By a Newsnet reporter

We’ve heard of the ‘West Lothian Question’, the phrase coined by the late Enoch Powel to describe the anomaly that sees Scottish MPs allowed to vote on English matters whilst their English counterparts have no say on the Scottish equivalent.

The anomaly is one that Unionists have yet to find a solution to, although Independence supporters have one they hope Scots will implement in 2014.

But another, less constitutionally significant anomaly has appeared within the last few days.  We’ll call it the ‘Question Time Question’ (QTQ).

Where the West Lothian Question highlighted the imbalance that existed within the House of Commons, the QTQ highlights the imbalances that are all too evident within the UK wide BBC when faced with the thorny issue of Scottish independence.

This week, online discussions sprang up when it emerged that the line-up for the next instalment of the BBC’s flagship debate programme ‘Question Time’ would not include a member of the Scottish Government.

A not unusual occurrence in the London obsessed programme, however this week it is scheduled to be broadcast from Inverness.

The original panel line-up pitched three Unionist politicians and a Unionist leaning journalist against Scottish actor Alan Cumming.

Lib Dem MP Danny Alexander, Tory Peer Lord Forsyth, Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont and Right wing journalist Melanie Phillips were to be pitched against Mr Cumming in what had to be the most one sided ‘debate’ since the hapless Nick Griffin faced the rhetorical firing squad in October 2009.

The line-up provoked not just anger, but quite a bit of incredulity.  How could the BBC justify pitching four Unionists in a prime time discussion programme that would almost certainly include questions on independence and the forthcoming referendum?

Within a day of the online outrage, the line-up had been amended.  Joining the panel would be the Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon.

The BBC was listening after all.

Or was it?  The panel you see is still heavily loaded in favour of the Union – two to one now instead of four to one.  Nicola Sturgeon’s late invite coincided with the substitution of Danny Alexander for the more affable Charles Kennedy.

Kennedy is of course part of the trio who will be spearheading the anti-independence campaign, alongside Labour MP Alastair Darling and ex Scottish Tory leader Annabel Goldie.  Kennedy’s inclusion suggests that there will be some discussion on the independence referendum, it looks tactical.

Placed alongside Labour leader Ed Miliband’s comments today demanding that England be allowed to ‘participate’ in the referendum debate then you can be sure the UK edition of Question Time will provide just such a platform.

The discussions won’t of course exclusively revolve around the independence referendum, but we can be sure that a significant part of the programme will be given over to this topic.  Also, there will be those peripheral areas that, although not directly relevant to the referendum debate, will nonetheless contain areas of overlap.

Questions on the Eurozone may stray into questions on EU membership for Scotland come independence.  The crisis in Syria might tempt a few remarks criticising an independent Scotland’s defence capabilities, or our ‘lack’ of global influence.  And if Leveson is brought up then how long will it be before someone tries to smear Salmond?

In short, there are myriad of subjects that can be manipulated by clever politicians in order to make all kinds of direct or subliminal points, and Unionists will be allowed twice the opportunity.

The truth is that the UK networked Question Time has an in built catch-22 when it comes to Scotland.  The structure of the panel is designed to reflect the political make-up of the UK, or to be more precise England, it cannot reflect the political make-up of Scotland.

The inclusion of Melanie Phillips is an example of this metropolitan centred viewpoint, the fact that the programme is produced in Glasgow makes no difference.  Was it really that difficult to find a Scottish based journalist to appear on the programme?

The obvious choice would have been Lesley Riddoch, and it would also have allowed the BBC to plug the Devo Max hole in the panel.

There is a simple remedy though.

A Scottish Question Time is needed in order to cater for the debate over Scotland’s constitutional future.

We have already had two ‘pilots’ for such a programme.  BBC Scotland produced two debates that followed closely the format of the UK’s flagship programme – minus the ego of David Dimbleby.

There were clear flaws in the debates; overrepresentation of Unionists on the first show followed by the removal of the Devo-Max representation from the second.

The audience participation needs to be more closely monitored to ensure the stage managed anti-SNP rhetoric that dominated the last debate isn’t repeated.

