‘Scottish Six’ back on the agenda but BBC must remember SNP is not Scotland

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CLEARLY under pressure from the SNP, the BBC is to begin pilot recordings for a possible Scottish Six news programme. Despite the apparent inevitability of this event in an SNP-run Scotland, it should strike fear into the hearts of all who treasure a free and independent, licence fee funded broadcasting service and media in general.

Can we ever forget the “spontaneous” but clearly staged demo of Nationalists outside the BBC offices in Glasgow after Alex Salmond was questioned too closely by a London heavyweight interviewer in the run-up to the referendum? In fact the only time the critically important questions were asked by the BBC in the referendum campaign was when asked by Andrew Neil or Nick Robinson. It is all too obvious that the BBC in Scotland is already in awe of the SNP – the lack of vetting of audiences for balance in political shows is also painfully apparent.

It is clear what the Nationalists want. They want a supposed London-centric attitude changed to a not Scotland but an SNP-centric one instead.

Those who cherish free speech and balance should be very afraid of these developments.

Alexander McKay

New Cut Rigg, Edinburgh

On the Scotland 2016 show, SNP apologist Lesley Riddoch tells us the BBC in Scotland should be like Iceland’s TV with its 11 channels for a 300,000 population. Now I’ve never seen Icelandic TV but so many hours of TV for so few potential viewers doesn’t immediately suggest quality TV output.

Ms Riddoch knows the BBC is respected across the globe as one of the world’s leading broadcasters of news and current affairs, documentaries, light entertainment and excellent drama. The truth is for her quality doesn’t matter – Ms Riddoch can’t stand the “British” bit being beamed into every home in Scotland.

Ms Riddoch reflects the SNP’s politically motivated ambition to reduce the corporation’s pan-UK output in Scotland. The Nationalists want us to view everything through a lens of Scottishness. Their ambition is to separate us from the rest of the UK, politically and culturally.

Iceland style TV? Thanks, Lesley, but I’d rather stick with the BBC just as it is.

Martin Redfern

Royal Circus, Edinburgh

The talk of the BBC piloting a “Scottish Six” would be less troubling if the SNP government were not so prone to extending their controlling instincts into so many walks of life (Pilots for BBC Scottish Six coming, The Scotsman, 25 February).

From the governance of Scottish universities to the freedom of Scottish councils to control their own affairs, we have seen the SNP eroding freedoms in important parts of Scottish life. Even families are not immune, with a Named Person scheme developed to protect a minority of children at risk, widened to give the state a stake in the lives of every child in the country, whether parents want it or not.

With the BBC, the SNP have long campaigned to radically change its approach to Scotland. The “Scottish Six” might be viewed by the BBC as a concession to keep the SNP happy. But if that is the case they are making the error of accepting the SNP’s assertion that they are Scotland.

So many people in Scotland value the editorial independence and international reputation of the BBC. It would be a tragedy if the BBC gives in to Scottish Nationalism and replaces our main news programme with an insular view of Scotland and its place in the world.

Keith Howell

West Linton, Peeblesshire

It seems that the relentless bullying of the BBC by the SNP may be paying off. There is now talk of the dreaded “Scottish Six” being dumped on us, regardless of a noticeable lack of demand.

The disgraceful scenes during the referendum come to mind in this context.

Nick Robinson was targetted by a mob of screaming Yes supporters because he did his job and would not let Alex Salmond off the hook when he would not answer a question. That is what Nick Robinson is paid to do.

Of course, in certain states like Iran, which the same Alex Salmond visited very recently, journalists are routinely imprisoned when they try to uncover the truth. I am sure that there is absolutely no connection.

Now, we are told that we will have a whole hour of news with a Scottish perspective. I was not sure what that meant until I read about Mr Salmond’s meeting with the Ayatollah. Now, I do.

However, we do not want a Scottish Six as there is a perfectly good BBC news programme already, thank you very much. BBC take note. We also do not want to give tax powers to the SNP who will only abuse it.

Sometimes, I think that life needs a rewind button.

Andrew HN Gray

Craiglea Drive, Edinburgh