Are we being informed by BBC Scotland now that it has moved into formal mode? The realisation has finally dawned on management at PQ that “something is happening in Scotland…what is it again?”
Tonight’s BBC 2 programme based on the opinion polling asking what are the main issues confirmed mostly that some of the answers are unknowable at least with any accuracy which is generally true, if you allow the British government off the hook by accepting their decision not to engage. What I wanted to hear throughout this programme were the words… “but the UK wont tell us because they prefer us to be ignorant and confused up to polling day in order to get a No vote”.
You can say of course I would say that, wouldn’t I, but is anyone outside the BT zombie zone suggesting otherwise? I don’t think so. So we had a section on currency which was fine except nowhere did I hear two key points. The first was that you can’t just join the Euro. You must have your own currency to start with – we don’t – and the pound doesn’t count if it’s ruled that it is the rUK’s currency. So we would need our own currency and then apply to join the exchange rate mechanism for at least two years before qualifying for entry – if we meet the convergence criteria. So at this stage the euro really ISN’T an option. But the most telling omission surely was the question of London’s view. We didn’t hear the critical point that on all known data Scotland’s oil and export muscle helps the power of the pound and without Scotland the currency looks vulnerable. And because of the sheer volume of cross-border trade, business will demand that the politicians keep Scotland in the pound. Therefore it is in England’s interests to retain Scotland in a currency union. That’s called perspective and I didn’t hear it. It seems to me that the main point here is that we could be negotiating, to get clarity or otherwise but London has set its face against it. Worth a mention?
I’m afraid I missed the section on the EU but then I’m not good at watching programmes which do lists and pretend it’s the hit parade. They’re striving to make it relevant and accessible but was it just a bit patronising in tone? John Gordon Sinclair’s voice-over was straight from Gregory’s Girl – he must have aged a wee bit by now? – and makes you think none of this is important at all, it’s a bit of a laugh, like when his mate who’s a window cleaner says that you ask the lady of the house if she can fill up your bucket and Gregory asks: “Is that code for something…”
Didn’t they have Clare Grogan doing voice over in last week’s programme? Are they taking us back to the 80’s. Is that BBC Scotland’s comfort zone – the Thatcher years before devolution? Will Mary Marquis present the next one?
I also thought it was ugly to look at…I’ve never liked those thin bars they put across the images which make you screw up your eyes. If it’s used briefly in flashback it works but throughout a whole programme it simply distorts the images and nothing should block your view. And fading in and out of negative is hackneyed too and is hard to look at. Good to see David Bell, Nicola McEwan and Jo Armstrong on camera although Jo fell into the trap I blame all economists of…failing to realise that the numbers you see today may change for the better. Scotland’s economy might actually improve, Jo and we might be energised and create new business, other new countries have. And her unqualified assumption that oil will deliver less revenue omits the age-old economic principle that a scarce commodity goes up in value. Also, did she miss the FT articles showing immediate enrichment for every Scot from independence? She went on about not knowing how long any improvement might take when the answer appears to be, from official stats – £100 a week for every family household, immediately.
But, hey, it’s early days and it’s good to see the BBC Scotland correspondents pretending to get on with each other round a table…
Was that the Cross of St George on Douglas Fraser’s tie and is it a subliminal message to the Undecided?