07/01/2013 Newsnight Scotland


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 07/01/2013. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



On Newsnight Scotland tonight. Welcome to 2013, the year in which


nothing much specific is expected to happen in Scottish politics.


More damp squib than firework extravanganza. Or is that simply


tempting fate, as both sides in the independence debate gather their


forces and plan their strategies Good evening and Happy New Year


from all at Newsnight Scotland. So 2013 is here and already David


Cameron said a separate Scotland would be worse off as he praised


Alistair Darling for his work in support of the Union. The SNP were


quick to point out the Prime Minister couldn't remember the name


of the Better Together campaign. Is this the higher level of debate


they have all been calling for? In a moment, we'll discuss just where


the debate might go, if anywhere, this year. First, Steven Godden


reports on how this may turn out to Back to work in Scotland's towns


and cities. Some of long faces to match the long nights. The


decorations are down. The highlights of 2012 are now locked


away in the archives. But the perennial question arises, what


will 2013 hold? On the face of it, this year's calendar is looking


fairly thin. Across the River Clyde, Glasgow's newest concert venue is


opening in September. But generally, set piece occasions are thin on the


Will it this year simply be a case of treading water or more history


remember it as 12 months of real significance? Above all else, at


Yes campaign has to give Scots who are either undecided or not really


committed an absolutely convincing reason to get behind the yes


campaign and start committing themselves to that yes vote. This


has to be the year that they do it. If they do not, the game will run


away from them and they will be left with too much to do. Key to


the political debate will be the backdrop of austerity. 20 13 brings


a big changes to the welfare system. -- 2013. The cumulative effect will


be quite significant on the Scottish economy. It will affect


the economy and individuals. It will have an impact on shops, jobs


added will have a much broader impact than just on individuals.


But whether it is the economy, politics or the dogs, concrete


predictions about the year ahead are notoriously risky. 2011, who


saw the SNP's landslide victory in the Holyrood elections? So no


predictions, but perhaps and educated guess. Do not expect


decorum up to win it the day. as an historic argument. Scotland's


relationship with the rest of the world. That means of the arguments


are going to be heated, exaggerated and passionate. Why anyone would


want that passion to be taken out of politics I fail to understand.


Now Newsnight Scotland usually indulges sparingly in crystal-ball


gazing, but tonight we'll make an exception. I'm joined from


Edinburgh by the journalist and commentator Iain Macwhirter, and by


the pro-independence blogger Kate Higgins. And here in Glasgow is Amy


Dalrymple, who is policy and research manager for Scottish


Chambers of Commerce. Good evening and happy New Year.


This is going to be a rather unusual you. No elections up to


speak of it. How do you think the independence debate will frame up?


I think it will be positive, respectful but that will not last


much longer. This is the year when Scots are supposed to be making


their mature decisions about the constitutional future. The SNP will


be trying to give some detail with the referendum Bill and the white


paper on independence in the autumn. But the Better Together campaign it


will be getting on the road as well. Alistair Darling is coming up to


meet opinion formers. We will also be having Treasury are reports, 12


of them, showing how disastrous independence would be. This will be


quite interesting. The UK Government will have that. We will


have the white paper in the autumn. The two sides are trying to


convince the undecided this year. Do you think that will happen?


if we get more light and less heat. If we can move people away from


polarised positions and him to mature, grown-up debate, the kind


of debate we all want, then, yes, it is possible. To some extent, we


have to take the political parties out of that. Passions do run fast


and there is everything to play for. But I think we have seen positive


signs of from the Scottish government in particular,


particularly in the announcement about setting up a commission


regarding the welfare state. That is only a good thing. When we get


into discussing the facts about what kind of country we can be,


post independence, or indeed if Scotland votes in no, that is


something that everyone will have something to say and discuss.


Speaking about immaturity of the debate -- about the immaturity of


the debate, the passion, how do you think that debate will proceed?


2013 it should be about see him at some meat on the bones. -- about


seeing. It is actually looking quite positive just now. We are


going to be encouraging both sides of the debate to retain that


positivity and to start putting some substance around it. We have


gone over all the arguments about how we are going to do it. We go


that we have the referendum, that is when the decision will be. This


will be the here put the game get in depth of -- this will be the


here when we can get in depth over the issues. Will they get to that


stage when we have these high- falutin, esoteric discussions?


