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Wings Over Scotland

159 seconds in Glasgow

Posted on September 06, 2013 by

Click the image below to listen to the last two-and-a-half minutes of Scotland Tonight’s special referendum debate on the subject of welfare.


If you want to give yourself a hollow laugh, count the number of times Anas Sarwar says “I’m going to answer that question”, and then doesn’t answer the question.

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    1. handclapping says:

      Windows media player decided that the best picture to go with that was “Windmill”. Kind of appropriate.

    2. Peter Mirtitsch says:

      Most odd. If one were to be totally cynical (and even, dare I say it UNCHARITABLE???), one might be inclined to say that the Labour Party (Scottish Branch) has leaders who are singularly unable to divert from a provided script, otherwise they get totally lost. Johann Lamont has demonstrated this to great effect on a regular basis, and Anas Sarwar appears to have had the same briefings. Jackie Baillie gets caught up in so many outright lies, that it is quite hard to tell.

      Have Scottish Labour really sunk so low? It looks now, as if they are even bringing in Ian “Gie’s (a) piece” (sic)  Gray back to the fold…lol

    3. HighlandMartin says:

      I think the expression ‘owned’ is applicable here.

    4. Gillie says:

      Sarwar can’t answer straight questions but he can make false promises.
      Glad to see the MSM finally catching up with everyone else on this story.  

    5. gordoz says:

      It just proved that John Mackay & STV were not up to the job and such a format in future must be avoided if Scotland is not to become a laughing stock. This  was not a debate it was a fracas of heated words and that was largely Mr Sawar’s / Labour’s plan, (avoids discussion that requires facts you see). But what are we to do, avoid these debates and a chance to get the message out there, if we’re not constantly interrupted by by ‘canard sniping’ ? – (d’you like it nearly got 2 birds with one stone there!!). And as for the Top Secret dossier F… me ?? Sarwar doing what Labour always do irate ranting rubbish …… could not deviate from Polit Bureau script of nonsense, (don’t know why I expected more), surely the public will see through that. Nicola Sturgeon tried to debate,  panel did not even mention that
      We must learn from last night  and take control of these debates or they will be treated as childish comedy entertainment. TV must take blame for this; they can’t use this confrontational format again (even though YES argument clearly one the day).

      J MacKay if he knew his stuff on debating should have interceded a number of times to caution Sarwar on his conduct (extreme lack of facts) or highlight the constant evasion of answering direct questions. (e we’ll take that as a no then).  

      Panel were at best inept (again expected more) – a draw … Aye right (It might not have been great TV but it wasn’t a draw).
      Correct me if I’m wrong – in second half did Mr Sarwar answer a question ?

      In terms of debates:
      Others have said it; I’ll say it again YES Scotland representing and utilizing strong confident Women
      No Campaign ….. Women’s involvement ?????
      YES won by a Technical knockout (No avoided debate)

    6. The Man in the Jar says:

      Listening to it as opposed to watching it makes it even more obvious that Sarwar is an ignorant unprincipled half-wit who could not give an answer to anything asked by Nicola Sturgeon. The man is a disgrace to Scotland never mind “His” useless labour party.
      I agree with most that we should see and hear more of him to expose just how negative and bereft of principal that they are.

    7. Seán Mac Eochaidh says:

      he sounded like a petulant little boy. “its ma baw n your no playin”

    8. Angus says:

      I think the sheer ineptitude of any better together blether merchant sticks out a mile and a half,  it was always a certainty that labour would rue the day they put being british over all else, and lacking policies or any decent politicians in Scottish constituencies has diluted the political gene pool for the unionist bunch-they can only haver utter bollocks in the vain hope that voters in Scotland will buy it.
      A year to go and better together are following a script that is embarrassingly lacking in any substance beyond smear.

    9. Vronsky says:

      Nicola over-egged the pudding.  Instead of talking over him she should have asked the question and allowed listeners to hear a few minutes of his flannel before repeating the question and pointing out that it had not been answered. 
      I’ve heard complaints that the debate was poorly moderated, which on this evidence would appear to be true.  Perhaps a ploy to lead viewers to the conclusion that they’re a’ as daft as ane anither?
      Anas is an unmanned probe from a distant galaxy,  programmed with a few stock responses.  He reminds me of the competitions years ago to get an apparently human conversation out of a computer using no more than ten lines of code.   
      I’d expect more poise and dignity from Nicola.  Keep your temper, girl!  Let them condemn themselves out of their own mouths.

