Calls for Cameron to debate Scottish independence with Salmond lack political logic

The calls from the Scottish Government for UK Prime Minister to commit to a televised debate on Scottish Independence with First Minister, Alex Salmond are fuelled by a strategy to polarise the issue inappropriately, potentially arousing the unevolved anglophobia Scotland must leave behind and must be seen to do so.

These calls are devoid of political logic and are misplaced on two counts – protocol and the nature of the debate.

Protocol is important in these things as, Mr Salmond, in his own conduct, clearly recognises.

Mr Cameron is Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

Mr Salmond is First Minister of one of the UK’s home nations, the one with the greatest degree of devolution of the three currently devolved.

This is not a match of appropriate responsibilities.

On the nature of the debate – and there is no anglophobia here, just political logic: hearing an English voice debate with a Scots one on the issue of Scottish independence would fundamentally misrepresent the nature of the debate.

This is not a debate between England and Scotland. It is an internal Scottish debate between those who wish to see an independent Scotland and those who wish it to remain both a contributor to and a beneficiary from the United Kingdom.

We need to hear this debate from two Scots voices and from two appropriate Scots voice.

There can be no question about our First Minister’s appropriateness as the voice to argue for the independence that is his party’s raison d’etre.

His appropriate opponent is the Secretary of State for Scotland, the Scottish MP, Michael Moore.

Mr Moore’s authority and responsibilities are focused on supporting the development of Scotland as a devolved administration within the United Kingdom.

Mr Salmond’s authority and responsibilities are focused on supporting the development of Scotland as a devolved administration and as a potentially independent state.

These are the two politicians – both senior, both with direct responsibility for Scotland and both Scots- whom we need to hear debate this issue.

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53 Responses to Calls for Cameron to debate Scottish independence with Salmond lack political logic

  1. The problem here is that Number 10 have confirmed that David Cameron will be playing a “prominent role” in the independence debate. That along with all of the reports the UK Government have been and will be continuing to write on the “implications” of independence, I’m not sure how he can avoid debating Salmond.

    The right thing for him to do would be for both him and the UK Government to butt out of the debate completely and allow us Scots to get on with it. But if they intend to be involved then surely they should allow the Yes campaign to counter the points they’re making in a fair and open debate. Giving their opinion and/or publishing a report and then running away immediately afterwards is frankly not on.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  2. The debate could still take place, but why not have it recorded and dub the voices of Scottish actors over the video. That way the salient points could be discussed, and coherent arguments debated openly, without the accents becoming an issue?

    I would like to propose that Jimmy Krankie be used in place of Alec Salmond.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 13

  3. As Margaret Curran promotes one nation unionism following Ed Milliband’s example surely the best example of this confidence in the Unionist argument is for it to be debated by the PM?

    To suggest that electors’ decisions will be determined by the accent of the debators condemns the electorate as shallow and incapable.

    Those on both sides who are anti the other on ethnic grounds are not going to change their misguided prejudices on the accent of the debators

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 16

  4. “potentially arousing the unevolved anglophobia Scotland must leave behind”…
    Come on Newsroom….. Whatever your own name it’s certainly not Andrew Marr!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 19 Thumb down 9

  5. All said and done, whatever the debate, the standard test worth applying to utterances from politicians is to ask yourself, ‘would you buy a second hand car from this person’?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 4

  6. The new No Vote tactic “YES voters are anglophobs” not at all true. We will always contribute and benefit from the rest of the UK as we currently do with Europe as trading partners, the vote will make little difference to that despite the Fear, uncertainty and doubt spread by the No voters. We will simply have a say on what we contribute and to what through cooperation. They will continue to have the say on how we will benefit for what we give. The difference; we actually have a say in the new scenario. What not to like about that.

    Newsroom knows just fine that it does not matter a jot how the Scots MPs vote the English MPs will always win the day and there is no way that can be called democracy for Scotland. Our countries voice has to matter and we have a right to self determination. Many of us are Scottish by birth and very proud of it, and many of us feel given the opportunity, time and patience we can govern ourselves successfully, but that does not make us anti english by any stretch of the imagination. Its a low ball as you English Royalists would put it.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 18 Thumb down 7

  7. I’ve been following ForArgyll for a while now and I still cannot work out its political stance. It seems to be anti-SNP and anti-Independence. Is this so or am I misreading the articles? Who is behind it?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 22 Thumb down 3

    • can add anti-Argyll&Bute to that FA list … perhaps a site re-name to Against Argyll will eventually appear?

