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Alex Salmond, general election, televised leaders debate

SNP ‘turkeys voting for an early bath’ in TV debate storm.

   It’s the great unmentionable that everyone’s talking about.  The Scottish National Party’s desperate bid to get a platform on the English premier league. The Scottish squad has made repeated attempts to get equal treatment with the English teams during the BBC coverage of next year’s finals. They’re hoping that their midfield miracle worker, Alex Salmond, will show that he really can play hard ball with the big boys.  

 But the reaction from the English premier league has been negative. “They’re just turkeys voting for an early bath, quite frankly”, said one top English TV supremo: “We don’t want any jumped up Jocks coming on our TV and alternately boring the pants off the viewers and then frightening the life out of them with their sectarian chants and parochial obsessions. ”  There is concern that English viewers might not understand what Salmond says and could switch off in droves.  Said one English fan: “It’s a diabolical liberty.  We thought we’d got shot of the Scots, and here they are demanding to be back on our television screens”. 

  The other Scottish teams are similarly contemptuous of the move.  “The SNP have just shot themselves in both left feet” said the Labour United supremo Iain Gray.  “Salmond’s obsession with playing in England is undermining the rest of the Scottish division and will put off potential sponsors. They should be supporting the Scottish game, not trying to get their faces on English TV sets.  They’re falling between two stools with their tails between their legs. ”.
    Blues boss Annabel  Goldie predicted that Scottish fans would desert them.   “It’s time they got the ball in the net in Scotland instead of crying foul every ten minutes. Alex Salmond will be sick as a parrot when he sees how this plays with the home support. The SNP would be playing in a different league all right: it’s relegation time for the nationalist club. ”
  But the old firm is adamant that its future lies in getting a piece of the UK action.   The club is contemplating taking legal action against the BBC if it tries to lock the SNP out of future live action coverage. “At the end of the day, we’re itching to get our kit on and show what we’re made of against the top English firms”, said an SNP insider. “We need to get access to the UK media where the real money is.  That’s the carrot at the end of the tunnel .    Top commentator Lonnie Donnegan said: “It may seem a no brainer for the nationalists.   But if they can’t stand the heat they really should stay out of the ring” ”.  

About @iainmacwhirter

I'm a columnist for the Herald. Author of "Road to Referendum" and "Disunited Kingdom". Was a BBC TV and radio presenter for 25 years - "Westminster Live" and "Holyrood Live" mainly. Spent time as columnist for The Observer, Guardian, New Statesman. Former Rector of Edinburgh University. Live in Edinburgh and spend a lot of time in the French Pyrenees. Will that do?


4 thoughts on “SNP ‘turkeys voting for an early bath’ in TV debate storm.

  1. i may be wrong but i understand that it is the scottish broadcasts that the s.n.p.want to take part in.unlike unionist parties they have no particular desire to influecne the rest of the uk other than that they want an independent scotland.i am sure you will agree that the political ground is somewhat different in scotland than the rest of the uk.with different choices.you might agree also that media debates will also differ both in the parties involved and the issues.

    Posted by hector | October 16, 2009, 12:26 pm
  2. IainNice new look to the blog. Green's a fine colour, well to half of Glasgow anyway.Don't you just love how Salmond manipulates the media? And who can blame him? He knows he'll never get a fair hearing when using reasoned arguments in the Scottish media. Not a chance.So instead he plays to emotions and loyalties. And by god, even if you support arch enemy Gray, you'll still be annoyed at the reaction from the English media's belittlement of Scotland. And that's the key: it's not Salmond who bears the brunt of these comments, it's Scotland.Very clever. In fact, Salmond is running rings round Labour FC. Scotland might even be in the big boys league if he gets his own way.PS Iain, as always, great read. But don't you ever want to make counter comment to posters on your blog?

    Posted by Andrew BOD | October 16, 2009, 10:54 pm
  3. As hector says, the SNP don't want to broadcast across the UK they just want to have parity with the other parties and their leaders for any political broadcast broadcast in Scotland during election time.The three important pieces of legislation and guidelines which have an impact on any political broadcasting during an election campaign and at other times are the Communications Act 2003 ,the OFCOM and the BBC guidelines.The OFCOM guidelines define the SNP as major party in Scotland along with the Conservatives, Labour and the Lib-Dems. For any political broadcast broadcast in Scotland unless they are all treated on an equal footing then it will be illegal under the guidelines.In the BBC guidelines, point 3, they acknowledge that they must take into account the different governmental and political situation in Scotland in their editorial decisions:To achieve this we must ensure that:3. they are aware of the different political structures in the four nations of the United Kingdom and that they are reflected in the election coverage of each nation. Programmes shown across the UK should also take this into account.The party leaders of the four major parties in Scotland are Brown, Cameron, Clegg and Salmond. Unless they all get on a TV debate together that debate will be illegal if broadcast in Scotland.If the BBC, the ITV and Sky can't work out how to broadcast an English only debate in England which covers all the issues which Westminster controls in England followed by a Scottish only debate broadcast in Scotland which ignores devolved issues then they should have run an eye across the relevant legislation before they started getting excited about a UK wide political broadcast with only three parties present during an election campaign.

    Posted by DougtheDug | October 18, 2009, 11:33 am
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