25 September 2009

Easy said ,,,

Here is an extract from Mr Russell's paper on broadcasting:
4.9. The future of the BBC and the licence fee revenue raised within Scotland would be a major consideration in the move to an independent Scotland. It is envisaged that the existing assets, staff and expertise of BBC Scotland would be used as the basis of a Scottish national broadcaster, along with an appropriate share of the BBC's other assets, including its commercial activities.

That "appropriate share of the BBC's other assets"? How exactly does the BBC (or whoever is tasked with the job) go about the assessment of the Scottish share of the World Service, the Lonely Planet guides, all the property owned by the BBC overseas, not to mention the various ongoing broadcasting contracts, eg with the football authorities? Easy enough to say that Scotland should inherit 7.5% of these assets (in line with the proportion paid by Scottish licence payers) but I suspect that many of these assets have never been valued. And do we want our share of the assets (in some kind of joint ownership arrangement perhaps) or should we take the money and run?

Similar considerations arise in relation to the Ministry of Defence (all those boats, aeroplanes and military bases), the Foreign Office (all those embassies), the British Council, the British Empire (Cayman Islands, Bermuda, Gibraltar, etc - the Brits can probably keep the Falklands and Ascension Island) and numerous other smaller institutions.

Would it be unreasonable to ask that, before the introduction of the referendum bill, the SNP indicate how they intend to approach such matters? I am not demanding that they reveal their opening negotiating position; but it would be nice to be reassured that they have at least thought about the issue.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is highly questionable that any assets of the BBC would be destined to any "Scottish Government" on independence to spend on Scottish Brioadcasting or anything else. The assets of the BBC have been built on the payments of those choosing to watch TV and radio not on government payments to the BBC. It would be wrong for any Scottish Government to benefit from the payments of others