THE BBC won’t miss the irony of the SNP, its main critic, complaining about exclusion from its programme output. British bias, is it? But you still want your place on Question Time…

It shows both how sensitive the politicians are to the power of television over the bulk of consumers and how the corporation maintains its special status in the life of the (British) nation. Digital media may sprout, satellites beam and public halls resound, but if you want maximum impact on voters, you need just 45 minutes on Question Time.

So if the BBC has a public duty to reflect opinion, is it failing to do so by omitting the SNP from not one, but two, scheduled shows since the election? (John Swinney was on the Friday, May 8 special programme.)

Clearly, the answer is yes. You cannot read an analysis from The Spectator to The Guardian, from The Huffington Post to The New York Times, never mind the Scottish media, without hearing the relentless refrain that SNP success destroyed Labour and LibDem hopes and turned the UK into a two-tone country, in which Labour may never recover.

But not on the Question Time production team, where the handbags-at-dawn scuffle to lead eight LibDems is given priority, along with the mandatory “business person” and commentator.

Indeed, the notably unsuccessful Ukip, whom the BBC did much to get elected in the Euro elections, is still a more important story to David Dimbleby’s team.

This week’s programme came from Derby, with not a Scot in sight. Even Bonnie Prince Charlie made it that far. This is no longer a metropolitan programme in the classic BBC London sense – it is an independent production based in Glasgow.

Yet the status of the third-largest Westminster party, by some measure, hasn’t moved the producers to consider the nationalists interesting enough for more exposure to the British people. There are plenty of expert MPs among them to choose from. Perhaps they’re afraid of an English peasant revolt.

Or is the BBC’s issue that the Scots are the primitives agitating for access to hallowed ground that belongs to the chosen few – those who inhabit the nomenclature?

Just like nationalist MPs occupying places on the green benches that were customarily assigned to others, so they are now muscling in on the media where they’re not wanted.

The stock answer to this is geography – we’ll have you on when we’re in Aberdeen. In other words, we don’t want you on the box but in your box.

Let’s recall some findings from the King Report on BBC news network bias.

The UK and England are often used interchangeably, it said. Presenters, when talking about England, say “we”, “us” and “this country”. Politics across the four nations is often seen through Westminster eyes. Hardly any legislators in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland are interviewed on network news.

That was seven years ago. Scotland has embraced the SNP full-on since then, the UK just survived a referendum and now Britain too has changed in ways the public are struggling to comprehend and are looking to the broadcasters to explain. Is it too much to expect the BBC to catch up any time soon?