REJOICE! After decades of campaigning, after years of disappointment, after a hard struggle that involved crawling over the broken glass of a cathode ray tube, Scottish broadcasting is finally coming bang up to date. Or at least, bang up to date if you live in the 1970s. This week, after announcing that Scotland can forget having its own dedicated news programme on the prime channel at teatime news viewing hours, we were told by BBC Director General Tony Hall that we can instead have as much news as we like on a Mcghetto channel between the hours of 7pm and midnight.

I’m being churlish. It’s always welcome to see any investment in Scottish broadcasting, but this new channel is being produced on a shoestring. This is a long way short of a proper Scottish broadcasting service. The new channel will be produced on a smaller budget than the under-fives channel CBeebies, meaning that the BBC spends more on Teletubbies than it does on Scotland. So instead of a properly funded Scottish broadcaster we’re getting a part-time channel with a very tight budget, which starts out under-resourced and is likely to be under-promoted and publicised too.

There are a lot of unanswered questions. What’s going to happen to existing Scottish content on BBC One and BBC Two? Will the main networks be bleached of anything that has a hint of tartan and be hived off to the new channel where it won’t get much of an audience? Will the new channel follow the same tired and British-deferential path that’s been trodden by Pacific Quay in its broadcasting efforts to date?

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Given the BBC’s well-deserved reputation for pimping for the Union, you can forgive the suspicion that this new channel is being set up to fail. If it pumps out programmes like the execrable Scotland 2017, or the sub-One Show replacement which is currently airing on BBC Two, it will certainly fail. Then the Unionist parties and the BBC management in London will gleefully claim that there’s no demand for Scottish programming, and certainly no demand for a dedicated Scottish broadcaster. So just keep sending those licence fees to London, Jocks.

I hope I’m wrong. Maybe the new channel will fearlessly hound the Unionist parties the way the BBC in Scotland currently, and rightly, fearlessly hounds the SNP. Maybe the new channel will ask Ruth Davidson why she’s done a 180 degree turn on her commitment to remain in the EU and is no longer even pretending to defend the interests of her own constituents. Maybe the new channel will ask Kezia Dugdale – if she’s still Labour’s leader by then – why it is that her party practises fantasy politics and refuses to engage with the reality that Scotland can either be independent and a part of the EU, or outside the EU and a part of the UK, but it can’t be both. Maybe it will ask Wullie Rennie: “What time is the next bus to Cowdenbeath?”

Maybe the new channel will commission innovative and interesting Scottish programming that will attract a wide audience. It’s not like there’s a lack of talent in this country, but the BBC in its careful conservatism is too timid to take risks. Will the new channel have the courage to give airtime to voices which represent a lot of people in Scotland but which challenge the Unionist establishment?

BBC Scotland has already given airtime to Unionist bloggers who are controversial and combative, will it do the same for independence supporting ones? Will the new channel give regular airtime to the likes of Stu Campbell of Wings Over Scotland or Derek Bateman, who has criticised Scottish broadcasting from a position of knowledge and experience?

If the BBC was really brave they’d give a regular slot to GA Ponsonby whose criticisms of the BBC have been relentless and who has done more than anyone to kick-start the Scottish alternative media.

Maybe, just maybe, the new channel will treat the issue of independence versus the Union as one that’s cross-party and will reflect the approximately equal support each position has in the country with equal airtime and give the topic a properly balanced airing, instead of presenting it as a party political issue and lining-up three Unionists against an independence supporter.

That will be the real test for the new channel, and one it will have to pass if it is to rescue the BBC’s wrecked reputation in Scotland. But don’t go holding your breath.

This new channel is a chance for the BBC to prove that it takes Scottish broadcasting seriously. It’s a chance for the BBC in Scotland to represent the full range of opinions in Scotland in a fair and balanced manner – a manner that Scottish opinion clearly feels that the BBC has failed to achieve so far.

The ball is in BBC’s court, it’s up to them to prove their intentions.

Will this new channel be a real and sincere attempt to provide one of the constituent nations with the beginnings of the broadcasting service that it deserves, or will it be yet another sop to Scotland that allows London to retain control?

It’s up to you now, Pacific Quay. We will be watching, but not necessarily in the sense that you would like.