Sunday, 25 April 2010

Sky News Scotland Debate - live text

12:02pm (it's definitely pm now, right...?) Overall I enjoyed this much more than the UK debates, much more vim and vigour about the whole thing, and the audience seemed a lot more clued up than the Glasgow one, so to the scores...

Edinburgh 1 - 0 Glasgow
Murphy: 5/10 Had some decent lines but overall came across as antagonistic, patronising and occasionally quite nasty. That daggers look at Carmichael revealed the true character of the man.
Salmond: 7/10 Not at his best, and Murphy did get to him with the line about being in his bed (Salmond in Salmond's bed that is, just to be clear) during the minimum wage vote. But as comfortable as ever in front of an audience and made lots of good points.
Mundell: 5/10 Also had his moments, but for the love of God smile now and then man! He doesn't seem to enjoy himself in these events, and you just know he was the unpopular kid at school who had a hell of a time, and now thinks he'll show them all!
Carmichael: 7/10 I would have given him a higher score but for his slightly weak closing speech. But he spoke well overall.
Thandie Newton: 9/10 Highlight of the 90 minutes, but one mark knocked off for appearing so soon after Murphy.

12:00am (or is it pm? I'm never sure...)
Aargh, it gets worse!! Now the foxy Irish Sky News weather girl is on. I'd better give the scores before I have a lie down...

That's it, they all shake hands and head off for a communal bath. Apologies for that last mental image. I think I was disturbed earlier in the proceedings when we went from Jim Murphy's iguanadon-like visage to the fair Thandie Newton in an advert in the space of 3 seconds. The juxtaposition obviously overloaded a few neurons.

Carmichael: an exciting election this time. He's not looking at the camera though. Reading his script a bit too obviously for my liking. Halfway through he remembers to address the viewers at home.

Mundell: this election is about the future, British election, Britain, Rule Britannia! The Tories have the policies to tackle the real issues. Don't leave the choice to Alex Salmond or the Lib Dems, choose the government yourselves.

Murphy claims the election is a choice between Cameron and Brown for PM - clearly he doesn't subscribe to Clegg-mania. Derisory laughs from the audience!

Closing speeches. Salmond: haven't covered spending cuts in this debate yet. We should cut the things that don't matter to protect the things that do. SNP are cutting 1/4 of the quangoes (quangos?) apparently. Way to tackle a budget deficit is to grow the economy. We'll badly need local and national champions for Scotland in the next parliament.

Salmond: given the financial pressures, how we can justify £5 billion on ID cards that won't stop crime? Carmichael points out the shifting reasons for the ID cards that have been presented over the years.

Carmichael was a procurator fiscal depute apparently. He had a real job?! Heavens above, no wonder he comes across well and sounds like he's from the real world.

Salmond: if you want people to trust your security measures, don't abuse the ones we've already been subjected to.

Mundell raises the spectre of the 90-odd year old Labour member who was held under anti-terrorism laws at the Labour conference for the crime of heckling. Carmichael: when we restrict our freedoms we do the terrorists' job for them.

Murphy: as science has progressed the DNA database has become very useful. Criminals are apparently more desperate than ever before. Wonder how he measures that?

Salmond: ID cards are not an answer to terrorism or crime, more police on the streets are needed.

Final question: erosion of civil liberties over the last 13 years. How would you stop this erosion?

Murphy repeats the mantra: stronger together weaker apart, you can't base an economy on the volatile price of oil. Salmond responds that the Chancellor is planning on £40billion from Scotland's sector of the North Sea over the next 5 years. FAO Jim Murphy: nobody is suggesting the economy of an independent Scotland would be based on oil/gas. But it's a nice extra.

11:34am Salmond points out that we are a major oil-producing nation. Why are prices so high? Carmichael points out that Norway has the highest fuel prices in Europe.

Salmond welcomes Mundell's belated conversion to the cause of stabilising fuel duty.

Murphy seems to think Labour have been doing a good job on this front. Remarkable. Mundell understands this question he informs us. Does that mean he hasn't understood the rest? Carmichael: fuel duty keeps going up because the Labour government keeps putting it up. You won't get a litre of petrol for less than £1.30 in Orkney apparently. Salmond: average is £1.20 across Scotland, 70% of which is duty/VAT. SNP would modulate fuel tax increases by taking more money when oil prices went up. Says Labour and Tories opposed this, Murphy would have been better off in his bed on that vote! He's back!

Inaudible question from the audience. Why does the tax on fuel keep rising, says the lip-reading Adam Boulton.

Apparently when Murphy became Secretary of State Against Scotland he phoned his mum first, then Alex Salmond to say they had to work together. Perhaps regretting his aggressive attack on the minimum wage earlier.

Salmond comes back with 20,000 modern apprenticeships, attempting to recover his usual statesmanlike demeanour.

Murphy talks about introducing the minimum wage. Points out that Salmond went to his bed while the minimum wage was voted on. Murphy hammering the point home. Carmichael restores sanity. But that was a decent jab from Murphy (damn it!).

Youth unemployment next. Mundell rightly points out that Murphy and co have been in charge of the UK for 13 years, and also Salmond has been in government for 3 years.

How's it going so far? Overall Carmichael and Salmond are performing pretty well, Mundell has had his moments but doesn't seem to be enjoying himself much, Murphy looms sepulchral, stage left (I wonder if he insisted on standing on the left by the way...).

Consensus seems to be no. Quite right too, except where such decisions affect the pocket money going to Scotland and Wales I might add.

Should Scots/Welsh MPs vote on England-only matters?

Odd point from Mundell: Salmond and Brown didn't discuss the al Megrahi decision...but surely by the law of the land it was a decision for the Justice Secretary alone David.

Would Thomas Hamilton have been released from jail if he had survived and had been diagnosed with cancer?

