Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Newsnight - An Act of Disunion?

Watched Newsnight last night - bit more information here - and unusually it concentrated on all 'things Scottish' from 10.30pm, instead of the usual cut-out at 11am through to Newsnight Scotland.

I know I'm completely biased, but they held a debate around whether the union between England and Scotland was about to end ... given the evidence of the debate, I'd say definitely not.

Putting how well, or not, the SNP will do on May 3rd to one side - there was just no real spark of passion about the issue. Alex Salmond just didn't land any killer punches on Douglas Alexander; and he didn't seem to get any real emotion going in the debate and/or amongst the audience.

To me, January 2007 feels absolutely nothing like the palpable excitement you could sense in the 'run up' to either the Devolution Referendum in September 1997 or the first Scottish Parliament elections in May 1999. Change was almost certain on both occasions, and was being talked about by all political sides/classes. That isn't the case today.

Given the (lack of real) passion in last night's debate, I think turnout will be the problem on May 3rd and not the dissolution of the Union.

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