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Monday, May 28, 2012

BBC "Big Debate" On Independence - Sunday - Starring Neil Craig & Some Others - Independence Supporter Promises Permanent Recession

    As ever the BBC don't do real formal debates. What they do is the Question Time format with the BBC choosing the questions & the speakers. Proper debates require rotating speeches of about 2-5 minutes on both sides with the succeeding speaker expected to rebut the previous one, or at least attempt to do so, without interruption. The moderator's job is simply to keep order.

   To be fair to this programme it came rather closer to a debate than most. Isabel Fraser the compere tended not to interrupt, though the guests did, and there were the same number of people on each side, a prerequisite of true debate and quite rare on out state broadcaster.

      During the warm up before filming started Isabel said that the large majority of the questions provided by the audience had been about economics. As ever its the economy stupid.

     There were 3 of us from UKIP in the audience, though I had not disclosed my affiliation. Since this is about 3.5% of the population & 4% support UKIP it was pretty close to proportionate but neither of the known UKIP's had their questions taken. Peter Adams the Scottish party secretary was wearing a UKIP shirt which the cameras managed to miss any close shots of..

    The guests were Nicola Sturgeon for the SNP & Patrick Harvie for the Greens - Aamer Anwar for Labour and Ruth Davidson from the Conservatives

   My point got taken about 25 mins in - see here

    I was actually answering a point made near the start - Somebody, probably a separatist (it was clear from the level of applause of Sturgeon that they were a majority) had asked how much better off did they predict we would be with independence 10 years from now.

    Patrick Harvie had answered that we would be wrong to take economic growth into account when voting because that was of no importance compared to the "happiness index" he had been working on. He clearly didn't expect and certainly didn't wish for any. He also said that the government's "neoliberalism"  was responsible for the recession. He is either wholly ignorant of what neoliberalism is and how it differs from the Big State economy we have now or wholly dishonest and knew he was lying. When it came to the SNP turn she evaded answering at all and certainly did not hint in any way that she disagreed with this policy of permanent recession.

    When I got my chance I said I was horrified (true but not surprised)  that the separatists seemed not to expect any growth whatsoever over 10 years. With the rest of the world (ie outside the EU) managing a growth rate of 6% in 10 years it will be nearly twice as well off (180%) and that "I do want to live in a better off country"

     When I ended the SNP guy in the light blue shirt who spoke just before turned round and said, off mic, that I wasn't going to get the choice.
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    The best hit of the evening was when Ruth Davidson, after Sturgeon said that the EU would definitely not insist on Scotland accepting the euro as new members are required to, produced a letter showing that nobody in the SNP had ever actually asked anybody in the EU commission what the legal case was..

    On the other hand she subsequently supported continued NATO membership on the grounds that because "of the work our troops did there (in Kosovo)  preventing ethnic cleansing". I shouted out loudly but the microphones barely register it that "that is a lie - NATO ethnically cleansed 350,000 people from Kosovo". This is undeniably true and I will see if she possesses sufficient trace of honesty to acknowledge it. Obviously the media are careful what hecklers they report.

   I will also be writing to the SNP to see if they want to disagree with the permanent recessio9n prediction of their partner and if so what growth rate is their aim.
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  This morning the BBC did a follow up on Call Kaye once again starring the permanent feature, Harvie & the Labour deputy Anwar.

   This debate, well the phone ins contained quite a bit about not wanting permanent recession. Kay's support for separatism was quite clear saying that "any decent person" was at least attracted to independence with Green Luddism & asking a phone in, who said he was a banker that he should "acknowledge the fact" that the recesiion was due to the bankers & "neoliberals". If the BBC continuously put such liars on air it must be assumed they are doing so deliberately. I did ring up but wasn't included.

   This plus the fact that they give 40 times more coverage to the Greens and thousands of times more supportive coverage (the omnipresent Harvie is never matched by similar appearances from the party with twice as many supporters in Scotland (& 4 times across the UK).

   However I am convinced that the Yes campaign has holed itself below the water line with this commitment to permanent recession. It will be interesting to see if the No campaign give them the chance to patch it.

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