    10. Last night on STV Govan’s hereditary MP With his scripted glossolalia Did more for Free Caledonia Than half of the SNP.

    11. Doug Daniel says:

      Last night I must have missed the bit about the Tories refusing to come on and Anas coming on instead. Makes sense for them though – why defend the indefensible when you can send the bag carrier instead?
      It’s interesting though – “impartial” journalists and the likes have a habit of saying welfare & pensions are the weak point of the Yes campaign… But if that’s true, then why are unionists having to run and hide from the reality of their welfare & pensions decisions? It can’t be a weak point for BOTH campaigns.

    12. Gillie says:

      gordoz says:

      It just proved that John Mackay & STV were not up to the job 
      You make a good point gordoz. This was car crash TV that has exposed Anas Sarwar to public ridicule but it wasn’t good for the overall debate. We don’t need clowns and jokers. I hope STV learn that lesson. 

    13. call me dave says:

      Who do you trust to look after Scotland.  No contest after watching the debate:
      Scottish Labour noncommittal over bedroom…/…

    14. Albalha says:

      On the discusssions and debates, BBC and STV, we’ve had so far I think the larger panel with politicians and non politicians is a better set up, as you say last night was just awful.
      And of course the future of an independent Scotland is not just about what the SNP and Labour thinks (well not that, it appears, they really think much!)

    15. Colin Cameron says:

      Just noticed that snapshots of the Herald manage to get the full article, rather than just the first couple of paragraphs with a paywall.
      Link to full version of Gille’s article above:

    16. Training Day says:

      Someone posed the question of why Sarwar was being shoved forward by BT.  It’s cos Murphy and Alexander are staying in the background waiting to see which way the wind is blowing.  Sarwar is arrogant enough, has such a sense of entitlement, that he can’t see he’s the patsy for BT if (when) it all goes wrong.  Tough.

    17. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Nicola over-egged the pudding. Instead of talking over him she should have asked the question and allowed listeners to hear a few minutes of his flannel before repeating the question and pointing out that it had not been answered.”

      Nah. The point is made the moment he says “What I’ll say to you is this, the SNP blah blah blah”. If she’d done what you say the debate would have been 43 minutes of Sarwar and 2 minutes of Sturgeon. He might not have a brain in his head, but the boy can spew out Nat-bashing pish to order for hours at a stretch.

    18. Doug Daniel says:

      @Vronsky – seriously mate, she did well not to just run over to him and kick him square in the baws. She kept her cool during the first half, but he was just unbearable during the second half, having spent his entire 7 minutes of questioning Nicola asking spurious questions then going “corporation tax, corporation tax, corporation tax” during her answers like some irritating wee shite at school that keeps jabbing you in the back while the teacher has their back turned.
      Mind you, I think it would have been interesting if she’d just stood in silence instead, seeing how long it would take Anas to start spouting pish unprompted.

    19. DMyers says:

      The man is even more stupid than I thought.

    20. muttley79 says:

      People are criticising the format of the STV debate.  However, the first one between Michael Moore and Nicola Sturgeon worked because they both respected each other, and did not interrupt one another in a rude manner.  I think the problem is solely down to SLAB’s unionist diehards.  They do not want a debate at all on Scottish independence, they simply want to get a No vote.  They are about protecting their careers in London, and what goes with that, and they simply are not going to play fair.  Put SLAB and the SNP together and you are not going to get a good debate, mostly because SLAB are fighting not for the people of Scotland, but for their own careers.  SLAB’s elected representatives have most to lose from independence.  This is why they are behaving in an appalling manner, and have been for years.  

    21. Vronsky says:

      ” If she’d done what you say the debate would have been 43 minutes of Sarwar and 2 minutes of Sturgeon.”
      And I think that would have transmitted a message.  People aren’t daft, you know.  As Thomas Browne said, the greatest revenge is to be not like unto them.  Let the people see the Unionist monster full on.  I think 43 minutes of it might cure them of any desire to vote for it.

