There is no “wrangling over whether BBC Scotland is biased”. There is only obdurate denial in some quarters that it is. The only meaningful debate concerns that nature and extent to that bias.
Nicola Sturgeon was certainly right to distance herself from claims of “institutional bias”. The problem is organisational. The bias is a failure of management. As I wrote elsewhere,
It would be more apt to describe BBC Scotland as organisationally, or structurally, biased. Over time, a self-perpetuating and self-reinforcing process has led to the organisation being populated with people drawn from, or with intimate connections to, a Scottish political establishment that was, for a formative period of decades, the almost exclusive province of British Labour in Scotland (BLiS). BBC Scotland is stuffed with people who still regard what they like to call “Scottish Labour” as rightfully the dominant force in Scottish politics. Many are inclined to treat it as if it still is. They genuinely see nothing wrong in packing every studio panel with BLiS worthies because they cannot accept how irrelevant the pretendy wee party has become.
Given that Donalda MacKinnon is part of the management that has failed, what possible reason can there be to believe that she might be the one to effect the changes necessary if public trust is to be regained?
It is ridiculous to deny the pro-British bias of the BBC. How could this integral part of the British establishment be anything other than biased in favour of the British establishment? What has happened is that, because of the divergence of political cultures, being pro-British has tended to become increasingly anti-Scottish. Or at least anti- that part of Scottish opinion which does not accept the superiority of all things British.
If anybody wants to deny the anti-Scottish element of BBC bias, let them explain why it is that licence-fee payers in Scotland are uniquely prohibited from commenting on articles on the BBC Scotland website.
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