Ice Cold on Alex 53


The debate format seemed modelled on the Jeremy Kyle show, and pitched to the same intellectual level.

Stripping out pollsters’ unionist weighting, Yes just went from ahead to further ahead.

Poll before debate 58 – 42. Who won poll after debate 56-44. Yet media claim Yes went backwards!

The 2010 debates were much better than this in terms at least of allowing for sustained passages of thought. Whether the thoughts were any good is a different question.

I was imagining myself as a participant in tonight’s debate and the impossibility of developing any coherent arguments within the fractured format. Which of course helps those simply stating a negative rather than building a positive.

Well, that really was pretty awful. At no stage did either Salmond or Darling get given the space or opportunity to string a decent series of thoughts together. The selected questioners from the audience were overwhelmingly unionist to a degree that was absolutely ludicrous. The presenter constantly displayed aggressive body language towards Alex Salmond.

STV’s political correspondent said that the questions showed that pensions and currency were the dominant issues – given that STV chose the questioners and questions, it only shows that STV want those to be the issues.

Alex Salmond did get across the need to get rid of nuclear weapons, despite the questioning being organised to keep away from that subject.

I don’t imagine any genuine floating voter learned a lot. But the entire format and context was designed to make sure they didn’t learn a lot

Alistair Darling’s closing statement came over as though he didn’t actually believe it at all

The very next question comes from a No voter. Haven’t seen a question in twenty minutes from a Yes voter.

Four straight pro-unionist (and extremely ill-informed) questions from members of the audience obviously pre-selected by the chairman. Salmond given no chance to reply and then a pat question put to Darling.

I am truly astonished by the debate format, designed to leave no time at for consideration – or considered answers – on any of the questions and to ramp up the speed and sheer hysteria of the programme. The cutting aside to the “spin room” and that really horrible shoutey New Labour numptie woman. Also a very strange absence of the Tories, who are financing the Better Together campaign, and the other unionist elements.

In a format which seems designed to make sure nobody ever gets more than ten uninterrupted thought to develop a reasoned line of argument, and of which the express purpose appears to be simply to make people believe that the independence referendum is just a high volume slanging match between unreasonable people, it is Alex Salmond who comes over as calm and more thoughtful (not to mention polite) and Darling who comes over as the impassioned and rather snide one – contrary to advance billing.


53 thoughts on “Ice Cold on Alex

1 2
  • conjunction

    Perhaps you are watching it live or are in Scotland, but the STV webdite has crashed and apparently no-one in England can watch it.

  • Ron

    Craig
    Take off the blinkers. Salmond is behaving very badly. Constant shouting from the sidelines. Not terribly classy.

  • Visitor

    LATEST:STV says it is “working on fixing live steam” of independence referendum debate between Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling

    Same old. same old.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    Os the “debate format” just the latest in what SFTB referred to, on a previous thread, as the “line-up of scapegoats”?

    “Same old, same old”, as Visitor put it?

  • EphemeralDeception

    The STV site is not working outside Scotland = Major Fail (Nobody on Wings has been able to access abroad).
    Its a shame, but from the comments I have seen, Darling has few answers except to shout down his opponent.

    However the Audience does seem balanced or at least managed so that there are 33% NO, YES and DK.

  • Ben-American Fascist Flechette

    These live debates are not designed for informing the public. Just like campaign debates the questioners are pre-screened and vetted. Information is a dangerous commodity.

  • EphemeralDeception

    P.S. Like the Page title!

    But, I think it was stated that flipper doesn’t even have a vote, due to his Lonfdon address! So much for Camerons get out clause then.

  • Parky

    I think Salmon came over as a safe pair of hands and was more measured than Darling who seemed to be panicking and kept shouting. When the dust settles the logical economic arguments will be forgotten and it will be the emotional ones which will count on polling day.

    I saw this via satellite, it seems the UK web stream crashed due to too much demand from England viewers. A mistake not to have broadcast this programme nationally by ITV.

  • Iain

    “Reading this it is pretty clear that Darling won.”

    Yeh right the man didn’t answer a question all night long, just spread the usual manure. He is good at talking over people though.

