Less a ‘debate’ more a screaming match for three

Watching the STV Scotland Tonight Referendum Special debate in process, with the ‘head to head’ between Scotland’s Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon and the Scottish Secretary, Alastair Carmichael, has been disappointing and infuriating.

Both of the combatants made tedious and predictable – if mercifully brief – opening statements.

When they got into the issues of EU membership [with the statement today by Spain's Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy that Scotland would have to apply for EU membership as a new entrant] and Scotland’s planned continuing use of the pound sterling, with all of the loss of independence that this would bring, the event hit the deck – or the ceiling.

It became less of a debate and more of a high pitched screaming match with the presenter ['chair' would be an inappropriate description] trying to screech louder than the opponents; and pointing her finger at the pair of them in the manner of a school teacher.

The presenter – Rona something or other – was helpless and hopeless, with no natural authority and having to be called to attention by Alastair Carmichael to exercise her duties properly when she was taking a detached breather in the section where each questions the other.

Nicola Sturgeon simply gabbled and talked continually over the answers she was being given – with no restraint.

It was impossible for the listener to get any real sense of any line of argument for the sheer uninterrupted and uncontrolled noise – on rising crescendos from the speakers.

This was the worst controlled television debate we have seen – a total and early abdication from the chair.

Nicola Sturgeon broke the rules continually and was never reined in. In the cross examination section, when Alastair Carmichael was asking questions of her, Nicola Sturgeon would ask him a question instead. With  no intervention from the presenter and the natural tendency to answer questions, Carmichael was outmanoeuvred.

It was also unprofessionally parochial, with the presenter addressing the debaters cosily as ‘Nicola’ and ‘Alastair’

Then there was the battle of the supposed ironic sneers – the Surgeon squawk over the Carmichael snort.

No new arguments were advanced. The ‘repeat button’ was the order of the day.

Dog-whistle matters – like the bedroom tax were used whether or not they were relevant to the issue of the moment – and in fact no issue ever had time to settle.

The only matter of note was that Nicola Sturgeon did admit that vetoes might well be used in currency negotiations following a vote for independence.

In the end, Carmichael had no answer to the Sturgeon attack and verbal flurries.

But in sum, this simply was not worth listening to. It was a noisy squabble, insubstantial – centred on who could best play the game  – irrefutably Ms Sturgeon – rather than who could answer the questions. We still don’t know.

It was schoolyard stuff – one for the bravehearts not one for reasoned debate.

And the fault lay with the presenter.

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74 Responses to Less a ‘debate’ more a screaming match for three

  1. Well Sturgeon destroyed him. He claimed that no party can offer certainty, yet he expects it from the yes campaign? And he also dodged every question while she fought her corner well. She knows her topic like the back of her hand, which means she is a worthy opponent. This is why we need to get Cameron to debate with her.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

    • And those of us listening had no way of knowing which of Ms Sturgeon, Mr Carmichael and the register is correct.
      This was a mess – and a pointless ‘Yes he is’, ‘No he isn’t’ schoolyard squabble over something that didn’t matter much anyway.
      These debates are no more than a gladiatorial roughhouse. This one was hard on the ears and almost completely unenlightening.
      Nicola Sturgeon was better prepared,better at ;laying the reality of the game [as opposd to informing] and quicker witted.
      This doesn’t mean that hr answers were authoritative or secure – they couldn’t be tested at all in an event marked only by the fact that there was barely a moment when both voices were not heard simultaneously.
      Carmichael was run over and drowned out, thinking at Flintstone speed.
      Interested in information not a hacking match, we’ll not bother with debates again.

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

      • Doesn’t much matter anyway?

        Doesn’t matter if Sturgeon knows more about Carmichael’s predecessor than he does? Oh come on! If it had been the other way round we would probably have had a series of articles about it.

        Carmichael was woefully unprepared for this encounter.

        And did he really call Nicola a ‘bossy boots’, or did I just imagine that?

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 28 Thumb down 16

        • I wouldn’t expect Carmichael’s knowing or not knowing that to drastically affect the fate of the universe, no.

          Why would a politician shout over another politician’s argument? I would have thought that if her/his argument was weak it would be better to let it be fully expressed and then demolished with a more logical response?

