Mark Daly And The BBC
“Just wondering if you’ve woken up to the nasty self-publicising little conman that is Robert Green yet ?. I take it you are no longer peddling the Hollie Greig story. “
I am very grateful for the kind words which Tony used to defend me on air but I am utterly bewildered at this latest bizarre action from Daly.
It was Daly who first contacted me in April 2009, within days of the News of the World running the story that Hollie had been awarded £13,500 from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority. At this time various other mainstream media outlets were interested in the story but Daly wanted the BBC to have an exclusive and Anne and myself agreed to this. We passed a great deal of documentation to Daly and spoke to him regularly on the phone. He told us that Hollie’s story fitted in with a pattern of similar abuses against the disabled in Scotland which he was investigating and indicated that two programmes would be commissioned by BBC Scotland, one for TV and one for radio, with the likelihood of a Panorama documentary to be broadcast nationally.
On June 4th 2010 Daly, along with two colleagues, Kathy Long and Liam MacDougall, visited Anne and Hollie in person and the discussions lasted for more than five hours. We were told that they would return with a camera crew and that the first documentaries would be broadcast in August or September.
Six days later we were informed out of the blue that the BBC had scrapped their plans to produce the programmes. It did not make sense to me that they could reach this decision after having already expended so much time, money and effort.
I voiced the opinion in public that I believed that Daly had been pressurised by persons unknown into stopping production of the programmes. He evidently disagreed and phoned in to Tony Rodgers’ show on Manchester Radio Online to put his side of the story while I was a guest in the studio. Everyone I have discussed this matter with has agreed that Daly sounded extremely nervous and at one stage he actually referred to me as “Graham” rather than “Robert”.
Daly’s argument was that the BBC had decided to halt production when they realised that the facts of the case were not sufficiently strong. I would have thought that the very first thing the BBC would have done before committing any resources to a project would be to establish whether there was sufficient “evidence” and the reasons which Daly gave on air to justify this decision were either irrelevant to the main allegations or else patently untrue. The most ludicrous statement Daly made was when he attempted to justify the BBC’s decision by referring to the autopsy of Roy Greig, Hollie’s uncle. Roy’s death in suspicous circumstances was only discussed in passing and there was never any intention that this would be included in any programme. The autopsy was not released until six months AFTER the BBC had stopped production.
Daly’s weak arguments were portrayed by the tiny handful of people who wished to rubbish Hollie’s stories as a huge blow to the credibility of the case. On May 31st the blogger Anna Raccoon wrote:
“Exit Mark Daly – but not before he had helpfully asked for and received from Grampian Police, the autopsy report for Roy Grieg (sic).”
I am extremely alarmed at the possibility that Grampian Police would have issued Daly with Roy Greig’s autopsy especially as his sister, Anne Greig, was not allowed access to it until 12 years afer his death.
However this is not the only instance of Daly appearing to “obtain” evidence from the police in unusual circumstances. In December 2010 he presented a Panorama documentary on the Sheridan case within hours of the verdict being announced, which broadcast police interviews with Tommy and Gail Sheridan. The BBC’s reporting of this case demonstrates that they are not interested in serious investigative journalism. I will quote from Kenneth Roy in the “Scottish Review”:
“What did this act say to the Scottish people about the relative value, as the BBC sees it, of all those public issues of greater importance which it fails to report so generously? What was it trying to tell us about its own principles and priorities?”
“Someone was paid to write this salacious drivel in the name of public service broadcasting: the juvenile bravado of the venture was always shamelessly transparent, indeed positively boastful in tone. “
“BBC Scotland has allowed its standards to reduce to the level of the tattiest tabloid.”
Kenneth Roy is a journalist with courage and integrity, qualities which seem to be in short supply at the BBC.