24 March 2013

Remember, remember the 18th of September...

So now we know. On Thursday the 18th of September 2014, Scots will traipse through the late summer sleet to determine the future of the nation and the unity of the United Kingdom.  Strategy and calculation has characterised the SNP parliamentary politics this week in the build up to this weekend's Conference in Inverness.  In Holyrood, Alex Salmond not only named the date of the poll, but also dipped back into the unfinished business of the invasion of Iraq, leading a debate ten years after Holyrood, by a narrow majority, endorsed Tony Blair's blueprint for war. 

Both announcements were on the agenda on this week's edition of the For A' That podcast. For episode number nineteen, Michael and I were joined by Stewart Lochhead, who compères over 3 Men in a Blog.  On the menu this week, did Labour in general and Johann Lamont in particular strike the right tone in response to Salmond's announcement? I confess to a certain fondness for the Labour leader's stylings, and got a wee bit personal, with a reflection inspired by Kate Higgins on the significance of the referendum for all of those past generations of Nationalists, now no longer with us, who ground on through the many lean, unpromising years to make this poll possible.

On Iraq, we took up a theme raised in the Scottish Parliament by Labour MSP, Jenny Marra. Was discussion a ten year old conflict an apt topic for discussion in parliament, or a sleekit constitutional calculation by a cynical Scottish National Party? Lastly, we came back to the undecided middle which will in all probability decide the referendum one way or the other. Although no poll as yet has shown a majority of independence, other research suggests that a majority wish to have all decisions about tax, spending and welfare made in Scotland.  How to explain - and bridge - that gap?

On a technical point, thanks again to all those who contributed to our podcast costs. Due to your largesse, not only were we able to cover our year's hosting costs, but I've finally been able to upgrade by shoogly sound rig to something more suitable.  Hereafter, I shouldn't sound like the man off the old-fashioned wireless, or a congested guppy, broadcast from the bottom of a fish-tank. 

You can either download the show via iTunes or Spreaker, or listen to our discussion directly here.  If you're new to the podcast, our back-catalogue is all online, including Michael's latest Scottish Independence Podcast interview with Rev Stu Campbell, the voice behind the Wings Over Scotland blog from earlier on this week.


  1. Brings back memories of Jimmy & Janet, brought a smile to my face

  2. Thanks Davie. A small world! I never really knew my grandfather (or my great-grandfather, for that matter), who died when I was still very small. I thought I'd bring it up, as some folk might be interested in how I came to hold my political allegiances. I'm sure we've all got similar stories in our family almanacs (though perhaps rather few like Janet, determined to be a committed Scottish Nationalist all the way into her coffin). I understand she was keen to have a collection for the party in the kirk last November too!