The SNP is weighing in behind those who want to see an end to the BBC as we know it. Scottish Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop has just outlined her plans for a “federal BBC with at least a Board for each nation” with a budget controlled in Scotland.
In an article headed “Sturgeon’s dangerous plan for the BBC” in The Scotsman newspaper, Brian Wilson recalled that during the referendum campaign protests at the BBC headquarters in Glasgow, the “mob outside Pacific Quay…was demanding political acquiescence. The bile led by Alex Salmond against individual broadcasters’ integrity was orchestrated only to intimidate.”
And writer Kenneth Roy is forthright in his response to being threatened by “being held to account”. Writing in the Scottish Review, he said, “Like many before me, I am discovering that if you're not totally for them, you’re totally against them. In Miss Sturgeon’s one party state, dissent – any dissent – is simply not tolerated.”
• Meanwhile, in a major blow to separatist fantasies, tax revenues from North Sea oil and gas have fallen to a negative position for the first time in the industry’s history. Alex Salmond's predictions of March 2013 – that production in Scottish waters would yield £57 billion in tax revenue for an independent Scotland by 2019 – has been torpedoed below the waterline.
Official figures now show that repayments to producers have cancelled out revenues, leaving the British government £39 million in the red. This loss over the first six months of the financial year shows the impact of falling production and prices. Pooling resources across Britain is the only way to safeguard the long term future of this vital industry.