Friday, 25 September 2009

Things that make me cross #1 - the SNP

There are a lot of things that make me cross but #1 (for now) is the SNP.

For non-British readers, the SNP is the Scottish Nationalist Party, the political party which believes Scotland should become independent of the United Kingdom.

At present, Scotland has "devolution" (autonomy) within the UK so Scotland is to the UK what the Azores and Madeira are to Portugal - i.e. enhanced regional self government but with key and international matters reserved to central government in London/Lisbon.

The present administration in Scotland is led by the SNP although it's a minority government. But this has not prevented them from coming up with some pretty bonkers ideas in pursuit of gesture politics. For instance that Berwick - a town in England - should become part of Scotland on the basis that it was in Scotland until 1482. Uh huh. Or that Mary Queen of Scots' remains should be "repatriated" to Scotland. Great.

I'll be coming to MQS in due course in the history of Scotland series but, in fairness, the Berwick and MQS proposals were not mainstream SNP policy but utterances of their "loony left" - although why the utterers were not immediately expelled from the party for bringing the cause into disrepute baffles me.

But recently there have been signs that official party policy is beginning to lose the plot as well.

The headline in "the Scotsman" (newspaper) today is that the SNP would abolish the BBC in an independent Scotland and replace it with an alternative state sponsored broadcaster "specifically attuned to the needs of viewers in Scotland". These needs including - wait for it - broadcasting free Scotland's qualifying football matches for the World Cup and European Championships.

My first thought was this was mischief making by the Scotsman which is not exactly noted for its nationalist leanings. So I turned to the actual discussion document published by the Scottish (soi disant) Government and, sure enough, there it is at bullet point 11 of the Executive Summary:-

We would be able to add national events which are prioritised and broadcast on free-to-air television. For example, Scotland’s football qualifiers for the World Cup and European Championship are currently only available on satellite television, but a Government of an independent Scotland could make them available to all fans on terrestrial television.

Talk about bread and circuses!

Still, I give the SNP credit for their realism - it will only ever be Scotland's qualifiers that will be broadcast. No question of us ever getting to the finals!

The opposition parties' initial reactions were right on the money, though, and, in fact, exactly the same as my own - would this mean we don't get Eastenders and Strictly Come Dancing any more? Something for the SNP's spin-doctors to home in on at their focus groups - footie or Easties and Strictly - what would you vote for?

For f**ck's sake ...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Quite! Although think of how useful it would be having all those Gaelic programmes wall to wall.