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Wings Over Scotland

100 hours with Auntie

Posted on May 22, 2014 by

On last night’s Scotland Tonight, Labour MSP Patricia Ferguson claimed that a vote for independence would put at risk Scotland’s access to over £3 billion of BBC programming. It’s a curious and illogical straw-man argument rather akin to saying that if you stop being an ice-cream man you’re not allowed to have ice-cream any more, but we’ll let that slide until another day.


£3bn sounds like quite a lot of money, so in a dull moment we thought we’d study a week’s output from BBC One, the national broadcaster’s flagship channel, and see how much of it we could bear to live without.

25.75 hours of BBC Breakfast and The One Show. (Clearly Scotland would struggle to film two people sitting on a settee in a studio reading off an autocue and talking to people about their latest album/film/book/whatever.)

13.8 hours of other news (split roughly 60/40 UK and Scottish). Obviously we need to hear about the English health, education and legal systems – otherwise how would we know how rubbish ours were?

12.1 hours of quiz/game shows. Okay, it really would be terrible if we stopped getting Pointless (remember, if in doubt, just say “Central African Republic”), but isn’t it interesting that there’s under two hours more news than game shows?

10.75 hours of people buying/selling houses. Imagine a world where you can’t watch middle-class couples looking for retirement homes in the Cotswolds or inflating the housing bubble by snapping up buy-to-let goldmines.

10.25 hours of antiques shows. In a week? Did we add this up right?

8.2 hours of soaps. How would we survive without seeing the cheery inhabitants of Albert Square go about their daily lives, or four and-a-bit of medical drama about people falling into lawnmowers and stuff?

6.25 hours of Dominic Littlewood. The little squeaky-voiced bald man is our only defence against cowboy builders and rogue plumbers. But fear not – even Denmark can’t escape Don’t Get Done Get Dom, which is very definitely a fair exchange for Borgen, The Bridge and The Killing.

5.5 hours of random films. Has Alex Salmond even asked Hollywood studios if they’d allow an SBC to show their films? His silence speaks volumes, and there’s nothing about it in the White Paper, so that means no.

3.5 hours of non-news Scottish output. This consists of a Still Game repeat, River City, the Scottish bit of the Sunday Politics, Landward, and a series about the Commonwealth Games. It’s inconceivable that a Scottish Broadcasting Corporation could produce 210 minutes of Scottish non-news programming per week armed only with the annual £100m budget of BBC Scotland.

3.25 hours of comedy (includes 30 minutes of repeated Have I Got News For You content). Far be it for us to suggest that HIGNFY’s increasingly regular Jock jibes aren’t worth paying for, or that Room 101 perhaps belongs in itself by now. We’d certainly struggle to replicate Live At The Apollo’s format (comedian makes some jokes then spends five minutes spotting celebs), since Scotland has neither comedy clubs nor celebrities.

2 hours of cooking shows. As we all know, Scotland has never produced any chefs, never mind famous ones. We’d no longer be able to share Anthony Worrall-Thompson or Jamie Oliver. And who’d want to watch someone cooking deep-fried haggis with an Irn Bru jus anyway?


1.2 hours of football. As it’s the end of the season, there’s only 25 minutes of Scottish football and 45 minutes of lower-league English football. On a normal week, there’d also be a huge chunk of top-flight English football, complete with analysis from Gary Lineker, Alan Shearer and Alan Hansen, spread across three editions of Match Of The Day, which would probably give a more accurate depiction of what that £3 billion is actually being spent on.

Filling in the rest of the schedule are such watercooler must-sees as DIY SOS, Del Boys and Dealers, Call The Council, and Watchdog. The BBC of course also gives us BBC Two (more gardening, more cookery, more antiques, more Dominic Littlewood), BBC Three (but not for long), BBC Four (imports and endless hours of spot-the-paedo archive footage of Top of the Pops and the Old Grey Whistle Test) and more.

Just imagine, viewers, the ransom we’d have to pay to secure every minute of that in an independent Scotland. Or failing that, just watch the All-Nude Celebrity Paint-Drying Championships on Channel 5.

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176 to “100 hours with Auntie”

  1. abigdoob says:

    It all comes down to Dr Who though doesn’t it?

  2. Vronsky says:

    The TV is just a gadget for watching movies. I bet that’s not what they think about themselves, though.

  3. Jim Thomson says:

    What really worries me, Stu, is what I’m going to have filling my time once your sterling work is complete.

  4. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    First paragraph

    I like a slider.

    Going back to reading further.

  5. Murray McCallum says:

    It’s a serious problem that us Scots can’t operate these moving picture capture and projection devices, let alone the creative talent to draft a script on how to cook.

    Will Scottish TV continue the BBC tradition of casual racism?

  6. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    only 2 hours of cooking shows?

    We have been short changed

  7. Brian Powell says:

    What? Labour MSP Patricia Ferguson is Chairman of the BBC and Minister for Culture?

    I didn’t know.

  8. TJenny says:

    Jim Thomson – fear not. Stuey’s work will never be done in an indy Scotland, we’ll all still need someone to watch the watchmen. 🙂

  9. CyBOS says:

    BBC Scotland’s flagship show, “Mrs Brown’s Boys”, will obviously sell around the globe bring in even more revenue.

    How will the rUK cope if they don’t get their fill of Mrs Brown and her crack?

  10. Bugger (the Panda) says:


    Your 3.25 hours of comedy is way off.

    Triage the reality if the news section and re-allocate

    Exec Ed

  11. Jim Thomson says:


    had a discussion a few months ago with some “younger” people about what are now called single and double nougats. They were a wee bit taken aback.

  12. Dr Ew says:

    Imagine if we had to sit through hours of drama and comedy and music and news and discussion and documentaries and antiques and fitba and quizzes and more stuff about our society, our lives, our country? We’d only get above ourselves even more!

    (Do want to see Peter Capaldi as Dr Who telling the f*%kin c*!tin Daleks to f*%k the f*%k off, though).

  13. heedtracker says:

    But where are those good old BBC values, on which we rely? Don’t forget BBC Scotland radio bleh.

    If it wasn’t for all their BetterTogether vote no hard core stuff, they could simply record one day’s yawn fest and broadcast that day after day, over and over and over …

  14. HandandShrimp says:

    The BBC argument is bizarre.

    There are no end of TV channels and still I rarely switch the TV on. Most of what is on the BBC these days is pap. They did the dumbing down thing and now they are just like all the other channels. A couple less of these channels would not really concern me.

    At the end of the day just buying in the decent programmes would be way cheaper than paying for them plus all the crap. The crap we could easily make ourselves 😉

  15. kendomacaroonbar says:

    John Logie Baird, Lord Reith, John Grierson all Scots, and they made the BBC in one way or another.

  16. T.C. says:

    OH! NO! What will we do without the “Biased Broadcasting Corporation” (BBC)

  17. faolie says:

    What about Kirsty Wark? Who gets her? She’s not mentioned in the White Paper either.

