1 April 2013

One last thing...

Per this morning's momentous announcement, Michael and I have spent the first part of the day packing up the sound gear, pouring out the half-finished bottles of Malibu in the Green Room and pulling down the shutters down in our plush podcasting studio.  Before we go, however, we've one last show for you.  

Earlier on in the week, Michael had a chat with author, playwright, performance and Yes Scotland man Alan Bissett about independence and culture, of Alasdair Gray and James Kelman, of Scottish men and feminism.  You can download their interesting blether from here, or listen to it directly here. 

As usual (at least until our conversion into Better Together supporters), over the weekend, we were joined by a couple of guests for a chat about the latest developments in the referendum campaign, and the broad politics of these islands.  For episode twenty, Michael and I were joined by one lapsed Liberal, Douglas McLellan, and one of the Liberal Democrats' most vocal defenders and advocates in the Scottish blogosphere, Caron Lindsay

Hitherto, with a few notable exceptions, the podcasts panels have been mainly pro-independence in dint.  All's change this on week's sparky episode. While Douglas is a convert to the independence cause, Caron is pluckily opposed, and has a few sharp words to say about the SNP in general, and "cynical" Alex Salmond in particular. 

First on the menu this week, the thorny topic of immigration.  Caron chews over Nick Clegg's recent speech, and Douglas relates some of his own experiences of the jolly, generous-spirited folk of the UK Border Agency.  

Back on the referendum theme (from around 13:00 minutes in), Douglas explains why he abandoned the Liberal Democrats for the Scottish Green Party.  Caron weighed in, explaining why she remains a devotee of Nick Clegg and the coalition, despite the various setbacks, challenges and ugly compromises which the party has made in order to keep its Whitehall Offices.  

We also turned to Ruth Davidson's intervention last week, scrubbing the line she'd etched in the sand, and announcing she's a sudden devotee-convert to devosomething solutions to Scotland's problems.  Michael Forsyth must be spinning cartwheels in his crypt. But does her volte face have any credibility?

On a broader strategic issue, I asked the panel whether they felt that the potential emergence of a devosomething consensus before September 2014 represents a problem for the SNP and YesScotland, given their current argument that folk should vote independence because more devolution isn't going to happen.  

Is it time for the pro-independence campaigners to begin to make arguments about why independence beats any devo-offering which the Liberal Democrats, Tories and the Labour Party might cobble together before the poll? Slamming the performance of the Nats in office, and making the case against independence, Caron stoutly defended the UK's international influence. Michael, the awful cynic, had his doubts.

As usual, you can download the show via iTunes, from Spreaker, sign up for our RSS feed, or listen to our discussion directly here.


  1. Enjoyed that thanks for all your efforts.

    Captcha: ichmits 1745

  2. Yes excellent stuff - I thought Caron made the strongest case I have heard so far for the coalition - am not at all convinced, but a bonny fechter.

    Re Ruth, well I laughed at the egregious Tasmina (three parties is just too much) but everyone is entitled to change their views to match a changed world.

    In the 70s the SNP was a party of right-wing xenophobes, then Salmond dragged it screaming to the left and now it is a mix of whatever people want to hear - just like many other parties. I salute Sillars grumping in the wilderness but the SNP needs to be a trimmed-sail ship if it hopes to reach its harbour.

  3. Thanks cynicalHighlander, Edwin,

    I'm keen to get folk on from outside the narrow band of pro-independence opinion. An echo-chamber of predictable chatter becomes dreary.