    22. ianbrotherhood says:

      @Doug Daniel-
      ‘…she did well not to just run over to him and kick him square in the baws.’
      There’s still a year to go…

    23. nconway says:

      Man debates with women ,man refuses to listen to women’s point of view,he doesn’t respect her as a person ,man does this on STV loses female votes

    24. Jeannie says:

      @doug daniel
      …she did well not to just run over to him and kick him square in the baws.’
      I suspect Johann Lamont will be first in line for that today 🙂

    25. Turnip_ghost says:

      I’m sure I heard him say at wine point “I’m proud to have child poverty..”

    26. Jeannie says:

      @doug daniel
      she did well not to just run over to him and kick him square in the baws.’
      Remember that scene from Airplane where there’s a long line of people on a plane, brandishing an assortment of weapons and they’re queueing up to batter a really annoying person…….I think that might well Anas’ experience today.

    27. muttley79 says:

      Looking at my last post, I should have added that John Mackay did not do well at all.  He should have made it clear that constant interruptions were unacceptable.  Mackay should have be much more firmer. 

    28. muttley79 says:

      she did well not to just run over to him and kick him square in the baws.’
      There’s still a year to go…

      I know.  Sometimes (particularly after last night) I wish the vote was taking place next week.

    29. Atypical_Scot says:

      If there was any truth behind what Anas was made to read from, at least he would have been able to say it with conviction. Reminded me of high school debating competitions, being made to argue from a Tory view point – just can’t deliver sincerity from a bag full of shite.

    30. Macart says:

      I’m pretty certain I’ve just listened to the sound of a career smacking into a tree at high speed.
      Dropped his boss in the grinder over bedroom tax and point blank refused to answer questions on any future commitment by Labour to retaining services of any kind. Oh dang, he’s headed for the naughty corner.

    31. Brian Powell says:

      Of the many things that Anas Sarwar doesn’t understand, is that the Referendum isn’t a General Election it is about Independence. Earlier in the ‘debate’ he went on about the SG building its case for Independence over the last three months on the bedroom tax.

      The bedroom tax is a gruesome symptom of the problem, that would be solved by Independence, it is not the central problem.

    32. Turnip_ghost says:

      *one not wine. My only defence is that it’s Friday!

    33. John Lyons says:

      Sarwar lied. Specifically about getting rid of the bedroom tax. At least, when Mrs Lyons phoned Mr Millibands office and they said categorically that this is not policy and will not be in the next manifesto. She’s currently on the iPhone to Sarwars office making a complaint to his office. Apparently they’ll be calling her back. Don’t hold your breath…

    34. david says:

      i dont fink we shall hear or see a great deal more of an sarwar

    35. Brian Powell says:

      No mention on BBC Scotland about the new Labour policy of abolishing the bedroom tax.

    36. muttley79 says:

      I think the most significant point Nicola Sturgeon managed to get across was that she was the one who wanted to take responsibility for things like Welfare, while Sarwar was the one who did not want it.  Fairly simple and obvious point, but is it very significant.  

    37. david says:

      the thought of stilettos in the testes does bring a tear to an eye

    38. jim mitchell says:

      It didn’t take last nights performance to convince me that Mr Sarwar has been promoted (within the Labour party), away beyond his capabilities.
      either the old buggins turn is still alive and well within their ranks or it’s simply another case of not what you know but who.
      I do hope that they use him more often.

    39. Malegria says:

      That picture’s begging for a Grange Hill stylee flying banger shopped in. That’s all I’m saying…

    40. Albalha says:

      Re Labour and the Bedroom Tax Liam Byrne said on GMS that they were currently looking at whether, in consultation with Labour councils, thye could work out a cost effective way to make it doable and so part of their 2015 manifesto, lot of confusion it seems in Labour ranks over this.
      Of course spin and confusion is a well rehearsed Labour tactic.

    41. Craig says:

      Scottish Labour have started banging on about money spent on the pandas, a film etc. by the SNP government.

      It would be very useful if you or Scott [Congratulations by the way!] or a reader could produce a short precise summary of Scottish Labour’s PFI projects and the total costs involved.