  18. david turner says:

    The BBC have programmes on a loop,more repeats than a serious case of flatulence.

  19. No no no...Yes says:

    Interesting to see the figures. I watched Patricia Ferguson and Fiona Hyslop on Scotland Tonight and Fiona won the debate. She clearly knows her stuff and poor Pat, who is essentially one of the less mad SLABbers, was struggling to argue any positive case for broadcasting after a Yes vote.

    Since the London Olympics in 2012 the BBC has continued to brainwash us with the “Great British blah blah blah” branding. This tactic and the Union flag branding in supermarkets is all subliminal to increase your feeling of britishness. It ain’t working!

  20. Doug Daniel says:

    I would have done the same for BBC Two, but I got too depressed when I saw that Homes Under the Hammer, Call the Council and Caught Red Handed (one of the Dominic Littlewood programmes) are actually shown on both BBC One and BBC Two every day.

  21. Clootie says:

    …er…and how do they stop me watching it?

    If we do want to stay legal – Can we not assume people will pay a Scottish license fee that can be used to buy “good” programmes.(that doesn’t always mean from the BBC)

    Another crap scare story that is repeated over and over.

  22. indy says:

    Great no more BBC TV licence

  23. dkcm99 says:

    With the possible exception of the “Challenge” channel, BBC1 is the absolute worst channel across the entire Freeview spectrum, and that’s saying something.

    It consists almost entirely of worthless, banal drivel, aimed exclusively at slack jawed morons.

    BBC2 and BBC4 do however now and then come up with interesting historical documentaries but nothing that an independent Scottish broadcasting outfit couldn’t match or exceed.

    I used to watch the BBC News channel and considered myself to be reasonably well informed. Needless to say I know better now and now wouldn’t touch any of their “news” output with a bargepole.

  24. Rikki Duncan says:

    Scotland under the dome, Big glass dome covers Scotland no tv or radio signals can penetrate,oh me oh my what tragedy. I think somehow we could pick up tv from all over the world even Englandshire.

  25. bjsalba says:

    I don’t have a TV since 1991.

    From the little I see when I visit friends, what passes these days for entertainment is mindless drivel mostly aimed at consumer drones.

    Since I see how they cover the referendum, I no longer believe that the news is an accurate reflection of reality, so what is left?

    Not much.

  26. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    @ Jim Thomson

    With a 99er in between, from the ‘Tally?

  27. heedtracker says:

    I stopped bothering with BBC stuff after Eastenders had on a Scottish wife beater/murder etc, then a Scottish teacher turned child rapist. Month after month of monstering Scotish people and we have to pay for it.

    It was a while ago but it was completely unwatchable after just one more BBC mutual mastarobatory docufest over the incredible and brilliant genius of Eastender’s writers. I kept thinking why don’t they feature an upper middle class Englishman as their wife murderers or child rapists or, dudes just like the upper middle class BBC English Eastender’s writers?

  28. Max Solanis says:


    Mrs Browns Boys, Current incarnation is Irish. 😉

  29. Grouse Beater says:

    I do not want my news English-National-International-with-occasional-token-Scottish-bit, and a whimsical amusing item stuck on the end: “Budgie adopts Rottweiler.”

    I don’t want my news presented by two lumps of sugar on a sofa, or in glossy magazine format, the obligatory medical scare item per news bulletin.

    I don’t want my news fronted by a belligerent journalist who feels it is his or her personality sinecure.

    I want it serious and investigatory.

    I want it Scottish-International

    The consistently excellent “Eorpa” shows the way.

  30. Willie Galbraith says:

    £100m !!!!!!!! How in hell do they manage to spend that amount on the dumbed down plethora of English soaps & “easy viewing” we are subjected to ????
    Could we be subsidising coronation street more than cadburys ?????

  31. Max Solanis says:

    Sorry, BBC Scot and RTE to be exact.

  32. Wayne says:

    As we would have a smaller viewing audience we would be able to purchase programming for less than the BBC does at the moment. RTE show a range of both BBC and ITV programmes as well as “foreign” (USA). Bigger as I keep telling the missus, isn’t always better.

  33. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    57 Channels and nothing on.

  34. Jim Thomson says:

    I submitted an FOI request to Ofcom a couple of weeks ago about licence fees and costs split by country in the UK.

    They did provide some data on income for 2012/2013 TV & Radio Broadcasting Act Licence Fees (which excludes “BBC and S4C Regulatory fees as these are not Ofcom controlled licences”)

    Out of the UK total of £13,223,717 Scotland only contributes £180,776 (roughly 1.4%). That money goes to what is known as “Consolidated Funds”

    The other part of the income is from WT Licence fees. The UK total for 2012/13 was £109,043,570 of which £832,539 (roughly 0.76%) is attributable to Scotland.

    That all seems to be a wee bit off-balance (no pun intended) and I’m sure we could squeeze some additional revenue out of that as well once we have our own spectrum management office.

    I also asked about the recent 4G spectrum auction but they couldn’t provide details for that because it was all passed via the Department for Culture Media and Sport so that it could be hidden away properly.

    So, really, even though we have an apparently small slice of “Scottish” BBC output, it probably fits quite well, percentage-wise with the funding that appears to be attributable.


  35. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    @ kendomacaroonbar

    You going to CH2, 30th May?

  36. David Agnew says:

    this really gets my goat. RTE the republic of Ireland’s state broadcaster, gets all of BBC’s content for the princely sum of £20 million quid. Scotland who contributes 300 million is constantly referred to as the welfare queen when it comes to the BBC.

    It is seemingly beyond them to even consider framing the argument along the lines of what Scotland brings to the table. Always it is poor Scotland, living off the scraps on other peoples plates. How very much dare we spurn this charity.

  37. Marcia says:

    Maybe I have my nostalgic head on but television in the 1960’s was better with only 3 channels rather than a couple of hundred you can have today. Who wants to watch the Grass Growing Channel?

    We had good regional ITV programmes when it was still the ITA, later IBA from Grampian,STV, ATV, HTV, Rediffusion/ABC/Thames, Granada etc. It seems quantity rather than quality runs through the minds of the British Broadcasting Corporation and ITV executives.

  38. Schrodingers Cat says:

    “Big glass dome covers Scotland no tv or radio signals can penetrate,oh me oh my what tragedy”
    since they upgrade the transmitter to digital, i have gone from 3.5 channels of snow to bugger all
    i watch the aye player, but it doesnt show live bbc one scotland, tvcatchup for that.

    and using a proxy server i can watch it anywhere in the world.

    then again, bbc is so crap, why would anyone want to?

  39. Peter Macbeastie says:

    Your level of boredom must be extreme. Did you exhaust watching grass grow or paint drying first?

    I can heartily recommend paint drying; it is indeed deadly boring but the paint fumes might make you a wee bit light headed if you’re lucky.

  40. Bigdrone says:

    Rev, If I didn’t you know you better I would say that was a very cynical article!