          The only reason for shouting down the other must surely be that you fear her/his arguments and daren’t allow them to be heard and it ill behoves the shouter to do so.

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 8

        • I don’t think Carmichael had prepared at all … they should have had someone else who could answer questions, not have tantrums when out of their depth & not blurt out childish rubbish … basically someone who’d had a chance to get grasp of all relevant issues before October 2013 was required!

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

          • Carmichael performance was embarrassing – he looked like a rabbit in the headlights. BT must be worried – is that the best they can do? Nicola Sturgeon has shown what a talent she is.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

      • This is just the simple cut and thrust of politics in a democracy. Its a passionate emotive subject and there is a lot at stake. I dont mind the boxing ring head to head – it really shows who can stand their ground under pressure. Remember these are the people who will fight for Scotland on the international stage – do you really want a weak politician? I dont!!

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  2. On the other hand Newsnight Scotland was very interesting with Ms Lamont coming across as far superior to Mr Swinney who, as usual, couldn’t / wouldn’t answer several direct questions and instead kept coming out with the party line.

    I learned quite a bit and look forward to Spring with the promised paper on BT option for more devolution.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 38

    • Lamont’s strategy last night was to rudely talk over anything John Swinney had to say – regardless of the drivel that came out of her mouth. Maybe if she listened more and talked less she might just learn something. Lamont just isnt up to the job to handle very sophisticated arguments coming from the YES campaign.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 3

    • Lowry, can you answer me why has it taken for the Scottish electorate to vote twice in succession, latterly a majority, an SNP government to now of all times offer more devolution for this parliament?

      If the unionist parties thought Scotland was disempowered through lacking the levers to prosper why has it allowed this to be the case for so long?

      Ta

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 5

      • Maybe it’s called running before you can walk? Devolution is working well for Scotland and let’s be frank – no matter what the SNP would have you believe, Scotland is a great country to live in NOW.

        Consider this. The SNP are planning making Scotland independent in less time than it took them to arrange the referendum, and in less time than it took to produce a White Paper….amazing!

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 15

        • So the former USSR countries independent since the dissolution and Yugoslav republic countries too, had they been successfully running their own parliaments for almost fifteen years?
          Besides, what does “running before you can walk” mean in these terms? What is the Scottish government not doing that Westminster is apart from using the powers denied to them?
          You see these inane statements mean bugger all unless examples are cited.

          “Scotland is a great country to live in now”

          Who is saying it’s not?
          Can it be much better I ask. Improvements are required, you’d be intentionally ignoring this fact to say all is rosy in the garden, get yourself up to Shettleston for a reality check Jamie.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

  3. Maybe your TV is on the blink, because what I saw was a Scottish Secretary who clearly had no answers to the difficult questions and had to call on the referee for help.
    His response to questions about horrifying child poverty predictions in the event of a no vote was ‘shut up’.
    The man is clearly not a good debater, in fact he was trounced. In the same way Sturgeon was trounced by Sarwar in the last STV debate. She obviously learned the only way to win is to harry, and get under your opponent’s skin.
    The rattled Carmichael did himself no favours.
    Meanwhile on newsnight Swinney was bullied by four labour party members, Lamont and the 3 presenters.
    Why, oh why, is Jackie Bird let loose on politics. Her sneer every time Swinney spoke gave the game away. Brewer and Campbell at least sought to bring balance to the thing – but their mask slipped quite often.
    Swinney seemed to give up in despair…

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 34 Thumb down 13

    • Couldnt agree more – dont think for one minute that the BRITISH Broadcasting Corporation is neutral – last night demonstrated that. Lamont was allowed to completely talk over Swinney – for undecideds trying to get information to make a decision – the BBC failed spectacularly…. again!!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  4. Carmichael wuz gubbed.

    A bit disappointing after he was built up as a bruiser and we were promised ‘no more mister nice guy’ after Moore was sent packing for being too gentlemanly.

