I wasn’t going to watch the debate last night for a lot of reasons but after reading the Daily Record view of Anas Sarwar coming across the best in the debate, I thought surely not, so I watched it via the Iplayer. The main reason I didn’t plan on watching the debate was the exclusion of Alex Salmond and George Galloway from the debate, both are leading parties that are standing for the Scottish Parliament and to not include them says it all really about BBC Scotland and it’s agenda. I assume the Daily Record scored out of 10 for the debate. I am not really going to go into any detail, just themes, of what was debated just how the leaders came across overall.
Douglas Ross Conservative and Unionist Party (Daily Record Score 4). Should have benefitted from a majority unionist online audience, obviously chosen from Dundee again, but he didn’t. Did the unionist thing of mentioning an independence referendum at every opportunity to the extent that he just came across really poorly overall and didn’t seem to have any real answers to the questions. My score 2.
Nicola Sturgeon Scottish national Party (Daily Record score 7). Never really put under any pressure at all as all the answers have been well rehearsed over the last few years. Didn’t talk about an independence referendum unless raised by others but did get it across that it was for the people to choose which is rightly so but you do have to call the actual referendum for that to happen. My score 5.
Willie Rennie Scottish Liberal Democrats (Daily Record Score 6). Didn’t really add much to the debate and did what Willie Rennie does, not say a lot of any relevance. Went on about his mental health agenda which to be fair is a decent issue as mental health care in Scotland is very poor. My score 4.
Lorna Slater Scottish Green Party (Daily Record Score 6.). I was surprised by Lorna, talked about moving independence forward more than Nicola Sturgeon and definitely more about the environment than Patrick Harvie does. Came across as left of centre with some good ideas I thought. My score 6.
Anas Sarwar Scottish Labour Party (Daily Record Score 8). Did a lot better than I thought he would as he was consistent overall in what he said with his message. Seemed to want to avoid the independence issue which was a surprise and tried to make the debate about people and services, old school Labour areas in some ways I suppose. My score 6.
Overall the winners were Anas Sarwar and Lorna Slater in my opinion, both were ok but no one really stood out in the debate. It was all a bit safe and a bit flat to be honest, Sarah Smith is pretty rubbish at these debates and it probably should have been Glen Campbell to host. The audience were mostly pro union and that was not a surprise at all given the BBC record over the years, standard of questions pretty poor and levels of ignorance pretty high. An hour I won’t get back any time soon, things I go through for my blog being my hobby.
Ross waa inept, Rennie irrelevant, Slater patronising and self righteous (as all greens are), Sturgon looked tired but still competent. Sarwar came across genuine but still new.
I have knocked on door steps in elections and spoken to actual voters in the real world (ie not online) and last time the phrase popular was “I am not a tory but I like ruth davidson” (of course you will now say you know no one who said that, but again, have you actually went out and spoke to the electorate? maybe not). That will not be said about Doug Ross. However, I can see it being said by some floating non-SNP voters that “I am not labour normally but I like Sarwar” and I think Labour are on course to regain 2nd place under him.
I know some Tory voters, actual proper Tory voters who believe in their message but they are rare. Ross was by the far the worst last night, they really have a lack of talent in that party in Scotland. I thought Rennie was average and the rest pretty much average/ok but Sarwar and Slater just edged for me.
Thanks for commenting. Bruce
I watched it mainly to see if Salmond would be smeared. His name came up three or four times mostly by Rennie iirc in the context of more civil discourse and unity in the next parliament.
Dross was abject mentioning division, independence, referendum at every turn. Clearly the Tories see this as their only strategy to finish second. Sardar did Labour well by calling out Dross for his stupidity and attempting to pitch Labour as the covid recovery party and ignoring independence.
Rennie actually got across two important digs at Sturgeon. One on the mishandling of BiFab and the other on the SNP reluctance to take on devolved welfare powers.
Sturgeon was me, me, me, I …. did this or that. Egotistical as usual. Team Sturgeon has only one member. She was woeful for the most part on the constitutional question and allowed the debate to be focused solely on covid recovery even when given a multitasking out by a member of the audience. She missed the chance to focus on how Brexit was allowed to take place in the middle of the pandemic. She missed the chance to inform voters that Westminster in the shape of Lord Dunlop has been conducting a review of the devolved settlements across the UK during a pandemic. Government have multiple ministries for different functions so it is obvious that they multitask on a daily basis. Overall a sub par performance. Other matters seem to be weighing her down.
The Green candidate made better points on the need for independence and climate change action but gave the game away at the end when the identities politics of the Greens became evident.
I’d say that it was a tie between Sardar and Slater. Did it change anyone’s voting intentions? Doubt it. But if anyone lost votes it was Dross.
Fair comments. I thought Nicola Sturgeon was just going through the motions, if anything she looked bored by it all. Some people say she looked tired but aren’t we all but either way she wasn’t that great. Ross terrible, Rennie was Rennie and as you say Sarwar/Slater came out the best but these things don’t change votes all that much imagine but I suppose Sarwar might take some Labour votes back from the Tories is he doesn’t have a melt down. Any future debates have to have all of the leaders or I certainly won’t be watching them I don’t think, one was probably too much.
Thanks for commenting. Bruce
Bruce I could only manage about 20 mins before I gave up , I think your marking is being generous and the dally ricord scores were ludicrous for that pile of manure by a gang of utter incompetents . Scottish politics is really in a dire place when these muppets are the best of the rest
As for Sturgeon anyone who can’t see through her lies and misinformation by now is a cretin
Yeah the Record were a bit over the top for sure. Sturgeon just went through the motions, wasn’t really challenged and must have been happy with that online audience who were a bit flat as well and asked nothing too difficult. I also agree Scotland doesn’t have much of an opposition just now and that is why Salmond and Galloway needed to be included, it might have been interesting then if that had been the case and hopefully future debates will have them included, after last night I think the tv companies will seriously think about it as that debate was poor.
Thanks for commenting. Bruce
In The Scotsman its saying.The Proclaimers: Legendary Edinburgh rock duo announce they are backing the Alba party, fantastic news well done lads.
They were very active during 2014 I think and made a huge effort. Good for them and they can probably reach more people than many others can.
Thanks for commenting.
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