The SNP have indulged in spinactivity since being elected - that is the art of making announcements or pronouncements while not actually doing anything. For example, the Justice Secretary called for legislation banning the consideration of alcohol as a mitigating factor in criminal cases, despite the fact that alcohol has (at least since the early eighteenth century) not been a mitigating factor or relevant to defences in criminal cases.
Latest to join the spinactive fray is Alex Salmond for First Minister, the First Minister, who has today called on broadcasting to be devolved. Ostensibly a bid to remove Natasha Kaplinsky and Sophie Raworth from our screens to be replaced with Jackie “you don’t want me to sing, surely? Oh you do? Well, here’s my music” Bird presenting news from a Scottish perspective. This will additionally lead to an enhanced role for Newsnight Scotland – and the possible ditching of Jeremy Paxman from our screen. Salmond’s agenda may seem clear. A cynic may feel that relying on the team of BBC Scotland journos (Glenn “Rhinestone Political Correspondent” Campbell et al) would lower the quality of interviewing and criticism – leaving a free path for Wee Eck, his lieutenant Nicola “head-bobbing” Sturgeon, and the great “Blinky Dick” Richard Lochhead – a man trapped in the headlights any time he’s asked a question by even the gentlest of interviewers, to lead Scotland to freedom from our neighbouring kingdom. However, the true agenda is clear.
The inexplicable continuing saga of River City – Scotland’s national soap and rest home for actors wary of travelling furth of Glasgow – is one of the few mainstream indigenous drama productions. Salmond is obviously a huge fan with the intent of River City going to 3, 4, maybe 5 days a week. The hidden agenda was made clear by Elaine C Smith (“Mary Doll”) during the election campaign. More episodes of River City means more speaking parts, means work for those refugees from Rab C Nesbitt not gainfully employed elsewhere.