Episode 5 Free Speech

Episode 5

Live current affairs debate from Edinburgh, a week before the vote on Scottish independence. On the panel are Joan McAlpine, Ruth Davidson, Martin Compston and Hugo Rifkind.

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This program is captioned live. Hello, and welcome to Free Speech.


The show which makes your voice heard in the national conversation.


I'm Rick Edwards. I'm Rick Edwards. I'm Tina Daheley. And welcome back!


Never mind Bake-Off or X-Factor, THIS is the TV return we've all been


waiting for. Or at least, I've been waiting for. For the next 12 weeks


we'll be here every other Tuesday to talk about the big issues of the


day. And, as you know, we can't do it without the help of our audience.


All of whom have, of course, been screened for their intelligence and


good looks. And this week, all from Edinburgh! Though it's not just this


audience which is important but you guys at home. Remember you can Tweet


at BBCFreeSpeech or Facebook your comments and I'll put them in the


debate. Here are the addresses you'll need. And as those of you who


have been following us on social media will know, we'll be talking


about the Israel-Palestine conflict and the issue of anti-Semitism


tonight. But first, being in Edinburgh there is, I believe,


another issue around. Yes, next Thursday Scotland will vote on


whether to become an independent country. We've divided our audience


into yes over here and no over there. And also here to make sense


of it all some of the finest minds from the Yes and No camps. Joan


McAlpine, journalist and MSP for the Scottish National Party. Ruth


Davidson, leader of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist party.


Actor Martin Compston. And Times and Spectator columnist, Hugo Rifkind.


