Thousands sign petition to devolve broadcasting


  By a Newsnet reporter
A petition calling for broadcasting to be included in a package of more powers for Scotland, has attracted the support of almost 14,000 people after only eleven days.
Posted by Newsnet Scotland editor Lynda Williamson one week before the independence referendum, the petition calls on both the UK and Scottish Government’s to acknowledge the need for Scottish broadcasting to fall under the control of the Scottish people.

The petition, which was published befor the independence referendum took place highlights the electrifying effect the referendum campaign has had on the Scottish people.  It calls on both Governments to acknowledge the political maturity of Scotland and the need for the BBC in particular to be held accountable to the people of Scotland.

Newsnet Scotland’s editor Lynda Williamson said:

“By common consent, the BBC did not have a good referendum.

“Days before the historic vote thousands of people gathered outside the BBC’s Scottish HQ in Glasgow in order to protest.

“This cannot be healthy in any democracy.”

The petition reads:

“Currently the BBC exists in Scotland as an appendage to the UK BBC.  Despite its name, there is no offical body called BBC Scotland.

“The organisation we know as BBC Scotland is not answerable to the Scottish Parliament.  It is not subject to Scottish Freedom of Information laws and cannot be summoned to answer questions in front of Holyrood MSPs.

“The BBC in Scotland is, in effect, controlled by London and is ultimately answerable to the Westminster government.

“The BBC in Scotland must come under the jurisdiction of the Scottish Parliament, Scots Law and ultimately the Scottish people.”

Speaking to the Sunday Herald, Historian Tom Devine has called for an inquiry to be held into the BBC’s handling of the independence referendum.

Speaking after a meeting, Professor Devine said that people had expressed anger over perceived BBC anti-independence bias in meetings he had attanded, with some naming BBC reporters they felt had overstepped the mark.

He said: “I think that, partly in order to keep the pot boiling, and more fundamentally to give people a resource to complain about this, this must be immediately debated in our Scottish Parliament.

“And also that the Scottish Parliament, through its committee structure, should establish an inquiry, and also call witnesses, including some of the people who have been named tonight, so that we can get this into the public domain.”

Lynda Williamson added:

“The BBC cannot be held to account in Scotland.  Management cannot be summoned by our democratically elected MSPs – indeed they recently refused to appear before a Holyrood committee – nor is the corporation subject to Scottish Freedom of Information laws.

“Unionist politicians have long argued that they want to see a stronger Scotland within the UK.

“By devolving broadcasting they would, at a stroke, strengthen Scotland.”

[The petition, to have broadcasting devolved and brought under the control of the Scottish people, can be found by clicking HERE.

We would encourage everyone to sign this petition and make others aware of its existence.  This is important now that Lord Kelvin has announced he will be taking input from Scottish organisations on further devolution. 

Lord Kelvin has said he will present his recommendations on 30th November.]