Readers' Letters - Is BBC's Euros goal to spend all licence payers' money?

BBC Scotland's Euros commentary and presenting team (Picture: BBC)BBC Scotland's Euros commentary and presenting team (Picture: BBC)
BBC Scotland's Euros commentary and presenting team (Picture: BBC)
Has BBC Scotland gone football crazy with licence payers’ money?

Scotland’s mens football team does not get to football tournament finals often and Germany 2024 is long overdue. Everyone wishes them well and hope they finally progress, but BBC Scotland saturation coverage means there’s a danger of getting carried away.

At least four BBC Scotland sports correspondents plus senior news anchors were there well before a game kicked off. Interviews with fans are interspersed by sightseeing tips, chatting with expats and Munich weather forecasts. There are also eight commentators and analysts, plus the Off the Ball duo.

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They are joined in Germany by Martin Compston, Susie McCabe and Gordon Smart hosting nine episodes of Late Night at the Euros.

Executive Producer David Harron added that excitement across Scotland “is likely to be at fever pitch”. Commissioning Executive Gavin Smith stated “it’s great having all the big BBC Scotland names together to ride the wave of Euro excitement”.

It’s a junket, a misuse of our licence fee. Given that trust in politicians is at a low, escapism is preferred and results don’t lie.

Neil Anderson, Edinburgh

Lost legends

Regarding Scotland’s 50 greatest footballers (7 June), The Scotsman’s history book seems to start in the 1960s, with Jim Baxter being the furthest back.

Have you never hear of the Wembley Wizards with Hughie Gallacher, Davie Meiklejohn and Jimmy McGrory, for starters? Should 1930s’ Alan Morton and 1940s’ Willie Waddell and Willie Thornton be included?

Think again

Jim Thompson, Dunbar, East Lothian

Let truth hurt

Most voters agree that there has been dishonesty and evasiveness in the past decade of Conservatism. Most of the promises made by Brexiteers now seems hollow, with legal migration much higher now – even though we got control of our borders back and the idea of frictionless trade with the EU has been seen now as pure fiction.

It really matters that our press and politics cleans up their act re: integrity. We need to be presented with unambiguous truths about our economic state and prospects. We can't ever have another Liz Truss, so it is wrong that politicians set out to smokescreen their costings while seeking to exaggerate the costs of the other parties’ programmes.

We can't ever allow referenda to be conducted in the sea of lies which characterised previous referenda – which only bemused and worried the electorate so people only voted for parties that promised little while talking it up inanely.

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The spirit of democracy must be valued more by voters and politicians because the ethos behind the post-Enlightenment development of modern democracies has been to balance the power that any one group or institution can grab and to keep a light shining into dark places of dishonesty, corruption, repression and power-hunger.

As a radical I want all progressives to work together to foster unity and a gradual change in the perceptions of politicians and electorate. We have many big issues to work through and so much at stake so we must not act like bulls in a china shop.

For all these reasons I hope the effect of this election will be to bring back honesty to its rightful place as a key ethic our country needs.

Andrew Vass, Edinburgh

Swinney odd

It’s hard to follow political arguments at times, though when First Minister John Swinney is involved it is all the time. I’ve just listened to him “advise” the next UK Government to raise taxes, as in Scotland. But isn’t Scotland the lowest taxed part of the UK? It is according to the SNP, even though – as Swinney seems to be admitting – it isn’t.

Now don’t get me started on their policy on North Sea Oil or what is a woman.

Ken Currie, Edinburgh

State of education

Murdo Fraser rightly describes the minimal net financial benefit and significant capacity challenges to the state education sector of Labour's plan to impose VAT on private schools. However, he neglects to point out the substantial incremental problem of the SNP's draconian tax increase to taxpayers earning between £75,000 and £125,000 in the recent past, which will also increase the outflow of children into the state education sector.

My concern is not for wealthy people being able to afford private education. It is for those who can't and are about to discover the impact of these two policies on class sizes and quality of education in the state sector, especially in Edinburgh!