    Newsroom can bluster all she wants, but both the political ‘experts’ in the studio agreed that Sturgeon won hands down.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 34 Thumb down 12

  5. You should have watched the shambles on the BBC. Lament just talked and talked and when Swinney managed to get the floor she heckled and interrupted. STV was far better.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 23 Thumb down 11

  6. http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/referendum-news/salmond-in-double-backlash-over-blueprint-for-the-future.22813715?utm_source=headlines&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=email%2Balert

    The reader’s comments on the Herald site (above) show that you must have been watching through Union-tinted spectacles Newsie…

    Haven’t watched the prog. yet or the Newsnight one either but I think I’ll not be leaning towards your viewpoint!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 8

  7. Utter nonsense from newsroom. The use of “bravehearts” is evidence of a completely closed mind.

    Anyone can view the debate on STV if they wish. Carmichael was a wee boy crying for his mummy.

    Nicola tore him to pieces because the unionists cannot tell us what will happen to Scotland if they succeed in scaring the majority into voting “No”.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 23 Thumb down 15

  8. This is all very odd. Surely it is simple enough to see whether or not the 400 yr long “pilot” scheme was fair and successful from the Scottish viewpoint, and vote accordingly? You do not need to examine arguments, threats or promises when there are four centuries of factual observation to hand.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 7

    • Scottish Independence is about gaining the power to create a better future. While the past is relevant it does not dictate what we make of what is to come.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 9

      • Just because we have been in the union a long time is not an argument for keeping it. It a no-brainer for me if you ask where do you want the decisions that will affect me, my family and the society I live in taken – Scotland or Westminster??

        Incidentally a union would suggest its a union of equals – I dont think that can be applied here. When you here comments such as “its our pound”, its our bank of england” etc makes you think doesn’t it?

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

    • Kb

      Strange view of history

      Highland clearances a success?
      Persecution of Gaelic a success?
      High deprivation a success?
      Iraq war a success?
      Suez a success?
      Boer war a success? To whom?
      Empire a success? To whom ? Those currently in the lords or the slaves?
      Depopulation of the Highlands a success?
      Financial meltdown a success
      Increased food banks a success?
      Energy policy a success?
      No more boom or bust a success?
      PLEASE ADD TO MY LIST

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 18 Thumb down 12

          • I’m curious. What is it about politicians in Holyrood that makes them so able to make ‘better’ decisions than UK ones (who of course often live in, work in or are Scottish too)?

            The SNP and people like ‘Iain’ even think our politicians are dreadful so surely they simply cannot be fit to govern?
            Anyone?

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 9

          • Jamie

            Let’s extend your argument.

            Do you think politicians should make decisions affecting British citizens from Westminster and if so what makes them best suited to carry this out than if we were to hand all the main influential powers over to say Australia’s or Canada’s parliaments instead?

            What do you say, good idea?

            This is how I and those who share my view feel Scotland tolerates.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

          • JnrTick, my point is quite simple. The argument of many Nationalists is that Scottish politicians make better decisions that UK ones. The seems logical of course. But you have to ask the question Why?

            Look at Nationalist and Yes news sites, and you will will plenty of evidence of how appalling the Scottish MSPs of Labour, Conservative and Lib Dem are (notice how the Greens are never criticised, coincidence i’m sure).

            Taking the Nationalist view, then what they indirectly imply is that the only politicians who are fit to govern Scotland are the SNP.

            All i’m saying is that if you listen long enough, it would seem that there are no competent poiticians in Scotland or the UK save for the SNP. Trying to extend my question is avoiding the original question…..

            The bottom line for me is that frankly, it makes no difference whether it’s ‘Scottish’ or ‘UK’ politicians, they are politicians with a reputation that spans any border. Alex Salmond and others in his party have shown themselves to be as slippery as any other politician anywhere else.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 7

          • Jamie,

            The Tories, LibDems and Labour are all parties essentially run from London. The big game for them lies at Westminster, so all their big hitters have that as their aim.

            Independence will, at a stroke, abolish all the Scottish MPs jobs, leaving them with the option of finding a safe English seat or relocating their political career to Scotland.

            I can see the potential for a big improvement in the quality of Scottish politics, particularly in the opportunity to create a real Scottish Labour Party with genuine Labour values.

            Independence might also, strangely enough, offer the best hope for a revival of Tory fortunes North of the border.

