Another change of speaker in Oban’s debate on independence tomorrow

Councillor Duncan MacIntyre has withdrawn from speaking for the union at tomorrow’s [7th February] Argyll Voluntary Action debate on independence at the Argyllshire Gathering Halls on Oban [13.30 to 15.30].

He has done so in order to attend the funeral of his long time colleague and friend, Robin Banks, who sadly died last weekend and to whom tribute will be paid here later today.

Councillor MacIntyre’s place will be taken by Argyll and Bute’s MP, the Liberal Democrat, Alan Reid.

This will see the panel of speakers as:

Pro independence:

  • Michael Russell, SNP MSP for Argyll and Bute
  • Roddy McCuish, SNP Councillor and former Council Leader


  • Alan Reid, Liberal Democrat MP for Argyll and Bute
  • Mary Galbraith: Labour candidate for Argyll and Bute in the 2015 General Election.

BBC 2014 Project

  • Matthew Hall: [Oban High School]
  • James Kane:  [Oban High School]
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13 Responses to Another change of speaker in Oban’s debate on independence tomorrow

  1. The two reps from Oban High were excellent and a credit to their school.
    I am sure a full account of the meeting will appear on FA so will refrain from further comment.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  2. This was a very well attended debate. Disappointing FA have for whatever reason chosen not to report on it.
    The two young people, Matthew and James, were a credit to themselves and to Oban High School.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

    • True confessions time.
      I had personally meant to go but when it came to it, I discovered that I was resistant to the thought of it and couldn’t drag myself to the car.
      These gladiatorial occasions add virtually nothing to one’s knowledge, are pretty tedious and tend to be experiences where what one remembers most are the unpleasantnesses.
      They are little more than a ritual rehearsing of tired old dog whistle tunes in public – and my attention span for such things is getting shorter by the day.
      I doubt if they change any minds. Where they’re not gladiatorial combats they’re rallies for the converted on both sides. And I find rallies of any kind disturbing affairs.
      On experience of such sessions to date, people behave badly and evince the sort of increasingly stalinist tendencies I find depressing and worrying.
      Some days, I just don’t have the stomach voluntarily to expose myself to more of this.
      I would have had two and a half hours of driving to be there – nothing when the motivation is there – but on Friday it wasn’t, so I stayed home and tried to catch up with an endemic backlog of work.
      I may well have dodged my duty but there you are.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 5

      • Your honesty is appreicated, Newsie. Ditto me too – although I have heard it was better than I had expected.

        Perhaps some of those who did attend can tell us of their experience and what they learnt.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

      • Thanks for your reply newsroom, and I can understand some of your reasons for not being there.
        On this occasion the behaviour of those attending was actually better than others I have witnessed, this could have been due to the ‘adults’ not wanting to make clowns of themselves in front of the invited young people from Oban High School.

        What was interesting was watching Mike Russell MSP flicking through the White Paper(book)- Scotland’s Future your guide to an independent Scotland, in search of his answers to questions from the floor. This did not go unnoticed by a few pupils from the school.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2

    • Once again I’m undecided with certain leanings on this subject, but must say that there was heckling from both sides, neither of which was more off putting than mike russell’s attempts at response to same. The man’s arrogance and ideas of self importance know no bounds, he tried to take control of the debate from the chairman, this was quickly rectified by an observation from the floor, he spoke accross Ms Galbraith while she was responding to a question, he carried on behind her when taken to task, when not flicking thro’ some white paper document he sat impersonating one of those wee nodding head dogs that adorned the back shelf of cars way back! A self centred disgrace to his cause, what has a 27 to 1 debate on fish in Luxemburg got to do with this debate; there’s more, but the image of the man whilst posting scunners me!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  3. It was okay and the pupils were excellent and the balance was nice with them giving the impression they were coming from both sides of the debate.
    The debate just followed the usual lines and was supported by either side when the relevant questions and answers were given so I would think that any undecided voter if there were any would be none the wiser unless you went for personal preference.
    As a no voter I must say the comment about Russell and the white paper were spot on and his face when the pupil at the end compared it to a novel was the best moment of the afternoon.
    I hope he didn,t get detention.
    Cheers Neil.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

    • You hope who didn’t get detention, Mr.Russell or the pupil?

      Lost count of number of times Mr Russell was seen to be throwing his rattle out of the pram because he couldn’t get the microphone when HE wanted it.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

  4. The account that follows is from my memory of the event – I took no notes.

    The ‘debate’ was initiated by pre-arranged questions from the audience, but soon opened out to a free-for all that was fairly managed by the chairman. Pro-independence people seemed to form a larger part of the audience, judging by the spontaneous applause volume, heckling and ridicule directed at the panel, but neither side of the argument could be judged as innocent of these tendencies.

    The topics covered included the standard, well aired issues including the economy, EU and NATO membership, education, constitution, self determination on the one hand, advantages of staying with the UK on the other. Personally, I learned nothing new, and judging by the audience participation, neither did anyone else. It seemed more like a means to consolidate an entrenched position, although I thought the panel gave an honest answer when they each said they would work for the good of Scotland whatever the outcome of the referendum.

    The panel gave the usual arguments on each of the issues, and the last minute stand-ins of Alan Reid and Mary Galbraith significantly boosted the pro-union arguments. And as I reported in an earlier post, the school reps on the panel were very impressive with each confidently arguing their case for independence or otherwise.

    I thought the behaviour of the large number of school children in the audience was exemplary, perhaps teaching some of their elders how to behave in a debate!

    Maybe others present could share their account, particularly if it differs significantly from my own.

    Oban FM announced they would be broadcasting the proceedings of the debate on radio, but I have no details of dates and times.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

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