Smoke In Your Eyes

Heading for success: The SNP is ahead in the polls north of the border, and Labour is expected to lose dozens of seats in the election. Above, Ms Sturgeon, second from right, during the debate tonight


Here’s a bizarre offering from the BBC bigging up the SNP leader in this very pro-SNP piece….

Election 2015: Can Nicola Sturgeon win over the UK?


Curiously after the wall to wall coverage the BBC gave to the leader’s debate last week the BBC is very coy about what happened in the one in Scotland where this happened…

Sturgeon booed as she hints at second independence referendum

Nicola Sturgeon was booed in the first Scottish leaders’ debate when she refused to rule out a second independence referendum.

Questioned by Bernard Ponsonby, STV’s political editor, she said there would be no referendum after May 7, but when he asked what would happen “after 2016”, she was booed when she said: “That is another matter, we will write that manifesto when we get there. I will fight one election at a time.”


The Press and Journal give us the news…

The First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was booed by a section of the audience when she was quizzed on the SNP’s stance on another Scottish independence referendum.

The Mail tells us…

She said she would not rule out such a call in the manifesto for the 2016 Scottish Parliament election, saying: ‘That’s another matter.’

The admission sparked howls of derision from the audience.

The BBC instead gives us this headline…

SNP ‘will help make Miliband PM’, Sturgeon says

Nicola Sturgeon has said the SNP would help make Ed Miliband prime minister if the Conservatives failed to win a majority in the general election.

Of course that doesn’t mean she wouldn’t prefer Cameron in No10…just that if that doesn’t happen she couldn’t be seen to be helping Cameron back in even if that is what she wants….and she could run rings around Miliband anyway…so why not have a stooge in No10 as a last resort should the hated Tories not help her out themselves by getting elected?

And absolutely no mention of booing by the BBC…can you imagine them not mentioning that if Cameron, or Farage, got booed?  Here they paint Sturgeon as the voice of moderation just waiting on the voice of the people to guide her….

Independence referendum

During the two-hour debate, Ms Sturgeon said she respected the result of the independence referendum last year and insisted the Westminster election was “not a re-run of the referendum campaign”.

She said a vote for the SNP meant a loud voice for Scotland at Westminster.

Former SNP leader and first minister Alex Salmond had said a further referendum was off the agenda for a generation.

Nicola Sturgeon said it was a decision for the people of Scotland, not politicians. “I can’t impose a referendum,” she said.


And who won the debate?  Did Sturgeon match up to her performance last week?…here’s the Telegraph’s Michael Deacon’s verdict…

Most impressive of these four leaders on the night has been Ruth Davidson. We’ve just seen a Tory, in Scotland, arguing passionately in favour of tuition fees – and getting applause. That takes some doing. She’s looked smart, she spoke with feeling, and unlike David Cameron she hasn’t relentlessly droned the same lines again and again about the economy. She doesn’t sound programmed.

Nicola Sturgeon is articulate and shrewd but she hasn’t looked anywhere near as confident as she did in the UK-wide debate. Last week, she was the outsider attacking the Establishment. Tonight, though, she herself is the Eatablishment, with her own government’s record to defend – and she hasn’t looked quite so comfortable doing that.


Guido tells us that Ruth Davidson ‘battered’ Labour’s Jim Murphy…

Jim Murphy was under the cosh during last night’s Scottish Leaders’ Debate, repeatedly mansplaining to Ruth Davidson and Nicola Sturgeon and coming fourth with the Sun’s Twitter worm. This is the moment the Scottish Tory leader pummelled her Labour counterpart on the economy….

There was no snap poll, but Ruth was the resounding winner among the pundits…


Strange that we don’t have the BBC applauding a Tory getting applause and having a successful debate.  As Deacon says it was relatively easy for Sturgeon to win out last week being the outsider just having to look as ‘statesmanlike’ as possible….not so easy when you have to actually defend yourself in the real world.


Matt Holehouse writes:

If you read the pro-SNP papers, or dip a toe in the murky world of Cybernat twitter, you could be forgiven for thinking all of Scotland was in hock to an angry, suspicious Nationalist creed that believes the referendum was “stolen” by Westminster and the BBC.

This audience is a useful corrective. Questioners demand tax cuts, keeping Trident and deficit reduction. There is applause for those who question Sturgeon.

There’s a big shocked gasp when Sturgeon refuses to rule out a second referendum in the manifesto.

What do the Cybernats, who claim to speak for Scotland, say? The audience “plants”, apparently.

The BBC’s coverage is deliberately very anodyne and favours Sturgeon.

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15 Responses to Smoke In Your Eyes

  1. Roland Deschain says:

    In fairness to the BBC I should point out that the audience reaction to talk of a second referendum, and Sturgeon’s discomfiture was mentioned on Reporting Scotland after the News at Ten.


    • jimt says:

      Only after the news?!


      • Roland Deschain says:

        Part of the Scottish news “where I am”. And where her electorate is. It’s probably fair to say that almost all the Scottish electorate who watched the main news also saw this. (Why I’m trying to be fair to the BBC, I’m not quite sure.)


        • Guest Who says:

          ‘can you imagine them not mentioning that if Cameron, or Farage, got booed?’

          Questions to which the answer is..? ‘Not news ((c) A. Newsroom Tealady) where it doesn’t need to trouble folk’ editorial integrity clearly applies.

          I am reminded of a MTW, with Scots comedian Fred MacAulay on the subject of the North of the Border boo. Is it possible BBC (variable) coyness prevailed. Because, sometimes boo is not enough.


  2. DICK R says:

    Why is there not an ENGLISH election debate ,is it because they know that the scotch and welsh nationalists ,together with the screeching antipodean dyke would protect protect Cameron and Miliband from Nigel Farage by diluting his impact ?


