To the BBC
|Teaching the Libations a few chords before my big number|
We know that you are based in England, and that most of your staff are English.
Given the respective sizes of our UK constituent countries, this is only to be expected. It's quite fair, and we have no problem with it. We just wish you would spend a little more of your money in our counties, instead of the bulk of it being spent in London and Manchester.
But it is important as a news organisation to remember that what you are broadcasting, although mainly for consumption in England, does go out in other countries too. You know, that is not unfair, given that citizens of the other countries pay licence fees at exactly the same rate as the English do.
It is, therefore, very important for you to distinguish, in your reporting of a news item, which countries you are referring to.
However, your reports about junior doctors' intention to take strike action, do not come into that category.
There are in fact four NHSs in the UK. The English one is the biggest of course, but in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, thankfully, Jeremy Hunt is NOT the Health Secretary.
Mark Drakeford is Minister for Health and Social Services in the Welsh Government. In Northern Ireland Simon Hamilton is Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety, and in Scotland, as seen above talking about junior doctors, is the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Well-being, Shona Robison.
Mr Hunt has badly handled the dispute with junior doctors and strike action applies only to his fiefdom In the other countries more mature and sensible heads have prevailed.
This is a massive vote for strike in England. NHS Scotland open to junior docs who want to be valued by government.
When things are geographically specific, you should report them as such. You wouldn't, for example, warn everyone across the UK to evacuate their houses becasue of an unexploded bomb in Brown Street in Bristol, would you?
No, because even if the bomb went off in Bristol, people in Cardiff or Derry or Aberfeldy wouldn't be affected.
Same thing then with cancelled appointments in Scotland. They are not going to happen.
Now for heaven's sake it's not that difficult, BBC.
Britain is not England is not Britain.
Try saying it over to yourselves a few times and see if eventually it sinks in.
Oh, and one last thing, before I go. If you seriously think that you can address the democratic deficit in your reporting in Scotland by appointing Sarah Smith, another of you Labour Party friends to be your Scotland Editor, then please, think again. We're not impressed, in fact we are howling with laughter at your ineptitude.
It's a bit like trying to fight a fire with paraffin. And we are beginning to wonder if you are doing this on purpose.