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Thursday, December 13, 2012

UKIP Debate Independence Campaign - UKIP Win

   Mike Scott-Hatward of UKIP was one of 4 invited speakers last night (us & the LabConDems) to the West of Scotland Parliamentary Debating Society(WOSPDS) to speak against independence against 4 from the Yes campaign.

 Some years ago my father was a member of the Glasgow PDS which met in the same place & is probably the same organisation so I went along to support our speaker, from the audience, who I thought was likely to get and give some friendly fire.

   Nope - the LabConDem, speakers, including an MSP & a councillor, had pulled out on a few hour's notice.

   I don't know if this was in any way because they would face UKIP or simply because they are useless but you just don't do that. Showbiz celebreties say "the show must go on" and will do so with anything short of a badly broken leg. Professionals, of any sort, simply don't behave like that.

   So at a few minutes notice Stuart Maskell & I found ourselves drafted in (WOSPDS provided the other speaker). I joted down a few subject headings and prepared for a car crash.

    We kicked their arses.
    I say this despite the fact that no vote was taken, as it should have been, perhaps because we had run over time, perhaps because it was a small crowd or perhaps because we had clearly won

    We made the running, we made the points and the Yes campaign didn't even attempt to answer most of them. Indeed a couple of them said that UKIP had "hijacked" the debate by bringing up arguments that the conventional No campaign simply don't do!

    Mike gave the best speech. He described UKIP's position as wanting a referendum as a matter of principle because our party is committed to a general right of popular referendums (as Switzerland, California etc, have). This got even the opposing speakers nodding in agreement. He explained how small and powerless an "independent in the EU" Scotland would be.

     I do not think I am being immodest in saying mine was the 2nd best. Considering that the last time I spoke in a debate was 7 years ago at a LibDem conference, with a prepared speech for 2 minutes and this was 8. I was relieved and pleased.

     I started by saying that nobody was more scared of independence than the SNP. They would lose some money and the chance to blame the English for everything. They claim they need the "economic levers" to produce growth but since devolution started have had the power to vary income tax by 3p - it is now 10p - yet none of the parties have had the gumption to use it
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     The SNP's commitment to "independence in Europe", which isn't independence at all, shows how scared of  the real thing they are. They are doing everything to make independence seem like less of a change.

     I was unusual, but not unique, in UKIP in that I could see circumstances where I would support separation - if the Westminster government were abysmal and Holyrood significantly better - and that actually Westminster IS abysmal but the Holyrood politicians are worse.

      I told a few home truths about wind - that while it was true as one of the Yes speakers had said, that some windmill somewhere works all the time on average they only work at 1/4 capacity and that during December freeze 2 years ago when it was 20 below wind had only produced 0.3% of power. If we had been reliant on windmills in Scotland then there would have been deaths - lots of deaths. Opposing speakers shook their heads but neither then or later disputed it factually, which is a shame because I was wrong - it was 0.2%

     I said the SNP economic policy of selling our windmill electricity to England at 3 times the going rate when we have some and buying it back at commercial rates when there is no wind is unlikely to be supported by an independent England that can buy commercially from France.

     That the SNP are clearly eager to join the EU on any terms - opposers raised as a point of order that they weren't and I said I would leave it up to the audience to judge. This means they would be stuck with an official duty to join the Euro, an end to the UK negotiated opt outs and joining Shengen on immigration which in turn means customs posts at Berwick.

     Finally I told of the BBC TV debate where I had taken issue with Patrick Harvies assertion that we should not expect any growth at all over the next 10 years if we go for separation though the rest of the world is growing at 6%. Opposers shook their heads but that is what he said.

    The final opposing speaker did not try any rebuttal. She projected confidently but everythjing really came down to assertion. If she avoids ever going off message she may end up as the SNP's Jo Swinson MP.

     When she listed education as one of the things we beat England on I raised as a point of order that our results were, for the first time in 700 years, now level with the UK average and that this was shameful.

    When she specifically asked for anybody who thought our economy would be worse under separation I PoI'd "Patrick Harvie".
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     It was quite clear that we had indeed raised points the "Better Together Excluding Anybody Not In The Old Politics Club Campaign" have not thought about. What the separatists had expected would be an easy victory (& possibly what the LabCondems had too) over prepared and seasoned politicians turned into a defeat by UKIPers on a few minutes notice.

   The secret of Scottish politics us the SNP are not the lean mean well oiled political machine they are sometimes portrayed as. It is sinmply that the other Scottish parties are more inept and useless.
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     And so to the pub (Counting House) where I am afraid I rather would up some of the nationalists (including 2 girls who are SNP MSPs'assistants) who had probabnly never seen somebody from UKIP before and expected me to have horns. We agreed to disagree on whether UKIP not, yet, being a mass Scottish party is because the almost all ordinary people in Scotland oppose the death penalty & I don't. They were even more non-plussedabout X-Prizes.. All good clean fun.
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    Home in time for the end of newsnight Scotland where Gordon Brewer lamented, with 2 of the usual suspects, that for some inexplicable reason the Scottish political elite (journalists and politicians but broadcasters weren't mentioned)  is so disconnectred from and disrespected by the people.  ;-)
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    Talking to the WOSPDS organiser he assured me it had been a good debate and that we would be welcome to provide fresh air on other subjects in future.

     Robert Malyn did an audio recording of the event.
  

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Comments:
The usual anti Scottish clap trap from UKIP who want the UK out of the EU but cannot see the same sentiments being expressed by Scots on the UK as credible, hypocrisy of the highest order.
But the worst thing said was once more that cringing dreadful insult to the small nations of the EU who are very successful "He explained how small and powerless an "independent in the EU" Scotland would be." if you call that kicking their arses then you are one deluded wee soul. Scotland would double it's representation and be on par with Denmark in the EU. That is Denmark who loud mouther Lord West was forced to apologise to for a similar sneer. Denmark who equalled the UK in missions flown over Libya, and did rather better in target acquisitions. Denmark who is not begging Germany to govern it's people again, and who like the rest of the Scandinavian block have a very significant presence in the EU. So rather than kicking arses as you felt you had to boast, you fell flat on your arse there. No wonder your blog is as flat as a pancake with no visitors.
 
Well Mouse since you consider it hypocrisy to "want the UK out of the EU but cannot see the same sentiments being expressed by Scots on the UK" you will doubtless be on record as saying that everybody in the SNP who wants Scotland out of the UK but cannot see the same sentiments being expressed about being out of the EU (ie the fat controller and his toadies) are hypocrits.

I look forward to you, being an honest little mouse, providing links to that.

Then you might consider reading what you have just denounced and you will find I did actually say that Scottish independence would be an option if the likely potential governments weren't complete idiots.

What sort of "patriotic nationalist" would want his country run by complete idiots committed to permanent recession? Not a real one for sure.
 
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