The British Gaslighting Corporation

Ever since the issue of Scottish independence first began to dominate the Scottish political scene following the SNP’s narrow victory when it formed a minority government after the 2007 Holyrood elections, complaints about the anti-independence bias of the Scottish media have been a mainstay of discussions within the independence movement. Much as our British nationalist opponents would prefer to dismiss this as conspiracy theorising, it is nevertheless an objective fact that out of the 38 or so daily and Sunday newspapers published in Scotland or which have distinctively Scottish editions, only The National has an editorial line in favour of independence, this is despite the fact that ever since that election fourteen years ago, Scotland has consistently voted for pro-independence political parties and opinion polling has shown that a good half of the Scottish population if not more, consistently supports independence. This support for independence becomes overwhelming in the younger cohorts of voters.

The Scottish media disproportionately, and by quite some considerable margin, represents the views of older people, Conservative supporters, opponents of independence, and opponents of the SNP. Of course newspapers are commercial businesses and it’s entirely up to the companies which own them to take editorial decisions which appeal to the paper’s readership. It’s a fact that newspapers are disproportionately purchased by older people, so it’s not really surprising that newspapers tend to reflect the interests and concerns of that demographic.

No one is forced to buy a newspaper, no one is compelled to support a newspaper whose editorial line they disapprove of by clicking on that newspaper’s links and increasing its attractiveness to online advertisers.

However that does not apply to the BBC. According to the TV licencing authority, you need a TV licence if anyone on your premises watches or records live TV programmes on any channel, or downloads or watches BBC programmes on BBC iPlayer. Even if you don’t watch the BBC, you can still be legally compelled to pay for the BBC and risk a fine if you do not.

The reason that the BBC arouses the ire of so many in Scotland is the fact that we are legally compelled to pay for it but the BBC displays the same anti-independence bias as the rest of the Scottish media. It’s one thing to live in a country where the privately owned media is overwhelmingly biased against your interests and which actively seeks to thwart political goals which you strive for, however it’s another level of dystopia to be forced, on the pain of a fine, to pay for pro-British propaganda which actively seeks to prevent Scottish independence and which consistently attacks and undermines the parties which support it while at the same time giving a free ride to the Conservatives, no matter how corrupt or incompetent they are or how much havoc they wreak.

The anger that this generates is only compounded by the refusal of the BBC to acknowledge that it is doing what we can all see that it is doing. Complaints about the Corporation’s bias disappear into the Byzantine maw of the BBC’s complaints process, and if ever answered the complainant will inevitably be informed that the BBC has done nothing wrong. It seems that in the eyes of the BBC, British bias isn’t bias at all, just as British nationalism isn’t nationalist at all. That’s what makes it not the British Broadcasting Corporation but the British Gaslighting Corporation.

Today The National has published fresh evidence of the BBC’s evident British nationalist bias. During the period from September 13 to September 17 not a single political story on BBC1’s flagship news programme the News at Six was framed in a way that was negative about or critical of the Conservative Government. 17 out of the 24 political stories during this period were framed in a studiedly neutral way. There was also one positively framed story about the UK Government, one neutral story about the Scottish Government and one negatively framed segment on Holyrood. Negative framing was defined as someone being “accused” of something or forced to defend an action. It is typical of the lines adopted by the opposition parties, primarily Labour and the SNP in the case of the British Government, mainly Labour and the Conservatives in the case of the Scottish Government.

Meanwhile the BBC’s flagship Scottish news programme Reporting Scotland had a very different set of priorities. The programme carried just six neutrally framed stories about the SNP government, compared to ten negative ones. Every UK Government story was framed in a neutral light, and there was just one positive Scottish Government piece. Typically BBC Scotland approaches political stories about the Scottish Government from the perspective of Labour and the Conservatives but will not present political stories about the Conservatives in Westminster from the perspective of Labour or the SNP.

This is the third time this year that The National has carried out this research, and this is the third time that the paper has found a marked disparity in the BBC’s coverage of political stories. For the third time in a row the BBC has shown itself loathe to criticise the Conservatives in Westminster but eager to attack the SNP in Holyrood. This is clearly no accident or fluke. It is obviously an editorial decision on the part of BBC news management, a deliberate policy to undermine any drive towards Scottish independence while pandering to the Conservative government which controls the BBC’s purse strings. Yet the stock response from the BBC to this latest evidence will be the same denial and deflection, the same Great British gaslighting as has characterised its response to all previous complaints about its bias.

