It is striking, is it not, that the British parties; the British press; and British nationalists in general should be in such a state of pant-wetting panic over the imagined possibility of a so-called “Scottish Six” allowing an SNP administration to “promote its independence agenda” whilst showing no concern whatever for the established fact that the BBC has been actively promoting a hard-line unionist agenda for some years now.
With rather more candour than intended, Jackson Carlaw, culture spokesman for the “Ruth Davidson Not-Tory Nothing To Do With Us Honest Guv Look At Me Straddle Stuff Party”, admits that the BBC’s early evening news and current affairs slot is “an opportunity to shove propaganda down the throats of a dinner-time viewing public north of the border”. Displaying a naivety that would be remarkable in child, however, he supposes that this is an opportunity which is not presently being exploited.
Were we to mention to Carlaw that it seems highly unlikely such a propaganda resource would be allowed to go to waste, he would doubtless insist, with spluttering indignation, that the British political establishment would never dream of resorting to such tactics. And besides, there are safeguards to prevent any undue political interference in BBC news broadcasts. Should we then politely wonder why these safeguards might cease to apply in the case of a “Scottish Six” devised by the BBC under the (arm’s-length?) supervision of the UK Government (not the Scottish Government!)… well… who knows what waffling drivel Carlaw might come out with when put under that kind of pressure to explain his inane remarks. But if we mentioned the British political establishment’s record, making particular reference to the despicable Better Together/Project Fear propaganda campaign, this would almost certainly provoke an apoplectic fit of evidence-devoid ranting about “vile cybernats” and their evil ways.
All of which would leave unanswered the question of how an SNP administration without powers over broadcasting might exert the kind of influence which Carlaw and his ilk insist the British political elite cannot.
For British Labour in Scotland (BLiS), Ian Murray spouts pompous cant about maintaining the “independence and editorial integrity of the BBC”, evidently oblivious to the fact that BBC management sacrificed these on the altar of British nationalism a long time ago. The sub-text of his comments is the all too familiar contempt for Scotland which breeds the assumption that anything Scottish must necessarily tend to be naff. These things are best left to the metropolitan elite that Murray now considers himself part of. We must be grateful that he managed to resist any mention of The White Heather Club. Perhaps some moderately aware BLiS spin-quack had blue-pencilled that part of his statement.
Murray is no more concerned for the “independence and editorial integrity of the BBC” than his British Tory crony, Jackson Carlaw. It is not political influence that they are concerned about, but the wrong kind of political influence. The kind which doesn’t serve the structures of power, privilege and patronage which define the British state. Murray in particular is concerned that British Labour in Scotland might lose the only thing which helps it maintain the appearance of relevance in Scotland.
Even if it were possible, why would an SNP administration want to interfere with the BBC? It is the SNP which has most to gain from the ending of the informal but nonetheless unsubtle political influence on the BBC’s news values. It is the SNP which has a vested interest in restoring the independence and editorial integrity of the BBC. The SNP has no need to hijack a “Scottish Six” for the purpose of promoting its independence agenda. It is enough that the news be reported honestly. It is sufficient that Scotland’s politics be covered in a fair and balanced manner.
The SNP, and the people of Scotland, would be satisfied if the BBC just did its job the way it’s supposed to.Views: 5570
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