However the programme demonstrated that Scots have an appetite for debate and discussion and BBC Scotland technicians have the ability and skills to produce it.

A Scottish Question Time would surely meet with the approval of one of the panellists on tonight’s Inverness programme.

Writing in February 2011, Melanie Phillips, commenting on plans to move the production of the UK Question Time, from London to Glasgow said the plans were “lunacy” showing how the BBC has "catastrophically lost its way".

She added: "Scotland may believe it is the centre of the universe, but compared with the mighty BBC News - whose writ runs in just about every country in the world other than north of the Tweed - BBC Scotland is a parochial sideshow."

Well, why not move production back down south and replace it with our own Scottish version instead?

Ken MacQuarrie claimed last week that BBC Scotland intended to improve the quality of its news and current affairs output.  His UK boss Mark Thompson said the independence referendum was “gigantic”.

It’s time to put our money where your mouth is gents.


# gus1940 2012-06-07 07:09
If The BBC won't introduce a weekly Scottish version of QT surely this is an open goal opportunity for STV.

I would be interested to hear suggestions for a suitable candidate to chair such a program.
# davemsc 2012-06-07 07:36
Wasn't it Tam Dayell, rather than Enoch Powell, who postulated the West Lothian Question?
# Holebender 2012-06-07 13:29
It was Tam Dalyell who posed the question, but I believe it was Enoch Powell who named it "the West Lothian Question".
# dundie 2012-06-07 07:44
Nit-picking, I know, but I'm sure it was Tam Dalyell who famously posed the West Lothian question in 1977 over non-English MPs' role at Westminster, not Enoch Powell. Wasn't he the "rivers of blood" mannie?
# xyz 2012-06-07 07:51
ah but the phrase was coined by Enoch Powel in response to Tam Dalyell. I'm a global expert now since I read it five minutes ago on Wikipedia. :)
# clootie 2012-06-07 12:14
The question itself is famously attributed to the then Labour MP for West Lothian, Tam Dalyell, who raised it in 1977 when Jim Callaghan's Labour government proposed a devolved assembly in Edinburgh.
# clootie 2012-06-07 12:16
I don't always take wikipedia as 100% - you may be correct.
# xyz 2012-06-07 12:22
You know Wikipedia is better than most encyclopaedias in terms of accuracy and being up to date. .. I know this because I read it on the BBC some time ago

um .. oh
# Legerwood 2012-06-07 19:35
It was Enoch Powel who dubbed it the West Lothian Question.

Read Tom Dalyell's biography: The Importance of being Awkward - p183.

The term arose out of a debate on the Scotland Bill in 1978.
# pmcrek 2012-06-07 20:34
Its ok the BBC copy and pasted it from the wikipedia page on wikipedia.
# xyz 2012-06-07 08:10
Two questions which will probably come up tonight: Jeremy doesn't care about Scotland or whatever he said and ..Shouldn't the English care? .( I think the did that one already) and by the way there was a poll that indicated most English do not want Scotland to become independent ... so they do care .. aw .. it makes us feel so .. I dunno, together, better together. .. and stronger ya know.

and 2: Mohammed Al Fayed yesterday on BBC radio is unhappy about an incinerator, next to his Balnagown estate near Invergordon claiming on BBC radio that "someone more intelligent than Alex Salmond should be found" .. or words to that effect.

So there you have it the obligatory opportunity to attack Alex Salmond using some third party's words .. it wasn't the BBC .. a big boy did it and ran away. and probably something to do with renewables are bad , and Trump, and Murdoch..