When we have a Conservative Government as corrupt, chaotic and incompetent as the regime of Boris Johnson, moreover a government with decidedly authoritarian tendencies which is hell bent on undermining the devolution settlement, and whose reckless policies are risking lives and leading to empty supermarket shelves, this lack of oversight on the part of the BBC and the Scottish print media is dangerous. The campaign for Scottish independence has now become a campaign to secure democracy itself.

This is your reminder that the purpose of this blog is to promote Scottish independence. If the comment you want to make will not assist with that goal then don’t post it. If you want to mouth off about how much you dislike the SNP leadership there are other forums where you can do that. You’re not welcome to do it here.

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49 comments on “The British Gaslighting Corporation

  1. Hamish100 says:

    Thanks for this.

    I suspect this will not be referred to on the 630pm news tonight.

  2. Just watched tired old grizzled Glenn Campbell on the lunch time distorting Scotland, lying by omission about ‘the worst A&E waiting time figures since records began in 2015’.
    Glenn, son, we are in the throes of the worst medical crisis the world has ever seen, and you and your mates know this; but somehow it is the Scottish Government’s fault that our medical services and indeed all Support Services are creaking at the seams, under intolerable pressure.

    But no, Glenn delivers the message: it’s all the Bad SNP’s fault.
    Tubby Dross is down in London, getting his erse skelped by the (Tory) Deputy Speaker, for fatuous Point of order interruption, on a debate on the plight of the citizens of Afghanistan.

    Why isn’t he up here, leading the fight to magic up hospital beds, and nurses, doctors, and ambulance crews to service the mythical ‘Field Hospital’ he and that picture of rude health, Jackie Baillie are demanding?
    Why is this odious little man allowed to collect wages for two jobs, when clearly he cannot do either?

    Campbell, the Elephants’ Graveyard beckons.

  3. Capella says:

    I check the BBC news app every day. This morning, as usual, it led with an SNP bad article because of the “crisis” in A&E hospitals. Of the 21 articles in the Scottish news section, 9 were about the “crisis” in the Scottish Health Service, which is all the SNP government’s fault.

    So I had a look at the England news section. BBC England had only 1 health related article and it was about the wait for mental health appointments for children. One article in a total of 18. None about the Covid pandemic, hospital A&E waiting times, ambulance service chaos, troops called in or any of the many problems we know are afflicting the part-privatised English Health service.

    On the plus side – their reporting of the Scottish NHS is in such blatant contrast to most people’s experience of the excellent and timely care they get when they need it, that the propaganda pouring out of the state broadcaster is made visible. Yes, some people fall through the net. Yes, some people do die in hospital, or at home waiting for help. But the vast majority get excellent care.

    In a national health emergency it is despicable that the sate broadcaster undermines the public health message and demoralises health care staff at every opportunity.

  4. The BBC has been pro establishment mouthpiece for all its existence. Seen most recently in its treatment of Corby. Anyone genuinely left wing progressive or less than pro union gets the same treatment. This is nothing new.

    • arayner1936 says:

      This is demonstrated by the fact that Corbyn and Salmond recently got the lowest ratings among UK politicians, largely because of the BBC and MSM demonising both of them. I expect they are very happy that the ploy worked and they can report on that!

  5. Dave tewart says:

    Listened to a bit of the EBC management giving evidence to the culture committee this morning.
    More spin about the even handedness of staff appointments with respect to their political position. The idea was that all staff are allowed to use their own district dialect and that the politics are balanced with any article giving alternative positions.
    Obviously the policy does not apply to the output from the north british colony.
    Remember the result of the meeting with Pacific Quay management after the big assembly a couple of years ago, the management said they would sort out the protesters concerns with non pertinent statements of non specific language, ie platitudes but no intention of change.

    • Arthur Thomson says:

      Corbyn was happy to use the bias of the media against Scotland’s independence. The Labour branch office continues to connive with the media to promote anti independence propaganda. Until Labour gets honest it will make no inroads into cleaning up the media. Sad truth is that just like the Tories they think their ends justify their means. That includes “honest” Jeremy Corbyn. You may have a soft spot for Corbyn and his mealy mouthed rhetoric but I surely don’t.

