So there you are, watching BBC1 and clutching a Battle of Britain commemorative mug in a living room bedecked with union flags and red white and blue bunting and all ready to break into a rousing chorus of There’ll Be Red White and Blue Birds Over the White Cliffs of Dover in order to show everyone how much you despise nationalism. Because as those young pilots fought and died in the skies above the south of England eighty years ago, they were doing it so that in future years a team of estate agents from Leighton Buzzard would be able to buy broken down auld tat in the hope it could be sold for a profit on a telly show. That’ll show those vile separatists. That was the scene in Jackie Baillie’s house today as she prepared to settle down in front of the BBC and its repeat of Bargain Hunt’s Battle of Britain special.
It would also have been the scene in George Foulke’s home, but he slept all the way through it. Still, buying a broken clock for a hundred quid and losing seventy on it just shows how we’re all Better Together with Labour and the Tories, doesn’t it. Isn’t it lucky that you’re only susceptible to the coronavirus if you live in England and you don’t watch Bargain Hunt. George isn’t susceptible to any perceptible sense of shame.
But wait. Did you hear that wailing noise? That was Murdo Fraser howling as he penned an angry letter to the Director General of the BBC’s Scottish colonial office. Because they showed the First Minister anyway. George Foulkes will do the same once he wakes up, which may be about Thursday. Jackie won’t do it, not after she deleted the evidence of her representations to the BBC from her Twitter feed and denied any involvement.
However the fact that the Scottish government briefing was shown on Monday as before isn’t because the BBC has changed their minds and bowed to public pressure. The BBC doesn’t bow to public pressure. It only bows to pressure from British nationalist politicians who are panicking about how to save their precioussss union. Normal Bargain Hunting service will be resumed as of Tuesday. It’s going to save the Union. The red team and the blue team competing with one another to sell broken rubbish that’s unfit for purpose to an unsuspecting public for personal profit is as close to a metaphor for the UK as you’re likely to get.
The British nationalists are seriously worried. Support for independence has only grown during a pandemic which when it started was confidently predicted to spell the end for any hopes for Scottish independence. There is considerably greater public trust in the Scottish Government than there is in the British Government. Crucially there appears to be greater compliance with lockdown measures in Scotland than in England, and this seems to be because of the clarity of messaging from Nicola Sturgeon during her daily briefings. Labour and the Conservatives are prepared to risk that, to create greater confusion about the public health guidelines, because they are more worried about the political effects than they are about people dying. That is beyond shameless.
What makes it even worse is that a craven BBC has caved in to them. In the process the BBC is showing Scotland that it sees itself as being the voice of the British state in Scotland, and now a public service broadcaster which exists to serve that public which is required to pay a licence fee. No wonder people in Scotland are switching off in their thousands and refusing to pay a licence fee which is spent on the production of British propaganda which is contrary to their own interests.
Over this weekend we’ve seen yet another opinion poll showing record support for independence. The poll from Survation putting support for independence on 53% is the highest from that company, and is the seventh publicly published poll in a row which puts support for independence in the majority. There are reports of unpublished polls for the British Government which have put support for independence in the mid to high 50s. No wonder they are panicking.
However the British nationalists and their pals in BBC management have decided that the best way to tackle this rise in support for independence is not to get their own act together and improve the messaging of the British government about the epidemic. No, their solution is to create confusion in Scotland too. It’s to deprive people in Scotland, especially elderly people who may not be confident about getting their information from the internet, from seeing regular briefings from the Scottish Government which explain clearly and plainly exactly what public health measures are required and what is expected of the public. It’s difficult to think of a clearer illustration of how the British state and British nationalism is prepared to damage the health and well being of Scotland in order to protect their supremacy. And these are the people who tell Scotland that we need them in order to be kept safe and secure. It’s a cruel and callous lie.
The BBC is once again showing that it is the propaganda arm of the British state. It’s an organisation which is institutionally incapable of dealing with a Scotland where a majority of the population support independence. The BBC is an organisation which has defending Britishness written into its very charter. That comes before its duty to act as a public service, because the BBC has defined its public as a British one. We’re seeing here yet another example of how the BBC acts in the interests of British nationalism, a nationalism which it is incapable of recognising as a form of nationalism at all. We saw plenty of this sort of thing during the referendum of 2014, and we’re going to see a lot more of it to come as public opinion in Scotland slips even further out of the grasp of Westminster.
However this time the BBC has gone too far. It has blatantly prioritised the political concerns of British nationalists over Scottish public health. It is utterly inconceivable that a Scottish public broadcaster in an independent Scotland would have prioritised political representations over what is good for public health. In so doing the biggest health damage that the BBC has created is the damage to what’s left of public trust in the state broadcaster. They have only succeeding in alienating a further swathe of Scottish public opinion. The BBC itself has joined that broken clock and that warped wooden shelving unit as yet another piece of useless rubbish on Bargain Hunt that we’re being sold as valuable heirlooms.
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