THE attempted character assassination of Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, by Andrew Marr on Sunday represented a new low for the BBC in terms of professional, objective and impartial political coverage.

Following the recent rant against the Scottish Government of Andrew Neil on Politics Live, and similar scurrilously slanted comments of regular BBC guest Fraser Nelson on last Thursday’s Question Time (which also were left unchallenged or unqualified by the BBC host), as well as pejorative remarks by BBC journalists such as Laura Kuenssberg, it has become clear that the BBC’s once proud worldwide reputation for sound and unbiased news presentation and current affairs analysis has deeply descended into the dark world of morally corrupt reporting inhabited by those unashamedly seeking simple and often misleading, if not dishonest, headlines.

READ MORE: IN FULL: Nicola Sturgeon's speech to SNP conference

While Andrew Marr avoided customary political questions about the ongoing national conference of the SNP in doggedly pursuing his list of carefully prepared accusations aimed at undermining her personal integrity, Nicola Sturgeon remained calm and polite even through repeated efforts of Mr Marr to talk over her (which besides being rather rude were also technically unastute on a video link).

Charitably corrected on his attempts to conflate different episodes around “revelations” relating to the activities of her predecessor as First Minister, Mr Marr was also kindly advised to examine cumulative coronavirus morbidities and “excess deaths” across the United Kingdom rather than focus on selections of NRS and ONS data over a limited period to compare the “Covid-19 performances” in Scotland and England (a national comparison which the BBC has consistently avoided conducting whenever Scotland’s statistics have generally been considered “better” than England’s, which has been most of the time).

As with comparisons of care home deaths, it has been known for some time, and been the subject of a number of independent reports, that coronavirus deaths in England have been persistently under-reported (deliberately so, according to an early Channel 4 report) with corona-virus generally not mentioned on the death certificate unless there was “proof” it was a factor, while in Scotland coronavirus is recorded if presumed or suspected to be a factor in a death.

Either Andrew Marr was not aware that the presentation of figures he robustly highlighted was akin to comparing apples and oranges (which is not what his publicly funded high salary would suggest), or he, like some others at the BBC and across British mainstream media who disingenuously portray themselves as “Scots”, is no longer embarrassed to have sold his soul for English gold.

Stan Grodynski
Longniddry, East Lothian

I WATCHED Andrew Marr on Sunday morning. His cosy chat with Dominic Raab was very friendly, with the Tories failing at nothing?

Test and Trace failed and still failing, corruption on stilts, Brexit, still no deal with about 40 days to go, but no difficult questions from Marr.

Then we have the interview with Nicola Sturgeon and the attach dog appears with bared teeth – he must ask questions, of course, but the contrast in attitude was stark. Mr Marr is having to work hard for his knighthood. What is it with these “Scots” who have nothing good to say about Scotland and how it is treated by Westminster?

Winifred McCartney

THE interesting article quoting Dr Kirsty Hughes of the Edinburgh-based Scottish Centre on European Relations (Damaged and diminished: how the EU now sees the UK, November 26) is not in the least surprising. It proposes that the UK is now viewed by the EU as unreliable, unpredictable and untrustworthy, and concludes that the UK’s reputation has been “badly damaged by Brexit”.

READ MORE: EU would welcome Scotland in from 'untrustworthy' UK, report finds

It would seem the EU has been labouring under the misapprehension that they have been dealing with a United Kingdom Government. Nothing could be further from the truth. They have been negotiating with a far-right maladroit, feckless, fractious and capricious de facto English Government that detests the EU and has debarred Scotland from any part of the Brexit proceedings.

This is not a democracy, and that is not the United Kingdom Government the EU think they’ve been dealing with. It is in fact a blood-and-soil English nationalist government, reminiscent of the 19th century when Napoleon named England as Perfidious Albion. In other words, deceitful and untrustworthy. Plus ca change.

Bruce Moglia
Bridge of Weir

I NOTE with great interest the sudden surge in calls by parliamentarians to “call for a referendum without Westminster consent”, to “test the constitutionality of the Scottish Parliament legislating for a second referendum on independence without Westminster consent”and to “challenge Section 30 in court” etc etc.

My response is only one line: “Court of Session – Edinburgh – January 21-22 2021 – a case brought by 7000 ordinary members of the electorate.”

Martin Keatings
The Peoples Action on Section 30

I NOTICE TODAY that an old word has taken on a new meaning – bubbling. Seemingly when we form a bubble this is now known as “bubbling”. Clearly the Covid guidelines over the festive season will have us all “bubbling” and in tiers. Strange how “Christmas greetings” suddenly has a new connotation.

Bill Drew