A FEW days before Christmas, there was a demonstration outside the offices of BBC Scotland at Pacific Quay in Glasgow to protest about BBC bias. The demonstration was small, peaceful, and noisy. We’ve seen this kind of protest before outside Pacific Quay, and as predictably as the demonstrations are peaceable and good natured, it’s just as predictable that they will be followed by acres of harrumphage of Scottish newsprint condemning the intimidation of journalists who are merely going about their jobs.

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The BBC lost a lot of support in Scotland with the shamefully London-centric way in which it reported on the independence campaign in 2014, and it’s not done itself any favours since. Scotland remains without its own public-service broadcaster, and instead we are subject to a daily barrage of UK broadcasting which signally fails to recognise that Scotland is anything more than a region of Greater Englandshire. Scotland gets the news where you are, as opposed to where we are, where we is the British establishment.

Question Time has become a totemic signifier of all that is wrong with the BBC’s treatment of Scottish politics. It’s a show which managed to find an audience in Yes-voting and Remain-voting Dundee – a working-class city with long and deep socialists and pro-independence leanings, which was predominantly middle-class – Tory and visceral in its support for the UK.

There have been a number of protests by independence supporters outside Pacific Quay to highlight the bias of the corporation when it comes to the issue of Scottish independence. A single independence supporter is put up against three opponents as the corporation insists on treating the issue as a party political one and so has one SNP person against three representatives of the British nationalist parties. Even worse, stories which are bad for independence are given prominence. Stories which are good for independence are routinely ignored.

The annual pantomime of GERS is plastered all over the BBC, as the figures demonstrate the supposed penury of Scotland, which is precisely what they’re designed to do, whereas a report from the Fraser of Allander Institute which showed that Scotland is a net exporter of billions of pounds of wealth annually wasn’t mentioned at all.

Any minor Spanish politician who was willing to suggest that Spain might veto Scottish membership of the EU popped up on the BBC, but when the Spanish foreign minister himself said that Spain would do no such thing there was silence. There is no shortage of examples of the BBC’s indy bias. What really gets the goat of independence supporters is that we are expected, via the licence fee, to pay for this pro-British propaganda.

The overwhelmingly British nationalist Scottish media regards protesting about this as the greatest imaginable sin. How very dare nasty unwashed independence supporters call into question the saintlike impartiality of journalists who are only doing their jobs. How dare they intimidate reporters with placards. It’s a democratic outrage which only goes to show that an independent Scotland isn’t grown up enough for proper democracy, allegedly. Nicola Sturgeon must condemn.

The National:

Strangely, however, that response didn’t appear in reaction to the protest outside Pacific Quay just before Christmas. Last week’s BBC bias demonstration failed to attract the fulminatory condemnation of outraged Scottish journalists in the pages of your favourite anti-independence daily. There was a distinct shortage of spittle-flecked denunciation of a small number of demonstrators whose actions supposedly only demonstrated that their entire movement is disreputable. No-one in the Scottish press seemed that bothered about a supposed attack on the freedom of expression of honest journalists honestly journalising. There wasn’t even so much as an “Och whit are they like? Eh?”

The reason of course is that the BBC bias demonstration just before Christmas wasn’t held by independence supporters. It was a demonstration to highlight the corporation’s handling of the climate change issue, and how it still persists in giving a platform to climate change deniers in the name of so-called balance.

It’s arguable how successful the climate change activists were in shining the renewable energy powered spotlight on bias in the BBC’s coverage of climate change. But their demonstration, or rather the Scottish media’s reaction to it, did most certainly succeed in highlighting the abiding double standards of the Scottish press when it comes to the independence movement. We’ve learned that the Scottish print media doesn’t really have much of an issue about the supposed intimidation of journalists when the public protests against BBC bias, just as long as it’s not to protest against the same anti-independence bias that skews the Scottish print media. Their hypocrisy has not gone unnoticed.

I’ve said it before but it bears repeating. If Scotland had a media which was truly representative, a media which held up a mirror to the real Scotland which actually exists, a media which didn’t see its job as being to prop up the British state, we’d be independent already.