* * *
I had already received an automated acknowledgement of my submission to the BBC Trust consultation last week, so I was slightly surprised to receive another response today. The cynical among you may be able to guess where this is going.
"Thank you for your submission to the BBC Trust's Election Guidelines consultation which will be considered in full.
Your comments addressed the proposed leaders’ televised debates. Please note, these proposed Election Guidelines do not refer specifically to the proposed debate/s. The role of the BBC Trust is distinct from that of the BBC’s management and it has no role in day to day editorial decisions such as who should be invited to participate in a particular programme. However, any election debates broadcast or streamed on the BBC must comply with the Election Guidelines and applicable advice on levels of coverage for the parties. This new material on levels of coverage will be made available on the Trust website in January in order for it to be as up-to-date as possible in terms of the political landscape, and will also form part of the consultation.
The Trust will take the consultation responses into account and publish the results on its website, together with the final guidelines once approved by the Trust. This is likely to be in March 2015."
In other words, my submission will be fully considered in the form of it being COMPLETELY IGNORED. I can only apologise to people who may have taken their cue from me by making a submission in good faith - I honestly thought that at the very least a shaming effect might be achieved, because the number of demands for fair debates would have to be summarised, but it looks like they're even going to avert that by generically summarising those submissions as "irrelevant responses".
Remember the quote from the BBC spokesman that was strategically included within several BBC reports on the debates controversy, assuring viewers they would have the chance to make their views heard via the Trust consultation on the election guidelines? What in heaven's name was the relevance of that observation, if the position is that BBC management can exclude whoever they like from the debates REGARDLESS OF WHAT THE GUIDELINES SAY?
These people are game-players - there's no other way of putting it. It's like dealing with the Circumlocution Office in Little Dorrit.
That said, once this "new material on levels of coverage" is published in January, I'll probably try responding all over again. The persistence will be worth it to see if they ever run out of excuses.
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First Minister Election :
Nicola Sturgeon (SNP) 66
Ruth Davidson (Conservatives) 15
*puts on Canadian accent*
It's another terrrr-ible afternoon for the Conservatives.
I was slightly surprised that Labour gave the SNP and Tories a free run, but then I remembered that the alternative would have been putting up Jackie Baillie as a candidate for First Minister. Yes, that would have been pretty silly.
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"Jackanory Jim" Murphy made a jaw-dropping statement on last night's televised Labour leadership hustings - he claimed that Nicola Sturgeon was "unusual in Scotland" in that she had never voted Labour.
Er, Jim, do you want to have a look through the records and tell me the last time that Labour won more than 50% of the vote in Scotland? It'll take you a while. Because it's never happened.