I recently watched the second episode of the BBC series ‘Mountain (with Griff Rhys Jones)‘ and found it pretty disappointing. It seemed to spend more time talking about Coleridge, Wordsworth and Kendal mint cake than about mountains. I also checked out the book that accompanies the series and my disappointment increased further. Of the 250 pages in the book, fully 150 are devoted to England and Wales.
The argument that this is a fair coverage of Britain’s mountains because the Lake District and Snowdonia are nearer to large areas of population in the British Isles and hence have had a larger impact on the culture and history of Britain, won’t wash with me.
Nowhere in the British Isles compares for sheer magnificence, challenge and beauty than the mountains of Scotland, and Lord Byron agrees with me. Despite this, magazines, books and television programmes purporting to showcase the mountainous areas of Britain regularly feature areas in England and Wales out of all proportion to their true nature and scale. TGO magazine is a serial offender in this respect.
This is just one narrow aspect of the parochial (yes, parochial) London-centric media, but there are many more general things that incense people in Scotland so much (I’m not even going to start on the BBC weather forecasts, or the way that the Guardian newspaper treats Scotland as a foreign country). Perhaps the recent call by Alex Salmond (Scotland’s First Minister) for Scotland to have greater control over broadcasting matters that concern Scotland will change things – but I’m not holding my breath…