The first thing he needs to do is find a half-decent name for the new service as MG Alba really doesn't give any sense of what is going on.
The Gaelic TV industry offers good prospects for the islands – if we can build upon the subsidy and create a long-term industry. If it becomes another case of nominal service delivery for the islands, whilst flying in the talent and flying out the profits, then it is never going to deliver either financially or culturally.
My views on the survival of the Gaelic language have been expressed before, but I look forward to the launch in mid-September to see what the service can bring to the community.
I was very disappointed with the nasty and bitter comments of the Culture (sic) Minister, Linda Fabiani, about Alasdair's appointment. It appears that in her mind it is not the quality or appropriateness of the appointee that is important. More important is who gets the chance to appoint their mates to posts.
If she really believes that “My placemen are better than your placemen”, then she shows an appalling level of misunderstanding of the responsibilities of public office.
In her desperation to be partial and partisan, she demeans both the postholder and the Gaelic TV service, and misses the key arguments she should be making.
If Alasdair attempts to set-up a Labour front organisation, it will take barely hours for that to become public, and he will become a target for every politician and blogger in the Western Isles. That will fatally weaken not just him but the organisation he Chairs, and I have no doubt that the undermining of the Gaelic TV service is the last thing Alasdair wants to see.
That he was appointed by Des Browne, Scottish Secretary, and by Ofcom is one of the many anachronisms of the devolution process. But if Ms Fabiani were genuinely concerned about the matter, then she should have raised this issue when the service was being set-up; or when the post was advertised; or she should have got a Westminster MP to raise the issue in the House of Commons.
Did she do any of these? (Answer: No. Indeed, Angus MacNeil MP welcomed the setting up of the service and the legal structures and the responsibility for appointment remaining with the Westminster Government)
That the Scottish Government has no accountability or scrutiny over MG Alba when they have provided some of the funding is a genuine issue. Presumably with the Comhairle providing some funding too, then they should also be entitled to some level of accountability or scrutiny?
Did the SNP MPs raise this matter when the legislation passed through the House of Commons? (Answer: as before)
This is a false, party political, row of the lowest order which brings nothing but opprobrium and contempt on the Minister, and brings politics further into disrepute.
I wish Alasdair well; but, like many others, I shall be keeping a close eye on what happens and will not be slow to make criticisms if I believe that they are well founded.