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A small observation about TV debates

Posted on April 08, 2015 by

We already KNOW the solution to the problem of panellists shouting all over each other. It’s used every day in the Scottish Parliament: the chair is in charge of all the microphones and only the person whose turn it is to speak gets theirs switched on.

If someone else raises a good point while someone is speaking, the chair can hear it and bring them in in a controlled manner if appropriate, rather than the self-defeating, time-wasting exercise in irony that is shouting at everyone to stop shouting.

The fact that the system is never used therefore leads us to only one possible logical conclusion – the broadcasters WANT chaotic rammies where nobody gets to make their points properly. As for why, you’d have to ask them.

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    1. 09 04 15 00:33

      A small observation about TV debates | Speymouth

    212 to “A small observation about TV debates”

    1. Blackhack says:

      Mair like a stairheed rammy, than a genuine fact filled debate….The chairman lost it in his first introductions and it was all downhill from there…

    2. heedtracker says:

      As for why? really puts people off, makes a mockery of democracy in Scotland and the Scots as people, noone learns much, same ol same ol politics as number of voters fall away, nothing changes, job for life Westminster SLabour troughers carry on, happy and glorious, BBC Scotland trouser their guaranteed £300+million a year with pat on head from teamGB. Rule Britannia.

    3. jimnarlene says:

      Presumably, so no one gets a straight answer to a question; especially if that answer/question, does not suit their agenda.

    4. BrianW says:

      because chaotic rammies save our itsy little brains finding out things and keep us in our place..

      god forbid we actually hear information and make and informed democratic choice.. how very dare you..

    5. CRAIGthePICT says:

      Indeed, ‘Mica’ would have helped a proper debate tonight. It was brought down by shouting (mainly Murphy) interrupting (all) and inevitably debased by the inclusion of a rude UKIP bigot.

      I guess it was this chaos that caused James Cooke not to press the audience question to Murphy on collaborating in the event of a minority government, which Murphy completely ignored and answered a different question instead, as usual. ‘It’s De Ja Vou all over again!’

    6. Entertainment for the masses nothing about informative discussion, keep em dumb.

    7. Swami Backverandah says:

      I didn’t see the debate, but heard Jim Murphy was on.
      Did he mention ‘largest party’?
      Did Cook ask him a ‘tough question’?

    8. Autoclub says:

      Still a far better debate than last night, even if it was a bit of a re-run with the unionists trying to bury Nicola Sturgeon. I’m getting a bit sick of them pulling out the oil prices as political gain though.

    9. Paula Rose says:

      Love the way my wings work.

    10. desimond says:

      Should get zapped with some volts everytime they get out of line. Would make great television if no added debate value

    11. JPFife says:

      Methinks you are crediting the broadcasters with critical thinking skills they don’t have.

    12. David Agnew says:

      There is nothing quite like trying a plan that has repeatedly failed, because…its bound to work this time.

    13. Dr Ew says:

      The sub-text to virtually everything Wings has ever posted is that our Fourth Estate is a corrupt, cynical instrument of misinformation, manipulation and downright propaganda.

      Did any regulars go in expecting to see anything else this evening?

      Don’t all shout at once, now!

    14. gordoz says:

      Couldn’t agree more Rev.

      Too many interruptions otherwise – Rennie was a pain in the arse.

      Edinburgh & Aberdeen not following the Establishment plan at all then. Where next St Andrews ?

      Stay away from the West.

      Christ its so fecking obvious what is going on. they are trying to alienate voters with this pish.

      Ponsonby playing to the gallery last night & Cook failing miserably to control shouty men tonight.

      Honestly – 1st debate from England was the best & fairest to date for all participants and guess who one in that environment ?

    15. george says:

      You’re. Just. Trolling. James. Cook. Please. Stoppit.

      desimond – actually jim murphy already looks as if he’s had some voltage applied. coburn just looks like he needs some.

    16. AndrewD says:

      Think the whole point of Coburn appearing was to give Murphy a chance to shout over and oppose UKIP in a way Milliband wasn’t allowed to, thus Labour can appear to oppose UKIP to the Scottish electorate but still pander to prospective UKIP voters in England..

    17. Robert Peffers says:

      Not to mention the presenter was over eager to be more than the presenter. He is not the story, he is little more than the chair and a bit of a referee.

      My own overall impression, as usual, is still that some of every panel we have seen so far proves most certainly are either deliberate liars or as thick as a big tall stack of very short planks.

      Have we ever had a debate where no one has shown they do not understand the purpose of Barnett’s Formula or have claimed that Scotland depends upon Oil & Gas Revenue?

      Quite simply the Formula calculates the value, (over & above the UK per capita average), of the devolved functions that the SG must pay for that the others get directly in services.

      As for the Oil & Gas Revenues – none of it comes directly to Scotland as the Treasury claims it all as Extra-Regio Territory Revenue. Although Scotland gains no extra revenue from it around 95% of it is from Scottish waters. The only, (non-funded), concession is that Westminster credits Scotland with having earned an 8.4% share of it instead of the geographic 95% that actually is Scottish earned revenues.

      When you witness balloons like that UKIP guy making idiotic claims, in this case both removing Barnett and Scottish economic dependence upon oil, it is very obvious many MPs, MSPs, MEPs and councillors are either consummate liars or as thick as a large quantity of some smelly stuff in narrow necked liquid containers.

      Sometimes I’m given to utter despair at political figures poor intellects.

    18. Andy Howie says:

      You could have put anyone in charge tonight and they would not have controlled Murphy and Cockburn. Murphy Shouts over Ruth, then Shouts over Nicola and shouts over Cockburn (well I’ll forgive him for that!) Cockburn… Total oxygen thief and the sooner he and his Ilk simply fuck off and die the better

    19. laukat says:

      I think Murphy has been following the Joanne Lamont and Anas Sarwar playbook.Totally unwatchable tonight all Murphy wanted to do was spoil the debate so he didn’t loose more ground.

      Also think the Better Together parties are very scared of Full Fiscal Autonomy. If we get FFA it removes the financial argument from the next referendum.

      Its also very hard to explain to England if you are red/blue or orange Tory why you wouldn’t give it to Scotland as it takes away their issues with the Barnett formula.

    20. Betty Boop says:

      Did’t watch either of the debates this week; Murphy equals rammy.

      Absolutely no point in watching a cat fight.

    21. PollyD says:

      They want a rammy so that the next election will be back to the Tory/Labour leaders sanitized debates. But, do agree their mikes should be turned off, or James Cook should have a cattle prob and run up and down the panel prodding away if they didn’t stop their shouting. During the debate I was hoping Jim Murphy’s microphone would have been turned off for good.

    22. Gillian_Ruglonian says:

      Same old, same old!

      (Traditional) media and politics are as compatible as oil and water. The business of show gets in the way of properly informed political output every time!!

    23. Aidan says:

      That’s right Stu.

      Is the BBC so nothing happens by accident.

      1) Debate not “live” so can be edited.
      2) Not aimless or free-flowing.

      James Cook had an agenda to follow. Despite that Nicola Sturgeon did well.

    24. Training Day says:

      Message to be conveyed by the ‘Scottish’ media:

      They’re aw the same. Stick tae whit ye know!

      Cereal eating an added bonus.

    25. Author_Al says:

      Apparently Murphy kept shouting, ‘It’s the Jimmigrants! It’s the Jimmigrants!’

      Re – Stu’s question, I guess the reality is the Director controls the shots literally, and the backroom staff, i.e. the Sound Operator who is charged with sorting the sound levels, acoustics, ambient effects, etc.

      That said, well before the show is broadcast, the sound on location is checked and analysed with lots of gadgets that go PING.

      The sound that enters the viewers’ homes is also a consideration…the transmitted dynamic range usually does not exceed 26dB.

      What I’m saying is that if there is acoustic mayhem it’s because the show’s Director – guided by the Producer – lets it happen that way.

      No accident. Sound, obviously, tends to be less chaotic and more controlled in a Radio recording studio.

    26. caledonia says:

      Lets get lie detectors on now that would be real entertainment

    27. Onwards says:

      It was incredibly frustrating.

      Listeners deserve to hear a full answer, regardless of who is speaking.

      Murphy and Coburn were at it all night – the only intention is to stop people from hearing a viewpoint.

      Hopefully it backfired and viewers found them equally rude and annoying.

    28. almannysbunnet says:

      They take their cue from prime ministers question time. Moronic shouting is the norm. It could also be that they want these debates killed stone dead, no argument from me if this is the form they take. We will see when the next polls are released whether it has dented the SNP but I doubt it. Anyway Smugmurphy said something like “how dare these polls tell us how to vote on the 7th.”

    29. Kevin Evans says:

      My view on both debates is they were both pretty poor but the bbc one was better presented and chaired than the STV one.

      The audience represented an even split of the 4 main UK/Scottish parties and was not representative of the Scottish political vibe and the moment.

      The questions were all pre prepared and vetted and double checked by the TV companies and were very bias towards the Tory/labour/lib policies.

      It was fixed as far as it was always pulled towards pro Union anti snp but that was due to the TV companies wanting not to talk about the UK but to try and do another refurendum argument.

      As far as am concerned the TV companies will be happy at the debates

    30. Flower of Scotland says:

      As to why we have to work with Labourites like Murphy and Milliband?The Scottish Unionists and the British State put us in this position by denying us Independence.

      Unfortunately we do have to work with these people, if we get an SNP majority at the GE, we still have to work with Labour if the Tories don’t get a majority.

      I despise Milliband and Murphy but at least if we work with them we can hopefully drag them more to the left than they are now!

      But NO shouting over your adversary please Labour!

    31. heedtracker says:

      The future of a Scotland that we can still win.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?t=58&v=iGgIPlap0tQ

      Mhairi Black SNP

    32. Macca73 says:

      I caught the last 40 or so minutes and I’m astonished that anyone would buy into Jim Murphy after listening to his incoherent remarks this evening.

      It’s not just the “Biggest party – 1924” crap that he spouted in that time it’s the “Grand National” speech he made on the 8th of May which I found utterly incredible!!!

      I reckon that he’s done himself and his party no favors both tonight and last night.

    33. Ian Brotherhood says:

      None of those people in that debate represent me, or anyone I know. Not one of them.

      Why can’t ‘debates’ encompass groups of real people in real places, without all the formality? Aren’t there enough facilities, channels, whatever?

      Naw – it’s because the voice of ‘ordinary’ punters isn’t deemed good enough for ‘serious’ debate.

      So, that’s what we got last night, again tonight, and will have to endure for another month – ‘serious debate’ by ‘serious people’ who have your (and my) best interests ever and always at the heart of everything they do. Aye, right…

      IMO (not that they’re asking) it’s a big fat fuck-right-off to the whole lot of them for maintaining such a charade. These events have nothing to do with respect and/or information, and everything to do to with exploiting painstakingly calibrated levels of general ignorance.

      Dismal, depressing, predictable shite.

    34. Truth says:

      They want us to switch off politics thinking they are all the same.

      Then they want to manipulate us into voting for their choice, and not that of our own free will and judgement.

    35. Ok, I’m biased … I hold nothing but utter contempt for Murphy.

      His inability to answer a question results in some rambling nonsense, totally away from the question.

      His tactic for those that can answer questions is to shout them down.

      The controlled microphone might work, particularly if the moderator is too weak, or compliant, to stop it. However, for Murphy I’m not sure an electric cattle prod might be more effective.

    36. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Robert Peffers at 11.10

      Exactly. And I repeat we need to establish with our weaker voters that Scotland Is self-supporting with or without the oil.
      When we do that we win.Simples

    37. Kenny says:

      I agree entirely! I notice that the state media does not do analysis. With the possible exception of Marr (O/T “mar” is Persian for snake), they think they are the real stars of the show and immediately start talking over the interviewee in the rudest manner, so the viewer does not get to hear the answer!

      The BBC loves “debates” when the panellists shout over each other, because then that means less time for the watching audience to be informed and educated, to learn facts which have a bearing on their own lives, to make measured decisions, to have control over their own lives…

      It also puts people off politics and be less engaged in decision making. Man, how they must hate the indyref campaign for what it has done in Scotland and how they fear the same stirrings in the north of England!

      I look forward to the old media being thrown onto the scrapheap of history and being replaced by social media, where the viewer decides what to pick, choose and consume — not sit and look at a box which brings out dull, amateur, cut+paste news “stories” like the BBC.

      From the BBC website: “Our mission. To enrich people’s lives with programmes and services that inform, educate and entertain.”

      I guess the BBC doesn’t do irony….

      P.S. I stopped looking at the BBC website around the year 2000. Do they still split every sentence into paragraphs?

    38. flux_capacitor says:

      So am I the only one who cancelled my TV license? 🙂

      These debates just do my head in, I don’t think I’ll bother watching them on catch-up.

    39. G. Campbell says:

      Hugh Pennington, emeritus professor of bacteriology at the University of Aberdeen/Labour supporter/Better Together backer/Academics for More Academics dude, sitting in the front row, directly across from Jim Murphy: “We’re in Aberdeen University, which is a research university. And it’s one of the, most of the Scottish reuni, re, ah, research universities which has a cut in funding from the Scottish Government. Is that going to be reversed, because Aberdeen needs that research funding to compensate for the fall in oil price.”

      Claps from the audience, most of whom probably work for Aberdeen Uni, but no answer from any of the leaders, most probably because the question had fuck all to do with a Westminster election (though so did half the others). Hugh will be gutted.

    40. frogesque says:

      caledonia says:
      8 April, 2015 at 11:18 pm
      Lets get lie detectors on now that would be real entertainment

      What voltage would you apply?

    41. Les Wilson says:

      On the cheering front, I am sure I heard a stutter in the sound at one point. It was brief but was there, if confirmed, it would point to manipulation of the sound of the audience.

