Wilson Warns of Referendum Ghetto for Scots Debating

Scots guests on the BBC debating programme, Question Time, risk being ghettoised into having to talk about Scotland's constitutional future, according to a column in today's Scotsman newspaper.

Brian Wilson was writing in the wake of Thursday's edition of the programme, from Inverness.

As well as bemoaning a seeming obsession with ensuring 'balance', he asks whether such debates are destined to having to set aside standard news values in order to allow to debate about the upcoming referendum, in two years time, on whether Scotland should become independent.

He writes: “The overcrowded shambles that emerged from Inverness should cause pause for thought. Is this really how we want Scotland to present itself – as an inward-looking backwater where the first 20 minutes of any discussion programme must, as a matter of ritual, be devoted to drivel about 'the constitution'? The switch-off rate, both north and south of the border, would be more revealing than any pearls offered by the panel.

“Syria may suffer massacre. The euro may be in a state of collapse. The Coalition government may be on the ropes. But hell would freeze over before a producer of Question Time or any similar programme would dare come to Scotland and apply the same news values that are axiomatic anywhere else in the United Kingdom.”

The independent TV production company that makes the programme for the BBC, Mentorn Scotland, was unavailable for comment.