The Wee Ginger Dug is off this week, so The Jouker will be filling in.

CHANNEL 4 has, over the years, exposed its fair share of Tories – and is now doing so again, but this time without having to put in any investigative effort at all.

That’s because, in their rush to privatise the channel, the Conservative Party seem to be steadfast in their desire to make basic factual errors. The most recent gaffe has us reflecting on a classic from Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries too.

First up, Ben Bradley is the privately educated chairman of the “working-class” Blue Collar Conservatives group.

FLASHBACK: Ben Bradley humiliated by Martin Luther King's daughter Bernice on Twitter

On Tory plans to privatise Channel 4, the Mansfield MP wrote:  “Welcome this! The state doesn't need to be owning media. It made sense once when we had a handful of channels, but now we have a million choices.

“C4 can't raise any of its own money, which holds it back ... £ ends up being from the taxpayer. Let it free, and it will compete!”

This is, of course, nonsense. The broadcaster had a record surplus last year, can raise its own funds and does not take a penny from the public purse. So, he tried again, deleting his tweet and writing: “Welcome this. If C4 wants to compete in the modern market, it needs to be able to invest and grow. It can't do that unless it is free from the state.

“Taxpayers can't fund that. So it needs to be a private business. No need for state involvement anymore!”

The Tory desire for C4 to “compete in the modern market” translates to “stop reporting the facts on how disastrous Brexit has been and the cost of living crisis that our UK Government has created".

The party is so spiteful that you would hardly be surprised if it turned out the privatisation was revenge purely for Dorries being left red-faced during a session of the Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee in November last year.

Asked about the future of Channel 4, she said: “I would argue that to say that just because Channel 4’s been established as a public service broadcaster, and just because it is in receipt of public money, we should never kind of audit the future of Channel 4 and we should never evaluate how Channel 4 looks in the future, and whether or not it’s a sustainable and valuable model, it’s quite right that the Government should do that.”

Again, Channel 4 is NOT funded by the state. Conservative MP Damian Green was kind enough to point that out to Dorries at the time, but you can imagine how many of her fellow MPs, just like Bradley, have no clue about how any of this actually works. And this is the quality of minister that being in the Union inflicts upon us.

A vote for the Union is a vote for a Culture Secretary who does not understand even the most basic principles of one of the nation’s foremost news channels. In light of that, it’s yet another example of Scottish Labour’s negligence in refusing to allow candidates who support even holding inydref2 to stand for election.

This piece is an extract from today’s REAL Scottish Politics newsletter, which is emailed out at 7pm every weekday with a round-up of the day's top stories and exclusive analysis from the Wee Ginger Dug.

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