As the lead up to the vote next September on the independence referendum in Scotland continues, at the heart of the debate is the question of what to do with a debate on television about the refere
As the lead up to the vote next September on the independence referendum in Scotland continues, at the heart of the debate is the question of what to do with a debate on television about the referendum.
A repeated call
Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond had pressed for a debate with Prime Minister David Cameron, saying because of the nature of his role in the campaign for Scotland to continue to be a part of the UK a refusal would neither be consistent or credible, according to a report from the BBC. Salmond again repeated this call in correspondence earlier this week to the Prime Minister.
Cameron, on Friday, responded to Salmond’s letter, saying he should challenge Alistair Darling, the former Labour Chancellor who is the head of the pro-union campaign Better Together, calling on the campaign organisations and broadcasters to get the debate established, according to a report in the Scotsman newspaper.
Not appropriate for Cameron to debate subject
Cameron added that it was not appropriate for him to be debating head-to-head with Salmond on the issue, in an interview with BBC Scotland. “I used to debate with him when he was in the House of Commons, but as I say it is not a debate between the leader of the Conservative party and the leader of the SNP,” Cameron said. “It is not a debate between the prime minister of the UK and the first minister of Scotland. It is a debate between different people in Scotland about whether to stay or separate and that’s where you have to hold the debate.”
In a separate BBC interview, Salmond called Cameron feart and said the Prime Minister’s role was still central to the campaign against independence. “The government in which Mr Cameron serves as prime minister is central to the entire referendum debate from the perspective of the No campaign,” Salmond said. “I have noted the prime minister’s apparent unwillingness to take part in another General Election debate and I’m sure people will draw their own conclusions from that.”
Unclear of timetable for TV debate
A spokesperson for the Scottish government declined to comment beyond Salmond’s remarks to the BBC.
It is unclear if Darling is to accept the invitation to the debate. A spokesperson for Better Together did not respond to a telephone message left by Kettle Friday night seeking comment.
There currently as of this writing no plans or timetable for a formal debate organised by broadcasters, as the focus had been primarily on who would be debating the subject. However, Blair Jenkins, the chief executive for the Yes Scotland campaign, told The Guardian that broadcasters would be delighted if the debate was between Salmond and Cameron.
Trying to understand both sides
The main issue for voters in Scotland is the examination of the practicalities of independence, saying that both parties need to explain their side more. If such a debate goes ahead, it may likely help clarify the sides, or present a political advantage for either party.
Scottish voters will vote on the 18th of September next year in the referendum, which will ask a yes or no question on whether Scotland should be an independent country.
Image: Flickr / ssoosay