  6. Hamish100 says:

    But “Impartiality is sacrosanct “ says the BBC.—-no seriously!

  7. Dr Jim says:

    One wonders if the BBCs position on the reality of Scotlands politics were to change to reflect the true facts as they are in Scotland would the British Nationalists march down to Pacific Quay waving their Union flags demonstrating their displeasure at the BBCs fairness of reporting

    The fact that they never have appears to bear out the truth that the BBC are indeed biased towards the UK Union from whom they receive their legally wrenched from the public income and in turn demonstrating that not one person who works for the BBC in Scotland possesses a shred of principle or decency in their character

    Bought and sold for English gold was never a truer saying in Scotland, but they should know each and every one of them that there are those of us who will remember them and one day the gravy will cease to flow and then where do they go, because unless they can fake an English accent it won’t be down there where they received their original instructions in which they failed, because they’ll just be Jocks who won’t be wanted in racist land

  8. Mark Tasker says:

    Surely the good thing is that plainly much of the electorate see through all this and continue to vote in the independence direction? What are the figures for STV?

  9. robert harrison says:

    Remind me its a journalist job to hold people in postions of power to account the bbc still shamelessly claim to be fair and impartial yet once released a statement during the 2019 General election that to hold the prime minister to account is to undermine the British state thats what sickens me about those propaganda peddling scumbags the prime minister is the supposed top postion of power so anyone in that postion definitely has to be held to account they have no right to claim to be journalists when they cant even follow the basics of being a journalist.

  10. Bob Lamont says:

    YES, well said indeed, the sign-off bang on the nail.

    Beyond the National’s survey, it is not just the Conservative Party who get a smooth ride but their policies
    – the recent excising of all detrimental “Brexit” etc comment from the original (and initially broadcast) BBC interview of the Manchester Fish Trader set Twitter alight, and Bylines were soon on the case and it appears to have shocked many in England.
    Having only ever been exposed to the ‘Nick Robinson’ “He said nothing..” end product rather than the original, perhaps why the Scots were quite so incandescent with rage will finally dawn, but I somehow doubt it.. It’s not local luv is it.

    BBC Scotland of course brushed it all off (you don’t shit in your own nest) but what has originated from HMS Sarah Smith alone is quite astonishing from “We’ve seen the email FM” , to their most recent revisit to their QEUH campaign on back of the official Enquiry, “Hospital building ‘almost killed our son’ “, incontinent pigeons were not available it seems.
    It is testament to Prof John Robertson that so much of this “bullcrap” has been so meticulously analysed, debunked and catalogued on his site, but in a democracy would this ever be required ?

    That HMG grow increasingly impatient and desperate to preserve the privileges of the few off the backs of the many is no huge surprise, but given Johnson’s grasp on realities and administration I fully anticipate Jewsons to receive an order for 2,000 tanks for immediate delivery to George Square, army delivery drivers available if necessary.
    Not quite what Churchill would have done eh ?

  11. Alex Clark says:

    We know how bias the BBC is when it comes to their coverage of Scottish politics and the Independence debate in particular. The rot starts at the very top where “Britishness” is given the highest priority by the board of the BBC.

    BBC director general welcomes ‘distinctly British’ content proposals

    “The BBC’s director general has embraced the idea of requiring broadcasters to produce “distinctly British” content, after losing British talent to deep-pocketed streaming services.”

    However, Richard Sharp the ex Goldman Sachs banker and donater of over £400,000 to the Tory Party coffers before his appointment as Chairman of the BBC seems a little puzzled as to why there are leaks of confidential internal information from the BBC to the government.

    “Davie was sitting next to the BBC chairman, Richard Sharp, who expressed his bafflement that so much about the inner workings of the broadcaster was leaked to politicians and the media: “There seems to be a culture, which I certainly wasn’t used to in the private sector, of free communication on confidential matters.”

    Poor Richard.

  12. Tam the Bam says:

    My goodness!
    Never mind the BBC …I just witnessed Colin McKay of STV interview Humza Yousaf.
    Except it wasnt an interview.
    It was an interrogation.

  13. scottish skier says:

    Aye, couldn’t dispute a word.