            However, while the mainstream media remain resolutely opposed to the idea of independence I think we have many more years of mediocrity to look forward to as career politicians from all three main UK parties continue to be drawn South.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

    • Some folks successes are others failures Kevin, therein lies the problem.
      I prefer to look at other countries with similar populations, similar resources etc, their current successes or failures and use comparisons as a general yardstick to gauge where Scotland is failing and what we should be aiming for.
      The UK’s standing in Europe and worldwide tables measuring health, prosperity, poverty, inequality indicates strongly to me that compared to those countries above us, there are huge improvements and changes required to make inroads.
      I do not believe aspirations for a fairer most prosperous for more people etc can be achieved within the current constitutional setup, in fact as time elapses these aspirations seem further and further away.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 4

  9. There’s a potential re-run on Question Time tonight, with Sturgeon, wounded Carmichael, the wee green man, ‘Stairheed’ Mags Curran, Bella Goldie and Eddie Reader.

    Should be fun to watch.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 4

  10. I didn’t watch either programme and all these comments just reinforce my reasoning for not doing so. I knew I wouldn’t learn anything useful. The politicians cannot behave like reasonable adults & debate in a measured and coherent manner. At every opportunity they descend to the level of a squabbling rabble of the type we see in Holyrood and Westminster every week. They simply aren’t professional and yet they are inclined to bleat on about the lack of interest that ordinary people have in politics. If they want to know the reasons for that they should look at each other and their behaviour but not until they’ve looked in the mirror first.

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

  11. I would agree on the standard of political debate at Holyrood – it continually demonstrates why Scotland cannot be totally under the control of these people or we are done for. As far as Westminster is concerned other than the ‘ bull ring’ which is Prime Ministers Question time when they are all braying to the cameras, there is a much higher level of discussion and debate.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 19

    • It’s incompetents like Johann Lamont, Ruthie etc etc that drag down reputation of Scottish Parliament …. the competent politicians from unionist parties must be staying away/silent for a reason?

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 9

  12. I managed 6minutes before I switched off. Absolutely horriffic. Completely pointless having thes debates.

    Nicola Sturgeon did herself no favours, no matter if she can articulate better.

    The Sarwar debate/shouting match, the Carmichael shouting match.

    Spot the common denominator….

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 18

    • Well if had to choose someone to fight Scotland’s corner – it wouldnt be Carmichael who was just about to cry when it all got too much for him and definitely not Lamont/Sarwar double act – I would emigrate if they were representing Scotland!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

    • How do you know if you only watched 6 mins? If you had carried on you would have seen the Better Together argument crumble and show them up for who they really are. The act in their own self interest, then the party and then they might think of the people who they represent. Independence means a end or threat at least to their power – a power they have been abusing for decades.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  13. Fascinating to see that if the YES side clearly win a debate the debate itself is rubbished.

    Carmichael is second-rate at best.

    The NO campaign did itself no favours when it dismissed Moore.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 18 Thumb down 9

    • so Longshanks, you think it was a worthy debate?

      You watched it and didn’t cringe as both sides and how child like or rude they are?

      For the Deputy First Minister to behave like that is pretty bad. She only let herself down. If she and Alex Salmond got rid of only half their smugness and actually listened to the other side of the argument without spouting preprepared nonsense back without a moments thought, then these debates might be worth listening to.

      An embarassment to Scottish politics. Is it any wonder i have no more faith in Scotish politicians than UK one?

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

      • The other side of the argument wasn’t being put forward, not even the slightest hint of the no vote consequences were uttered by the new boy!

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 7

      • Can’t believe you expected it to be a calm debate – this is a huge referendum with huge importance. Carmichael clearly didnt know his stuff and Nicola did – it showed. He made the elementary politician error of crying to the chair ” will you tell her to stop it” OMG I had to rewind the first time to make sure it was true and then it happened twice more. Oh dear, Alistair, oh dear! I think you would be out of a job with that performance but safe as no one capable or prepared to step in – its a poisoned chalice. There is no match for Salmond, Sturgeon, Scottish govt and the yes campaign.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

    • Pretty much my thoughts exactly. Sturgeon owned Carmichael in the debate but was calm and reasoned throughout. Even pro-unionist commentators felt she completely won the debate. So the sore losers now try and blame the debate itself. Simple fact is that there isn’t a coherent argument for the maintenance of the Union and Carmichael was the walking truth of that.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 9

