Churchill appeal

The increasing Americanisation of British politics by the introduction of the TV debates, where the "X-factor" of the party leader obviously now counts for much more than the substance of his party's policies, will mean that, in future, only good-looking, energetic young men or women need apply for the job. Thankfully, TV was not widely available in the 1930s, otherwise the greatest prime minister this country has ever known would have been left dead in the water.


Colinton Mains Drive


What is the point of the BBC Trust; and in particular its Scottish representative? We are told the BBC has been negotiating for months with three political parties to decide broadcasting leaders' debates. From a Scottish perspective the result of these negotiations resembles a train crash.

On highly questionable grounds, the First Minister has been sidelined along with his counterpart in Wales.

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Worse, the debate transmitted in Scotland was largely irrelevant, and in places downright misleading, as it covered mainly arrangements pertaining to elsewhere.

It is an outcome described as a "democratic affront" by Sir Martin Sorrel, chief executive of WPP, one of one of the world's leading companies.

The BBC is funded by a tax paid by all who wish to watch television and listen to radio in this country. Politicians determined this set up and they also decide who sits on the BBC Trust.

This questionable arrangement only works if all adhere to the belief that the BBC is independent.

For its part the BBC bolsters this by suggesting it is fair to all parties, but this only applies to those parties that might rule over it. There is only one solution that is remotely ethical: broadcasting in this country must be answerable to the Scottish people. After all, we pay for it.


Hatchback House