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SNP MSP Joan McAlpine has condemned broadcasters for continuing to leave Borderers frozen out of the referendum TV coverage.

The South Scotland MSP has written to Michael Jermey, Director of News, Current Affairs and Sport at ITV, condemning ITV Borders for leaving some people living in the area unable to watch the new STV series Road to Referendum.

Many areas in the Borders do not have access to Scottish programming, creating a situation where those closest bordering England have truncated access to the independence debate.  Road to Referendum is a three-part series that examines the history and development of the independence question in Scotland.

Some Borders were also unable to watch the second installment of the popular referendum debate series featuring Nicola Sturgeon and Anas Sarwar.  This was the same situation as the programme's first head-to-head independence debate in June.

Commenting, Ms McAlpine said:

"At such an important political juncture in Scotland's history I do not intend to give in and accept that simply by virtue of geography, viewers on the Scottish side of the ITV Border region should be denied the same access to referendum coverage as someone who, for example, lives 20 miles away in Edinburgh.

"People in the Borders have exactly the same rights as people in the rest of the country in seeing all types of referendum coverage.

"Some Borderers are at a disadvantage being denied access to programming that the rest of the country is receiving to inform the debate.

"Having previously discussed this with ITV I was assured they would continue to talk to STV about programming they produce and take a view on a case-by-case basis whether to broadcast the same programme on ITV Border.  

"I would be interested to know how the decision not to broadcast this particular programme was reached."

MEANWHILE, there is confusion over the Labour party’s stance on the Bedroom Tax after its deputy Scottish leader Anas Sarwar MP appeared to contradict the official party line.

Appearing in STV’s special debate on independence and the issue of welfare, Sarwar claimed the party would abolish the controversial legislation if it was in power at Westminster.

Quizzed on his party’s plans, the MP for Glasgow Central said: "We have been clear.  If we were in power tomorrow, we would abolish the bedroom tax."

Asked whether his comments accorded with leader Ed Miliband's policy stance, the MP repeated the remark: "No, we have been clear that if we were in government tomorrow, we would abolish the bedroom tax."

Labour's stance on the Bedroom Tax is mired in confusion.  This week the Mirror newspaper reported that Labour would indeed scrap the Bedroom Tax.  The paper reported a senior Labour source saying: "Labour WILL repeal the Bedroom Tax. The only question remaining is when."

However pressed this week by PM David Cameron, Labour leader Ed Miliband refused to confirm his party would indeed scrap the controversial legislation.

In March this year, Labour MP Helen Goodman revealed Labour planned to keep the Bedroom Tax for people who refused to move to smaller accommodation.

Comments  

 
# jinglyjangly 2013-09-06 10:13
Wasn't much of a debate, a debate needs at least two to contribute not one continually interrupting the other and refusing to answer questions themselves.
If that's the best the Labour Party can come up with the No campaign is in deep trouble. He had the look of a rabbit startled in the headlights when the commentaters mentioned his "Abolition of the Bedroom Tax" had been dissed the day before by his leader. Why didn't Sturgeon advise the watching public that it was Labour who introduced the bedroom tax in the first place, as the Tories said the other day, they only have modified its scope. So if Labour do come out and say they will repeal the "Bedroom tax" will that include private rentals or will it only be for ocial housing
 
 
# Independista 2013-09-06 10:20
Sarwar quite simply says the first thing which comes in to his head- more often than not its complete rubbish.
Each and every time a Scottish UK politician appears on any programme, they should be asked this question"Would you prefer to be in opposition in Westminster, than in government, in an independent Scotland"
 
 
# RTP 2013-09-06 18:53
Quoting Independista:
Sarwar quite simply says the first thing which comes in to his head- more often than not its complete rubbish.
Each and every time a Scottish UK politician appears on any programme, they should be asked this question"Would you prefer to be in opposition in Westminster, than in government, in an independent Scotland"

Have just watched the STV action movie between Ms Sturgeon and Sarwar a very ill mannered person and any question ask he never answered,I was very disappointed with John Mackay who should have been more in control.
 
 
# Jamieson 2013-09-06 10:31
Referendum and Borders TV. Surely there must be some body where this denial of service can be taken up at a UK National level?
 
 
# ynot 2013-09-06 10:39
Full marks to Joan for raising yet again this issue, although if I'm tempted to say given the appalling quality and bias in the so-called current affairs broadcasting, we're better off not receiving it!
On last night's "debate , I'm left wondering what on earth Ponsonby is talking about when he thought it was by far the best we've heard so far, and that he would score it a draw. It was quite simply appalling, and not for Nicola's wanting time and again to actually answer the points raised. Sarwar obviously had a script and, apart from telling lies, hasn't the foggiest idea about what a debate is. This was not helped by the moderator giving up even trying to control the Q/A process or ruling out of order the totally irrelevant guff that purported to be answers from Sarwar.
 
 
# nchanter 2013-09-06 16:39
Quoting ynot:
Full marks to Joan for raising yet again this issue, although if I'm tempted to say given the appalling quality and bias in the so-called current affairs broadcasting, we're better off not receiving it!
On last night's "debate , I'm left wondering what on earth Ponsonby is talking about when he thought it was by far the best we've heard so far, and that he would score it a draw. It was quite simply appalling, and not for Nicola's wanting time and again to actually answer the points raised. Sarwar obviously had a script and, apart from telling lies, hasn't the foggiest idea about what a debate is. This was not helped by the moderator giving up even trying to control the Q/A process or ruling out of order the totally irrelevant guff that purported to be answers from Sarwar.

