The News at Six
On the basis of the Forsyth Principle (closely akin to the McColm Principle), i.e. the iron law that “Whatever Michael Forsyth Says the Opposite is True”: we need a Scottish Six. Lord Forsyth has declared that plans for a Scottish Six news bulletin will pave the way for a ‘descent into inward-looking parochialism’, adding that the BBC has a ‘clear duty to all licence payers’.
In other words: the news from a London perspective is (by definition) cosmopolitan and sophisticated. But the news from a Scotland perspective is (by definition) parochial, infantile. Issues of ‘partiality’ are presented, even as James Harding, Head of BBC News, former editor with Rupert Murdoch’s Times and close friend to George Osborne claims his £340,000 salary.
As Kevin McKenna writes: “The reaction to the latest plans for a daily broadcast news hour on BBC Scotland has been depressing in the extreme. The usual right-wing commentators have lined up to excoriate it. Few of these regard Scotland as sufficiently able or mature to achieve anything of note unless it is produced under London supervision. Anyway, it’s all a vile Scottish Nationalist plot to get its sticky Stalinist fingers all over the BBC in Scotland.”
But there’s been a dismal reaction from the nationalists community too, with a sort of morbid nihilism kicking in. GA Ponsonby et als who publishes a blog a day on the very same subject, and others who can’t countenance any change until Liberation Day. As Stuart Campbell wrote: ‘As we noted yesterday, we couldn’t give a monkey’s about a BBC “Scottish Six”.
Which is odd.
Ken Macintosh’s cringe (and paranoia) is truly awful…
… but are we really to believe that nothing can change in our media output until we achieve independence and replace the BBC with a Scottish Broadcast Company? As the Labour Party and the wider unionist movement descend into a sort of manic siege mentality can the residual indy movement not find some unity to back an improved public broadcast? It seems we are projecting forward from current output and giving up on demanding better. That feels like collusion with an under-funded badly produced news content.
If you have any doubts at all about a ‘descent into inward-looking parochialism’, just switch on Question Time, watch every single news broadcast that contains a homage to the Royal Family, or consider the coverage of the Boat Race and think on the very meaning of parochialism. Part of the process of change is to ‘imagine better’ and to demand better, now.