THE nice lady on the end of the phone wanted to know if I was still available to be an audience member for Sunday’s recording of BBC Scotland’s Debate Night.

I was surprised, particularly as I had been completely open on my online application as to my position as convener of the local SNP branch and made the application with tongue firmly in cheek, but this didn’t seem to have come up on her script.

Needless to say when I was asked about any involvement as an elected official my application came to a shuddering halt with sincere apologies – if you can believe that – but there was an important issue of balance that they needed to uphold. It proved impossible for me not to respond with “ah, that’ll be the one rule for the Tories and one rule for the rest of us kind of balance”.

I then asked if, as it was a joint application, could I accompany my partner provided I promised to keep schtum? That won’t be possible, I was told.

Now that, for me, is the end of it having tangled on previous occasions with the BBC Trust and their labyrinthine complaints process and long ago given up on the hypothesis of broadcasting balance.

I’ve no grouse with the British Broadcasting Corporation, they really are only doing what it says on their tin and representing the views and positions of establishment Britain. The fact is that establishment Britain is under siege on a number of fronts quite apart from the collapse of democratic accountability in the Mother of Parliaments – poor old Harold Macmillan could never have conceived of that particular predicament being merely “events dear boy, events”.

Our reality is that the BBC in Scotland represents a point of view which is not representative of a significant portion of the electorate and we’ve no right to complain. They use our money to propagate their “balanced” propaganda and as far as I’m concerned that’s something which borders on theft and certainly should infringe the Trades Descriptions Act if you’te trying to define balance.

The British Broadcasting Corporation had a strange sense of balance in their coverage of the SNP spring conference in Edinburgh and, merely a week later, the conference of the Ruth Davidson’s No More Referendum Party in Aberdeen – even if we were treated to the delight of Brian Taylor spluttering into his corn flakes at the utter mendacity of the alleged Secretary of State for Scotland.

The British Broadcasting Corporation thought that it was an important demonstration of balance to broadcast snooker when the First Minister made her statement updating the Scottish Parliament on indyref2, a matter of some constitutional import. And just let’s not bother with its approach to the balance of the news agenda when the biggest centre of population in the country was brought to a standstill because lots of people from all over our country wanted to demonstrate their support for independence.

I have written previously about the quality propaganda from BBC Scotland and I no longer subject my blood pressure to undue risk with all things BBC. Let’s not get ourselves upset by the balance issue that had Claire Feaver, Tory councillor for Forres; Frank Brown, Tory councillor for Elgin; Jane Lax (featured by BBC), Moray Conservatives honorary treasurer; and lan Lax, Tory campaigner and Unionist sitting side by side on this week’s edition of Question Time from Elgin. After all, the nice lady referred to at the top of the piece and so concerned with balance was representing Mentorn Media, the production company responsible for both Question Time and Debate Night.

Just let’s accept the British Broadcasting Corporation have no shame, but wouldn’t it be nice if our Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs made some public declarations on the subject in a similar vein to the recent public pronouncements by senior politicians on the topic of cybernats?

Iain Bruce