Completely agree I'm not sure what program ponsonby was watching it sure wasn't the one I saw. It sure was not a debate.As a viewer I felt insulted.
 
 
# hetty 2013-09-06 11:02
Labour have no integrity at all now. They weigh things up according to what the tories are doing. They are a disgrace and an insult to common decency, to attack the poor, sick and vulnerable, so that people in your own country suffer so detrimentaly, indicates that something is seriously wrong with the system and with the functioning of government from westminster. Lets hope that most borderers have the internet at least, so that they can bypass the bias of television and apparent censorship in order to make up their own minds about Independence for Scotland.
 
 
# WRH2 2013-09-06 12:50
Regardless of how good, bad or indifferent the debate might have been, Borderers are unable to watch these programmes. Thanks to Newsnet Scotland for highlighting this unfairness and the work being done by Joan McAlpine to keep up the pressure on this.
 
 
# Ian Edinburgh 2013-09-07 16:38
 
 
# DonaldMhor 2013-09-06 13:18
As a former amateur boxer and soldier I am familiar with fear, and can recognise it in others. Anas demonstrated all the signals of some one over loaded with fear. His dry mouthed babbling and shouting, coupled with his inability to hear questions put to him. That is why he did not answer any questions, he simply babbled what he was coached to say by the Project Fear trainers.
 
 
# NConway 2013-09-06 13:30
My view of sturgoen and Sarwar debate was that he behaved like a lot of men do ,refuse to listen and treat a women's point of view and the women with respect.This type of behaviour is now unacceptable to many women and they expect a women's point of view to be listened to when they are part of discussions,
 
 
# Roll_On_2011 2013-09-06 17:51
OT - Breaking News

Unite cleared over Labour vote-rigging row:

bbc.co.uk/.../...

“ Unite has been cleared of trying to rig the selection of a Labour candidate in Falkirk, claims which led to a major row between the union and Ed Miliband.

Labour has decided no organisation or individual broke party rules after evidence of wrongdoing was withdrawn.

Two union officials at the centre of the row have been reinstated. “

Things can only get better….. I think.
 
 
# bringiton 2013-09-06 19:33
There is always Freesat of course,where STV and BBC Scotland shire can be viewed from anywhere in the UK and surrounding area.s
Not everyone can afford a satellite system although Lidl and Aldi have offered systems in the past for around £50.
Maybe the SG could offer a small subsidy.
 
 
# From The Suburbs 2013-09-06 22:03
Its outrageous that post devolution parts of the Borders and Wigtonshire cannot get access to STV and relying on the BBC TV coverage explains why the SNP cannot make a breakthrough in that part of Scotland.
 
 
# call me dave 2013-09-06 22:24
Absolutely correct :
See map.
They say that the media won't have too much effect on the referendum. Aye right!
(Is the map correct? I thought there was a red between the two blues)...Ach it's close enough.

telegraph.co.uk/.../...
 
 
# X_Sticks 2013-09-06 22:06
Perhaps Newsnet could invite Joan McAlpine to do a piece about the disgraceful treatment of those living in the Borders by the broadcasters. Good luck to her.

I'm sure she could find support for a petition or anything else that might help from the readers of Newsnet, Wings, Bella Caledonia, The National Collective and all the other Yes sites. (apologies to those not mentioned)

That not all of Scotland can participate in such a huge debate in our future simply isn't right. We should all get involved in this.
 
 
# Ready to Start 2013-09-06 22:26
Roll_On_2011 2013-09-06 18:51
OT - Breaking News Unite cleared over Labour vote-rigging row:
Unite claimed the Labour party was running a smear campaign and singling out Scottish Labour MPs, Jim Murphy and Douglas Alexander.

According to Channel 4 reporter, Michael Crick, Gregory Poynton tried to recruit new members and paid the fee of £130.

Poynton’s wife, Labour MP Gemma Doyle, is a member of Scottish Labour MP Jim Murphy’s Shadow Defence team.

Channel 4 suggested the links to Murphy may have been part of the reason for the report remaining secret.

Poynton is married to Gemma Doyle MP who is a member of Labour’s Commons defence team under Jim Murphy. Mr Poynton is the London political director of the firm Blue State Digital, which has a contract to provide campaigning work for the Labour party.

No wonder Labour big-wigs decided to keep the Falkirk report secret."
 
 
# call me dave 2013-09-07 07:50
Ian Bell:
His view chimes in with many I would say.

heraldscotland.com/.../...
 
 
# Virgil 2013-09-07 09:07
If last weeks debate is anything to go by then the Borderers are the lucky ones.

An argument between 2 people who clearly do not like each other. An insult to democracy in this country
 
 
# mmarsattacks 2013-09-07 10:32
Given the relentless unionist propaganda eminating from the broacast media I wonder if the lack of 'coverage' may in fact be of benefit to the yes campaign? I wonder if any statistical analysis can be brought to bear on this - it could potentially give some insight into the effects of the BBC campaign for the union.
 

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