    The fact that 50.2% now back independence ‘first thing tomorrow morning no questions asked’ shows how the BBC has had its day.

    It, like the UK government, is living in the past. They are both increasingly promoting a union of decades ago. BBC Scotland is programming like we are still in 2006 and the UK government is wanting everyone to watch Carry on up the Khyber while collecting our rations in pounds and ounces.

    The correlation between national identity and Britishness is not based on age, but on year of birth.

    People don’t as a rule don’t change national identity during their lives; it is something that develops subconsciously in their formative years and largely sticks with them until the end. It’s why it is very hard to overcome and can seem utterly perplexing as people will defend it even if it means being totally illogical. The ‘Scottish’ Libs are accepting brexit because they are British and the English Tories are their British countryfolk.

    If someone lives somewhere else for long enough, then they can start to identify with that new country too (a wee part of me is French now through my extended family), but while an Englishman can start to feel Scottish after ‘going native’, a Scot doesn’t naturally become a brit with age. Nope, British Scots have been that all their lives.

    Britishness in Scotland peaks in those born in 1945. The pan-UK post war consensus baby boomers. Either side of that, Scots are increasingly more Scottish. The devo generation are 7/10+ Scottish only. Britishness is a very new identity and one which has been in continuous decline since the late 1970s and the end of the consensus. That gave rise to Thatcher’s children in Scotland – like me. As we grew up, she flogged off of shut down Britishness in front of us, forcing many to leave Scotland to find work, and making sure we didn’t feel British at all.

    I had a graph somewhere… 🙂

    The BBC is that broadcasterified. It’s future is the same as Britishness; something increasingly confined to the past that the young don’t identify with.

    If the young today watch the BBC, its by iplayer and they pick the shows they want. The BBC can’t feed them what it wants like it could when we had 4 channels on the telly.

    • Welsh_Sion says:

      The BBC can’t feed them what it wants like it could when we had 4 channels on the telly.


      My mum was 96 yesterday and she remembers well enough when the BBC was the SOLE channel on the telly. (Heck, she even remembers a time BT … – ‘Before Telly’).

      (Don’t worry, she’s also as much pro-indy for both our countries as I am.)

      You must be some whippersnapper or new kid of the block, SS! 😉

    • ArtyHetty says:

      Great, excellent comment among many…I read that as ‘Gary on up the Khyber’ must have been thinking of someone at pacific quay called Gary! 🙂
      Bob the builder Johnson is gonna ‘fix it’ so we should all breathe a sigh of…argh wait it’s terrifying!
      Thatcher is surely writhing in sheer agony in hell now for what she did to the working class, wrecking so many communities, and destroying so many lives. Grrr.

      Also thanks Paul, another brilliant article at WGD.

    • Tatu3 says:

      I have lived, a fair number of years at a time, in different countries, including a decade in England, and I am pleased to say I have never felt or considered myself anything but Scottish (and my husband is English).

      • scottish skier says:

        That might be in part a reflection on the countries you lived in and how welcoming they are. 😉

        It does depend. I’d say marrying into another country as well as living there is big factor.

        Some people settle in very well, even actually preferring another country to that of their birth / early life.

        Michael Gove and Stuart Campbell are examples.

        • arayner1936 says:

          I think youre right, SS. I married an Englishman and lived on Merseyside for about 20 years and was felt i fitted in reasonably well without consciouly tryong to conform. big difference when we visited in-laws in SE England, where I was immediately identified as Scottish and that was not regarded as an asset.
          Not quite the same thing but while I am still comfortable visiting daughter in Liverpool, SE England where two others of my children live, feels quite an alien place full of people who seems to me to be quite affluent but who knows what goes on under the surface. It may be all show.
          Son reckons I deliberately make myself sound more Scottish while there, to emphasise the difference, I told him it was unconscious, but maybe not.

  14. JMD says:

    Instead of pointlessly waffling on about bbc bias – gosh I’d never have thought it – and supporting the bbc by continually tuning into it “just to see what they’re up to” wouldn’t it perhaps be more constructive for commentators to focus on ways of hastening its demise and figuring out ways to expose its bias to those who don’t know but are open to the truth?

    • Alex Clark says:

      You first. What do you suggest?

    • Capella says:

      They’ll have come to the right place then.

