No.3 in the series: Caroline, originally from Hastings in Sussex, now Edinburgh.
Archive for the ‘video’
Real-life stories. The first two of many.
Five minutes and 51 seconds, to be precise, is how long David Mundell, Secretary of State for Scotland, spent frantically quacking out meaningless noise on this morning’s Sunday Politics Scotland in order to avoid answering a simple Yes/No question until the interview ran out of airtime.
We could quibble with presenter Gordon Brewer making the assertion that a Section 30 order would in fact be necessary for a second referendum (something which has never been established in law or conceded by the Scottish Government, with strong and genuine legal opinion on both sides of the argument), and with him letting Mundell get away with the blatant falsehood that an overwhelming majority of Scots don’t want another referendum – in fact, 50% want one within the next two years.
But sometimes you have to let some smaller things slide to avoid distraction and stay focused on your main point, and in our view this was one of those occasions.
This is Conservative MP Dominic Raab, a member of the Brexit Select Committee, speaking on the BBC News Channel’s “Hard Talk” programme at 00.45 this morning. Perhaps imagining that nobody would be watching at such an ungodly hour, it seems he felt able to be unusually candid.
We left the last bit on in order to demonstrate that he was still talking about Scotland as well as Ireland. (He went on to recite the usual boilerplate about all leaving together as the UK etc etc, you can watch the whole show for yourself on iPlayer.)
But let’s just get that key early exchange down in writing for the record.
Because when you really want people with their finger on the pulse of Scottish politics to analyse the implications of the Supreme Court decision on Brexit, where else would you go but to Channel 5’s The Wright Stuff, to hear from um, former rugby league star and haircut pioneer Martin Offiah?
We’ll be honest, there are some bits of this that make us wince, and unfortunately most of them come in the first two minutes where they’ll do the most damage in terms of getting a persuadeable voter to watch the rest of it. But it’s an important piece of work, containing stuff even we didn’t know about, and it should be seen.
If you want to show it to people who aren’t already Yes, though, we’d suggest giving them a link that starts 123 seconds in.
Here’s Kezia Dugdale at FMQs today.
Just for fun, let’s do the sums again, shall we?
The Prime Minister of the UK, whose party has one MP in Scotland, officially tells the Commons that she doesn’t believe people on benefits should be able to survive.
Happy St Andrews’ Day, readers.
There’s a very interesting blog by Douglas Fraser on the BBC website today, pointing out exactly how vague and non-committal yesterday’s “announcement” by UK defence secretary Sir Michael Fallon regarding the long-awaited order of a reduced number of Type 26 frigates for the BAE shipyards in Govan was.
It might explain this extraordinary interview Fallon (alongside a very bad-tempered and unnamed PR goon), gave to Bernard Ponsonby on the evening’s STV News.
What actually happened yesterday was the removal of the threat of blackmail against a Yes vote that had been made against the yards in 2014, and endlessly exploited by the No campaign. The UK government stalled desperately to keep the orders as a bargaining chip in the indyref, not anticipating the prospect of a second one.
But they can’t be delayed forever, and once the orders are in place any possibility of cancelling them is effectively at an end, for a whole slew of mainly extremely obvious reasons. After Fallon had scurried away from him in fear, Ponsonby revealed what the Secretary of State had tried to avoid admitting:
“BAE confirmed to STV News that there is nothing in the contract that would prevent work continuing on the Clyde in the event of a Yes vote in another referendum.”
But Fallon’s toe-curling evasiveness, which finally saw him reduced to hiding behind the skirts of a sour-faced PR woman, had already made that fact clearer than any straight answer could ever have done.