A special programme live from the Edinburgh Festival. Looking at the Scottish independence debate through the prism of Scottish arts and culture. With Kirsty Wark.
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Welcome to Newsnight, live on stage at the Edinburgh Festival.
Four weeks today, Scotland votes to stay in the Union or to go it alone.
Tonight, with a stellar cast of performers, writers, and thinkers
from both sides of the border, including the actor Simon Callow,
Rory Bremner, Val McDiermed, Linda Colley and Scotland's most eminent
All that, and stand by for the newest
and shortest lived TV talent show - the snappily titled, Newsnight
It's not independence you are talking about. You are talking about
divorce. Divorce is expensive, especially with England, she is
going to bleed you dry. # To be ourselves again... #
All hail our resident house band, Federation of the Disco Pimp.
It's a wonderful coincidence that the
referendum on Scottish independence is happening just weeks after this
Where better to take the temperature of the Union than the Athens
As the independence debate rages in town halls and villages all
across Scotland, Edinburgh is jam packed with writers, performers,
thinkers and clowns - many talking about the vote and what
A festival city with a fringe on top.
But is it growing out of hand, as some of the critics maintain?
Well, this year, Alec, we have 39, which is quite a record number.
Now there are more than 3,000 in the organised chaos of Edinburgh
Cultural and political conversations about the referendum are happening
all over the capital, on stage and on the streets.
I get asked for my opinion all the time, which of course I don't give.
You don't have to be on the television to get asked
When you talk to the visitors, what are they asking you about?
Well, they can't believe that we're not independent in the first place.
This campaign is all hinged on one stupid two letter word "if."
Shouldn't you be campaigning for a No vote?
Even Westminster politicians can't contain themselves.
This is the most important decision we will ever take.
Nothing we've ever decided on before has been of this magnitude.
If this is seeming just a bit male,
one lunchtime referendum show was all about women and the Yes vote.
Initially, we met women on doorsteps who said.
We've now moved on from that so much, in terms of people feeling,
women feeling, that there's absolutely a point in voting.
This is a different type of question that we're being asked.
But are women, who are potential Yes voters, being turned off by one man?
It's a danger recognised by Alex Salmond,
who has now said he will be willing to disappear from the picture
Another well-known face is trying his hand at stand-up.
Unsurprisingly, he delivers a volley of infective about the referendum,
But off stage, he just can't help himself.
If Scotland's independent will you still go fishing in Scotland?
I fully expect that once there are watchtowers along the River Tweed,
as I fully expect there will be in the event of Scottish independence,
that one will merely flash one's passport and proceed on one's way.
There's a galaxy of voices at the Festival,
but when the last actor packs up on the Royal Mile the whole of
Scotland will still get to play its part in the drama of the century.
Joining us, the comedian, Rory Bremner, the actor, Simon Callow,
and the writer, Val McDermid - all appearing at the Festival this year.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE First of all, Rory. Great house band. Great house
band, Disco Pimps. You can't say the name or that happens. Paxman did had
that. Are you managing to get a whole lot of humour out of the
referendum at the Festival? Yes it is. The atmosphere is Fred
tremendous. The independence thing was going, I was in Edinburgh this
year. A woman said, this is something I've waited for all my
life. Hundreds of years we have been waiting for this. She was talking
about the tram system. The pandas, have got in. She is pregnant. I had
it down as an undecided. Last year she was, no, thanks. This year she
is yes. This is something the SNP is doing. He will need to impregnate
every voter. He promised to withdraw?
Lower the tone. He thought he was harming the debate? I can't follow
that! Do your own jokes, Kirsty. You have come back to Scotland from a
time away. Living in Edinburgh again. You have recently come out as
a Yes supporter. So have you been enjoying the Festival from a
different perspective now having made that decision? I feel relaxed
having made the decision. I spent a long time in, this week I think
this, this week I think this. I have made a decision and feel comfortable
there. Everywhere you go for it the Festival, or this country, it crops
up in every show, every comedy routine. What made up your mind,
comedy, politics, what was it? The fact the politics couldn't give us
any straight answers. Every time you spoke to a politician you got a
different answer. I thought about the way that the real world works.
