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.

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53 thoughts on “Ice Cold on Alex

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  • Ben-American Fascist Flechette

    Things heating up in Donetsk. Russian troops on border @ 20,000 now. Civilian casualties? Yeah, just Russians.

  • mark golding

    British nationalism runs deep in the plaque ridden arteries of the British establishment. British nationalism is celebrating the start of a bloody WW1; British nationalism is celebrating empire, imperialism, British jobs for British workers, support for dictators and ACCEPTING the tools of coercion, torture, false-flag, proxy wars and more.

    Thus a timely, pertinent and appropriate argument for a legion against an independent Scotland and all too many ‘yes’ aspersions, draw their fire from nationalism or dare I say ‘posh jock’ nationalism that shuts down any break-out from union.

    A ‘no’ vote would bolster the least attractive strand of British nationalism; the belief we’re rightful rulers of the world.

    This nationalist strand might be a convincing argument for or against our unaccountable monarchy symbolized by a flag which fluttered over British armies which invaded 90% of the countries on earth.

    I myself ponder the metaphor, the analogy. How many in Scotland viewing ‘yes’ to Scottish independence really do want to vote ‘no’ to British nationalism?

  • iccjock06

    Really liked the analysis in this piece. It put into words much of what I felt having watched the debate. Good stuff!!

  • Jives

    Res Dis,

    Look,I’ve called you and yer crew out many times as trolls.I have no reason to change that view.So just get lost.

    You and your hasbara buddies are so full of propagandist sockpuppet shite it’s almost quaint in its homilistic narrowness.

    Now fuck off,i called out your lies earlier and you still don’t have a plausible rejoinder.

    Habbabkuk,Jemand,Anon et al…that includes you too you bought and paid for warmongering soul-less pimps.

  • Jives

    Habbabkuk 11.35pm.

    Very occasionally you say something of truth and merit Habbabkuk-and you did in that post.Fair play.

    But for the rest of your trollish sockpuppet shite get lost and go and defend the Israeli slaughter of football playing children on a beach-amongst others-on all those frantic websites you and your crew have to increasingly cover whilst occasionally dropping in here to scattergun your transparent and desperate nonsense.

    We here,over many years,have observed your hurried burst of posts then subsequent disappearnces to other places whilst you desperately attempt to invade other websites.

    Molehills and lawns Habba..your busy-ness/disappearances from here reveal your flawed position.Molehills and lawns Habba.

    But come the Great Reckoning Habba….well…your lies will be revealed but you may find compassion in places you never extended to others.

    Take you and your fellow trolls not-so-subtle cyber-Zerzetzen tactics elsewhere.

    The world is wise to it now.

  • DavidH

    It’s a pity you’ve got a slug like Alex Salmond representing the independence side. Alex the man who agreed to represent Murdoch’s business interests in return for favorable coverage in The Sun. Now there’s a man of real conviction.

    If Scotland really wants independence and a chance to go it alone on the economy, government spending, taxation, banking and business policies etc then they need to be planning for all the things an independent country needs – including a central bank and a currency. Alex has no idea about these things – he’s aiming for some kind of post-independence deal that will keep the pound, thus keep British control over the Scotish economy, keep all the banksters and business leaders happy, just give himself a little bit more prestige.

    It’s happened again. The democratic system has been rigged so that whichever way the vote goes you get the same pile of shit.

  • Jives


    Well i agree with your reading of the situation bar one point.

    It can’t be called democracy if it’s so fixed.

    Hobson’s Choice perhaps.

  • Subrosa

    Only saw a small part of the debate and that was about the currency. I felt Alex Salmond was rather too calm and lacked his usual passion when responding to the shouting Darling.

    However, once I’ve viewed the whole thing I will possibly agree with you Craig. Ponsonby behaved like a dictator rather than a chairman and, in the small part I did see, every member of the audience who was ‘invited’ to speak was a No voter.

  • ben harper

    KILL The Messenger Movie Release date delayed in UK until March 6, 2015

    The story of how US intelligence brought the Crack Epidemic to the USA and then imprisoned a race of people


    see Kill The Messenger movie trailer here:


    To fully understand the implications of this movie– after basically flooding the streets with drugs, the feds then increased prison sentences for the mostly black crack users and sellers (80% of those arrested for crack) to a 100:1 ratio.

    –meaning a black user with 5 grams (a small rock) got a 5 year sentence
    –a white person possessing 500 grams (over a pound) would get a 5 year sentence.

    Communities were devastated. An entire generation of black people were imprisoned by the new law. People died and had their health damaged by the CONTRA Drugs


    A rush to judgment

    In 1986, lawmakers wrote new mandatory crack cocaine penalties in a few short days, using the advice of a perjurer.
    March 23, 2014 12:00AM E

    “The sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine has contributed to the imprisonment of African Americans at six times the rate of whites and to the United States’ position as the world’s leader in incarcerations.”

  • Just saying

    Really, to be (in a gilded cage) or not to be, that is the question. Can someone (CM perhaps) make it that clear to the Scots.

