I AM very angry about the BBC stopping the Scottish Government Covid updates. They have been my main source of information about the pandemic and what is expected of the Scottish population in controlling the disease.

I think that Nicola Sturgeon has been perceived as being extremely competent in her handling of this horrible crisis. Having said that, compared to the haphazard and chaotic manner in which Johnson/Cummings have dealt with things from Westminster it would not be too difficult to appear as competent.

The only logical reason that the BBC has stopped the coverage is that the Conservative/Unionist parties have put pressure on the Beeb.

I have written a letter of complaint to my local MP asking her to use her influence in Westminster to reverse this decision on behalf of her constituents. I urge all people who have relied on the daily Covid coverage to also write to their political representatives.

It is predicted that next month could see a big increase in Covid infections fuelled by the beginning of the flu season. Then daily updates will be more necessary than ever.

Harry Key

YOUR article “Coronavirus: Deaf community hit out at BBC Scotland for stopping briefings” (September 11) shows that the BBC’s sudden announcement of the curtailment of the First Minister’s briefings is extremely ill-thought-out, especially if it really is the result of the complaints claimed by Lord Foulkes, Jackie Baillie and Jackson Carlaw.

BBC Scotland (Freeview Channel 9) broadcasts very little more than a screensaver during the day, yet is to end broadcasting the First Minister’s daily briefing in full at a time when the incidence of infection is at a critical point, is rising and winter is approaching.

This is the only live daily government Covid information broadcast in Scotland that has subtitles and is fully signed for deaf viewers. Although many restrictions have been lifted there are still many older and retired people no longer meeting others in weekly social gatherings, still in virtual lockdown, depending on TV for much of their information.

The dry bones of the briefings are readily available on government and other sites, television and in the press, but do little to convey an impression of what is actually happening throughout the country.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Is BBC Scotland about to U-turn on FM's briefing policy?

What is different with the daily briefings in Scotland is that the open question-and-answer session provides viewers with a unique overall picture of what is of concern to people, what has happened in many sectors and areas in the past, how that has influenced the action being taken now, and crucially how the public can help with keeping control over the spread of the virus.

How on earth the BBC, as the national broadcaster, does not see that broadcasting these briefings live and uncut is a valuable and near essential tool in the fight against this virus in Scotland is incomprehensible.

John Jamieson
South Queensferry

IN the middle of a global pandemic with coronavirus cases on the rise in Scotland, the recognised principal “state” broadcaster has chosen to stop transmitting the regular Covid-19 briefings by Nicola Sturgeon.

The “state” broadcaster is, I assume, aware that health is devolved and that the information and advice given does vary across the four UK nations; hence the importance to those of us living here of these essential and regular updates from our First Minister.

Under these new arrangements, as I understand them, some person in the BBC (with public health credentials?) will decide (when?) if any announcement has sufficient “editorial merit” (not essential detail about a killer virus whose prevalence is increasing in Scotland) to warrant broadcast?

READ MORE: Glasgow, Dunbartonshire and Renfrewshire coronavirus restrictions to continue

And this is our “state” broadcaster for whose input we’re forced to pay?

There is now a serious risk that people who trust in and get information from the BBC are now more at risk and will be denied access to information because someone has decided that information about the killer virus does not have “editorial merit”.

Elderly people in particular often cannot access other devices and are reliant on the “state” broadcaster, which they trust, to give them up-to-date reliable information.

This decision by the BBC is actually shocking. If the “state” broadcaster cannot be relied upon to pass essential information on to those who may be affected, then it has neither purpose nor credibility.

Dr Morven J Easton
Newton Mearns

SINCE the 2014 independence referendum many of those in the Yes camp have regarded the BBC with suspicion and bitterness, often with justification. Reporters like Nick Robinson modified news broadcasts to suit their own anti-nationalist agenda and the overwhelming tone of BBC broadcasts during the referendum scarcely disguised which side of the debate they strongly condoned.

