By a Newsnet reporter
A BBC presenter has claimed that the rest of the UK would be unlikely to award shipbuilding contracts to the Clyde if Scots vote Yes in September’s independence referendum.
James Naughtie, who presents BBC Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland radio show made the claim during an interview with a representative of pro-Yes organisation Business for Scotland.

In the exchange which touched on defence contracts, Naughtie said: “If there were two separate countries then it would be unlikely the Royal Navy would place contracts outside the rest of the UK … for major warship contracts.”

The BBC presenter had been responding to comments from Anne Rendall who had said there was no evidence to suggest, as Mr Naughtie had appeared to, that the Scottish Government was threatening businesses who opposed independence.

Ms Rendall pointed out that the only threat to jobs had come from Westminster in the shape of threats to shipbuilding on the Clyde.

“In terms of defence contracts … [if we vote Yes] they are saying there will be no contracts in Scotland for defence work,”

Claims that businesses were being bullied by the Scottish Government had been made by UK Prime Minister David Cameron during exchanges at Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons the previous day.  Mr Cameron had called for a so-called “silent majority” to speak out in favour of No.

The comment from Mr Naughtie, who appeared to present his own view as fact, runs counter to the BBC’s own guidelines which forbid presenters from expressing their own political opinions in such a manner.

Naughtie’s shipbuilding claim follows a similar episode in March this year when another BBC presenter, Andrew Marr, faced criticism after he appeared to voice his own opinion over the EU membership status of a newly independent Scotland.

In an interview with First Minister Alex Salmond, Marr ended an exchange with Mr Salmond on EU membership by saying he believed a Yes vote would see Scotland forced out of the EU and finding it hard to get back in.

“I think it will be quite hard to get back in, I have to say”

Mr Marr’s personal view is expressed at 2 mins 21 secs into the clip

As the referendum nears, there is mounting concern over the BBC’s pro-Union stance and the apparent pro-Union sentiment being expressed by some presenters, including Mr Naughtie.

Last Sunday a large crowd gathered outside the broadcaster’s Glasgow HQ in order to protest at what they believe to be pro-Union bias in the BBC’s referendum coverage.  Another demonstration is already earmarked for next month.


2014-07-03 19:22

Naughtie: another proud Scot [!] who readily accepts, and parrots, the establishment’s views. In Naughtie the No campaign has another mouthpiece.
The BBC sinks even lower.
2014-07-03 19:38

and the threats still keep coming….the fruits of unionism are sour.
Jo Bloggs
2014-07-03 19:52

Surely the simplest retort would be simply to say Scotland won´t need or want orders from the bankrupt rUK. With the skills of the Scottish yards, there´ll be plenty of orders from elsewhere.
2014-07-03 20:04

yup. It’s the classic better together mindset abusive husband line. “You can’t leave, where would you go?”

2014-07-03 19:57

Ian your comments to camera were outstanding, we need you on tv, your camera presence is what this debate needs, the voice of the people.
Lets get Ian on the telly.
btw mines a pint.
2014-07-04 01:10


2014-07-03 19:58

How many warships do the Norwegians build in their 58 shipyards?
What a pity Scotland doesn’t have an oil industry requiring support vessels.
What a pity Scotland doesn’t have a fishing industry requiring ships.
What a pity Scotland doesn’t have a network of island communities requiring ferry boats.
What a pity Scottish waters don’t support communities of whales, dolphins, and seals to support nature tourism.
Oh the pity of it.
How lucky we are to have warmongers in Westminster who make sure we never run out of weapons.
What a pity our economy has been so badly run for decades that these threats seem credible.
2014-07-03 20:01

BBC presenters have been using this same ploy for years. They offer their opinion, acting as if everyone accepts it as a fact, then demand “evidence” for any claim made by a pro-independence supporter(as Naughtie does here). If challenged, the presenter falls back on their cunning get-out ploy: “I was only quoting so-and-so” (as Marr does here). But interviewees need to tell them: “Well, you need to make it clear you are quoting, not say things as if they are accepted fact.” If the referendum is lost because of this type of BBC propaganda I predict mass non-payment of the licence fee in Scotland.
Marga B
2014-07-03 20:58

For the next BBC Bias demos, could you not have a quote from Naughtie, with QR codes of these videos on placards too for people to look at for themselves?

Nothing like people’s own words to damn them. Sorry if it’s all been thought of, but after Andrew Marr and his “personal opinions” on Europe …

How much worse can it get over there before someone manages to get some action? What’s the chances?
2014-07-03 21:28

According to the Oldie Magazine the BBC have outsourced their Complaints Department to CAPITA.

So any action will not be forthcoming this year or next.
2014-07-03 22:09

Why is it that when the various party leaders – Milliband, Clegg, Cameron – fly up to Scotland for their away-day visit we see clips of them on the news making speeches at meetings but we never see clips of Mr Salmond or other YES leaders making speeches at any meetings?

Why is it that the meetings seem to take place at a Date, Time and Place NOT to be announced?

Why is it that the audience at the meetings addressed by the UK party leaders seem so small and clearly hand-picked but no comment about this is made?

Why am I even asking?
2014-07-03 23:06

Why does Cameron have to keep coming back to Scotland to convince the “silent majority” that London rule is OK?
The “silent majority” must be very undecided indeed or possibly they haven’t been sufficiently bullied by HM press yet into accepting the London line that we are too stupid to run our affairs.

2014-07-04 09:33

Fine if we stop building weapons of war and do as the Norwegians do, fill our yards full of work for oil vessels, instead of the UK tendering the work out to Korean and Chinese yards
2014-07-04 10:08

More & more people are becoming aware of the BBC behavior.

Having articles like this helps to point out the attitude of their presenters.

The BBC have an article in their magazine section stating the SNP wanted a third question on the ballot paper.

Also I am convinced they have insiders posing on their HYS’s.
I noticed particular poster managed to post within the limited waiting time, s/he was questioned about how this was possible & the poster eventually answered by brushing it of as just being impatient.

The BBC post timings all of a sudden then went a bit wonky backing up his claim.

I believe a certain nationalist posting on the thread was an insider also.

I archived it.

I don’t post on the BBC, but I do pay attention & mark posts up/down, interesting results when I pick a random page in the middle of the article!

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