The Big Debate

I watched the most recent BBC offering of their “Big debate” programme last night, filmed at Motherwell Civic centre,comprising an audience of younger people, who proved to be fairly clued in to the Independence debate, and mostly asked very reasonable questions, proving that 16-18year olds should have a say in the Referendum.

The questions were presented by the BBCs Gary Robertson to a panel consisting of Willie Rennie, LibDem Msp Annus Sarwar,Labour Mp, Angela Constance SNP Msp, Prof Tam Divine,Historian,and Patrick Harvey, Green party.

Other than the fact that I missed nearly half an hour of the programme, before I was alerted that It was on, by some people Tweeting about it..Which begs the question why the BBC are down playing their advertising of these debates? I also felt that the debate in general was fairly poor, and sometimes terribly misinformed(deliberately or otherwise) with only Tam Devine and Patrick Harvey really standing out, with some solid contributions.

Angela Constance was fine, but the only one to be constantly interrupted and cut off by Robertson,which was particularly noticeable in one question, where she barely managed to give an answer at all, before the presenter, quickly interrupted and moved onto another question from the audience.

I seriously worry, that we are going to be constantly faced with this type of format by the Media for the next two years.
Same old questions, same old answers, same old hand picked political talking heads, and nothing of real substance and vision properly debated….And God forbid..that they should actually try to make a programme which allows a cross section of Scottish Society our chance to debate our views, dreams, fears,aspirations, and hope for our country.
For it to be a “Big Debate” we must have a debate which allows for more than politicians to spin their lines. We need real people to give their views,and speak out, and debate.

If they set up a programme, with opposing points of view from Business, Academia,The Care workers, the taxi driver, the mother, the teenage school kid,the Banking sector, etc. And allowed them voice to speak…We would have a REAL DEBATE.

Instead..we get the same Old, same Old, from the same Old.

If that sort of programming is beyond their grasp…How about at least adding one normal member of society to each side of their politicians in the debate…
With over a decade of public speaking behind me..I would be well up for that opportunity..and would give my eye teeth to have the chance to speak…
Unfortunately I will neither ever be asked,or allowed to do so. I am not part of the In Crowd.
Thus my voice, like so many others, is muted…and my only voice is this Blog.

Independence or not…There is going to have to be some big changes demanded after 2014….It is time for the Old order to move over, and let the new world in!

About auldacquaintance

I am not a member of any political party. I am however a strong supporter of Scots Independence. Any views which I express in this Blog are purely my own. This Blog intends to be a place where I will be putting my views on Scots Independence. It will primarily concern itself with the upcoming Referendum In Scotland. However It will also be somewhat diverse in the range of day to day issues which are evident to me in modern day Scotland. Not all of it will be political, and indeed may take me off into avenues I am not even aware of yet. Please come and join in on this journey, and any comments are welcome provided they are not abusive! All the best from a new acquaintance! Rod
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14 Responses to The Big Debate

  1. Garry Oman says:

    Hi Rod, I too was disappointed in the Big debate. One of my son’s college friends managed to speak ( The bit about immigration ) but it was all a bit of an anti-climax, as you said it all seemed to be the same old stuff which I believe suits the Unionists. Someone from The Yes campaign needs to ramp the whole thing up to another level, unfortunately I think that we will have to wait until next year for that to happen.

  2. Thinking on the non appearance of fair debate,we do have free-view channels,could we ask one of them to host a fair debate? I think its possible,for one or more of the smaller channels to be given the opportunity to host a truly open debate.Now I am not in the circle of TV people nor do I know how to go about asking so if there is anyone out there who has the knowledge and ability,its worth a try,like everything else we wont know unless we ask,this is me asking where the first step is.

  3. David McCann says:

    Couldnt agree more. We need politicians, but only in small doses They have their place of course, but their answers are predictable to the nth degree. I want to hear people like Lesley Riddoch, Robin McAlpine, David Hayman, Mike Small etc. Im sure there must be some on the No side as well, but no names spring to mind!

  4. Stevie says:

    I haven’t watched it yet — can’t say I see any point in watching it, I probably will but why? It’s as you say, the same old same old superficial medium which neither probes nor identifies the detail that would interest certain parts of the Scottish electorate.

    This suits the brit nats to a tee — more noise to bore people with.

  5. Willie Taylor says:

    It could be that if one of the TV stations mentioned above was approached about making a programme they just might be interested. That would shake things up abit?

  6. wanvote says:

    Hi Rod, I am fairly new to your blog and have never joined in before but I would love to hear you speak. Would it be possible for you to do something and put it on YouTube, I think that may be an avenue. I was fairly impressed with the young people in the audience and their questions but the panel could have included a couple of non-politicos for balance. The Yes Campaign seems to be almost invisible as yet, which is disappointing to say the least.

    • Well first off Welcome… Its something have had at the back of my mind.. But If I do, not yet..
      I am somewhat plagued with a poor internet connection, which makes uploading to youtube very difficult… But as I say, something that may be in the pipeline for further down the road.

  7. David McCann says:

    Surely Blair Jenkins is the man to investigate this. After all, it was he who chaired the Scottish Braodcasting Commission.

  8. David McCann says:

    Should have said. My point above relates to Charles Patrick’s post

  9. Bruce Hosie says:


    Overall everyone of these debates so far has been very poor on the BBC. I thought the questions by the audience were actually poor also and given I work with some of these young people as a CLD Worker I am surprised to say the least. I can only assume that all questions were vettet before being allowed to be asked.

    I thought the host did interrupt Angela Constance and Tam Devine a few times but they were ok with Devine at least asking the right questions. I thought Willie Rennie was his usual self, he comes across as a nice man but always manages to pose a point in the negative overall. Anwar was terrible, I just wonder if Labour actually get anything these days. Do they actually believe the rubbish they spout. Patrick Harvie again wins hands down in many areas, he appears to have no axe to grind and comes across as genuinely wanting what is best for Scotland.

    I do feel that some of the points made by young people in the audience showed a real lack of understanding of the issues and a very BBC view of them. For myself that just reinforces where our poitical education is failing and how much the media are failing us all with the lack of an honest and open debate. I really fear for the next 2 years in that enough people will vote no based on the same lies of 300 years ago and will come to regret it in the long run.

    Why are we not hearing about the potential, for example, halving of our health budget if the Tories get away with the privatisation of 50% of the NHS in England and the effect this will have on the Barnett formula and the Scottish budget. People I talk to have little understanding of the issues that we face and I really do fear a no will see us walk into a real nightmare scenario with no room to change it. I do not believe that any of the other parties will provide a Devo + option, if anything powers will be returned if it’s a no vote.

    Sorry for being so cynical but I just don’t see how the YES campaign can ever get the truth out there to the majority when the powers that control the media won’t allow it and people don’t seem to care. I do live in hope and will continue to share blogs like this with everyone I know but will it be enough.

    • I know full well the obstacles which we have in our path…In both print and broadcasting media..Where we are on a hiding to nothing..and I don’t expect any change,any time soon on that score.
      However…. Despite these same obstacles….we have to remember that the SNP came from behind, just a dew months from the last Holyrood go on and do what was meant to be impossible..and not only win handsomely, but achieve a majority under a system whicn was designed to make such an event seemingly impossible.
      So bearing that in mind..I see no reason that the whole YES campaign cannot achieve the same fantastic result, and deliver Independence.

      It will take solid ground work, all the way till October 2014…and the new media, combined with old fashioned talking to people, will do it..

      But in a cautionary note…I expect it to be anything but smooth sailing….It is going to be a hell of a bumpy ride!

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