Below is the third installment of BBC Scotland's series of debates on the 2014 independence referendum, hosted by their political editor Brian Taylor.

Independence debate 29 June 2012



# Hillside 2012-07-01 22:37
On the subject of the BBC, they seem to have developed a new strategy for stories which could show the 'No' campaign in a bad light. e.g. hide the story behind a headline which implies that no particular campaign is on the defensive. See today's headline: 'Clash over referendum donations -The rival independence referendum campaigns clash over whether donations should be accepted from people living outside Scotland'. I wonder what the headline would have been had it been the 'yes' campaign which was the subject of accusations about it's funding. I've seen this strategy more than once in the past week.
# border reiver 2012-07-02 09:36
Better Together? didnt seem like that to Maggie Curran, she couldnt wait to get stuck into Annabel Goldie and the Tory austerity cuts, blaming the Tories for Scotlands ills when in fact the labour party have been in power for most of the last 13 years or so. it was interesting to see the differnt approach by Westminster labour who are slating the Tory cuts at every opportuniy and Holyrood Labour who slate everything SNP.
The Scottish labour party review due to be completed in spring 2013 may offer the second question, particulary with the polls sugesting approx 70% of the voters wanting some sort of devo max. It may just be to tempting for Labour to ignore.
# Briggs 2012-07-02 11:58
Only Cameron has the power to offer anything to the pot as regards Devo something or other.
Labour can offer only negativity no matter how many reviews they undertake.
# Bennett Jim 2012-07-02 11:13
I had a peculiar experience as an audience member at the BBC Big debate.
When doing the sound checks, the floor manager asked the panel members to say their names and how they got to the studio that day. Margaret Curran said she was dropped off by a friend. But I had just seen her arrive by taxi. Why lie about something so straight forward?
# jafurn 2012-07-02 13:54
I don't mind a little dose of paranoia but maybe the taxi driver was a friend...let's not get silly here.
Although in your defence she did tell some real porkies during the debate ,so ...
# rhymer 2012-07-02 13:45
Cheoreographed debates, biased reporting
and limited coverage of FMQs
AND still no sign of us being "allowed" to comment
on the Scottish political news site.
Why the bias ?

Why is Scotland being censored by the BBC
when Wales, N. Ireland and England are still
allowed to comment on their political news sites ?
# xyz 2012-07-02 13:54
Goldie gets away with telling us we could not afford to bail out the banks and latterly implies we would not be able afford the pensions. Nasty lies from her.

UK government does not fund the pensions, Scotland's tax payer pay for the pensions and a lot more besides.

.. and we, at least, are all aware of the joint liabilities of countries on bank failures

Curran gets away with telling us our benefits bill is 4 times that of oil revenues .. but this is a total distortion of the money from oil. Oil is not only about revenues which vary from year to year, I presume she means the taxes levied on extraction. Oil revenues should also include the taxes paid by those employed in the industry Here's the link again to Nicholas Soames:
# Dundonian West 2012-07-02 15:37
I knew it was an awful lot but this is
Nicholas Soames MP 2012 in above link:---

North sea oil and gas taxes.

"The taxes forecast to be raised from the industry in 2011-12 include some £6 billion in income tax, national insurance contributions and corporation tax paid by the supply chain companies, with an additional £11 billion from taxes on production itself. That amounts to 25% of all the corporation tax received by the Exchequer. The production of indigenous oil and gas improved the balance of payments by £35 billion in 2011,thus halving the trade deficit"

My bold.
Is this why Lamont,Darling and Curran (Labour Scotland?) think we're 'Better Together'.
# highlander 2012-07-02 14:29
What Goldie was saying re the bail-out of RBS was also echoed by leaflets being distributed at the no campaign launch, stating that RBS had been bailed out to the tune of 470 billion.

RBS received 46 billions. The "470" billions was the maximum potential liability assuming a financial armageddon with every single loan on its books defaulting.

To say RBS received a 470 billion bailout is a blatant lie. If we use her logic, that means the entire banking sector received over a trillion in bailout funds as that was the UK's eventual exposure in the worst case scenario. Like the UK could afford to fork out a trillion quid!

That's assuming you also forget the fact that RBS has been paying its billions of profit and related taxes over the years into the LONDON exchequer, being distributed to the tune of 91.4% to the rest of the UK. Yet somehow we are really responsible for 100% of the liabilities?

What utter tosh.
# Clydebuilt 2012-07-02 19:37
aye Highlander these are the points that the YES campaign have to get over
# naemairleesplease 2012-07-02 14:44
What happened to the 2nd debate?
I missed it.
# uilleam_beag 2012-07-02 18:07
I have to say that was a far, far superior debate to its predecessors. (Naemairleesple ase, there was one yonks back, followed by one chaired by Isobel Fraser in May, not sure which one you missed. EDIT: I just double-checked, and the first one was hosted by Glenn Campbelly on Burns Night.)