    • ArtyHetty says:

      I ditched them years ago, and have never looked back, even no voting pals have ditched the BBC now! No one is ‘waffling’ and no one is willingly ‘supporting’ the BBC but do tell how we in Scotland can ‘hasten it’s demise’. The Brit state and their complant media so called, are very powerful indeed, and rich. Do though do your bit and share these articles on your fb or twitter or email to pals etc…anywhere and everywhere in UK and beyond, its all relevant and really important to do that…thanks.

  15. scottish skier says:

    What happens when you let English Tories control energy.

    • Dr Jim says:

      World beating

    • grizebard says:

      In a way they don’t. They privatised it all away, and thus only profits matter now, not joined-up “big-picture” planning. This is the energy “free market” for you.

      It has happened before in the US – to the point of whole regions going dark in a kind of shutdown domino effect, I seem to recall – for exactly the same reason.

  16. Aaron Shepard says:

    I haven’t paid the “biased tax” in well over 20yrs 🤔📺🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿😂

  17. Welsh_Sion says:

    Things can only get worse. I don’t suppose this guy will appear on the BGC any time soon:

    Brexit impact ‘will get worse’ with supermarket shop to cost more and some EU products vanishing from shelves

    • ArtyHetty says:

      Ah the oppsoite to Blair’s New Labour, ‘things can only get better’, yep, it’s going to get much worse, get the pasta in and small stoves and candles in, it’s going to be a long cold dark winter and how do we know? Because the Tories say there ‘won’t be power cuts’ which means, there definitely will be power cuts and Scotland will be first to be cut off. Make sure you have plenty warm blankets as well.

  18. Statgeek says:


    Any chance of other Scottish news sources on the horizon? Broadcasting Scotland is frankly, sub-standard, and what little contact I’ve had with them offering free advice went unanswered and the situation unchanged.

    It would seem that there’s either a dearth of people available to do the job, or a lot of people waiting for others to do it first.

    Regardless of the here and now, an Indy Scotland will need at least two news sources, hopefully ones that are news first and political leanings second, but I’m not holding my breath.

  19. Golfnut says:

    Just about right I think. Remember Scotland doesn’t really need to rely on imports of electricity, and the connection tariffs are actually an extra tax on power suppliers in Scotland.

  20. Capella says:

    Joy for Gammons – UK likely to join NAFTA (now called something else cos… Trump). Out of the EU, into NAFTA.

    Unbelievable. The Daily Express is trumpeting this is a mega trade deal.

    A source familiar with the government’s thinking suggested to the BBC that the UK could negotiate entry into an existing trade arrangement between the US, Canada and Mexico – known as the USMCA – set up after former US President Donald Trump tore up its predecessor, NAFTA.

    “There are a variety of different ways to do this,” the source said. “The question is whether the US administration is ready. The ball is in the US’s court. It takes two to tango.”

    • Always one for wallowing in the smug smartassedness of ‘I told you so’, you heard it here first, in June 2016..
      Old England; the 51st State.
      Jack Daniels Scotch, steroid Texas T Bones and Domestos washed Chicken.

    • Alex Clark says:

      What’s the point of becoming an Independent country only then to join the USMCA and give away all your sovereignty? The Express of all papers should know that 🙂

  21. Welsh_Sion says:

    From the pink ‘un:

    Save UK by replacing Lords with members from devolved nations and English regions argues Financial Times editor

    22 Sep 2021 2 minute Read

    The Financial Times’ Whitehall Editor has argued that the House of Lords should be abolished and replaced by a new chamber including representatives from the Senedd, Scottish parliament, Northern Irish Assembly and England’s Mayoral regions.

    Sebastian Payne said that the way to fix the political deficit within the UK was “to bring them into the heart of national politics” and create a new 200 member chamber alongside the House of Commons.

    “The solution is to bin the House of Lords,” he said. “The bloated unelected chamber with 820 members is well past its sell-by date. The only strong argument for its survival is that the process of replacing it is too messy.


  22. Pogmothon says:

    This does nothing to address the current democratic deficit.
    It continues to equate whole countries with regions of another country.

  23. scottish skier says:

    We can weigh our limited 1960’s supermarket product range in pounds and ounces.

