by Rab Bruce’s Spider

It never ceases to amaze online Yesers how biased the Scottish media reporting is. Most of us cannot understand why such blatantly anti-SNP stories are repeated on an almost daily basis, because some of them are so laughable they can be demolished in a matter of minutes.

The reason, of course, is that the unionist media knows that a great many people will succumb to an endless barrage of propaganda. Whether the younger generations, who are more accustomed to searching online for alternative news sources, will fall for this in the same way as the older generations seem to have done, remains to be seen. In the meantime, the Scottish media has begun 2017 with a series of quite preposterous reporting – and I’m not even going to discuss the Baby Boxes saga.

We began with the Tories claiming that thousands of calls to NHS 24 were being abandoned because callers did not want to wait for up to 30 seconds to have their call answered. This, apparently, denotes some sort of NHS crisis.

How did the media react to this ludicrous assertion? Instead of asking serious journalistic questions as to why people might be hanging up before their call has been answered, such as being told they were in a long queue due to staffing issues, or the automated response had advised them to call 999 for genuine emergencies, or even trying to discover whether Scottish Tories really do have such a low patience threshold, the media simply repeated the claim as if it were somehow a valid criticism.

Then we had the claims about the amount of compensation paid by Police Scotland. OK, it is always concerning when public money is being spent and the amount is going up, but no attempt was made by anyone in the media to put the figures into some sort of context. When this was done by the estimable Prof John Robertson, he easily demonstrated that the figures, while increasing, are actually pretty reasonable when compared to other Police Authorities.

This morning we’ve had Scottish Labour again missing an open goal by making a silly assertion. Figures released under yet more Freedom Of Information requests which are clearly designed to make NHS Scotland look bad, have revealed that, over a 19-month period, at least 680 people have died in hospitals while waiting to be discharged. Now, this is a cause for some concern, since the Scottish Government pledged to improve figures on so-called “bed blocking" by improving links between hospitals and social care. So far, their measures do not appear to be working. This would have been an entirely valid criticism, but Anas Sarwar, Labour’s Health Spokesperson, made the quite bizarre comment that late discharge from hospital presents some dangers to patients.

What did he mean by this? One cannot suppose he seriously believes these deaths – presumably of mostly elderly and very infirm individuals – would have been prevented or delayed if they had been discharged from hospital? The issue is surely more of NHS resources being tied up by terminally ill patients for whom nothing more can be done. To claim that being in hospital presents some sort of danger to one’s life is a very odd take on things. Admittedly, most people tend to feel better in themselves once they are discharged from hospital because a home environment is always comforting, but such respite is generally very short-lived. Needless to say, though, the media have simply repeated Mr Sarwar’s assertion without comment or challenge, thus implying that being in hospital is somehow dangerous.

But this is Scotland, after all, and we don’t ask probing questions when some SNP-bashing can be promoted. No, the only time the media asks questions is when some good news about Scotland is reported. Here, the Cringe is so much in evidence it is embarrassing.

Rough Guides announced that Scotland has been placed 2nd on their list of places to visit in 2017. OK, that might not be earth-shattering news but it’s the sort of thing that most countries would seize on in order to promote tourism. Think of the publicity you should be able to generate in countries around the world where people are looking for just the sort of things Scotland can provide for a holiday. Surely this is good news, isn’t it?

Well, no. Not according to BBC Radio Scotland who, in accordance with their policy of ensuring that scots are kept in a permanent state of self-doubt, ran a programme and went online to ask whether Scotland really deserves to be ranked so highly. That’s your State Broadcaster for you, folks; maintaining a diet of stories designed to tell Scots they don’t deserve anything except what their betters deign to grant them. We’re too wee and too poor to achieve anything on our own. This must be true, because the BBC have been telling us this for years.

One thing is for sure, though. If we fall for this sort of propaganda, we really are too stupid to deserve any better.