It was a roses and rotten fruit sort of day for the BBC. The roses go to BBC Scotland, for commissioning a poll asking the public where they would cut spending - if forced. Polls are expensive to commission but worthwhile all the same. It's the same poll that found most Scots blame the last Labour government for the economic mess. This one asked participants to rank their prefered targets for cuts 1-10 and were not allowed an opt out. Some will say that the presumption of any cuts is wrong, that it is happening too fast and we should reclaim more of the cash from the banks. The poll doesn't offer bankers as an option - nor scrapping Trident. Still, the results are interesting, and I imagine fairly good news for the Scottish government. Raising council tax was near the bottom of the poll - cutting health was last. There was little enthusiasm for hiking prescription charges back up either. Introducing tuition fees for students - which I write about today in The Scotsman - was middling.
The rotten fruit goes to the BBC in London, who are currently running a story on merit payments to consultants within the NHS in England. The story runs on the main home page of the BBC website and is billed as UK news. Wasn't the reporter or his/her editor just a little bit curious to find out the situation in Scotland? If the BBC had lifted the phone they would have discovered that the Scottish Health Secretary has been demanding that the merit payments go. It would have given them a better angle. But I guess it was Scotland and they couldn't be bothered...to read detailed analysis of the situation in Scotland better go to the excellent Kenneth Roy