BBC drama goes in to bat for Scottish independence

Robert Henderson

The BBC Radio 4 play  Dividing the Union was  a crude piece of propaganda for Scottish independence (Broadcast at 2.15pm 14 March  – available on IPlayer  for six days from the date of  uploading this blog post  http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03xgsly).

The actor playing Alex Salmond ( Greg Hemphill) sounded and behaved like Salmond, that is,  he was aggressive and wilfully  patronising. The actor playing David Cameron (Greg Wise) seriously  failed represent Cameron’s  voice and manner. He spoke  with a form of received pronunciation but  it did not sound like Cameron,  who has a much crisper delivery and somewhat posher voice. However,  that weakness in characterisation is dwarfed by the lack of dominant tone and energy in his persona. This Cameron  came across as dithering and uncertain, constantly fretting that Salmond will be too clever for him in conversations with his adviser Robert (David Jackson Young). These conversations include the fictional Cameron whining to Robert that  he  (Robert) should not have left him alone with Salmond when the Edinburgh Agreement was agreed.  All that is utterly unlike Cameron, who is naturally aggressive in debate and quick on his mental feet.

Then there is the deal they  come to. The play has Cameron agreeing to a currency union, a split of the national debt by population and a division of the oil and gas revenues on a geographical basis favourable to Scotland. What does he get in return? An extension of the period in which the nuclear submarines on the Clyde can be kept there before being  transferred to the rest of the UK.  That is precisely the type of deal that Salmond has been angling for and saying Westminster would agree to when faced with the fact of independence. Such a deal would be grossly  to England’s disadvantage.

Finally, why a play about  the YES camp winning this close to the referendum? Can we expect a balancing play in which the independence vote is lost?  If not, why not?

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4 Responses to BBC drama goes in to bat for Scottish independence

  1. William Gruff says:

    I won’t be listening to it since it sound like the sort of self- serving, self congratulating, McStaigmatic rubbish to be expected from a British Broadcasting Corporation that is rotten with Jock and institutionally Anglophobic. One of the first things an English Parliament must legislate for is the end of the BBC, followed by a constitutional bar on the employment of Scots in the English media.

    • “rotten with Jock”? “constitutional bar on the employment of Scots in the English media”? Are you sure you’re not a plant for the YES campaign? You’re doing a really good job of promoting it! Gruff indeed.

  2. kenlaidlaw says:

    It does make you wonder how they can claim the BBC is biased in favour of a NO vote.

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