When you come to the end of a relationship, when you want
different things, when your aspirations point in different
directions, you don't stay together because you are worried who will get
what when you split the CD collection. You make the decision
and make the arrangements afterwards. I look at what the
sporment has done since we had the Scottish Parliament. The decisions
they made about education, health and social care were in tune with
how I felt about the world, much more so than what happens at
Westminster. Not only you your son is enjoining the Fringe and talking
about the referendum Yes. He lives in England most of the time. He has
been having a great time at all the comedy. Especially those with
swearing. Simon Callow you are a veteran of the Edinburgh Festival,
how do you feel this year? What do you feel about the atmosphere around
the referendum stuff. It's in stand-up and Dedicoat indicated
plays as well? ? It is. It's all encompassing it goes beyond and
above that. A lot of people here don't know anything about it at all
or think much about it at all. They are here to do a show or see lots of
shows. The show that I'm doing has absolutely nothing to do with modern
Britain or Scotland, apparently. It's 2,000 years old. The There is
something informing the air at the moment. I feel melancholy to adapt
the image that I was given, I feel like a child one of whose parents
wants to divorce and the other doesn't. There is a kind of
tremendous longing for it somehow to stay together on my part. Is that
why you are a signature to the letter from lots of thespians and
writers saying - please don't go? Absolutely. In my first job as a an
Octoberor was in this city, in the Assembly Hall, where I'm playing
now, 40 years ago. I worked here for many years in all sorts of mediums.
Scotland, particularly perhaps Edinburgh, feel absolutely part of
me. I feel part of it. I feel that if we were to break up, I would be
immensely diminished by it. It's totally polarising isn't it, unlike
the don't knows. A general election all over the country we have
different choices. Do you think celebrities should be involved in
this? Do you think comedians have a good role in this?
thing. Better together, she sells bras, so it is a interest -- it is
in her interest. I think there is a space, and comedy provides it.
Andrew Maxwell, brilliant comedian, he did a wonderful show... Oh, we
are under attack. And if you are wondering, and watching this in
Gaza. People ask about getting into
something less controversial like wind farms. When I started doing
jokes last year, I was doing a documentary. I was doing something
about this 360 degrees view and she was saying, one day, all of this
will be mine, and the next thing, it sounds like you go on the SNP
website and you get that. I voted for Alex Salmond, people say, don't
insult me. You don't get in -- get any of that. It's important
politicians should be part of laughter. The worry is that part of
the Yes campaign does lack the humour. I think it is important we
put the humour back in. Politicians should be held to account by comedy
and political means. I did not fight in two world wars... Well, I didn't
fight in two world wars. But my father did, and if Alex Salmond or
Alistair Darling have only got one ball, and the other is in the Usher
Hall, we should be allowed to sing about it. It's an important part of
democracy and we should not allow this to be a humour free zone. I
know this is heartbreaking for you, Rory, the referendum is about the
politicians. It's not Alex Salmond's referendum, or Alistair
Darling's, it is our referendum. We are the ones who make the decision.
Whatever happens, we have to rethink the future. Whatever happens on
September the 18th, there will be a realignment in Scottish politics
because people have been energised and people who have been in gauged
are not -- who have been engaged art doing so in a way they never have
been before. Was it that England should have become more engaged in
the conversation? Should they have been more engaged? I think so. Most
English people think it is unthinkable. There is a general
feeling it won't happen. If it does happen, we are a different nation
than them. We, the English, are a different nation, and the British
will be different. We are both diminished, in my view, but that's
another story. I'm sorry it has come to this. I wanted to see the
Scottish parliament given more powers. I was born and raised in
Edinburgh and I am a patriotic Scot and I have a house in Scotland. And
you have a boat. Absolutely. -- afloat. You have to choose between
head and heart, and the arguments are not finally cut. IU leaning in
one direction or another? My life has been about having the best of
both worlds. My Channel four series is filmed in London and a lot of
work I do, but I feel at home in Scotland, so where does it put me?
