In 90 minutes of BBC coverage and analysis of the leaders’ debate on the BBC News channel, the single Scottish commentator the BBC have had on that channel – and he has appeared three different times – is the ludicrous Torcuil Crichton of the Labour Party (and Daily Record), introduced by the BBC as though he were an independent commentator. Without being challenged by anybody, Crichton has again and again been allowed to expound the ridiculous argument that Cameron benefited from Nicola Surgeon’s strong performance because it weakened David Miliband.
This is ludicrous because of course it makes no difference to the balance of the House of Commons from a Tory point of view whether the Scottish MPs facing them are Labour or SNP. Three times Crichton has been on, making his invalid point, with nobody making the obvious response – or indeed any response. Three times – separate times, they are not repeats – he has been allowed to make a jibe about the SNP promising “a land of milk and honey”, as his Labour Party dismissal of anti-austerity economics. Again, without reply.
The BBC is an utter disgrace in the way it covers Scotland. My personal view is that post independence we don’t need state propaganda in news or current affairs, and should simply sack everybody in the BBC news and current affairs departments in Scotland, without compensation.
On the debate, without detracting in any way from Nicola Sturgeon’s excellent performance, I think the personalisation of it is wrong and that what the polls are reflecting is a strong desire right across the UK to support anti-austerity policies and no nuclear weapons. Sadly this is probably the last time even the possibility of such policy options will be allowed a significant hearing on mainstream media in England for the next five years.