    42. Tam Jardine says:

      Nicola was excellent as ever. We are very lucky to have her. The more the unionists gang up on her the more she is embraced the people.

      FFA interests me – I suspect as others have mentioned that the unionists know it is but a small distance to indy from there. If it is ruinous for us and we are less of a “burden” as a result surely that is conservative thinking: Fiscal responsibility!

      It is a little bit unclear to me to what extent the export tax revenues would come to Scotland and what we would pay as a bung for defence, windsors and Westminster. How anyone can come up with an exact figure as they have done and bang on about it is beyond me. 7.6 billion? Not 7.5 or 7.7? I am not sure why this figure has been allowed to sink in without too much challenge.

      Anyway. Well done Nicola. Full steam ahead to May.

    43. Ken500 says:

      That’s why Coburn was on.

    44. maureen hollinsworth says:

      Please hook up all delegates for future debates to a lie detector with a tin helmet & electrodes on their head. The last person standing and in full possession of a Scots bonnet wins the debate 🙂 Bet our Nicola comes out tops!

    45. Robert Peffers says:

      @laukat says: 8 April, 2015 at 11:13 pm:

      “I think Murphy has been following the Joanne Lamont and Anas Sarwar playbook.”

      Aye! Laukat, but the reason is they are all utter ignorant numpties.

      “Its also very hard to explain to England if you are red/blue or orange Tory why you wouldn’t give it to Scotland as it takes away their issues with the Barnett formula.”

      They all only have the one same issue with the Barnett Formula – they don’t know what it is meant to do. When informed of its purpose they are utterly gobsmacked and cannot deny they were wrong. However, I note that Murphy has changed his tune about Barnett but I very much doubt he actually has figured out what the formula does.

      Going by his complete fuddery on such as the Mansion Tax, I deduce Murphy imagines it is good political policy to let his Labour followers think, “Oor Jim is going to put one over on the English”, while the obvious truth is such policies, besides being utter bollox, will never get past both the Establishment HOC & HOL.

      Murphy could promise to give every Scot a Peerage if they vote Labour but like his other promises he can never deliver them and Murphy knows it.

    46. GrahamB says:

      Posted this at the end of the previous thread but sort of on topic for this thread as well as there was a lot of shouting and lack of moderator/volume control during this ‘discussion’.

      ***More nonsense about IndyRef2 on BBC24, their terror of a re-run won’t allow them to let it go.

      Some great lines from tonight’s Wee Ginger Dug: “This feels like we’re in an independence referendum debate. All shoutiness and screaming, heat and no light. Seems the Unionist parties just can’t accept that they won that vote and move on. It’s like Unionist groundhog day.”***

      P.S. The final ‘debate’ is the BBC one on May 3 with Glenn Campbell and the 4 main leaders. But like the STV one it will be in NO city, Edinburgh. Why are they afraid to host one in Glasgow, Dundee or Inverness?

    47. galamcennalath says:

      “WANT chaotic rammies where nobody gets to make their points properly. As for why, you’d have to ask them.”

      Perhaps because (even though they are biased and have their political agendas) they treat politics as entertainment and some sort of reality show where argy-bargy is deemed to make good TV.

    48. Macbeda says:

      I had to stop watching because I was shouting at the television telling them to stop talking at once trying to outshout everybody else. NS and PH exceptions for the time I watched.

      I thought this was a leadership debate. Few leaders there.

      It was a shouting match with untruths and half truths flying all over the place.

      I also need to check the archive but maybe Stuart has done or could do a Barnet 101 for our ignorant MP’s, MSP’s and MEPs.

      I am ashamed of my country’s politicians.

      Yours in disgust.

    49. Tam Jardine says:

      By the way I forgot to mention last night’s highlight for me – Jim talking at length about his saintly mission to rid the entire world of nuclear weapons.

      The ex navy guy was great – what about the thousands of jobs at Faslane? (Awkward moment) Acht, dinna fash yersel- we’re no getting rid of trident – thats just something I have to say before I argue for building more subs and missiles.

      For a wee second someone thought Jim was against nuclear weapons! Poor Jim caught on the side of good like a rabbit in the headlights.

    50. Auld Rock says:

      Cook was crap. Nicola did well again against 4 of them. Harvie spoke sense as usual.

      Auld Rock

    51. Macnakamura says:

      It is made easier to control a group if the designated controller has sight of and can be seen by the the group.
      Think teacher in classroom.
      Think Julie Etchingham.
      Think orchestral conductor.

    52. Tackety Beets says:

      Technically Mic control is fairly easy to do.
      Anyone on an 8 channel mixer brings up the Mic as directed by the Chair . Simples .

      The problem would be “Renta Gob” and size 13s
      Soft and quiet in rehersal then all shouty ! MUTE !

      I’m not overly dissapointed. I did not anticipate much from either debate and did not feel I heard any little nugget of interest . Well mmm apart from what Ukip is really about , geezooo now that is scary ,nearly a scary as creepy Jim .
      I should add my 11 Y old popped into the room to watch the debate for while tonight ,2 mins ” uuuu ” she announced ” the eyebrows , he is creepy ” Children tell it how it is dont they.

    53. HandandShrimp says:

      In the end I didn’t watch it. I had stuff to do and three in one week is maybe more politics than I can handle.

      I already know which way I am voting 🙂

    54. Mealer says:

      Right.Thats enough of pish on the telly.Get out and canvass.

    55. Artyhetty says:

      Sounds like a chaotic and unintelligent dog fight among the boys. What a waste of money, time and energy. Next time just give the ones prone to shouting and balling, and incapable and unwilling to give coherent answers etc, some boxing gloves, might as bloody well!

      Grown up politics not the done thing in WM, no wonder the uk westminster establishment is such a mess. Really it’s disgraceful, people’s lives and livelihoods rely on the decisions these people make, makes me sick.

    56. John D aka Nkosi says:

      The super bigots over at the DT seem to think the UKIP prat was the only one telling the truth. If that is the level of intelligence south of the border we need out of the union very quickly.

    57. Robert Peffers says:

      @Flower of Scotland says: 8 April, 2015 at 11:24 pm:

      ” … I despise Milliband and Murphy but at least if we work with them we can hopefully drag them more to the left than they are now!”

      Any half decent debater with brains could tie either, or both, in knots. Neither of them has the debating skills nor the intellect to actually do their job properly. You just smile sweetly and, (because they are shouting so loudly), simple gesture by hand signal, “carry on numptie – I’ll wait till you shut-up”.

      The loudmouth then finds themselves flannelling aimlessly and petering out into nothingness. Then, with a pointed continuing and ignoring their spiel, take up where they interrupted as if they hadn’t, saying Thank You, and continue your point. Interrupters want to interrupt – not to debate.

      It also makes the chair look ineffectual and they tend NOT to let it happen twice. It also knocks the broadcasters plans for a rammy on the head for it takes two to have a shouting match.

    58. Patrician says:

      posted on late on last thread but seems we have moved on to this one:

      On question of another referendum: this is my transcript of the Andrew Marr interview on this subject. My emphasis in bold:

      “Andrew Marr: if you win by nought point nought nought one percent or a 100 votes or ten votes. Is that it? Scotland is independent? you have the negotiations , there is no going back?

      Alex Salmond: Well, Harold Wilson famously “one vote is enough in a referendum”, but we are not aiming to win by one vote, we are aiming to achieve a, a substantial majority, if we can and one of the great assets of the Yes campaign is we don’t regard any section or sector of Scottish society or any geography of Scotland beyond our reach we tend to take the attitude that there isn’t so much a no vote in Scotland as a deferred Yes’s and that has been one of the successes of the campaign.

      AM: If there is a no vote by a whisker, again is that it? Do you come back for another referendum in a few years time? I mean you have talked in the past about it being for a generation,is that still your view?

      AS: Yes, it is and by that I mean you must remember that previous cons.. I know you do, constitutional referendum in Scotland, there was one in 1979, and then the next one was in 1997 and that is what I mean by a political generation. In my opinion, and it is just my opinion then this is a once in a generation opportunity.

      AM: So you are talking there about an 18 to 20 year gap or so forth. So can you pledge that Alex Salmond will not bring back another referendum if you don’t win this one?

      AS: Well that is my view, in my view this is a once in a generation, perhaps even a once in a lifetime opportunity for Scotland.”

      And as we know Alex won’t bring back another referendum as he is no longer leader.

      For anyone reading from the BBC or STV,and we know you are here. Nicola Sturgeon is not Alex Salmond and his personal opinions carry no weight now.

    59. Onwards says:

      @Tam Jardine says:

      FFA interests me – I suspect as others have mentioned that the unionists know it is but a small distance to indy from there. If it is ruinous for us and we are less of a “burden” as a result surely that is conservative thinking: Fiscal responsibility!

      It is a little bit unclear to me to what extent the export tax revenues would come to Scotland and what we would pay as a bung for defence, windsors and Westminster. How anyone can come up with an exact figure as they have done and bang on about it is beyond me. 7.6 billion..

      —————————–

      I presume that is the gap in the current year GERS figures, due to the oil investment tax breaks, and the current price fall

      The whole point about FFA is that it enables Scotland to compete with London and the South, over the long term.

      Nicola made a good point about how Scotland’s growing onshore revenues will make up for a fall in oil revenues over the coming years if the price stays low. And realistically it would be phased in gradually, not a sudden switch.

      There is a good interview with Jim McColl on the BBC giving his opinion on why it is needed.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-32140640

      Right now there isn’t a level playing field – business and investment naturally focuses around the seat of power.
      And geographically, London has a huge natural advantage, simply being closer to Europe and large population centres.

      The SNP cannot deliver Devo-Max on their own, but can negotiate far more powers only if they hold the balance of power.

      The truth is that the UK parties WANT Scotland to be subsidised from London, as a way of cooling desire for independence.

    60. Col says:

      Anyone would be forgiven for thinking that our broadcasters are there to create voter apathy. I didn`t watch lastnight`s or tonight`s debates but looks like I didn`t miss much at all. Sounds like a waste of time and life`s too short.
      Spent my time watching the Outlander series. I win!

    61. crazycat says:

      As the non-possessor of a television, all I know about these debates is what is written here and on other sites, or tweeted.

      So it was interesting to see, in complete contrast to most of what I have seen everywhere else, these comments (from a Labour/BT activist) on UKPR:

      “Jim Murphy made a good impression, I think, by being less ‘shouty’ & less evasive than most of the other candidates.”

      and

      “I think, with hindsight, we may be able to look back on these Scottish debates as a turning point. I am not saying that the polls will immediately turnaround tomorrow; I think it will happen gradually over the next few weeks. It might not be fully apparent until the election itself – a bit like the referendum result vs the referendum polling.”

    62. caz-m says:

      I hope Nicola phones in sick and gives the final debate in Edinburgh on the 3rd May a miss.

      There’ll be traps being set up all over the studio for Nicola.

      Bad idea doing this final debate, it’s only four days before the election. And BBC Scotland’s Glen Campbell detests the SNP far more than Murphy does. Even more than James Cook.

    63. Dr Jim says:

      Debates Discussions Shoutyness Faux Anger and Outrage
      of course none of it is important,,,, except,,,,

      Nomatter who you support, but this mainly for our Unionist friends, a thought to go to sleep with

      None of this attention would Scotland be getting Yookay wide
      were it not for Nicola Sturgeon
      So have a thought, people who argue for all sorts of different things

      Nobody would give a flying f..k in the RYookay what Scotland or us as a people thinks, General Election or any other election
      PR wise Scotland has become relevant i’ll take as much of that as i can get

    64. Patrick Roden says:

      It’s ‘Dumbing Down’

      A necessary part of the Neo-Con dream.

      It means that a man who is on the board of the Henry Jackson Society can stand up in a leaders debate, and tell the nation he believes in a fairer society and cares about the working class of Scotland…

      And some people will believe him.

    65. Broch Landers says:

      Sturgeon was boxed in, under fire from all sides, but still came across well. Clearly didn’t hold court but held her ground.

      Harvie was pretty good considering the fossil-fuelled environment he was in.

      Rennie was entertainingly self-aware at points, basically admitting that the LibDems have screwed themselves and should not be trusted.

      The UKIP clown was outcast. Probably a vote-winner for him.

      Murphy clearly thought he did well. His schtick was: I’m caring, sharing socialist Labour. It seemed to go down well, so he kept at it.

      Big Jim was allowed to spool out this vague socialism-lite line no matter how irrelevant to the question, and permitted to shout over people, and to patronise both Sturgeon and Davidson.

      Murphy’s fluffy/macho leftish message will go down well with tribal Labourists, the hard of thinking, and people with no memory of what Labour are actually like in government.

      Davidson was also good. In a hard-but-fair, centre-right British nationalist apprentice matron kinda way. Which is great for the folk that will appreciate that sort of thing.

      Presenter/format/editing … usual stuff. Yes, it was a rammy. Hard to tell if by design or accident.

    66. Alcedo Atthis says:

      for all that Murphy is a very twisted individual, that UKIP guy gave him a run for his money in the creepy stakes tonight.

      And Rennie… janitor-faced little tool gives me heartburn.

    67. lumilumi says:

      I haven’t seen tonight’s BBC debate but judging by what I’ve read here and elsewhere, Jim Murphy was quite shouty, interrupting and talking over everybody else.

      It still hasn’t dawned on him that that kind of bullying, arrogant attitude is exactly the thing that is turning a lot of voters off. From him, his party and politics in general. Maybe he realises the last bit and just doesn’t want people to vote, except the party faithful and harvested postals.

      However, in his stupidity, he forgets that indyref has lifted the people of Scotland from their Labour-induced political apathy and made them more aware, more likely to demand answers, more likely to look for answers.

      To all those people, Jim Murphy’s shouty rants carry no weight. They’d like to hear what Nicola Sturgeon has to say and get annoyed at shouty Jim Murphy.

