BBC Complaints: The link you need!

Tuesday, 25 August 2009


David Grossman's report into the day's goings-on at Holyrood (Newsnight) is worth a comment or two.

Who did Grossman interview to make his report? Scottish Labour, that's who! Was the report about Scottish Labour's response to Megrahi's release? No, it was about the Kenny MacAskill and the SNP. So why interview Labour MSPs only? Odd, isn't it?

We heard from Scottish Labour leader, Iain Gray (briefly), then (at greater length) Dr Richard Simpson MSP, Labour, deputy justice minister 2001-2002, and finally (and briefly) Lord George Foulkes MSP (Labour). Now, Lord George was asked about Big Broon's silence over Megrahi's release (though not, of course, about England's victory in the Ashes!), but this topic took up all of 52 seconds of Grossman's report. The rest fixed squarely on the SNP and Labour's Dr Simpson was Grossman's trump-card in the report's central thrust - to challenge the 'under-three-months-to-live' prognosis that underlay MacAskill's grounds for 'compassion'. The Labour doc was "well qualified to comment", in Grossman's words, being "a GP who studied prostate cancer and ran a hospice". (He is, indeed, well-qualified to comment!). He cast doubt on the 'less-than-three-months-to-live' judgement - as did the report itself. This could only be harmful to the SNP.

Grossman's report was followed by an interview between Kirsty Wark and Alex Salmond which, surprisingly given the fireworks that went off during their most famous (or notorious) previous encounter, was a very modest affair with an I.C. of only 0.2. Kirsty was slagged off something rotten following that previous encounter, & was treading very carefully here. In question after question she kept calling Big Al 'first minister', in a way that made me laugh. It was as if she was trying too hard to be on her best behaviour!!

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