Out in the open

By Rev. Stuart Campbell (Wings over Scotland)

This is astonishing. From tonight’s BBC 6 O’Clock News:

Nick Robinson claims Alex Salmond “didn’t answer” his question at a press conference earlier today. That is a brazen and quite spectacular lie. The First Minister gave the BBC man a detailed and direct response which lasted for over three minutes BEFORE raising the matter of the Treasury link. You can see that response for yourself below.

Robinson had asked for a specific answer on RBS and also a more general one on scaremongering by business chiefs. Salmond explained the RBS situation, referring to Corporation Tax and to the letter sent by RBS to employees assuring them that it had “no intention of moving any operations or jobs”. He then dealt with the more general scaremongering issue by pointing out that such warnings were repeats of ones which had been made, and responded to, months ago.

(And the second part was a rhetorical question in any case. There is no factual answer to “Why should we trust you rather than X?” – trust is emotional, not logical.)

So we’d rather like to know why Nick Robinson told viewers of the 6 O’Clock News that Salmond “didn’t answer”, when anyone can see for themselves that he answered both parts of Robinson’s question, in so far as it was humanly possible to answer them, at considerable length. Robinson might not have LIKED the answers – we must assume he didn’t – but to claim that no answer was given is a mindboggling reversal of the plainly observable facts.

Robinson rudely harassed and heckled Salmond after his answer. He’s now lied about it on national television. The BBC’s open contempt for its legal duty of impartiality is no longer acceptable. It’s the people of Scotland who will now be demanding answers.

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