Honestly, there was some decent banter and -- as earlier posters have noted -- a reasonably balanced audience (no doubt the poor soul charged with picking the crowd has been handed their P45). It wasn't perfect, but it was the sort of engaged and engaging, informative and entertaining debate we want to see more of in the next 24 months.

Aye, we can gripe about the tactics used in the discussion by our political opponents, but while they still got away with a few blinders Ms Goldie and Ms Curran were picked up more times than not by yer man Taylor. He wisnae shy about trying to nail Ms Hyslop and the inimitable, un-tameable Margo MacDonald -- and that is precisely the way it should be.

Aye, a few audience members made some wildly spurious pro-union claims; I'm sure our adversaries are fuming about some of the things said by the indy crowd that well and truly skewered Curran and Goldie several times. That's called balance.

The one thing that I was slightly disappointed about was that Fiona Hyslop failed to correct Ms Goldie's misrepresentati on of Joan McAlpine's now infamous "anti-Scottish" jibe. This twisting of her -- admittedly ill-chosen* -- words has been corrected so many times that it needs to be jumped on the instant it is uttered.

As a final point (and in fact it saddens me that I even have to draw attention to this), I'd like to say I was proud to have an all-female panel discussing the issues. To be honest, I don't think I would have noticed (as gender should not make any difference) but I recently read an eloquently written blog by Leslie Riddoch in which she stated she had been forced to pull out of a debate on learning she was the only member of a six- or seven-member panel. Ms Riddoch rightly questioned the default setting of broadcasters to book male speakers/commentators, so I find it encouraging that this panel of all-female politicos (-as?) didn't even raise a ripple, either from the feminist camp or the chauvinists.

[* In the circumstances, Ms McAlpine's criticism that the Westminster parties' blocking of a Scots vote on self-determination was "anti-Scottish" was entirely valid, but as a newspaper veteran she ought to have known her words would be twisted and taken entirely out of context by a unionist media.]
# SHANGHAI SCOT 2012-07-03 03:27
U-B, you must be back home, I can not access the debate, unless you have some other means via a VPN, any ones that I have tried to download are all blocked, really frustrating
# uilleam_beag 2012-07-03 05:20
Ah, I'm down in HK at the minute, so free from the Great Firewall. It's been getting pretty strict recently, most of the proxy servers are being clamped down on and I hear even Bloomberg is blocked now. The screws are only going to get tighter in the run-up to the political leadership change, I'm afraid.
# Bobelix 2012-07-02 19:33
Didn't that smug twerp that wanted to get rid of the Scottish Parliament make you lose the will to live. That's the most dangerous thing in this campaign: the sheer dead weight of the dullards who blandly assume they are 100% correct in their delusions without once having faced a reality check. And as for Stairheid Rammy Curran, that woman will say anything to keep her comfy seat in Westminster. Anyone sent to debate her should carry as many verified and verifiable statistics as possible, because, sure as eggs are eggs, a "fact" will be drawn from thin air to back her arguments. Then there's her "best of both worlds" approach:"We'll defend the Welfare system, although nobody disputes that it will evolve and change" (I paraphrase, but that was the essence of her "contribution"). Frankly, I couldn't stand to be in the same room with her for more than 5 minutes, she is infuriating for anyone determined on serious debate. It's all reduced to an attention-getting clown show..
# cirsium 2012-07-02 20:02
bobelix - Ms Curran was one of 37 Scottish Labour MPs who voted for the semi-privatisation of the English National Health Service.
# rgweir 2012-07-02 19:44
I could only watch 15min of the debate.
Brian Taylor is a bad choice as he comes accross as being too jovial,Heis not there to crack jokes.
As for Fiona Hyslop,They should keep her away from the debates.
I have met Fiona and she is a nice enough woman but she does not come accros well,I cant put my finger on it but someone may be able to judge if i am being too harsh.
If they are going to put a female on they should stick with someone like Christine Graham.
# sneckedagain 2012-07-02 20:49
I thought Fiona did well
# John Souter 2012-07-03 12:47
All in all,not a bad debate.

Even BT was reasonable, but there again he wasn't pandering to the 91.4% of RUK.

For me Margo held the floor and the consensus of the audience made me wonder where the polls got their 35% pro independence figures from - perhaps they use statistical data garnered from known manic depressives.

That said, on the welfare issue there is one point which should be raised on this Namely, while there undoubtedly is a percentage of scroungers. It is statistically small and could and should be lessened by an aspirational and competent government through the three E's -education, employment and most importantly encouragement.

To this element welfare takes on the mantle of charity, but for the far greater majority who have,could and would work if there was work for them, welfare is an insurance they have contributed towards and which, under past and present governments have seen there premiums diverted into the maw of unaccountable and incompetent political free loaders.

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