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 18 Thumb down 7

  8. There are two choices in the referendum. One to have Cameron or whoever else the rest of the UK elects to represent Scotland in matters overseas, defense issues and issues of taxation. The other is for the First Minister of Scotland to be responsible for those decisions.

    It seems a to me that a debate between the two individuals competing for these responsibilities is entirely appropriate.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 5

    • That is simplistic, The First Minister would pass the responsibility for decisions on all those matters and more to Brussels in exchange for Scotland’s membership of the EU.

      The PM is battling Brussels from a position of strength (which Scotland would not enjoy), to regain Sovereignty.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 13

      • Actually we’d likely have twice as many MEPs under Independence. We’d also be entitled to actually participate in European negotiations, something Scotland cannot do on her own under the current political system.

        Once more, Cameron is the man responsible for our negotiations in Europe and therefore is entirely the correct person to be debating why he thinks this is the best thing for Scotland.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 6

  9. Desperate times call for desperate measures! Salmond et-al know they’ve already lost the debate on independence and thats not down to the better together campaign, it’s down to lack of informed argument and basic lies.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 25

  10. Mary, I’d love to agree with you but I think they are just keeping their powder dry. Still some to go before the referendum and they certainly don’t want to peak too soon or bore the electorate to death.

    Even if they started campaigning in earnest in January 2014 they would still have nine months to sustain a campaign. That’s a long time. They have to get it right because of they don’t get their result then their cause of Scottish Independence is probably dead in the water for the foreseeable future.

    Regardless of what the polls say, personally I reckon this is still too close to call.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 19 Thumb down 2

    • I agree. Lynda Henderson descends to new depths in her fixation with decrying our right to choose the form of our government (and she is worried that wee Eck would wipe the floor with David Cameron in a debate).

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 21 Thumb down 10

      • David Cameron is irrelevant to this debate – that is the point.
        Only those resident in Scotland may vote and it is those resident in Scotland whose interests are most at stake.
        For the record and speaking purely personally, David Cameron has never been convincing as PM and is reactive not proactive. He is a competent manager but not a leader.
        Michael Moore and Alex Salmond are the appropriate voices speaking from the two most appropriate positions of responsibility to open up the substantial debate we still have not had.
        Any competent quick thinker and speaker would outclass Cameron – but this ought never to be a street-corner bare-knuckle dust-up; and those who think it should, have nothing to offer a country with a seriously informed decision to make – either way.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 10

        • “David Cameron is irrelevant to this debate – that is the point.
          Only those resident in Scotland may vote and it is those resident in Scotland whose interests are most at stake”

          Why have the ‘No’ campaign recruited a Westminster based politician who works and lives down south to front their campaign if the referendum and it’s outcome are only relevant to those permitted to vote in it?

          David Cameron is the Prime minister of the UK and given his position must have the balls to stand up and defend it’s interests just as Alex Salmond as democratically elected First Minister of Scotland and having brought this choice to the Scottish electorate, must, given his position and mandate to, promote an independent Scotland.
          Even the most blindly loyal ‘No’ voter would view a David Cameron and Alex Salmond head to head as suicide which apart from the lame reasons stated in this article must be why Newsie is so vehemently against it.
          Mr Cameron would quite simply be a lamb to the slaughter as he, his party and his lack of understanding of Scotland, her people and the issues we have are completely alien to him.
          The electorate would see through his faux concern for this country, Scotland.

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 5

    • Ooh. My comment came out in the wrong bit. It was not in response to your comment Simon but Barmore2. However, while I am here I would say that your comment was one of the most insightful I have read from you.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  11. Let David Cameron, Michael Moore, Alasdair Darling or whoever the ‘No’ campaign wish to put up to sell the status quo step up to the podium, lets have them.
    Alex Salmond, love him or loathe him will leave any of them wishing they hadn’t turned up. Personally I do not care who goes head to head with the First Minister, the ‘No’ campaign have nothing to sell, they have no vision for a future Scotland.
    Dress up the status quo all they wish but the fact remains Scotland if voting ‘No’ will be left tightly bound in their straight jacket, slaves to a gargantuan 1.3 trillion UK debt, 0.3% growth for the foreseeable future and a government in Westminster who England elect for us. We will remain an anonymously voiceless region – North Britain
    I will say, this referendum is for the taking and anyone including Mary who thinks a ‘No’ vote is in the bag hasn’t learned in life to expect the unexpected.
    One final point I’d like to make is that although these big hitter debates near the referendum date will have huge potential to sway many one way or the other, the biggest battle the ‘Yes’ campaign must win is to persuade the media, to get them on their side. Without it the masses will continue to be spoon fed a constant barrage of negative ‘Yes’ headlines in the redtops, the broadsheets and TV. The detail to many who have little or no interest in politics is irrelevant, perpetual doom, scare, yez cannae dae it headlines may be as subtle as a breeze block but enough to satisfy those unwilling to question sadly.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 7

