Not flaming torches but not a day to nip out either
Yessers march Yes supporters lambast BBC during 2014 campaign
What astonished me in the months before the campaign was how senior radio colleagues in London seemed so ill-informed about the political climate in Scotland.
It was only as the polls narrowed that the topic was properly discussed at the UK Radio Board and, as I joined the meeting via a video conference from Inverness, I felt like shouting :“So, now you’re interested!”
But after a clash between Nick Robinson and Alex Salmond at a press conference, Yessers marched on the BBC HQ in Glasgow. Organisers described the event as good-natured and joyous. Those inside the building felt less joyous about it. It was not quite pitchforks and flaming torches, but it was not the day to nip out for a sandwich. I have often wondered about the timing of that protest and whether it did more harm than good for the Yes campaign.
Actual trust levels in the BBC were still higher than for any other media organisation. If you needed a good slice of those Bbc-believers to become Yes voters, I don’t think a march on our studios – televised on our own news programmes, as well as on CNN and Russia Today – was the way to convince them. But what do I know?
Protest at BBC HQ in 2014