chiefy1724 2012-03-05 15:50
Noticed this a few times – the last bit of an e-mail link seems not to carry across when clicked on. Check before pressing the send that the full link has gone into your TO.

Don’t know if there’s a technical reason for this ? Possibly to stop e-mail addresses from being harvested by spambots ?
# amfraeembro 2012-03-05 16:01
the t is missing
# chiefy1724 2012-03-05 17:21
Yup, noted, but apart from that, hover over the link and it only shows

In both Firefox and IE8

Follow the link and that’s what goes into your TO field.
# Islegard 2012-03-05 13:46
Rather than supporting the NHS and NHS staff. Labour continually keep on inventing stories designed to undermine the Scottish Health Service and the staff working in it. It would be useful for NHS workers to keep in mind these stories when voting. It’s staff who bear the brunt of the fall out over these concocted stories.
# DonaldMhor 2012-03-05 13:56
Quoting Islegard:
Rather than supporting the NHS and NHS staff. Labour continually keep on inventing stories designed to undermine the Scottish Health Service and the staff working in it. It would be useful for NHS workers to keep in mind these stories when voting. It’s staff who bear the brunt of the fall out over these concocted stories.

Their invented stories are designed to talk down Scotland and so undermine the confidence and self respect that an SNP government has given us since 2007. They will stoop to any level to achieve that.

Joan McAlpine was absolutely correct when she labelled these people “anti Scottish.” She struck a raw nerve with them she is to be applauded for her courage and service to Scotland. Oh that we had more like her and Kenny Gibson.

I am totally repelled by the likes of Bailey and what she represents, they literally make me sick.
# Islegard 2012-03-05 15:54
Unfortunately stories like this usually lead to NHS bashing and members of the public going into hospitals start picking on every tiny detail looking for fault everywhere giving the staff grief. There’s a lot of that in Fife at the moment. Labour deliberately lying like this it will have a knock on effect particularily to front line staff.

Thanks Labour.
# proudscot 2012-03-05 14:06
Isn’t it the height of hypocrisy for those of unionist persuasion, who costantly refer to SNP supporters as either fascists or Natz (deliberate use of “z” as it links us to the word Nazi), that they are the ones who constantly use the tactic of Josef Goebbels – namely, if you tell a lie, then the bigger the lie the better. If you repeat the lie often enough, people will begin to believe it.
# JingsTheNoo 2012-03-05 15:04
“However, buried away in a Sunday Herald article, the Labour health spokesperson has now admitted that her claim that patients were being forced to share blankets was entirely false.”

Um, any chance of actually quoting or citing said admission?
# Holebender 2012-03-05 15:29
See comment above by chiefy1724 @ 08:34 this morning.
# Marga B 2012-03-05 15:17
Talking about the media hijacking the message and shooting the messenger: reply to complaint about Newsweek Scotland from BBC, which amounts to “never mind the quality, feel the width”. Sorry if rather O/T, but I’m really annoyed:

“Thank you for your e-mail. Your comments were passed to the Head of News, who has asked that I forward his response as follows:

“Thank you for getting in touch about our programmes.

Radio Scotland is adopting a strategy which focuses on speech programmes during the day and on music programmes late at night. This has implications for programme output and I think it is important to explain to you what we are proposing to do.

The focus of all our efforts in the current climate is to target our resources where our audiences are. The proposal for Saturday morning is to strengthen the news and current affairs output at that time, with a concomitant strengthening of our audience.

We plan to have a two-hour programme rather than one lasting a single hour, and, on top of that, there will be a further hour of news and current affairs programming on a Saturday morning.

Our aim is that the new Good Morning Scotland Saturday offering will contain all the best elements of the current Newsweek programme. The details of the new programme – for example, the scheduling and the content – are still under development and will be announced before the new schedules start in August.

I am grateful for your comments because I know that programmes can command great loyalty (and we welcome that); but I hope that you will find that the changes we propose will strengthen our news and current affairs output, and therefore your satisfaction with what we offer.

Thank you again for taking the trouble to be in touch”.
# Robabody 2012-03-05 15:34
The forth paragraph of your editorial attached to this article is exactlly what I was chuntering on about the other night in another article. Otherwise kiss goodbye to independence, drowned in a loch of lies and propaganda.
# Dundonian West 2012-03-05 15:43
O/T TRIDENT.On BBC National main page.Bet it doesn’t get to Reporting Scotland to-night. Should do,it’s just about in my Gran’s back garden.