      • Yes I do wonder who hacked Yes campaign email(s) – easy to do with help of certain organisations (eg somewhere near Cheltenham) .. they so far don’t seem to have found anything more than £100 paid because Herald chose not to .. wonder what digging in better together would find ??

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

  12. Political TV debates, whether they be Scottish Independence, US presidential, UK party leaders at General Election time, or whatever else are a total and utter waste of time and money. They don’t provide any credible insight into the ability of any candidate – they are simply a cheap publicity stunt which, for some bizarre reason, seems to satisfy those people who think that elections should be won and lost by the politician with the quickest retort. They may as well thrown ponchos on them and bring in Lee van Cleef as a celebrity extra (well at least a wax model of him!)

    Public policy is not made in an instant so why on earth is the ability of a politician to give an answer in an instant any judge of their calibre? We may as well just vote for who is the best on ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway’ and let them rule the country!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

    • Good point – not much more than entertainment, like so much that passes for news and current affairs these days, and a cheap TV time filler at that.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

    • There’s plenty of evidence to support your perspective here.
      The televised debates between Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg, saw Clegg perform at least a class above either of the other two.
      Neither was, of course, exactly hot competition to beat. However, Clegg’s performance in government has been way below the one he put on in the debating chamber in which he had been well schooled.
      And yes, these gladiatorial set-up shows are irrelevant and misleading.
      But if we have to have them inflicted on us, they might as well be as close to relevance as possible.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

      • Not just home but also abroad. Back before we ever contemplated such a crass approach to politics the Americans were rolling out Reagan at every opportunity to tackle his opponents on TV (Jimmy Carter is probably still on sedatives!). Ronald had the actor experience and as a result looked and sounded good on the box – never mind that as a president he was just Thatcher with smaller pants on.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

    • @Integrity
      I disagree with your point about the political TV debates being a waste of time.
      The main issues discussed in front of the electorate by whoever at least offer countering and challenging, a good politician can gain ground. If holes can be blown in one sides argument live on the box, it’s fodder for the recruiting process and they know it.

      “They don’t provide any credible insight into the ability of any candidate”

      I don’t think this is the aim, projecting their argument is.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

      • But are you most impressed by a politician’s ability to think on his feet or his ability to actually do a credible job running the country, his party, department etc etc or his ability to cram every possible counter in his head and spit it out at the right moment (preferably with a couple of jokes/jibes thrown in).

        Holes blown in an argument on the box aren’t always holes in an argument, they are often just a situation where one politician doesn’t have the exact answer, or the fine detail of the party policy on the tip of his/her tongue. Given the wide spread responsibility of the leader of any major party it is hardly surprising that they can’t answer every question off the cuff the way they would if given a little time to consider and consult.

        However in the eyes of the viewing public the argument is blown as there is no opportunity to come back 10 minutes later and say ‘I have checked up on X and the policy is Y. So fodder for the recruiting process is not based on proper policy, but rather on a false impression.

        Just for the record I mean this for all politicians. They could all be susceptible to making a mistake with a number or a recollection of a conversation, just as any of us are and I don’t for a second pretend I need to carry around as much information in my head as the leader of a country.

        UK politics is already far too ‘Americanised’ in terms of razzmatazz, balloons, celebrity etc (thanks Tony Blair) – TV debates are just another symptom of this illness. Personally I don’t care if my Prime Minister looks like Peter Beardsley, sounds like Reg Holdsworth and is as jovial as an episode of the Vicar of Dibley, as long as they do a good job away from the camera eye and an increasingly snap judgemental public.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

        • “So fodder for the recruiting process is not based on proper policy, but rather on a false impression”
          Most folk have a complete disinterest in politics, who could blame them.
          That’s why votes can be gained so easily, we only have to look across the Atlantic to see how superficial and lacking in substance televised politics are.
          Punches landed, punches returned, on a platform viewed by large amounts of potential converts.