Planning .. power devolved to the people who live there .. but certainly not Scotland as a whole .. no .. not more power for Holyrood .. no no .. Power to people like Al Fayed and a myriad other absentee landlords .. power to the Lords! praise be it's a virtuous cycle
# bipod 2012-06-07 08:20
To be honest couldn't the BBC have invited another SNP politician, Nicola Sturgeon seems to be the only snp politicain that participates. Now I don't dislike Nicola Sturgeon but she does get very tetchy when the other panelists talk over her.
# xyz 2012-06-07 08:24
From Twitter:

"Sadly, I've had to pull out of ‪#BBCQT‬ tonight as my priority for now is dealing with ‪#Legionnaires‬ outbreak. SNP rep will be confirmed l8r"
# Thee Forsaken One 2012-06-07 08:36
Quoting xyz:
From Twitter:

"Sadly, I've had to pull out of ‪#BBCQT‬ tonight as my priority for now is dealing with ‪#Legionnaires‬ outbreak. SNP rep will be confirmed l8r"

Let us hope that maybe it will be mentioned on Question Time why Nicola had to pull out at the last minute. I certainly think it's a very good reason and certainly better than 'missed the train'.
# DonaldMhor 2012-06-07 09:03
Quoting Thee Forsaken One:
Quoting xyz:
From Twitter:

"Sadly, I've had to pull out of ‪#BBCQT‬ tonight as my priority for now is dealing with ‪#Legionnaires‬ outbreak. SNP rep will be confirmed l8r"

Let us hope that maybe it will be mentioned on Question Time why Nicola had to pull out at the last minute. I certainly think it's a very good reason and certainly better than 'missed the train'.

It is quite likely that Wee Charlie will also be absent as he has form on "missing the train."
# Leswil 2012-06-07 08:21
have you looked at this site, it is a bit out dated but contains a huge amount of materials that prove the case for Independence.
# xyz 2012-06-07 08:48
Have come across it many times .. but never read it end to end.

It's good to be reminded,and for new travellers in the cause of independence.
# DonaldMhor 2012-06-07 09:08
I wonder if Dimbleby will invoke his "Sturgeon rule," he invoked from Glasgow the last time the propaganda show was there. That is that you are only allowed to make comment on articles that affect the UK as a whole, not articles that are just purely Scottish.

Many of the questions will of course be asked by people with broad English accents.
# Dances With Haggis 1320 2012-06-07 12:00
"Many of the questions will of course be asked by people with broad English accents."

I remember the last one from St Andrews and two thirds of the audience contributions were from English people. Not exactly representivive of the Scottish population.

You have to wonder
# snowthistle 2012-06-07 12:19
A lot of English people go to university in St Andrews.
I'm uneasy about the assumption that all English people who live in Scotland are unionists, in my experience it's just not the case.
# Dundonian West 2012-06-07 12:48
"I'm uneasy about the assumption that all English people who live in Scotland are unionists".
Probably more antis than pros,but I'm always careful when speaking/blogging about the People IN Scotland rather than OF.
A small point,but by Scotland's very nature we're inclusive----with of course the 'usual suspects' who do us no credit whatsoever.
# snowthistle 2012-06-07 13:01
My partner has a broad English accent but votes SNP. I know of at least three English people in the small village that I live in who are more pro independence than the majority of Scots who live here.
I think we have to remember that our nationalism is a civic nationalism and not an ethnic nationalism .....and that extends to English people
# Dundonian West 2012-06-07 13:48
Agree absolutely.
# tartanfever 2012-06-08 08:44
I think the point being made is about the number of English accents that happen to appear of Question Time - not assumptions on the voting patterns of the English that live in Scotland.

Looks like you're the one making the assumptions here.
# exel 2012-06-07 09:45
The ‘Question Time’ question. What exactly is the question being asked here? If Scots wish to debate their constitutional future, this is not the forum to carry it out.

Lesley Riddochs’ idea of public debates in Scotland involving civil society more and political parties less in my opinion is the way forward.

This program like “Westminster politics” is broken. It has degenerated into a weekly “Party political broadcast”. It certainly needs upgrading.

As pointed out above it is broadcast nationwide and is meant to address local issues impacted by national policies.

In my opinion "Question Time", where ever it is broadcast from, should not have "Political Party" representation on the panel.

The panel should consist of the questioners and Mr. Dimbleby to referee.

With time allocated per question and ample time for audience participation.
# clootie 2012-06-07 12:55
As Lenin said it's not who has the vote that matters - it's who counts them!
# Exile 2012-06-08 11:38
" broadcast nationwide..."

