The Scottish Six – Time we told London we’ve had enough

According to The Sunday Herald, BBC chiefs in London have scrapped the idea of a Scottish Six.  If true it’s a repeat of the slap in the face administered to Scotland in 1998 just after devolution.

Then we had genuine reporters and presenters who believed in themselves and their nation.  Eight presenters of BBC Scotland current affairs programmes signed a letter in support of a Scottish Six.  Can you imagine the current lot doing that?

There is a suggestion that the ‘leak’ to The Sunday Herald is in fact an attempt to manage expectations rather than a complete abandonment of the resurrected proposal.  If true, then we’re going to get a half-arsed sop.  Jackie Bird will introduce the international item then the usual network reporter will present his or her summary.  They’ll just reshuffle the same news.

In short nothing will really change.  London will still control news coverage out-with Scotland’s borders.  The Pacific Quay crew will continue to indulge their obsession with ‘reports’ from independent think tanks and FOI requests from whoever wants to take a pop at a Scottish institution.

BBC chiefs in London have taken a political decision.  Scotland cannot be allowed anything that remotely smacks of a devolved national broadcaster.  The BBC is, after all, the broadcasting arm of the British state.  Broadcasting entertains and informs, but it also conditions and influences.  Scots who think for themselves might deviate from the message.

In terms of broadcasting, we’re a colony of England.  There’s no contemporary Scottish drama to speak of.  River City is now just Eastenders with a Scottish accent.  Costume drama is imported from south of the border.  We pay over £300 million per year for the TV licence but can’t afford a decent current affairs show.

London treats Scotland like shit because we have allowed it to.  The people who in any other nation would have by now organised a campaign demanding reform of the BBC in Scotland have singularly failed to do so.  The people that regularly attack the SNP for not being radical enough are happy to accept their BBC invites just so long as they don’t say anything radical.

This needs to change.  If and when London formally announces its decision on the Scottish Six and it is as expected, then our media and cultural commentators should collectively issue their own announcement in the form of a complete boycott of BBC Scotland.  Let London know that our independent journalists, writers, novelists, playwrights, actors and artists will not tolerate the situation any more.

Isolate the BBC in Scotland.  Let it stagnate in the British National parochial pond of its own making.  Leave it reliant on the David Cleggs, Katie Grants and Lyndsay McIntoshes of the Scottish political scene for its ‘impartial’ punditry.  Deny it the cloak of respectability it obtains from the Macwhirters, Riddochs and Hassans.

Let it explain the absence of balance in its political output.  Let it deal with the cascade of complaints that will result.  Let the BBC know that we’ve had enough.

Alternatively do nothing.  The BBC will come around … won’t it?

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13 thoughts on “The Scottish Six – Time we told London we’ve had enough

  1. Andy McKirdy

    I’m boring myself now, BBC, enemy No.1 of Scotland!!!!!
    I haven’t been able to watch or listen to Jackie Burd, even at new year, since 2014 but I do wonder how a wee lassie from Hamilton who is not uneducated can be such a tractor to her country and so overtly British Nationalist. ( couldn’t be football related, could it???)Find it a bit hypocritical how all those Scottish folky guys at Hogmany can bare to work with her, the money must be good!!

    1. Alex Beveridge

      Your first sentence says it all, Andy. Frankly, I couldn’t care less about a “Scottish Six” since it would still be full, same as you I haven’t watched a B.B.C news programme since 2014, of the same lies and disinformation that is the mark of the “State Broadcaster”.
      Nothing would change, nothing will change, until we become an independent nation and have our own S.B.S.

  2. Willie John

    What may be needed is a leader for a new ‘Poll Tax’ style rebellion! No licence money from Scotland would surely send a message to all concerned.

    The difficulty would be – not only who would lead, but who could lead. Anyone with connections to the SNP would simply give the state a weapon to blame ‘the nats’. the ideal, possibly, would be someone non-aligned but agreed with the argument. Even better someone from one of the opposition parties.

  3. Sandy

    An organised campaign of licence fee non-payment wouldn’t go amiss. Start cutting that £300m income and they might (only might, mind) start to listen to these demands.

