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Friday, June 21, 2013

Brian's Big Debate - My Part In Its Success

On Friday I was in the audience of Brian's Big Debate in Glasgow University. Surprisingly the audience unlike the last time I was there the audience consisted of only about 20 people and by placing myself in near the centre of the front row Iwas allowed to speak 5 times.

The first "debate" was about the Aberdeen election yesterday

I was the first to mention the 2 most newsworthy points (assuming news is something unexpected rather than totally predictable) - that the SNP vote dropped 13% and that UKIP got 4.8%, far more than in any previous Scottish election. This brought out comments from the usual types about how UKIP doesn't count but the very fact that the debate (sans anybody on the panel from UKIP) then revolved around UKIP's result showed its importance. I also pointed out that we got 4 times the Green vote, despite them being regulars on the BBC.

   I also said that the BBC, in ensuring that UKIP had been the only significant party excluded from Brian's own hustings a few weeks previously; from the TV programme on the by-election; from almost all BBC coverage and from the current programme did indicate bias. Brian disagreed strenuously saying that the BBC were right to exclude us because of our lack of current seats. I disagreed but was cut off. But to be fair to the totalitarian propagandists Brian did not censor me speaking subsequently.

    I then spoke at the end of a question about the proposed change in the law to allow convictions in Scotland without corroborating evidence, saying that we should be very cautious about changing the law simply to make it easier to secure convictions for 1 sort of crime (ie rape).

   A question hung on William Hague's speech about how powerful Britain is together got diverted by the usual suspects into how Scots think nuclear weapons are A BAD THING (involving a prat showing how much he hates his own county by repeatedly calling the Falklands the Malvinas). I tried to divert it again by saying that the real long term measure of a country's influence is GDP and that we could match the 6% growth in annual GDP the non-EU part of the world is achieving when the politicians will allow it.

   The final question was on tuition fees and I got the last remark of the day by suggesting a technological part solution - that one can get a very good online university education (I should have mentioned the Khan Academy) and that this will change things fairly soon.  

   Hear it here.

   Brian ended by saying what a fine intellectual audience we were and how stimulating the debate was - but then he normally does.

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well done!
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