BBC does disservice to non-Scots viewers

In early March, Stewart Hosie, MP, said: "The BBC and the three London parties have carved out a deal for themselves that leaves Scotland's viewers and voters short-changed" and on Tuesday the SNP appeared in the Outer House of the Court of Session to seek an interim interdict and judicial review of that decision.

The people who will be really short-changed by the BBC's failed obligation to public service broadcasting are not the Scots but viewers and voters in England and Northern Ireland, where the majority consider themselves British, rather than English or Irish.

In its defence, the BBC says that the debates are "prime ministerial debates" and it is obvious that no leader of the SNP could or would ever become a prime minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

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If the BBC does not include the SNP in its proposed election debates at subsequent general elections, viewers and voters in England and Northern Ireland might wake up on the day after a general election to find that a party which had won less than 5 per cent of the seats in the House of Commons would succeed in destroying the British state within a few months.

By winning just over 30 Westminster seats out of 646, the SNP MPs could choose to convene in Scotland rather than Westminster and negotiate independence.

Many Unionist MPs from Scottish constituencies would also join that new Scots Parliament, for such are the rules of the Westminster game.

Most Scots would understand what happened and would be looking forward to vote in the inevitable independence referendum in which voters in Wales, England and Northern Ireland would have no say.

Alex Salmond would never become a British prime minister, but he could prevent the leader of any party winning an overall majority of seats in the House of Commons from ever becoming a British prime minister, because Scottish independence would bring the dissolution of the British state.

STUART SWANSTON

Sciennes House Place

Edinburgh

Scotland must surely be the only country on Earth where the party of government, the party with the largest share of the vote in the two most recent plebiscites (the European and Scottish elections), is excluded from the national broadcaster's general election debate.

From the perspective of this undecided voter, it seems truly extraordinary.

Just as extraordinary, though perhaps less surprising, is the enthusiasm with which this affront to the basic principles of democracy has been welcomed by the other major parties.

Is it any wonder that there is such deep cynicism about politics?

C HEGARTY

Braidburn Terrace

Edinburgh