Just out of curiosity, I started browsing through some of the published submissions to the Smith Commission, and my eye was immediately drawn to the one from Channel 4. It turns out they went to all the trouble of making a submission for just one sole reason - to oppose Scotland governing itself in respect of broadcasting regulation.
Now, it's not remotely hard to understand why a London-centric organisation whose Scottish content and coverage has always been woefully inadequate would be uncomfortable about the prospect of being called to account by a Scottish regulatory regime. But it's nevertheless surprising that a public service broadcaster that is obliged to provide unbiased political coverage would feel able to take sides so openly, particularly as it calls into question the underlying stance that informed their approach to the independence referendum - a contest in which Scottish control over broadcasting regulation was most certainly on the ballot paper.
Perhaps I should really have said "it ought to be surprising", because this is just the latest in a string of examples of London broadcasters seemingly believing they can have their cake and eat it - ie. that they can take sides in the constitutional debate, and yet still claim to be a trusted, impartial news source. You might remember the BBC's Ric Bailey being asked a few weeks ago about the prospect of broadcasting being devolved to Scotland, and dismissively replying that "we're a long way from that sort of discussion". Er, really? When 45% of the population have just voted for full sovereign independence, and the remaining 55% have voted for an option that was explicitly tied to "extensive new powers" being granted to the Scottish Parliament, with "all the options for devolution" being on the table? If the London broadcasters are still trying to decree that "we're a long way from even having a discussion" about broadcasting being devolved in these circumstances, something is going very seriously wrong somewhere.
By the way, one of Channel 4's excuses for why Scotland shouldn't be allowed to govern itself in respect of broadcasting regulation is that they're committed as a channel to spending 9% of their budget outside England by the year 2020. Hmmm. Given that a full 16% of the population of the UK live outside England, I'm not really sure how grateful we're supposed to be about that pledge. Indeed, in this "near-federal" UK we were promised by the No campaign, you'd think Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland would, if anything, be entitled to slightly more than their crude population share of spending, rather than substantially less.
STV have also made a submission to Smith in which they indirectly state their opposition to Scottish self-government in respect of broadcasting regulation, but I can almost bring myself to be slightly more forgiving of them, because it's practically apologetic in tone, and more or less admits that they're selfishly motivated by worries over losing their licence if the regulatory regime changes! Still, it does make you wonder if that consideration influenced all of those "warning about independence" stories they used to run on their news bulletins...