Those who gloat over the SNP's lost court case today just don't get Scotland. This was not just about the Nationalists. It was about Scottish issues being properly represented in a programme that, as Salmond observed on Sunday, IS the election campaign. The comments about getting above yourself, trying to play in the major leagues etc just display a contempt for Scotland as a nation. The Liberal Democrats are entering the major leagues because of these debates. Their vote has soared in Scotland since the programmes began, when it was fizzling out before. The secondary Scottish debates, shown well away from peak times, have none of the hype or resources of the UK versions...they are intended to further put us in our place, remind us how second rate and incapable we are.
The attitude of the BBC, the court and Ofcom tells us everything we need to know about Scotland's ranking within the UK. "You are a minority so you will never, ever, have parity". So what is the point of the union? What exactly do we get out of it? Let's remember this next time we are told how influential Scotland is within the UK parliament. It is only influential when Labour are in power and their unscrupulous Scottish members line up to impose unpopular legislation on England, such as foundation hospitals and tuition fees.
So, perhaps we get some crumbs in return. Is that what we want? Handouts? My main criticism of the SNP campaign in this general election is that it is too low key and modest. I don't want "influence". I want self-determination. Real self-determination. Given the ruthlessness displayed by the British state over this broadcasting affair, I am with the former party deputy leader Jim Sillars. Let us not delude ourselves, asking for concessions. Only independence will give Scotland true parity with its larger neighbour. This campaign should have been used to build the case for that.