Come on BBC Scotland—just this once.Try,try,and try again.
Deep-slow-breaths–think positively.
You can do it. Yes you can,yes you can.
# chicmac 2012-03-05 16:10
It is past time for a new law, similar to that of perjury,to be created in Scotland to extend the principle to the pronouncements of elected representatives in public forums. Democracy must be protected from deliberate lying by any faction, however desperate that faction is. The Scottish public need and deserve the truth.
# Marga B 2012-03-05 16:16
Weren’t there parliamentary enquiries when Salmond was deemed to have “lied to parliament”?
# chicmac 2012-03-05 16:32
Salmond has been accused, wrongly, of misleading parliament a couple of times, something that others have done many times without investigation. However, that is effectively an internal investigation.

What I am suggesting is making it a criminal offence for elected representatives  to deliberately lie in public forums (TV,Radio,Press  ,internet, leaflets etc.) OUTSIDE parliament. To make false statements where it can be demonstrated that the elected representative knew the statements were false when they made them. i.e. the police can arrest and prosecute them for doing so, either in response to a report or indeed off their own back.
# chicmac 2012-03-05 18:30
Perhaps I should explain the reasoning behind this suggestion.

Many lies are told by millions of people every day. These may be for criminal reasons or selfish reasons and therefore may be subject to disapprobation of a moral or criminal kind already served by several mechanisms. Some lies are for good reasons e.g. avoiding conflict and escalation, or even for very good reasons e.g. seeking to avoid hurting someone’s feelings unnecessarily.

We all know of the special case of lying in court. Where a jury or judge has to decide a case based on the evidence presented, that evidence has to be correct if the correct decision is to be made. Few would dispute that lying in that scenario should be a criminal offence. This is one of the essentials for ensuring that justice is upheld.

My contention is that the democratic parliamentary system is, albeit on a very very different scale, exactly the same thing.

In the justice of democracy case, the ‘jury’ is the entire electorate. They have to make judgement based on the evidence they have been presented with.
O.K. the court case may be up to 5 years in length in this instance but again that is just a matter of scale.
The ‘courtoom’ is the entire public forum.

Just like in a courtroom the jury is not privvy to private council whispered between client and representative, private conversations and opinions should not count, but any pronouncements made for the consumption of the jury (or public) within the ‘courtroom’ should be subject to such legislation. i.e. any pronouncement made on a public forum for public consumption by an elected representative.

In other words, elected representatives    should, in the interests of serving justice, have the same liability for lying to their adjudicators as witnesses, defendants or their representatives    in a court case.

To summarize, the sacred duty of preserving a just system by insisting on the truth from those who legislate and represent should be subject to the full inspection and rigour of criminal law just as those who prosecute, are prosecuted by or administer those laws.

Justice cannot properly be served by elected representatives    deliberately lying with impunity.

Note I have referred only to OUTSIDE parliament. There must, in the interests of democracy, by a system of parliamentary privilege, a mechanism whereby a member can be asked about some hearsay matter without direct evidence. In that instance it will be a judgement of the speaker or presiding officer whether internal measures are required.
# Jiggsbro 2012-03-05 18:33
It might be possible to argue that a politician who lies to gain votes (and therefore to get re-elected, and thus to gain financially from the lie) is committing fraud. It might be difficult to prove that they knew they were lying, though.
# Marga B 2012-03-05 18:40
Does this exist in other European countries? In Spain politicians have a hobby of dragging each other through the courts until the case gets thrown out as unsubstantiated  , by which time it has destroyed someone’s reputation. I’d hope UK justice would be less cavalier about the cases it accepted for investigation.
# Holebender 2012-03-05 18:41
Lying within parliament is already subject to sanctions, is it not?
# Robert Louis 2012-03-05 16:35
It is ironic, is it not, that today the Biased BBC are reporting on the shenanigans regarding the electoral process in Russia. This election was monitored by the OSCE (organisation for security and co-operation in Europe).

The preliminary report, today questions the validity of the result due to numerous problems with the fairness of the election itself. In particular, and of special interest to our anti SNP chums in pacific Quay, is this quote from the report;

“The broadcast media did not provide balanced coverage of all candidates overall, contrary to the legal requirements. Mr. Putin dominated the campaign with frequent appearances in the media. While newscasts on television channels monitored by the OSCE/ODIHR EOM covered the daily activities of each contestant, they were outweighed by lengthy items about him, both as a Prime Minister and as a candidate, and with a series of documentaries praising his achievements. This created unequal conditions for the candidates giving Mr. Putin clear advantage.”

