Spectrum Of Views On BBC

Green MSP Patrick Harvie is challenging claims by Labour's shadow Scottish secretary Margaret Curran that the Scottish Government's proposals for broadcasting in an independent Scotland would have a "devastating impact".

Patrick said:

"I welcome Margaret Curran's recognition that independence is not a 'take it or leave it' deal on the SNP's White Paper, and that there's a spectrum of views about issues on both sides of the referendum.

"On the No side there are some who would leave the BBC as it is, failing to recognise that Scotland deserves better from our public service broadcaster. And there are others on the Tory benches who would happily abolish the whole ethos of public service, and see it funded by adverts instead of the licence fee.

"On the Yes side there are those who support the SNP's idea of a Scottish Broadcasting Service, and there are others who think the BBC can be made to work better that it does today - and that independence could bring that about. By changing the BBC Charter and Agreement to ensure that both governments are involved, we would achieve a double-lock protection for the principle of public service broadcasting against attacks from the political right, we'd give the Corporation an inbuilt incentive to treat its different audiences seriously, and we'd avoid breaking up the biggest news-gathering machine on the planet.

"That sounds like win-win to me, and we could all settle down to watch Dr Who, Strictly, or the kind of high quality Scottish current affairs coverage the country has a right to expect."