      The MSM may spin to their heart’s content and declare shouty Jim the winner but nothing will make newly politicised, aware voters unsee what they’ve seen. Labour and MSM control is crumbling in Scotland.

    68. thedogphilosopher says:

      What these debates are unable to do is to articulate precisely the core reasons why the Independence movement exists. Nicola (or whoever) gets caught up in the futile discourse of UK politicking. There are significant moral, cultural, and philosophical arguments to be made, but in this form and context will not be heard, if at all tolerated.

      Patrick Harvie often does his best to derail this discourse (which is obsessed with macroeconomic fictions) by trying to turn the tables on the expectation of ‘how things should be’, but it is a difficult task under the prevailing weight of orthodox discourse (mostly of a right-wing agenda).

    69. StevieMcB says:

      Did that audience represent the people of Scotland? if it did then i’m feeling more detached than ever.
      Unionist TV is killing proper debate!

    70. Gary says:

      Spot on. That’s the reason I, and no doubt thousands of others, don’t watch them. What this means is that we get the edited highlights from the news the next day. But then we get THEIR version of events.

    71. Dal Riata says:

      Rubbish, useless non-debate brought to you by a rubbish, useless non-informative TV channel.

      What the hell was the ‘administrator/contoller’ doing being there in the line up instead of being out in front directing proceedings? His coupon didn’t need to be seen by anyone, no matter how big of an ego he has.

      That ‘debate’ was nothing but an indisciplined rabble shouting over each other, not just those being rude and shouty just for the sake of it, but also those who just wanted to get their point across and trying to do so without interruption.

      The presenter never had control of the debate from the very beginning and it went downhill from then on. He and his production team are very much to blame for that televisual farce.

      And just how much airtime is Murphy to have in these useless affairs by the public broadcasters? Why the hell bother inviting on five, six or seven party representatives to these things? The impression *in Scotland* is of them being The Murphy Show (with some extras… and Sturgeon for some ‘balance’).

      The only good thing that could be said from the BBC’s Aberdeen debate is, thank Christ it wasn’t two hours long!

    72. manandboy says:

      I didn’t enjoy the debate as I thought
      it was too ill mannered with barely any courtesy or respect.

      A bad example of the people who represent us.

      I think Nicola must feel that she is at a disadvantage
      because she is First Minister and must show some dignity.
      Murphy & Coburn simply have none to show.

      I was relieved to see the layout for I had feared for Nicola
      had she been between a rock and a hard place,
      viz. between Coburn and Murphy.

      However Willie Rennie frequently spoke through Nicola
      while she was speaking, and in a rather disrespectful way.

      The quicker he is out of Holyrood the better-
      same with Ruthie Davidson of the 1800 votes.
      Ruth Davidson describing the UK as ‘our country’
      was more than a slip of the tongue.

      I won’t be watching again.

    73. chossy says:

      I’m stunned at what I just witnessed.

    74. CameronB Brodie says:

      Then they want to manipulate us into voting for their choice, and not that of our own free will and judgement.

      I can’t find the particular vid I was thinking of to explain neoconservatism and why they want to turn voters off politics, so…..

      Frederick Travis, PhD, director of the Center for Brain, Consciousness and Cognition, explains that the concept “We create our reality” is more than a philosophical statement. It is a physical reality driven by neural plasticity—every experience changes the brain.

      We Create Our Reality – Hacking Consciousness at Stanford University
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlxGBZifk6k&list=PLcBowtFOofmRd00cuPR84pNqfr4mh_26s

    75. Casper1066 says:

      Murphy has nothing to say so has to drown out people who do. I also heard this was not a live debate, it was recorded earlier, I wonder what was cut out ?

    76. StevieMcB says:

      The most telling thing from Ruth was the £30 billion austerity cuts are all going to come from welfare, can Jim Murphy tell us where Scottish labour are going to make the cuts? or is Balls going to tell him where British labour will make the cuts.Murphy doesn’t matter. Nicola owns the debate now.

    77. SquareHaggis says:

      Think we got it bad, it could be worse, far worse.
      Spare a thought for the poor buggers daan saff who’ve been bombarded for the past 24 hours with the new mind numbing repeated catch phrase “non doms”.
      BBC main headlines milking it like mad tryna drive everyone crazy.

    78. geeo says:

      I see the labour ‘plant’ scheme was in full swing again.

      The long haired lass who had suddenly changed to labour thanks to ‘Super Jim’s’ performance on tuesday was not all she seemed…(shock surprise).

      https://mobile.twitter.com/YesAlliance59/status/585930896294944769/photo/1

    79. yesindyref2 says:

      Viewing figures I guess. What are the figures for Sunday Politics, Newsnight, Scotland 2015, Scotland Tonight or Parliament Channel Live, compared with the TV debates? I don’t watch them mostly. I think TV debates have to add entertainment value otherwise people switch off, or over at any rate.

      A side benefit is that they get some idea of what’s being debated, and if they see anything about it perhaps they can relate it to the debate. Or, heaven forfend, look it up! I’d defend the formats.

    80. K1 says:

      The fear and smear Tory campaign continues unabated with Fallon attacking Milliband over any deal with SNP regarding ‘our nuclear deterrent”. (Guardians top story at the mo.)

      Is Labour shifting position?:

      ““Labour is committed to maintain a minimum, credible, independent nuclear deterrent, delivered through a continuous-at-sea deterrent.”

      And further:

      “Labour has said it is looking at the possibility of building three submarines to reduce the £25bn costs of replacing Trident when the “maingate” decision is taken in 2016. But it will only do so if CASD can be maintained.”

      The article goes on to state the First Minister’s position:

      “Sturgeon indicated in a Guardian interview last month that the SNP would not place the scrapping of Trident on the table in any negotiations after the election. The Scottish first minister said the SNP would simply vote against its replacement when the maingate vote is held in the Commons.”

      But then goes on to confuse itself in the very last paragraph, with an out of context comment from the FM from the debate last night:

      “But in the Scottish leaders’ debate on the BBC on Wednesday night, Sturgeon said: “Is Trident a red line? Well here’s my answer: you’d better believe Trident is a red line.”

      I don’t get the ‘But’ in relation to her comments last month, there is no incompatibility in what she said then to what she expressed in the debate:

      Trident renewal is an SNP red line.

      It’s well, almost as if the Guardian was trying to create some sort of confusion here…smirk.

      https://archive.today/4Pf54

      As ever the gist of the story is near the end of the article.

      (Chief Insomniac, out)

    81. Brian Nicholson says:

      I find it quite amusing to read the comments from Labour regarding the Scottish debates. It appears that straws are certainly been clutched.

      Jim Murphy did a credible job in the debates as did both Ruth Davidson and Nicola Sturgeon. Even Patrick Harvie of the Greens was consistent and effective in pushing his views.

      However, and of course, this is a big however, the real numbers that we need to take from the debates are 17% and one month. The poll averages for Scotland are consistently showing a 17% lead for the SNP over Labour and May 7th is less an month away.

      Jim Murphy needed to make an impact in these debates sufficient to narrow that lead in the time remaining. In my view, he needed to separate himself from the other leaders and land some solid blows on Sturgeon. He did not do that.

      Now, before you start throwing wood on my roasting fire, you need to admit Jim Murphy got in a few blows but he also took a few as well. When you are far behind, a draw at best is not what Jim Murphy and Labour needed.

      To be fair to Murphy, the format of four leaders in one debate and six participants ( I just can’t bring myself to give the leader tag to Coburn), made it near impossible to score that needed knockout.

      Even more frustrating for Labour is that the future debates include Sturgeon but not any of the other Scottish leaders. Any momentum gained over the last two days, if any, will dissipate quickly as Sturgeon again moves to the forefront of the media landscape.

      For Labour to survive with any strength in Scotland, it needed a game changer. In my humble opinion, they did not get one.

    82. K1 says:

      Cameron @1.25am, I look forward to watching this tomorrow…thanks, the buddhists have been ‘ahead’ of everyone on this for centuries, as with many other indigenous cultures.

      I think some of Murphy’s plasticity has hardened…dontcha think 😉

    83. CameronB Brodie says:

      K1
      I think the stress is certainly getting to him and closing down his cognitive functions.

      Next step – nervous breakdown. I know. I’ve been there. 😉

    84. jacksloan2013 says:

      Autoclub 10.53 says
      “I’m getting a bit sick of them pulling out the oil prices as political gain though.”

      But it backs up their claim that we are, and always were, too poor to be independent and look even Devomax is beyond our wildest financial dreams.

      However, we are not too stupid to realise that our wee bit of power, if we take it, could indeed influence the future of the UK!

    85. Onwards says:

      geeo says:
      9 April, 2015 at 2:13 am

      I see the labour ‘plant’ scheme was in full swing again.

      The long haired lass who had suddenly changed to labour thanks to ‘Super Jim’s’ performance on tuesday was not all she seemed…(shock surprise).

      https://mobile.twitter.com/YesAlliance59/status/585930896294944769/photo/1

      Don’t think that’s the same person – hair is similar but that’s all. As much as it would be good to catch out one of Labour’s plants, we don’t want to be getting accused of picking on someone who just seemed to be a naive young girl pushed into saying something for the camera.

    86. geeo says:

      To be honest, we are not stupid enough…!!

      Not stupid enough to vote tory.

      Not stupid enough to vote labour.

      Not stupid enough to fall for media lies and bullshoot.

      At least we are also not genetically programmed to vote labour in Scotland anymore in large numbers.

      Replacing our previous leader with the current leader was like taking off Messi and bringing on Ronaldo (or vice versa).

    87. geeo says:

      @onwards…she must have a twin then!

      Looks extremely good match to me and consider they have a lot of previous history for this kind of stunt.

      Happy to be proven wrong.

    88. ronnie anderson says:

      @ K1 (Chief Insomniac, out)

      Amature lol

    89. Macart says:

      Shouty, ignorant, deceitful and cowardly. So much faux outrage and indignant soundbites from those who brought about austerity Britain.

      The politics of austerity is only in our midst because successive governments destroyed the UKs ability to withstand economic catastrophe. Labour and Conservative economic mismanagement directly caused the hardship we see in communities across these islands today. The Libdems are and always have been enablers for whichever party could buy their votes in Commons. When I see people clapping any sound bite representatives of these parties utter I simply fucking despair.

      To be absolutely crystal clear to those party wonks who scan these threads, we know who is responsible.

      Its not the poor or benefit dependent (no, not even those who abuse the system), its not those unable to work through disability and its not immigrants. These people didn’t bring about a world economic crash. They weren’t responsible over decades for an economic model which left the countries of the UK ill prepared to weather a worldwide crash. No, fine examples of the people responsible for austerity politics were on that stage last night. CONSERVATIVE, LABOUR & LIBERAL DEMOCRAT politicians brought about austerity Britain.

      They have been in charge of the UKs governance and economy basically for over a century. No one else, just them. If the UK is in debt. If people are suffering. If there is no easy way out. There is only one place to look, only one place where the buck stops… the home of UK governance, Westminster and its establishment.

      No amount of catch phrases, no amount of media misdirection and no amount shoutyness for the cameras will alter that fact.

      You did this, you brought the countries of the UK to this pass and aren’t you so proud of it?

      Let’s have another street party eh?

    90. john king says:

      Sorry I should have posted this in here. 🙁

      I have a question
      Why if the unionists are so confident that “the silent majority” has spoken are they so paranoid about the prospect of another referendum?

      Surely we could hold a referendum every Thursday and (going by their assertions) we would lose every time, or are they that confident?

    91. Ken500 says:

      The £54Billion tax revenues raised in Scotland does include Scotland’s geographical share of Oil revenues. Look it up. Google (whatever) the Official Scottish Gov website. It doesn’t include the revenues lost on Trident/illegal wars, increased Oil tax in 2011Budget (£4Billion a year – £16Billion) a tax on ‘loss leading’ drink, losses to Scottish revenues of City of London banking fraud, tax evasion and Corp tax paid on (commercial activities in Scotland) paid through London HQ’s. £10Billion+ a year? What black hole in finances? Any black hole in Scotland’s finances is
      created by Westminster economic policies.

      The rest of the UK raises £412Billion in tax revenues. (pro rata less than Scotland). UK Official Gov website. Search ‘Statistics’. Borrows £90Billion more. ie raises less in tax revenues and borrows and spends more. 40 years of debt can’t be paid back in four years.

      Scotland would be far better off with fiscal autonomy/Independence. Historically Westminster has secretly, taken the equivalent of £Billions from Scotland. Thatcher ‘This must be kept secret’, on official documents. Labour kept the McCrone Report secret for thirty years. The recent illegal wars are reported to cost $6Trillion. Most of the National debt. Westminster are cheating, lying criminals who hid their crimes with the Official Secrets Act. Most of them should be in jail.

      Without the SNP in government in Holyrood, no accounts would be published. Westminster says it can’t publish separate accounts for Scotland. More lies, to cover up the secrecy and lies.

    92. heedtracker says:

      BBC r4 news Today show, Jim Naughty and IFS bloke just now showing main BBC UKOK vote SLab attack there, fiscal autonomy aint going to be allowed to happen with their £70bn UK equivalent black holes for Scotland.

      Neither that nice Mr Naughty nor IFS man can bring themselves to say out loud “Scotland cannot be given control of the Scottish oil and gas industry, that’s the UK’s not Scotland’s”

      Another day of full on anti Scottish democracy kicks off from the BBC. But Fiscal autonomy for Scotland does seem to freak out our chums in England but why should England control another countries economy anyway and why do they want to?

      The scrounger UKOK region can’t be allowed any real autonomy, they’d be bust without us and we have given them enough now.

    93. Socrates MacSporran says:

      The BBC debate was an even-bigger shambles than the STV one.

      Biggest loser on the night was James Cook. His career was on the rise, BBC London was beginning to use him on national TV, he could see the High Road to London and a place at the epi-centre of the British media beckoning.