Recent demonstrations of open and aggressive hostility towards Scottish independence by leading BBC Scotland political reporters such as Kirsty Wark and Sarah Smith reveal a clear and cancerous anti-independence agenda at the

very heart of the BBC at Pacific Quay. In short, the increased politicisation of the BBC in general and BBC Scotland in particular has been transparently evident for some time now.

READ MORE: BBC releases list of highest-paid stars, which now includes four women

The appointment of Conservative party stooge, Tim Davie, as the new director-general of the BBC can almost be regarded as an inevitable progression in the government’s control over a so-called state broadcaster. It is no coincidence that the First Minister’s daily health briefings were discontinued days after the new director-general’s visit to Glasgow.

BBC Scotland has now crossed the rubicon, and I would urge all readers of this newspaper and supporters of Scottish independence to boycott BBC Radio Scotland and Reporting Scotland for the foreseeable future. Political dinosaurs like George Foulkes, Jackie Baillie and the intellectually challenged Murdo Fraser may smugly see themselves as having won a bizarre victory but it will prove to be a pyrrhic one. Scottish voters will contrast their petty and lamentable behaviour with the dignity and assured leadership shown by Ms Sturgeon throughout this crisis.

Independence may be closer than we think and then we can decide what minor role, if any, the BBC will play in our country.

Owen Kelly

THE BBC is stopping the broadcast of the daily Covid-19 briefings by the Scottish Government despite the fact that 260,000-300,000 tune in to watch it every day (5% of the population). It is the key source of information for many. The deaf need the sign language, those without internet access depend on it. It is also a source of comfort that things are in control. The rest of us watch it frequently as the virus situation is a moving feast.

These briefings are 100% non-political, although the media at the briefings ask political questions which are continually deflected because of this. Indeed our First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has been consistent since this pandemic started in making the pandemic non-political. This is not the case with the Unionist parties in Scotland.

People in Scotland, not all SNP supporters, find the briefing very good, clear and consistent. This has, according to the news media, helped to boost support for the Scottish Government and for some independence. For this reason, the British nationalists and media that back the Union keep stating that the Scottish Covid-19 daily briefings are political despite the fact this is not true.

People in Scotland believe that this removal of the daily briefing has been engineered from Westminster via the new director-general. It is also obvious that many in BBC Scotland are not happy with this decision.

It is a function of the BBC to inform, educate and entertain. In this instance for political reasons it is being political, and has stopped the Scottish Government from providing key health information. The people of Scotland want this decision by the BBC overturned as soon as possible. It is a disgrace.

Robert Anderson
Dunning, Perthshire

GOOD old reliable Auntie Beeb! Always there when you need her, at times of national crisis, giving you all the information you need, keeping you safe, using her editorial judgement to give you every little bit of ill-prepared confused contradictory bombastic bluster and moonshine you could wish for.

And if you live in Scotland, suck it up.

Derek Ball

SO Labour inflicts more injuries upon itself over Covid briefings. Forget the trashed economy, child poverty, poverty, food banks, Brexit, medicine shortages, brutalisation of the health and welfare systems, food shortages, Trident, decline of food safety, animal welfare and employment standards, international isolation and ridicule, millions squandered issuing government contracts to Tory pals without tender, more millions squandered on vanity projects, Union Jackery, destruction of the legal system and devolution, trashing of international treaties, recruitment of unelected weirdos and oddballs to influence government, the lies, the insincerity, the cruelty and inhumanity and, last but not least, the gradual slide towards dictatorship.

Not a lot to see there then for the so-called opposition. The dynamic duo of Foulkes and Baillie seem to have nothing better to do than get the country’s First Minister off the telly as she tries to steer us through a pandemic. Labourious indeed...

Noirin Blackie

WHEN Tim Davie took up his role as director-general of the BBC on September 1 and decided to spend the day in Glasgow, the assigned priority for the past chairman of the Hammersmith and Fulham Conservative Party was evident – take all feasible measures to sustain the “United Kingdom” irrespective of the views of the majority of the people of Scotland.