Which nation?
# Leswil 2012-06-07 10:35
In all these debates there should be an equal balance for both sides.
It is the ONLY way in my mind to address criticism of the debate.
This should apply both to the panel and the audience, at the moment the BBC choose the audience from their criteria and will not make this available for all to see. So currently it is all fixed by the Unionist media.
# exel 2012-06-07 11:31
Leswil 2012-06-07 11:35
“In all these debates there should be an equal balance for both sides.”

The existing QT format is not a debate in the normal sense of the word. It is a question and answer session.

As I have said above. “It has degenerated into a weekly “Party political broadcast”. It certainly needs upgrading.”
# Holebender 2012-06-07 13:36
Quoting exel:
The existing QT format is not a debate in the normal sense of the word. It is a question and answer session.

The clue is in the name!
# Leswil 2012-06-08 16:42
Exel, I guess you know what I mean.
Debate/ Q&A, whatever. They still have it rigged for their purpose.
# ituna semea 2012-06-07 10:36
"The obvious choice would have been Lesley Riddoch,"
Of course that would only have increased the leftist bias for which the BBC is also famous.
# Dances With Haggis 1320 2012-06-07 12:09
"Of course that would only have increased the leftist bias for which the BBC is also famous"

leftist bias?????... Get a grip and revist coverage of the Miners strike and all other industrial disputes.

The fact is the BBC is biased towards and reflects the Establishment's view of how the world around us is and should be organised
# sneckedagain 2012-06-07 11:05
I'd love to see Kenny Gibson or Alex Neil getting stuck into the collection of has-beens on tonight's programme
# heraldnomore 2012-06-07 11:38
Alex Neil it is
# Thee Forsaken One 2012-06-07 11:46
Quoting heraldnomore:
Alex Neil it is

So how long until Johan Lamont pulls out?
# Marga B 2012-06-07 21:10
# Legerwood 2012-06-07 19:42
The initial omission of any SNP minister or MP from the QT panel was really quite unbeleiveable. The SNP is the governing party in Scotland so irrespective of any referendum they should have been represented on the panel by a leading member of the party. It was akin to holiding QT in England and not having a Tory or LibDem on the panel.

In fact so cackhanded was it that I suspect it was done to drum up publicity for QT. The BBC knew full well there would be an outcry about it and would thus generate publicity for a programme that is not doing particularly well.
# velofello 2012-06-07 20:35
Now come on gals and guys. Question Time is light entertainment thats all. Why else have Melanie Phillips on the SHOW, or that nutty englander historian? And there is another Cockney accented female journalist, who is so good that I don't know her name, but bless her she does entertain.
Entertainment whether to please or annoy is still entertainment. Dimbleby's put down of Nicola Sturgeon would have had the show producers whooping with joy with its entertainment value and probably Dimbly pressing for an increase in his fee.
# aiberdeen sheep 2012-06-07 22:00
Against my better judgement i have been watching this for the last 5 minutes.

Not bad so far, What an odious individual Forsyth is, and how great to see him agreeing with the labour wifie.

The audience seems more balanced than is the norm as well.
# McGillicuddy Dreams 2012-06-07 22:06
The leader of the Labour Party in Scotland isn't saying much at all. When she does she speaks with zero substance.
There are a few idiots in the audience , or should I say people who wish to give all English people a vote in the Scottish Independence Referendum.
# Marga B 2012-06-07 22:10
How is Neil doing?
# Massacre1965 2012-06-07 22:16
He is doing really well so is mr cumming
# Marga B 2012-06-07 22:16
Thanks! Didn't doubt it really.
# aiberdeen sheep 2012-06-07 22:13
That labour wifie is out of her depth.

Cant resist having a go at the SNP at almost every turn.
# McGillicuddy Dreams 2012-06-07 22:18
xenophobic display by Mr Forsyth put in his place by the very honourable Mr Alan Cumming.
# McGillicuddy Dreams 2012-06-07 22:22
the irony within the current discussion over Europe being about members of the European Union not having a strong vote over decisions made Euro-wide is lost apparently within the UK union discussion.
# aiberdeen sheep 2012-06-07 22:26
Cumming has been excellent and will be a great asset.

