Part Two of the BBC Scotland referendum debate - 25th January 2012 - Burns Night.
Johann Lamont MSP - Leader of Scottish Labour Party
Nicola Sturgeon MSP - Deputy First Minister of Scotland
Lord Wallace of Tankerness - Advocate General of Scotland - UK LibDem/Tory Coalition
Lesley Riddoch - journalist, broadcaster and commentator
Note: The Advocate General is the British Crown's legal representative/watchdog in Scotland. It is a political appointment.
Jim Wallace - Baron Wallace of Tankerness - is a former LibDem politician who was in coalition with Labour in the Scottish Parliament. He is currently an unelected Lord, represents a party with 5 MSPs in Holyrood, and the junior partner LibDems in the UK Tory-led, Tory-dominated Coalition Government.
If a UK general election were held tomorrow, the LibDems, deeply discredited and unpopular across the UK, would be wiped out as they were in the 2011 Scottish election.
Jim Wallace, raising yet another unionist scare story about trade with England, appears oblivious to the fact that Scotland and England are in the EU and are part of a free trade, common market. He is unable to give any examples of his imagined ‘barriers’, and resent being told he is spreading scare stories under the guise of ‘debate’. Nicola patiently tries to educate him, but the Baron is excited and approaching incoherence by this point.
A plummy-voiced lady in the audience raises an inaccurate scare story about "being forced into the euro by Germany". This is patent nonsense - no sovereign state can be compelled to join the euro - that decision will be Scotland's alone, and will only be taken if economic conditions are judged to be favourable. Such primitive fear tactics have been characteristic of the woeful case advanced for the Union.
Johann Lamont thinks that Alex Salmond's long commitment to the independence of his country, and his belief that Scotland could handle its own affairs better is some kind of nostalgic romanticism and harking back to the past. Exactly the reverse is true - the SNP is about the future of Scotland, and it has been highly specific as to why independence will make that future a better one, economically, socially, educationally, culturally.
In fact, the nostalgia for "300 years of Union", the lack of any vision except a vague internationalism and the utter void of policy, values or vision at the heart of Labour and Johann Lamont's leadership is the thing most in evidence in this debate.