×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

British Biz Establishment, BBC Relieved By Scotland’s Rejection of Independence

LONDON — The British establishment is breathing a collective sigh of relief as Scotland has voted by a margin of 10% to stay in the United Kingdom.

Prime Minister David Cameron (pictured) welcomed the result as around 85% of Scots — the biggest turnout in a U.K. election since the early 1950s — voted in the referendum on independence. A whopping 1,617,989 (45%) voted for independence while 2,001,926 (55%) nixed the idea.

Cameron, who likely faced having to quit had the Scots voted yes, said he was delighted that Scotland was still part of the U.K.

The British business community is also chipper that Scotland voted to stay on board Blighty. In London, stocks rose and the value of the pound headed north making gains against the dollar.

Scotland’s rejection of the latest bid for independence came in at a higher margin than pollsters had predicted in the final run-up to the Sept. 18 vote.

For media types, particularly the BBC, the no vote was mostly welcome news.

Throughout the two-year independence battle the U.K. pubcaster had remained conspicuously silent on the impact an independent Scotland was likely to have on its own fortunes.

The BBC noted primly that any comment on how a yes vote would affect itself risked compromising its role as an impartial news organisation reporting on the referendum.

It was therefore unable to challenge the Scottish Nationalists’ claim that a newly independent Scotland would have a new Scottish pubcaster and still be able to keep BBC programs without having to pay more than the current BBC license fee.

This policy promise was regarded by TV insiders as undeliverable.

Had Scots left the union, the British government insisted that Scotland and the BBC need to divorce. Privately the Corporation knew the effect of Scotland exiting the U.K. — a big gap in what the BBC claims is an already financially precarious position.

“There will be massive relief inside the BBC at Scotland rejecting independence,” said media commentator Stewart Purvis, Professor of Television Journalism at London’s City University. “A yes vote would have seen 10% of income lopped off the BBC,” he explained.

“A very difficult situation has been avoided,” echoed a BBC journalist. “The BBC has enough on its plate without having to plan for an independent Scotland.”

But with 5.1 million Scots still having to pay their BBC license fee and Scottish nationalism anything but dead, will Auntie need to be a bit less haughty in how in treats Scotland in future?

“A lot of Scots feel patronized by the BBC,” said one BBC Scottish presenter. “Having fewer English voices on Scottish TV and radio would be a good place to start. …It infuriates local people that English broadcasters are often given jobs covering national U.K. events when they are held in Scotland. We have some brilliant anchors of our own.”

For those British independent producers based in Scotland who threatened to move south of the border to keep their businesses afloat the no vote is also good news.

Some media commentators predict that despite the strength of the no vote more media U.K. devolution is likely to follow.

The upshot could be a less centralized BBC with more power devolved outside London, in line with Cameron’s plans for a new British constitution that will see Scotland, and perhaps England, gain more legislative powers.

J K Rowling, an Edinburgh resident, was reported to have donated £1 million ($1.6 million) to the Better Together campaign, also supported by the likes of Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger.

On hearing the referendum results she Tweeted: “Been up all night watching Scotland make history. A huge turnout, a peaceful democratic process: we should be proud.”

For once, Rowling was in agreement with David Cameron.

More Biz

  • During an interview at her home

    Judith Krantz, Best-Selling Author and Columnist, Dies at 91

    Judith Krantz, a best-selling author known for her novels “Scruples” and “Princess Daisy,” died Saturday from natural causes, surrounded by family, friends and her four dogs at her Bel Air, California home, her publicist John Tellem confirmed. She was 91. Krantz began her career in journalism, working for Good Housekeeping writing freelance articles for Macleans, [...]

  • Plume of black smoke rising from

    Soundgarden, Tupac and Tom Petty Estates Sue Universal Music Over Fire Damage

    Attorneys representing Soundgarden, Hole, Steve Earle and the estates of Tupac and Tom Petty today filed a class-action lawsuit against Universal Music Group over the master recordings destroyed in a 2008 fire, the extent of which was revealed last week in a New York Times article. The lawsuit, obtained by Variety, seeks some “50% of [...]

  • John Prine, Kamasi Washington, Sub Pop

    John Prine, Kamasi Washington, Sub Pop Win Big at A2IM Libera Awards

    Out of all the awards shows Variety Music attends every year — and we hit a few — in many ways A2IM’s Libera Awards, which celebrate the tight-knit independent label sector, is the most fun. It’s got awards and performances and a host and people get dressed up and all that, but at the end [...]

  • A trading post sports the Spotify

    Spotify Determines That It Overpaid Publishers in 2018, Requests Refund

    When calculating the new, higher rates determined by the U.S Copyright Royalty Board — which Spotify, Amazon, Google and SiriusXM/Pandora have appealed — Spotify has determined that it overpaid publishers in 2018 and would like a refund. “According to the new CRB regulations, we overpaid most publishers in 2018,” a Spotify spokeperson said. “While the [...]

  • Los Angeles LGBT Center CEO Lorri

    Los Angeles LGBT Center Opens New Campus for Community's Most Vulnerable

    When Donald Trump became president in 2016, some had grave concerns about what that could mean for the LGBTQ community. It gave such serious pause to the backers of the historic Los Angeles LGBT Center that they even considered scrapping plans to build their $142 million Anita May Rosenstein Campus in Hollywood. Then again, that [...]

  • Jussie Smollett

    Judge to Appoint Special Prosecutor in Jussie Smollett Case

    In yet another bizarre twist, a Chicago judge on Friday ordered the appointment of a special prosecutor to review the hoax case against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett. Judge Michael Toomin ruled that State’s Attorney Kim Foxx should have appointed a special prosecutor when she opted to recuse herself early in the case. Instead, Foxx turned [...]

  • LGBT Rights Around the World

    The State of LGBTQ Rights Globally

    Pride is on the march across the globe as more and more countries recognize the freedom and rights of their LGBTQ citizens. Homosexuality is now legal in a majority of the world’s 195 nations — the latest, Botswana, joined the list June 11 — and marriage equality prevails in nearly 30 territories, covering more than [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content