          If I were unfortunate to be a politician looking out for the best interests of my party or cause, I’d bite the hand off anyone offering ‘An audience with few million politically engaged or otherwise punters’ to sell my wares.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  13. Why should either parties be allowed a platform for another political rant.

    After all, is the Indy vote not to do with the gains and losses to the encumbant population rather than the possible kudos on offer to a specific political party ?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

    • Karl, if given a platform, both participants whoever they may be will not be promoting party interests.
      If its David Cameron, selling his brand of Conservatism to Scotland is futile.
      If its Alex Salmond, his party don’t want Scotland having to be babysat but promoting Scottish independence probably hastens the demise of the SNP should ‘Yes’ be successful in Sept 2014
      Labour Tory Lib Dem cannot remain as they are in an independent Scotland, who knows how their transformation may appeal.
      So I say neither side will be politically ranting just defending the union/highlighting its deficiencies or promoting a new Scotland/saying it can’t be done.
      This is a constitutional fork in the road not a political choice.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

      • Agreed…If the vote goes either way…it will be the end of the SNP’s core target…Indy.
        If we vote “NO” it will be a long wait for the next referendum…if we vote ” YES” we will end up with the SNP finally donning their Tory Tartan.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

        • Some people still do not understand the Independence Referendum. It is for INDEPENDENCE, not the SNP. If we vote Yes, it is very unlikely to be the SNP who will win the first Scottish General Election.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4

          • Is that supposed to be reassuring?
            What would be positive about one party making a mess of the establishing arrangements – because the SNP will still be in power to do that – and handing over to a nine years inexperienced party to do what they could – and take the blame?

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

        • No, I believe a ‘No’ vote will see an SNP government returned in 2016. A ‘Yes’ vote will force the other mainstream parties to change to appeal to the direction Scottish voters desire rather than appease the UK electorate.
          The party with the best vision, the best plan to take Scotland forward should triumph in 2016 which in fairness could be any of them should they be willing to adapt.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  14. Karl, if they are Tory Tartan, they will be in voted out at the first instance.I have faith in the electorate to suss out the same old wine in new bottles.
    Although we are landed with a mean right-wing local authority with attacks on the provisions for elderly, and children, and lack of initiative on jobs and the economy, we can look forward to real political change. Wether it be Yes or No.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

    • If Indy goes through…simply due to the kudos, the SNP will win another election…a nationalist government is inherently divisive, it highlights perceived differences between people, emphasizing an individual’s identification with a nation. The ethos is oppressive, it buries individual identity within a national whole, ultimately this hands on a plate political leaders with the potential opportunities to manipulate or control the masses…in a dictatorial manner…much as Salmond does now…come the time come the man…Einstein said “Nationalism is an infantile disease…It is the measles of mankind.”….As a British citizen I concur with his history based logic…in regards to political change…be that local or national I am afraid for now at least…its in the hands of a discredited ” professions” Bankers and politicians…..

      Better together.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 6

      • ‘the measles of mankind’ is an unforgettable phrase.
        We were not aware of the Einstein interview this came from so your post sent us off to read it, compelled by this phrase.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

      • There are different types of nationalism – the SNP is a modern progressive democratic movement, supporting equal rights for all and a written constitution.
        There is no comparison with the type of inward looking ethnic nationalism in Einstein’s time.

        That is better reflected these days in British Nationalism, with it’s anti-European, anti-immigrant feeling, and the displays of military pageantry.

        I notice ‘Better Together’ isn’t shouted so loudly when it comes to Europe.. Hypocrisy in action..

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 5

  15. On Einstein-he supported Israeli nationalism and the creation of an independent nation state of Israel (i don’t doubt he opposed German Imperialism, often mis-described as nationalism :-)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

    • Imperialism was pre national socialism ( Nazi) …I doubt he had any choice…time s change and hopfully in some case politics evolve…for the better. Einstein left Germany…Einstein, was a pacifist, a universalist and abhorred nationalism. This is fact.

      You are completely WRONG in your statement that Einstein supported a jewish state…educate yourself with the below link…it kind of sums up his thoughts and values…..

      He argued against the creation of a Jewish state.This is fact

      Anyway…we are off at a tangent now.
      I wonder when newsie will print an article on the Syrian crisis….it will and does affect us all, even sleepy Argyll.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  16. When will Salmond and the other ‘ YES ‘ campaigners show the people of Scotland a proposed constitution for a indy Scotland????? no way should anybody vote YES until we see this fundemental foundation document .

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 8

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