Scotland v BBC

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Today the SNP will lodge papers with the Court of Session in Edinburgh. The party will challenge the decision of BBC executives to exclude it from the debate and the BBC Trust's rejection of it's appeal. It will demand that Mr Salmond is included in Thursday's debate on the economy or that a fourth debate, involving the First Minister, Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg be held prior to 6 May and broadcast UK-wide.

If the BBC and three main UK parties refuse, the SNP will demand Thursday's debate be scrapped.

The result may not be known until Wednesday or Thursday morning.

The SNP raised over £50,000 in a day and a half to help with the legal costs. A tremendous achievement for what many, south of the border, consider is a 'small' political party.

Support has come from far and wide; party members and non-members; even from those who don't vote SNP - but support the principle that the people of Scotland are not second-class citizens as the BBC would lead us to believe.

Professional Scottish journalists, such as Joan MacAlpine and Alex Massie, are fully behind the SNP's action and surprisingly so is Magnus Linklater in the Times. Magnus supports the union but he understand a devolved Scotland and its politics.

Has the BBC been impartial in its treatment of Scottish voters? Has it recognised the need to represent the whole of the UK rather than just one part of it? Does it, in short, understand Britain?

To all of which, the answer is almost certainly —- no.

The action shows that we will no longer be silenced by insults and put-downs from unionist politicians and organisations. At last we're prepared to put our money where our mouths are and challenge an organisation which receives its fair share of funding from us, but returns so little and often grudgingly.

The result of the court case will tell Scotland where she stands with regard to her position within Britain's public service broadcasting organisation.

The SNP is not funded by all the UK, it is funded by Scotland's people because it only represents them. It cannot attract the vast sums unionist parties do, but money doesn't buy everything. It doesn't buy principle (although it's handy to buy lawyers) and it certainly doesn't buy democracy.

Good luck Scotland.



2 Responses to “Scotland v BBC”
Post a Comment | Post Comments (Atom)

John M Ward said...

Strictly speaking, the debates were supposed to be between the realistic contenders to become Prime Minister as a result of General Election. The inclusion even of Nick Clegg was stretching a point.

Absolutely no-one else in the entire universe has even a remote chance of becoming the PM, so why should anyone else be included in these debates?

Another time, another set-up and format, fair enough; but NOT these three event. End of argument.

27 April 2010 at 07:58
John M Ward said...

Just to expand on this (in more ways than one!)...

If any others were allowed, the next stage would be all the Northern Ireland parties including SinnFein, who would then have a legal precedent for their own inclusion.

Also, the slightly smaller parties such as UKIP, the BNP, Greens, Socialist Workers Party, Christian Party, Jury Team, Veritas (if they're still going: hard to tell from their website) and all the rest.

There would soon be thirty or forty of 'em.

No: the line has to be drawn somewhere, in order not to precipitate all of the above turning it all into a useless mess.

It should have been only Brown and Cameron. It is just about possible to excuse Clegg's inclusion, but it's borderline. That's it, though.

28 April 2010 at 03:15