On the final question of how comedy and drama and all of this informs
political debate, is the drama to agitprop rather than giving you a
choice question one of the comedians did half of the show as yes and half
as no, and drama doesn't do that. Some drama has made its mind up
before you walk into the theatre but there is a lot of stuff that hasn't
because people haven't made their minds up and a lot of people still
don't want to think about this. One of the reasons there has been a
renaissance in Scottish literature over the last 20 or 25 years has
been because we are talking about ourselves, to ourselves. How do we
see ourselves question mark this is a discussion the country has had a
lot longer than the last few month -- how do see ourselves?
Thank you very much for that. For now, everyone, Val, Simon and Rory.
What is Scotland in the 21st century?
One of the big drivers towards independence has been
a growing cultural confidence, and a desire to express that through
But the roots of that sense of difference from Scotland's
bigger neighbour go back a long, long, way, as Allan Little reports.
What is Scottish national identity, and how did it break out of it
kilted straitjacket to be shaped by the times we live in now? The old
stereotype was born here, at Abbotsford, the country home of Sir
Walter Scott. He summoned this Scotland from his imagination,
romantic, exotic Scotland for English consumption, no longer
savage, wild and lawless. Scott was very clear when he wrote his first
novel, Waverley, that what he was doing was introducing Scottish
readers to their own history and English readers to Scottish history.
There is something fake about it though, isn't there? There is
something fictitious, not fake, but fictitious. Even being here, under
this wonderful roof that looks like a wooden chapel, it isn't, it is
papier-mache. The whole place is a theatrical set. But there is
something good about that. The idea that our identity is not something
fixed, but something changeable. We know that national identities are
constructs. The problem is, who is brave enough now to create new
constructs? Victorian Britain loved this manufactured Scotland and
bought it wholesale. This Scotland sat comfortably in the prospering
British union. # Donald, where's your trousers? But so many people
wondered why there was this representation of Scottish nurse on
its TV screens. It did not know anyone who did this kind of thing --
Scottish nurse. When you look at the way that Scottish national identity
is expressed, especially by the popular performing arts, what did it
look like question mark kilts, haggis, the White Heather club. --
what did it look like? As a young person growing up in Scotland it did
not relate to me. I did not look out and see anybody that reflected me at
all. That sense of what Scotland was was carried around the world by the
British Empire, the canny Scot and the dour Scot, landing on every
shore. They dressed in tartan and toasted Robert Burns every January
and sang sweet, sentimental memories about longing, loss and regret. For
a Scotland that did not really exist. A Scotland that was a
romantic, imagined constructs. That Scotland was safe, tame and knew its
place in the greater scheme of things. It had a rebellious past
that could be saluted and celebrated as long as that rebelliousness sake
-- stayed safely in the past. And that Scotland survived into our own
time. Think of Private Fraser in dad 's Army. What is a canny Scot
anyway? And can an Englishman ever be canny? One Saturday night, at the
age of 15 or something, onto the television came a version of, and I
didn't go to the theatre, the John McGraw play. Prepare the people to
make way for the sheep. It drew a direct line between the Highland
clearances of the 19th century and the sudden, catastrophic decline of
heavy industry. This was a powerful new voice in Scottish culture. And
it changed my life, really. I had never seen my own culture and my own
country reflected back to me in the wake that it did. There was a
re-claiming of who we were Ulster the cheesy it was an angry plate --
of who we were. The Cheviot was an angry play. 70% of the population
owned 84% of the wealth. Scottish national identity began to wrap
itself in the cause of social justice. In the idea of resistance
to unaccountable wealth and power, imposing its will from outside. This
Scotland was also irreverent, self mocking and hilariously funny. Billy
Connelly, who had been a Glasgow shipyard welder, spoke for a
Scotland that now began to eclipse the old stereotype. That is the
white heather image,, I hope so. What is it you object to? The
English view that we have of the Scottish? The kilt on the sporran.