  • Abe Rene

    I couldn’t see it on TV except for an excerpt which had Salmond apparently refusing to say what currency an independent Scotland would have. Why not just say ‘Scottish dollar’ and get it over with? Anyway, that’s his problem. Also Darling wouldn’t give a straight answer when Salmond repeatedly asked ‘Do you agree with the Prime Minister that Scotland can be a successful independent country?’ He could have easily answered ‘It’s possible. But..’

    Perhaps I didn’t miss much.

  • lwtc247

    I would love to see a debate on the issue between George Galloway (pro-Union – as I’m sure you know) and your self (pro-Independence – which I’m even more sure you know 😉 )
    How about giving George a call and debating as an exercise in democracy which we badly, badly need.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !


    “..every member of the audience who was ‘invited’ to speak was a No voter.”

    I didn’t watch the “debate” and so cannot fairly contradict you.

    But look at it this way : the No side is, broadly speaking, for the status quo, subject to a couple of “promises” I’m told its made regarding future Scottish governance. It is the Yes side which is seeking a change in that status quo. Surely, therefore, it is for the Yes side to make its case. And one could argue that this must include answering points and questions put by the opposition – which would, in turn, justify allowing most of the questions in such a “debate” to come from those who are content with the status quo.

  • GL

    Salmond did the cause of Unionism a good service last night and long may he continue to do so. I would have thought by now that in view of all the problems currently being witnessed the world over and in the light of past conflicts that Nationalism AKA Independence for Scotland is the very last thing that should now be under consideration. Whatever the problems are within the UK – and there are many – there is much to be said for keeping with the devil you know. In these troubled times the alternative is just too uncertain to contemplate.

  • claire

    wasnt Salmonds best performance but then it wasn’t really a debate.
    Darling was tee’d into some points but still managed to fluff his lines.
    I would dearly love to see Scotland turn its back on the pound but its in no ones interests to do that.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    Jives (03h15)

    You commented thus either to wind me up or because you were feeling lonely in the wee hours of the night.

    Whichever it was, I forgive you, while at the same time being unable to resist pointing to the many absurdities in your screed.


    “get lost and go and defend the Israeli slaughter of football playing children on a beach-amongst others-…”

    Quotations as evidence, please.


    “…on all those frantic websites you and your crew have to increasingly cover ”


    Which websites would those be?


    “We here,over many years,have observed your hurried burst of posts..”

    Many years? How many?


    “…then subsequent disappearnces to other places whilst you desperately attempt to invade other websites.”

    Which ones? Evidence?


    “Molehills and lawns Habba..”

    A nice phrase, Jives, especially for the wee hours – but what, if anything, does it mean?


    “But come the Great Reckoning Habba..”

    Is that a reference to the Day of Judgement? I didn’t know you were religious.

    “The world is wise to it now.”

    Come, come, Jives think small! Small is beautiful, you know.


    On the basis of the above ravings, I hereby solemnly appoint you a full Member of the Egregiousness of Excellences. Your certificate will be sent to you by recorded delivery upon receipt of the required registration fee and postage.


  • Ba'al Zevul (With Gaza)

    Seeing as all the real deals are done by or with offshore hedge funds in the currency offering most profit, or oil companies in dollars, the notion of a national currency is approaching the end-time anyway. So, maybe acknowledge that, keep reserves in Euro bonds and revive the merk or the Scots pound for domestic use?

    Didn’t hear the debate, just some comments on it – which noticed that Clegg had been spoon-fed. I do think, though, that Salmond would benefit if he could present some clear ideas on assembling the nuts and bolts of independence. The idea’s terrific. But some would like to know how it is to be done.

  • Subrosa

    Habbabkuk (La Vita È Bella) !

    I did say I only saw a small portion of the debate and it was during these few minutes every member of the audience addressed by Ponsonby was a No voter; my point being the debate was badly balanced in favour of those who wish to keep the status quo.

    You believe it appears that No voters outnumber Yes voters by a large majority. At the present time – and living in what used to be one of Scotland’s safest Conservative seats – I disagree. Many people realise the UK government doesn’t want to ‘lose’ Scotland. You know the reasons. It’s just a pity more floating voters haven’t worked that out for themselves and Alex Salmond didn’t get the chance to explain it last night.

  • Resident Dissident

    I would have thought that most of the questioners being no voters would have been something that an experienced politician such as Salmond would be able to turn to his advantage if he had good answers to their questions – apparently not.

  • Frank bowles

    While I didn’t count I felt that there were more nationalist questioners Craig, so it is all perception. I thought the debate was dire; sentiments borne out by many of the student debating circuit we were once part of. If independence really matters is it about building a vision of a society people believe in; as Chris Huhne wrote in the Guardian this week this is a heart decision not one about what currency you use. Really, people would vote for independence just so long as we don’t have to have different money in our pocket? Hardly commitment to the cause is it? While appreciating all that is wrong with the UK, I feel so disappointed at Alex’s mini-me UK and his centralizing tendencies. An opportunity for a Liberal society lost along with my vote…

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