The Debate and my opinion for what it’s worth

Against my better judgement I watched last nights STV leader’s debate, after I watched Scotland play Denmark, all two hours of it.

First things first, it was handled a lot better than the BBC one, not hard to do that though as the BBC one was a total shambles and waste of time. The other thing I noticed was the back room, or whatever they call it, with Colin McKay was certainly a male bastion.

Anyway, my take overall was that it was all a bit boring. I don’t think I really learned that much but my take on the leaders is as follows.

Patrick Harvie – I thought he did really well overall and probably won it in many ways. If you are left leaning some of the policies of the Green Party do impress but it is his overall manner and common sense that stuck out. He didn’t really get flustered and came across as calm and reasoned. I don’t think there was an opportunity for Patrick to explain his parties’ tax policy in the manner he would have liked, and this came across as a high tax policy and may not go down too well in certain quarters. His views on the overall economy, local democracy, the environment and society are interesting and he has certainly tweaked my interest for one of my two votes.

Nicola Sturgeon – It was a walk in the park really. I didn’t think Nicola had to do well to be honest as she just wasn’t pushed and what she is up against, apart from Harvie, is very very poor, the only time she was really under any pressure was on the question of a second referendum. Now I am all for it as my blog is clear on but it does divide opinion. Where I would agree with Nicola is that it is up to the voters to decide when or if another vote is held via a mandate based on any parties future manifestos, I don’t hold with this once in a generation nonsense. Overall Nicola Sturgeon comes across as confident and competent in her role.

Willie Rennie – Now as anyone who reads my blog knows I am not a fan of Willie Rennie at all. Last night he spoke a lot and said little. His mantra on education fails every time as it comes across as talking Scottish Education down and fails to take into account the other factors like poverty, life chances etc. Promising to give head teachers more money in my opinion is not a vote winner. The Scottish Lib Dems penny increase in tax for everyone earning over £15,000 a year is a vote loser. £15,000 a year in Scotland is not a lot of money, in fact if that is your working income then I would imagine you are struggling with the cost of living. He also struggles to explain the coalition, while he might harp on about increasing the starting rate of tax, the pupil premium in England these were more than wiped out by the attacks on the welfare system and the drop in benefits that people receive and he has no defence for this. The simple fact is no one is listening to Willie Rennie and yet again he was poor, came across as confused in my opinion and lacks vision, but I accept that I just don’t like him.

KeZia Dugdale – What a nightmare of a debate for her. She really came across as if she had no idea what she was saying or offering the voters. Struggled the whole night, implied she will stand with the Tories against the democratic will of the Scottish Voters in any future referendum and even went as far as saying she would ignore the will of the voters. Labour Scottish Branch are in real trouble across the board. They are the party of grievance and anger. Labour’s tax policy is all over the place to the extent that KeZia can’t explain it and basically Labour want to increase everyone’s tax no matter their circumstances. She constantly interrupted and tried to shout over Nicola Sturgeon and came across as a child having a tantrum. Not a good night and one in which Willie Rennie did better than her so that really says it all.

Ruth Davidson – Not a good night either. Came across really defensively, and at times angry. Doesn’t want to tax you more unless you are a student, or ill and in need of medication. Tory policy is basically tax the wealthiest less while pretending to tax everyone less but bring in student fees and prescription charges which would then pay for the tax cuts to the rich. The Conservatives never change, they look after their own and I suspect that Ruth is their little pet, comes from a working class background but will say all the right things, do as she is told, will serve her betters well and is good cannon fodder for the wealthy to throw to the wolves in Scotland.

So the league table looks like this:

1st place – Patrick Harvie with a narrow win.
2nd place – Nicola Sturgeon never put under pressure but got a wee bit flustered on the constitutional question.
3rd place – Willie Rennie but only because he was less of a car crash than Dugdale or Davidson.
4th place – Ruth Davidson because Dugdale had a Freddie Krueger night.
5th place – KeZia Dugdale, lol, what a car crash. My previous blog had Labour still finishing second, after last night I am not so sure. Shocking is the best I can do.

As I said this debate was better than the previous one but that wasn’t hard to achieve. Thankfully there was less audience in many ways too. I didn’t really learn anything other than more about the Greens but these debates rarely inform and are more of a circus act.



  1. sam

    I agree with your assessments of the performances. I cannot bring myself to vote for the Greens. Their stridency on climate change jars.

    Richard Betts, climate scientist and IPCC lead author is on the record as saying that they [climate scientists] do not know whether the effect of man made CO2 on the climate will be great or small. The unreliability of the models used by climate scientists to make their future projections is rarely, if ever, mentioned. Nor is the work being done by climate scientists to explore the main drivers of climate change – not carbon dioxide. In the last two years around 500 such (peer-reviewed) papers have been published.

      • grumpyscottishman


        You are more than welcome to comment on my blog, in fact I encourage as many to comment as possible to stimulate discussion but please don’t diss other people on the blog. That is the type of discussion that got us into the mess we are in and one that serves no purpose in a discussion.



    • grumpyscottishman


      I must admit I don’t know a lot about climate change to be honest. I do think it is happening, I do think that the change is probably the effect of man but to what extent I am really not so sure. I watched a programme recently which said the hole in the ozone layer had healed, now there is so much contradictory information out there it is very hard to be sure about anything with climate change. I agree with so much of the Green Party’s policies and may well give them one of my two votes. Patrick Harvie has always impressed and I am very much left of centre and many of their policies make so much sense. He did well in the debate and I thought he was the best on the night although how much we can take from the debates these days I am not so sure, it’s all a bit of a circus.

      Thanks for commenting.


      • Sam


        I agree with much of what you say. i am also impressed with Harvie. There is considerably more uncertainty within the ranks of climate science than usually gets broadcast. Models, though I know only little about them, are probably not sufficiently useful to base public policy on them. If you would like to inform yourself a little more may I suggest that you take a look at the blog of Judy Curry. Ms Curry is a climate scientist and believes in the warming effect of co2. She is also aware of the unresolved uncertainties in climate science. Her blog is at climate.etc.

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