Latest Naughtie debrief

Following my exclusive of Jim Naughtie’s recent programme brief, I now have a copy of the debrief written by the Today progamme editor following his interviews on defence with James Arbuthnot Con MP and Keith Brown SNP MSP.

Producer’s Brief  Today September 27

“Jim’s sequence with Arbuthnot, the Westminster defence MP and the Nat guy worked a treat… you’re developing a style with these Scottish interviews, James. First you’re nice cop with the Unionist and then – blam – you slap the Nat across the chops.

You were suitably deferential with plummy Arbuthnot (Eton and Cambridge) asking the easy open-door questions…nothing about the UK’s failure to meet NATO commitments, no mention of there being no naval defence presence or aerial surveillance off the Moray Firth which meant the Russian carrier fleet which turned up last December could have attacked and invaded before Britain knew what was happening and we had to send a destroyer up from Portsmouth. No Nimrods now, you see. No Kinloss air base. Happily you refrained from asking why we couldn’t defend the oil installations because of defence cuts.

But, wow, you barely let the Nat MSP – was it Brown, his name? – say a word without cutting in. Made it difficult for him to state his case which as far as I can see is that Scotland would have the same level of defence as other countries of a similar size.

He rather got away with pointing out that the budget is inaccurate and unfair, though. Pity. He managed to get out that the amount spent in Scotland was £1.6b while HMG claims its £4.5b. Presumably that higher sum is in the profit and loss books as actually being spent in Scotland? Oops!

You were on much stronger ground with Trident. It’s important to emphasise that we don’t want the blasted thing down here. (Arbuthnot represents Hampshire!) When he said the nuclear sub base was close to Scotland’s biggest centre of population, you could imagine the Home Counties remembering that is Glasgow and saying to themselves: hey ho. The SNP hypocrisy line on a nuclear NATO worked so long as we didn’t say that NATO is supposed to be getting rid of nukes and that Labour offered to negotiate them away but Murphy now says we need to renew. Talk about hypocrisy.

And of course it costs an arm and a leg and is really America’s weapons system to which they have the firing codes which they send to us. Still, you’re constant jumping in didn’t allow anyone to really get Brown’s point and left the impression of a Dad’s army with pikestaffs up against calm, plummy UK. Job done.

You’ve established a style and tone to make the most of your sojourn on GMS, Jim. Remember, you’re defending all that’s great about this country so don’t for God’s sake go native. You’ll never present Last Night of the Proms again, if you do.

Till tomorrow….”


18 thoughts on “Latest Naughtie debrief

  1. You point out with humour a deeply disturbing approach to how the BBC operate on a daily basis.
    I’m fuming and have added more salt to my porridge this morning.

  2. You are so right: we only lease these useless creatures and in all conscience we could not fire the brutes. Good piece again, I like the Naughtie files.
    When does he come aboard?

  3. P.S. It was a good move to get him to speak fast. What, with that appalling accent, no one south of Newscastle will have understood a word. The more you can persuade the Nats to gibber like hairy-arsed barbarians, the more listeners will be reassured that only those speaking the Queen’s English are to be trusted.

  4. I was having a quite fume in the car. It really doesn’t augur well for Naughtie’s taking over the BBC’s #Indyref Coverage. Naughtie was so far up James Arbuthnott’s backside he needed a plank tied to his feet lest he disappear up there permanently. Treatment of the SG Transport & Veterans Minister Keith Brown was totally different. Naughtie kept digging about SNP wanting to join nuclear alliance but dispose of nukes themselves.

    It’s not a difficult concept. When Scotland is a member 26 of the 29 members of the alliance will be non-nuclear.

    The Propaganda Paper itself is a hoot and is, in itself, a prime example to the Scottish People of the kind of tosh produced by the bloated Westminster & Whitehall bureaucracy we could well do without paying for. Its thousands of words can be summed up as ‘it’s all too difficult’.

    There are plenty of current and ex-Servicefolk in Scotland who would relish the challenge and have the heid, hairt and hingers to set up a Scottish Defence Force tailored to the needs of Scotland. At least we would have the opportunity to procure the kit required by the troops, not that which favours either MPs constituency prospects or Generals’, Admirals’ and Air Marshals’ post-Service sinecure plans.

  5. Derek, best tell James to be a bit more restrained in his questioning else folk listening in Scotland will turn off…you know how folk hate being fooled up in Scotlandshire!
    Glad you’re on the “good” side though!

  6. Spain has recently gone non Nuclear whilst still remaining in NATO. Is wee naughty Jimmy really calling the overwhelming number of NATO members “selfish.” A case of “how bloody dare you Jocks not host our WMDs, don’t you know they are far to volatile for we English to have on our shore line.” Their hypocrisy is actually suffocating. No wonder we are going to become independent. It is simply post imperial arrogance, colonised Jocks like naughty wee Jimmy are sickening to listen to.

  7. sorry i missed you last night at city halls. wish you’d put a twitter icon at bottom of these posts so i could tweet to a wider audience. They’re bringing me much cheer on a daily basis!


  8. ah, just realised you do…. ive been reading in my inbox not the site itself. apologies!

  9. You are right persecuting an oppressed minority called the Scottish is what gets everyone else in the UK out of bed in the morning.

    What you’ve cleverly discerned in Mr Naughtie is an example of an often over looked associated phenomena of the disordered political identity; a high profile case of the self-hating jew.

    They’re apt to scheme, plot and infiltrate, collaborate, the lot y’know.

  10. James Naughtie – one of the grandes dames of British broadcasting!

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