      Then he over-reacted to Nikileak and his reputation suffered, still, a strong display in last night’s debate and he could have got away with damage limitation.

      But, he blew it. He lost control of his panel, he failed in particular to drag the rude and over-aggressive Big Dim Jim into line, he failed to control wee Ruthie, when she turned into a nasty member of the Nasty Party – and, if any would-be BBC London talking head cannot sneeringly belittle a Tory or Labour talking head, he’s toast.

      Realy, these debates are rubbish and bring nothing to the parties.

    94. Scotspine says:

      0700 UBC back to situation normal. Full on anti SNP attack. Trident stance criticised and FFA raged about.

      Yes, no doubt. Better together tag team limbering up again.

    95. Ken500 says:

      The £800,000? Glass Library (no money for any research) with widaes that disnae work, looks out on to one of the deprived areas of Aberdeen (good folk). The food bank recently ran out of food. It was stocked up. Next door to the free (millionaire) Professor’s (no money for research) social housing. The Chanonry. Some BT Academics should wisen up.

    96. tony little says:

      Reflections after “sleeping on it”. This ended up being a long post – apologies

      James Cook started OK but lost the control sometime after half way, because he was standing in the wrong place! This wasn’t QT, and he isn’t Dimblbum.

      I’ll deal with the shit first. Coburn was revealed for what he is – a xenophobic, racist dick-head (with all due apologies to dick-heads everywhere). I want people to remember this piece of shit AND to remember just who it was that were cheering loudest when he won. YES, I am talking about Curran and Labour,

      Jim Murphy is shouty because he doesn’t have a sensible or coherent argument and knows that if this position was properly challenged by anyone, it falls apart. This should have been (or rather could have been) controlled by the moderator – but wasn’t. Choose between told not to, unable to, didn’t want to.

      Ruth did reasonably well I thought. Some of her outrage with JM may have been for effect – I couldn’t tell – but she seems to speak from her own genuine position. I don’t have to agree with it to see that she is honestly putting this over.

      Rennie. Nothing to say – just like him.

      Patrick Harvie was sincere, if a little economically naive, but would be in with a chance of my vote in an Independent Scotland. Needed to have anticipated the tough questions from Cook, but overall gave a strong performance. Denied the opportunity to speak most of the time. This is only a guess, but I think he probably spoke the least (maybe Adolph spoke less) than anyone else. I expect this was by design.

      Nicola was better than the night before but still did not shine as she usually does. However, she spoke well, fluently, obviously knows her stuff and if there had been better moderation would certainly have swept all before her. This was her debate to lose, I think, but she held her ground.

      I would be prepared to give honors even to Nicola, Murphy (he did manage to get in the sound-bites and the prepared “jokes”, so that was probably all he could expect to do), and Ruth. Patrick was left out in the cold, so never really shone. The other two were pointless.

      Final comment – sorry for the length of the post. At the final debate when Nicola is asked yet again about devolved powers, what is to prevent Nicola from simply saying: these matters are devolved to Scotland and people will be able to vote on our record in 2016. So unless the other parties want to remove them from the power of the Scottish Government, this election will change NOTHING about those powers. So, can I ask – is it Labour, Conservative and LibDem policy to remove these devolved powers from Scotland?

    97. Mealer says:

      On the STV debate on Tuesday night,Jim Murphy told us he wanted multi lateral disarmament.He said we shouldn’t leave our children and grandchildren without nukes.He’s surely expecting it to take generations to get rid of WMD.Not good,Jim.

    98. Nana Smith says:

      The make believers. A documentary about media bias

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aX1hNW_bzAI

    99. T.roz says:

      Frustrating that the audience are not a cross section of the population. Murphy can only play to the cameras, and seems comfortable to mock the nation.

      Over on Islay we are going to have a multi party debate and it would be great if all these around Scotland could be filmed and put on social media. Local people would watch and we can expose the labour lies. Social media is our platform, these TV debates are stacked against us.

    100. Tattie-bogle says:

      The worst hour of my life and I’ve been stuck in an elevator full of women bursting for a pish.

    101. Richard Cox says:

      In last night’s debate, in addition to the question of control of microphones, James Cook was positioned wrongly; it was easy for him to be ignored by the panellists.

    102. heedtracker says:

      Its ok! BBC r4 Today show says they have just found 100 billion barrels of oil under London, so they are going to give Scotland back their Scottish region oil industry or maybe this giant discovery of 10 times North Sea oil reserves under London might make Scottish reconsider, vote Jim Murphy Slabour and teamG.

      April fools day was last week nice Mr Naughty and cue Slabour creep show raging away at vote SNP, lose 100 billion London oil bonanza, loads of drilling jobs on rigs in Buckingham Palace back garden.

    103. Fred says:

      @ heedtracker, thanks for the Mhairi Black clip, a star turn & future FM.

    104. CJ Robertson says:

      I can’t understand why Sturgeon continues to allow herself to be sucker-punched by the Indyref 2 question.

      It’s happened twice now, to audience groans (open to interpretation) and gives a platform for her opponents to shout her down.

      Why can’t she say that this simply isn’t an issue for this election, and future SNP manifesto content will be proposed and debated by their members. It’s a democratic process and not a Sturgeon presidency.

    105. Wulls says:

      Being fair James Cooke only compered it.
      There are producers & directors in the background running the shebang.
      These are the people who wield clout in the BBC.
      The quality of the debate reflects the quality of the BBC as a whole.
      And that is pretty low.

    106. Lollysmum says:

      T roz
      That sounds like a brilliant idea.

      Have you thought of asking Independence Live to broadcast the event online? They have been looking for events to film & broadcast on social media.

    107. Grouse Beater says:

      Excellent article here rubbishing England’s latterday colonial nationalism –

      http://www.theguardian.com/politics/commentisfree/2015/apr/08/englands-arrogant-nationalism-gift-snp

    108. biecs says:

      The more I think about it the less I understand the reason for these Scottish debates.
      They are supposed to be part of the UK GE campaign, but only one of those taking part is a UK Party Leader. The others are only Branch Leaders. Calling them Scottish Party Leaders does not alter the fact that they have no power or influence outside Scotland and only as much as Head Office allows them within.
      Plus, the Branch Leaders seem to have alternated between re-running the Referendum debates and rehearsing for next year’s Holyrood debates.

    109. caz-m says:

      Are BBC Scotland presenters on the promise of a tenner every time they mention the words, “referendum” or “Independence”.

    110. Ken500 says:

      BBC canvassing for Trident. The majority of the UK want rid of Trident. Base it at Devonport, everything else is based there. See how that goes.

      A LiBDem mentions ‘breaking promises’. Gie’ us strength.

    111. Colin Church says:

      OK. This is now a clear pattern throughout the week.

      BBC radio in Scotland continue to have Murphy as the only one to have his words spoken by himself to be broadcast whilst every other party gets their comments paraphrased and read by presenter. Subtle this is not. Just on again with the “mibbes aye mibbes naw” line it took them 24 hours to craft and was teed up by Cook even though it is clearly not on the cards for WM election.

      It is going to be a long conflating time to May 7th.

    112. starlaw says:

      Debate went just as I thought it would. Cook as much use as an ashtray on a motorbike. Producer had control of every microphone and camera. This debate was under his control and what occurred was planned and allowed to occur.

    113. highseastim says:

      I thought Nicola Sturgeon did excellently last night, everyone else bar Patrick Harvie was attacking her and she handled them easily, giving clear, coherent answers( take not Murphy).

      Why when during the discussion on oil, no mention of the over taxation of the industry to fund Labour/Tory war games.

      Why no discussion on foreign policy and the chance to quiz Labour/Tories on their disastrous policy in the Middle East, which has now led to lawless savage butchery in that region, mass murder and general chaos. They must rue the day they and their western “cabal” rid the world of Saddam, Gaddafi and tried to get rid of Assad, whilst these people were no Angels, they would never let the situation get to what it has now.

      Very little mentioned on the NHS.

      A lot more should have been asked regarding zero hours contracts, especially to Willie Rennie who thinks everything is rosy, as contrary to what the Tories/LibDems would make us think, anyone I know involved in zero hours contracts is severely pissed off, and although many may not know this but these contracts are also being used in the offshore game under the guise of “ad hoc” contracts.

      Two nights ago Murphy claimed he did not want Trident moved to the North of England, for once I agree with him, I want a proposal that they’re moved to the South of England, preferably the Thames and see what the “locals” would think of that, I believe they would be up in arms.

    114. manandboy says:

      I didn’t enjoy the debate,
      as I thought it was too ill mannered,
      with barely any courtesy or respect.

      A bad example of the people who represent us.

      I think Nicola must feel that she is at a disadvantage
      because she is First Minister and must show some dignity.
      Murphy & Coburn simply have none to show.

      I was relieved to see the layout for I had feared for Nicola
      had she been between a rock and a hard place,
      viz. between Coburn and Murphy.

      However Willie Rennie regularly spoke through Nicola
      while she was speaking, and in a rather disrespectful way.

      The quicker he is out of Holyrood the better-
      same with Ruthie Davidson of the 1800 votes.
      Ruth Davidson describing the UK as ‘our country’
      was more than a slip of the tongue.

      I won’t be watching again.

    115. Tamson says:

      I think the SNP are playing the 2nd referendum issue wrong. They should be using it as a stick to beat the Unionist parties.

      The line should be “Give Scotland FFA and we’ll take it off the table. That’s what 2/3eds of Scottish voters want as a minimum.”

    116. Free Scotland says:

      If James Cook was the chair, wouldn’t things have worked out better if they’d just used … well, … a chair?

    117. Robert Peffers says:

      @Onwards says: 9 April, 2015 at 12:08 am:

      ” … The whole point about FFA is that it enables Scotland to compete with London and the South, over the long term.”

      You know as do I that, “The Establishment”, will never allow FFA for the very good reason, (from their Point of View), that it immediately exposes the size of the subsidy we Scots have always paid to be part of this, (so called), union that in fact has never actually been a union but the annexing of the KINGDOM of Scotland by the KINGDOM of England. You will note it is titled, “The United Kingdom”, but all Establishment wallahs perversely always refer to it as, “The Country”.

      We even had the only token Tory Overlord, David Mundell, quote from a Civil Service report informing we upstart and troublesome Scots that, “The Treaty of Union EXTINGUISHED the Kingdom of Scotland and renamed the Kingdom of England as, “The United Kingdom”.

      The verbal prestidigitation is continued as they propagandize the Establishment by organizing it one way but speak and write of it in another way. The propaganda works as the people just accept what they say without question.

      The Treaty of Union has only two signatory Kingdoms for the good reason that in 1706/7 there were only two remaining kingdoms in Britain. The Welsh Princedom having been annexed by English Kingdom in 1284 and the Irish Kingdom in 1542. The English had been spinning the lie, for 104 years, of a Union of the Crowns while both Kingdoms remained independent and the Jacobite wars ran from 1688 until 1745 over that little set of Establishment lies.

      So look now at the reality and the lies today. There is no more bipartite united Kingdom as the Establishment has made indeed Extinguished the former two partner union of Kingdoms and replaced it with the de facto Parliament of the Country of England that indeed has renamed itself as, “The United Kingdom Parliament”, at Westminster but is the de facto Parliament of the Country of England now devolving English powers to ther other three countries.

      Note the many claims made by the Establishment that the Oil & gas price fall has destroyed the Scottish Economy. This is utter spin and lies. The reason being that the entire oil & gas revenue is collected by Westminster as being from, “Extra-Regio Territory”, and not a penny of it is directly added to the Scottish government’s income. Not only that but they do not credit the 95% of that revenue from Scottish waters as nominally Scottish revenues but, just for the UK’s books, they allow an 8.4% by UK population ration as being earned by Scotland ignoring the actual 95% that actually is from Scotland.

      In no way will they ever agree to FFA for that knocks the centuries old propaganda on the head. How the hell can a fall in the Extra Regio Territories contribution to the Treasury harm the Scottish economy that gets not a single penny of it? The loser when the prices drops can only be the Treasury of the de facto parliament of England that takes every penny of it.

    118. Geoff Huijer says:

      When Murphy is just allowed to stand and lie unchallenged I just despair and don’t see the point in these ‘debates’.

    119. Tam Jardine says:

      I awoke to a strange dream this morning. One minute someone on radio 4 was talking about FFA and the black hole in Scotland’s petro-economy with the low oil price. Then another voice began talking about oil found in shale off the south of England.

      It must have been a dream as nobody pointed out how no one would want to extract this worthless black gunk from southern waters when the price of oil was so low?

      Strange dream. Anyone else have the same one?

    120. almannysbunnet says:

      Murphy’s debating style, if it can be called debating, seems to be, repeat lot’s of bullet points over and over, loop style, until you get some reaction. The problem is, if he gets any applause he appears startled and a silly wee smirk appears. You can then see his wee brain in a bit of turmoil as his eyes and eyebrows go off in different directions, “what the fuck did I just say?” If he gets a negative reaction it is a sight to behold. He gets that Ceausescu look, you know the one, where he’s out on the balcony and his subjects start booing and he’s looking up at the sky wondering “what’s that noise, I’ve never heard that before.”

      You can see Murphy’s face thinking out loud and once you get this it’s quite entertaining. His face probably took on this look of incomprehension as he sat one of his many finals.

    121. galamcennalath says:

      Grouse Beater says:
      “Excellent article here rubbishing England’s latterday colonial nationalism”

      I agree, excellent. It’s good to read a totally different take on the state of UK politics which hits the nail nicely. English voters have a long way to go to catch up on Scottish.

      It is very sad that the only movement to appear in England with a change agenda is UKIP. It’s just another top down old boys political club. England needs some grassroots driven change.

      The referendum, even with its No win, may still have achieved a great deal in terms of bottom up politics.

    122. HandandShrimp says:

      From a couple of clips I have seen from last night I fear Jim may be dipping his toe into the pool of anger management issues.

