BBC’s radio output needs a radical overhaul - Readers' Letters

I fervently hope in 2022, that we can achieve a change in the structure of programming on BBC Radio Scotland.
BBC Scotland's headquarters at Pacific Quay in GlasgowBBC Scotland's headquarters at Pacific Quay in Glasgow
BBC Scotland's headquarters at Pacific Quay in Glasgow

Presently, the weekends are largely given over to football commentary and the weekday programmes are "shows" in a chat-show format and include music with no particular relevance to Scotland and often of poor substance.

The only programmes that marginally pass the acceptability standard are Drivetime and the morning Kaye Adams Programme.

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Why is it so impossible for the BBC in Scotland to provide a more appealing mix of programming?

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It could include regional versions of formats already in use by BBC Radio4 such as Desert Island Discs, and The Archers, for example.

We do not all live in urban conurbations and indulge in regular visits to nightclubs and music venues.

I well remember, as a child in the 1950s listening with family to Down at the Mains – Gordon MacCallum’s music and comedy programme that was a celebration of Scottish music and dialect. Even after all these years I still remember the programme’s catchphrase: "Ye never deid a winter yet"!

So, come on BBC. Do us all a favour in 2022 and include us rural dwellers and ageing listeners in your programme schedules.

Derek Farmer, Anstruther, Fife

Honours even

There has been some controversy regarding Tony Blair’s knighthood and his appointment to the Most Noble Order of the Garter (Scotsman, 1 January), given his involvement in the Iraq war.

What may have been overlooked was the appointment of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Rothesay to the same rarified order. The reason for this elevation is unknown but we can, I’m sure, be confident it’s because she’s worth it and is maybe lacking sufficient titles to do her job effectively.

Whatever the reason, may joy be unconfined!

D Mitchell, Edinburgh

Work in progress

Mr D Jamieson’s views on Brexit (Letters, 3 January) reminded me of my late father-in-law's weary comment that “bairns and fools shouldna see unfinished work”.

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As a keen Brexiteer I freely admit that I hadn't allowed for the democratic restoration of independence to rest on the shoulders of the most incompetent UK government since World War Two, and perhaps ever.

Neither had I, or perhaps anyone else, reckoned upon a very spiteful reaction from the EU’s leaders – none of whom are actually directly elected by the EU voters; and all of whom must fear for their positions should a successful UK persuade other European nations to also reclaim their sovereignty.

Most of the problems afflicting the EU today are much the same as those bothering us in the UK – rising energy prices, illegal migration and unemployment, you name it. Once we get a competent UK government I'm sure the Brexit decision will be seen for what it is – a sensible choice.

Tim Flinn, Garvald, East Lothian

Epsilon mystery

Something strange is going on in the naming of Covid variants. The World Health Organisation (WHO) decided to designate new variants by letters from the Greek alphabet rather than the name of the country where each was first identified, no doubt with the laudable intention of sparing such countries from any concomitant obloquy. Thus as Delta fades from the headlines the latest variant is not called “the South African” but “Omicron".

However in the Greek alphabet delta is followed not by omicron but by epsilon so why has the latter been sidestepped? One reason might be that in some language it has an offensive meaning; in Burundi, say, it might mean “I spit on your mother’s grave”, for instance.

But there is another possibility; that there has emerged a new variant whose existence has been hidden at the behest of a master criminal.

And here’s an even more frightening thought. There are another nine letters before omicron. Does that mean there are the same number of variants out there whose existence has been concealed for fear of causing panic in the streets?

WHO knows – but they’re not saying. Who do the WHO think they are to behave in this way? This scandal looks very like a WHOdunnit.

S Beck, Edinburgh

Medical expense

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Dr John Gibson, in his letter in defence of GPs (Scotsman, 1 January), states inter alia “(there is) certainly no evidence of more expensive drugs being prescribed”.

I beg to differ. For many years I have had a repeat prescription for eye gel, to alleviate dry eyes. Originally, I was prescribed a particular gel by the Queen Alexandra Eye Pavilion.

Fast forward a few years and my local pharmacy unilaterally changed the brand. When questioned, I was advise that they were conforming to the dictate of NHS Lothian. This was the cheapest on the market and that was what they were told to dispense.

In mid-2021, a second change was made and I found that the particular brand was not as effective. So I went online. The original brand was much more expensive but I was able to purchase the second one at £1.02 per tube, while the present prescription is £3.99 per tube.

Perhaps NHS Lothian may care to comment.

J Lindsay Walls, Edinburgh

Damp squib

I was disappointed to find on Hogmanay that Scotland and Edinburgh did not feature on the world’s media.

Images of fireworks displays from Auckland, Sydney, London, Hong Kong and Taipei filled my TV screen for hours. Scotland relies on tourism income from around the world yet the SNP decided that a fireworks display beaming Edinburgh Castle across the world’s TVs was not in Scotland’s interest. It would not be helpful in Scotland’s recovery from the Covid economic crisis.

Why did London manage to cancel their ticketed events but continue with the fireworks display? How did Sydney have a fireworks display at midnight and ticketed events but Edinbugh and Scotland were excluded from displaying themselves on the world stage?

The SNP do not see Scotland as a world export, do not support the jobs of the tourism industry in Scotland and are happy to waste taxpayers’ money at short notice.

Hamish Scott, Glasgow

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