    Brexit impact ‘will get worse’ with supermarket shop to cost more and some EU products vanishing from shelves

    A leading customs expert who predicted the truck driver shortage and issues causes by the sea border in the Irish Sea believe delayed bureaucratic customs laws will lead to meats, fruit and vegetables from the EU being too costly to import.

    …“The cost of the bureaucracy involved will mean many retailers will simply not stock some products from the EU any longer.

    If you know your fruit delivery is stuck in a UK port for 10 days waiting to be checked, then you’re not going to bother importing it as it’ll go off before it even reaches the store.

    “We’re looking at all kinds of products disappearing from supermarkets, from salami to cheeses, because they will just be too expensive to ship in. While a few boutique delicatessens may stock these products, they will become a more expensive and be harder to find.”

    It’s a simple reality. As part of the EU/EEA, Europe became our larder. We could have fresh produce from Greece on our shelves in 24-48 hrs. We have cheese aisles now, not 3 types of cheddar and some blue stilton.

    Now fresh produce will be more limited, particularly in the winter, with some items just vanishing as people can’t afford them. What was fresh will need to be replaced by frozen or tinned. At the same time, more costly items such as French cheeses, Italian salamis… go up in price, putting these out of the range of many customers, so the supermarket won’t stock them.

    All of this will increase our carbon footprint for stuff we can’t produce in the UK as it will need to be stored / chilled / frozen. If coming from outside the EU, the fuel usage will be higher too. That and a few nights in a cab at a carpark at Dover means the chiller running for much longer or at least the cab heating / air con doing so…

    And all for less of ‘people like your furriner wife SS!’ in England, who are net emigrating en mass anyway. And now that they’ve gone, there’s nobody to cook in restaurants or drive trucks.

    If you are looking for a ‘trigger event’ that rapidly accelerates the break up of the UK, this coming winter of discontent is preparing itself for that job.

    • The next walk down the garden path following Irish Bridge/Tunnel. a return to avoirdupois pounds, will be the introduction of ration cards as a short term measure to get over the bumps in the Brexit Road to ‘taking back control’.
      I remind us all of David Duguid’s pooh pooh on ‘shedload of new powers’ Gordon Brewer’s wee Brit Nat show, when the waste of space Grand Tory mused that we might not be able to get our favourite pasta shells for a while, but that it would all be all right eventually.
      This feckin’ man is that hopeless that Johnson sacked him from his Nothin’ Job making Union Jack’s tea!

      Ration Cards ! Just like WWII ! Happy days.

  24. scottish skier says:

    Vocally proud of his Irish heritage, Biden said he feels “very strongly” about the issues surrounding the peace process, as problems with the Northern Ireland Protocol persisted.

    “And I would not at all like to see, nor I might add would many of my Republican colleagues like to see, a change in the Irish accords, the end result having a closed border in Ireland,” he said.


    That’ll be two fingers up again at the British nationalists singing ‘Irish go home’.

    • Dr Jim says:

      I’ve often wondered how Irish people who are born and live in Northern Ireland go home, do they leave Northern Ireland to move to the Republic thus leaving Northern Ireland which is their home half empty, same thing in Scotland

      The so called *British* have a long history of taking over countries then forcing the indigenous population to get out or enslaving them, they just can’t seem to get on with anybody, funny how America the one country that gave the Brits and absolute hammering and threw them out of their country is the only country the Brits now seem to respect, violence obviously works on the Brits

  25. rongorongo says:

    These days, I think the only BBC related material that I like is @BBCArchive on Twitter. A few weeks ago it featured some clips from a 1970s show called “On the Move” ( – it was intended to help adults learn to read. The BBC took what could have been a niche topic with a tendency to patronise – and instead produced a show that attracted audiences of up to 17 million, made Bob Hoskins famous and helped a great many people to learn to read – thereby transforming their lives. It even had a great theme tune:

    I am not old or credulous enough to believe in the agenda of the BritNat newpapers – gaslighting while there is still gas available, I guess. But I am old enough to remember that the BBC used to have a credible record at proper public service broadcasting. A time when the meaning behind be the words “educate”, “inform” and “entertain” were considered seriously within its remit. That was in the past.

    • grizebard says:

      Yup. The more the pursestrings were being held and tightened by mendacious politicians in government, the worse it got.

      If public service broadcasting is to survive here or down south, it has to be mutualised. Another kind of necessary independence.

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