WHEN Angus Robertson tells us “we stand fully behind public-service broadcasting, we stand behind a licence fee model, those are things we wish to see continued,” isn’t he missing the point (Indy Scotland ‘should be served by new public broadcaster, Feb 3)?

The truth is that government needs public service broadcasting, but the public no longer does (if it ever did) and certainly doesn’t want to be taxed for a service it increasingly has little appetite for.

This is the 21st century, when we now have a plethora of broadcasting services and social media providing us with everything from news, documentaries, education, entertainment and communication services.

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We can choose to avail ourselves of these services, and we have the direct control to refuse to view and fund them as we see fit.

Don’t Robertson and his establishment-preserving ilk appear to miss the point that any public-service broadcaster should be impartial, not promoting its output from any particular viewpoint, Scottish or not; the current flawed BBC’s clear Westminster and establishment partiality the case in point?

Government control of a broadcaster, even though funded by taxes, breaches the fundamental tenet of claimed impartiality. It will always seek to influence; an influence that’s no longer welcome or necessary.

And isn’t funding by a restrictive licence fee – the blunt instrument that denies choice while impacting hardest on those who can least afford it – just lazy, antediluvian thinking that has no place in a nation that desperately needs to modernise both its thinking and its practices?

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Of course government can establish broadcasting criteria and standards, and regulate them. However, don’t we all know that government’s ability to influence broadcasting output, through carefully appointed executives sympathetic to its political outlook and establishment “values”, creates the very situation we have now where the BBC has descended the depths to being little more than a government propaganda machine, with entertainment tacked on to justify the public having to fund it?

As for paying the licence fee after indy, Robertson and his cohorts must be deluded to think that continued service from the BBC is of any importance to the imperatives for Scottish independence. If we are resetting Scotland’s nationhood, the last consideration would surely be to encourage the incessant stream of Westminster government propaganda to assault us; that best kept for the souls it does control within the Brexit-induced social, economic and political corset it refers to as its borders.

Independence will yield a new nation. It affords the opportunity for new thinking. Let’s not trammel ourselves with the old ways that we know don’t work efficiently, no longer need and have scant appetite for.

Jim Taylor

THERE is something odd in Robertson’s answer to the question around Scottish broadcasting. He is correct that broadcasting is reserved. However, the reserved law does not prevent licences being sought, as can be seen with many businesses, football teams, and others having their own subscription broadcasting services. To say the matter is reserved is a politician saying he cannot be bothered!

As far as I can ascertain, the only restrictions on broadcasting are the character of the licence holder and no cost to the UK public purse.

Jim Anderson
via thenational.scot