Power hungry Alex Salmond has a new demand – he wants control of the BBC in Scotland to be brought under the purview of the Scottish Parliament, effectively turning the independent broadcaster into a state propaganda machine for the Scottish Nationalists.
Last Friday Breitbart London reported on the alleged infiltration of schools by members of the Scottish National Party, which had drawn comparisons on Twitter to the Hitler Youth movement. But the SNP’s former leader Alex Salmond did nothing to allay fears of totalitarianism north of the border when, addressing his party’s Spring Conference in Glasgow, he called for a governmental takeover of the BBC.
According to the Daily Mail, Salmond attacked the BBC for its supposedly biased coverage of the Scottish referendum on independence last year. During the campaign, hundreds of Yes campaigners held a protest rally outside BBC offices in Glasgow, with supporters holding banners calling for the sacking of the BBC’s Political Editor which read: “Sack Nick ‘The Liar’ Robinson”.
Addressing his audience on the weekend, Salmond said: “What surprised me was the degree to which the BBC allowed themselves to be influenced by headlines in a biased press. I had no surprise about the written press but I was surprised and disappointed by the way [the BBC] allowed themselves to be… by that agenda.
“I don’t think the broadcasting issue…will be properly resolved until we have broadcasting under the remit of our democratically-elected parliament in Scotland.”
Responding to Mr Salmond’s demand, a BBC Scotland spokesman insisted: “Our coverage of the referendum was fair and balanced.”
Meanwhile Labour shadow Scottish secretary Margaret Curran said: “This is a naked attempt by Alex Salmond to interfere in an institution that no political party would attempt to control. The BBC is independent of Government and it should stay that way.”
With Labour set to lose the vast majority of their Scottish seats to the SNP in the upcoming general election, both Salmond and the current leader Nicola Sturgeon have been making increasingly belligerent demands for favourable governmental spending in Scotland, as well as other left-wing policies, as the price for helping Labour to power post election day.
Yesterday Sturgeon confirmed that her party would insist on being granted at least one seat on every parliamentary committee, even for those whose remit covers policy areas which have been devolved to Scotland, such as education and health.
Last week Salmond gave what was described as one of the “scariest interviews” in political history, when he set out his demands for doing a deal with Labour. His list includes that the HS2 rail-line construction start in Scotland, that Westminster grant Scotland £180 billion to go on an anti-austerity debt-fuelled spending spree, and that Trident be scrapped.
But the SNP has indicated its willingness to back a number of Labour initiatives. Speaking over the weekend, deputy leader Stewart Hosie said: “In the next Parliament, SNP MPs will support the re-introduction of the 50p tax rate for the very wealthiest.” He added that he hoped the SNP would have a “huge group” after the election so that they could club with Labour to abolish the bedroom tax.