    • taylor says:

      Here, here-England should of course have its own Parliament like the other three countries. Of course Sturgeon would like Cameron in No 10, as she knows that it is unlikely the Cons will have a referendum on the EU irrespective of their claim to do so after 2017-by which time it will be too late to be worth much. What a lot of shisters we have running affairs, all controlled by the Elite few.


  3. EnglandExpects says:

    The BBC news website highlights polls showing how the participants were rated in last week’s UK debate but not for last night’s Sottish debate. Is that because Sturgeon was deemed to have ‘done well’ last week (by sniping from the sidelines) but not so well last night (when she had to defend her party’s very questionable record in government)? There appears to be no mention of Ruth Davidson’s performance at all on the website.
    A pattern in the BBC’s coverage of SNP matters in this election is becoming clear. It wants to be the nationalised, tax-funded, dominant broadcaster in an independent Scotland as well as in the UK. To achieve that position in a post-independent socialist SNP fiefdom, it will have to start pleasing its future masters now.


  4. JimS says:

    My impression, during the referendum, was that the ‘London’ BBC was pro-SNP while SNP have argued that the BBC was anti-SNP, (well they would).

    I suspect that we are both right, the output from London being ‘pro’ and the output from Glasgow being ‘anti’. There is something in the genes of the BBC that makes it want to be contrary, to find a line that goes against the perceived wisdom.

    It’s one of their agenda items, to create division wherever possible.


    • Nibor says:

      They only want to be contrary to ordinary people , and want ordinary people to accept that what was controversial is now ordinary .


    • Roland Deschain says:

      I think the difference is that, whilst there’s a hive mind of “Tories & UKIP bad, Labour & EU good” there’s isn’t a pro or anti SNP hive mind throughout the BBC, so more individual nuance. Hence no uniform agreement as to which way the BBC leans. Much of what is seen as anti-SNP bias in the Nationalists’ eyes is probably ignorance of Scottish affairs by those who normally never have cause to consider the Scottish dimension.

      It’s probably the same reason Sturgeon came across better in the UK debate – no-one had enough knowledge of Scottish affairs to properly challenge her.


  5. Odo Saunders says:

    The sturgeon has been described as a primitive fish, because it is one of the few surviving species from the Palaeozoic and Mesozoic periods. What is more frightening about this species is that it feeds chiefly on small invertebrates. Sounds familiar? When the so-called political commentators talk about the possibility of a “Rainbow Coalition” being formed after May 7, they should be very careful about what they wish for. Not only could La Sturgeon easily gobble up the smaller fry such as Plaid Cymru and the Greens, she might easily devour Mr. Ed, because not only does he not have a backbone, bit also appears to lack cojones!!

    This morning’s Breakfast Show on Radio Five “gets much worse” Live was busily debating last night’s television debate involving the leaders of the main Scottish political parties. Even though Ruth Davidson, the leader of the Scottish Conservatives, was deemed to have made a good showing, particularly against Jim Murphy, the leader of the Scottish Labour Party, all the talk was about La Sturgeon, even though she courted controversy regarding the possible date of the next Scottish referendum. Willy Renwick, the leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, as well as Davidson and Murphy, were barely given a mention! Has the BBC given up any hope of there being a majority Labour Government after May 7, and the only salvation left for the Islington left and the BBC is for there to be an informal coalition of the Labour Party and the SNP? Nicky “Gameshow” Campbell was desperately trying to steer the debate in this direction, with the result that nothing was said or analysed about the policies of the other main Scottish parties. The BBC is meant to be a national broadcaster and is therefore under an obligation to maintain fairness by putting forward all the competing political views in an impartial and fair manner. This it singularly failed to do this morning. Time for the revocation of the iniquitous licence fee?

    It is interesting to note that the sturgeon is a “royal” fish and when captured in British waters, it falls within the prerogative of the Crown. Does this mean that La Sturgeon could be arrested for treason on account of her desire to break up the United Kingdom?


    • richard D says:

      I heard on the radio, very late last night, a brief analysis of the latest ‘debate’. Ruth Davidson made a couple of really good points, and especially at the expense of Nicola Sturgeon and Jim Murphy

      To Nicola Sturgeon, she pointed out

      “… how can you refer to ‘savage’ Tory cuts of £30 billion but ‘modest’ SNP debt increase of £150 billion?”

      Later, she told Jim Murphy ( it seemed to be in the context of the major parties not being too different, but I didn’t quite catch all of the report)

      ‘There is a massive difference between you and me ….you crashed the economy and I’m trying to rebuild the economy. That’s the difference between you and me, Jim.”

      Strangely enough, I haven’t heard these quotes today.


      • Poor Ruth.

        A genuinely good leader literally in the wrong place at the wrong time. Personally I rate her highly with anyone in Westminster or Hollyrood.

        Who can say that she isn’t better than the mental Anna Soubry? Sorry…That’s a low bar.


  6. dave s says:

    All very interesting but Scotland will leave the UK. That is the way things are going to be. The SNP has made that clear. There will be another vote and this time the Scots will vote the right way.
    The union is not sustainable. England is blamed for every bad thing going. That Scotland was de industrialised is the fault of the English. Rubbish of course. In the 1960s vast sums were poured in to keep Scottish heavy industry afloat and to no avail. Orders for useless diesel railway locomotives were given to North British in Glasgow .Steel and motor were supported. and later closed down
    The myth has taken root and we in England are cast as villians. Stealing the oil etc.
    It is no longer a viable union.
    If the SNP thinks it can dictate matters in England on devolved matters then it should think very carefully. That is going to end the union even faster.
    I would go so far as to say the union must be broken and quickly. It serves no useful purpose now. A clean sweep for the SNP in the GE will settle matters.