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IT is sad for many people across the UK that the BBC’s worldwide reputation for fair and objective reporting has significantly diminished since the Conservative and Unionist Party came into government 12 years ago.
To some extent this is not surprising given the number of Tory-friendly appointees to the upper echelons of the corporation and a seeming eagerness of some headline-seeking reporters, such as Nick Robinson prior to the Scottish referendum, to serve their masters. Audience selections for Question Time and Debate Night have blatantly become increasingly unrepresentative of the cities and towns they are purported to represent and questions, both from directed hosts and chosen audience members, increasingly politically slanted.
READ MORE: Pressure on BBC after it ‘edited out’ NFU Scotland’s Brexit comment on food shortages
Now it appears not only is the BBC adhering to the Tory ministerial edict of not mentioning Brexit, but alarmingly is actively editing references to Brexit out of recorded interviews, as evidently occurred recently with Martin Kennedy, NFU Scotland President, whose supposed interview (“… a perfect storm … where we had a real lack of labour”) was presented without reference to Brexit on the BBC’s Reporting Scotland news programme.
Without inside knowledge it can only be guessed how frequently BBC news and information is disgracefully being distorted in this manner, but we do know that BBC “international correspondents” would rightly be quick to condemn evidence of such information perversion by other state broadcasters whose output was clearly manipulated to conform with government propaganda.
Longniddry, East Lothian
THE private care provider Renaissance Care has said it will cut out 12-hour shifts for carers and award a 5% pay rise to its staff. This will take carers’ wages up to just over £10 per hour, hardly a fortune, particularly when the UK minimum wage is now £9.50 per hour.
No doubt Renaissance will be lauded for these seemingly progressive policies – though they amount to no more than the company waking up to the reality of their business – but they are, in truth, merely the equivalent of applying a sticking plaster to a cancerous lesion: the cancer being the private, for-profit model of residential adult care.
READ MORE: Jack Monroe issues perfect response as Tory says struggling mum could just eat pasta
The average cost of a room in a private care home is upwards of £1,000 per week in Edinburgh, meaning that many people have to sell the home which they worked hard all their lives to afford, so that companies like Renaissance can line the pockets of their shareholders.
In contrast, the Scottish Socialist Party is calling for a National Care Service which is publicly funded and run and free at the point of need, with a minimum wage for all staff, regardless of age, of £12 per hour. And we’re not alone in this: last year a survey found that more than 60% of respondents agreed with the idea of an NCS run on the founding principles of the NHS.
As long as residential care is run on a model that puts greed before need, staff will be underpaid and overworked – and residents will suffer. Scotland needs a publicly owned National Care Service and we need it now.
Scottish Socialist Party
THE current Glasgow city initiative to improve private back lanes could deliver a real boost to getting fast fibre broadband to a huge swathe of properties, and make the look of many properties neater, with safety also addressed, eliminating loose and dangling cables out over the footway which is both an offence, and likely to catch or trip-up someone walking past, resulting in a criminal or civil case to pay out against.
Fixing distribution cables to private buildings and burying them in private land requires a legal agreement or wayleave.
This has happened without any such permissions widely across Glasgow, and can often obstruct access to maintain a building, and even cause damage, especially to listed buildings.
READ MORE: Police called as ‘dozens’ of SUV tyres deflated in Edinburgh New Town climate protest
If the lane revival was co-ordinated with running in distribution fibre ducts and cabinets using the rear lanes and delivering the landscaping with termination boxes at each rear gate in the same process, it would be far less disruptive than working in a footway (or carriageway), with much simpler reinstatement – as a properly constructed and drained access lane does not need to have a tarmac surface, kerbs etc, and excess width (above the minimum of a 3.5m pavement – which can also be a “green road” rather than stark tarmac) can be formed as planted beds that can be easily dug and refilled for access to cables and pipes.
Rear lanes that provide clear access are also vital in emergencies as the destruction of Victoria’s and the surrounding buildings on Sauchiehall Street demonstrated with the rear lane impassable to fire appliances. You don’t have to look far for many more examples, where cars – and even parts of buildings – need to be removed to restore access, defined in the title deeds.
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How much BBC news is being distorted by removal of Brexit references? – The National
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