    Poor format from STV and far to much guff about currency. Where was the debate around democracy? Where were the question around Nuclear weapons?

    Salmond on points, because at least he had something to offer.

  • Jives

    Res Dis,

    Reading your troll post its clear you aint read the thread at all.

    One poster reckons Darling won it.

    Youre evidently just another drive by troll caught out lying.

  • Tris

    If you had watched it, you would have seen that, despite the bias of the set up, Darling didn’t win.

    He started off not badly, with his new glasses making him look quite the statesman, but he stuttered and he blinked and he got more unravelled as the night went on.

    Salmond wasted too much time on Project Fear. I know Birnham did talk about driving on the right. He said the EU would make us do it (like they didn’t with Eire)and saying it was a joke was a poor answer. Concentration on that made Alex look a bit petty though.

    People were more concerned about currency. That’s not unreasonable. I wonder why Alex didn’t say that of course they would be co-operating with the UK government after independence, just like the UK government cooperates with America and the EU, etc.

  • DomesticExtremist

    The whole idea of TV debates for politics is risible.

    the 2010 debates were atrocious too – after the novelty of the first one wore off (about 15 mins in), they just became platforms for set-piece renditions of campaign slogans and cringeworthy anecdotes.

    They are a crap idea imported from the US and the sooner we abandon them, the better it will be for political discourse.

  • Resident Dissident

    Jives

    I was commenting on Craig’s post and his reaction to the debate. You similarly aggressive response suggests that you probably think the same as well.

  • Resident Dissident

    I should have added that if Craig had thought that Salmond had won – he would have not been complaining about the format.

  • craig Post author

    Domestic Extremist

    I accept much of what you say, but the 2010 debates were much better than this in terms at least of allowing for sustained passages of thought. Whether the thoughts were any good is a different question.

    I was imagining myself as a participant in tonight’s debate and the impossibility of developing any coherent arguments within the fractured format. Which of course helps those simply stating a negative rather than building a positive.

  • Alan Campbell

    Here comes the Craig Murray electoral kiss of death…the people have voted- the bastards.

  • Clydebuilt

    The test of tonight’s programme is how will it affect undecided voters. Not how it’s percieved by people with fixed opinions, (of which I am one). General wisdom before the debate was that Darling should bore for Britain, I thought he was the most animated. Alex worked at not appearing to be smug, hence heid down a lot.

    The poll of polls has been moving steadily towards YES for some time now. Will tonight’s debate alter that? I doubt it!

  • Savilestan

    The format’s all right. How long does it take to say,
    “Dump those British toffs who fuck our kids.”

  • Patrick Roden

    can’t help thinking that Alex was aiming to appeal to the female vote tonight. Most of us men have an in-built desire to see Alex give Darling a good verbal kicking, but most women want a calm gentle approach, it may take a few days to translate into polling trends but a good percentage of women may have been viewing the debate for the first time tonight.

    Women can usualy see through liars very well and wont have like Darling avoiding answering.

    New ICM poll has Yes +4% and NO-4% tonight, Yes 47% No 53%. it’s Getting very close, at just the right time!

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    “The whole idea of TV debates for politics is risible.

    the 2010 debates were atrocious too – after the novelty of the first one wore off (about 15 mins in), they just became platforms for set-piece renditions of campaign slogans and cringeworthy anecdotes.

    They are a crap idea imported from the US and the sooner we abandon them, the better it will be for political discourse.”
    ______________________

    I’ve probably crossed swords with you a couple of times, Domestic Extremist, but I think you’re spot on this time.

    Why on earth are you venting about this “debate”, Craig?

    The evidence that such debates influence voters more than marginally is thin at best and if this is the case, then why go on about whether the questions are rigged or whether the audience has been “carefully” chosen and why speculate about who “won” or “lost”?

    They are no substitute for clear and careful exposition of policy and voters taking the trouble to think and make up their minds in consequence. They are just TV entertainment masquerading as “information”, brought to us to fill up the TV schedules. As Domestic Extremist points out, they are American imports and mean next to nothing.

1 2

Comments are closed.