Amid immediate changes in personnel, including the departure of one of the most widely respected commentators at BBC Scotland, the writing was on the wall for coverage of the First Minister’s coronavirus briefings.

The sudden reversal of the decision not to broadcast the words of Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory, in spite of the glorification of empire and its associated reprehensible baggage, was of course enthusiastically welcomed by a predominantly right-wing UK press.

So far so good if you are fundamentally a Tory Brexiteer who takes delight in denigrating all things Scottish, not least of all the Scottish Government, as Gordon Brewer is unlikely to be requested to be more politically balanced in his forensic questioning and obligatory interruptions and Reporting Scotland is unlikely to be requested to include an “NHS good” news story for every “NHS bad” news story it manages to seek out.

However, Dominic Cummings’s servant at the BBC clearly did not foresee that the planned announcement to end coverage of the FM’s coronavirus briefings would coincide with the announcement of further national lockdown measures as infection rates, and tragically deaths, have recently risen. This blows away the smokescreen of any claimed legitimate reason for removing a service that is appreciated far and wide, especially by the more vulnerable in our society who do not enjoy comfortable access to the internet.

The fact that BBC Scotland does not generally have programming scheduled for early afternoon weekday time slots, while the cost of providing timely public health information pertinent to minimising the dire effects of the coronavirus pandemic must be negligible in the overall BBC budget, makes a mockery of the BBC’s pretension to be a “public service broadcaster” for all the people of the UK.

Objective viewers in Scotland will not be fooled and will draw their own conclusions as to who the BBC is actually serving.

Stan Grodynski
Longniddry, East Lothian

WELL, I never thought I would live to see the day when the BBC joined the Conservative party. I have been around on this planet a long time and ever since childhood have been given to understand that the BBC was entirely impartial.

It is most essential that our First Minister, in these dangerous times, gives her daily briefings to the Scottish nation, informing us of the necessary precautions we need to take. It is absolutely disgraceful that the BBC is allowing themselves to be dictated to by the Tories.

Susan Swain

THE BBC they certainly know how to make friends and influence people! First the abolition of free TV Licences for the over-75s, a sector who often depend on their TVs for company never mind entertainment. A sector who often do not have access to a computer, so depend on their TVs for daily updates on the current crisis the country is in.

With numbers of cases of Covid-19 in the country rising, new local lockdown and national restrictions being put in place daily, it is astonishing to hear the BBC are considering dropping the daily Scottish Government’s broadcasts. Effectively cutting off and abandoning the very ones who have been loyal to the BBC for decades, denying viewers what the BBC claims to be, a broadcaster.

But it is not only the over 75’s who are effectively being victimised and abandoned by the BBC, the daily briefings by the Scottish Government include the use of ‘sign language interpreters’ to assist those with a hearing impairment, are they also being abandoned, let down by the BBC?

In this action the BBC is certainly doing nothing to tackle the major health issue of loneliness and isolation, something Covid-19 has certainly accelerated the symptoms of for many.

The BBC ( British Broadcasting Corporation) have a duty to the country and especially Licence Payers, many of whom do not have access to a computer, so by removing the Scottish Government’s daily briefings from our screens is an act of betrayal.

Catriona C Clark

I AGREE with John Baird’s criticism (Letters, September 11) of the BBC’s new policy of broadcasting selections from First Minister’s briefings on “editorial merit”. This is simply a way of removing any material the BBC disapproves of.

It reminds me of the interview with Alex Salmond some years ago when they “edited out” his answer and got Nick Robinson to deny that an answer had been given. Although they were caught out on that occasion, they have had time to improve the technique.

Peter Dryburgh

I TRIED to send a complaint to the BBC about their discontinuation of the FM’s briefings. The point I made was:

(1) How can I know in advance to switch on if they broadcast only by editorial decision?

(2) If we only get excerpts how can I know what you have missed out?

When I hit CONTINUE, the online system went back to where I had been.

Hugh Noble