Reevesey's recommended reading

Monday, 26 April 2010

The Scottish Westminster TV debate plus Alex Salmond

The title isn't meant to antagonise the SNP supporters, I still cannot get my head round why he wants to participate in one debate, snub another and threaten court action on the Prime Ministerial debates?

Anyway, back to The Hub Sunday 25th April at 10.30am - the Sky debate live.

As a mere audience member (I know how to enjoy a little time off from the general election campaign) I was to be there at 9.30am, I arrived by taxi, no buses at that time of morning from home, to find the Conservatives handing out playing cards - was very disappointed to see Annabel Goldie wasn't portrayed as the Queen of whatever, but the big question was, who would be the joker, so many to choose from?

No-one, they all had policy statements on and quite a few of them with appalling grammar and a fair few spelling mistakes.

Anyway, after being ticked off the list (there is always a list at such glamorous events, so I am told) I grabbed a coffee and headed to colleagues and friends who were making up the Liberal Democrats section in the audience.

There was a block for each of the four parties plus a larger block of voters, some who were going to be asking the questions.  I saw fellow blogger Yousuf on the Labour benches, but didn't get chance to say hi, so Yousuf - Hello and sorry for not saying hello yesterday!

There were some strange questions, some good questions and a couple of great questions.

The four politicians were Alistair Carmichael (Liberal Democrats), Alex Salmond (SNP), Jim Murphy (Labour) and David Mundell (Scotland's only Conservative MP).

There were some good points made by all four which I had hoped to do some live tweets about, but after the first one I had to turn the Blackberry off, which was a great shame, but given how many times the camera seemed to pick me up when I watched the show back last night, I am quite glad in someways lol.

Alistair Carmichael had a great soap box moment on the Iraq war (and rightly so) and really had Jim Murphy on the ropes, so much so he had a ten second stare out after having a real go at Murphy and Labour for not having even the decency of counting the number of civilians who died in Iraq.

Hamish Macdonell writes for the Caledonian Mercury:
Mr Carmichael was the only one to show real passion, when he got worked up over the war in Iraq, berating Mr Murphy for the Labour government’s failure to show “even the decency of counting” the number of Iraqi dead.
Alistair continued his thread of anger on civil liberties as well as the illegal war in Iraq.
Indeed, Mr Carmichael was particularly effective – as expected given this was a question about civil liberties – when he said: “When we erode these freedoms we do the terrorists’ job for them.”

Hamish Macdonell writes a good summary of the debate bar one line, where he gets it very, very wrong:
Mr Salmond appeared the more statesmanlike of the three simply by not getting involved in the shouting matches against Mr Murphy...
Erm, Hamish why don't you watch the debate again and concentrate on the section where Murphy accuses Salmond of sleeping for Scotland - that is a shouting match?

Anyway I will leave the last word to Jamie Livingstone of STV:
The Liberal Democrat’s Alistair Carmichael may be most satisfied having painted himself as a measured alternative to the other three panelists. To my mind both Alex Salmond and Jim Murphy under performed...

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