Now, it is obvious to everyone, that the abuse of the electoral process in Russia has been suspect for some time, but nevertheless, the role of the media has been important.

So, to be clear, if the BBC indulge in wilful bias – as they have clearly shown in recent years, they are no better than the state media controlled by Vladimir Putin. My challenge to those who work in the BBC is simply this, do you recognise the importance of fair and even political coverage in Scotland, especially in relation to the independence debate, or is it just something you like to talk about??

# Hing em high 2012-03-05 17:18
Putin at least had to deal with an opposition Radio Station, erm, not something the past and present Brit Govts have had to deal with – any real opposition media.
# Seagetagrip 2012-03-05 16:45
The OSCE are obviously the people for our Referendum then!
# DJ 2012-03-05 20:38
I have just submitted to the Scottish Government referendum consultation saying exactly that.
# ButeHouse 2012-03-05 16:48
This is an excellent example of where Ms Lamont should display some leadership by slapping down her errant Health Spokesperson in public.

But don’t hold your breath what ever you do. Just VOTE YES instead.
# Robert Louis 2012-03-05 17:01
Quoting ButeHouse:
This is an excellent example of where Ms Lamont should display some leadership by slapping down her errant Health Spokesperson in public.

I’d pay to see that.
# EdinScot 2012-03-05 17:04
Jackie Baillie as a public servant should be held accountable over her false comments, that she is not, damages our paliaments standing and our institutions, in this case, our NHS. That she is aided and abetted by the state broadcaster paid for by us to be given a platform to attempt to fabricate and mislead is damaging our democracy and making our country look like a banana republic. Some say that has been Labours intention all along to damage Holyrood since its inception and sully it in the minds of the public.

She obviously feels totally safe in the knowledge that she can say what she likes, protected by the Unionist print media and as i said above, state television too. Yes striking similarites with Russia as pointed out above by RL. The OSCE should be involved NOW to let the world know just what the wonderful two faced British Establishment are up to now regarding Scotland. And yes again, it really is time to have protests at Pacific Quay. We cant sit back and let them do this, other countries would be out in the streets for far less. How long do we let them laugh in our faces without holding them to account? How much further will we let them lower our standards into what is acceptable?

Questions questions Scotland.
# Robert Louis 2012-03-05 17:26
I agree. The issue of the state run BBC and its influence over the news agenda in Scotland needs to be opened up.

This website has documented glaring examples too many times, to make it acceptable. This matter needs opened up long before the referendum, because the day after the referendum result, the media will just ignore any complaints in the same way they do right now.

We need a state broadcaster that recognises and implements policies which make sure there is even handed coverage. Right now, this is something which the BBC in Scotland has still not grasped in any meaningful way.
# Dundonian West 2012-03-05 17:33
Quoting Robert Louis:
I agree. The issue of the state run BBC and its influence over the news agenda in Scotland needs to be opened up.

This website has documented glaring examples too many times, to make it acceptable. This matter needs opened up long before the referendum, because the day after the referendum result, the media will just ignore any complaints in the same way they do right now.

We need a state broadcaster that recognises and implements policies which make sure there is even handed coverage. Right now, this is something which the BBC in Scotland has still not grasped in any meaningful way.

Didn’t the First Minister and BBC chairman(?) Lord Patten meet in Edinburgh recently,when FM brought up this subject?

Lord Patten has much to lose if the BBC Scotland News outlet,’lands him in it’.

He’s highly regarded internationally  ,and seen as a decent bloke.
# EdinScot 2012-03-05 17:56
The BBC needs to feel pressure from all sides. The more voices that speak out the stronger and more valid our argument becomes. The international media need alerted to whats going on with our state broadcaster. AS also handing over a dossier to Lord Patten was symbolic. We wouldnt want Lord Patten to take his foot off the pedal now would we.
# Mako 2012-03-05 18:08
Agreed. At a time where there is an increased focuss on the actions of the press, the last thing the BBC needs is the finger pointed at them. Protests would not look good for them and Pathetic Quay. Particuarly with STV next door.
# UpSpake 2012-03-05 18:10
The very last thing Scotland needs is a state broadcaster spouting propaganda, no matter which party is in power.
Just as the State distances itself from religious connections so it should leave the airwaves free to the media. All that is wrong with a state broadcaster is currently seen in the daily activities of BBC Scotland. This should never be replicated.
In the multi channel digital age and smart phones everywhere, the ‘old fashioned’ methods of delivering news and current affairs has past.
Problem is not everyone recognises this.
10 years from now, how many of the unionist MSM will have survived ?.
The people who support the BBC by continuing to give them the tax lifeblood will ensure that this organ still survives. Why create another ?.
# Jiggsbro 2012-03-05 18:29
There is an argument for a broadcaster in the mould of what the BBC was originally supposed to be: an independent and impartial provider of news, together with a producer of quality entertainment and factual programming, with particular focus on minority audiences and interests that would not be provided for by commercial channels (because they’re too busy chasing ratings and therefore pandering to the LCD).

