“The Scottish Research Society” welcomes the outcome of the first live TV debate between First Minister Alex Salmond and Better Together’s Leader, Alistair Darling, staged yesterday on Tuesday August 5th.
Alistair Darling , faced with the difficult prospect of starting as underdog, and with only hard facts to use as his material, kept resolutely to his script and to his cause. He consistently demanded from Mr Salmond, an answer to the simple question, ‘in the event of your not reaching agreement over a sterling currency option, what is your Plan B?’
Over Pensions, Mr Darling again pressed for clarity over guarantees that funding would be in place.
To no avail. Instead, he was met with counterpunches about Aliens, driving on the Right, Food Banks and whether or not David Cameron favoured an independent Scotland. Punches that had all the gravitas and damaging force of tea cakes in a bowling alley.
In fairness Mr Salmond did strike a few blows; posturing against the Bedroom Tax, Trident and attempts to thwart joining he EU. All of these are well rehearsed and tried historic arguments, that most people have heard, considered and filed in their ‘out tray’.
The broad consensus over the outcome is that Alistair Darling was more convincing, while Alex Salmond used his repertoire of populist appeal and personal assault, to little effect. Neither man, perhaps did enough to vary the Polls significantly from the 16 point gap declared at the outset.
However, there should be more minds made up this morning, that say ‘common sense tells me that an independent nation that has no clear idea about how it’s currency will operate, is neither independent nor one that can be relied upon to pay my bills’.