WHERE is the authority of democracy, as the country is gripped by the intervention of the House of Lords in the Brexit on goings ?
Unelected, unaccountable and undemocratic peers trying to overthrow the will of the people, it is totally unacceptable, regardless of how one voted in the referendum. So, how much are those peers costing the country, considering many peers have come out of there winter hibernation for the occasion. It was reported that on the first day of debate in the Lords there was 187 peers in the House, that from a possible 750 eligible to vote, a mere quarter. But coming out of hibernation does have its rewards to the tune of between £150 and £300 per day for those not in receipt of a salary or allowance from another source, and all tax-free.
This un-elected, undemocratic and unaccountable House of Lords intervention in the Brexit debate merely highlights once again that the second largest parliamentary assembly in the world after China’s national people’s congress must be dissolved.
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Catriona C Clark, Falkirk
THE announcement of “ a new TV Scotland” by BBC director general Tony Hall is mere smoke and mirrors designed to distract Scots from the central decision that we are going continue getting our main news on TV at 6pm and 10pm as British news (usually mainly English news). The option of Scottish news at 9pm when it will be up against prime time programmes from all other channels is a recipe designed to fail.
The supposed bonus of an extra £20 million for Scottish programmes is another sop, just as is the allocation of programmes made for UK audiences to have a nominal base in Glasgow, but in reality the vast bulk of the production costs are spent in England.
The truth is that of the £325m raised in Scotland in the licence fee, less than £100m is actually spent in Scotland. As Denmark and Sweden, and even Iceland, have recently proved with their high quality programmes, it is possible to be a small country and have good public broadcasting, but you first you need to control your own budget.
Some years ago I had breakfast with Greg Dyke, the then director general of the BBC (sacked by Blair for telling the truth about Iraq). I asked him why Scotland didn’t have its own 6pm news, he said that Blair prevented as it would lead to the nation wanting independence next. It seems like Theresa May has had a similar message for Tony Hall. Let us hope that Scots wake up to this attempt to continue this deception of us paying for the propaganda to keep us in the Union. We don’t just need a Scottish Six, we need a Scottish Broadcasting Corporation!
Hugh Kerr, Edinburgh
WHILST debating the merits of a Scottish Six on Radio 4’s Today programme, Labour Peer Baroness Young stated the reason she was against it was because it would end up discussing the price of mince in Auctermuchty.
This patronising attitude sums up the Unionist mind-set. They regard Scottish viewers as children who don’t really know what is good for them. The BBC believes that Scots are “too parochial” to be trusted with their own news programme. Baroness Young was a member of the BBC board that decided in the 90s the realities of devolution were irrelevant. Tony Blair personally conspired with then BBC director general John Birt to stop a Scottish Six being set-up. They feared that it would lead to a groundswell of support for independence. The reason a Scottish Six now is being opposed by the Unionist establishment is the same now as it was then.
Despite persistent denials to the contrary the BBC has always been a trusted organ of the British state. In 1926 when the General Strike was taking place, Lord Reith refused to allow leaders of the strike any airtime to put their case. The anti-strike speech of then Prime Minister Baldwin were not just broadcast by the BBC Lord Reith actually wrote them.
The BBC is state-propaganda disguised as an autonomous public-sector broadcaster. Nick Robinson unintentionally gave the game away when he said ‘It was my job to report what those in power were doing or thinking...That is all someone in my sort of job can do.”
Alan Hinnrichs, Dundee
A RECENT report by McMillan Cancer Support says that people from deprived areas of Scotland can be twice as likely to die from the disease as those from more prosperous areas.
The main reasons are late presentation, ie not participating in screening programmes, ignoring symptoms, lifestyle and diet.
On STV Scotland Tonight on Monday, Professor Jason Leitch of NHS Scotland agreed this has more do with personal responsibility and choice than income.
We never hear politicians being so explicit about this. The SNP blame Westmonster austerity and the others blame the SNP.
If Nicola Sturgeon stood up and publicised the many excellent – ironically SNP – programmes to encourage people to do more for themselves she would do more to publicise and solve than all the NHS posters in surgeries and community centres, and in the process save more lives and millions of pounds.
A clue to why she doesn’t is this quote from the excellent Commonweal Demographics of Independence report, which says for those (with income) from £0-25k, an increase of support for independence by five per cent would close the vote gap by 400,000, more than the 380,000 vote gap in 2014.
Aside from this being based on there being eight million people in this bracket (five per cent of which is 400,000), the last thing the SNP want to do is tell that many voters that a lot of their problems are of their own making, not the UK’s and independence alone will not solve it.
Allan Sutherland, Stonehaven
“A PICTURE paints a thousand words” has never been truer than when viewing recent photographs of Theresa May’s Cabinet.
The insignificance of Scotland to the present Conservative leadership is clearly illustrated if one has a pair of binoculars handy. With their aid one can just about discern the timid features of the Scottish Secretary, David Mundell, peeking out forlornly from his position at the extremity of the very long Cabinet table.
One must hope that Mrs May’s hearing is acute as Mr Mundell has repeatedly shown in interviews that his voice does not carry well. It certainly has not been heard by the Cabinet during Brexit discussions as the voices of the people he represents have clearly been ignored.
James Mills, Johnstone