Thursday, June 10, 2021

All systems go: PLEASE SIGN the parliamentary petition calling for powers over broadcasting to be devolved to the Scottish Parliament

My persistence (and your persistence) has finally paid off - at the third attempt, I've managed to get a petition published on the UK Parliament website.  It calls for the full devolution of broadcasting powers to the Scottish Parliament, and also incorporates my original call for a Scottish entry at the Eurovision Song Contest.  This is a very timely moment to be considering the question of where decisions relating to broadcasting should be made, because the Westminster power-grab is currently being replicated within the BBC's own internal structures - control over BBC Scotland's studios is being seized by London, and since BBC Scotland is but a mere branch office, there's not a damn thing they can do about it.

The new Director-General of the BBC, Tim Davie, is a former Tory politician, and his political views have quite clearly not changed one iota - his notion of "addressing BBC bias" is, ludicrously, to make the corporation even more right-wing and British nationalist.  The chances of it reflecting on, let alone addressing, the catastrophic mistakes it made during the 2014 independence referendum, are now even more remote.

Before starting this petition, I did an internet search for "devolution of broadcasting" and discovered to my surprise that it's recently been a much more live topic in Wales than in Scotland.  There's a hilarious article from last year in which the director of BBC Wales declares himself to be "neutral" on transferring powers from London to Cardiff but then lists umpteen sneering reasons why it shouldn't happen, and not a single reason why it should.  If that's what "neutrality" looks like, the mind boggles as to what he'd be saying if he was opposed to the idea!

If the petition reaches 10,000 signatures, the UK Government will be required to respond to it.  If it reaches 100,000 signatures, it will be considered for debate in the Commons.  (I believe it depends mainly on whether there's been a recent parliamentary debate on the subject, and off the top of my head I've no idea whether that's the case.) To reach those target figures will require a lot more than simply promoting the petition on this blog, so if this is a subject you feel strongly about, please share the petition on social media and let your friends and family know about it.

To view and sign the petition, please click HERE.  As the new Eurovision bigwig would say: you're good to go.  (Incidentally, if you were one of the 21 people who signed on Friday before the petition was checked for publication, your signature already counts.)

17 comments:

  1. I've signed it, but have not as yet received a confirmation e-mail and my vote won't count till i respond to that.

    ReplyDelete
  2. got the e-mail that's it at 344.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think the only thing about broadcasting that could be realistically 'devolved' is setting the licence fee and sending money to the BBC.

    Why on earth would anyone want politicians put in charge of broadcasting? What's the point in replicating Ofcom?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You know, you've said some really daft things in your time, but that one takes the biscuit. Politicians *are* in charge of broadcasting. They've *always* been in charge. The question is whether we want *Westminster* politicians to *remain* in charge, or whether we'd prefer to have democratic accountability at a Scottish level.

      Delete
  4. I would love to sign it but I live in Nova Scotia. My recollection of these petitions to the UK parliament is that the petitions are uk voters. Is this correct?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They're open to British citizens and UK residents. In other words, people who live abroad can sign but only if they're British citizens, and non-British citizens can sign but only if they live in the UK.

      Delete
  5. How would that Eurovision thing work? The BBC trying to convince the EBU to let them enter two songs while all other broadcasters get only one, or BBC Scotland (or SBC) joining the EBU as independent broadcaster?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As I've pointed out quite a few times recently, Scotland and Wales were both represented at the 2019 Eurovision Choir competition - a sister event to the Eurovision Song Contest organised by the EBU in exactly the same way. The Scottish entry was put forward by BBC Alba, and the Welsh entry by S4C. Wales have also competed in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest.

      In practice it would be pretty straightforward for the BBC to negotiate a Scottish entry, because they're one of the contest's biggest funders.

      Delete
  6. Just signed and it's at 1166 signatures. It's a noble effort, but there's not a chance in hell Westminster will give up their iron grip on broadcasting, given that control over the media is such a massive part of politics pretty much everywhere today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The whole point of the exercise is to demonstrate that devolution isn't meeting the needs of the Scottish people.

      Delete
    2. I get that and I applaud it, and if it opens more people's eyes to the fact that this is not a normal country situation then that's great.

      Meanwhile, the propaganda coming from the Brit Shithouse builds to frankly USSR levels - the absolute state of this: https://www.deliveringforscotland.gov.uk/

      Delete
    3. Aye Craig. Strange isn't it. Wings said the SNP/Greens have gone unionist so there isnae gonnae be any iref. Hmmm... so what's this desperate 'Delivering & Royals for Tartanland' sh*te aw aboot?

      Why the squeaky bums if we're not voting fir a generation?

      Delete
    4. Maybe the UK government doesn't particularly have its finger on the pulse of what's going on in Scotland.

      Delete
    5. Skier - yep, as Paul Kavanagh posted recently, they are coming across as a bit desperate.

      Keaton - I think that's bang on the money, and the more of this misguided 'hearts and minds' nonsense they come out with the more likely it is to backfire on them. So they should totally carry on with that :)

      Delete
  7. EU and USA really piling the pressure on England to respect the N. Ireland protocol and the GFA international peace treaty.

    That border down the Irish sea breaking up the UK must be firmed up!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Signed, but we need a lot more signatures!

    ReplyDelete