THE BBC Board, which is appointed by our betters rather than elected by the public, has given the post of Director General of the BBC to Tim Davie; no I hadn’t heard of him either ("BBC’S focus ‘will be on impartiality’", The Herald, August 31). Despite the fact that the BBC is ostensibly owned and funded by public taxation here we are in the mother of democracies and the major source of information, some call it propaganda, broadcast to the general public is in practice some sort of personal fiefdom.

Why should I or we worry? Aside from concerns about where Scotland’s licence fees are actually spent, akin to many Scottish separatists I feel BBC Scotland couldn’t be more biased in its political reportage if the staff wore Union Jack hats, now the new Director-General is on record as announcing his intention at the BBC to "find a better balance of satirical targets rather than constantly aiming jokes at the Tories”. Perhaps this is no surprise as Mr Davie is a former deputy chairman of the Hammersmith and Fulham Conservative Party and also stood as a council candidate.

“He who pays the piper calls the tune”; is it not time, as is the practice in other major corporations, that the BBC should be made to answer to its shareholders, namely the general public, in terms of the broadcast content and appointments and levels of remuneration?

David J Crawford, Glasgow G12.


I WISH to respond to the letter (September 4) from Robbie Drummond, managing director CalMac Ferries. The entire thrust of my argument against CMAL (Letters, September 2) is that, to put it as briefly as possible, it attempts to address the problem of capacity by commissioning ever-larger vessels, which, with ever increasing windage, frequently cannot be safely berthed resulting in cancellations. I have great admiration for CalMac masters who are limited, not by any lack of skill, but by the unsuitability of the vessels supplied by CMAL.

At no time have I ever suggested that CalMac was responsible for the design of the ferries, indeed, it might have been better had it had some input. The only time I have questioned the behaviour of CalMac was when, in cahoots with the then government, it drove Western Ferries from the Islay run by unfair use of its subsidy. This was some 45 years ago, long before CMAL was formed.

I have no doubt that the tendering process was legal, as asserted by Mr Drummond, it could not be otherwise, but it is my understanding that the CMAL refusal to unbundle the routes effectively excludes competition.

I think it is very telling that Mr Drummond’s letter does not include a ringing endorsement of CMAL.

J Patrick Maclean, Oban.


WITH controversy over recent GERS figures, Covid numbers in Scotland’s hospitals miscounted, and more than300 house parties where numbers exceeded 15, should Holyrood be concerned over numeracy standards?

And is it time for a national campaign on how many beans it takes to make five?

R Russell Smith, Kilbirnie.