      I know no one can help the way they look but he is one scary looking dude. He reminds me of the ghostly preacher Kane from the Poltergeist.

    123. Ken500 says:

      Scotland has Billions more Oil reserves which we are told is worthless.

      They find a puddle in the South and they are ecstatic.

    124. almannysbunnet says:

      @Tam Jardine says:
      9 April, 2015 at 8:40 am
      “Then another voice began talking about oil found in shale off the south of England.”
      Believe it or not it’s true but it hasn’t just been discovered. It was discovered about 100 years ago at a place called Wytch farm in Dorset. BP didn’t realize how big it was until 1970 when a young geologist pointed something out to them. The oil had been flowing at a constant, if low, flowrate with no drop in pressure for about 80 years. What did this tell them? Their wee oil well was being fed by a much bigger reservoir. They then drilled extensively in the area and it is now the biggest onshore oilfield in Western Europe. I kid you not. You might wonder why this is relatively unknown outside of the oilfield community?

    125. Taranaich says:

      Speaking of debates, I attended one last night. Here’s the report:

      https://wildernessofpeace.wordpress.com/2015/04/09/inverclyde-debate-a-recap/

      Highlight has to be Iain McKenzie making a gigantic hash of the “Nuclear Socialist dilemma”:

      McKenzie: I abhor nuclear weapons, I believe in multilateral nuclear disarmament, I want to see a world without nuclear weapons, but we have to put our nation’s safety first.
      Heckler: But how will we defend ourselves without nuclear weapons? What about jobs? What about punching above our weight?
      McKenzie: Hey, I didn’t say I wanted to get rid of nuclear weapons!

      This is what happens when you try to appeal to the anti-nuclear crowd while still retaining nuclear weapons.

    126. Wee Alex says:

      Ruth Davidson was very clever in extracting an unequivocal answer from Nicola on Trident.

      She knows only too well that a majority of Labour candidates probably oppose the renewal. They have kept their true feelings hidden to allow Milliband the best chance of success.

      Looking at the Tory “outrage” in this mornings papers, I suspect this is seen as Labours Achilles heel.

      Just watch the Tories at a local level, mainly in England now challenge Labour candidates to support Trident. Perhaps a CND member could tell us how much public support there is for renewal down south, I suspect they have been seduced by this virility symbol.

      As for Scotand, Labour candidates could gain support if they had the courage to oppose renewal, ain’t gonna happen of course.

    127. caz-m says:

      Pay back time.

      Red Tory, Brian Taylor of BBC Scotland must think his world is collapsing all around him. His beloved Dundee Labour Party is going down the pan, along with is football team, Dundee United, gubbed AGAIN last night.

      It’s the wrath of God, Brian, for all those porkies you have been telling us on behalf of BBC Scotland.

    128. Stoker says:

      BBC debate – utterly dire display of blatant bullying.

      Cooke should be thoroughly ashamed of his part in it.

      Repeatedly allowing the obnoxious tag-team of LibLabKippers to talk and shout at and over Nicola was nothing short of disgraceful.

      Not one of these turds attacking Nicola are in any position to offer Scotland anything substantial because they’re all obnoxious branch managers doing their London masters dirty work.

      These b@st@rds at the BBC think they are being clever but the watching world could all see exactly what was going on.

      The BBC – Tadgers & Co – Experts in corruption and bullying.

    129. Les Wilson says:

      Murphy was google eyed all through this, with an almost mad look, mouthy and allowed to interfere with anything he disagreed with.He was truly frightened, and you can see it by his actions.

      Cooke,was pretending to be impartial, yet still allowed Smurf to intercede at will,this on it’s own shows a bias.

    130. X_Sticks says:

      Comments are open on the debate on the bbc:

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-2015-scotland-32222806?comments

      As usual its open to the whole UK so looks like the zoomers are out already.

    131. DerekM says:

      i agree totally Stu, any participant who likes the way the Scottish debates are set up cant debate,thats why all Scottish debates have been the way they are ,at first it was to hinder Eck as they thought he was the big player debate wise in the SNP, they hadnt figured on Nicola being even better or they would have messed with the REAL party leaders debate as well, and what we have seen the past week is a damage limitation exercises of misdirection,smears and look squirrels.

      They cannot let Nicola pull them into a debate or she will maul them,they all witnessed what she did in the indyref debates and are bricking it, cant blame them after she won the REAL party leaders debate and gave their bosses a doing.
      Chickens the lot of them big yellow streak ,poor Nicola nobody wants to play with her at talk the truth.

    132. Ali says:

      As many have said previously — are these debates/debacles/rammies actually worth having. TBH i switched off after about 15 mins, the same old, same old, same old repetition. They repeat more times than Top Gear on the telly.

      Some of the public might find the shouting and bawling entertaining, but this isn’t about entertainments– its about our country whatever any individual conceives that to be. Its true debate we need, so the electorate can make an informed choice AND hopefully see through the lies and deceit.

      Politics really is in a mess, this GE has proven that beyond reasonable doubt and found it guilty as charged but i fear the sentence will be “more of the same”.

      ohh well lets march on regardless towards the GE and hope that this might be the last time we as Scot’s need to bother ourselves with anymore WM GE’s nonsense.

    133. Rob Royston says:

      Well, I’m glad that the control of microphones has been raised. I said to my wife last night that I was sure that they were turning up Murphy’s mike when he started talking over the others and turning the speaker’s down.
      It was more obvious when Sturgeon was speaking.

    134. Clootie says:

      We still have things going through project development without new finds to come on line.

      The Bentley field is planned with a phased development. The first phase development, focused on the northern area of the field will be followed by a second phase approximately five years later, which will provide additional capacity for the first phase development wells, as well as accessing the southern area of the field. It is expected that first phase development will start in 2015 with production starting in 2018.(257million bbls recoverable)

      http://www.businessforscotland.co.uk/clair-ridge-and-scotlands-new-oil-boom/

      https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CCYQFjAB&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.hurricaneenergy.com%2FExpertise%2FProcess%2FDevelopment%2F&ei=QTcmVaDXEoTcarnYgOgN&usg=AFQjCNHsy1PqYJ5ti7ckBZCXtiD7XAg0eA

    135. Stoker says:

      @ almannysbunnet (9.03am).

      Thanks for that post to Tam Jardine.

      One of the things that never ceases to amaze me, and why i love this site so much, you are guaranteed to learn something from it every single day.

    136. HandandShrimp says:

      Heard Brian Taylor on the radio this morning. He seemed to be saying that Nicola dealt very well with the referendum issue. Given that the headlines this morning on the news stands seem to be Reverend (I’ve seen the light hallelujah) Kane’s Scotland is too wee, too poor rant last night and that if we had Devo Max we would be eating cardboard and sleeping in the gutter I’m guessing that the Unionists feel there is limited mileage in the referendum issue.

      New scares and new lies 🙂

    137. Mosstrooper says:

      Radio 4 this morning was full of SNP mentions and direct attacks about whether Lab would go into agreement with SNP over the renewal of Trident.

      We have gone from SNP? who? what? oh, hahaha to SNP! oh my GOD the end of the world, the enemy is upon us AAARRGGHH!

      This is great. Boy am I glad to have lived to be part of this.

    138. Swami Backverandah says:

      The USA Gov has made it clear that they’re not too exercised by MoD reductions to conventional troops, but would look unfavourably on any change to their special relationship with UK’s spooks and nukes.
      Given that SNP redlines re Trident replacement, but Miliband ( and backers) support, even though backbenchers revolt, will any case-by-case scenario of SNP support for a minority Labour Gov include the possibility of Miliband replacement.

      Five years is a long time in politics.

    139. Robert Peffers says:

      Wah-hey!

      Just listening to Radio Scotland – “Sorry Ronnie we have to move on”. So what was it Ronnie was saying that he had to be cut-off so quickly?

      He was exposing the myth of the Oil & Gas revenues affecting Scotland and the myth of the Barnett Formula. So I suppose Louise White now has sore ears with the producer screaming in her ears – “Get that Ronnie guy off air quick before he tells folk the truth”.

      Oops! Now a, “Bob”, (not me), has been cut-off for he too mentioned Barnett. and we swap to Prof John Curtis and more and more waffle.

      Now they know we are onto the BBC propaganda and they are exposing the Unionist Establishment’s case weakness’.

      Spin! Spin! Spin!

      They are failing to get the propaganda out to the masses and now it’s a limitation exercise to just retain the easily led die hard Labour numpties.

    140. gordoz says:

      @geeo say – Have to laugh ( I noticed on the night she was reading from a script (next to her) like a robot .. hmmm sounds like ‘Greg Moodies – Murphoid’)

      Excellent – now ‘Brit’ plant spotting makes it more fun’; may consider watching the rest now. (EXCELLENT WORK THOUGH)

      How could anyone miss the growling Prof Pennington ! No he’s not BT surely –

    141. Lenny Hartley says:

      O/T England is screwed, they have discovered a billion barrels of oil near to Gatwick Airport about a third recoverable. Poor buggers, mind you good timing on the announcement.

    142. Colin Rippey says:

      @Robert Peffers

      You know as do I that, “The Establishment”, will never allow FFA for the very good reason, (from their Point of View), that it immediately exposes the size of the subsidy we Scots have always paid to be part of this, (so called), union

      Really? Have you per chance done any analysis of the paper that is produced by the Scottish Government each year that details Scotland’s revenue and expenditure?

      Here’s the most recent report’s executive summary:

      Total Public Sector Revenue 2013-14:

      Scottish onshore revenue was estimated as £50.0 billion (8.1 per cent of UK onshore revenue). This represents £9,400 per person, £300 less than the UK average;

      Including a population share of North Sea revenue, the estimate is £50.4 billion (8.1 per cent of UK). This represents £9,400 per person, £300 less than the UK average.

      Including an illustrative geographic share of North Sea revenue, total public sector revenue is estimated at £54.0 billion (8.6 per cent of UK public sector revenue). This represents £10,100 per person, £400 more than the UK average.

      Total Public Sector Expenditure 2013-14

      Total expenditure for the benefit of Scotland by the Scottish Government, UK Government, and all other parts of the public sector was £66.4 billion. This is equivalent to 9.2 per cent of total UK public sector expenditure, and £12,500 per head.

      Current Budget Balance 2013-14

      This is the difference between current revenue and current expenditure (i.e. excluding capital investment). The current budget balance:

      Excluding North Sea revenue, was a deficit of £13.8 billion (10.3 per cent of GDP).

      Including a population share of North Sea revenue, was a deficit of £13.4 billion (9.8 per cent of GDP).

      Including an illustrative geographic share of North Sea revenue, was a deficit of £9.8 billion (6.4 per cent of GDP).

      For the UK, was a deficit of £71.5 billion (4.1 per cent of GDP)

      Net Fiscal Balance 2013-14

      This is the difference between current revenue and total public sector expenditure including capital investment. The net fiscal balance:

      Excluding North Sea revenue, was a deficit of £16.4 billion (12.2 per cent of GDP).

      Including a population share of North Sea revenue, was a deficit of £16.0 billion (11.7 per cent of GDP).

      Including an illustrative geographic share of North Sea revenue, was a deficit of £12.4 billion (8.1 per cent of GDP).

      For the UK, was a deficit of 97.3 billion (5.6 per cent of GDP).

      http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2015/03/1422

      This is the stark reality of Full Fiscal Autonomy, Scotland would have a pretty big shortfall if it were to fund itself purely from it’s own revenue.

      The figures above are for 2013-2014 when the price of oil was above $100 per barrel, the figures for 2014-2015 are going to present even more challenges due to the drop in oil price.

      The main thing would be that Holyrood could choose to implement its own policies on tax and spending and might be able to bridge the funding gap with skilful management of the economy, but it would be a very difficult challenge given that the projected funding gap is in the region of over £7 billion pounds.

    143. HandandShrimp says:

      Lenny

      I don’t think is a third, geologist on the radio said 10% because of the way it is locked in rocks. However, still a tidy amount. However the Weald is a lovely spot bang where the all the stockbrokers live. I am sure they all know what an on shore oil site looks like. The rigs, the burn off, the mess, the traffic. A refinery in all probability.

      The house prices! For the love of humanity won’t anyone think of the house prices! Of course oil is a terrible curse and will cripple the economy of the SE.

    144. desimond says:

      Nicola and Patricks only errors last night…actually answering the actual question posed.

      Oil and Gas wont.last forever..what would you do to prepare Scotland and Aberdeen for this eventuality?”

      Nicola: invest in more Renewables Tech
      Patrick: More Renewables now

      Labour: SNP mad, SNP bad, Pooling and sharing some Mansion tax millions(no costings given)

      Lib Dems: if we’d voted YES we would be bankrupt(is that scotland or the UK Wullie?)

      Ruth: I told Nicola oil prediction was too high..go me!

      Coburn: SNP would be calling IMF

    145. orri says:

      Given our nuclear capability is privatised and the majority of the money is poured into american pockets it’s little wonder the USA is happy for us to continue to fail to reach the 2% of GDP spending on conventional forces required of us by being members of NATO.

      That 2% on conventional forces is what we should insist on being Scotland’s contribution under Devo-Max. Nothing towards nukes. As things stand the only way the UK can punch above it’s weight is by using weapons reserved for a last resort. We’re deploying reserves for specialised task on a permanent basis at their full civilian salaries. We’ve cut back on the regular forces who would otherwise be filling those roles. Ever wonder what happened to Army recruiting posters claiming you can earn a trade? As far as the Army goes all the regulars consist of infantry.

    146. heedtracker says:

      BBC going massive with massive oil discovery in south east but this is such a cynical nasty outfit really going after the SNP now.

      Its not merely that this 100bn barrell oil find is frack oil, its been common oil industry and geology knowledge for generations. If you go with this giant BBC fraud, there are giant frackable oil fields under vast areas of the British isles, from Scotland’s central belt through the English Midlands to right under the Home counties.

