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Friday, May 30, 2014

Brian's Big "Debate" Today

 Was held in Townhead "Village Hall". This one was specifically about the reverendum (16 weeks to go). The total audience was about 35, which is poor, though no schoolkids. On the panel were

- Patrick Harvie, Green leader (* coincidentally on during the April edition previously described, and also previously described by me as "a permanent fixture on the BBC")
- James  Dornan, SNP


- Annabelle Goldie, Tory and previously party leader
- Jim Murphy, Labour (impressive - he has mastered sincerity and displays it as effectively as he did the spot of blood in the middle of his white shirt after the Clutha bar tragedy)

4 questions during which I was able to answer twice as was Robert Malyn, Glasgow branch chair.

1 - "Who should we believe when the figures the Yes and No camps produce are so far apart."  Obviously everybody said me, what else can they? However Harvie somewhat weakened my question to him by getting in his admission first. Dornan had said their growth figures were credible. Harvie then said it wasn't about growth or economic success but equality, greenery etc. When I got chosen I pointed out that Harvie had said in a TV debate that "nobody should vote for independence on the grounds that it would produce growth, indeed that he didn't expect any growth" and that Nicola Sturgeon, on stage with him, hadn't disagreed. Would these 2 lie to tell us which it was, since it is difficult to accept their position until we know what it is.

Brian then took several other questions and in the shuffle mine went unanswered, which is answer enough.

2 - "Can Scotland be viable without oil" - Murphy wisely answered that of course we would be viable, just poorer. Harvie said we must stop burning oil because of "catastrophic" warming.

I put up my hand and got called & said "As a supporter of UKIP I do not believe in the catastrophic warming Mr Harvie warns us of. This is supported by the fact that there has been no warming at all, let alone catastrophic warming since 1998. However, be that as it may, because of the shale gas revolution, we must expect oil prices to fall. There is as much shale available in Britain as to match our oil. One thing we can be sure of is that if the SNP or Greens had been in power when north sea oil was found it would still be in the ground. Again nobody answered it.

Robert also stated from personal experience of living in Ireland in 1990s and 2000s during the boom, that Ireland generally since Independence in 1922 has been an economic basket case and various public services e.g. health service, Public Service TV, and Transport Infrastructure roads / rail etc were pretty poor in comparison to the UK in General and Scotland in particular.

3 - "What about the pulling of cinema ads" - a light hearted bit in which people said which films they didn't like. I wanted to point out that this may show the people to be less interested in the referendum than the political classes and it would be dreadful if the vote, either way, went 51:49 on a 40% turnout. I wasn't asked.

4 - "Do we need Trident in a post cold war world" - Quite a lot of sensible points were made on all sides, mainly on the principle of keeping it. I didn't try too hard because I really don't know what the proper answer is. If I had been taken I would have said something about it being a token on both sides since there is no possibility of Britain actually using our nukes except as part of a general NATO action.

Robert got to point out the incongruity of those wanting to cancel our nukes on financial grounds while we give foreign aid to those investing in their own ones (ie Pakistan). 

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