    I take it Nick Nairn and Tom Kitchin don’t read ‘Wings’

    O/T, Saw my first Wings car sticker today in Taynuilt – I was driving behind the car and it covered the entire back window!!

  41. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    @ Jim Thomson

    That looks like arrant bollox?

    Are these annual fees for an independent broadcasting licence?

    STV pay pay £180 K licence fee?

  42. Garrion says:

    Hang on and let me get this straight. Auntie is saying that if we choose independence, we don’t get 24/7 subtextual messaging which tells us that we are too wee, too poor and too regional to amount to anything. Which costs 3 billion.

    Oh okay. Bye then.

  43. Dan Huil says:

    heedtracker says:

    # But where are those good old BBC values, on which we rely?

    You are Peter Griffin and I claim my five pounds!

  44. Schrodingers Cat says:

    the bbc doesnt own PQ, it pays a morgage on it
    scotland pays fro the bbc to air the english premiership, that will stop after 18th sept

  45. Geoff Huijer says:

    So in other words just unwatchable, shite then.

  46. X marks the (sweet) spot says:

    I’m sure Sky will continue to show BBC channels, as they and the cable operator do in Ireland (Rep).

    And if not, buy yourself a Freesat dish and decoder and watch BBC using that (as you can apparently do in Ireland) – they can’t change the Freesat footprint so it’ll still be available in Scotland.

    Or you can just stop watching the sh*te on BTBC, as I have pretty much done. i think I watch more programmes on Sky (Modern Family) and More4 (Grand Designs) than on the BBC now, and I especially avoid their dumbed down news programmes that I can’t help but view with suspicion as to their supposed impartiality.

  47. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    Schrodingers Cat

    Who owns Pacific Quay, and all the gubbins inside.

    £ to a pinch of sh1t it is some company offshore.

  48. lumilumi says:

    Rikki Duncan @ 3.59pm

    Scotland under the dome, Big glass dome covers Scotland no tv or radio signals can penetrate…

    Sorry, it’s already been done by an American channel, it’s called Under the Dome. Watched the first couple of episodes here in Finland on one of the free commercial channels but gave up because it wasn’t very well made and a bit silly.

  49. Murray McCallum says:

    If Scottish broadcasting wish to continue the BBC tradition of sexism I hear John Inverdale is free.

    Telegraph article

    I think many proud Scots pay their license fee just to hear John’s expert views on Scottish team sports and rugby in particular.

  50. sausage fingered luddite says:

    Has anyone ever tried deep fried haggis in an irn bru jus? Surely now that it’s been mentioned, it’s only a matter of time, Heston?

  51. Norm Cash says:

    The BBC is a commercial organisation which already sells the rights to its programming to other countries. I’m sure I read an article a few months back (may have been right here!) which demonstrated that if the current TV licence fee remains unchanged and that an independent Scotland were to buy the rights to BBC programming at the same (or even a slightly elevated) rate as the ROI, we would still have the vast majority of the revenue remaining to operate the national broadcaster in Scotland. Satellite and cable companies have also already stated that there would be NO change in their programming provision. I’m getting increasingly fed up with the inability of so called “journalists” to pick up on and question these outrageous claims and outright lies.

  52. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    @ lumilumi

    I am watching News Desk.


  53. lumilumi says:

    Peter McBeastie @ 4.10pm

    I can heartily recommend paint drying; it is indeed deadly boring but the paint fumes might make you a wee bit light headed if you’re lucky.

    I can also heartily recommend watching paint dry.

    A couple of years ago I painted my wooden garden wall and then just sat back and watched it for several hours with a pleasant sense of achievement and contentment.

    Maybe the fumes had something to do with it but it was a thoroughly pleasant and relaxing experience. A bit zen.

  54. Jiggsbro says:

    The problem with this analysis is that Doug has deliberately chosen a week without a royal wedding/christening/funeral, so it’s hardly representative of the BBC at its very best.

    An SBC wouldn’t be allowed access to foreign royalty, so the bleak picture his analysis paints is actually what we’d have to look forward to: dreary, repetitive nonsense without the pageantry, pomp, fawning and gratuitous display of wealth and privilege that made Britain great.

  55. Jim Thomson says:


    hey, don’t shoot the messenger – just transcribing the guff they sent me 🙂

    There’s a nice wee sentence in there too about the WT licence fees:

    “Please not that the WT Act revenues above exclude receipts from government departments as these do not constitute licence fees under the WT Act”

    Still trying to get my head round that. They are saying that there ARE revenues from government departments for licencing, but they aren’t licence fees?

    They have also provided a link to information relating to other regional office costs, although they don’t break down costs by country, only by regulated sector, which does make a very tiny amount of sense.

    Still trying to dig though other links they sent me.

  56. Jim Thomson says:

    arrgh “please NOTE that …”

  57. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    lumilumi says:
    22 May, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    Peter McBeastie @ 4.10pm

    Is that why you are heartily recommending twice?

    ???? ????

  58. Bugger (the Panda) says:


    Paint fumes?


  59. Sinky says:

    How much do you think BBC pays for sports coverage in Scotland? Of course they don’t answer FOI questions.

    Last year, using our licence fees, in a deal with BT Sport , the BBC agreed to pay around £16 million a year to screen 16 English FA cup ties which comes on top of £180 million to renew the Match Of The Day highlights programme plus £15 million a year to broadcast highlights of lower English league games and an undisclosed sum for 10 Live English Championship games a season as part of a £265 million deal which brings English second tier £88 million a year.

    Contrast this with their failure to even attempt to bid for live Scottish Premier League football thus reducing the sum, £12 million a year, Sky needed to bid to secure the rights.

    It doesn’t take a genius to work out that this is a terrible deal for Scottish football. The SPL is the 11th most-attended league in Europe, ahead of Switzerland, Austria and Norway, all of whom can command higher television revenue.

    Based on UK viewing figures for SPL matches we should earn at least 5% of the English total which would bring in £60 million a year. That would transform the game in Scotland.

    In Norway their domestic league football rights have been sold for £44 million a year. Why is Norway so much better off? They are independent. Vote YES


  60. Les Wilson says:

    I do not give a fig about the BBC, they have burnt their boats with me, they are at the top of the anti Independence mob. Despite all they say, their bottom line is NO DEMOCRACY for Scotland. Meanwhile, the rest of the world can get it, just not the cash cow (to Westminster, their bosses!) that is Scotland.

  61. Jim Thomson says:

    Ahhh Brolac ….

  62. David Smith says:

    No regrets whatsoever about binning my TV. Programming consists almost entirely of shallow, intellectually stunting keech. As for watching Eastenders, I would rather slide down a 40′ razorblade, using my scrotum as a brake…

  63. Greannach says:

    With a TV licence costing £145.50, viewers in Scotland have BBC1 and BBC2 regional opt-outs, BBC Alba and STV/Borders on which to watch Scottish and international programmes.

