Scotland: united against the terrible Tories...

Scotland: united against the terrible Tories...

by Bill Jamieson
article from Tuesday 18, November, 2014

Good evening and welcome to another special BBC Scotland TV panel discussion: “Where To After the Referendum?” We have a full range of opinion across the political spectrum and I’ll start first with our new First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. What do you think will be the key themes of your leadership?

 

STURGEON:  Make no mistake. It’s to prepare for independence and to put an end to the Westminster austerity cuts in Scotland, fight inequality, raise welfare benefits and build a fairer society.  I repeat my pledge that after the May election the SNP will never ever go into a coalition with the hated Tories (loud studio applause).

STUDIO CHAIR: But we’ve just had a referendum. When do you plan to have another one?

STURGEON: As soon as we think we can win it. 

STUDIO CHAIR: Thank you First Minister. Now let’s hear from Jim Murphy, standing for the leadership of Scottish Labour. 

MURPHY: My position is clear. It is to beat the Conservatives in the next election. More people are needing care and support. Scottish Labour will lead the anti-Tory fight back in Scotland. 

STUDIO CHAIR: And now Neil Findlay MSP who is also contending to be Scottish Labour leader and who is said to be closing the gap on Jim Murphy. 

NEIL FINDLAY: I’m speaking for real Labour – honest Labour, Continuity Labour, the heartland anti-Thatcher Labour that wants to see the Tories out of Scotland. I’ve got support from nine out of 11 nominating unions. We should take the railways back into common ownership and bring PFI contracts back in-house. I’m against the renewal of Trident nuclear weapons. The UK doesn't need and can't afford nuclear weapons. That's what I'll do.

STUDIO CHAIR Thank you Mr Findlay. And now Sarah Boyack.

BOYACK: I’m definitely more Left wing than him (pointing to Jim Murphy) but maybe less Left wing than him (pointing to Neil Findlay) but I’m certainly more Left wing than her (glowering at Nicola Sturgeon). 

STUDIO CHAIR: Thank you. I think we’ve covered all the bases. 

WILLIE RENNIE:  You haven’t covered me! The Liberal Democrats will be hitting back hard against the Westminster Tories we’ve vigorously opposed...

GEORGE GALLOWAY:  And you haven’t covered me! 

TOMMY SHERIDAN: And ye cannae cover him unless you cover me! We’re leading the fight for an independent socialist Scotland and an end to the hated Westminster Tories. That’s why we need another referendum (loud cheers from studio audience).

STUDIO CHAIR: We certainly seem to have a full spectrum of opinion I -  

PATRICK HARVIE:   You haven’t covered me!  I’m a full spectrum of opinion! And I’m more Left wing than any of them. Those with the broader shoulders should bear the greater burden. So there’ll be a mansion tax and a higher top rate of income tax and more subsidies for wind farms to drive the Tories and their friends in Big Oil out of Scotland.

STUDIO CHAIR:  Thank you. There does seem to be a broad anti-Conservative front – 

LEN McCLUSKEY: You haven’t covered me! We at Unite can’t wait to see the Tories driven out and a full socialist programme brought in – 

STUDIO CHAIR: Thank you Mr McCluskey. But you don’t have a voice in Scotland – 

McCLUSKEY: Yes I do. He’s Neil Findlay.

STUDIO CHAIR: Of course. Now, for balance we’ve arranged for a Scottish Conservative spokesman to be patched in from our Edinburgh studio – 

STUDIO VOICE OVER:  Viewers are warned they may hear views that could cause distress. If you have any concerns regarding issues raised in this programme, please press the red button or phone the BBC help-Line 

STUDO CHAIR:  Hello, Mungo Mackay? Are you there?

MURDO MACKAY (in Edinburgh studio, speaking from behind steel grill) Yes, I can hear you, just about.

STUDIO CHAIR: The grill’s for your protection Mr Mackay.  It seems your party is deeply unpopular in Scotland. What are you going to do? 

MURDO MACKAY: We may be unpopular with your studio guests. That’s not quite the same thing. We’re confident we’ll win more votes next May – 

STURGEON:  That’s because the anti-Scottish Westminster BBC keeps giving you all this air time!

HARVIE: I agree! It’s absurd that a party with just the one MP at Westminster be given all this air time!

MURDO MACKAY: And how many MSPs do the Greens have? Just the two! We've fifteen!

TOMMY SHERIDAN: But at least he’s an MSP! That’s because he gets all this coverage we don’t get! His arse is never off this studio sofa! And we’ve got nae MSPs because the Tory-dominated BBC won’t give us coverage!

NICOLA STURGEON, NEIL FINDLAY, GEORGE GALLOWAY, PATRICK HARVIE AND TOMMY SHERIDAN TOGETHER:  Sack Nick Robinson! Sack Nick Robinson! 

STUDIO CHAIR: please! We only have a minute left before I ask Gerry Hassan to sum up.  It seems the SNP, Labour and the other parties here all have ambitious spending plans. But we know the budget deficit is rising, and the debt and the interest payments too. So what is your policy towards the debt?

STURGEON: It’s not our debt. It’s Westminster debt!

FINDLAY: No it’s not, it’s Tory debt!

HARVIE:  It’s global warming debt!

GALLOWAY, SHERIDAN:  It’s global capitalism debt! 

MURPHY:  The debt? It’s got nothing to do with Labour.

STUDIO CHAIR: So there’s no problem here? 

STURGEON: What problem?  The one problem is to beat everyone else at beating the Tories. 

STUDIO CHAIR: Thank you. Sorry, Gerry, we’ll bring you in another time. From all of us, at the impartial BBC, it’s Goodnight, Scotland. 

 

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