The BBC just works. We all pay our licence fee: in return we get TV without breaks for adverts: TV that pushes all the other TV companies in the UK to a higher standard.
If Scotland votes Yes in 2014 we may have cause to worry about Alex Salmond’s close relationship with the Murdochs and the plans News International may have for abolishing the BBC in an independent Scotland.
There is no reason to suppose we would have to lose the BBC. Indeed, as Jennifer Dempsie pointed out in March, the direct revenue from the licence fee to programmes made in Scotland at what I suppose we would then call the SBC, would actually go up.
Nationalist or Unionist, attacks on the BBC are foolish: watching the Olympics versus the Paralympics, we saw what a resource it is to have TV channels which do not interrupt coverage with adverts. The notion that we could lose access to the BBC in an independent Scotland is as foolish as calling Newsnight Newsnat.
As silly as this leaflet and its accompanying blogpost.
The blogpost is headed “The Leaflet they tried to ban” and claims
We received lawyers letters from BBC copyright officials who had been pressurised by nationalists to complain to us. We were happy to remove the BBC logo from our leaflets – but if they think we will be silenced they have another thing [sic] coming.
So you used the BBC logo without asking their permission on a leaflet that could give the impression that the BBC was endorsing a political campaign, and you think the BBC needed to be pressurised by nationalists to write to you to tell you not to do that?
Goodness. Don’t you have any professional communication officers working at Better Together? Apparently not. Don’t worry, Yes Scotland didn’t have any either their first week and look how well they’re doing.
Ahem. Moving on.
Gerry Hassan wrote:
Pro-union Scotland needs to start dealing with the nature of what Britain has become; to start recognising the element of fantasy, romanticism and yes, nationalism at work in the Great British project.
Please, pro-union opinion, tell us that you recognise Britain doesn’t work for most working people, and what feasible ways you have to change it different from all those which have failed before.
If you do this, your criticisms of independence will carry more weight for being seen as serious rather than partisan, and without this, they will just be seen as posturing.
But when you claim that the BBC exercising their legal right and obligation not to have their logo endorse a political campaign is the fault of the Nationalists, and go on to claim:
They know that Scots won’t like the idea of paying an extra £100 a year licence fee, more adverts on telly, paying £44 a year to view iPlayer, or losing access to channels like cBeebies. ….. They don’t want Scots to know about their plans to switch off the BBC in Scotland.
As I dream of a better nation and believe in the BBC, if you could show that the SNP do plan to do the above – or that Salmond has done a deal with Murdoch so we’ll be watching Fox News instead of Newsnight – that’s campaign news. As it stands, it just looks like more negative campaigning based on negative speculation about what Scotland might be like if we became independent and everything went pearshaped.
Yes Scotland is unwilling to campaign positively on their concept of an independent Scotland, and Better Together is unwilling to campaign positively on their concept of the United Kingdom. All we get from either side is a screaming whine of negativity. Surely to goodness you had positive reasons for picking sides?
Update, 16th September
The BBC insists anyone using its branding must obtain “prior written consent” – and Better Together failed to get it. The corporation says that because it is politically neutral it would never allow its logo to be used in a way that could give the impression it endorsed one side of the independence debate.