    A quick internet search shows that for a licence fee of €160 (£130), TV viewers in the Republic of Ireland can watch Irish and international programming via the equivalent of Freeview on RTE1, RTE2, TV3, 3e and TG4 channels. There are HD and +1 versions of these. There are also: 2 children’s channels, RTEjr in English and Cula in Irish; 1 news and 1 Parliament channel; 3 sports channels; and 3 local community channels. A new UTV Ireland station is to start broadcasting in 2015.

    Ms Patricia Ferguson may think the current set-up in Scotland is great, but that says more about her low level of aspiration and ambition for viewers and programme makers alike.

  64. TJenny says:

    Posted this on another thread (which seems to have paused) and relevant to today.:

    Just back from casting EU vote (for SNP natch), wearing my big red YES badge, and again got slightly cross/bemused at why we’re still using a PENCIL (which can be erased) to mark our ballot papers. Have mentioned this before at ballot boxes but just received a shrug and that’s how it is type comment.

    Anyway, what with the indy ref looming large on the horizon and the dubiety of postal votes, I mentioned it to the 2 lovely ladies in charge and was given a contact number to phone. (I asked the 2 ladies whether they thought it could be that as JoLa had stated that Scots weren’t genetically programmed to make political decisions, we could only be safely given wee stubby pencils and not sharp, jaggey pens? They laughed and asked if I would stay a while as it was only laugh they’d had all day. I didn’t though).

    Duly phoned to get an email address as I want the answer in print, and was more than slightly disconcerted to hear the, very friendly, girl on the phone suggest that maybe pencils were used in case someone put their cross in the wrong place and it could then be rubbed out and replaced.

    Whit? I said that surely you couldn’t do that as it would have to be treated as a spoiled paper. Please tell me that her supposition is wrong.

    I’ll keep you posted on any reply I get from the Elections div of the Council re using pens in the indy ref.

  65. Grouse Beater says:

    BBC Scotland – Cultural Tollbooth grousebeater.wordpress.

  66. Wee Jonny Campbell says:

    I have to say Rev I’m loving your new (is it new) attitude. You seem to be more forward, forceful even in your language. (BBC Four (imports and endless hours of spot-the-paedo archive footage of Top of the Pops and the Old Grey Whistle Test) Oof!!! I always thought you wore silk gloves, and a few times boxing gloves but more and more it seems you’ve taken them off and are oota yir coarnir dishin oot black eh’s and knockoots, yet never hitting below the belt. Not long now to the final bell and the new heavyweight champion of Bath (The Bath Bruiser???)The Rrrrrrrrrev Stooooooooart Caaaaaaampbeelllllllll.

  67. Les Wilson says:

    Sorry O/T There is a very disturbing article on Bella,takes a bit of reading but it is worth it-

  68. Morag says:

    Grouse Beater – silly question I expect, but have we ever met? Like this week even?

  69. galamcennalath says:

    Two simple facts.

    Programmes can be bought and shown, just like in Ireland.

    The London news is at best irrelevant, and at worst damaging democracy. Why do half of Scots believe NHS is UK wide? Because that’s what 60 years of London news has implied. Scotland doesn’t need it and we certainly shouldn’t want it.


  70. Wayne says:

    While most folk have given up on the BBC can we make sure that the negotiating team remember to get our share of BBC Worldwide, they make a healthy sum with their UKTV and DVDs of dad’s army 🙂

  71. Schrodingers Cat says:

    As for watching Eastenders, I would rather slide down a 40? razorblade, using my scrotum as a brake…

    ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

  72. TJenny says:

    Morag – As I understand that you’ve been involved in votes counts, any views on my post at 4.32?

  73. TJenny says:

    oops ‘vote’ counts.

  74. Morag says:

    Not going to happen, TJenny. Way too many people around for anything of that nature. The place to look for fraud is the postal voting system. Ballots in boxes are pretty impregnable, as are postal ballots sent directly to the returning officer.

  75. Murray McCallum says:

    All those years of hearing Scotland referred to as “them” by the BBC’s Gary Lineker when we play fellow Brits, England.

    How will BBC Gary refer to us when we become foreigners?

  76. JGedd says:

    The only thing worth watching currently is “Fargo” and that’s not BBC and is an American import.

    On BBC we have the new “Wallander” which has just started (which of course is also an import) and I might be put off following that, if it looks as if they are setting him up with yet another age-inappropriate woman for love interest. ( He is getting on a bit and they seem to be suggesting he is also showing signs of senility. Well, really.)

    Think I’ll be able to do without the BBC output.

  77. Stoops says:

    I saw a letter in The Scotsman recently from some woman from an affluent suburb near Aberdeen spouting total nonsense about the catastrophes which would befall our nation should we be stupid enough to vote for independence. One of her misconceptions was that “there would be no more BBC – and that means no more Eastenders!”

    You know, like that would be a bad thing.

  78. Derick Tulloch says:

    I feel we should consider crowdfunding a holiday for Doug Daniel for taking one for the team studying BBC Pravda in such detail. Poor soul

  79. Maureen says:

    We could always tune in to Irish TV we can get it at the southend of Arran.BUT…beats me what BBC would do with BBC Alba?????

  80. TJenny says:

    Morag – Why don’t we use pens anyway though. And, if I’d put a cross against BNP by mistake for SNP (Heaven forfend), would I be allowed to rub it out and replace against correct preference?

  81. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    Is each voter issued a unique voting slip, uniquely marked and thus identifiable?

    What is to stop any micreant, having a bunch of postal votes, before being lodged, just rubbing out the penciled choice and redoing?

  82. Calum Craig says:

    I essentially don’t watch TV these days and don’t miss it at all.

  83. Helena Brown says:

    Well I have Sky and because of this I can presently watch BBC England, all the regions of England, Wales. That I choose not to speaks volumes. I spend more time on my computer, my Kindle Paper or Kindle Fire with the games than I do on Television, and it is getting worse. How many ways can you show war programmes/films and of course my favourite, Coast which given it was in Australia last night still forced me to my bed early.

  84. Dcanmore says:

    The latest figures I know of, from 2011-12, has 63% of BBC TV output as repeats over the four channels collectively, with BBC3 singularly at 85% and BBC4 78%.

    I’m pretty sure things haven’t got better over the last 18 months.

  85. Grouse Beater says:

    have we ever met – this week?

    Been somewhat cloistered, absorbed in two major projects, so I doubt it … unless you’re an employee of St Andrew’s University?

    If so…. Sssh! You didn’t see me, right? (c)

    (c) Copyright: The Fast Show

  86. TJenny says:

    BtP – exactly and what about the very elderly or confused being canvassed by say party A and told to just send their postal vote to them and they’ll forward it on for them. Elderly person replies, ‘Oh I’m not voting for party A’ and canvasser replies that’s OK, we’ll still return it for you if you want. Mucho room for jiggerpokery methinks.

  87. Morag says:

    Grouse Beater – no, nothing like that. Wild surmise obviously way way off the mark.

