INDEPENDENCE supporters in Scotland frequently complain about the quality of the corporation's coverage of the Scottish constitutional debate.

Of course, the BBC marches hand in glove with wider media coverage of the topic, and the privately owned media in Scotland is heavily skewed towards opposition to independence.

This makes it wildly unrepresentative of the population which it claims to serve, which is split roughly half and half on its views on independence – in recent years tilting more towards majority support for an independent Scottish state. This is a tendency which will only become ever more pronounced in future given that the younger generations are overwhelming in their desire to see Scotland break free of Westminster's corrupt, unrepresentative and sclerotic rule. The BBC very much takes its lead from and follows the agenda of the right-wing anti-independence press.

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However, the BBC attracts particular ire for its evident pro-British state and pro-establishment biases, because unlike the privately owned media, the BBC is publicly funded and was explicitly established as a public service. Print media like the right-wing, Brexit-supporting, anti-independence Daily Mail or the Telegraph, or indeed the liberal pro-independence The National, are under no obligation to be politically neutral. If you do not support the political viewpoints promoted by these publications, you are under no obligation to fund them, and it is very easy for you to avoid them.

This is not the case with the BBC, which sees anyone who watches or records live TV programmes on any channel, or downloads or watches BBC programmes on BBC iPlayer, require a TV licence. This remains the case even if you don't watch BBC programming.

The National: Fiona Bruce as host of Question Time

So, naturally, people get upset when they perceive bias on the BBC, because it feels like we are being forced to pay for political advertising on behalf of the Conservative Party. Allegations of right-wing and anti-independence bias on the BBC's flagship political and current affairs discussion programme Question Time (host Fiona Bruce above) are legion and there is a veritable online industry in documenting the higher level of scrutiny and criticism of the Scottish Government on the BBC compared to the relative free ride given to Conservative ministers in Westminster.

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All of this is water off a duck's back as far as the BBC is concerned. All too often the corporation does not even acknowledge the criticisms, no matter how well founded – the best that ever happens is a grudging non-apology and nothing ever changes.

The cosy relationship between the BBC and the Conservative Party is well illustrated by the allegations that Richard Sharp, the chair of the BBC, helped Boris Johnson to secure a loan of up to £800,000 just weeks before Sharp was recommended for the BBC job by Johnson. Both men vigorously deny any wrongdoing.

And don't start me on the BBC's nauseating royalist sycophancy. Those of us of a republican persuasion – and there are many, many more of us than the BBC cares to acknowledge – find ourselves completely unrepresented when the BBC embarks on one of its periodic bouts of wall-to-wall Nicholas Witchery, attempting to cast its evil Windsor spell on a Scottish population which for the most part is either lacking in interest, or is actively repelled by the antics of the royals.

The usual BBC response is to claim that it is criticised from both ends of the political spectrum and therefore it must be balanced. Anyone who has tried to complain to the BBC about one of its programmes soon finds themselves lost in a Byzantine nightmare which would have been too much even for Franz Kafka.

A new opinion poll commissioned by the Sunday National and published at the weekend has found that a majority of people in Scotland do not think that the BBC is doing a good job reporting the impact of Brexit. Often it seems that the “B” word is the great unmentionable when it comes to reporting the UK's economic woes. On the other hand, the BBC is happy to platform Brexit supporters, and gave immense prominence to the odious Nigel Farage which far outweighed the political support he received at the ballot box.

It is an obvious point which I have made before, but it's a point which must be made again as the management of the BBC consistently fail to grasp it: when a public institution loses the trust of the public, it's the institution which needs to change, not the public. Yet the BBC continues to act as though it's just fine, it's the public which is wrong.

But never mind, Nicholas Witchell will be along in a few minutes to tell us how marvellous Charles and Camilla are.