  14. Hmmm … Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel García-Margallo has confirmed that Spain would not attempt to block an independent Scotland’s membership of the EU … no surprises there!
    We all know of course there will have to be some degree of negotiation BUT as we already comply with all EU law under Scots Law etc etc there aren’t the obstacles mere regions of countries (nations states) would have

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 7

  15. I switched off after about 5 minutes as soon as it became clear that Nicola Sturgeon was determined to interrupt Alastair Carmichael at every opportunity and the chair/moderator was not able to deal with it. It was verging on being embarrassing. This is not the sort of debate we need or deserve!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 15

    • Aye Graham,

      Quite right.

      We need the sort of debate where these uppity independanistas are kept firmly in their place by mainstream media hacks whose interests lie with the status quo. Rona Dougall should be given her jotters ASAP.

      Strange that when the politicians’ performances were scored by STV Political Editor Bernard Ponsonby and Radio Clyde and Radio Forth Political Editor Colin Mackay both agreed the debate was a clear victory for Nicola Sturgeon.

      They must have watched a different programme.

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

    • Or did you switch off because it was clear after five minutes that Carmichael was hopelessly outclassed by a savvy, quick witted and articulate Nicola Sturgeon?

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 7

  16. It was very poorly chaired by Rona Douglas for sure. The only time she did interject was when she interrupted Carmichael so perhaps she’s scared of Sturgeon too!
    As a potential Leader of the nationalists and possible future FM I consider Sturgeon is a very poor advert for all “that’s best about Scotland”. She’s certainly not my cup of tea and needs to grow up in the “real world” rather than profer self delusion as she appeals to the masses.
    Your summary is correct – we expected a serious debate on the issues of concern from both camps not a shouting match involving a hyperactive nationalist and a rather bemused federalist.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6

  17. As others above have noted, Sturgeoon wiped the floor with Carmichael:
    STV News Quote:
    “STV’s Political Editor Bernard Ponsonby and Radio Clyde and Radio Forth’s Political Editor Colin Mackay were on hand after the clash between the Deputy First Minister and the Secretary of State for Scotland, Alistair Carmichael.
    Although both analysts had positive comments for Mr Carmichael’s performance in the first half of the debate, they were in agreement that Ms Sturgeon was the clear winner of the cross-examination section and the debate overall.”
    When are you going to show us evidence of your commitment to “the principle of objective fairness” Newsie – eh? Not on this subject anyway – you are a hypocrite.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 7

  18. “The presenter – Rona something or other – was helpless and hopeless, with no natural authority and having to be called to attention by Alastair Carmichael to exercise her duties properly when she was taking a detached breather in the section where each questions the other”.
    Alasdair Carmichael, the best Westminster could throw at our Holyrood counterpart was found wanting, floundering gasping and grappling for a lifejacket when faced with an opponent who is a natural debater with the ability to clarify and rationalise situations having her former solicitor background. This is precisely why he pleaded for Rona Dougall’s intervention, he was out of his depth. Did we see Nicola breaking down greetin for backup when we witness Sarwar’s debacle? No, she got on with it, although the chair should have intervened but failed to during that debate such was the infantile nature of Sarwar’s behaviour.
    You say Nicola Sturgeon broke the rules continually and was never reigned in yet did not highlight that Anas Sarwar didn’t only break the rules he utterly trashed a debate with Nicola Sturgeon in early September.
    You let yourself and this site down badly with these inconsistencies.
    It must be scaring the hell out of you Newsie witnessing the success of the pro-independence arguments in almost every live televised debate. It is not necessarily the debating skills but the debater’s argument that is coming out on top with increasing regularity.
    For sure run each and every one of them down, dismiss them all as squabbling rammies but only the blindly partisan amongst us would fail to notice that when the ‘NO’ argument is challenged face to face, issue by issue, it’s weaknesses glaringly obvious.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 9

    • What rules did she break? She demanded answers to the questions she asked and gave answers to the ones she was asked. She talked for the requisite amount of time. Was there some rule that you are not allowed to ask difficult questions?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

  19. Wasn’t there a previous ‘debate’ on BBC Scotland or STV a few months ago where similarly the SNP people were allowed to talk over the top of the other speakers?