  88. Helena Brown says:

    @TJenny, I got a smile from the two gentlemen on the polls this morning at my bright pink YES badge.

  89. Doug Daniel says:

    No need for a holiday, all it takes is a spreadsheet and the patience to go through this:

  90. donald anderson says:

    Perhaps she would rather spend the money on grants to drug dealers and gangsters in her constituency?

  91. heedtracker says:

    @ Dan Huil, more of a Meg actually “it seems to me that all we see, is sex and violence and Professor John Curtice on BBC tv”

    I like some BBC science/history/art documentaries but the same old upper class Oxbridge accent grates after a while and they love to be told that too:-)

  92. Dcanmore says:

    Bring back Topless Darts I say! 8P

  93. Iain More says:

    It will come as a great shock to Brit Nats that I for one do not care for the Brit Nat Brainwashing Corporation and I don’t much care to subsidise it ever. I do seditious things like read books and go Hill Walking so it would be no great evil if it was to fall.

  94. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I have to say Rev I’m loving your new (is it new) attitude. You seem to be more forward, forceful even in your language.”

    Well, I didn’t write this one.

  95. Morag says:

    TJenny, I would imagine that a cross in the wrong box, if notified to the polling clerk before you put the ballot in the box (after that would be too late) would mean that a new ballot paper would be issued. I cannot imagine for one second that anyone would be allowed to rub the cross out and put it somewhere else.

    One thing to bear in mind is that a pencil cross can’t be erased from paper without any trace being left. Only very light writing would allow that, and people usually make quite a decisive cross. Rubbing out and re-positioning a cross would be noticed at the count, which is closely observed.

    Pencils are provided because they’re less hassle than pens I imagine. Argos pens are a pain, Ikea pencils are not. But you don’t have to use it. Use your own pen in the voting booth if you’re worried.

    I don’t imagine anyone uses a pencil to fill in their postal vote form. I certainly never did, either for my own forms or when I was helping my registered blind mother with hers.

    The real concern is unscrupulous parties getting hold of significant numbers of valid postal ballots and then filling them in themselves. I’m not convinced that’s really feasible on a scale that could influence a Scotland-wide vote.

  96. dadsarmy says:

    Not forgetting BBC during the night, where you get to see 15 minutes of news repeated about 20 times, and Hard Talk where you get to hear some BBC person’s Daily Mail or Daily Telegraph view of some banana republic’s premier and see the premier reduced to quivers – and then say thanks for being on the show. It’s a Knockout Mk II.

    Hard Talk is one of the most annoying programs ever as they get prominent guests who presumably want their 30 minutes of fame, and potentially very interesting guests too, but we never actually get to hear their own opinions, their own concerns and motivations. I work a lot during the night and have the Beeb on as a background. Into every life a little suffering must fall. Time I switched back to Clubland.

  97. Thriftshop says:

    You forgot to mention the countless hours of “Farage-O-Vision”

  98. john king says:

    My life has lost all meaning. 🙁

  99. Wee Jonny Campbell says:

    “Well, I didn’t write this one.”
    Whoops. Sorry Doug. Love your attitood too.

  100. Murray McCallum says:

    As long as we can watch news reports by the BBC’s Nicholas Witchell does anything else matter?

  101. Liquid Lenny says:

    btp + Jim Thomson

    U both forget the Oysters….

  102. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

    @Helena Brown says:
    @TJenny, I got a smile from the two gentlemen on the polls this morning at my bright pink YES badge.

    Just back from voting for one of those Indy parties (well down the ballot paper) here in Edinburgh.

    I think I detected a frisson in the polling station as I went about my business wearing my big(-ish) YES badge.

  103. Murray McCallum says:

    Surely us Scots can cobble together a few quid to pay the Daily Mail’s Andrew Pierce to come and explain to us what’s written in our newspapers.

    This is currently a great service provided by the BBC.

  104. Graham Hughes says:

    I’m busy searching the Channel 5 schedules so I can set the DVR to record the All nude celebrity paint-drying but I will just comment that a few weeks back the BBC did piece about one of its programmes, the backdrop to which was the BBC’s annual event to sell its programmes to broadcasters from all over the World. Would Scottish broadcasters not be invited or would we just be too poor to buy the programmes? Oh well just have to point the TV aerials southwards and tune the satellite dishes to the rUK output

  105. bobdog says:

    Have stopped watching BBC news and listening to Radio Scotland which is just a woman’s magazine station , sorry ladies, which is heavily biased towards feminism issues and pro unionist presenters who don’t even hide their opinions. As regards TV I do watch newsnight Scotland and politics Scotland to wind myself up , and the odd Question time if it is in Scotland , OK once a year then . They offer me nothing else oh sorry QI and Mock the week but thats it , and they want me to pay £145 a year for that Roll on the SBC

  106. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

    “Viewers in Scotland look away now.”

    Here’s the score ….

    Just vote YES on September 18th.

  107. Liquid Lenny says:

    Jim Thomson

    If that figure of 180k is correct then only 1237 people in Scotland continue to pay the propaganda tax. 🙂

  108. Heather says:

    Well, one thing I can’t wait to do without is the endless 1966 comments!

    Just imagine it – never having to hear about that match ever again! I’ll take losing the coverage thank you very much!

  109. mato21 says:

    I use my own black marker pen when I vote, surely it is not law to have to use the pencil provided, anyone know?

  110. Jim Marshall says:

    Imagine this horrific scenario. England win the World Cup again and the Indyref is lost. Another 50 years of the BBC saying “they think it”s all over,it is now”. Time for the cyanide pill.

  111. dadsarmy says:

    What I would like to see from SBC. I would want a 24 hour channel, and during the night to have some great business programs such as the BBC (2) used to do but haven’t now for 2, 3 years or more. I’d also like to see more about the EU such as the BBC also used to do. Not that I’m an EU lover, but it was interesting to hear from some of the people actually doing the job. Include a few “furriners” (fellow members).

    And a regular Scottish business slot which covers SMEs rather than the usual big suspects. For most people that might be pretty boringszzzzzz

  112. CameronB Brofie says:

    You did seem a little directionless John, when we meet in Dundee. 😉

  113. john king says:

    BtP says
    “57 Channels and nothing on.”

    Ok ok bawheed, so its warmer in France,
    but sitting watchin telly with nuthin on?
    maybe I could loan you a jumper. 🙂

  114. benarmine says:

    So you’re telling me I can just walk into any ice cream shop and buy exactly what I want? Radical.

  115. lumilumi says:

    Jiggsbro @ 4.26pm

    An SBC wouldn’t be allowed access to foreign royalty…

    Let me reassure you, the Finnish public broadcasting corporation YLE shows us all the European royal weddings – not just the British ones – live. 😀

    I personally liked Vicky’s and Daniel’s wedding a lot more than Wills’ and Kate’s. Less pomp and circumstance, more of a warm “family” feeling, and we got to see the speeches etc. (Vicky is Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, hugely popular in Finland, and Prince Daniel is her former personal trainer.)