It is completely false, the wee cottage in the Highlands, the purple
Heather, it's not on. The guys who sing it, they live in the West End
of Glasgow. They don't know what they are singing. A wee cottage in
the Highland will cost to about 40 grand. It is not really on any more.
This was the Scotland that emerged to replace the White Heather club
and the Green Hills of Tyree. This Scotland was urban and it spoke in a
voice and with the wit and wisdom of the cities, of Glasgow in
particular. It was dismayed by what was happening and felt dispossessed,
abandoned by Britain as the industries that once serviced the
empires collapsed. This Scotland was angrier, less tame, less docile,
less reconciled to its place in the greater British scheme of things.
This Scotland felt much, much less British. Country, Scotland. It is a
peat bog, it is a dark forest. It is a cauldron at the base of a coal
mine. If you are lucky, it is a bonny medal. Liz Lochhead is the
national poet of Scotland, and one of the country's most celebrated
artists. In the 1980s she began to write in Scots as well as English.
Scottish kids had always been punished for using Scots idioms and
locutions in school. Standard English was bumped into you. But by
the 1980s, publishers wanted literature to reflect the demotic
speech of ordinary folk. They realised there was a market for
things that talk about ourselves in our own terms, and with the first
failed referendum, there really was a sense of depression, which then
expressed itself in a sense of let's get on with it and a revival of
Scottish identity. In the visual arts as well, you
sensed a gradual decoupling. Ross Sinclair is one group of young
artists who emerged from the Glasgow School of Art in the 1980s. In this
installation, installation, he, like Walter Scott, addresses the
manufactured nature of national identity. From the fake grass to the
fake rocks and fake waterfalls. But he says, for his generation of
artists, Scotland's access to the wider world no longer lies through
London alone. London still has its straw and it is still fantastic. I
show down there now and then, and it's great, but there are all kinds
of other relationships with Europe, Berlin, Scandinavia, the US, China,
Africa, wherever. I'm just thinking of projects that are going at the
moment. These are the kind of relationships that are not based on
some historical premise that has this sort of built-in power
relationship. These are kind of new, fresh relationships. Horizontal,
organic things. A feeling that anything can happen. Walter Scott
conjured a Scottish identity that could fit in a wider British
context. Scotland's artists had been pushing at the boundaries for 40
years. Rory Bremner is still with us - he's
leaning towards a 'no' vote. We're also joined by the writer Damian
Barr, who is firmly in the no camp, the actor and writer David Hayman
and the historian Sir Tom Devine - Last but not least, Linda Colley -
who doesn't have a horse in the race but is perhaps the
greatest historian of the Union. play, which you appear in, which
talks about Scottish independence. How much is your decision about
identity, heart over head, as about anything else? It's very simple,
it's not necessarily about identity. I want to live in a better country.
A country that's a small, progressive, European, peace loving
country with social justice and democracy and, at its heart. Whether
I would be Scottish or English Orwell shall it wouldn't make a
difference to me. I think we have to improve the quality of life for all
of us. I think our values are getting warped around the world. I
think we have a wonderful opportunity, we are a separate
nation, to be able to create a new paradigm for how we all live
together. Damian Barr can you put the same passion into the argument
for Union? Nobody wants a small, toxic back word looking country
which isn't progressing in the world. I want the same things. I
disagree about how we achieve them. I think the best way is to stay in
the Union. I'm a citizen of Scotland, I'm not resident in
Scotland. My vote has been taken away. The I'm one of the nearly
800,000 people who were born here not allowed to have a say in the
future. That makes me incredibly angry. Do you think the decision
would be influenced heavily by those outside the country It's great the
country is talking about it, it affects the whole country. It's
great tonight I get in the cab over here it's the first thing that comes
up. It's exciting. I don't think we need to break the Union up to do new
things in Scotland. The Government has many powers it doesn't use. The
Scottish Government could raise incomes tax by 3p and spend it on
the arts and NHS, they haven't done it. Why do they want more powers?
