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Thank you ferry much.


…is what Union supporters will be thinking whilst the competence of leadership in the SNP has taken a massive blow.


CalMac ferries for services to Arran and the Outer Hebrides have been delayed again. A fault with the internal caballing has made them unfit for use. Hundreds of wires are to be stripped out and replaced. The budget out of the public purse for 12 ferries, £250 million, will now only see 2 ferries.


There were unforeseen errors that happened because of work installed by contractors before the Scottish Government took over… but it begs the question of whether more thorough investigations should’ve been made before the project was nationalised, with Ferguson Marine Engineering Ltd taking over after CMAL went into administration in August 2019.


It will be rightfully pointed out they saved 300 jobs in the process. 300 highly-skilled jobs in an economy as small as Scotland’s is definitely worth fighting for & Ferguson Shipyard now employs 462 people.


It has also saved the livelihoods of those people. It is easy for us to look back in hindsight and go aw away you go man. Why did we no just sack it off and used the money elsewhere… well, imagine it was you and 299 of your colleagues whose bills are due at the end of the month with bairns needing fed.


Saying that, it is awfy difficult to take a sentimental approach and try to keep all 5 million of us happy. In fact, you’d argue it’s impossible.


So this is where the government come in… we all come the gether and say this is who we want leading the charge making these tough decisions. That’s where the brainpower is. Get this lot in at the helm.


And aye, it is a difficult job. Folk make mistakes and we’re only human beings… but this is a biggie. £250 million is a lot of money... one of the Directors was on more than £2,000 a day.


And it’s even more difficult to hear when, on the ground, folk are counting pennies to make ends meet.


If you were looking at it fae a neutral’s perspective, you’d probably say aye it’s been a monumental miscalculation but maybe this really couldny have been predicted and the motive was well-intended. Saving Scottish jobs is important and it’s a valuable service.


This is a mare difficult outlook to take when you look at a cuttla other hings but.


First off, the contract is now being shipped off to a company in Turkey to get the job done. The whole ‘save Scottish jobs’ appeal is then diluted.


Secondly, this isny the only incident where the public purse has taken a right skelp in recent times. Around this time last year, the mishandling of sexual harassment complaints against Alex Salmond was found to have hacked away at another £500 million.


Put the gether, yer hinkin jeezo. That’s now stupid money.


Now… the beauty of democracy is that after every few years, we can aw reflect on how the government got on and decide whether or no we want them back in that job. If the government overspent, they’re held accountable and the public is informed when they make this decision. In a straightforward sense, this is what a healthy democracy looks like in this scenario.


I wish it were that straightforward but… Scotland is a divided country and folk are mad para about the independence question because of how passionately people feel about it. So much so, it’s made people sceptical of a level playing field. And by that I mean folk are questioning whether the information we’re getting from those holding politicians to account is skewed by motive.


Former Senior BBC Scotland editor Sarah Smith called it a more hostile environment than America. She was called a “f*cking b*tch” in public for being impartial in her reporting.


She’d previously made 3 public apologies for her impartiality and this didny sit well with independence supporters who feel hard done by with BBC Scotland’s reporting. She pointed the finger at “one side” (her words) of supporters and their toxic division. Opposition leaders and MSPs were quick to “state the obvious” (numerous MSPs) that it was the independence movement causing all the problems.


In fairness, for someone so concerned about the division and hostility in Scottish politics, she husny half thrown a grenade in the mixer when tensions are already high… using a totally exaggerated example to do so anaw. If she hinks she’s getting a breather in America… tell her to have a swatch at the Louis Theroux documentary on the online far-right community. Let’s no do Scotland an injustice because of one idiot.



The media has a job to in delivering that healthy democracy we’d all wish for… The BBC, which is bound by law to be balanced and impartial, are a primary source for news for households all across Scotland… it would, therefore, be perfectly reasonable to suggest they should be held to strict account and scrutiny in their reporting. If mistakes are made, as with Smith’s case, publicly putting the record straight should be a given in terms of procedure.


Not many weeks later, the BBC has come under further scrutiny. And Glenn Campbell, a top BBC Scotland reporter, has been at the forefront in recent weeks.


So what are the allegations?



Unbalanced reporting


I actually watched Reporting Scotland on Monday and I was surprised at the lack of balance. It highlighted all the mistakes the Scottish Government had made without referencing the benefits of saving all those jobs or the fact CalMac recommended FMEL as offering the best quality of service. This is on public record in the Audit Scotland report.


It also included snippets of an interview that were selected to specifically suit the narrative of the report. It was largely focused on whether the First Minister specifically said the words ‘go ahead’ and why she isny apologising straight up.


By contrast, on the same evening, STV showed the part of the interview where she explained that Audit Scotland revealed there was nothing “untoward” about the decision-making process. In fact, Campbell edited out the part of the interview in which Sturgeon exposes his misrepresentation of the Audit Scotland report.



Unfounded narrative of secrecy



Looking back, this really isny a great like.


BBC Scotland’s approach when speaking to Scottish Government ministers was to repeatedly probe them about who should be getting the blame. Even after the First Minister held her hands up and said “the buck stops with me,” they asked time and time again who should be getting the blame.


And to someone at hame watching the tele, that looks as though someone’s hiding something.


What was the motive behind doing so? Business tycoon Jim McColl was pointing fingers.


Campbell took McColl’s word as the entire basis for repeated accusations of Scottish Government ministers signing the contract off. Campbell was, in doing so, looking for a cover-up based on claims that hadn’t yet been verified from BBC Scotland.


Claims which, by the way, came fae a vested interest party in what’s going on.



Salience


The media make choices about the importance of stories. It’s called ‘gatekeeping.’ They don’t tell us what to think, but they certainly tell us what to think about.


…so when issues are granted significantly more importance than others, it begs the question of whether this is done so in a balanced frame of mind.


This might seem pernickety to some… but imagine a reader who has been totally out the loop in Scottish politics. Imagine all this person sees for a whole week is report after report about the failures made by one political party?

…and I say one political party because BBC Scotland has also been falsely reporting those in charge as “SNP ministers” as opposed to “Scottish Government ministers”


…that would hardly be fair.


Campbell comes under fire here because of the significant investment in this particular story. He has Tweeted over 30 times in the last week about this issue alone and we’ve seen live interviews from both Nicola Sturgeon and Kate Forbes.


If you compare this activity to the most heated week in ‘Party Gate,’ Campbell only Tweeted about this 6 times and failed to hold Douglas Ross to account in the same way as he did with Sturgeon. In the 1 minute clip of speaking to Ross he released, he wasny interrupted once. Nor did he have to go through an in-depth interrogation.


...


Despite what a lot of political commentators are saying, it isny the biggest scandal we’ve ever seen… instantly disproved by the PPE scandal that’s come out the same week. We’re talking pennies compared to the £8.7 billion that the UK government overspent on PPE to companies with close relationships with ministers.


You could’ve had 70 ferries for that money.


Campbell mocks Scottish Government overspending.


CalMac ferries has been a massive misjudgement by the Scottish Government and its cost people like you and me millions of pounds. It is that thought alone you should be taking with you in considering yer vote.

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