Face of the Unionist debate

Fang_Farrier

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#1
Interesting piece on Radio Scotland yesterday about who should front up against Alec Salmon in the forthcoming political debates around the referendum.

Peter Duncan (I think) Chair of Scottish Tories suggested a Mr G. Brown as a good choice for following reasons.

1. Most Tories will vote for Union anyway.
2. It is Labour voters who need swayed.
3. Brown actually increased Labour's vote in Scotland at last GE.
4. He has no links to Tories and is Scottish.
5. He has vast experience of debating with high ranked political foes and thus will not be phased by Salmon.

I'm not convinced that Brown would be a great choice but can't think of anybody else who fits the bill.

Sensible debate please, and please try to keep to topic in hand and not deviate off too much or it will just end up locked!
 

RP578

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#2
#3
To tell the truth I am not fully up to speed on it all, having lived overseas for many years now. Notwithstanding, the thought of Mr. Brown having anything to do with it, after all the years of spin, lies and total incompetence we (the UK) suffered at his hands during his tenures as Chancelor and then Prime Minister, makes me feel ill.
 

Fang_Farrier

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#5
Alistair Darling? I know he's said he's interested in fronting the campaign, but he ticks most of the boxes you've put up for G Brown plus he does have a record of being a straight talker i.e. going against his boss (Mr G Brown) by publicly stating that the economy was fucked. Don't know how popular/trusted he is in Scotland though. Decent interview in last Sunday's Observer: Alistair Darling warns of profound risks in Scotland's gamble for independence | Politics | The Observer
He has been vocal so far, and does as you say tick the boxes, but has he the big debate experience?
 
#6
There are many on here who might despise Brown but he is still held in high regard in Labour circles. I regularly hear local lefties waxing lyrical about his prowess in the Treasury and, without a hint of irony!

Being able to champion a cause may just bring Brown out of his self-imposed seclusion. I find it hard to believe that someone who had so much political ambition and motivation would be happy to rest in the shadows. This might be an ideal opportunity for him to step back into the political limelight. It is certainly a fitting cause for an ex-premier.

Since most of the argument is likely to centre around financial matters (if it was a purely emotional choice then I could see it being a massive vote for independence). He has the experience and the fiscal reputation to speak authoritatively on such matters, more so than Darling.

Remember, his target swing would be Labour voters and they still hold him in high regard.
 

Fang_Farrier

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#7
There are many on here who might despise Brown but he is still held in high regard in Labour circles. I regularly hear local lefties waxing lyrical about his prowess in the Treasury and, without a hint of irony!

Being able to champion a cause may just bring Brown out of his self-imposed seclusion. I find it hard to believe that someone who had so much political ambition and motivation would be happy to rest in the shadows and this might be an ideal opportunity for him to step back into the political limelight. It is certainly a fitting cause for an ex-premier.

Since most of the argument is likely to centre around financial matters (if it was a purely emotional choice then I could see it being a massive vote for independence) and he has experience and the fiscal reputation to speak authoritatively on such matters, more so than Darling.

Remember, his target swing would be Labour voters and they still hold him in high regard.
Especially in Scotland where as I said above he increased the proportion of Labour voters in the last GE. However that may have been in response to the Tories cut spending fast rather than Labour slower cuts policy. Now that point is moot would be interesting to see how it pans out.
 
#8
I'm not convinced GB could be the face of the labour union debate, he carries too much baggage. Labour desperately need a Robin Cook or Donald Dewar figure.Remember it was new Labour who allowed the Scottish parliament to be formed in an attempt to crush the independance movement (something which has spectacularly backfired) I don't think Labour have a decent Scottish member of parliament at the moment. By that I mean a proper parliamentarian with good debating skills and conviction.
You can be rest assured however that Labour will be the party that cranks up the debate as the referendum gets closer. After all if they lose their Scottish seats it will be game over for a generation at least as far as Westminster is concerned.
The people of Scotland are not going to listen to the Tories(especialy English tories) so for once in my life I find myself wishing for a decent Labour voice!
Maybe Menzies Campell or Charles Kennedy could reappear for the Lib Dems.
 

Fang_Farrier

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#9
I'm not convinced GB could be the face of the labour union debate, he carries too much baggage. Labour desperately need a Robin Cook or Donald Dewar figure.Remember it was new Labour who allowed the Scottish parliament to be formed in an attempt to crush the independance movement (something which has spectacularly backfired) I don't think Labour have a decent Scottish member of parliament at the moment. By that I mean a proper parliamentarian with good debating skills and conviction.
You can be rest assured however that Labour will be the party that cranks up the debate as the referendum gets closer. After all if they lose their Scottish seats it will be game over for a generation at least as far as Westminster is concerned.
The people of Scotland are not going to listen to the Tories(especialy English tories) so for once in my life I find myself wishing for a decent Labour voice!
Maybe Menzies Campell or Charles Kennedy could reappear for the Lib Dems.
Do you not think a LibDem is too tainted by the current coalition to be accepted, after all the LibDem lost a lot of votes at the Scottish Election in 2011 because of it. Though I suppose Charles Kennedy did speak out against coalition however does he not carry some baggage since losing leadership and has been fairly low profile since
 
#10
The official line from on high is that they're going to throw a bucket of cold water over Kennedy and try and wake him up from his drunken stupor in a shit-smeared basement in Westminster.

