THE British media landscape is ludicrously unbalanced.

We see this all too clearly in Scotland where out of the dozens of daily and weekly newspapers in the country, only one – The National – supports Scottish independence, despite this being a constitutional position backed by at least half the population.

Pro-independence voices struggle to be heard while those opposed to independence or who habitually attack the Scottish Government have a plethora of well-funded platforms available to them. The broadcast media is ultimately controlled and regulated from London with BBC Scotland in particular being kept on a very tight leash by its managers there.

Although in Scotland the political imbalance in the media is especially stark, it is also a feature of the British media as a whole, which disproportionately prioritises right-wing and pro-Brexit opinions, often with those right-wing voices taking to their own newspaper columns and TV talk shows to complain about how they are victims of “cancel culture”.

There are frequent complaints about pro-Conservative bias on the state-funded BBC, especially concerning the notorious BBC Question Time, which among other low points managed to broadcast an episode from the pro-independence and anti-Brexit predominantly working-class city of Dundee with an audience seemingly composed largely of middle-class Conservative Brexit supporters. Yet the BBC shrugs off all the complaints and nothing ever changes.

We now also have the infantile Gbeebies “News” channel, which is unabashedly right-wing and which provides a platform to an assortment of far-right conspiracy theorists who devote themselves to amplifying right-wing culture wars issues.

The channel has recently been joined by its mini-me copy-cat Talk TV, which, although it gives airtime to a number of figures on the left – and even Scottish independence supporters, as it recently started a show hosted by Alex Salmond – is also overwhelmingly dominated by right-wing, pro-Brexit, British nationalist voices and views. The shows hosted by Nadine Dorries and Julia Hartley-Brewer are far more typical of the channel's output.

Broadcasting regulator Ofcom has not upheld complaints about the channel broadcasting a sycophantic interview of Boris Johnson conducted by his friend and close political ally Nadine Dorries.

Ofcom has also launched an investigation into a broadcast on GB News on March 11 which saw the two Conservative MPs Esther McVey and Philip Davies conduct a ridiculously softball interview of their own Chancellor Jeremy Hunt.

If you were fortunate enough to miss it, it went along the lines of: "So Jeremy, tell us what a marvellous job you're doing."

However, SNP MP John Nicolson has said that sources within Ofcom have told him that the outcome of the regulator's “investigation” was a foregone conclusion and Ofcom bosses have already decided to give the Esther & Phil Show a clean bill of health.

The SNP MP said: "The media landscape in the UK is already owned by a small enough clique of right-wing moguls. It's never been more important for the regulator to stand up for media freedom. But increasingly it looks as if Ofcom isn't up to the task."


KEIR Starmer has more or less admitted what we all already knew … that so-called Scottish Labour are a branch office with as much operational independence as BBC Scotland. “Scottish Labour” are the political party equivalent of an episode of BBC Question Time from Dundee.

Starmer has suggested in an interview with the Times newspaper that he stepped in to effectively fire the former Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard who had been democratically elected as leader of the Labour Party in Scotland by party members.

“Scottish Labour” is a lie – the Labour party in Scotland are indeed nothing more than a branch office subject to the diktats of head office in London. If Labour have such contempt for democracy within their own party ranks, it is scarcely surprising that they are equally contemptuous of democracy in Scotland.

Starmer has shifted Labour much further to the right, he has adopted full-throated support for Brexit and dropped key left-wing pledges such as the nationalisation of water and rail since he won power. He has purged the previous leader, Jeremy Corbyn, and has also exercised an iron grip on selection processes in order to ensure that the people nominated to run for Labour as MPs are his own allies.


REACTING to yet more attempts to reduce Scotland to branch office status, Angus Robertson, the Scottish Government's External Affairs Secretary, has spoken out following reports that the Foreign Office is planning to crack down on his foreign activities promoting Scotland. The Foreign Office is apparently concerned that he might use his trips abroad to highlight that Scotland is a nation which opposes Brexit and which has a right to self-determination.

The Daily Mail recently reported that British diplomatic officials have been instructed to keep a closer watch on the international activities of Scottish Government ministers after claims in the right-wing press that they were using their positions “inappropriately” to promote independence.

At a recent appearance before the Scottish Affairs Committee at Westminster, Angus Robertson accused the UK Government of "actively undermining Scottish interests overseas" by frequently attempting to dilute Scotland's identity as a nation in its own right and presenting it as just another region of the UK.

We've come a very long way from the entreaties of Better Together in 2014 that Scotland was an equal and respected partner in a family of nations. But then if they had told us the truth during that year's independence referendum – Scotland, you are a regional branch office which will do what it is told – the outcome might have been very different.