  116. misteralz says:

    Cancelled the yearly Direct Debit for the telly tax the other day – is there anything else I need to do now?
    Given up on telly altogether and use it purely as a computer monitor/DVD screen now.

  117. Edward says:

    Talking broadcasting – recommend having a gander at NRK, the Norwegian equivalent of the BBC.

    For such a wee country, they certainly have a large number of TV and Radio stations, excluding that is the commercial channels.

    A veritable smorgasbord of entertainment and news. NRK are also funded by licence fee.

    NRK also include a complete coverage of local radio and tv the whole length of Norway, including the more rural parts

  118. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

    @Jim Marshall says:
    England win the World Cup again and the Indyref is lost. Another 50 years of the BBC saying “they think it”s all over,it is now”. Time for the cyanide pill.

    Did I not hear that devolution for broadcasting would be one of the “powers” that Dave&Ed&Nick will be throwing at us if we vote NAW?

    (satire warning)

  119. Jim Thomson says:

    @Liquid Lenny 5:13

    Oysters were quite posh when I was a lad. All that shapieness ooOOoo

  120. Helena Brown says:

    @ Grousebeater, Could we maybe do a series of Shirley McKay Books when we are independent. Historical, set in the 1580’s James the sixth times, crime and legal drama? We could maybe sell them to the Danes and the Swedes and I think the US would love them.

  121. cynicalHighlander says:

    Where there’s muck there’s brass but it doesn’t stretch to the brass necks at the BBC.

  122. Alba4Eva says:

    Actually Jim… England winning the World Cup would effect at least a 10% swing to YES, so might be not a bad thing. 😉

  123. Jim Marshall says:

    Calgacus MacAndrews 5.35

    I never heard that one but they”ll say anything to get a NO vote.

  124. MorvenM says:

    I cancelled my BBC licence once I realised that almost the only live TV I watched was the news, and I couldn’t stand watching it any more. I get everything I want from the internet now.

    May I add an appeal to those who don’t normally vote SNP to add in a tactical vote today? The weather hasn’t been great and UKIP might sneak the 6th place in a low turnout. Polls close at 10 pm.

  125. JLT says:

    Seriously …would anyone miss the BBC?

    Think about it. Just think about it! What programmes do you watch? Be serious …have a wee rummage in the old grey matter.

    Now …apart from BBC News 24 …I watch nothing else from the BBC.

    Even after 2 minutes …I’m still struggling to think of one decent program.

    Nope. Wouldn’t miss it!

  126. john king says:

    bTp SAYS
    @Schordingers cat
    “Who owns Pacific Quay, and all the gubbins inside.

    £ to a pinch of sh1t it is some company offshore.”

    Juturna PLC, Pacific Quay Finance and White City Property Finance,

  127. Andy-B says:

    Frankly I think we in Scotland can produce more interesting programmes, with a Scottish based theme. The garbage that’s pumped out by the BBC won’t be missed, after independence. The Scottish content shown by the BBC is meagre, and I for one look forward to seeing Scotland’s own David Attenborough take to the hills, in the near future.

  128. TJenny says:

    mato21 – re pencils in voting booths, see my post above at 4.32. Do they let you use your own pen?

  129. TJenny says:

    Why’s my comment gone into moderation? Email details etc all same as my other comments.

  130. Jim Marshall says:

    Alba4Eva 5.39

    I”ll be rooting for BiH, I have a Bosnian daughter-in-law and grandson.

  131. Jim Thomson says:

    @Liquid Lenny 5:22

    to further quote from the FOI response:

    “Ofcom issues TV and Radio licences and the licence fees are set in accordance with the 2003 Communications Act so as to meet but not exceed Ofcom’s annual costs of regulating these sectors. The licence fees received are not analysed or reported by country. We only hold information on the postcode of the licence holder, which may not be an accurate reflection of the licencee’s activity. However, we have provided the licence fees by country in accordance to the licencee’s postcode.”

    I wont apologise for the grammar and punctuation, nowt to do wiv me guvnor.

  132. john king says:

    Calgacus McAndrews says
    “Did I not hear that devolution for broadcasting would be one of the “powers” that Dave&Ed&Nick will be throwing at us if we vote NAW?

    (satire warning)”

    Ha they’d be more inclined to give us the keys and the codes to the nuclear warheads than let us think for ourselves,
    its a nice thought to Calgacus

    Alba4eva says
    “Actually Jim… England winning the World Cup would effect at least a 10% swing to YES, so might be not a bad thing.”

    We couldnt be that lucky,
    could we?

  133. bobdog says:

    to get proper news about what is happening in the world outside the UK oops England tune into Aljazeera, RT Euronews and France 24 as our home based rolling news channels are so insular and report only on English based stories NHS Education and legal , Amazing to learn about Europe and other world stories

  134. john king says:

    its a nice thought THOUGH.

  135. Jim Marshall says:

    bobdog 5.50

    Agreed. The freesat dish delivers a couple of hundred free channels. Who needs the awful BBC.

  136. handclapping says:


    As long as “you” “make your mark” “on the ballot” “identifiably against a choice”, without marking it in anyway by which you could be identified, it is valid.

    Slit your wrists and vote No in blood 🙂 DNA doesn’t count, yet.

  137. fergie35 says:

    There is BBC Alba which I think is a great channel especially Eropa which looks in depth at other countries, and Scotland, unlike the rest of the BBC which is nearly all crap and devoutly British Nationalist and typical of a state controlled broadcaster

  138. lumilumi says:

    I’m a huge proponent of licence-fee/tax-payer-funded public broadcasting.

    There are problems with creeping establishment or state control of news and current affairs output, and general dumbing down in the face of commercial competition but lets not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

    Most western European countries have successful public broadcasters, who co-operate to produce programming and also sell their own output to others. People in the UK see very little of this, Borgen and a couple of others being rare exceptions rather than the norm as they are in other countries.

    YLE buys BBC programmes, mainly costume dramas and nature or history documentaries. David Attenborogh is so well-known and popular in Finland that he was even asked to do a TV ad for a Finnish brand of fizzy drink a few years ago! 😀

    YLE also buys programmes from other public broadcasters and channels around the world. The weekly German “Krimi” (police procedural) slot has been going on for decades and is a bit of a legend. Also the butt of good-natured jokes 😀 but people watch them as an alternative to American or British police procedurals.

    And thank you, thank you YLE2 for bringing Game of Thrones to Finland! 😀

    However, the most important thing is that public broadcasters can provide “niche” programmes. Swedish-language and Sami-language programmes obviously fall into this category but I’d say all Finnish-language programmes (whether YLE or commercial channels) are a bit “niche” as well, as there are only 5 million Finnish speakers in the world.

    If we didn’t have a public broadcaster, we’d have a lot less programmes in our own language, about our culture and issues in our own country (comedy/drama/documentary/current affairs, whatever).

