Today someone I know sent me a story which has been doing the rounds; I later found out that it made the E-Tims diary yesterday. If true, it’s a remarkable one and considering the source I have to say that it’s difficult, if not impossible, to readily dismiss.
On Kerrydale Street, long-time poster Corsica68, who used to be on Twitter and has been a regular contributor to TSFM and other sites, made a spectacular allegation, one that goes right to the heart of how the media in Scotland works … and it offers an alarming insight into the BBC in particular.
If it’s true then it’s a major scandal in itself.
Corsica68 did a lot of work investigating a story involving the Rangers Charity Foundation, an investigation which led him to believe – led him to know – that funds which had been appropriated for charitable reasons had found their way to the club. This story flared briefly on social media and then died. But it would not have died had he had his way.
The story, which he initially did a lot of digging into, was that two football matches played by Rangers (IA) and Sevco, as well as a white water rafting trip in which Ally McCoist took part, all of which were allegedly to raise money for charities, instead diverted the bulk of the proceeds into the accounts of the Ibrox clubs.
His work on it was excellent and formed the basis of numerous online pieces.
There is no doubt whatsoever that his findings were correct.
There is no doubt that the club(s) and the Rangers Charity Foundation subverted common practice.
The first of the two games, a match played against AC Milan Legends, resulted in an official complaint being made to the Office of the Scottish Charities Regulator. That investigation found The Charity Foundation to be in breach of its guidelines, confirmed that the club received the money but chose not to sanction the trustees.
One of those trustees worked for the club itself, in as clear a conflict of interest as you will find. That individual, acting almost completely on his own initiative, made the decision to give the proceeds to Rangers (IA). The Regulator said that was “in breach of trustees’ duties and “constituted misconduct”.”
These allegations are fairly widely known, but they would have morphed into a gigantic news story had the BBC been willing to properly investigate them. It would have been a major feather in someone’s cap, and it ought to have been wanted by many in the business.
Corsica68 claims that, initially at least, it was.
Two senior BBC journalists and a producer were interested in this information.
They reviewed it. They wanted it.
They were all set to produce a segment on it.
And then something happened. The story was dead. The story had been killed inside the BBC Scotland offices. A senior manager allegedly threatened his own team. He told them their names would be leaked to the online hate mob, and they dropped the story as a consequence.
According to Corsica68, one of the journalists was Mark Daly.
I cannot think of a more serious allegation about a major media organisation. If Daly was subjected to such pressure from within the Corporation then we’re in a desperate place here. It’s all well and good some saying – as some have – that he should have immediately resigned; few people are willing to walk out of a well paid job, no matter what.
But as I said in the piece about BBC Scotland’s decision to “investigate” Dermot Desmond, an effort which was effectively nothing but an attempt to smear Celtic, someone gives Daly his instructions. Someone decides what projects he will work on. Someone gives him his cue. Our argument is not with Mark Daly per se but with those above him.
That’s what makes today’s story especially interesting; BBC Scotland is an organisation which employs tax cheats. It smears our club. It has ignored evidence that the SFA has been involved in dark deeds in relation to the Rangers and Sevco crises. Its journalists are apologists and hand-wringers. If it is also stifling one of its best investigators in his efforts to dig into scandals at Ibrox that would not be terribly surprising.
But it would be disgusting. It would be shameful.
They are a tax payer funded organisation; their moralising over the tax affairs of an Irishman who lives over there whilst ignoring crooks right here at home is bad enough … but we’re paying the salaries of people who are deliberately supressing news … and that’s a new low, and a dangerous one.
I have no idea if this is true or false; I trust Corisca68 implicitly, because he has been right time and again. This story was one of his best efforts but he did some of the most sterling work on finding out about Craig Whyte and he’s been diligent on issues like Res12 and others.
If he is correct we’re in uncharted waters.
Serious questions need to be asked about this allegation.
I have no faith in us ever getting to the bottom of it but that should not stop us putting those questions in the public domain.