{scotland calling}

Lynedoch Crescent D 145

An unemployed prism; Lynedoch Crescent, Glasgow

And a lovely gray mornin’ to ya…

It’s the last rain of summer, since we can’t quite yet call it the official First Rain of autumn, the equinox not being for another handful of days yet. The brief rain has made the earth smell so sweet… and a gray, rainy morning reminded me to flip on the computer and check out the polls, since today’s Decision Day in my old stomping grounds, Glasgow, Scotland.

Except, of course, as of yet, there’s nothing to report.

Tallinn 002

A pilot kips under a wing to stay out of the wet. Talinn, Estonia.

Half a world away, the BBC’s charter is tying them to rules that they cannot break. The election cycle is so different there. By their own charter, they’ve got to give equal time to all major strands of argument. By their charter, there will be no coverage of any of the issues relating to the referendum on polling day, from 6am until polls close at 10pm on TV, radio or bbc.co.uk. By their own charter, they’re not allowed to try and sway the vote.

No all-day-long, breathless as-it-happens (or, more likely, “as we assume and/or made it up”) approximations of poll results. No talking heads, rehashing how a politician looked, walked, what he said last week, what she did yesterday. All that’s going to go on today is reporting on how the votes are tallied and counted, what the weather is like at the polling stations, and other incontrovertible facts.

Charing Cross 449

If a raindrop falls in the forest… Charing Cross, Glasgow

Dear BBC,

Could you, however this goes today, adopt our news agencies? Just for maybe six months or so… long enough to run them through a little News Bootcamp… so that they can learn how to do things. We’ve got an election year coming, and gee, could we use your example…

Good luck, Scotland.

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