    One of the most important things is children’s programmes. Programmes made specifically for Finnish children, in Finnish. YLE2’s daily Pikkukakkonen (“Little Two”) is a legend. I watched it as a kid and it’s still going strong. They also show foreign content but dubbed into Finnish – kids aren’t expected to be able to read subtitles until they’re 7-8 yr old.

    Most foreign programmes are subtitled so we hear a lot of English and also Swedish, German, Italian, Spanish and other languages. Maybe that’s why Finns are so good at reading, and also at learning foreign languages. 😀

    Sorry for the long post, but however disappointed and angry you feel about the BBC and its Scottis branch, don’t ditch public broadcasting just to spite the BBC.

    Who is going to make specifically Scottish programmes if you don’t have an SBC? The commercial channels won’t bother.

    And I’m sure there’d be a market for SBC programmes in Europe and around the world. RTÉ shows have been on Finnish TV and they’ve been popular.

  139. Camz says:

    Fuck me pink. I think you’ve just given me a cast-iron reason to vote yes. No more drab TV from England about England.

  140. Jamie Arriere says:

    Looking at the iPlayer programme list, here is my list of guff that I’ll be glad to see the back of :

    Great British Bake Off
    Football League Show/Live English football/England games
    Property porn
    Sweat the Small Stuff
    Top Gear
    Trooping the Colour
    Anything from Westminster
    Strictly Come Dancing (I know it’s not on iPlayer, but it’s still shit)

    Ten I would pay for :

    Later..with Jools Holland
    Natural World (and anything from Bristol unit)
    Only Connect
    Mock the Week
    Bang Goes the Theory….

    Oh dear, I can only find nine. And no buying duplicate programmes with ten minutes edited crap added to it (QI XL, Have I Got a Bit More News etc)

  141. manandboy says:

    I have Freesat – can’t fault it.

    I think Freesat might have a big future in an independent Scotland.

    Which is more than can be said for Alistair Darling and the Bitter Pill Gang.

  142. Richard Bruce says:


    That was a great post, it’s good to read about other European TV.

    I agree about the German police dramas, but they grow on you, I miss them, “Tatort” etc. The only regret I had was the growing “soap” dramas that were filling airtime in Netherlands and Germany. Ugh Good Times, Bad Times and Rote Rosen. It’s not all great TV, but it is at least popular with the airheads.

  143. Flower of Scotland says:

    I’ve got free sat and an old sky box used as a free view box. I get many channels and don’t watch BBC news. I watch RT , Aljazeera, CNN , euronews and sometimes Sky. I would love a Scottish news channel seen from a Scottish perspective! ………… Maybe after we get Independence? Fiona Hyslop promises it when we can decide for ourselves! Just vote YES!

  144. Col says:

    So if the BBC don`t own the studio at Pacific Quay do they own the big studio in London or Salford? Is this another way in which we have been short changed? I don`t think I had given it much thought until reading this but I actually don`t watch or listen to much BBC output at all. There is so much crap really. Things like Blue planet and Planet earth I tend to buy on DVD anyway. I don`t watch the news for obvious reasons. We pay too much for non Scottish output I think.

  145. mato21 says:

    T Jenny & handclapping

    Thanks for your replies

    No one, if they have noticed which I doubt, has ever said anything and I’ve never asked, it never occured to me. I’ll watch for your follow up with interest


    I think I’ll keep the wrist slashing on stand by in case there’s a no vote. It’s an idea though to put my cross down in blood, I’ll give that serious consideration A wee thumb prick would suffice

  146. Lyn Millar says:

    Does that also mean we won’t have to pay the license to the BBC Yahhhhhh!!!! RESULT ! never watch BBC anyway

  147. Grouse Beater says:

    If anybody wants rocked off their seats learning how similar are the libel and lies of today to those of 1705, thrown at Scotland to keep it subservient, I encourage you to read my latest extrapolation of James Anderson’s book:

    Essays in Betrayal 3


    (Thanks for your forbearance, Stuart – feel free to borrow quotations if needed.)

  148. abigdoob says:

    They try to make on that the supply of TV is achieved through incantations over magic beans that only London has access to. It’s complete nonsense of course.

    Go & have a look at the thousands of channels being beamed down from satellite by every country.

    eg. Canal Digital Nordic to Norway Sweden Finland & Denmark

    or another site

  149. Barbara Reid says:

    I have stopped watching tv altogether. There are perhaps a couple of dramas I like ie The Killing and Homeland but I watch them along with films, etc on my tablet. I now spend more time watching debates on You Tube. I’ve never been impressed by daytime tv and the choice in evening viewing is dismal now as well. We are paying a licence fee and getting nothing in return.

  150. JWil says:

    When the SNP came into power ructions were made about the little money Scotland got back from it’s licence money paid to central BBC. It was about 2%. According to last night’s discussion it was said to be 3%, so not much of an increase over seven years. We also had the lie that some rogrammes were labelled BBC Scotland but in fact they were nothing of the kind only the label was made in BBC Scotland and the money was coming from Scotish licence money but there was no benefit in the from of Scottsh input to the programmes so no industry up here in programme making. Now I think the BBC have pulled another fast one. I don’t watch evey programme that the BBC shows but I am quite leeen on those on Scirentific and history and art subject. I make a point of wastching right to the end and a great many of them aare labelled BBC Scotlnd. I am very dubios about hthis and I think the BBC have just ignored he protests and used the sme trickery to fool the Scottish public. It would be very interestin to see some statisitics on this.

  151. Grouse Beater says:

    Grousebeater, Could we maybe do a series of Shirley McKay Books when we are independent. Historical, set in the 1580?s James the sixth times, crime and legal drama? We could maybe sell them to the Danes and the Swedes and I think the US would love them.

    The quick answer is, yes.

    I’m of the opinion we can expect an explosion, a flowering of creativity on independence regained.

    The chance to dramatise our history, old and recent, will be part of that, and that includes docudramas.

    Two caveats: it isn’t that our history is uncommercial, as claimed by our fiercely monopolistic counterparts in London, the weakness is Scotland has no control over the means of distribution. We must first set up a hard-nosed international distribution network for all television and independent programmes and film, of all genres. Without it all we will make are expensive home videos.

    And second, we should establish a Scottish Academy of the Moving Image, for the same reasons painters, printmakers, sculptors, and architects of note have their academy. We need such an institution to help elevate our talent at home, and beyond our borders, without deference to English culture, or American, for that matter, an Academy for all who create story telling through the medium of film.

    I wrote a Paper months back on the subject for Edinburgh University, duly published. I might crib from it later for another blog.

    PS: I love Inspector Montalbano,/i> above all foreign imports!!! Those Sicilian backdrops, the femme fatals, the complex plots, the femme fatals … oops, I got carried away there.

  152. JWil says:

    Sorry about the editing in my last comment. Events overtook me. Here is the pukka version (I hope).

