Friday, February 21, 2014

Debating Europe

I was interested to see that Nick Clegg has challenged Nigel Farage to a debate on Europe and that the UKIP leader has accepted.

I tend to think public debates are in the interests of democracy provided fair arrangements can be made for the major points of view to be covered.

Given that we are in the run-up to a European election, I think it would be better if all four of the major party leaders could take part in any such debate.


Jim said...

Not too happy about this one myself. As I am sure you are aware i would like nothing more than the UK to to leave the EU. Thing is, Farage is being seen as the spokesman for the whole movement. This is not good for for the "Leave the EU" side. Farage and UKIP (same difference) only seem to be able to say we are against this, or we are against that, there is never anything relating to what they are actually for. There is no credible exit plan on offer from them, and i dont think there ever will be.

I am pretty sure that clegg will go with the truly debunked statements about millions of jobs, and most of our trade etc, thing is farage is prone to missing open goals, so will probably let that go unchallenged.

I also think the scottish vote is a bit of a warm up, the independance side will lose because salmond has offered no credible alternative, its like a little preview to how an EU referendum would go if farage keeps on damaging the out side i think

Chris Whiteside said...

On past form I tend to agree that Clegg will go for some of the most simplistic arguments for EU membership, e.g. the 2 million jobs argument which goes back to the 1983 election and is now thoroughly out of date.

God knows what Farage will say.

Whichever way the Scottish vote goes - and I don't want to take anything for granted but it certainly seems to me the pro-independence people have left far too many details of what an Independent Scotland would look like to have a good chance of winning - it will be used as a guide in any EU referendum vote.

Jim said...

I guess its just that people have access to more information than they ever have had. The media and the politicians no longer have the ground they once did.

but time will tell i guess where this debate goes.

How sure am I that scotland wont be independent, well lets put it like this, take your good lady out for a belated wedding aniversary meal, where ever you like, I will pay the bill if scotland vote for independence

Chris Whiteside said...

Alex Salmond is one of the canniest politicians in the UK, so we underestimate him at our peril. And I don't think the "No" campaign has been as effective as I would like, although some of the rubbishing of Alistair Darling last year was overdone.

I'm still a little nervous about the outcome. But the probability is that you are right.