SNP MP accuses BBC of racism over use of ‘jock’ headline

The BBC has come under fire for the use of 'jock' in an online article. Picture: John Devlin

The BBC has come under fire for the use of 'jock' in an online article. Picture: John Devlin

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The BBC has been accused of racism by an SNP MP after using the term ‘jock’ in a headline for a Scottish business story.

Carol Monaghan, the SNP MP for Glasgow North West, voiced her disapproval on social media, complaining that the use of the term was “as unacceptable as any other racist slur”.

The headline was used in a blog post about Scotland’s economy by the Scottish business/economy editor Douglas Fraser on the BBC News website.

Fraser’s report suggested that the Scottish economy was in need of a ‘great shock.’

Monaghan’s comments sparked online debate, with some claiming it was ‘casual racism’ while other social media users pointing out that it was a term used in common parlance to describe soldiers in Scottish regiments.

@DerekJMurray tweeted in reply: “For generations, Scottish soldiers have been known as ‘The Jocks’ in the British Army. Racist slur it is not.”

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Another Twitter used ‏@Sargon_of_Akkad responded: “I’m half-Welsh and was called a ‘taff’ the other day. Can I sue under anti-discrimination laws?”

The use of ‘jock’ has been controversial in the past.

Police Scotland dropped action against columnist Katie Hopkins after comments she made describing Scottish people as ‘sweaty little jocks’ provoked a flurry of complaints.

In 2011, a postman from Coventry was convicted of racism after calling Andy Murray ‘a useless jock.’ He was given 200 hours of community service.

A spokesman for BBC Scotland said: “The news headline that was used with an article on the Scottish economy was a play on words on the term Shock Jock. It was produced by our Scottish news team and we do not consider the reference to be offensive.”

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