There will be lots of hours. There are a row was brewing over the


question. -- there will be lots of Rose. There is a row brewing over


the question. The SNP want a relatively small amount of money


going into it, the Better Together campaign is in favour of more. The


SNP are quite sincere when they say they are going to show more detail


about what independence would mean. Last year, the best up a bit over


the of the European argument. -- the messed. Alex Salmond said he


had legal advice over joining the European Union again. Jose Manuel


Barroso said they would have to apply again. I think there will be


a lot more detail gone into. I do not think it is necessarily going


to help the yes campaign terribly much, because Better Together are


very pleased when supporters of independence go into detail, when


they talk about a separate Scottish BBC, a separate Scottish Power and,


that is when the voters see they are not sure of this. We are


hearing there are going to be more debates. Does that engage ordinary


people out there? Absolutely not. These are the kind of debates that


fascinate the people involved in the programme tonight and everybody


in the campaign, but most of the population are just getting on with


their lives. The sooner we get away from the old arguments and on to


the issues of substance, I think more people will be attentive to


what is being said. Take the high politics out of it. People do not


want to know about the billions in terms of the economy, what they


want to know is their own personal finances and their own lives and


how they will be affected. One of the arguments that the Better


Together campaign has started putting out is about the


uncertainty and independence. But there will be uncertainty in the


economy and finances in the coming here. Actually, the right


environment for the yes campaign to We have these esoteric discussions


about Europe but surely we need these to get a certain points?


Clearly. I am not saying they are not important. But they are not


going to help people make their decisions. This is not what is


going to help people vote. What our members want to know all about his,


are they still going to be within a single UK economy or not? Are they


still going to be in the European economy? Things about the currency,


they want to know what the currency will be. It is a very difficult


question to answer. I thought you were saying these are the issues


that people are not interested in. The process issues are the ones you


were mentioning earlier, the spending limits for the election,


what the wording of the question will be. Personally I am interested


in then as much as the next person. Our members are not. Those


questions are about what Scotland is going to look like when it is


independent. These are important issues, however much we must --


might dismiss them. Let's broaden the debate are taking the economy.


This is another central point for the debate, and we are looking


forward to it as a critical issue in 2013. Kate, we will see some


significant welfare reform issues. That will feed into the


independence debate. The welfare changes... Do you think that could


influence the debate up here? We have seen Universal Credit coming


in and lot of people having a lot less money. Absolutely. I think the


Scottish government and the yes campaign have cottoned on to this,


that some of the change is coming down the line to the welfare state


are quite frightening in terms of their scale, and they are only


starting to come through in 2013. It is only early 2014 that they


will really take hold. The better it -- Be Better Together campaign


say we are better in the UK, but if the UK Government is dismantling


the welfare state, and all of the things that make us feel British,


suddenly there are no more reasons to stay. Welfare reform in


particular, it will not just be the most vulnerable, there are


households to rely on people on low incomes who will be very badly


affected. The working poor, if you like. This is the background he


shook the ball played quite largely in terms of persuading people to


vote yes. What the people on the ground think? The House of Fraser


was reporting good sales, new car sales are art. Do you think the


economy will play a key role in 2013? -- car sales are up. What a


lot of commentators failed to take into account were the unpredictable


things, the eurozone crisis for example. They postponed any diff --


decisions until April or May, so nothing will kick-off in terms of


solving that crisis until early autumn. It will take a long time.


These external factors are not going to go away. There will be a


lot of pressure on the economy and we are not expecting any great


shakes, but we are expecting bright points, we expect tourism to do


very well, and this is where the Olympic legacy will kicking from


last year. That was the shop window and it enabled people to see what


we have on offer, tourism Wise. We will see bright points in terms of


energy, food and drink, all of the Scottish economy, but it will


remain a struggle for a lot of businesses. Going back to what cake


was talking about, the welfare reforms and what effect that will


happen -- have. -- Kate. In 2013 we want the government to recognise


what SMIs can do. By 2013 we are meant to have balanced the books.


It will be an important milestone for trying to step up to that. 2013


does not look like many bright points for the UK Government.


It is more than likely that we will see a triple dip recession, that


the economy will lapse back in 2013. That is important because it means


the next UK election becomes very doubtful for the Tories. It is


beginning to look as if Labour will be forming the next government,


particularly if the Lib Dems decide they are not going to play ball in


a subsequent coalition after 2015. The prospect of a Labour government


in future might undermine the case, in some people's eyes, for voting


for independence. That would be to protect Scotland against Tory


policies. It is not the same if Labour Robin Powell. On the economy,


it will be very crucial to the bait if -- the debate. Absolutely, and


there are more important political issues facing people in the present.


Politics is important in the present as well as the future. If


you can have an independence free week when we talk about the


politics of the economy, jobs, money in people's pockets right now


and the hardship that many families and small businesses are going to


face, that would be welcome. I am afraid we have run out of time.


Thank you. Just time for a quick look at the newspapers. The


Scotsman, PM vows to win Scotts' Hearts and minds. In the Scottish


Daily Mail, man who doubled gas bills set for 13 million pound deal.


Download Subtitles