Murphy took a beating on that question. Next up Adam Boulton asks about the controversy surrounding memos from the foreign office on the Pope's visit to the UK. Salmond: I'm on the B-list with Wayne Rooney apparently, the memos are juvenile. Mundell: Wayne Rooney has as many policies for Scotland as Alex Salmond - a good gag, albeit delivered with an air of spite etched all over his face. Murphy confesses he should have been at mass this morning. Just what I was thinking Jim...

Murphy resorts to the "good faith" defence. I'm reminded of a phrase involving the road to hell...

Murphy confesses to mistakes in post-war planning in Iraq. As Salmond points out, there were mistakes in the pre-war planning too. Carmichael calls Murphy up on his "rewriting of history". Murphy attempts to stare down Carmichael! If looks could kill (Murphy would be classified as WMD).

Mundell scores some points, highlighting the good job the forces do and how Labour have let them down.

Next Q: can the loss of life in Iraq/Afghanistan be justified in relation to the "war on terror" (copyright GW Bush, 2001)

Nice line from Salmond on Murphy and Mundell and their "gospel of despair" on why Scotland uniquely wouldn't have handled the economic downturn.

Slightly tetchy stuff so far, particularly an ugly shouting match between Murphy and Mundell (although I don't think they could do anything together which wouldn't be described as ugly).

Q2 How would an independent Scotland have coped with the economic crash? Salmond: fine, just like other countries. Murphy: I don't want us to be like Ireland. Mundell: we're much better off in Britain.

The odd timing of the debate catches forfar-loon napping (literally). Already the ebst debate of the election thus far - it has ad breaks so I can make a cup of tea :o)


CrazyDaisy said...

LibDems score hugely against Labour Tories pouring it on come on bury the Liar!

CrazyDaisy said...

War on Iraq, Kurdish line being peddled, sad - where's the apology? Sexed up dossier ring a bell Jim?

forfar-loon said...

Welcome CD! Good points both! I'm now quadruple-tasking - watching TV, writing posts, reading comments and replying to them. And drinking tea - make that quintuple-tasking. My brain hurts :o(

CrazyDaisy said...

Murphy is sickening, he does not have my permission to welcome the Pope on my behalf to Scotland. His Holiness should invest his time apologising to those who have suffered abuse at the hands of paedo's not a question of faith.

forfar-loon said...

Fully agree CD. There's something supremely annoying about a combination of affected superiority and manifest inferiority.

CrazyDaisy said...

More fake insincerity from Murphy! Seem me later love and we'll talk but MAE job fur yer weeanes!

forfar-loon said...

Fake insincerity CD? Shurely shome mishtake ;o)

CrazyDaisy said...

Libdem bloke has sloped shoulders and a poor choice of tie! But good points on employment, however, full fiscal autonomy would go some way to enable this...

forfar-loon said...

Aye, he looks a wee bit shambling, but seems to perform well each time I've seen him.

CrazyDaisy said...

Labour postponed the fuel tax rise as electioneering, nothing less no matter how you dress it up! Rural society needs fair fuel prices or discount coupons for those who need it the maest!

Alex gets the retort finally! Good policy though for SNP

forfar-loon said...

Indeed, indeed, as Archie Macpherson would say.

CrazyDaisy said...

Laughing at Spud fae the audience same old repetitive Labour pish being wheeled out. Tory boy is poor in his approach!

CrazyDaisy said...

Keeping the country safe my bahookie, Govt cannot be trusted to securely hold data, Tory boy scored well there against Spud regarding heckling atLabours conference.

CrazyDaisy said...

Well let's see what Bolton has to say....!

forfar-loon said...

Spot on CD, don't think there were any knockout punches, but Murphy was openly laughed at when he claimed it was a two horse race! Where has he been for the last 2 weeks!!

subrosa said...

Well done forfar loon.

I think Salmond's plan was to let the tories and labour hang themselves.

It worked.

Carmichael was good though, but he has been consistent throughout and I thought Alex was careful to show people just how much the libdems had in common with the SNP.

The continual interruptions of both Mundell and Murphy when Salmond was speaking was a disgrace.

forfar-loon said...

Thanks subrosa, you're right about the Lib Dems and the SNP. I often think it's a bit like chimps and humans (you can decide which is which yourself!) - 99.9% of the same DNA, but somehow the small differences keep them apart, except for the purposes of tea advertising.

Conan the Librarian™ said...

Trying a quick comment as no2 grandson is getting his lunch(so fed up of Shrek or Ceebabies on the box and pictures of "mo'bikes on my laptop)
Thanks for the catchup FL.

Oh no, it's "peess cahs" he wants now:¬)

CrazyDaisy said...

Forfar Loon,

Good effort, enjoyed it and more engaging than the 3 Stooges!


Aye he was surprisingly good for a Fib Dum, agree with the rude interuptions and I can talk louder than you and bully you into stopping your statement Murphy.

Point of note: How Murphy can stand there and talk about the bravery of UK Armed Forces beggars belief, when he himself ran away from conscription in Sud Afrika in the most cowardly fashion, reeks of I'll sacrifice your life for my lies, but ask me to place my life in danger? No way Im a big feartie and a coward.

mrbfaethedee said...

Belated thanks loon!
I read your liveblog a wee bit after the fact (good stuff), and read the comments later still.

Re: humans vs. chimps - A disillusioned labourite, I almost voted LD at the first Holyrood elections, but they spooked me during their 'getting into bed' with Labour phase just prior to the vote. The soundbites changed, and it was clear that nobody had any idea what policies the LD's would sell for a sniff of power. Look what happened it was a lib/LAB coalition to which the typography does no justice (suckers) ;)

I'd quibble over the percentages, but taking yours, i'd say the 0.1% difference is fundamentally integrity.