Looking back at the Salmond – Darling Debate
The anti-Scottish independence campaign, known as, “Blether Together”, has an, “underlying contempt” for the status of the First Minister of Scotland. Alan Smart, a former senior executive at STV and former Head of Broadcasting at the Scottish Parliament said, “The arrogance of the, “Blether Together” side is astonishing.” “They refused to allow David Cameron, [UK Prime Minister] to debate with the Scottish First Minister, but said, “David Cameron does not have a vote in this referendum. Alistair Darling does. He is ready to debate Alex Salmond ANY TIME AND ANY PLACE.” they then set about dictating where and when his substitute Alistair Darling, [former UK Chancellor of the Exchequer] would debate,”
Lord McConnell, [former Labour First Minister of Scotland] entered the debate saying, “there should be a truce in the run up and during the Commonwealth Games, (23 Jul-3 Aug) to ensure they don’t become politicized,” Shortly after it emerged that first television head-to-head debate of the campaign, to be broadcast by STV, would not go ahead after, “Blether Together” insisted it should be held on the 16 July.
Mindful of Lord McConnel’s views, (with which he agreed) Alex Salmond issued a statement saying he would be happy to debate with Darling AFTER the Glasgow Commonwealth Games had finished. This was rejected by, “Blether Together” who, in an attempt to make mischief accused STV of rolling over to demands by the First Minister.
Alan Smart, (who previously held senior positions within the pro-UK Labour Party), added, “There is a metropolitan arrogance with, “Blether Together”. “It’s an underlying contempt that betrays the fact they have a lot of people from London parachuted up to Scotland who think we live in some Hicksville.” “It would therefore seem dumb for, “Blether Together” to insist on having the first set piece debate just before the Games start,” Smart added.
The debate was eventually held on 5 August, 2 day’s after the games. So much for Darlings challenge, “any time any place” and he wanted the debate just before the games were scheduled to start clearly rejecting the advice of his colleagues.