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Bill the Bigot

I recently saw a second-hand DVD of an old British television programme called The Bill on a shelf of a local charity shop. For those who don't remember it, The Bill was a sort of cop show cum soap opera based in London during the 1980s. I think it had been inspired by the American programme Hill Street Blues. It was OK. But at one point, as I recall it, in episode after episode the bad guys were always Scots. If The Bill was to believed, native Londoners were as honest as the day was long and no group of incomers, with the exception of the Scots, was causing anyone any trouble. The city's only anti-social elements were Scots. I noticed that each episode nearly always had a different writer and speculated that perhaps each thought they were being original and clever when they made the bad guys Scottish. But then a guy I knew, who had enjoyed some success writing for television, wrote an episode for The Bill. He eventually baled out. His reason for getting out of the project was that he found the production team complete and total control freaks. That made me wonder if the whole always making the bad guys Scottish thing had been a result of poor continuity control. There was a Scottish detective but I always thought he was a bit of drip and did little to counter-balance the constant flow of Jock Scum on the small screen. Looking back, it all seems a bit sinister. 

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