Very humble,let them attack him.

Neil has been excellent and restrained (for him).
# Adrian B 2012-06-07 22:44
I was very impressed with both Alan Cumming and Alex Neil tonight. They wre both able to grasp the nettle. The rest of them were just wishy washy non entities. Wish it was like this every week. Good viewing. First Ministers questions is on now BBC Parliament (freeview channel 81)
# uilleam_beag 2012-06-08 07:49
Nah, it's no a nettle, it's a thistle -- and we all need tae grasp haud o't by 2014.

Carpe carduum
Gabh greim air a'chluachan
Seize the thistle!
# brusque 2012-06-07 22:30
I'm stunned that I've only heard one local (Invernessian) voice so far.

Alex Neill is doing brilliantly, as is Alan Cumming who managed to put the first questioner on the back foot!
# brusque 2012-06-07 22:32
Johann Lamont obviously is obsessed with Alex Salmond and the SNP!! she cannot speak without mentioning them.
# aiberdeen sheep 2012-06-07 22:36
Quoting brusque:
I'm stunned that I've only heard one local (Invernessian) voice so far.

Alex Neill is doing brilliantly, as is Alan Cumming who managed to put the first questioner on the back foot!

I was thinking that too, I had not realised how cosmopolitan Inverness was. lol
# Old Smokey 2012-06-07 22:51
I hadnt realised that Inverness had such a large English community, perhaps they were on holiday and popped in to the Eden Centre.
Thought Lamont was completely out of her depth, didnt manage to answer any questions as far as I saw. The Daily Mail woman was as expected true blue Daily Mail, so no surprise. Alex Neil did well (and restrained). Alan Cumming did well and managed to win points
As for Lord Forsyth, what a confused fool he is. He actually made a faux pas, when he stated that the main reason for the mess in Europe was different Euro economies trying to deal with one single Interest rate and would be better off out - something like Scotland then Michael with a 'one size fits all' Westminster driven economy!
# PerryThePlatypus 2012-06-07 22:52
Alan Cumming....... Excellent.
Alex Neil....... Excellent.

Charlie Kennedy...... fair play to him, reasoned and erudite. Pity he's on the wrong side (for now)

Melanie Phillips....... ill-informed and irrelevant.

Michael Forsyth was Michael Forsyth

And Johann............ well... least said about that the better - did not hear one sensible or positive contribution.

All in all, I reckon:

Independence 5 (Cumming, Neil, Kennedy, Forsyth (og), Lamont (og))

Unionism 0

(Phillips not counted in above)

In addition, if old Hughie Green's "clapometer" was still around from Opportunity Knocks, Independence won the day on audience reaction.

Just my take on it anyway.
Roll On 2014.
# Clarinda 2012-06-07 23:10
I gave up counting how many times a sullen and uncomfortable Ms Lamont said "we've all got to work together" - which appeared to be her only and repeated reflex to each question - not exactly a dazzling performance but one which was dire in the extreme. I detected that even Mr Dimbleby knew not to push her for definitive answers as she was obviously floundering even as to the pronunciation of her surname.
# Adrian B 2012-06-07 23:27
When lamont gets uncomfortable she moves her hands close together on the desk, looks down at her hands, then looks from side to side. She tries to focus her eye on a couple of members of the audience, but is unable to keep her focus.

The only time she desplays any blind confidence is when she is spouting anti SNP bile. This only shows her as displaying the worst that Glasgow City Labour polititions muster. She can be a nasty wee wummin.
# jurist 2012-06-07 23:38
Must confess I couldn't stomach watching it, so I watched an excellent Neil Sedaka concert instead.
# redcliffe 2012-06-08 00:59
It would not have hurt Lamont to have agreed with the SNP on the odd matter, where they have concensus, but she seemed limited in what she could do or say.
Cuming was the star. came out of his box and chirped at the right times. "Right wing rag" was priceless as was Forsyth's xenophobia comment after confirming to the English bloke in the audience that he was a UK citizen and pays taxes.
The downside was the stupidity of some of the questions, many of which were primary school quality in how they were asked.
# Exile 2012-06-08 11:47
"It would not have hurt Lamont to have agreed with the SNP on the odd matter, where they have concensus, but she seemed limited in what she could do or say."
# Macart 2012-06-08 04:24
YAAAAAAWN! Early shift again.

