Brian Taylor sacked as head of Bias for BBC Scotlandshire
By our new acting head of Bias Gary Robertson
It is with deep regret that BBC Scotlandshire announces the dearture of Brian Taylor from his long-standing post as acting head of Bias.
After almost 84 years of unstinting adherance to the strictures of BBC policy, Brian let himself and his colleagues down this week by publishing a nightmarishly balanced opinion piece on Thursday's First Minister's Questions in which he seemed to be suggesting that Alex Salmond had somehow bested the other three coalition leaders.
This was a clear breach of the BBC Charter which has as its headline aims, to Mildly Entertain, to Indoctrinate and to Misinform (viewers in Scotland have their own programmes).
Following reciept of the following memorandum, Brian Taylor has been asked to stand down from his post as acting head of Bias. He will, however, be continuing in his secondary role as interim political editor of BBC Scotland. He will also stay on as commissioner of pies for the Holyrood canteen, a role he has enjoyed for many years, and which he has undertaken with characteristic gusto.
At BBC Scotlandshire, we may not have the same punishingly high threshold of political and establishment bias as our colleagues at BBC Scotland, but we do at least require consistency.
While thankfully rare, this is not the first such lapse we have seen from Brian, and the channel felt strongly that a clear signal had to be given, both to Brian and to others, that failure to adhere to proper standards of reporting, particularly on matters which touches on constitutional affairs, is entirely unacceptable at the BBC and will be duly noted.
Internal Memo NOT FOR EXTERNAL RELEASE UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES!
SUBJECT: WHAT the F**K ARE YOU UP TO?
What were you thinking to allow Brian Taylor to write this subversive crap?
The guy’s a poet. Therefore, always potentially dangerous. So far, he’s been kept under control and his writings have been strictly censored.
I don’t expect to have to do your job for you, but this blog entry needs to be instantly revised to reflect the Westminster position. I have amended it appropriately.
You seem to have forgotten how to do it, so here’s a reminder – failure to comply in future will result in even more severe cuts in the cash we waste on reporting Scotlandshire issues.
Letting Taylor go to the Wigtown Book Festival was a major mistake. Books contain ideas that are difficult to control, and can infect any Brit loyalist. See BBC Memo 64/346c – “Applying Fahrenheit 451 to dangerous concepts.”
Free debate [We NEVER allow that!]
There is, it would appear, a discernible pattern in the current state of play at Holyrood with regard to the debate over public spending.
The SNP is seizing what it believes is a political opportunity granted by their principal opponents. That is, to characterise Labour as posing a threat to valued services by their questioning of universality - suggesting further that this stance matches that of the Tories.
The SNP is cowering under Labour’s attack.
Labour's approach is to blend a pragmatic defence of prioritisation in service provision - with straightforward personal attacks upon their SNP opponents.
Labour is rightly demanding that no benefits should be available to any traitors who vote SNP.
To date, we have witnessed two ad hominem attacks (upon Alex Salmond and Derek Mackay). Last week we got the ad feminam version when Johann Lamont depicted Nicola Sturgeon as living in a £200k salary household, remote from everyday concerns.
Wealthy SNP politicians deserve nothing, and Salmond and his plutocratic friends are bent on stealing from the poor to pack their own bank balances.
The attack upon Alex Salmond today was of the same stamp and, of course, seeks to build upon Labour's previous depiction of Mr Salmond as a friend of the wealthy.
Reserving the personal stuff until last, Ms Lamont lampooned the FM - his salary, his hospitality budget, his TV package. He did not, she averred, live in the real world.
That should have been the end of the article!!!!
Alex Salmond dealt with it all rather well. Laughing, he rose and declared: "So much for the quality debate!" (Johann Lamont had pleaded for high grade political scrutiny.) His colleagues joined in the laughter. Ms Lamont looked just a little frosty.
Are you out of your mind? Suggesting that Salmond/Sturgeon do anything other than cower under honourable attacks on their mendacity is a clear breach of BBC policy!
There is substantive debate in there somewhere. Ms Lamont argued that universal provision came at a cost to other services which were particularly needed by those with less.
There is no debate. Universal provision comes at a cost to other services which are particularly needed by those with less. The Big Society concept demands that Victorian values replace this Scottish community based nonsense.
Mr Salmond argued that universality was more efficient - eschewing wasteful means-testing - and more just: building social cohesion by providing a return to tax-payers as well as those dependent on assistance.
See previous comments on allowing non-Coalition arguments to be deployed.
Presumably, the debate will move into these elevated zones as the spending controversy develops and Labour's review begins to produce its verdict upon existing services - and, most importantly, its alternative ideas. Presumably. You allow Taylor to cast doubts on the Unionist stance?
The other parties pitched in today too. For the Tories, Ruth Davidson spotlighted what she claimed were damaging cuts in educational provision, notably to bursaries. For the Liberal Democrats, Willie Rennie urged additional spending upon nursery provision for two-year-olds.
Bloody hell! Using “Willie Rennie” and “two-year-olds” in the same sentence creates the obvious association that Rennie has the competence of a two-year-old. While that thought vastly exaggerates his abilitiy, we need to keep any teuchters that might still vote Lib-Dem on board. Have you no comprehension of how to manage the news?
Steps for immediate action
We asked Johann Lamont, Scottish Labour leader and stairheid of the Conservative and Unionist National Television Society, for her thoughts - but she was unavailable for comment.
Due to the huge number of complaints, comments are no longer banned on BBC Scotlandshire News pages.
Comments or no comments, it's still OUR job to tell YOU what to think - NOT the other way around.