Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Grangemouth, the Nats and the BBC

Yesterday I posted my feelings about the lack of comments from the Nationalist blogs regarding the impeding Grangemouth refinery strike and it affects across Scotland. So while talks resume today to try and resolve this issue I got to wondering just why do the Nats want to sweep this under the carpet.

To be totally fair there was one Nat, Malc in the Burgh, who approached the Grangemouth story at an amazing tangent and threw blame on all the hype on the way his licence fee was paying for "irresponsible reporting" from the BBC. This led to one rousing hoorah from fellow Nat leaning Jeff of SNP Tactical voting.

Well today there is an in depth look at just where the effects of impending shut down are being felt across Scotland on that same BBC. Of course I can only vouch for this around Bathgate as I witnessed last night in passing but Caron Lindsay has reporting similar things in Livingston, both backing up the BBC reporting.

Of course and independent Scotland might not replace the national broadcaster and rely wholely on private companies providing television so maybe the Nats are prepared to take swipes at something they have not planned on how to replace, instead of looking at an upset to their almighty oil based Scottish economy.


Malc said...

Hang on a minute Stephen.

I think if you look at my piece closely you are completely mis-representing my view.

1) I asked whether it was irresponsible reporting on the BBC's part and suggested that it might not be in the public interest to scaremonger - it will only drive up panic-buying and not aid a solution in the slightest.

2) My licence fee comment was aimed - probably as you well know - at the fact they sent a reporter from elsewhere to cover the story instead of using the same reporter who would deliver a report for Reporting Scotland.

Fine that the shut down is being felt across Scotland - but doesn't that emphasise my point. The more the story is presented in this way, the more worried people are going to be and panic-buying?

Think you're just rounding on me because I'm the only one that mentioned it - I don't know what is going on and will probably blog on the outcome but I don't think it is that useful to speculate about it at the moment or to pick sides.

Honestly Stephen, I've tried hard recently to rise above partisan politics. Was there a need for such an unjustified attack?

Stephen Glenn said...

Some fair comments Malc.

Firstly I wasn't trying to single you out. I find it amazing that seeing as the Scottish political blogosphere is so heavily dominated at present by pro-independence blogs that this wasn't covered by any of them.

As you may be aware the refinery falls within the Westminster constituency boundary I live in and stood in for 2005. My own comments have tried not to take sides on the issue over the pensions merely to mention it. I think the traffic flow over recent days indicates that people do actually want a non-newsey comment on this affair.

Sadly I didn't see the report in question to guage whether the report was called a Scottish correspondent because they were English based and sent here or one of the regional Scottish correspondents who we maye not necessarily see in Edinburgh, or in my case Glasgow based local reporting.

Now that fact that the plant is shutting down and does not expect to be up again fully for 3 weeks after a 48 dispute would indicate that the region supplied by Grangemouth, Scotland, Northern Ireland and North Englandshire would suffer some ill effects. Indeed West Lothian council, run by an SNP/Hospital alliance are considering contingency plans to deal with fuel shortages. Yet you accuse the BBC of scaremongering whilst a council within miles of the refinery are seeking advise and preparing their action.

As for raising above partisan politics I praise where I see praise-worthiness and attack where I see duplicity etc. evenhandedly to all parties, including my own, if you hang around long enough and find out.

The reason for the attack is a little pent up seeing the way SNP politicians have used yet attacked the BBC finally finding a way to escape. The point about the replacement post independence is also one I've yet to recieve any coherent answer to from enquiries.

Malc said...


Okay. I'm with you - I have tried not to take sides on the issue over the pensions either. And my post wasn't really an attack on the BBC - it is posing a question as to whether their (and other - which I did say, to be fair) reporting on the issue is responsible.

Again, my point is that part of the reason for REQUIRING to plan for contingency plans could potentially be atributed to the panic buying - again partially caused by the reporting on it! But I can't see that we are going to agree on it.

I don't know why the Nat bloggers have been quiet on it - maybe ask them! I'm not exactly a partisan blogger. And I'm the same as you on the praise/attack thing.

Anyway, I've been in the hospital for the last 3 hours so I've probably got a bit pent up ranti-ness too. I'll blog on it tomorrow... maybe

This Is Alba said...

Honestly I don't see grangemouth as a political issue. It's clear that all parties want to see an end to the dispute. It isn't really an issue you can blame anyone on. The most important thing now is to try and restore normal consumer patterns while the dispute is resolved.

Stephen Glenn said...

Politics no, news yes and sadly not even getting mentioned by certain parites.

How we try and restore normal customer patterns has revealed some politics though, as Lothian Buses appear to have a climb down similar to that which Labour MPs got the other day.


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