    Eddi Reader was doing the same on Question Time last night, David Dimbleby could not shut her up. She must be one of the worst panellists that they have ever had on the programme and there have been some bad ones!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 10

    • Eddie Reader was really poor wasn’t she. Nothing to do with her stance on independence – she just seemd a little incapable of actually answering the questions posed to her, choosing instead to make general statements about her position. Shame really as it was a seat that could have been filled by someone better.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 6

    • I cannot disagree about Eddi Reader’s performance but I would challenge the assumption that she is a “SNP person”. I think I remember her saying that she was a long term Labour supporter – until recently at least.

      Thankfully she is a better singer than a debater.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  20. Oh dear oh dear.
    I watched question time last night as I usually do, looking forward to some interesting discussion regarding independence. What I saw was a bunch of bickering people who were acting like kids. These people (I presume) were there to enlighten us as to the way we should vote next year. I heard nothing to persuade me one way or the other and based on other comments on this site none of the other debates have been any better.
    If these people wish to portray a way forward for Scotland then they should act responsibly and discuss the issues like adults. We the voting public do not necessarily have the in depth knowledge of the way Governments work so they must tell us in a language we can all understand what exactly are the benefits for Scotland to be independent. There are many and varied issues regarding independence some of which the common man in the street wouldn’t mind hearing an answer to. But like all politicians you can never get a straight answer to anything. Most people are not interested if we have a pound or some other form of currency but what is more important to them are questions of taxation, hospitals, rail systems, public transport, vat on fuel, petrol tax, tax on luxury goods and white goods, income tax, council tax plus many many more that affects us directly – any answers to these questions and others seem to be in fairy land as far as I can see. If none of these would be affected then why independence – I don’t know and I suspect neither do they really know. Money seems to be the driving force behind a lot of what is being said regarding independence but I cannot see where new’ money is going to come from to pay for all of the things that Scotland will need to be independent. Yes there seems to be a dependency on oil, but as has been said many times this is running out. We may not know when but for sure it will run out. How long will it sustain Scotland – no one person can say. Question then has to be how can we make such a decision based on guesswork. But, given all the new income Scotland will have and the fact that we will be on our own in the big wide world how on earth are we going to protect our interests? ok lets have an Army, Navy and Air force that will do it I guess. As a taxpayer I presume that taxes will increase to pay for what is a very expensive protective toy. But we need something like that don’t we? Has anyone wanting independence any idea how this will be paid for. As stated I have no idea which way to vote and going back to the main topic isn’t it about time we could have a televised debate answering the right questions and more importantly getting honest answers that the man in the street can understand and make an informed judgment and vote then with confidence, either way. What is also very important (probably more so)is to give a balanced view to the new 17 year old voters so that they can make an informed judgment too and not jump on any kind of wave of emotion

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 8

    • nice to get some likes/dislikes but it would have been nice to read comments too either for or against as I need more information to try and make a judgement!!
      Any suggestions

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

      • Mike,
        I for one would be more likely to read through your post carefully if you broke it up into paragraphs. Huge blocks of text like that are not easy to read.

        Just to take one of your points – defence – I have looked into this a bit as I think we all need to know more about this before making a choice next year.

        According to the GERS figures Scotland’s population share of the current UK defence budget is equivalent to £3.3 billion.

        If defence spending in Scotland was aligned to the EU-15 average, it would be approximately £2.2 billion.
        The SNP has proposed a defence budget for an independent Scotland starting at £2.5 billion in 2016.

        Of course, if a different stripe of government was elected in an independent Scotland in 2016 this figure could change, but based on these figures plus the assumption that Scotland would get its population share of existing UK military assets it seems reasonable to me to say that Scotland could afford an adequate defence force.

        We wouldn’t be able to afford expensive foreign wars on terror though.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

        • Dont forget that if we get rid of Trident that will save a huge amount of money – however is for the long term. Please dont believe that Faslane base would close – another myth from the “Lie Factory” that is “Better Together”.

          The base would become (according to the White Paper) the national headquarters for the Scottish Defence Force.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  21. Oh dear, we’ve got two Mike’s on for Argyll.

    I’m not the one who contributed above – but how would you know?

    I’ll change my handle to something else – Gawd knows what.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

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