Charlie Kennedy that is, not JFK.

Broon would relish the chance but he's a ******* idiot. Tony Benn said "I wouldn't trust him to run a corner shop". Right on.

Alistair Darling - I don't think the objective is to put the whole of Scotland to sleep. Or is it?

Ming Campbell is excellent but not very charismatic.
 
#11
Brown is certainly hampered by some appalling baggage, but it's hard to think of another Labour politico who could speak as effectively for the Union. (Assuming that he actually wants to see it survive, now that his own inglorious career is over - he's bitter and twisted enough to see dissolution as some sort of revenge.) For all his myriad faults, he can be a persuasive speaker, especially (exclusively?) among the Scots. Darling seems to be a decent man, but too mild-mannered to stand up to the bullying of Salmond. As for the Lib Dems, Campbell is probably too old and Kennedy is seen as an alkie has-been, but the party is largely irrelevant in any case. No, Cyclops could actually do his country (the UK, that is) a service for once in his miserable life by taking on Mr Smug in this crucial struggle.
 
#12
Brown is certainly hampered by some appalling baggage, but it's hard to think of another Labour politico who could speak as effectively for the Union. (Assuming that he actually wants to see it survive, now that his own inglorious career is over - he's bitter and twisted enough to see dissolution as some sort of revenge.) For all his myriad faults, he can be a persuasive speaker, especially (exclusively?) among the Scots. Darling seems to be a decent man, but too mild-mannered to stand up to the bullying of Salmond. As for the Lib Dems, Campbell is probably too old and Kennedy is seen as an alkie has-been, but the party is largely irrelevant in any case. No, Cyclops could actually do his country (the UK, that is) a service for once in his miserable life by taking on Mr Smug in this crucial struggle.
I agree if he pulled it off it would go a long way to redeeming him.
 
#13
It is a sad day for Britain and proof that modern politicians aren't up to the job, if we have to rely on cyclops to get us out of the pooh!
maybe we could ask St. Tony to help (after all he was born in Scotland, wasn't he?)
There would have to be some money in it for him of course!
 
#14
The "Walking Eyebrows" Mr Darling, has stated he will not take on the lead roll but will certainly throw his weight behind the campaign. You can forget any Tory even being in the "team" as they would be a right turn off for the voters. What is needed is someone with the stature of the late Robin Cook and off the top of my head, can't think of anyone. Pa Broon will certainly be a contender.
 
#15
Yes Cook and Dewar both dead - it's an SNP conspiracy I tell yez.
 
#16
... maybe we could ask St. Tony to help (after all he was born in Scotland, wasn't he?)
There would have to be some money in it for him of course!
Blair may have been born and educated in Edinburgh, but few Scots would regard him as one of their 'ain folk', more a Hampstead Englishman by temperament and lifestyle (not to mention accent). A non-starter, IMO, though he could yet prove me wrong.
 

Auld-Yin

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#17
While I agree that the debate here in Scotland requires a strong candidate to take forward opposing views to wee Eck, I feel that this is not the full story.

The SNP in Westminster have no representation in the House of Lords so will not be able to debate their point there. This is down to SNP policy of not putting people forward for HoL. Also in the HoC the SNP are virtually ignored by the main parties and not given 'equal' status in any debate.

Until that imbalance is sorted then who fronts the No campaign up here is largely irrelevant as there is virtually a one-sided debate at Westminster.
 

Fang_Farrier

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#18
While I agree that the debate here in Scotland requires a strong candidate to take forward opposing views to wee Eck, I feel that this is not the full story.

The SNP in Westminster have no representation in the House of Lords so will not be able to debate their point there. This is down to SNP policy of not putting people forward for HoL. Also in the HoC the SNP are virtually ignored by the main parties and not given 'equal' status in any debate.

Until that imbalance is sorted then who fronts the No campaign up here is largely irrelevant as there is virtually a one-sided debate at Westminster.
Is there a requirement for a debate in either HOC or HOL? Even if there was does it have to be the same person who fronts the Unionist viewpoint in Scotland?

Next week the SNP reveal their consultation document (new thread to be started when it comes out, no doubt!) but who stands up to speak against the points they raise.

Anybody who speaks up down in the HOC and HOL will be villified by the SNP and be be made to appear an English spokesperson. despite all assertions that it will be a positive campaign, this would not be left alone. Salmon has proven himself too adept at dropping in all those little snide asides. ( and whilst it may rankle with those South of the Border, his constent Scotland this and Scottish that against England this and English twat does go down well up here)

Surely the best option for an informed debate is for those who wish for the Union to unite and have a figurehead otherwise there will just be a cocophany of voices each arguing slightly different issues which will muddy the waters.
 
#19
While I agree that the debate here in Scotland requires a strong candidate to take forward opposing views to wee Eck, I feel that this is not the full story.

The SNP in Westminster have no representation in the House of Lords so will not be able to debate their point there. This is down to SNP policy of not putting people forward for HoL. Also in the HoC the SNP are virtually ignored by the main parties and not given 'equal' status in any debate.

Until that imbalance is sorted then who fronts the No campaign up here is largely irrelevant as there is virtually a one-sided debate at Westminster.
Which will play right into Salmonds hands and he will use that as "more" proof that Westminster doesn't represent Scotland.
Plus I don't think the HoL's will have any impact on the way the Scots (and me) vote come the referendum.
 

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