Playing catchup on skyplus. Cumming and Neil no doin' too bad at all. Jeez Johann's playin' her usual blinder (snort). Talk aboot a wan track mind.

Charles Kennedy looks and sounds as though he's done this before and the other two are just plain true blue. I was a wee bit concerned about Alan initially, but I should have known better.

a. He's an actor and b. a bit of a Broadway, Hollywood star. When you think of the politics involved in his world, he probably considered this lot a bunch of rank amateurs. Well done to him and Mr Neil.
# expat67 2012-06-08 04:52
Can somebody please put this QT Inverness on utube or somewhere that those of us outside UK at the moment could see it! Pleeeease!
# Giles 2012-06-09 13:29
Quoting expat67:
Can somebody please put this QT Inverness on utube or somewhere that those of us outside UK at the moment could see it! Pleeeease!

# Dundonian West 2012-06-09 13:37
Question Time.Hope this helps.Inverness.
ALL of it!
Comments permitted.
# brh206 2012-06-08 07:29
I thought the programme was flat really overall and none of the panalists were really great. I thought the question about the jubilee might have evoked something of substance regarding an antiquated system which preserves the wealthy and the elite but sadly it didn't , it was the same old guff about how wonderful the Queen is and how lucky we are. Overall Lamont was lamont, long may Liebour keep her, Forsyth was his usual knowing who his masters are, Kennedy was subdued I thought, Neil was ok but a bit subdued, Cumming was ok but never really got the chance to expand on his answers enough and the reporter was just politically offensive.
# Jim Johnston 2012-06-08 07:31
For the life of me I couldn't figure out the need for Phillips on QT.

Last time I recall seeing her on the programme, she was on offence to anyone with a grain of humanity in them. She was ranting about Israels absolute right to invade Gaza, without mentioning the 1500 civilians killed, most of them women and children, during a week of non stop bombardment from land and sea.
No doubt the same lunatic Ms Phillips is defending the sickening atrocities in Syria right now.

If the BBC need one, are there no journalists in Scotland who fit their agenda ?. (Try any of our "Scottish" newspapers and you'll find a dozen of them.)
# gus1940 2012-06-08 07:51
It would be interesting to see some of The Scotsman's 'star' 'journalists' subjected to a live debate with a balanced panel and audience.
# Thee Forsaken One 2012-06-08 08:15
I think that's the point. Most Scottish journalists I don't think would be willing to turn up to QT.
# snowthistle 2012-06-08 12:10
Oh, I don't know. Lesley Riddoch would be game, so would Gerry Hassan. If they needed a journalist with a more federal view, I'd bet David Torrance would give it a go.
I'm sure that there are a good many journalists based in Scotland who would be willing and able.
# Thee Forsaken One 2012-06-08 14:09
Quoting snowthistle:
Oh, I don't know. Lesley Riddoch would be game, so would Gerry Hassan. If they needed a journalist with a more federal view, I'd bet David Torrance would give it a go.
I'm sure that there are a good many journalists based in Scotland who would be willing and able.

I'm sure Lesley Riddoch would have been up for it although it could be that the location was a problem or it could simply be that QT wanted Ms Phillips on in the hope she would be stupid enough to rattle out her anti-scots rhetoric in front of a home crowd.