You nailed your colours to the mass, saying you were going to vote Yes,
what was that journey? Is what were the points on that journey?
Reflection. Thinking about where we are, in terms of my own profession,
that is history. It is seeing where Scotland is likely to go. Seeing
what I think is the quite massive decline in the Union connection.
Also, seeing the potential. Also, particularly, I think, we're now a
mature nation. We are now a mature nation, in terms of identity, as has
already been said this evening. We're also got, I think, a much more
resilient economic system. It's not necessarily the best in the world.
It's certainly resilient in terms of what it used to be as late as the
1970s, 19'80s. The other important thing is, if you have an entity like
that, a collective sentiment, that as a nation, you are still
independent, as we are, because the Scottish Parliament, despite the
number of very good things it has done, is actually still dependant on
a block grant from the other country. The final thing I would say
is, the difference... I mean, both countries, England and Scotland,
have got similar, almost identical social problems of inequality and
the rest. But there are developing different political cultures and
voting patterns between England and Scotland which, in my view, cannot
really be dealt with exception an amicable release between the two
countries. Linda Colley, are the historian of the Union, do you see
that conjectory differently Well, I do. I mean, you can... Nationalism
tends to create an other against which it can define itself. The so,
it's tempting to say - oh, England is different. English politics are
different. Identity is different? Identity is different. But, you
know, English politics aren't always different you look at voting
patterns in the north-east of England. There is hardly any
Conservatives there. And, I think most countries, like most human
beings, contain multiple identities. I think that's very healthy. I think
one of the challenges of periods of political excitement is there is a
temptation to overstreamline identity. The I think we need to
keep it multivarious. Far too binary - I think Scotland retains that
number of identities from the local to the Scottish to the
international. What is the sensibility that is different?
Actually, I would welcome the north of England joining us.
APPLAUSE Because, this is an issue, you know,
quite seriously, ladies and gentlemen, between the southern of
England, particularly south of the Severn Trent line, the Metro Poland
some parts of the south-east, the area you know well, Kirsty, from
your travels. That is the essential difficult recipesal. Let me talk to
Rory. You know the area well. This is your territory? I think there is
a problem at Westminster. There is a problem with England. I would be in
favour of seeing a more Federal United Kingdom. There is, that is a
problem. I don't necessarily, as I have been thinking about this, think
Scotland splitting up from the rest of the United Kingdom is the answer
to that question. Yesterday, for example, the headline in the
newspaper was a poll amongst English people, the English were polled
asked about it. If Scotland vote for independence we wouldn't them to
keep the pound. If they don't vote for independence we want their
public spending cut. You are setting a nation against itself. Alex
Salmond might say - this is the sovereign will of the Scottish
people. English people will say, sod you then. Damian Barr, do you see
this discussion, in a way, as being corrosive of the relationship, no
matter what happens? Absolute slid. It's hard to find positive things
about it at this stage. So many of the English people I know living in
Brighton people are like - don't go. Don't leave us. Clutching at you as
you walk out the door. The more radical thing to, do the braver
thing to do, is to stay and actually be radical within the Union. Let's
not forget Scotland can be a force for good for the other constituent
countries in the Union help affect change. It's not all about us. David
Hayman About 10 years ago, John Prescott was Deputy Leader of the
Labour Party. He offered the north-east of England atomorrow
mouse power, devolved power, it was unanimously rejected. I spent the
last two summers doing a TV series in Newcastle. They have changed
their minds. If that offer was on the table today they would accept it
and say yes. That backs up Tom's argument, let us devolve everything
away from London. It's like a great suction. Just sucking wealth and
talent and people. The That is an argument for devolution rather than
for independence. Tom, you are a historian, Scottish identity were
during the enlightenment with Adam Smith. David human. That was under
the Union. That is the thing... I don't want to have to make this
decision. This is the thing. I have been wrestling with it all along.