Robert Dow, Edinburgh

Defence question

The world is a dangerous place. Bully dictators flex their muscles and think themselves invincible. The West and Nato seem unwilling to become involved.

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It’s time for John Swinney, Stephen Flynn and Kate Forbes to tell “the people of Scotland” how their independent Scotland, this paradise they promote, will protect itself should the country be threatened. Scotland has a huge coastline and is very vulnerable. We know a prominent nationalist has previously fronted a Russian-based television channel.

So, lets have the details please, how does Scotland defend itself in the event of possible attack/invasion?

Douglas Cowe, Kingseat, Aberdeenshire

Dishonest Labour

Labour is being dishonest with voters as it refuses to spell out where spending cuts will fall in order to pay for election promises. By sticking to the Tories’ fiscal rules on borrowing, the Institute for Fiscal Studies, the Institute for Government, the Resolution Foundation and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation have all estimated an £18-20 billion budget shortfall.

Labour claims there will be economic growth but can’t detail how this will be achieved while continuing to ignore the central problem of Brexit, which has damaged the UK’s most important trading relationships. The UK is falling behind similar economies in terms of growth and productivity and the US investment bank Goldman Sachs has calculated that the UK economy is 5 per cent smaller compared to comparable countries than it was prior to Brexit.

As the Scottish Government discovered, putting more money into the NHS doesn’t solve all the problems as there just isn’t enough staff to go around, a position exacerbated by Brexit.

In Labour-run Wales the NHS is much worse than in Scotland, but when tackled on this Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting said all roads lead back to Westminster. Universities in Wales have the same financial pressures as in Scotland, despite Labour proposing to increase student tuition fees to £9,250 after the summer.

Resetting devolution means bypassing the Scottish Parliament, as evidenced by proposing to give £150 million to the Scotland Office to spend, which is peanuts compared to the SNP’s Scottish Child Payment that costs £500m a year.

Finally, there is the Great British Energy con that won’t reduce bills as it is a private investment vehicle that won’t produce any energy, sell any energy or own any energy infrastructure, while risking jobs in Scotland’s North East.

Mary Thomas, Edinburgh

Bank of ideas

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Mortgage arrears are at their highest level in a decade as home buyers’ struggle with the cost of living crisis, but is this the real cause?

The Bank of England has for some months refused to reduce the Bank Rate as, unfortunately, their members seem to have some difficulty in understanding that our inflation rate does not react to an increase in interest.

The main driver of inflation is the price of energy, which doubled almost overnight. This was caused by Vladimir Putin cutting off energy supplies to Europe and then invading Ukraine. Mr Putin does not react to hikes in Bank Rate.

Many mortgage holders bought a house which they could afford when interest rates were very low, but are now having difficulty keeping up payments when the rate is twice as high.

The Bank of England should reduce Bank Rate by 25 basis points at their next meeting, and then a further two tranches of the same amount by the end of the year, so that the rate falls to 4.5 per cent by Christmas.

James Macintyre, Linlithgow, West Lothian

Sobering thought

Regarding “Holyrood passes ‘seismic’ legislation to bring in abortion buffer zones” (13 June), your report includes a quote from the Green MSP Gillian Mackay: “A woman’s right to decide what happens to her body is no-one else’s business but her own and that is the message being sent loud and clear across Scotland tonight.”

In one sense she is correct but she has omitted to say there is another life involved, a precious unborn baby whose life will be terminated.

Surely that is a very sobering thought and not something to be celebrated.

Dreena M White, Blairgowrie, Perth and Kinross

Moving gig

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It's interesting to learn that scientists have confirmed that pop star Taylor Swift caused the earth to move during her concert performances in Edinburgh last weekend.

Contrast that with politicians like Rishi Sunak, Keir Starmer, John Swinney and Ed Davey, who would have great difficulty creating a ripple in a duck pond!

Bob MacDougall, Kippen, Stirlingshire

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