ONE debate has towered over every media discussion in the last 10 days, the future of the BBC has unlocked a whole range of issues, some obvious and others obscured by the strange ways of Westminster.

The latest iteration of the BBC ­funding ­debate blew up when Nadine Dorries the Secretary of State for Digital, ­Culture, Media and Sport in the Westminster ­Parliament unleashed an ill-conceived tweet that implied that the forthcoming round of licence fee settlements will be the last, and thus unilaterally bringing the BBC licence fee to an end.

The Dorries’ tweet spoke volumes for such a short communication. Firstly, it was driven by ideology pure and simple. The BBC, and especially the licence fee, is a “red meat” issue for the right of the ­Conservative Party, many of them Brexiteers in search of a new cause celebre.

We are living with an over powerful and over indulged cabal within British ­democracy that resents public funding and wants to row back on the ­beneficent state. Worse still, they owe their ­allegiance to media moguls who are avowedly free marketeers and opponents of public ­service broadcasting.

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By tweeting that this would be “the last” licence fee funding arrangement, Dorries angered politicians who resented that a major decision had seemingly been ­taken, with no parliamentary ­scrutiny and ­without the consent of the all-parliamentary group that is tasked with ­examining the complex media landscape, in the days of superfast broadband.

Dorries’s tweet was classic “kite ­flying”, the ruse by which politicians test the temperature on an issue by making bold statements and gauging the reaction they generate. It is also contemptuous in the extreme in that it reduces a highly complex set of issues about public service broadcasting in the digital age into a bun fight with the BBC.

Nadine Dorries is the wrong kind of politician to be in charge of the crown jewels of creativity, it is akin to choosing Michelle Mone as Minister for Nuclear Energy. She is simply not talented enough and lacks the compassionate hinterland of a cultural leader.

Other countries must wonder at the ­narrowness of the Westminster elite. Katrin Jacobsdottir the 28th Prime ­Minster of Iceland has a PhD in crime fiction and is one of her nation’s most ­respected literary critics. Michael D ­Higgins the ninth President of the ­Republic of Ireland, published four books of poetry before his election as ­president, and of course Vaclav Havel was the ­absurdist playwright turned dissident who rose to become the last President of Czechoslovakia and the first president of the independent Czech Republic in 1993.

The National: The TV licence fee that funds the BBC is to be frozen The TV licence fee that funds the BBC is to be frozen

Dorries by contrast strikes you as someone who would watch the QVC ­Channel when they are selling discounted ­sunglasses. In 2012, she was suspended from parliament after she took part in the reality TV programme “I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here!” without informing the Chief Whip.

The BBC were understandably wrong-footed by her tweet and forced to react to the grim reality of a shortfall of £1.5 billion over the next six years. The ­corporation’s director-general Tim Davie subsequently told a video conference.

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“I’m going to be blunt – we’d rather have slightly less people here, but ­properly funded and in the right place.”

It was an ominous pronouncement which raises the very real prospect of ­involuntary redundancies and ­widespread cutbacks to staff at the BBC.

Only a dupe would imagine that ­Scotland will be immune.

On Thursday, Nicola Sturgeon defended the principle of public service broadcasting and described Dorries’ tweet as an attempt to deflect attention away from the problems that Boris Johnson and the Tories are mired in whilst acknowledging that not everyone shares universal respect for the BBC.

I have lost count of those that have spent the week describing Nadine Dorries in both scripts and in DOGS, the unkind acronym for Digital on Air Graphics, as “The Culture Minister”.

You do not have to be a student of ­devolutionary politics to knows this is grossly inaccurate and would not pass the fact-checking of a school magazine.

Dorries is the Minister responsible of the Department of Digital, Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) in the Westminster system. I admit it is a mouthful and many have been sorely tempted to abbreviate but when laid out in all its range it underlines both the anomalies and failings of the Union.

It will surprise no one that Nadine ­Dorries is not the culture minister in Scotland, that role is occupied by ­Angus Robertson, the Cabinet ­Secretary for ­Constitution, External Affairs and ­Culture. In the Senedd, where the Welsh Language is a significant driver of ­cultural uniqueness, the bi-lingual ­Labour ­politician Jeremy Miles is Minister for ­Education and the Welsh Language.

Culture is a many and varied thing and thankfully it is not the sole remit of the deeply underwhelming Nadine Dorries.

Her tweet of last week exposed three things. Firstly, the obsessive dislike that the ruling Conservative Party has for the BBC and the licence fee; secondly, the disdain they have for cultural partners across the devolved administrations and thirdly, the unintentional damage they do to the third way in constitutional politics, namely devo-max.

READ MORE: Pat Kane: A Scottish national media could serve Scotland's digital citizens

The devolution settlement was content to devolve some areas of culture most ­notably the arts, the screen industries and indigenous language, there was greater ­resistance to the idea that the devolved administrations might have a role in broadcasting, telephony, and broadband.

Crudely, Westminster held back the big issues and gave the devolved administrations the right to underfund the arts.

Over the last month here in Scotland there has been a salon clamour for the evasive concept of devo-max, and for the idea to form a third question on any ­future independence referendum.

It is an idea that seems to be the ­preferred option of some journalists, a few Labour Party thinkers and the ­one-time Prime Minister and long-time advocate of reform, Gordon Brown.

Those that float the devo-max option tend to focus on three areas, taxation, ­trident and foreign policy, and noticeably run shy of immigration and thus far have been entirely unclear about broadcasting and broadband.

Would Scotland have regulatory powers over those areas, or would they remain in the genteel hands of Nadine Dorries?

I am not convinced by devo-max. It seems a convoluted method of propping up the status quo whilst claiming to ­proffer change. If a future Scotland is to shape a public service media landscape that welcomes diversity of media supply but still values those bits of broadcasting that the free market runs shy of, news and current affairs, religious and ethical programming, the arts and philosophy, and indigenous language broadcasting in Gaelic and Scots, then those things have to be funded.

Much as I indulge in the output of the major streaming services like Netflix, ­Amazon and Apple+ I am also a heavy consumer of Scottish arts and politics and keen to see even greater in-depth coverage of the society I live in. Perhaps more than anything I also want to see our national history told in drama and documentary in all its fascinating complexity.

To fully realise a new kind of broadcaster which carries forward the best of the BBC and Channel 4 and provides a platform for our growing talent base will cost money.

One possible source of revenue if the licence fee fades away is a broadband tax which would place more onus on the larger US streamers and European owned telecommunications companies to dig deeper to fund creativity.

It is an idea for another day, but rest assured none of this will happen under a Tory administration in Westminster. As for the “big brains” that keep banging the drum for devo-max, they seem ­mightily ­reluctant to even mention whether ­Scotland will have powers of ­broadcasting and broadband.

How max is the devo they promote, I think we should be told.