Linda? Yeah. One of the many mistakes David Cameron has made was
not to include devo max as an option.
APPLAUSE Because one of the repercussions has
been to polarise. The reason why I'm part Welsh, part Irish, part
English, I'm not a Scot, I don't have a vote this September, but I'd
actually find it difficult to know which way to go because I don't want
the status quo. I don't want Scottish succession. What I'd like
is devo max in this country as an integral part of a constitutional
reordering and reimagining of the UK. That is what you wanted at first
Tom Devine, it wasn't there It's not simply Cameron. Come Ron, I agree
with you, made a major error not allowing this. There were reasons
why he made that error. In a sense also, Alex Salmond and the SNP may
also have made an error because they didn't go for a gradualist approach
to their potential goal. He may well regret that because I know, in the
internal councils of the Scottish National Party there was discussion
about first having a vote over Defoe max, which would have delivered a
huge majority. Bedding it down in five years' time coming down and
asking for the next one. A lot of people, if there is a no vote --
devo, will say that was a bridge too far. A gamble too quickly. Better
for a gradualist approach to take place. Back to Linda's point. If on
that fateful morning in September we wake up and there is a No vote. I
hope there is a maximum Yes vote as well. That will create the kind of
scenario where you can then move into Federalist or devo max
conversations. On that point, David Hayman, do you think the danger is,
whatever way it goes, say it goes No, that the Yes campaigners have
invested so much emotionally in it it will be a huge downer for you and
it will be a real shuddering problem for people that wanted that, as in a
way it was cultural in 1949? I don't it will be a shuddering problem.
What has been exciting about the last two years, the levels of
debate, the levels of debate have been extraordinary. People are
engaging the politics in a profound way for the first time in their
lives, young people, old people. It has been energising and exciting to
hear all this. Wonderful progressive ideas have gone around. There is a
force that has been unleashed. I don't think that force will go away.
Even if it is a No vote and we are disappointed. I think we will come
back to it. Whatever happens the Union has already changed. The Union
has changed historically. The Union always has changed. This would be
its most radical change. With have our own law. We have our own
education system. We have our own church and language and weather, as
we have all experienced this summer. I feel like - I can't really see
what is to be gay gained I can see lots of what is to be lost. I feel
we should be trying to finded common ground - There is a lot missing on
your list that is sovereignty. The capacity to decide what is right -
We have our own Parliament. Yes that Parliament is dependent for over 80%
of its income from south of the border. You are sitting there
listening to this. I wonder what you think, in a kind of way, whether
Scotland. Is this a conjectory, the same way that devolution to this has
been a conjectory, actually if there is a No vote would it be like
(inaudible) referendum. Is it a conversation that will keep going.
If there is a No vote the governance of the United Kingdom stays the
same? I think some of this being a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity puts
it to extensively. I think this is going to be a rolling debate. You
know, there may be, if we get No this time, there may be pressure for
another referendum 10 years on, 15 years on. We don't know. What I am
concerned about, what does worry me, is that nationalism historically is
a very volatile emotion. It's a very contagious emotion. One has to be
careful that relationships in this large island, at the moment called
Great Britain, we main as amicable as possible. I rather worry that
that had may not remain the case. Do you think that, David? I have been
amicable. If you remember, you don't know before the Commonwealth Games
Team England were counselled how to deal with boos and jeers when they
come to Scotland for". At Celtic Park 40,000 people gave them the
most loving, warmest welcome. I was so proud of my fellow Scots. I think
that is the level of love and respect we have for each other. I
think that will always be there. Coming to the end of this part of
the debate. I want to run round in an unscientific matter. How do you
think it will go, Rory? Well, the polls would suggest - depends on how
you look at the polls. They are suggesting about sort of 55-45 or
something. The nationalists say the polls are narrowing. The Unionists
say the polls are widening. Nigel Farage says, why ask the Poles, they
don't live here! Thank you Rory Bremner for that.