In practice, the independent and impartial news provision seems to be impossible (because it’s produced by people and people are rarely truly impartial), the quality programming is buried amongst mountains of dross and the minority interests are now catered to by a multitude of specialist channels.

A state broadcaster that actually fulfilled the original BBC remit is still a good idea in theory, but difficult in practice and difficult to fund adequately. There might be scope for a single free-to-air TV channel which could buy in quality programming (from the BBC and other foreign producers) and a similar radio station; being free from commercial interests still allows variety and risk-taking. There’s a lot that’s wrong with the BBC, but there’s still a few things it does right and well, and it would be a pity to lose that type of programming for a constant diet of talent shows, reality shows and soaps.
# RTP 2012-03-05 18:12
“Democracy Live Scotland”

Has anyone else noticed that there is no registrar of parties now it was pointed out that they were still using the old lot for such a long time it is only a small thing but this is just another bit of bias towards the SNP as far as I am concerened
# nottooweeorstupid 2012-03-05 21:23
RTP – they told me they had ‘removed the graphic for correction’ – obviously they don’t like the correct version!
# Jenny2603 2012-03-05 18:35
I feel like every second post I submit here contains the words Labour and new low. But here we go again! Jackie Baillies dishonest statement was not just an attack on the SNP government, more importantly it is an attack on the professional integrity of NHS staff who she has in effect accused of breaking rules on cross contamination and providing a poor level of patient care.

This latest new low again begs the question -what the heck are Labour playing at? This sort of attack on the NHS is about as popular as kitten punching with both NHS staff and the public. Are Labour actively trying to alienate anyone thinking of voting for them or are they just slinging mud in the hope enough sticks? Whatever the case, it’s shameful conduct.
# Marga B 2012-03-05 18:44
What are the Unions doing about it? They have clout…
# Jenny2603 2012-03-05 20:37
I’m slightly disappointed by the lack of public reaction from the unions on this. It’s a pretty nasty slur on their members and I would have thought they’d want it made clear it’s simply untrue. At the very least I hope it has been raised privately by the unions.
# ubinworryinmasheep 2012-03-05 19:22
Can anyone please tell me why the comment I posted earlier with a link to The Scotsman article regarding SNP membership figures has disappeared ? Ive been a contributor on here pretty much from the start and generally behave so why are comments vanishing totally from view along with any that others respond with ?
# Holebender 2012-03-05 19:38
Maybe something to do with it being out of date? Wasn’t it an article from 2008?
# ubinworryinmasheep 2012-03-05 19:40
Aye fair enough but maybe informing me of why its gone rather than just deleting it I mean I’m beginning to question my own sanity !
# Mark MacLachlan 2012-03-05 20:20
Oh, I’m thinking this might be popular…

# Edna Caine 2012-03-05 21:11

That is superb!
# D_A_N 2012-03-06 00:19
Damn. I was thinking of using that song for a vid. hehe. I absolutely adore Bjork!
# lumilumi 2012-03-06 00:39
Björk. Notice the two dots above the o. 😉

Her name actually means “birch”
# lumilumi 2012-03-06 01:07
Sorry, I should’ve mentioned that I have a “Scandinavian” keyboard, with the letters ä, ö and å on it. The nerdy slang in Finnish is ääkköset, as opposed to mere aakkoset (ABCs), the usual config on UK/US keyboards. It’s really annoying that due to historical reasons you can’t use ä,ö,å on email addresses so I have to misspell my surname, which contains the letter ä. Sorry to go O/T but I am annoyed about this example of linguistic imperialism.;-)
# pictic-1 2012-03-05 21:44
As were all in a happy mood here’s this one again


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