      Pulling out frack oil fraud like this, just makes it clear the Vote Slab or else BBC are as bat shit crazy as creepy old Murphy now.

      They’ll probably dump it quickly once it’s out there and can be used by all the usual UKOK ("Quizmaster" - Ed)s like BBC Scotland and the Daily Record crew.

    147. Robert Peffers says:

      @caz-m says: 9 April, 2015 at 8:07 am:

      “Are BBC Scotland presenters on the promise of a tenner every time they mention the words, “referendum” or “Independence”.”

      Not on what’s going on this morning on Radio Scotland with
      Louise White losing out attempting to cut out all mentions of the Block-Grant, Barnett Formula and the myth that the, “Extra-Regio-Territory”, oil & gas revenues fluctuations affects the Scottish funding.

      So far this morning every caller who has mentioned any of those subjects has seen the caller cut-short and Curtis called into action to blether until Louise say, “we will have to go back to callers and whatever Curtis has chuntered on about has been as informative as blue screen on a computer.

      It is so obvious as to attract attention to the total uselessness of the entire BBC Scotland clamjamphrie.

      Whoops!
      Now the Prof is getting pelters again. At last the listening public is getting wised up.
      Oops! Louise at it again trying to field another attack upon the Union and failing – again.

      “And now we go to Elizabeth in Aberdeen”.

      This is entertainment of the highest order. I guess Louise White now has her jaikit on a shoogle cadle.

      Damage Limitations are the order of the day now.
      Seems fewer and fewer Scots are being taken in by the BBC propaganda.

    148. Edward says:

      Now that Sussex has discovered 100 billion barrels of oil in an are near Gatwick.

      This will mean good revenues for the folk in that area and will also mean that they will be happy to share their good fortune with Scots, who have been pooling and sharing for the last 40 years!

      Think Murphy should be pressed on that as well as any of your favourite(sic) Tory’s and see them squirm

    149. desimond says:

      @Edward

      BBC Tomorrow reports:

      Sudden house price fall near Gatwick severely impacts Labours Mansion Tax revenue plans.

      1000 more Scottish Nurses plans on hold

    150. Terry says:

      @tam jardine,

      Spookily I had the same dream too. Lots of black liquid gold under gatwick. I was very confused as I thought oil was a curse.?

      Laughter aside it will only serve to hasten Indy. Here’s hoping. !

    151. Illy says:

      Sigh.

      Why everyone seems mired in 70’s tech for these ‘debates’ I don’t know.

      What you need is simple (beyond the chair having the mute button for everyone’s mics):
      Each politician has a TV screen behind them, with its sound hooked up to their mic, a fish in their ear, and a team behind the scenes setting up their screen with information, clips, etc… and feeding their politician facts and numbers when needed. (Essentially acting as a set of super-notes)

      There’s no reason for these things to be a memory game, and there’s no reason to for participants not be able to throw up “here’s you saying you’re against X, where X is what you just claimed to support” clips. (Or the BBC’s own explination of how hung parliments work)

    152. desimond says:

      Regards the Mansion Tax:

      Is it judged on Council Tax bandings?

      Is it owners or tenants due to pay it?

      How will money be recovered..if locally..how much will it cost to admin up to Westminster or will local budgets be slashed beforehand?

      How many MPs will flip homes to avoid it?

      Does it apply to any level of Royal Family dwelling?

      Does it apply if owned by a non UK company (in or out of EU may raise supplementary questions)

    153. snode1965 says:

      After watching the back to back debates, why are Lab / Lib /Tory so desperate to mock / belittle / alienate 45% of the voting population?

    154. Fiona says:

      @ Colin Rippey

      Yes, I have read it.

      The fundamental problem with this is that it presumes that things will be just the same if Scotland gets FFA. They won’t. The outcomes at present are predicated on a neoliberal analysis which pretends that debt and deficit are actually important: they are not at present. However all parties subscribe to the view that they are, including SNP. So SNP have proposed a plan which still addresses long term debt reduction, while increasing public spending by a small amount now.

      The reason that matters is quite simple: an economy is nothing like a household. Cutting government debt means increasing private sector debt, for the balance must sum to zero. This is the plan, as the OBR projections clearly show. (Leaving aside the potential for a positive trade balance, which is properly part of the zero sum game, but does not help because the trade balance is disastrous at present and for rUK would be a lot worse if Scotland were independent)

      A secondary problem is tellingly revealed in this phrase from the part you quote

      Total expenditure for the benefit of Scotland by the Scottish Government, UK Government, and all other parts of the public sector (my bolding)

      These are not real figures, which apparently are not available, because they are not disaggregated. But it is not at all clear what benefit Scotland gets out of HS2, or major infrastructure projects in London, or the interest on debt paid by the UK government as a matter of choice not necessity, or trident, and on and on. Yet a population share of all of these things is attributed as part of Scottish expenditure. Can you put a figure on those things? What difference does it make to the sums you quote?

      Another problem is that the “income” attributed to Scotland is understated because much is routed through companies with headquarters in other parts of rUK and so is not reflected in the Scottish accounts. I can’t put a figure on that, and I don’t suppose you can either. But if you can what difference does that make to the sums you quote?

    155. ClanDonald says:

      Can someone ask the unionist parties “if Scotland’s contribution to the Treasury is lower due to the lower oil price and dwindling stocks will the treasury guarantee to keep giving Scotland the current amount of spending forever to compensate.”

      They will have to guarantee yes. If they answer “No, Scotland’s pocket money will fall if its contribution falls” then ANY argument against FFA or devo-max instantly collapses. It will shut them up about the oil price too.

      Usually I point out to people that the figures prove that Scotland has contributed more than it gets back for the last 34 years. Before that there are no records. The likelihood is that Westminster will NEVER subsidise us, if the oil runs out we’ll still get less back than we put in.

    156. rongorongo says:

      It looked like BBC Scotland made the bizarre decision of treating the debate like studio-based discussion show. An hour might be fine for an edited programme but it was way too short a slot for the audience and moderator to properly grill such a large panel in a “live” show. Julie Etchingham’s moderation of last week’s actual leaders debate showed that it is possible to pull the task off. She did this by standing in front of the panel, adopting the air and attire of a fierce dentist, and by restricting her contributions to be those which were necessary to control the debate. Whether it was James Cooke’s outsized ego or the naivety of the producers that led to the decision of putting him right up there with the panel – it was a poor idea. You can’t keep control from that position and the point of the debate was for the audience – not James – to be posing the questions.

    157. Jim McIntosh says:

      Didn’t watch either debate because I knew what was going to happen. The branch leaders all want to rerun the referendum debate because more people are going to be voting SNP than voted YES, and they need the NO voters back.

      If I were Nicola’s advisor I would have recommended an opening speech highlighting this. Something along the lines of “The other debaters are going to raise questions regarding our independence strategy, and make promises on WM policies that are already devolved to Scotland, which is totally outside their gift. Remember this when they start talking, and also remember THIS election is about having MPs at WM who are there to get the best deal for Scotland. This is not a referendum debate.”

    158. heedtracker says:

      They’ll probably dump it quickly once it’s out there and can be used by all the usual UKOK (“Quizmaster” – Ed)s like BBC Scotland and the Daily Record crew.

      God knows where (“Quizmaster” – Ed)s came from just there. Jim Murphy it was meant to be but anything goes when it comes to creepy Morphy and even creepier BBC.

    159. K1 says:

      Ronnie
      show off 😉

    160. caz-m says:

      Breaking News:

      South East of England economy collapses after it discovered oil.

    161. almannysbunnet says:

      So Ruth’s question to Nicola on trident was the strings tuning up. Now we have the full orchestra belting out rule Brittania, with Michael Fallon as conductor, this morning. “If weak Ed get’s in, propped up by the crutch of the SNP and red line Nicola, it’s putting the whole of the Western world at risk.” You had me wandering for a wee while Ruthie why you asked Nicola, and asked again, just to clear things up like. Orchestrated, transparent and aided and abetted by the BBC!

    162. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Fiona

      Exactly.

      We have to establish that we want to be independent because we intend to run our economy differently. Any figures arrived at on the basis of a Scottish economy trapped in a bankrupted UK state are entirely irrelevant and we should dismiss them entirely.
      We shouldn’t even discus them – except to point out that they are worthless.

      I return to a point I keep making.
      We have to establish that we are self supporting – with or without oil – and we win. It is as simple as that.
      The whole Better Together campaign was based on having many Scots believe the opposite and that is the basis of the NO vote.

      And it is very easy to prove the point. We just need to apply ourself to it because we realise it is the fundamental question and ignore all the other distractions until we have dealt with this one.

    163. Molly says:

      Sorry I haven’t read all the thread this morning but did any of the audience ask now that Manchester is to get its own budget for health , do they think Westminster will continue to devolve to other cities?

      With that in mind , should Scotland ( the big region at the top depending who you are talking to ) as a country not be entitled to review their funding ?

    164. caz-m says:

      Nicola Sturgeon has to go through another debate in Scotland. BBC Scotland holding a debate in Edinburgh on 3rd May hosted by Glen Campbell.

      The SNP should NEVER have agreed to appear on this debate, four days before we go to the polls.

    165. Les Wilson says:

      desimond says:

      I really doubt that labour uk would pass this, it would effect their votes in England.Also,I would suggest the House of Lords would chuck it out.Had it been only for English votes then maybe, just maybe get through.

      But Murphy’s proclamation of how Scots would benefit will, due to the virulent Media, make it toxic.

    166. Patrick Roden says:

      As for the STV debate plant:

      The young womans scripted answer seemed strange at the time, so people have went looking to see if they can find her.

      That picture looks like the same woman to me and it was at a Jim Murphy Rally, just a couple of days before the debate.

      She had a Face-Book page, that was quickly deleted, (always a suspicious move, why not laugh and say it’s not me guys?)

      Ponsonby said at the beginning of the debate, that a lot of the members were undecided yet he chose just one person to ask if anyone’s arguments had helped her make her mind up.

      People mentioned straight after the debate that Jim seemed to be signalling to someone in the audience, with his facial expressions.

      STV and in particular Ponsonby will have some serious questions to ask.

      Labour…I expect nothing else!

    167. bookie from hell says:

      Labour—Scottish Nationalism is bad

      Ed this morning

      “I’m fighting for the British people”

    168. Onwards says:

      @Robert Peffers , are you implying if we ever get further devolved taxes then it shouldn’t include the oil revenues?

      I agree it is unlikely that UK parties will ever agree to Devo Max willingly.
      The only chance we have of getting significant new powers is if the SNP holds the balance of power.

    169. desimond says:

      @Molly
      Glasgow Council are already trying to work the same angle as Manchester..even joining up to G(C)8 style group with Southern counterparts.

      If Labour get in watch Holyrood scope greatly reduce.

      @Les – totally agree. Also Andrew Neil warned Labour their Mansion Tax math will be torn apart very soon. I cant wait.

      Noticed Coburn ridiculing unelected EU bodies making decisions…now do UKIP favour The House of Lords?

    170. caz-m says:

      Robert Peffers

      Regarding the BBC Scotland phone-in, it took about half an hour into the show before a genuine SNP supporter got through.

      Fair and balanced BBC Scotland. Not.

      And on last night’s debate, why was James Cook stuck right in the middle of the participants. I am beginning to think wee Cookie is on some kind of ego trip. He is becoming the story, which is bad.

      ITV UK debate got it just about as right as you could possibly get it, under the circumstances.

    171. Ekguy says:

      England discovers oil? That’s them buggered then, What with the volativity of oil prices and all.

      Best just leave it where it is. Safer all round.

    172. Colin Rippey says:

      @Fiona

      The outcomes at present are predicated on a neoliberal analysis which pretends that debt and deficit are actually important: they are not at present.

      Errr, okay, that’s one way of looking at it I suppose, when would debt and deficit be important then? Wonder if the citizens of Greece, Portugal, and Ireland would agree with you.

      The reason that matters is quite simple: an economy is nothing like a household. Cutting government debt means increasing private sector debt, for the balance must sum to zero.

      Only in a closed economic system – Scotland does not exist in a closed economic system, Scotland exists in a global economic system. Take the reverse, are you saying that in countries that have no national debt but have a surplus, the private sector in those countries has a debt?

      But…the debt and the deficit are not what is at the heart of FFA – it’s the funding gap that would arise.

      Can you take the figures from the report and come up with £7 billion that is reckoned to be the funding gap? I can’t and I doubt anyone could.

      As I mentioned above, Holyrood would have the capability to make changes to revenue and expenditure, they could implement policies that increase revenue such as reducing corporation tax in the hope that more business invest in Scotland. Holyrood could also choose to cut spending (shock horror).

      But would Holyrood be able to bridge a £7 billion gap given that the overall budget is only £64 billion?

    173. marydoll says:

      I agree with Jim McIntosh……Nicola should say in her opening remarks that its not a referendum debate and that she’s there to ‘discuss’ GE 2015 matters

    174. X_Sticks says:

      @almannysbunnet

      Yup, the Trident question is obviously a british establishment setup with collusion of the bbc and the tory party.

      I have to say their fear and smear campaign is being very well orchestrated. Wonder who the brains behind it are.

    175. Glamaig says:

      @Colin Rippey

      So, if Scotland is subsidised by the rest of the UK, surely its in Westminster’s interest to cast us adrift?

      Why does the UK want to keep this terrible burden on their booming economy? Because they love us so much?

      Never mind all the endless economic stats, there is a glaring logical flaw in the argument that Scotland is a drain on the UK yet must not be allowed to go.

      Any explanation?

    176. Les Wilson says:

      When you really look at these “Scottish” debates, as they in the main result in a torrent of anti SNP comments, fed by the ” mediator”. Given that many only Scottish issues arise, it is a chance to bully the SNP, and that is the aim.