Newsnight was keen to flex its cultural muscle here
So back in May we launched a contest to find the most brilliant
artistic rendition of the Scottish independence debate.
We received dozens of entries from musicians, stand-ups and performers.
It fell to Steve Smith to separate the wheat from the chaff and,
here in Edinburgh, with our peachy panel of judges, to pick a winner.
spotting comedians and musicians willing to appear under the auspices
of Newsnight. Nobody said it was going to be diesel. -- easel. Have
they got something to say about the referendum? Something the rest of us
might enjoy listening to? And by the way, are there any venues going
begging to help you out with the 3000 shows. The Queen Dome of the
famous pleasance. Let's do the show right here. Only the creme de la
creme have made it to the home of variety, and now they get just one
chance to impress the judges. The man who puts to rest into
referendum, Arthur Smith, followed by the talented and popular
stand-up, Janie Godley, and more intellectual Alistair Brom Hannah
McGill. Your judges, ladies and gentlemen. -- more intellectual
ballast. On the way, the show stoppers, more Gilbert and Sullivan
meet the referendum. # we can't we leave that all behind with
Bannockburn and foreign I thought it was absolutely lovely.
If I ever want to hear three English people beg from me, I will have
these three. For me, there were too many words. Thereau a huge number of
words flying past. -- there are a huge number of words. With military
precision the Edinburgh Tattoo, the stagehands set up for the next term.
OK, Scotland, focus. This is your big moment. It's not independent you
are talking about, you are talking about divorce. And divorce is
expensive, especially with England, because she's going to bleed you
dry. Because she has Wales to support, and Wales ain't never can
get a job. And what's the cheapest way to get through any divorce? Have
the second marriage lined up. I say, OK, independent Scotland, who in the
neighbourhood will you get married to question the island, she's broke.
Iceland, she's bankrupt, France, she's a slut. You're going to be
looking at the next UN conference at the singles bar getting hit on by
North Korea. Is it natural commentary territory? You made it
seem so. -- comedy territory. In this country, yes, but the rest of
the world has no idea where it is. Who is being sick to death about
being asked about voting in the Scottish independence debate?
Together at last, the Scottish referendum. How will you vote? And
sock puppets. They are a bit like Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling.
This is what I thought, too angry little creatures sniping at each
other. Strangely familiar if you've watched the TV debate. And Hillary
Fox brought her ukelele stylings to an affectionate parody of a classic
song from the rock canon. # what about the oil? Do we get to keep the
pound? Will you get your own defence Force and get it off the ground? #
now is the time for making your mind up. # go one out and vote and make
your mind up. She is absolutely right, we should be making our mind
up, but like most Scottish people I will wait until the day and see how
the weather is. You know that if you do well here, you might go on to the
judges houses and you might go back to balance with Arthur. That is the
best offer I have had today -- bal. I think they have been very good,
and they've all had a go, as my mother would say. I am Scottish, so
we will wait to see the whole picture and then we will make a
decision. Yes, it's the Newsnight Edinburgh referendum review, and
this might be the closest we get today to a boy band. The Walk
Mischief. # An independent Scotland is a
better Scotland # We've got Edinburgh castle and
Stirling Castle # And Glasgow Castle and Elgin
Interesting what lads can do. This is a salutary distillation of the
important issues, the things they will take away in a big fan if we
vote no. How important is it for you guys to win this talent show today?
