BBC ban Salmond

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By Rod MacFarlane
 
Scotland face England in a game of Rugby today in Edinburgh.
 
I am sure many will be looking forward to the spectacle. Such is the historical rivalry between the two nations that they could play each other at tiddlywinks and draw a crowd.

Nowadays there is much good humour associated with these clashes, and a fair bit of winding up goes on.

By Rod MacFarlane
 
Scotland face England in a game of Rugby today in Edinburgh.
 
I am sure many will be looking forward to the spectacle. Such is the historical rivalry between the two nations that they could play each other at tiddlywinks and draw a crowd.

Nowadays there is much good humour associated with these clashes, and a fair bit of winding up goes on.

Today will be no different, win lose or draw you will find supporters from both sides having a laugh, a lot of banter and plenty drinks after the game in Edinburgh.

The winners will have the bragging rights for another year, the losers will take it in good grace, and they will dissect in minute detail the events of the game.

It is with this background, and in this setting, that the days event will take place.  The result will have no effect on peoples lives, nor will it change their political views.

Supporters of independence will not suddenly ditch the idea, if England should win. Those against Scotlands departure from the Union will not become rabid Scots Nationalists if Scotland thrash England, and those who are undecided will not suddenly make up their mind.

It is a game of rugby.  It will have flags of St Andrew and St George in abundance, and God Save the Queen will be sung alongside Flower of Scotland.  It is not a life altering event.

Alex Salmond was invited to be a guest panellist alongside former Scotland scrum-half Andy Nicol and ex-England star Jeremy Guscott on the programme hosted by John Inverdale on BBC1 and Radio 5 Live.

However, suddenly Alex Salmond was barred from appearing.

SNP MP Angus Robertson blasted the Beeb’s chief political adviser Ric Bailey in London, who sanctioned the decision.

He said: “It seems that he has gone bonkers, or he’s acting under direct orders from Downing Street.

“He’s overruled his own editors and journalists in the manner you’d expect in a banana republic.

“The BBC is babbling about tensions in the current climate as his excuse for this state control of broadcasting.

“The only heightened tension is between the BBC and their long suffering licence payers in Scotland – who are now being told their First Minister can’t appear on the BBC in a light-hearted sports programme on the first day of the Six Nations.”

Alex was due to appear at around 1.45pm today before the game’s 5pm kick-off, in a broadcast beamed to millions across the UK from the car park at the stadium in Edinburgh.

But he was axed after the Beeb’s political bigwigs in London got wind of his planned appearance and decided it was too “politically sensitive”.

Last night the BBC said it had an “obligation to ensure impartiality”.

“Given the nature of political debate around Scotland’s future and the proximity of local government elections, it was decided that it would be inappropriate to give undue prominence at the moment to any single political leader in the context of the Scotland-England game.”

Ahh the famous BBC impartiality, which allows four Unionists to one Nationalist in their political programmes.  The BBC impartiality which will have Unionists on programmes without any Nationalist presence.

The BBC impartiality which will not allow the Deputy First Minister to comment about a Scottish issue on Question Time in Glasgow because it is irrelevant to a British audience.  Yet will allow Boris Johnson to ramble on about London traffic measures. 

The BBC impartiality which allows its political and economic blogs all over the UK to be commented on by anyone, but will not allow any comments whatsoever on Scottish ones, unless they deem it allowable – on a very rare occasion.

Had David Cameron, Ed Balls or Johann Lamont been invited to be a panellist for the game today, would the BBC have said no?  Would they hell!

Alex Salmond commenting on a rugby match in early February is going to somehow interfere with the Scottish Council elections in May?

Go on pull the other one!

BBC does not stand for British Broadcasting Corporation, it stands for British Bullshitting Censorship.

 

This article first appeared on the author’s blog – http://auldacquaintance.wordpress.com