That lumbering monster created with the sole aim of spreading fear into the heart of any free thinking Scot entered our rooms last night with the sole aim, to scare us back into our box.
Yes, it was the BBC Question time debate. It was the States turn to put the SNP under pressure. We are used to question time subtly and sometimes not quite so subtly having a plant on the weekly show to ask an awkward question. Even during the Jeremy Corbyn edition on Friday there was the Tory gap year student wearing the £150 Ralph Lauren jumper and posh accent complaining that Jeremy doing away with Zero Hours contracts would affect his ability to work. That aside last nights leaders debate from Edinburgh was the absolute worst I have ever seen.
To start with, instead of David Dimbleby who was off, erm preparing something or other, our great Aunty Beeb decided to drop in the closest presenter they have to a real life Frankenstein.. Nick (I Hate The SNP, Scottish self determinists, Tory boy) Robinson. As soon as he appeared on screen I could fell my blood pressure rise and knew that this was going to be as choreographed as Strictly Come Dancing.
Almost immediately the questions started firing in on issues that are devolved and for another election. The one we had last year. It was all planned with the sole purpose of trying to put Nicola Sturgeon on the back foot. Unlike just about any other leader Nicola is on the ball and she is well versed on matters that are under her responsibility as FM of Scotland. However if the BBC are expecting us to believe that this is a representative Scottish audience we have two conclusions. Either we have been colonised or the BBC hand picked the audience and it did not represent the voting split in Scotland. In total we heard four Scottish voices, one from a young woman who was very keen to point out that it was the SNP policy of further education that allowed her to be the very first generation of her family to go to University. The second was from a young Doctor who explained that the UK Governments immigration policy was affecting the ability of his fiancee to come here, then there was the third was from an a genuine SNP voter (who I have had a conversation with and confirms that the BBC asked her what question she would ask before she went in) who doesn’t want independence at the moment and wants to see how Brexit plays out. The fourth was from a woman who wanted to know if the SNP would sell out Scottish Fisherman, who have been sold out at every turn by the Tories and are still in support of a Westminster Government who didn’t even give them a voice in Brussels when they were being sold out.
The other questioners were there to complain about income tax (in Scotland), education with the sole aim of trying to dent the SNP support. However it was the way that Nick hosted the debate that got me angry the most. As a main question was taken and Nicola gave strong answers he would then point out members of the audience to comment. Many of these comments were not on the subject and were absurd statements, such as “With SNP support dropping” and “Why is you approval rating so low?”. Instead of being directly allowed to respond to these questions Nick would interrupt the FM to look for other audience members allowing the previous statement to hang in the mind of the viewer with the aim of penetrating the dim or biased unionist voters mind like one of the slow bullets in the SciFi film Dune.
There was a questioner who thought that Scotland should give a commitment to not hold another referendum for a period of 25 years. Can you just imaging what Westminster would do if they thought that whatever they did we couldn’t vote to leave the UK? No, elected official can ever give that guarantee, anyone who did would be a traitor to Scotland and the sovereignty of the Scottish people.
Again the BBC has shown that the political debate in Scotland is being poisoned by the political establishment in Westminster’s control over what we see and hear in Scotland. Scotland is a region who’s minds and resources must be controlled. On Thursday we are electing MP’s to go to Westminster to represent Scotland and secure funding for the services that are devolved and “Scottish” audience were questioning about but at no point was the debate allowed to focus on what these MP’s would be doing to defend Scotland during Brexit negotiations and other matters of legislation. When Nicola did try to get on to these points she was quickly shut down by Nick, with the aim of dragging the matter back to devolved issues.
The simple fact is that the services in Scotland that are devolved are very much affected by the amount of our money we get back from Westminster. To improve services we need to free up more of our money, lets divert our money away from HS2, London Crossrail etc. Right now if the best that we can do is outperform the rest of the UK in health, education (Scotland’s performance is 10% higher than rUK 55%/45% in literacy & numeracy) and policing. For anyone to complain they are either extremely stupid, incredibly biased or more worryingly they want Scotland to be perfect, when the place they came from in the rUK is actually pretty shit. At the end of the day most of these people voted No and should be told to “haud their wheest”. If you vote away control for pocket money or very limited fiscal abilities designed to make the Scottish Government unpopular, you have absolutely no right to complain. You voted to go down the tubes with your beloved UK.
However the final word of the day has to go for the ultimate zoomer, the little old lady from Wales who thinks that Scotland is no longer a country after it signed the treaty of the Union in 1707. Her view there is the perfect example of how Scotland is seen by many Unionists and the establishment. They play lip service and allow us to have a football & rugby team, but at the end of the day we are nothing more than a region of the UK. For the sake of Scotland’s institutions and future we have to elect as many SNP MP’s to represent us in Westminster as no Unionist MP will ever stand up for us. Unionists will sell Scotland short for gold and an ermine robe from their London masters. We have suffered from this in the past and it is painfully obvious that we will never grow more than the UK will allow, they will continually keep us focused on the internal UK market while draining our resources. The rUK trades more into Scotland and can’t afford to jeopardise that trade, trade will always continue due to geographic convenience but by controlling our own ambitions with the world we can grow and encourage people to come here and help us grow. Something that is becoming even more impossible inside the UK. 70% of Irelands trade used to be with the UK, now its 40% and the economy in Ireland is growing faster than the UK’s with Brexit effect not even hit yet. We can’t place our eggs is a self destructing basket and expect our situation to improve.