      The media are playing up Labour against the SNP hence allowing Murphy’s non stop ravings. Aided and abetted by the other “Scottish” parties.

      This is a media plan to discredit the SNP, end of.

    177. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

      So glad I cancelled my TV licence on 19th September.

    178. Robert Peffers says:

      @Broch Landers says: 9 April, 2015 at 12:29 am:

      All well made points, Broch Landers except for : –

      ” … Presenter/format/editing … usual stuff. Yes, it was a rammy. Hard to tell if by design or accident.”

      You are talking about the BBC here. No organization in the entire World has more experience in either Radio or TV Broadcasting than the BBC – they were into both before others knew you could send voice signals through the air and they were the first to broadcast public TV broadcasts.

      Make no mistakes the BBC know exactly what they are doing. From what I heard this morning on Radio Scotland the Scottish public are now also becoming well aware of exactly what the BBC are doing.

      Louise White was cutting aware people off air more than I can ever before remember. What’s more doing it badly. For those who know how a studio works it was quite obvious there were producers voices screaming in her ear, “Get that bloody caller off-air now”. The way she then called upon the old hack Curtice so often was a dead giveaway. Laughably she sometimes cut a caller’s point short only to cut to yet another the BBC wanted off-air.

      I’ve never heard it done quite so often nor quite so badly as this morning’s episode. Remember that in spite of the claims that the programme is live the truth is it isn’t quite live. There is a time delay so that the production team get the programme first to allow time to cut out things they do not want to be broadcast.

      The fact they were struggling to filter out so many callers that they had to cut short those with opinions the producers didn’t like indicates they were overrun by such callers.

      Scots are waking up to BBC Establishment propaganda and when enough of them do – the Establishment’s game is over. Don’t expect them to go away, though. The Establishment down south have been at this propaganda game since around 54 BC.

    179. DerekM says:

      o/t a bit

      UKIP are just a front party for the conservatives ,well how do you stop the electorate from thinking your party is the most right wing? yea you got it you create an ultra right wing party and send them out with a script Enoch Powell would be proud off.

      Then you condemn them as being fruitcakes and swivel eyed loons but secretly help them get plenty of air time on the BBC to help with your cunning plan to get out of Europe without having to muddy the conservative brand.

      Never underestimate the tories and this is not the first time they have let loose an ultra right wing party,UKIP will be dead if the tories get 5 more years and put us into an in out referendum over Europe ,their mission complete as they all shuffle back into tory ranks leaving just the bangers to continue.

    180. Robert Peffers says:

      @Casper1066 says: 9 April, 2015 at 1:26 am:

      ” … I also heard this was not a live debate, it was recorded earlier, I wonder what was cut out?”

      Matter of fact, Casper1066, there has not been a true live show for quite a considerable time. There is a built in delay so that a production team can make quick cuts to avoid things the broadcaster does not wish to go out on the air. How else did you think they could bleep out bad language in, “LIVE”, shows?.

      However, this mornings Radio Scotland was hilarious. A steady succession of callers the production team wanted off air. Trouble was they had so many, too close together, that they were cutting one caller short but then moving to yet another they didn’t want to hear.

      When that happens even the most unaware audience members begin to smell the BBC rat. They also got in a fankle cutting away from unwelcome callers to Prof Curtice who also seemed more out of his depth than usual. I cannot remember when I enjoyed a BBC Radio Scotland Programme more.

    181. Colin Rippey says:

      @Dave McEwan Hill

      We have to establish that we want to be independent because we intend to run our economy differently. Any figures arrived at on the basis of a Scottish economy trapped in a bankrupted UK state are entirely irrelevant and we should dismiss them entirely.
      We shouldn’t even discus them – except to point out that they are worthless.

      Congratulations, you win the prize for the most fanatical response to cold hard facts.

      We shouldn’t even discuss them

      Wow, talk about head in the sand! You know I come to this website to challenge my own views, to read the thoughts of others as it is clear that no one has the right answers, and that there are differing points of view across all walks of life.

      Sometimes I read an opinion from someone else and I think “I never thought about it that way” and my thinking changes. But I don’t think I’ve ever had the notion that someone else’s views are worthless (unless it’s with nutcase religious fanatics such as The Church of Scientology – don’t tell me you’re a member?).

    182. KennyR says:

      Still strongly believe these leaders debates should adopt a ‘University Challenge’ format of presentation, with starter for 10, split screen presentation, and voiceover announcements.

    183. Macart says:

      Yeah, black holes, deficit, debt. All very worrying and true to be sure. The whole UK has this problem. The solution according to the three parties currently running UK politics is austerity. That would be the three parties whose economic model caused the problem in the first place.

      And their solution to the problem they created is to be taken on trust by the electorate? Honest folks, if you give us just one more chance… etc

      The question isn’t whys and wherefores anymore. The question is who has the most credible plan to restructure the economy and haul the population out of said black hole? Who do the population trust with those economic levers to make the right decisions? Who do you trust with your resources, tax monies and infrastructure?

      Now maybe just me but I’d say the establishment parties have had a fair old crack at the whip over the past forty or fifty years with those powers and we are where precisely? Correcto, up to our arses in debt and misery, with an ever widening rich poor gap. Insanity really is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

    184. Colin Rippey says:

      @Glamaig

      I totally agree with you on this. To me there was always a logical reason why the Labour party wanted to retain Scotland in the union as it could (in the past at least) rely upon a large block of Labour MPs in Westminster. That might change in future of course.

      For the it’s always been a very odd thing that the Tories would want to retain Scotland in the union. Other than their name is “The Conservative and Unionist Party” there is no logical reason to me that the Tories would want to retain Scotland.

      The results of Westminster elections I believe tend not to be influenced “too much” by Scotland’s results, but I have always thought that the Tories should look to Scotland as a block of MPs that will *never* vote for them so why keep the union?

      But…are there other arguments for the Tories to retain the union over and above economics? Perhaps, but you’d have to ask a Tory to explain and sorry that’s not me.

    185. Grouse Beater says:

      Too many Cooks spoil the broth:

      Cook Caught in a Half-Nelson: http://wp.me/p4fd9j-1ai

    186. K1 says:

      Ronnie (4amish)

      Show off 😉

    187. Glamaig says:

      @Colin Rippey 11:37am

      What Dave is saying seems entirely reasonable to me.

      What you are doing is a bit like comparing the finances of an employee who is continually getting pay-cuts from a struggling employer, with the finances of that same person were he to become self-employed.

      To take the analogy further, that employer is paying his directors far too much, has a bloated admin department, and spends far too much money invading other countries.

    188. Robert Peffers says:

      @Brian Nicholson says: 9 April, 2015 at 2:40 am:

      ” … Now, before you start throwing wood on my roasting fire, you need to admit Jim Murphy got in a few blows”

      Well no, Brian, I am under no obligation to admit Murphy got in a few blows, unless that is, I deem him to have done so and I don’t..

      Just how are you measuring these blows? By their truth or by the hand-picked studio audience’ reactions? If the former then it may be the blows you deem to have landed may really have missed. If the latter then you may just be a fool. It may even be you take the almost 100% media reviews as an indicator of landed blows but these too are designed to mislead you.

      Murphy only seemed to land blows if you believed his lies and misdirection’s. Not one single point made by Murphy could not have been disproven if the BBC were not directing the show to allow the studio audience and hard of thinking to think so. This is the tragic facts of United Kingdom Politics and it always has been – until now.

      Debate is not won by lies, loud voices nor by a biased chairperson. It is won by truth, honesty and integrity. What seems like a good point to the watcher will soon be sussed out and opinion changed when the watcher is made aware of the facts.

    189. Macnakamure says:

      After this morning, there can be no doubt that Louise with an e is the BBC.

    190. Fiona says:


      Colin Rippey says:
      9 April, 2015 at 10:59 am
      @Fiona

      The outcomes at present are predicated on a neoliberal analysis which pretends that debt and deficit are actually important: they are not at present.

      Errr, okay, that’s one way of looking at it I suppose, when would debt and deficit be important then? Wonder if the citizens of Greece, Portugal, and Ireland would agree with you.

      Citizens of Greece etc do not have sovereign currency and so of course it is important for them. But we are not talking about them, we are talking about the UK, and we do have a sovereign currency.

      It would become important, sort of, if the economy was producing at full capacity, which it quite clearly is not, and quite clearly is never intended to be under the neoliberal scheme.

      The reason that matters is quite simple: an economy is nothing like a household. Cutting government debt means increasing private sector debt, for the balance must sum to zero.

      Only in a closed economic system – Scotland does not exist in a closed economic system, Scotland exists in a global economic system. Take the reverse, are you saying that in countries that have no national debt but have a surplus, the private sector in those countries has a debt?

      I specifically stated that I excluded the foreign trade element because it is of no help at all in this discussion, given its parlous state. There are basically 3 elements: public sector, domestic private sector(both households and businesses) and external trade sector (also private). The elements must sum to zero.

      This is oversimplified:If the trade sector is in deficit what that means is that we are spending more on foreign goods than we are earning from selling abroad. So that is pulling money out of the economy. That money can only come from the private domestic sector or from the public sector. If the government breaks even (the much vaunted fiscal balance) it must come from the private domestic sector. If the private domestic sector were in surplus, that might be fine. But it happens that the private domestic sector is in more debt that the public sector at present. So they can only cover that deficit by taking on more debt. More importantly, however, the private sector cannot be in surplus if the public sector is in surplus, given a trade deficit. There is only one pot of money circulating. It is just plain impossible for everyone to make a surplus in financial transactions. Someone must be the buyer, to put it crudely. And a buyer is not making money: he is spending it.

      But…the debt and the deficit are not what is at the heart of FFA – it’s the funding gap that would arise.

      ???????? ~What is a funding gap if it is not a deficit?

      Can you take the figures from the report and come up with £7 billion that is reckoned to be the funding gap? I can’t and I doubt anyone could.

      As I said, the deficit does not matter. ~The reason it does not matter is that the debt does not matter. It is not historically high, but even that does not matter. With a sovereign currency it can always be paid, so long as it is issued in that currency. That is one reason that our borrowing costs are so low, despite “high” debt: does that not strike you as odd if your picture of how this works were correct? You will notice that eurozone countries now enjoy rather low borrowing rates as well, compared to recent times, because the ECB has now decided to act like a proper sovereign with its belated commitment to print money as required. That is no coincidence.

      Our neoliberals have chosen to pretend that this is not so, because it suits their austerity agenda. But they drop the pretence when bailing out banks and they print any amount of money in those circumstances. Which demonstrates the lie at the heart of their song.

      As I mentioned above, Holyrood would have the capability to make changes to revenue and expenditure, they could implement policies that increase revenue such as reducing corporation tax in the hope that more business invest in Scotland. Holyrood could also choose to cut spending (shock horror).

      But would Holyrood be able to bridge a £7 billion gap given that the overall budget is only £64 billion?

      See above

    191. Robert Peffers says:

      @jacksloan2013 says: 9 April, 2015 at 3:19 am:

      … But it backs up their claim that we are, and always were, too poor to be independent and look even Devomax is beyond our wildest financial dreams.”

      That’s absolute claptrap. I’ve already posted the truth and, when known, it is so obviously the truth no other proof is needed.

      Fact one: Every penny of oil & gas revenue is recorded in the books of the UK Treasury as coming from, “Extra-Regio-Territory”. And that is claimed as exclusively a United Kingdom Government asset.

      Fact two: The entire funding of the Scottish Government is by way of the Block Grant. Ergo not a penny of Extra-Regio-Territory revenue is given to Scotland.

      Fact Three: The Scottish Block Grant is decided by adding, (to the average UK per capita funding), the extra funds that represent the extra devolved functions granted to the SG that Englanders get in value of the services provided by the United Kingdom Ministries to Englanders.

      So the truth is the price of oil & gas at the wellhead has no effects upon the Scottish funding as this all goes to Westminster and we get the block grant no matter that wellhead price is current.

    192. Colin Rippey says:

      @Glamaig

      What Dave is saying seems entirely reasonable to me.

      This part:

      We shouldn’t even discus them – except to point out that they are worthless.

      If you think this is reasonable then I suggest you go lookup the definition of reasonable.

      I go back to the main point of FFA – how would Holyrood bridge the funding gap that would exist under FFA.

      What would your suggestions be? What tax policies do you think would stimulate growth? The SNP did have a policy of reducing corporation tax but that has now changed (to be fair that was for an Independent Scotland but could it not be implemented with FFA).

      We’ve now had two metaphors, one on household debt management and another on an employee/employer/director relationship.

      How about some plain speaking – how do you see the funding gap being bridged?

      Should Holyrood increase taxes (why not, why would the vast majority of people in Scotland who vote for progressive parties be against tax increases)?

      Should Holyrood cut spending (unlikely)?

      Should Holyrood try to secure higher borrowing than the Westminster is willing to do (maybe Holyrood proposes to Westminster that it pays a slightly higher interest on the increase borrowing than Westminster does).

      Should Holyrood press ahead with it’s own infrastructure projects – maybe Holyrood says “we’ll has HS3 in Scotland ourselves and run it down to Lancashire/Yorkshire in the hope that the businesses in that part of the country start looking North instead of always South”?

      There could be ways, I’m not hearing any.

    193. Fiona says:

      With FFA, and in the absence of independence and a sovereign currency then the deficit would be covered by borrowing, just as it is in the UK.

      What borrowing does, if you let it, is fund productive investment. In turn that produces jobs and therefore increases government revenue through tax; and demand, through wages; and profit, though the increased demand. It also decreased government expenditure through a reduction in the number of people dependent on benefits etc, which is a consequence of the failure of demand.

    194. Robert Peffers says:

      Just noticed another wee wheeze on Radio Scotland. The question asked of the trotted out BBC, “The Expert”, was,(and I paraphrase), “and what is exactly the number of jobs dependant upon the nuclear deterrent that is based upon the Clyde”?

