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The truths they don't want you to read....

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

MG Alba

MG Alba - what the hell is that?So Alasdair Morrison has got the job of Chairman of the new Gaelic TV service.

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.


Anonymous said...

Alasdair Morrison is not just a former Labour MSP, minister,and as far as I can see Chair of the Labour Party in the Western Isles, but more significantly the most vitriolic anti Scottish National Party politician (and now activist) in Scotland. His negative campaigning style against nationalists whenever he has been and is given the opportunity, has burnt too many bridges for this role, having frequently reduced his criticism to personal attacks with reference to e.g Nazis. This has proven he is unsuitable for this job not because of his Labour connections but by his deep seated hatred of Nationalists at all levels and in all walks of life.

He has burnt bridges with many of the people he will have to work for.

History has shown that he will sell his granny to get at them in any underhand way he can.

That is what makes him unsuitable for this job, not his affiliation with any political party, but his hatred and inability to be impartial when dealing with others.

Anonymous said...

what does MG stand for? suggestions anyone

Anonymous said...

Has he met Max Moseley?!

Anonymous said...

anon 4.43. Alasdair Morrison was interviewed by an independent panel from OFCOM who recommended Alasdair as the most suitable candidate for the post. If you read Angus blog you will find out as you have just proved it the nasty and bitter comments of certain members of the SNP including certain Ministers and MP's.

Also that you are questioning the integrity of OFCOM individuals shows what kind of poisinous vermin you are. I am sure it is only vermin like you that Alasdair used to have a go at, and not decent Nationalists like Donald Manford, Annie Macdonald and Angus who have worked for the good of the Islands and not for the good of the East coast like our MP and MSP.
Like Angus I would like to wish Alasdair well in his appointment and without doubt he will make sure that there will be more work coming to the Islands

p.s. I wonder if there would have been the same uproar if Dr Anne Lorne Gillies had been recommended.

Anonymous said...

Superb work Alasdair. Only in the job a week and look at what you have acheived.

Anonymous said...

'Poisonous vermin', 'Nazis', is this the language of progress? To quote the late great Terry Thomas, 'your an absolute shower'.

Anonymous said...

MG = Meadhanan Gàidhlig (or Media Gaelic)

Anonymous said...

"'Poisonous vermin', 'Nazis', is this the language of progress?"

In a funny (peculiar) way, it reminds us all of what was left behind in May '07. To my knowledge neither our current MSP nor MP has ever referred to anyone in opposition parties as 'Nazis' and neither have SNP supporters referred to the Labourites as 'poisonous vermin'.

We must be going the right way, surely? Well, most of us anyway.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:15, I am poisenous vermin because I what? I said Alasdair Morriosn was not the correct appointment. Am I not entitled to an opinion? That makes me poisenous vermin? The interview panel never gets it wrong? In any line of work. I hope Alasdair does a good job. I hope he can work with those of Nationalist tendacies but the prospectsa re not good going on the past. The fact that the First Minister got involved shows how strongly the SNP feel about this. It would not have been the same reaction if it had been say..Calum MacDonald.

The SNP work in cross party groups all the time and with former Labour politicians and with other parties. It was i believe in such a "cross party" context of supposed cooperation that Alasdair Morrison called a Nationalist a Fascist.

In return I got you calling me "poisenous vermin" and obviously because you assumed I was a nationalist. And in an anti SNP MP and anti SNP MSP context. You had to get that in.

That is exactly the kind of vitriolic rhetoric I was referring to that aliented Alasdair from so many others of the Gaelic speaking world.

One question for you. Are you Alasdair Morrison?

Anonymous said...

'My views on the survival of the Gaelic language have been expressed before' Could you put a link in for that please Angus? Been coming here for a while but not seen that yet.

Anonymous said...


You say you are diappointed by the 'nasty' and 'bitter' comments from Linda Fabiani.

She is quoted:

"I oppose this appointment as I believe that, as a public body and a broadcaster, MG Alba must be politically impartial.

"I have serious concerns that someone who has recently held a visible political office will be able to provide this impartiality."

She appears to be highlighting that the position should be held by someone who is clearly impartial. There's nothing personal against our ex-MSP and certainly nothing 'bitter' or 'nasty'.

Compare her comments with some of the personal attacks you allow on your blog.

You have made it very clear you are opposed to hypocrits, so I expect you to give yourself "a verbal kicking"...

Finally, I'd like to wish Alasdair Morrison all the best with his new job. There's tons of money getting invested in gaelic, which can only be good for the islands.

Anonymous said...

6:06pm said

"There's tons of money getting invested in gaelic, which can only be good for the islands"

and I will add ......... "and loaded onto the gravy train to disappear into the ether like so much taxpayers money does on here"