Independence Minded? talks to Derek Bateman about the Scottish referendum

To find out more about grassroots, how media bias has affected the debate, the strengths and weaknesses of the differing campaigns, and what will happen in the event of a Yes or No vote, we chatted to journalist and broadcaster Derek Bateman.

In the latest of our interviews with political writers and broadcasters, we visited the offices of Bateman Broadcasting in Glasgow a few weeks ago to speak to Derek Bateman.

With over 45 years of experience working for the BBC, STV, the Scotsman, The Herald and other media organisations, Derek already has a wealth of experience behind him, and now ploughing his own furrow he has found an appreciative audience for his own particular perspective on events surrounding the Scottish independence referendum.

Firmly on the Yes side of the fence, in our extensive interview — split here into four parts — he discusses media bias, the grassroots, why it’s good to have a bit of acrimony in the debate, the performance of Yes Scotland and Better Together, and what will happen after the vote, whether it be Yes or No. Without further ado:

How has the landscape changed since the referendum was announced?

In the first part of our interview Derek revealed his thoughts about how the Scottish political landscape has changed since the referendum vote was announced.

It’s winnable. It will be the first time in my life that the possibility of getting over 50% for independence has been realisable. I think it’s there, but I don’t think it’s showing at the moment in the conventional polling.

The grassroots effect on Scottish independence referendum

What effect has been made by those who are not part of the main political parties? And how has it assisted either side of the campaigns?

This is at the heart of the whole thing for me, the grassroots movement. As I say when I do public meetings, we’ve got Yes groups now from Yell up in Shetland to Yetholm down in the Borders.

Media bias: how has it affected the referendum debate, and who might win?

How biased has the mainstream media been about the Scottish independence referendum? And how much difference has it made?

Well it is biased. There is no question that the old media in Scotland is heavily biased. I’m not surprised: it’s just vested interest. A lot of the media companies aren’t based in Scotland.

What happens after a Yes or No vote in the Scottish independence referendum?

Derek reveals to Independence Minded? what he thinks will happen after the Scottish independence referendum vote has taken place — whether it be a Yes or No vote.

I sometimes say if I sat in David Cameron’s seat what would I do? And I would say I can’t allow this to happen again. Yes we have a Scottish Parliament, but we can’t allow them to have a referendum whenever it suits the Nationalists.

Independence Minded? is a series of Scottish referendum portraits by Michael MacLennan. For more visit:, and

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