      These can then be printed out by WoS readers and distributed to households, especially in Scottish Labour controlled councils.

      The BBC, STV or the rest of the media won’t expose Labour’s lies. If we want to win the referendum, we must.

    42. Jamie Arriere says:

      That clip reminded of the kind of tellings-off I used to get when I was a cheeky lad of about ten or eleven years-old, and would end with me getting my arse spanked (don’t worry, I fully deserved it and learned a good lesson, and it rarely happened after) – it sounds like Sarwar was draped over Nicola’s knee but I didn’t hear any spanking noises.
      I know it sounds great for us, but I honestly cannot abide listening to that idiot for any reason so I won’t watch it – but I hope they keeping choosing him for debates

    43. Red Squirrel says:

      The only good thing about the JoLa and Anas pantomime efforts is that it shows just how poorly equipped they are in debating independence.  So heavily scripted and coached that frankly BT may as well just play a recorded message and replace both of them with the tub of lard.  My only concern is that Nicola is just too competent against the idiots BT are letting loose and that might not play well.  Perhaps that’s their strategy – after all, they apparently have nothing else to offer.

    44. James Morton says:

      Sarwar was “a poor player who strutted and fretted his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. Tis a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”  A more grim and hideous evocation of a life rendered meaningless and devoid of anything of value, all the more apt as it comes from the “Scottish” play. I don’t want to paint Sarwar as some tragic figure mind you, just highlight how utterly absurd his performance was given seriousness of the Subject.

    45. Archie [not Erchie] says:

      ‘Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned’ The more the babbling baboon tried to personalise the insults the more Nicola raised her game. I just love the inherent dominance in the expression ‘Ok Anas, I’ll give you another chance’ How many times did Nicola say that? Repeat it to yourself, vary the tone and emphasis. Its awesome.
      I am not a psychologist but when it comes to transactional analysis and the way of giving each other our daily dose of points then Mr Sawar must have inwardly shuddered as his point score bottomed out.

    46. The Man in the Jar says:
      Jon D posted this link to twitter last night. Apparently Slab are over the moon with Sarwars performance.
      “Anas Sarwar made Scotland proud tonight”
      You could not make it up. If your jaw is not already on the floor it soon will be!

    47. Jamie Arriere says:

      Re PFI projects, here’s a government source of project data
      Had a look at 2013, but there were no new projects procured in Scotland

    48. call me dave says:

      Council’s final bill for £150m schools: £729m
      A PROJECT to transform schools will eventually cost a council £729million – despite the buildings being worth just £150m.
      SNP MSP said: “I was only too aware of the damaging legacy left by the Labour-LibDems’ administrations in the form of such PFI projects, but even I was astounded by these figures.

      Stef LachSenior Reporter

      Thursday 08/11/2012

    49. Craig says:

      cynicalHighlander, wouldn’t be taken seriously – it has reduced itself to the scotsman level.

      Precise provable facts that can be understood easily in the Labour ‘heartlands’ is what is required.

      The likes of Lamont and Sarwar are getting away with the most attrocious lies. If there is one thing that can lay bare Scottish Labour’s total dishonesty, it is the truth about their PFI schools and hospitals.

      Just pure facts, no opinions. I am sure WoS can do it.

    50. Craig P says:

      Vronsky is right. To see an example in action look out a debate between Jimmy Reid and Kenneth Williams on the Parkinson Show in the 1970s. Reid just encouraged Williams to spout his poisonous opinions in workers rights uninterrupted and the viewer was left to form their own opinion. 

    51. Albalha says:

      Meanwhile Labour and Falkirk

    52. eva says:

      I have just had an email from the Labour Party about the bedroom tax. Anas Sarwar’s name does not appear to be mentioned anywhere in it. I do not know how to post the whole thing here so here is a wee quote:-

      “Labour will set out our own tax and spending plans at the time of the next election, but we are clear on our opposition to the bedroom tax, and we would never have brought it in if we were in power.”
      Well, that seems pretty clear word from Labour Party HQ at One Brewer’s Green, London.

