The spirit of Sir Walter Scott's Mrs Howden took to the streets of Edinburgh this week, a knot of students taking the opportunity of the Aberdeen Donside by-election to barrack Nigel Farage, with cries of "bawbag" and sundry other irreverent observations on the ideology and policies of UKIP's often-lionised leader. From reports of the event, no peebles were involved, but on episode 25 of the For A' That podcast, Michael, guest Kate Higgins and I lobbed a few projectiles in Nickel Foorage's direction.
Up second, Michael articulated a nagging doubt: "Should we stop worrying about winning the independence debate, and just get on with winning the referendum?" We mulled over what is missing from the current coverage of the independence campaign.
That segued seamlessly into a broadly positive discussion of STV's more creative approach to broadcasting about the national debate, in a week where Nicola Sturgeon and Michael Moore went napper-to-napper on an experimental Scotland Tonight special on the economics of independence. Is this an Americanising development, format-wise? Can these shows really help us deal will the knotty issues of the independence campaign? Is a polarised, point-scoring form of debate really going to assist us, as a nation, to come to an informed conclusion in autumn 2014? More broadly, are STV outperforming the BBC in terms of the originality and creativity of their approach to #indyref broadcasting?
Tomorrow, I'm speaking to members of the Oxfordshire Green Party on the question, why should progressives support Scottish independence? I took the opportunity to pick Michael and Kate's minds on the arguments they would use, to persuade left-wingers in England and Wales of the virtues of Scottish independence, and the positive impact which constitutional change might have furth of Scotland. The work of ordinary politics hasn't been superseded by the referendum campaign, however little space in the papers may be given over to the latest reforms introduced by the Scottish Government. Taking the example of the important Victims and Witnesses Bill, Kate argues that important changes are being left out of our national debates, constitutionally overshadowed.
You can lend your ears to their answers here, download the episode via Spreaker, or access it via the comfort of iTunes. To keep updated with the latest editions of the For A' That podcasts, and Michael's Scottish Independence Podcasts, you can also access our RSS feed here.