Why must Nicola Sturgeon hold BBC’s Sarah Smith to account?

IT’S just bonkers that we live in a country where the leader of the Government has to hold the public broadcaster to account for what they have said, it’s meant to be the other way around!

What Sarah Smith has not apologised for, is for her accusation that Nicola Sturgeon has taken a political approach in dealing with this epidemic in Scotland. That might be how Sarah Smith sees it from her own perspective, but her weird, Union-biased interpretation should not be reported as fact on the BBC 10 o’clock news. If Smith wanted to broadcast such a view, it should have been presented where Nicola Sturgeon was afforded the right to reply, in an interview perhaps.

READ MORE: Sarah Smith sorry for report on Nicola Sturgeon’s virus strategy

This is the problem, and it is a big problem, that the BBC has. Sarah Smith uses her platform as BBC editor for Scotland to project her version of events into living rooms across the UK. That’s not what “impartial” reporting is about.

You would have thought that the BBC would have learned some lessons from the Nick Robinson scandal, when he edited his exchange with Alex Salmond in 2014, and was exposed as a fraud when the international press core posted the unedited exchange online for all to see.

You would think that the BBC would have learned it’s lesson, but it has not, and Sarah Smith stands as a testament to that.

Thom Muir
via the national.scot

SARAH Smith and James Naughtie were parachuted in to “bolster” the BBC coverage of the referendum in 2014.

The latter presented Good Morning Scotland for a period, during which he often came across as uncomfortable and confused.

Sarah Smith is now the political editor in Scotland for the BBC and apparently “enjoys” putting across her Unionist credentials at any given opportunity.

After six years of sniping at the Scottish Government, it is a shame that she still cannot control her vigour against the First Minister, who is doing a sterling job in keeping a concerned nation up to speed with events.

Sandy Coghill
Isle of Skye

FORMER Labour leader, the late John Smith, achieved the rare distinction of being admired and respected by political colleagues and opponents in equal measure.

It is a matter of deep regret that his daughter has added yet another stain to her reputation.

Joe Cowan
Balmedie

HOW can BBC Labourite and Unionist hack Sarah Smith possibly claim that she made a mistake by conforming to BBC’s “SNP-bad” policy? It was no “mistake”. We all know she did it on purpose.

Donald Anderson
Glasgow

APPARENTLY BBC Four is going to be scrapped in favour of bringing back BBC Three. This is the same BBC Three that geezers over a certain age were told that they needn’t bother watching because it was exclusively for the under thirties.

The same BBC Three that was forced on to the internet because it couldn’t attract enough “youngsters” through its terrestrial broadcasts, are now going to attempt it all over again… really? It is haemorrhaging young viewers because they would rather pay a subscription to several on-demand platforms than a TV license, preferring the freedom of choosing when and what to watch.

You can end a monthly subscription and choose another option, you can’t with the BBC. It seems that the guaranteed £3.2 billion per year plus the income from its commercial arm, BBC Studios whose sales in 2017/2018 were £1.3bn is not enough to do the job of a public service broadcaster… really?

Just in case you get confused as to what the BBC is all about, this from BBC Studios website: “We are a global business of scale, able to fund, create, distribute and commercialise premium content for the BBC and other companies both in the UK and internationally. We can take an idea seamlessly from thought to screen, with award-winning creative talent and expertise in every major media market in the world.”

Sounds like PSB broadcasting has been redefined.

Mike Herd
Highland

THE appeals for people to take up this crisis role, where possible, can be helped with an added bonus.

The Treasury can endure that such earnings are tax-free for the duration. If on Universal Credit the earnings will not affect the miserable level that it pays out.

Or is that too simple? In fact, could the Holyrood Government have the power under Income Tax to instigate this?

The Tories, who are fond of tax havens for the rich, could see it as a domestic variation of the same.

John Edgar
Kilmaurs

PROFESSOR Neil Ferguson and his team at Imperial College London seem to have a grip on the government when it comes to action on viruses. The Government chose to follow the advice in his recent research paper on coronavirus, and to ignore other scientists. But when you look at his advice on past outbreaks they are certainly controversial.

For example in 2002 he published a paper on so-called mad cow disease, predicting that worst-case scenario there would be 150,000 human deaths. Eventually 178 deaths were attributed.

In 2005 he stated that “around 200 million people probably” would die from avian flu H5N1. The final toll was 375 confirmed deaths.

For the 2009 H1N1 swine flu one of his models predicted 65,000 UK deaths, but in the end no more than 500 died.

Eisenhower, in his 1961 farewell address, warned us that we must be alert to the “danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite”.

Geoff Moore
Alness, Highland



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