STV Live Referendum Debate

Live blog – never done this before!

Nicola Sturgeon V What’s His name, Alistair Carmichael, Scottish secretary. Very short opening statements

On no! Bernard (I put it to you, First Minister) Ponsonby is sniping from the studio.

Q – Do you accept that RUK have a legitimate say in indy debate?

Nicola – Independence can transform Scotland. ‘Scottish and UK govts signed an agreement to accept decision. It is in interests of RUK for Scotland to keep pound.

Q – Automatic membership of EU?

N – We are already a member. Chair keeps mentioning Spanish PM’s comments that we wouldn’t  be part of EU [Spain have their own indy movement in Catalan. Hardly neutral observer]

A C – Scotland would have chosen to leave – no automatic entry into EU

Q – You represent less than 20% of vote but are Scottish Secretary.

A C – Blusters, doesn’t address point. We had 13 years of Labour which reflected our voting [that’s all right then]

Q – mandate?

A C – blusters

Q – Currency?

N – No-one in UK govt has clearly said we won’t get to keep pound.

Q  – Cameron can veto

N – Not in their interests.

Q – Plan B?

N – They won’t stop us using pound – as much our pound as rUK’s

N – In interests of both us and rUK

Q – Policy to veto currency union

A C – Blusters quite badly. ‘Highly unlikely’

Why would independent Scotland want to be part?

N – We want fiscal independence.

Stronger fiscal position than rUK

Q – Structural deficit

N – Better able to address this when independent.

Q  – How many years to reduce deficit [come on! Who fucking knows?]

N – UK govt has put us into deficit

Q  is not being firm enough

Q – Where is your vision?

A C – We have published [something]

Q – What do we get if we vote no?

A C – My vision is anyone on minimum wage will not pay tax.

N – policies cutting welfare and putting more into poverty


Ponsonby – White paper re-hash of arguments [i.e. addressing the issues]

Then contradicts saying White Paper should concentrate on ‘bread & butter’ issues’

Colin somebody  – No definitive answer on currency from either side.

Ponsonby – Post indy, self interest will rule for both sides.

Colin – Constructive so far, engaging with issues – will hear more about Spanish PM’s comments.



N – No campaign has been demanding answers? What will happen to Scotland if we vote no? How many Scots children will be in poverty by 2020?

A C – We inherited in 2010 poor economy

N – How many children . Child Poverty Action Group – 50 – 100,000 more children in poverty by 2010 if we vote no.

A C – We are making difficult decisions, blah blah

N – Repeats q again. Is 100,000 more acceptable?

A C – How will you finance funding gap?

N – What powers if we vote no? Give us 3 powers.

A C – Begs Q to stop interrupts – told to answer question, which he doesn’t

N – Give me one power

A C _ again asks for help from Q

N – Scottish funding after ref? Barnett formula? 4 billion less? Come clean

A C – Nicola is scaremongering. Argues about former Scots secretary and position on Dr Who [?]

N – Has not answered a Q

N – We will always get govt we vote for if indy. Gurantee that Liberals will not impose a Tory govt?

A C – Still whines about Qs – doesn’t answer any q.

N _ Child poverty, powers, impose.|Tory govt – no answer.

AC – How will indy Scotland work? Membership of EU – Spanish PM again. Do you accept that we will leave EU.

N – No. Transition period where we will negotiate terms of continuing membership.

N – We will not be out

A C – Not continuing membership.

N _ It will be. Not you job to stand up for Scotland. Risk to our membership is not independence, but EU referendum

A C – again whines about Nicola playing too hard.

N – You said you couldn’t gurantee membership of EU because of EU vote.

A C – Currency. Salmond said years ago that pound was millstone round our neck. Do you agree?

N – Circumstances change

A C – Makes sense to have currency union – we are 2nd biggest market of r UK – it makes sense to keep

A C – USA is 1st market – we don’t need currency union. Why do you want this weak independence?

N – We want fiscal independence.

A C – Shipbuilding. Independence threat to jobs, quoting some union convener.

N – I will support Clyde if independent or not? You said that contracts will not come to Scotland as a matter of law. Clyde best place to build them. You were quoted in Portsmouth newspaper talking down the Clyde.

A C – When has UK built warship abroad?

N – They are looking abroad at the moment.


[Descended into talking over each other a bit too much – lots of heat, but little light. Alistair Carmichael wasn’t very forthcoming, and Nicola a bit too much sniping. It didn’t flow very well as they didn’t allow each other to speak.]

I give it to Nicola.



Ponsonby – Nicola won – when she was being cross-examined, she turned the tables.

Colin agrees – Nicola won.

Ponsonby – Nicola’s issues were about child poverty etc – Carmichael’s issues were dry.

Colin – Carmichael wasn’t thinking on his feet.

[Off to my kip. Go Nicola!]


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