THE oft-used Robert Burns quote about having the power to see ourselves as others see us is about the self-delusions we each have that get us through our day.

It’s a difficult thing to do. It requires introspection, honesty and it means not just dismissing the criticisms others have of you. Discussions are at an early stage and the dialogue only just beginning, but on the basis of its first response it does not appear to be a power BBC Scotland possesses.

During the recent protest outside Pacific Quay, BBC bosses offered to speak to organisers about their concerns. Two weeks ago, a fellow independence supporter and I took them up on that, and presented them a document with our concerns.

The response from Ian Small, who is head of public policy and corporate affairs, has just come in. It was not brief, at six pages and 3000 words. He took time over dismissing the points we made.

READ MORE: BBC Scotland's full response to accusations of anti-independence bias

In fairness to him, he has promised to come back to us on many of the issues, and the majority of the responses that were given tended to either dismiss the original point or outright refutation.

On the subject of news coverage, Ian spoke of the King Report – on impartiality, published back in 2008 – and the changes the BBC had made as a result. He told us: “Since that time there have been various initiatives put in place – the introduction of a Scotland Editor for network; better and more regular connectivity between Scotland and network news teams; and, most recently, the proposed introduction of a new TV news programme on the new Scotland channel.”

Ian claimed this was a “really important development” and again brought up the new programme which he highlighted would bring “over 300 additional hours of television news and related programming to screens” which equates to less than an hour a day. Ye’ll huv hud yer news then?

Ian agreed on the need for clarity in reporting in terms of reserved versus devolved issues and pointed out it was something the news teams “regularly discuss with network colleagues” and said they were “increasingly aware of how the nations of the UK each differ from one another – and how Scotland differs in so many important ways”.

There was recognition that the representation of Scotland on the network news was sometimes “frustrating” for audiences but the “we don’t get it right every time” response is basically dismissing the notion there is a fundamental flaw. On the points we made around editorial policy, almost every one was met with a variation of: “I don’t think we do that but I’ll look into further.”

The issue of when and how often news reports reference the “SNP Government” versus “Scottish Government” was interesting. Ian claimed to have “examined” TV news scripts since the beginning of the year and found only a “handful” of references to “SNP Government in the scripts”. The interesting part was where Ian suggested there may have been “unscripted” usage of the terms. What other instances of going off script might there be?

The protection of Ruth Davidson and the lack of coverage of the dark money scandal received the briefest response. Two sentences. We asked her about it, move along. The single question she was asked on camera didn’t reference the phrase “dark money” or give any details of the accusations. There was no follow up questioning, no interruptions, no details, nothing. That the BBC consider that “covering” a major scandal in Scottish politics is genuinely worrying.

This comes after another dark money scandal involving the Scottish Conservatives, the DUP and a Saudi prince that went significantly unreported. Given the length of the rest of the replies the brevity of this one stood out. When it comes to reporting issues concerning the Conservative Party in Scotland, it looks increasingly as though the BBC has a problem and that it really doesn’t want to talk about it.

Ian did say this was part of an ongoing dialogue and agreed to look further into the issues raised. But anyone fluent in managementese would have cause for concern reading the reply. It’s one thing to say you know you have problems, but if you reject the criticisms of those telling you what those problems are it begins to look as if you don’t really believe you have problems and you’re just saying that because it’s a thing people do.

In terms of whether the BBC has the power to see itself as we see it, we’ve given it the tools. Whether it has the ability to, only time will tell. More on that, later.