We all quit our jobs today to be here. So if we don't win, it would
be quite catastrophic for us and our girlfriends. # the thorn is
withdrawn. Is it? It is. The former BBC Moscow correspondent, Angus
Roxburgh. They say in every battled reporter there is a song and dance
man bursting to get out. # to be ourselves again. # to be ourselves
again. # Be ourselves again. It's a lovely warm, kindly sentiment that
we could do it without spittle rancour, but it's been proven that
is not the case, but it's nice to hold out for. To be ourselves again,
so, have you not been yourself? We don't feel ourselves at the moment.
I've not been myself all day. If you don't vote in the UK, it's not that
you don't care, you're just exhausted. Because you are voting
all the time. You have X Factor, Big Brother, Britain's got talent. There
is something called a by-election, which I think is a late night show
on Channel five. I have followed all of these issues and American
politics, because they are more exciting, because we have got guns.
You stuck around all day for us, is it because it was raining or it
meant the world to you? This is the big moment. Everybody knows that
comedy on Newsnight is the best varies. , acerbic and he will
probably come fourth or fifth. That is the first steer we have had of
the judges thinking. # home is where the heart is. # That is where we
belong. # Nothing can divide is. Were the referendum to be decided on
vocal performance, you would be in with a shot. I thought it was a
collection of cliches. Home is where the heart is. Perhaps you are
judging too harshly. I've changed my mind. They were brilliant. I will
put them first. That's what we want. What a journey our contestants have
been on. Who can blame them for a few butterflies? Only one act can
win a life changing live performance on Newsnight. It all rests on our
unimpeachable judges. They are without fear or favour. Or a fee,
very nearly. Coming third is a brilliant lady with the ukelele,
give it up for Hillary Fox. For making us laugh heartily and
insulting us gently and for dressing better than any of us, second prize
is David Mills. The winner of the inaugural and
final Newsnight referendum review is...
Excuse me, everyone. Hello, boys. How do you feel? Absolutely
phenomenal. It started out as for friends, and now we are free friends
and someone else in the process. -- three friends.
Thank you to all my guests and congratulations to the winners
of Newsnight's Referendum Revue, here to play us out live.
The Orc Mischief's Song may sound like a paean to independence, but
# An independent Scotland is a better Scotland
# An independent Scotland is a better Scotland
# We've got Edinburgh castle and Stirling Castle
# And Glasgow Castle and Elgin Castle
# And Forth Road Bridges and Forth Rail Bridges
# An independent Scotland is a better Scotland
# An independent Scotland is a better Scotland
Good evening. We are set to continue with a rather cool weather story
through the next few days. Blame it all on the northerly or
north-westerly breeze. That will be lighter across the British Isles on
Friday than Thursday. There should be more in the way of sunshine and
less in the way of showers. Those factors combined could bring us a
warmer feeling day. That breeze will feel more showers in throughout the
day to parts of Northern Ireland and the north of Scotland. Southern and
central areas should see sunshine. Greater risk of showers across
eastern England through Friday afternoon. Still plenty of sunshine
around as well. Many areas will avoid the showers altogether.
Temperatures in the south-east of England in one or two spots up to
around 20 degrees Celsius. More typically, we are looking at highs
in the mid to high teens. It is a couple of degrees down for this
point in August. With the breeze becoming lighter still overnight
Friday, into Saturday, we could be off to a pretty chilly start to the
weekend. Again, with a few scattered showers around, we are not talking
about a bad day all in all. A lot of sunshine. Temperatures in the best
of any sunshine up to 17-18, maybe 19 degrees. Here is how Saturday
looks. Showers possible across northern England, perhaps for East
Anglia later in the day. Overall, a lot of fair weather. A slightly
lighter breeze through the day. Temperatures in the mid to high
teens. Look out for a chilly night Saturday night into Sunday.
Make the most of your bank holiday, wherever you are.
Use the BBC Weather app to stay one step ahead of the weather.
A special programme from the Edinburgh Festival, looking at the Scottish independence debate through the prism of Scottish arts and culture. With Kirsty Wark.