Having sat and watched BBC Scotlands latest excuse for what it laughingly calls an Independence debate shown from Greenock the other night, then sat through BBC Question Time from Dundee last night, where for once It’s host reluctantly allowed talk of Scotland to take over his programme, generally Mr Dimbleby complains that Scottish matters are of no Interest to the wider UK audience. I have to say the Independence debate was dire, with one panelist, Alex Massie, being described as not having made his mind up, when everyone knows full well that he as an outright Unionist of the Conservative persuasion. So called BBC balance thrown out the window once more!
About the only thing that could be said about the so called debate was that It was absolutely turgid, and merely a vehicle for Labours Anas Sarwar to have free reign to talk an incredible amount of regurgitated garbage without challenge or question from the host.
In effect…It was Boring Boring Boring….with all the same questions we have already heard a million times over by now…Trident,Europe,Borders,Currency…….YAWN!
About the only redeeming feature of the programme was apart from the Better Together performing seals clapping like mad at every bit of pish…sorry fish thrown their way by Sarwar, the vast majority of the audience just wanted to give the irritating nyaff a good verbal skelping…and they sure did that alright. But otherwise, the programme was as informative and inspiring as reading the labels of a soup tin.
So Onto Question Time at Dundee….at least this time they came up with a moderately interesting panel consisting of Ruth Davidson(Con MSP) Kazia Dugstail(Labour MSP) John Swinney (SNP Finance minister) and Jim Sillars (The Cannae stand Salmond I am a Labour man at heart party)
The debate this time was a bit more Interesting,and moderately enjoyable, although not greatly informative.
The BBC controlled the questions from the floor somewhat better this time, as they ensured more anti independence voices were heard….finishing the programme with a brammer from an English gentleman who asked….” What will you do when Scotland votes NO”, and further asked if we can be assured that we will hear no more about it for a 100 years? Unfortunately for the BBC, Jim Sillars saw that one coming all the way, and took one massive swing at it, hitting it for six right out of the park….It just wasn’t cricket! The audience roared with approval.
I know that Jim Sillars is not everyones cuppa tea, particularly those who think that his intervention into the debate upsets the SNP and thus causes damage to the YES campaign because he is off message. I would say that they would be wrong to come to such a conclusion, as In my view the SNP can afford to be challenged, and there are more views in support of Independence than just the SNP line.
What the YES campaign has been sadly lacking up till now is VISION and aspiration.
Jim Sillars is at least endeavouring to bring passion into the debate, and I feel the debate will be better for it. I certainly agree with a fair bit that Jim says, and much of what he does say will strike a chord with people who would be totally unmoved by the official YES or the SNP stances.
The last thing the people of Scotland need to see is a sort of mini me version of the British State, we need to have different visions of where we go with Independence once we have it, this will only serve to engage people, and it will inspire them to think, and dream of the possibilities of Independence. So these voices which don’t follow any official line must be welcome, we don’t need to agree with all that they say, but they bring a freshness to a debate which is in danger of boring the populace out of voting for Independence. Which of course is what the Unionist media would love to happen, thus why we are going round in circles discussing the same tired issues over and over again.
Jim Sillars and Dennis Canavan are both welcome to wish for a new socialist labour Scotland…I disagree, but their views are very welcome, and it is he likes of them that might yet persuade real traditional labour voters to see the light and vote YES.