      He answers, “It is claimed to be around 11,000 jobs at the base”.

      He was not asked what the figure was claimed to be. He was asked what it was.

      Secondly he was NOT asked the employment at the base but what jobs depended upon only Trident.

      The truth is as given in answer to a Scottish CND FOI request.

      http://nuclearinfo.org/article/uk-trident-operational-berths/ministry-defence-reveals-just-520-faslane-jobs-depend-trident

      It is 520 and most of them are contractors not even based on the Clyde.

    195. Colin Rippey says:

      @Robert Peffers

      Fact two: The entire funding of the Scottish Government is by way of the Block Grant. Ergo not a penny of Extra-Regio-Territory revenue is given to Scotland.

      You’re a man keen on facts, can you explain the figures in the Scottish Government’s own expenditure and revenue report, here’s the pertinent bit again:

      Current Budget Balance 2013-14

      This is the difference between current revenue and current expenditure (i.e. excluding capital investment). The current budget balance:

      Excluding North Sea revenue, was a deficit of £13.8 billion (10.3 per cent of GDP).

      Including a population share of North Sea revenue, was a deficit of £13.4 billion (9.8 per cent of GDP).

      Including an illustrative geographic share of North Sea revenue, was a deficit of £9.8 billion (6.4 per cent of GDP).

      For the UK, was a deficit of £71.5 billion (4.1 per cent of GDP)

      Net Fiscal Balance 2013-14

      This is the difference between current revenue and total public sector expenditure including capital investment. The net fiscal balance:

      Excluding North Sea revenue, was a deficit of £16.4 billion (12.2 per cent of GDP).

      Including a population share of North Sea revenue, was a deficit of £16.0 billion (11.7 per cent of GDP).

      Including an illustrative geographic share of North Sea revenue, was a deficit of £12.4 billion (8.1 per cent of GDP).

      For the UK, was a deficit of 97.3 billion (5.6 per cent of GDP).

      This includes Oil & Gas revenue and yet there’s still a big gap between revenue and expenditure.

      This seems to counter your facts, care to explain?

    196. Phil Robertson says:

      Patrick Roden says:
      9 April, 2015 at 10:46 am
      As for the STV debate plant:

      It seems to be agreed generally that she was NOT a plant. You must be disappointed that this misleading info didn’t come from the MSM and that Labour is innocent of your allegation.

    197. Hobbit says:

      Fiona @1223pm, quoting:

      As I said, the deficit does not matter. ~The reason it does not matter is that the debt does not matter. It is not historically high, but even that does not matter. With a sovereign currency it can always be paid, so long as it is issued in that currency.

      Unfortunately, I think Colin has the better of the economic debate here. A sovereign currency could not stop the UK having to go to the IMF in 1976 for an emergency loan. Just as households cannot take on too much debt without the banks, at some point, saying enough is enough; nor, in an open economy such as we face, can nations. And the problem with borrowing any money is that at some point it has to be paid back.

      This was one issue that was not well addressed in the indyref campaign, IMHO. Keep the pound? The practical option, but it would tie an iScotland into rUK monetary policy. Go to the Euro? This used to be Alec Salmond’s idea, but not sure if it is still feasible. Scotland’s own currency? Too fraught an option without resolution of the debt issues.

    198. Robert Peffers says:

      @geeo says: 9 April, 2015 at 2:13 am:

      “I see the labour ‘plant’ scheme was in full swing again.

      The long haired lass who had suddenly changed to labour thanks to ‘Super Jim’s’ performance on tuesday was not all she seemed…(shock surprise).

      https://mobile.twitter.com/YesAlliance59/status/585930896294944769/photo/1

      Hilarious! Geeo – I nearly wet myself with that sudden burst of uncontrollable laughter.

      I clicked your link and got :

      SORRY! THAT PAGE IS NOT AVAILABLE.

      BBC really smack square in the frame today.

    199. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Why can’t she say that this simply isn’t an issue for this election, and future SNP manifesto content will be proposed and debated by their members. It’s a democratic process and not a Sturgeon presidency.”

      That’s what she DID say.

    200. Glamaig says:

      @Colin Rippey

      Care to explain this, given broadly similar oil reserves and population of Scotland compared to Norway?

      http://www.nbim.no/en/

      Norway’s population 4,953,000 (2011)
      Scotland’s population 5,295,000 (2011)

      Norway’s oil reserves 9600 MMbbl
      Scotland’s oil reserves 8640 (90% of UK)

      And how about this
      http://www.oilofscotland.org/MccronereportScottishOffice.pdf

    201. Robert Peffers says:

      @Ken500 says: 9 April, 2015 at 7:01 am:

      “The £54Billion tax revenues raised in Scotland does include Scotland’s geographical share of Oil revenues. Look it up.

      Arrant nonsense, Ken500. The statement made was it is recorded in the United Kingdom Treasury Books as being revenues from, “Extra-Regio-Territory”.

      Yet here you deflect the truth by telling people to Google the Scottish Government’s recording of the Scottish Geographic share.

      The point, and the truth is that the UK Government records and accounts the entire oil & gas revenues as belonging to, and from, other than Scottish geographic territory.

      They eventually do mention, elsewhere, that they credit Scotland with earning only a per capita, (8.4%), of that revenue but in a entirely different context.

      Fact is that if they had really wanted to do things correctly they would have split the UN countries as four devolved countries and given each a per capita block Grant. It is obvious their aim was to make England the master race and every other UK country the subservient slaves.

    202. wee e says:

      The BBC do know how to mute mics, though. Remember the interview with Nicola Sturgeon where they kept muting her mic and switching to a back-of head shot every time she answered a question?

    203. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Colin Rippey at 11.47

      Let me put it in simple sentences for you.

      Economic performance achieved under Scotland’s present constitutional arrangement has nothing to say to Scotland (except to illustrate how not to run an economy).

      Any notion that we want to be independent but want to do things the same way is absurd.

      Any notion that an independent Scotland will be paying for Trident, Foreigh invasions, massive national debt interest payments, renewal of London Underground infrastucture etc etc etc is palpable nonsense.

      Figures for future Scotland based on present UK economic situation,policy and practices is entirely irrelevant and a diversion. We should not waste time even discussing them except perhaps to point out that if a resource rich country of clever educated people needs subsidy after a 300 year union the union is a disaster.

      I have twice taken over bust concerns. All the previous figures showed me was how not to do things.
      Same rules apply here. And there is no need to be offensive

    204. Fiona says:

      Hobbit says:
      9 April, 2015 at 1:13 pm

      Unfortunately, I think Colin has the better of the economic debate here. A sovereign currency could not stop the UK having to go to the IMF in 1976 for an emergency loan. Just as households cannot take on too much debt without the banks, at some point, saying enough is enough; nor, in an open economy such as we face, can nations. And the problem with borrowing any money is that at some point it has to be paid back.

      Not really, for a number of reasons.

      Why did the UK believe it needed IMF funds in 1976? It was not running out of money, since that cannot happen with a sovereign currency. What was happening was that the pound was falling in value against the dollar: the traditional “run on the pound”, as it is described.

      Bear in mind that the Bretton Woods system had only ended in 1971, and even today many have not actually grasped the implications of that. But in 1976 they had no real change of outlook following the end of the system, and the UK had a target of exchange with the dollar of 2:1. Loans from the IMF had been used before (in 1956,1961,1962 and 1967, for example) to keep the pound within that sort of range during the Bretton Woods period, as was necessary with fixed exchange rates, because they are effectively the same as the gold standard, with the dollar replacing gold. It is what the IMF is for (or rather it used to be)

      The problem was at least partially an outcome of the oil crisis of the early 1970’s, which hiked the price of oil very suddenly (it quadrupled in a year). No developed country which was not an oil producer could cope with that, and so there was a major economic shock. As with the 2008 crisis, a global problem is being presented as a British problem and the blame is put on a UK government.

      At least two other things are relevant: the first is that the history of the exchange rate since 1976 demonstrates that the crisis which led to the loan was not a crisis at all, in the terms presented at the time. That can be easily seen by the dollar/pound exchange rate in later years. For example in the crisis of 1976 £1 = $1.80: in 2015 £1 = $1.51. The sky has not fallen. It doesn’t with floating exchange rates, generally.

      But the second is more important, because it relates to the output gap I referred to earlier. Unemployment between 1945 and the oil crisis of 1973 averaged 2%. It is not possible to directly measure an output gap, but unemployment is a good proxy, because an output gap is basically a failure to use all of your productive resources, and manpower is one such resource. It follows that during that period there was no output gap, because unemployment cannot go much below 2% since there are always people who are between jobs, or who have left school and not yet started work, etc. I noted above that in those circumstances it is no good printing money to deal with a problem, because you can’t produce any more stuff for folk to buy: and therefore it will result in inflation. That is not the situation now, however, as the facts show. We have printed £375 billion to bail out the banks, and we have no inflation (allegedly) Yet we have been invited to believe for decades that printing money inevitably does lead to inflation, and that is central to the neoliberal economic fairy tale.

      It is true that unemployment did rise after in 1976 and thereafter. That was inevitable because of the austerity accepted by the UK government as a contingency for the IMF “loan” (plus ca change). But it does not undermine the central argument I am making.

      Since then, and the success of the neoliberal (originally monetarist) tale of economics, full employment as a central policy goal has been replaced by control of inflation, and high unemployment is an integral part of their agenda. It is not an accident, it is by design. Unemployment between 1976 and 1995 averaged 9%, for example. We are now invited to celebrate low unemployment which currently stands at 5.7%. The BofE has said that they would consider raising interest rates if unemployment fell below 7% (though they have since reneged) and that tells you that it is by design.

      As to your final sentence: no. It is a choice for a nation with a sovereign currency. You do not need to borrow money at all: you can print it. You can also repay any borrowing by printing money. That is the nature of a sovereign currency, so long as any borrowing is denominated in that currency (which is the whole problem for the eurozone)

      This was one issue that was not well addressed in the indyref campaign, IMHO. Keep the pound? The practical option, but it would tie an iScotland into rUK monetary policy. Go to the Euro? This used to be Alec Salmond’s idea, but not sure if it is still feasible. Scotland’s own currency? Too fraught an option without resolution of the debt issues.

      Our own currency is the only safe option: see above.

    205. Colin Rippey says:

      @Dave McEwan Hill

      I’m not asking about how an independent Scotland would cope, that’s last year’s question and the answer was to remain part of the union.

      I’m asking how Scotland would cope under Full Fiscal Autonomy, and I’m asking this because it was brought up in the debate.

      You keep saying things would be different, can you explain what would be different? The expenditure and revenue report gives you a starting point. You can take the expenditure part of the report, some of which is attributed to Scotland which you could argue shouldn’t be. How much can you count up from this?

      But, I go back to the funding gap that would be there under FFA. What would you suggest Holyrood do to close the gap? Is there enough you could remove from the expenditure that would bridge the gap? Is there anything you can suggest that would increase revenue?

    206. Colin Rippey says:

      @Robert Peffers

      Sorry but the GERS report attributes oil & gas revenue to Scotland using a very favourable formula. From the GERS report:

      Scotland’s Share of North Sea Revenue

      In the ONS Regional Accounts, the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) is included as a separate region of the UK (the extra-regio territory) and not allocated to specific geographic regions within the UK mainland. As such, an assumption as to Scotland’s share of the North Sea needs to be made in GERS.

      Three estimates of Scotland’s share of North Sea revenue are adopted in the GERS report:

      1. Zero share

      2. A population share

      3. An illustrative geographical share

      It then goes on to detail how a geographical share works:


      An Illustrative Geographical Share

      An alternative approach is to apportion a geographic share of North Sea revenue to Scotland. In order to estimate this share, GERS draws upon academic research carried out by Professor Alex Kemp and Linda Stephen from the University of Aberdeen. Professor Kemp is Professor of Petroleum Economics and Director of Aberdeen Centre for Research in Energy Economics and Finance (ACREEF) at the University of Aberdeen. Professor Kemp and Linda Stephen have published extensively on licensing and taxation issues on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS). Professor Kemp is the author of “The Official History of North Sea Oil and Gas”, and is considered to be a leading expert in UK petroleum economics.

      Can you explain why the GERS report does not attribute the correct oil & gas revenue to Scotland?

    207. Fiona says:

      @ Colin Rippey

      The deficit is funded from borrowing, just as it is in the UK. Why is that difficult to understand? The size of the debt and the deficit does not matter, and it is not fixed

      With a greater deficit in the public sector spent on investment and green infrastructure jobs are created and over time the expenditure on benefits reduces and the revenue from tax increases (assuming that you run an effective tax system, which the UK refuses to do)

      It is certainly true that some of the expenditure attributed to “the benefit of Scotland” is no such thing. I do not know how much, because I do not have the detailed breakdown of where that money is spent. It is also true that some of the revenue attributed away from Scotland is generated here but routed through HQ’s in other parts of the UK, and again I do not know how much.

      Ideally it would not be funded from borrowing, it would be funded by QE for the people, or printing money as we call it. But that will not happen inside the UK because it does not suit the neoliberal agenda. They prefer to pay money to their pals, in the form of interest.

    208. Glamaig says:

      @Colin Rippey

      I think you would need a panel of economists to give you the answer you are looking for, but they would spend that long arguing amongst themselves you would probably give up.

      I’m not an economist so I just look at words and actions and draw my own conclusions. For me it’s enough to know that UK gov is looking like fighting against giving Scotland FFA just as hard as it fought against independence.

      Now, if they knew FFA was going to be bad for Scotland, why wouldn’t they let us go ahead? Surely if it turned out badly, that would kill the SNP stone dead and the Union would be saved?

      At the same time their budget position would be improved because they wouldn’t be ‘subsidising’ us any more.

      The fact they don’t want to give us FFA says it all. There is more to this than those figures suggest.



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