Scotland and the Debates

RICHARD LUTZ takes in the Scottish independence debate – round two.

scottish flagIt was a 90 minute bunfight. Two guys gunning for each other armed with educated Scots accents, loads of stats and the inability to let the other one have his say.

Outcome? Salmond didn’t flounder so….Move Over Darling.

The two pols hadn’t left the stage before the BBC machine had slapped a survey of who won. Salmond a TKO in the tenth, Salmond on a split decision. Salmond taking every round. The problem with this is that the goal of a debate about the September 18th vote is to educate Scottish voters, inform them and illuminate the muddy bits that are bedevilled with obfuscation such as the economy or the future of the NHS.

But with the media’s obsession with a won/lost trope, the broadcasters and commentators lost the plot. It was all about presentation, attitude and god awful shouty-bits about who could interject best.

Alex Salmond:  didn't flounder

Alex Salmond: didn’t flounder

From spending months in Scotland, I get the feeling that most voters are concerned about health, public pensions, the domination of Westminster and the future of the jobs markets.

On another point, many lick their lips at the prospect of getting rid of the nuclear sub base tucked into the Clyde, though Darling did throw a stiff jab into Salmond’s jaw by pointing out that if a new Scotland does go non nuke, it will throw a spanner in the works when it comes to NATO membership.

But in all, the nasty crosschat of the two pugs, the weakness of a strong chair to basically shut up the two antagonists and the media’s twitch to find out who was better as a personality behind a debating rostrum led to the result that not many minds were changed from this ten rounder.

One thought on “Scotland and the Debates

  1. Even the FT had Salmond the clear winner.

    Darling seemed clueless at times e.g. on the NATO question.

    His fallback position seems to be unless you are completely certain that independence will be a success you should vote no ; an impossible thing to achieve.

    Now the dirty tricks brigade will be unleashed

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