    For myself, I could care less about a Scottish SIx, even if it is more than just another half hour of fitba and murdurrs. Time we had our own national broadcaster, as Paul Kavanagh writes on the Wee Ginger Dog blog.

  4. bringiton

    We need to get the message across that the thrust of the London establishment’s policy towards Scotland,is and always has been to attempt to eradicate Scottish identity and culture.
    The BBC is just one more cog in that wheel.
    The treatment of our elected MPs who are ignored unless signed up to one of the establishment’s political parties must inform Scots of our place in England’s union.
    London will only tolerate Scottish “culture” when we are not viewed as a threat to their union i.e. so long as it is meaningless pap (BBC Scotland) e.g. Jackie Bird on Princess Street at Hogmanay or should that be New Year.

  5. Alan Bissett

    “There’s no contemporary Scottish drama to speak of.”

    This comment is absolutely fair. Scottish drama has been left to languish for too long. But if it makes any difference, the BBC seem to have woken up to this very recently and are now trying to be much more proactive in commissioning new Scottish drama. Last year they set up a Scottish Writers’ Room online (previously there was only a UK one) in an attempt to get new projects off the ground, and all of the signals they have lately been sending out to the Scottish writing community, who have been scunnered for a long time, is that they are aware of the commissioning deficit and are trying to address it. Watch this space, I guess…

    “River City is now just Eastenders with a Scottish accent.”

    Well, all soap operas anywhere in the world essentially revolve similar domestic plots, just with different local flavours. It would be just as accurate to call Eastenders ‘River City with a Cockney accent.’

  6. manandboy

    BBC Scotland will never be anything else but a political and cultural assassin for our Colonial Masters, the English Establishment.

    But a day is coming when all who worked for the BBC in Scotland will know their time here is up. Then they will head south. If they have any sense.

    1. Me Bungo Pony

      Sorry, but that sounds threatening. Its the kind of remark that gets indies a bad press (I know …. we’ll get a bad press no matter what we say).

      Not everyone at the BBC is a dyed in the wool Unionist by any means. Hopefully, after independence, everyone at the BBC will want to stay in Scotland and make a success of the new SBS. Any who feel their careers will be best served in the rUK should be perfectly free to move without any empty threats.

    2. Alan Bissett

      I agree, that is unnecessarily harsh, aggressive and counter-productive commentary, and I can only hope you are some sort of sock puppet account created to make Yessers look bad.

      BBC Scotland is a big organisation, based in Glasgow, no less – a Yes city – so of course there are going to be hundreds of its employees who voted Yes. Demonising all who work for an entire organisation like this on the basis of an editorial bias which is set much further up the chain is not helpful to Yes in any way.

      And MeBungoPony is right. The industry experience and connections which BBC Scotland employees have would indeed be necessary in establishing any new Scottish broadcasting service.

  7. Edward Freeman

    I myself won’t pay for a TV licence, as I operate on the principle that if anyone wants me to watch propaganda, they’ll have to pay me to do it.

    I do see an opportunity for some judicial activism, however – is there any possibility of seizing some control over the money the TV licence fees from Scotland contribute to the BBC’s coffers?

    Right now we have the intolerable situation of being legally obliged to pay the BBC much, much more than they give back in their expenditure in Scotland, and not just that, they use it for propaganda purposes against us.

  8. Clydebuilt

    Great article GAP…… A boycott as you describe above is an excellent suggestion…… Although I don’t think Dr. Hassan will partake. It is indeed time the State broadcaster was isolated.
    It’s beyond me as to why the SNP haven’t done the same years ago..

  9. Col

    First indy ref campaign we should have had a campaign of non payment. Even after we should have called into question the result because of the way they acted.
    If we don’t fight hard against every underhand tactic they use and repeatedly call them out on it we’re gonna lose again.
    We need to wheel out our best and most knowledgeable every time, no opportunity should be missed.
    We should also make clear this time that Scottish indy is never off the table and we need to drum it into folks thick heads that Westminster always has and always will treat us like shit. Make the voters think about the next five or ten years under the worst Tory Government ever and what state will our country be in as a consequence.
    We have to make Scottish indy the best option and we have to to do it by educating people about events from the second world war onwards to even thinking about our short to long term future

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