Also she's a QT regular so it wasn't too surprising really.
# gus1940 2012-06-08 16:28
What I had in mind was staffers like Maddox, Barnes, Paterkin etc plus the stable of freelancing failed Labour politicians they keep inflicting on us.
# Leswil 2012-06-08 16:46
Second that!
# Kirriereoch 2012-06-08 08:14
Regarding BBC "impartiality" there is a petition that has already reached around 33,000 signatures that is asking:


Dear Lord Patten and the BBC Board of Trustees,

Please make sure that you safeguard the independence of the BBC when you select the next Director-General.

The BBC’s global reputation rests on its independence - please don’t do anything which could put that in danger."

I signed it but also commented when signing, stating that impartiality and BBC "independence" is already an issue with BBC Scotland, particularly in relation to coverage of politics and the Scottish Government.
# EricF 2012-06-08 08:34
Despite myself I watched the programme. Alan Cumming was much sharper than I had expected and certainly put the first questioner's gas at a peep (not to say Michael Forsyth's). Forsyth was his usual flag-obsessed Lord Britnat self, part entertaining and part jaw-dropping. Kennedy was affable and vague, a bit like he's always been, and Lamont managed to say nothing of significance at all that I can remember - good to see Forsyth nodding away enthusiasticall y beside her on the Jubilee question though. Neil was good in the time he was given - specific facts and figures backing up his points. Pleased to see Daily Mail woman there, to remind us all what darkest Middle England is like and why we really, really don't want to be run by these people any more.
# gt-cri 2012-06-08 09:17
Thanks EricF,

I'm away right now & couldn't tune in. Nice to have a summary of the programme and as usual, seems that the build-up to the programme was more interesting & controversial than the actual event?
# Barontorc 2012-06-08 09:07
Would it be ranked as xenophobic to remark there was a very good representation of English accents in the QT audience?

The first questioner would not have been more staged had he appeared with a sandwich board and DD mentioned "independence", within the first minute.
# cokynutjoe 2012-06-08 10:21
Good to see that Alan Cumming, dismissed recently by Kenneth Roy as a "Luvvy", has rather more to him than the sage would have us believe.
# Exile 2012-06-08 11:26
"... the substitution of Danny Alexander for the more affable Charles Kennedy."

I am firmly of the opinion that the slide in meaning illustrated above is not merely a sign of language change, but of decay. It is regrettably common nowadays, and leads to confusion over who has gone and who has come in. Correctly speaking, if A is substituted for B, this means that B leaves and A comes in. In the quoted segment, the intended meaning is the opposite. This reversal of meaning has been in use for some time in football commentaries, where it perhaps originated. Whatever, like the grey squirrel, it is fast wiping out the perfectly viable standard prepositional usage.

"...the substitution of Danny Alexander for the more affable Charles Kennedy"
could be made coherent by the simple substitution of 'by' for 'for', giving us "the substitution of Danny Alexander by the more affable Charles Kennedy." i.e. the substitution of Charles Kennedy for Danny Alexander.
# clootie 2012-06-09 08:05
The communication was effective. It achieved a shared understanding. Is that not the key point?
When speaking in another language I often get the grammar wrong (often badly wrong). A failure in my academic standard does not prevent the coffee arriving.
# Soixante-neuf 2012-06-14 21:11
Actually, no. I was thoroughly confused. I read it three times and came to the conclusion that the writer must have made a mistake, because I already knew that Kennedy had been on the programme.

The wording as it appears definitely says that Kennedy was removed and Alexander appeared instead.
# J Gordon 2012-06-08 11:27
Let's leave the 'Glasgow wifey''stairheed rammy'stuff behind. Just a weak politician but we don't need that type of lingo.
Her arguements were so weak basically 'the Jubilee showed Scots and English both enjoy a party'totally inane as a comment.
I too wish someone even in the audience had spoken as a republican or at least criticised the 'North Korean'type press coverage.
# snowthistle 2012-06-08 11:40
Well said.
The woman has so many faults and such weak arguments, we don't need to resort to calling her names. Indeed I think that one of her weakest traits is the way she resorts to calling Alex Salmond names during FMQs. It shows a total lack of statesmanship, makes her look petty and immature, it does her no favours at all.
# Edulis 2012-06-08 11:37
As someone from Inverness, I was amazed at the way that Dimbleby called a large majority of non-indigenous questioners- well, to be blunt, people who weren't exactly local! Were the Invernesians hiding? I recognised some of them and I know them to be quite voluble in their opinions. We have much to do to raise our game.
# Saltire Groppenslosh 2012-06-08 13:29
I did a wee analysis of the programme and although it isn't very scientific perhaps alludes to a problem.

