Tonight’s big TV debate between Darling and Salmond was an uneven match. Salmond punched harder, leaving Darling tumbling at times, he had the audible audience on his side a lot and in concluding reached out to Darling to join “team Scotland” for negotiations after a yes vote.
Scotland can be a prosperous independent country, I don’t say it will be, as no one knows the future, but it definitely can. The Better Together campaign does not manage offer any reasons why, as one audience member in Glasgow asked “if we’re better together, how come we’re not better together already?”.
Darling did not choose his words well in his response to one of Salmonds questions. He said “Of course I want less children living in poverty”, when of course the correct term would have been “no” instead of “less”. Maybe it was just a slip of tongue in the heat of the conversation, it got not so much as a shrug anyway and things were carried on elsewhere. In fact, briefly taken out of context for closer inspection, it is an outrage and a shame that stating that would be called “idealistic”.
On the other hand it played well into Salmonds cards that there had been a demonstration in Yorkshire just at the time of the debate, protesting cuts to the NHS and possible charges due to privatisation. He thankfully went on mentioning Wales, where due to budget cuts 25m had to be saved in healthcare, assuring that only an independent Scotland could save the NHS.
I will still be surprised if there is a yes majority in three weeks time. It has been said that the yes campaign are in urgent need of a “game changer” to gain momentum. Yesterdays polls were around 38% yes and 51% no, of the 500 people asked “who had the better arguments” immediateley after tonight’s debate said 71% Salmond. It will be interesting to see if the spins taken from here will sustain for the last three weeks before the referendum. What will happen now, after the big waffle is done and televised?