    53. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Council’s final bill for £150m schools: £729m”

      Yeah, we covered that story at the time:

    54. HandandShrimp says:

      The Man in the Jar
      Mind you they said the same about Iain “Killing Fields” Gray. If they think Sarwar did great then that is brilliant because just like when they thought Iain was doing great they will let him carry on. When he comes back Nicola can remind him about his undertaking to scrap the bedroom tax.

    55. Shinty says:

      I’d expect more poise and dignity from Nicola.  Keep your temper, girl!  Let them condemn themselves out of their own mouths.

      Yup – IMHO  anyone who thinks this debacle was a win for YES is deluded, it was a rabble – a deliberate ploy by Sarwar to undermine the debate and the referendum. Sarwar cannot debate as there is no positive case for the union, right now he is running his own wee UK election campaign and in order to do this has to undermine the referendum by whatever means necessary.

      I understand Nicola trying to hold him to account and get him to answer a question, but 23 times? Sorry but to me the whole thing was embarrassing.

      If there were any ‘don’t knows’ watching it, you can be assured they would have switched off fairly early on. Same tactic deployed every week at FMQ’s – scunner folk into thinking Holyrood is nothing more than a ‘pretend wee parliament’.

    56. End of daze says:

      I think the voters have begun to realise that Labour are now just the “Hate the SNP Party” and not worth voting for.

    57. Roscoboy says:

      If Sarwar is the best Slab can offer for a debate then what can we expect if they ever get back into Government. Have they no one that can offer a decent debate and answer a question. Shame on John MacKay he was hopeless, and the two boffins were equally as bad with their comments.

    58. Keef says:

      I’m still waiting to hear the news of the first Labour MSP to resign and move over to the SNP/Greens/SSP.
      With fools like this guy representing them, there must be at least one MSP who has had enough.
      Where are the real MSP’s in the Labour (Scottish branch) who honestly believe in making Scotland a better place?

    59. Clare Gallagher says:

      @Keef Where are the real MSP’s in the Labour (Scottish branch) who honestly believe in making Scotland a better place?
      I think they’ve all joined LFI, or are maybe thinking about it! Any member of SLab wanting to be taken seriously after independence, would do well to join!

    60. ianbrotherhood says:

      Monday coming – the Volunteer Rooms, Irvine.
      Nicola Sturgeon and Denis Canavan, and a guaranteed packed house. If you’re not there for 7 (it’s officially a 7.30 start) you might not get in at all.
      A wee birdy told me the SSP are pushing for a place on the platform, but will be heard either way. (And you didn’t get that from me, right?)

    61. Alba4Eva says:

      Just wow… Nicola gave him a total kickin’  …he must currently be filling himself with paracetamol and lying in a darkened room this weekend.  Poor soul.   LOL

    62. Alba4Eva says:

      Nah. The point is made the moment he says “What I’ll say to you is this, the SNP blah blah blah”. If she’d done what you say the debate would have been 43 minutes of Sarwar and 2 minutes of Sturgeon. He might not have a brain in his head, but the boy can spew out Nat-bashing pish to order for hours at a stretch.”  …Completely agree Stu.  It was the last few minutes of the final round and wee Nic started flying with both lefts and rights… she sensed the kill and had Anas arched backwards over the ropes, arms flopping uselessly by his sides and his gum shield half hanging out of his open dribbling mouth.

    63. Patrick Roden says:

      Watched the whole thing on Youtube, it was a clear win for Yes and Anas was made to look stupid and evasive on a number of occasions.
      He pointedly refused to say that labour was committed to keeping universal benefits in Scotland, so any genuinely socialist Labour activist will be faced with the prospect of arguing for non -socialist policies for Labour! Great fun eh!
      Anas reading from the script that list of things that she was ‘not answering’ was hilarious, She had just answered two of them clearly and without a single bit of waffle, but it was in his script written before the debate so he just kept to it!
      A great night for Yes and Nichola and Labour is still having to explain the aftermath of Anas’s claim that labour will scrap the bedroom tax.
      I’m sure the Tories will use that in the next Westminster QT.
      And people think it was a draw ??? lol

    64. Alba4Eva says:

      Thanks Patrick Roden, I was trying to find it to watch and didn’t think of Youtube. Here is the linky for anyone else who wants a gander…

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