Number of times that a person in the audience with a Scottish accent raised a question or responded = 17

Number of times that a person in the audience with an English accent raised a question or responded = 12

I make no conclusion here but it seems strange that there would be so many questioners with English accents in Inverness or am I missing something.

I don't have one anti-English bone in my body and welcome anyone to our country, I simply want to find out if the producers of this programme are perhaps "stacking the deck" to give a particular slant or message. If they are, then that would be indicative of BBC bias and propaganda tactics and therefore wrong.
# Dundonian West 2012-06-08 14:00
British Broadcastg Corporation wouldn't do that.
It has to maintain it's standards.
# BillCo 2012-06-08 21:05
The BBC will do their damndest to get the Pro-Unionist argument over judging by last night's Question Time from Inverness.

They had a panel of 6, 4 of whom were staunchly anti-Scottish independence including the Daily Mail's attack dog, Melanie Philips, against two for independence.

Of approximately 25 contributions from the audience, 33% had English accents with most offering stridently anti-independence opinions including one suggesting that the cause was base on 'xenophobia' and 'hatred of the English', approximately 25% had local accents and the rest were a various mix of Scottish accents. Of the Scots who spoke there appeared to be a significant majority in favour of the status quo.

This is what we have come to expect from the BBC. Well done to Alex Neil and Alan Cumming for more than holding their own against a totally one sided set-up.
# clootie 2012-06-09 08:24
To be fair I think there is a large "English" community. Unfortunately it is often based on sale of a terraced house in London in order to buy a mansion in the North plus release capital. Do they become Scottish or do they want to repeat Spain and become Chiantishire.

I am not anti English. However I am against Scotland being treated as an opportunity - be that as a shooting estate or for lifestyle advantage. I have seen the empire mindset in France and Spain and find it distasteful.

If I choose to live in another country then I will embrace the culture and values of that nation - not import my own.
# gfaetheblock 2012-06-09 17:01
What is your view on scots living abroad? There are many on this site who live out with Scotland but want to express their opinion on independence. By your logic, should they not be assimilating and not commenting on Scotland?
# Holebender 2012-06-09 18:02
Isn't that a rather parochial attitude? Typical Scottish unionist.
# gfaetheblock 2012-06-09 18:11
I asked a question rather than expressed an opinion. Is it the original poster that you have a problem with?
# Marga B 2012-06-08 11:56
On the other hand, just to make you think, the Catalan public media include 5 main TV channels, (main, Catalan arts/docs/music, kids, sport, 24h Catalan news) plus, and 4 radio channels, all Catalan language and all paid for out of Catalan taxes.

This is said to cost each Catalan 35 euros a year though I have not seen the breakdown.

Here is a promotional video - the service is under attack for political, linguistic and financial reasons.
# Juteman 2012-06-08 14:50
BBC Jockland (on News 24) keeps on reporting that 15.000 folk are expected to turn out for the 'flame' in Glasgow.

A free music concert in Glasgow might have 15,000 kids attending, and the 'flame' will run past it!

Spin, spin, spin.....
# uilleam_beag 2012-06-08 19:59
Has anyone heard whether any of the runners tried waving a Salford, and whether they git the same reaction from their minders as the lad in Cornwall did?
# maxstafford 2012-06-08 20:10
Saw a few saltires flying but the roadside wasn't exactly bouncing with people!
I only had a few glances at the box while I was at work but did anybody notice how close the BBC kept the camera to the stage?
Probably so you couldn't see there was no b*gger behind it!
# gfaetheblock 2012-06-08 21:42
Nice to see lots of kids getting excited by sport, espially the Scottish legend Danny Macaskill involved.
# Giles 2012-06-09 13:31

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