Tuesday, 3 May 2011

"A pointless discussion"

Interesting leaders debate on STV this evening. It looked like a few of the rascals from the Kelvingrove shindig might have sneaked into the audience, especially towards the end when things got a wee bit rowdy. Overall there was more heat than light, partly due to the leaders talking over each other a bit too much (some worse than others, no prizes for guessing who), partly due to Bernard Ponsonby heckling what answers there were (particularly with Eck it must be said) and partly due to party stooges packing out the audience.

Notable moments included Tavish calling Alex Salmond "clever and wily", as though those are bad qualities for a politician to have, Annabelle having a laugh at Tavish's expense as he got a single clap for one of his answers, an SNP supporter (I guess) barely suppressing his laughter as he brought up Iain Gray's infamous Subway tactical withdrawal and of course, Iain Gray's hilarious response to that jibe, saying that he was walking away to avoid "a pointless discussion" with those protesters at Glasgow Central. Oh dear, oh dear. Pointless discussions with the little people that pay your wages, eh Iain? Wow.

The best bit for me was finally hearing the bleedin' obvious articulated clearly: Scotland gets pocket money at the moment and there is absolutely nothing we can do to change the amount we get. How that can possibly be a healthy state of affairs for our country I cannot see. Scotland obviously has some big problems to solve, I don't think many folk would disagree with that. So why on Earth would we not want to have every possible lever at our disposal in order to tackle them?

The sight of various public sector employees demanding more money for their professions at a time when our pocket money is being cut beggars belief. I would have enjoyed seeing the nurse that complained of the SNP's "annihilation" of the NHS (the only public sector organisation that is promised more money remember!) explaining to the supply teacher why hospitals should be taking even more money away from our schools.

Anyway, a suitably feisty affair from Glasgow, my votes for which are:

Alex Salmond: 6/10 Not at his best, did well to stay calm under lots of pressure from irate audience and hectoring moderator.

Annabelle Goldie: 5/10 Seemed pretty comfortable throughout, didn't get much response from her answers though, nice gag at Tavish's expense.

Iain Gray: 5/10 until 5 mins from the end, was actually engaging quite well with the audience but in obvious difficulty on some points, then lost his rag due to the chuckling Subway joker and insulted each and every one of the electorate with their "pointless" views 2/10.

Tavish Scott: 3/10 He seemed to me to be talking more quickly than usual, perhaps he was affected by the excitable atmosphere in the hall? I sort of gave up listening to him as a result though.


McGonagall said...

Alex bragging about 300,000 stop and searches (that yielded only 7,000 knife carriers) was a blunder. To then foolishly try to bluff his way through the question (the answer to which he clearly didn't know): "How many resulted in a conviction?" He was lucky that Ponsonby took pity on him and moved on to another panel member.

On the whole I thought Alex was given the least time to frame his replies, and was interrupted more often by Ponsonby, other panel members and members of the audience. The willful refusal of the unionist representatives to recognize the relationship between the economy, the provision of services, and Scotland's status as a devolved administration was unfortunate for the voting public. Their lack of honesty prevented the debate from developing - which of course was their purpose.

Not a very exhilarating debate and I don't think anybody had their opinion swayed by what they heard tonight. It's all over bar the shouting so let's see what Thursday brings.

forfar-loon said...

Too true McG, there were one or two uncharacteristically sticky moments for Eck. As others have mentioned he did look a bit knackered. Understandable given the length of the campaign I suppose.

Fingers crossed that Scotland votes twice for the SNP on Thursday. I honestly can't remember a worse election campaign than Labour's effort this time. It just seemed to go wrong from the word go, and never really recovered. Mind you, i finally saw their campaign "brain" John Park on Newsnicht last night and the whole debacle started to make sense. He seemed more than a bit hard of thinking to me.

forfar-loon said...

One other thing I forgot to mention in the main post. Did anyone else hear Tavish effectively say that a pro-independence majority at Holyrood means that no referendum on independence would be needed? Careful what you wish for Tavish...!