    When the SNP came into power there were ructions about the little money Scotland got back from its licence money paid to BBC Central. It was about 2%. According to last night’s discussion it was said to be 3% now, so not much of an increase over seven years. We also had the lie then that some programmes were labelled ‘BBC Scotland’ (like the Jonathan Ross Show), but in fact they were nothing of the kind, only the label was made in BBC Scotland, but they were being funded by Scottish licence money and there was no benefit in the form of Scottish input to the programmes so no industry in programme making could even develop up here.

    Now I think the BBC have pulled another fast one. I don’t watch every programme that the BBC shows but I am quite keen on those on science, astronomy, archaeology, history, natural history and art subjects. I try to make a point of watching right to the end and a great many of them are labelled BBC Scotland which gives the impression that there is a thriving programme making industry in Scotland with Scottish jobs and Scottish expertise. I am very dubious about this and I think the BBC have just ignored the previous protests and continue to use the same trickery to fool the Scottish public. It would be very interesting to see some statistics on this.

    The other wool puller of course is the copious use of the word ‘British’ in almost every programme title and the tenuous connections to Scotland, although sometimes they don’t even bother with that.

    I wonder if other posters have thoughts on these matters?

  153. Grouse Beater says:

    I wonder if other posters have thoughts on these matters?

    Yes. Most every day.

  154. BillyBigbaws says:

    Doug said: “Clearly Scotland would struggle to film two people sitting on a settee in a studio reading off an autocue and talking to people about their latest album/film/book/whatever.”

    Going by the quality of The Hour with Michelle McManus on STV… apparently we would.

    Eezy, good blog, I liked the detailed links you gave about Glen Douglas and other defence-related installations in Scotland. Thanks.

  155. kendomacaroonbar says:


    Yes Sir, Planning to be there.

  156. a2 says:

    OT but when I voted late this morning, the only party that had anyone canvassing at all was the greens, (hillhead) although apparently UKIP were there earlier on. What I wonder does that say about everybody else’s commitment?

  157. Morag Graham Kerr says:

    TJenny, I lost a post earlier.

    I suspect the reason pencils are supplied is that they’re much lower maintenance than pens. So long as a bit of lead is showing, they work.

    There’s no reason at all why you can’t mark your paper with your own pen! Did you ever see a notice saying, “only use the pencil provided”? No. But they have to provide something, they can’t rely on everyone bringing their own writing implement, and pencils are easier.

    If you put your cross in the wrong place and realised before the paper was in the box (when it would be too late), you’d be issued with a new paper. There is no way anyone would let you rub the cross out and re-use the same paper!

    It’s impossible to rub a cross out undetectably unless the original pencil mark was very light and didn’t leave an indent – which isn’t the way most people mark their papers. If this was done it would be spotted at the count, which is scrutinised within an inch of its life by representatives of all the candidates. Maybe the odd paper might not be noticed, but if there were a lot, someone would smell a rat.

    I imagine very few people would use a pencil to mark a postal vote. I’ve certainly never done that, either my own or when I was helping my registered blind mother.

    The main way fraud could take place is by unscrupulous people getting hold of significant numbers of blank postal ballot papers. I’m not convinced this could be accomplished on a sufficiently large scale to affect the result of a Scotland-wide vote. It’s something that needs to be watched though.

  158. Capn Andy. says:

    Watching Dominic Littlewood this morning while I was having my coffee. I have to admit, I enjoy the Fake Britain show as it’s informative. However at the start of the show, he tells us, “I’m going to show you how not to get ripped off”.
    As opposed to showing us how to get ripped of properly Dominic??? LOL I nearly choked on my biscuit.

  159. Capn Andy. says:

    OOPs. That should of course be ‘ripped off properly’.

  160. TJenny says:

    Morag – thanks for getting back to me. Must admit I always just use the pencil as it’s in the booth, Ill take a pen with me for the ref vote though.

    Btw are you going to the Counting House next Friday?

  161. TJenny says:

    should’ve been ‘I’ll’.

  162. Taysideterrier says:


    Haggis and Irn bru – Braw

  163. Greannach says:

    Watching an English BBC programme about their local election. Tory Chairman, Grant Shapps, is on and I’d swear he’s sober.

  164. David Smith says:

    I must admit that even down to broadcasting, media and ‘telling our own story’, I’m getting more and more excited by the prospect of independence by the day. We will be rebuilding an entire country from the foundations up and I suspect there will be a task for everybody who wants one. For the first time in my adult life I see a cause I can truly believe in and feel passion for.
    It will be wonderful at last after fifty years to find a genuine purpose in life.
    Let’s do this!

  165. Dr JM Mackintosh says:

    Great article – stu.
    here is the telephone number to cancel your TV licence.


    You will never get square eyes ever again.

  166. Gordon Beattie says:

    Interesting that the “You won’t get BBC anymore” keeps cropping up.

    Are we REALLY to believe that the BBC would annex us totally bearing in mind that their main production facilities are at Pacific Quay in Glasgow???

    (Media City in Salford only deals with Sport / Kids TV and they no longer have BBC TV Centre to work with and it would cost far too much to relocate everything to their facilities at Elstree…)

    Unless they REALLY cut their nose off and have to go cap-in-hand and pay through the nose to use ITV’s studios – aka LWT in London???

  167. joe kane says:

    That’s the best telly review I’ve read in a long while.

  168. Ken500 says:

    The BBC is crap

    Don’t watch it.

    What has happened to the text news headlines on Alba. The only on going Scottish News channel.

    Even less viewers, Pathetic.

  169. Ken500 says:

    Secret vice

    Prof Bartlett one weak spot.

  170. Tattie-bogle says:

    Wait What that website does TV too jeez the output must be one big lie

  171. Mark Harper says:

    Cancelled my license last October as I wasn’t watching anyway. Mainly because I’d connected my TV to a PC and spent 99% of my time surfing or steaming and none of it live. Now if anything interesting happens on the beeb, I hear about it through the ether then find it on youtube or some other source. A VPN comes in handy.
    I’ve heard worrying rumours that westminster are planning a new “entertainment tax” that will charge people with online access, to replace the TV license.

  172. Ken MacColl says:

    Some time ago a Scottish(?) journalist in a particularly lucid moment, reporting on a Holyrood debate, stated, “The chamber quickly emptied as Patricia Ferguson rose to her feet. The MSP fo Maryhill has an air of tumbleweed about her ….”

  173. Jim says:

    Lol Douglas.

    I believe of its £3 billion budget the BBC spends around £2.2 billion on programme making. Scotland gets about 3% of that for core Scottish programming ie. programmes for a Scottish audience.

    Not a great deal really.

    Further BBC hand-outs to Scotland allow us to use a Scottish camera crew to film such things as Question Time which spends much of its time having a go at the subsidised Scots from all over the UK, with rare appearances in Scotland.

    The BBC is a disgrace.

  174. T says:

    Having just been in Germany, it is fascinating to me that their free channels apparently include BBC 1, 2, and 3, BBC News 24 and BBC World. So not much missing there then!

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