I’ve stolen a moment to do a bit of blogging. I’ve been on family watch for part of the day. Instead of watching rugby I was eating popcorn and watching Lego the Movie at Cineworld…with somebody else’s kids!
I just want to make a couple of points. First it’s thank you time to all those who add their ideas and thoughts to the blog. It is very supportive and there is a growing number who are becoming followers – over 700 now. I don’t think it’s the same as tweeting where you can mount them up quite quickly and I don’t tweet seriously as I cant think of anything to say in two sentences. But I see many of you are tweeting and re-tweeting my blog for which I’m really grateful.
SOME of you are getting the wrong idea about my questions about BBC output. I am a strident critic of the management and of some of the journalism but I don’t share the view that some of you have that this is organised and deliberate. I am a supporter of the BBC which is the main reason I have taken the route I have of challenging the management who I believe are doing a disservice to the Corporation and to Scotland. It is because I believe in the BBC that I have gone public in criticising the way it is being run. I do not want to destroy it. Nor does the SNP. I want it to reflect and represent Scotland as it is supposed to do in its charter.
I have stated in detail where the BBC went wrong and where I think they should have foreseen problems and acted. I have laid out how that could have been done.
But the idea that I would “admit” or “concede” something I believe not to be true are ridiculous. It is also insulting to me. When claims are made that I must admit a conspiracy when I have said there isn’t one, is to think I’m messing around with this. I have put myself beyond the safety net and future involvement with the BBC and earnings. To me that is a matter of integrity. If I say there is no conspiracy it is because I know that to be true. My knowledge is based on 25 years in current affairs and thousands of programmes I have made. What are the doubters basing their views on? I accept and say so myself that the BBC has not matched up to the challenge and has no effective sanction given that the Trust is toothless and I respect anybody else having a counter view but there is nothing to be “conceded” here. If I write it, it is because it is true as far as all my experience is concerned. I don’t write to fit somebody else’s prejudices or desires for justification.
There is no conspiracy. There is no organised anti-independence campaign inside the BBC. Journalists do not deliberately distort items to make them pro-Union. Ninety per cent of the output I consume is perfectly fair, if often uninspired, and I know the staff are doing their best. But at times the acts of omission and commission are so gross it is natural to think there must be something wilful behind it. But beware. By transposing your suspicions on to all output you make the mistake that you accuse the BBC of. In other words you make your bias the prism through which you see events. And when the BBC or Unionists see on the blog comments about Jackie Bird or other presenters letting “their bias” show, it allows them to brand us all as fruitcakes. That is precisely how such opinions are regarded inside the BBC, they would be laughed at by MSPs, examining the BBC this week, and provide ammunition for Unionist critics. And No, I wasn’t cut out of any anti-independence loop.
I am the only recent ex BBC person to go public and it isn’t just the management who don’t like it. Many of the staff don’t like it either so it’s a difficult route for me to take. Others who have left have deep resentments for the BBC but they are keeping their heads down. They have careers and lives to think about. I, on the other hand, am right out there and take the consequences. But just as I wouldn’t fabricate a story when inside the BBC, so I won’t fabricate allegations against it when I’m outside. You can take it or leave it. It makes no difference to me. I will deal with my own version of reality and the facts as I know them. I like to think it’s called honesty.
WE have an interesting and I think symptomatic contribution from Geoff over on the right today who doesn’t understand what Scotland has brought to the currency after 300 years. The irony here is that neatly destroys the entire case for Union which is based on mutual interest and proportionate contributions. If you read him a little further you’ll find he regards the UK to be England’s creation, dependent on England’s wealth and de facto, he destroys the case of the Union on our behalf. A helpful opponent indeed.
This type of comment is welcome because I think it is honest and typical of English sentiment – assuming that’s what Geoff is. It underlines why the prevalent view is that Scotland doesn’t count and its loss wont matter and illustrates why we should get out with our dignity intact before they leave the EU.
Having no knowledge of our actual contribution to the UK is all you need to know about the southern view. For example, if we have a population share of debt, why no share of currency, national deposits, gold reserves and QE debt bonds held by the Bank? The UK has the highest balance of payments deficit in the EU. Scotland is a net exporter and without those exports, the deficit doubles and becomes unsustainable. The British cost of borrowing will increase. The entire UK debt will be left with the UK to pay off – debt ballooning at £7000 a second – and will have to do so having lost 10 per cent of its economy.
Geoff doesn’t reference the official figures showing Scots paying £1700 more per head every year than he does to the Exchequer or Scotland having been a net contributor to the UK for the last 30 years.
An acknowledgment that they spent our £400 billion of oil tax revenues would be appreciated.
The big banks are only nominally Scottish in reality and RBS has such toxic debts it is best left where they failed to regulate it – in London.
Geoff I think regards the nationalist offer of sharing the debt and the currency to retain continuity, as a con to get charity from England, indicating a somewhat narrow view of how a Union is supposed to operate but again it is illustrative of why Scotland needs to get out and let them get on with running greater England. Many of us, myself included, want nothing to do with the British Treasury and would prefer no currency union since history shows they can’t be trusted and have never understood, as Geoff doesn’t, either the history, purpose or modus operandi of the Union. We should be grateful to him.