And that's our panel. Question this evening. Would an independent


Scotland be a more democratic country? Yes, it would. We only have


9% of the MPs at Westminster at the moment. Westminster controls all of


Scotland's money and will continue to control it if we vote no so


therefore, having all those powers transferred to our own parliament in


Edinburgh, which we elected democratically proportional


representation, it's definitely an improvement and will make it a more


democratic place. The other thing is an independent Scotland will have a


written constitution. The UK is unusual, in not having a written


constitution to guarantee the rights of its citizens. We would guarantee


equality of rights to our citizens and other rights, such as the right


to free education, for example, so it will certainly be more democratic


than is under the current Westminster system. Roofs, you are


scowling. I think one thing Scotland doesn't like if politicians. We have


the mud cancellable, UK parliaments, a European level, and I think if you


look at the way people vote in Scotland, we understand the


differences. Joan talks about proportional representation. We had


a referendum on that and Scotland were rejected it. People understand


what first past the post is. With just a European election. Joan is


part of the most votes. In the European Parliament, they are the


second biggest group rather than the biggest. People understand if you


work with other people, there is give and take full that we have had


18 general elections since the war and for 12 of them, the party of


Scotland voted most for form to the Government of the UK. More than the


south of England. We have one Tory MP at the moment in Scotland and


military Government. We have a coalition Government has double the


amount of seed the SNP got in 2012. We didn't vote for a coalition


Government. You two, calm down for a bit. The gentleman up there. If you


look at the votes alone, combined, there was over one third of the


votes for Lib Dem and Tories. Yes, but they voted for a Lib Dem


programmer free university tuition which they immediately reversed when


I went into cahoots with the Tories. The gentleman here. I think it's a


disgrace Joan talks about representation in Westminster when


just as many SNP MPs turned up to repel the bedroom tax. There would


be no bedroom tax in independent Scotland and the Scottish Government


had to take money out of its own budget for education and other


things in order to mitigate the bedroom tax to get that it in


Scotland with an independent Scotland would have a bedroom tax on


the first place. This is exactly the heart of this. This is what it's all


about. It's ridiculous to suggest otherwise. Scotland wants a


Government that we will vote for every single time at every single


election that we can hold accountable, 12 out of 18 or


something. We want every single time, so we can stand up to things


like the bedroom tax, poll tax, illegal wars. People understand what


elections... They know the SNP are the sixth largest group in the


European Parliament because they understand when you work in other


countries in a union, on a big scale, but they understand when with


people you don't always get it all your own way. You are going to City


End tell me one out of 59 MPs decide our foreign policy it's fair. It's


12 because of the Coalition Government. Do you think that's


fair, 12 out of 59? Tell me if you think it's fair. I think it's fair


under parliamentary system. People voted for that what they wanted. 12


out of 59 is a fair thing? We're part UK Parliament and people


understand that. I think Ruth is not going to answer that. If there's one


thing Scotland is not about four that the House of Lords. There's no


other country in the European Union... You don't need to be a


nationalistic one together the House of Lords. Dust and want to get that


of the House of Lords. I'm a social democrat and I do not vote for the


SNP but the Green party and I simply want what the rest of Europe in


countries have which is a fully democratically elected parliament


and Government. We started about whether owned independent Scotland


would be more democratic country. The thing about independence, it


comes both ways. Joan pointed out only 9% of the Houses of Parliament


in Westminster comes from Scotland. Under independence, 0% of Houses of


Parliament in Westminster will come from Scotland. And yet, in the small


collection of islands the UK is, there are facts decided Westminster


which will remain decided in Westminster for them it will


dominate our currency, even under the SNP fantasy. Westminster will


set the tone of tax affairs which an independent Scotland would be able


to deviate from that much. Westminster will dictate a lot of


immigration policy with an open border. At the moment, Scotland has


a vote on that. It would be a weird situation of Scotland have a vote in


the European Parliament but not in Westminster when Westminster will


affect their lives far more. Personally, I don't want to see it


as a permanent solution is our country. I would like to see it in


the future like we had New Zealand, when they became independent, for


five years, they lose powers and basically after that period, they


could establish their own currency and not does have sport with the Yes


Campaign. -- support. There's a reason why the Yes Camp talks about


that and that's because people don't want to know that their savings and


pensions and salaries will be affected. If you're talking with a


separate currency from the word go, a Yes Vote would be promising. Let's


go to the online audiences saying at home. If Scotland leaves the UK,


it'll be a big loss for the Labour Party and so Conservative Government


in Westminster will become far more likely if Scotland leaves for some


interesting how the Conservatives strongly support the union even


though it's not in their own interests and actually helps Labour.


Conservative governments for the foreseeable future in England, if


Scotland votes yes, if that happens, I will be packing my bags and moving


away. How would you respond to someone like this would think of


moving away from Scotland? I think it's a ridiculous notion. It doesn't


make it any less Scottish if you vote yes or not. The one thing with


stuff like that, I think Scotland needs a strong Labour Party.


Scotland has support of the Labour Party for decades and I think it's


disgraceful the stamp Labour Party has taken here. A neutral stance on


this, you could vote with your head and heart of whichever way you


support because we need a strong Labour Party free from the shackles


of Westminster. We need independence and not the Labour Party run by a


numerous urgent Labour Party. We can only get that all independent


Scotland. I think what it comes down to in terms of democracy, I'm


worried after the recent television debates, could the SNP deliver


democracy when they can't even host a common debate without shouting and


talking over the opposition? That sort of thing, yes. Who says it's


going to be an SNP Government? We can vote for whoever we want. The


gentleman here. I think it's ridiculous to suggest if you have


51% of the electorate who may be supporting a Yes Vote, they will


vote for the SNP. I completely disagree with that. I'm from a


staunch Labour Party, and I think the SNP have done well. All my


family will be voting yes and voting Labour immediately after. All the


polls show Labour voters are moving towards Yes. 18% will vote no,


nearly 20%. We know the line, there are tartan Tories were gone SNP, who


believe in the UK and don't want to walk away from everything we built


in the last 300 years. If we could address the question which came in


on Twitter. It's an important one. People like Billy Bragg in England


has said a Yes Vote will re-democratise England as well


because we can show that social democratic values here in Scotland


work and we can stop the NHS being privatised and that will give a real


boost to those values in England. You have privatised. You've done it.


For the last seven years. We have very little input compared to


England. You have increased it by the December sent in the time of


your Government. You are wholly in charge. OK, we've got to go back. We


are talking about the so-called democracy here in the privatisation


of the NHS. What about the transatlantic investment partnership


which will destroy agriculture, the NHS, because other corporations will


be above our laws and makes as it genetically modified food. You


explain that from Westminster? What makes you think the stuff wouldn't


happen with independent Scotland? Alex Salmond has said it would be


especially good for Scotland. Nicola Sturgeon has gone on record saying


it would be especially good for Scotland. John Swinney has said it


would be especially good for Scotland. This is a free trade


agreement and I absolutely some point you're making but there are of


it you want to reserve or vote against, and that's fine, have that


negotiation, but don't think for one moment the SNP are not behind it.


They are. The TT IP... It applies to health. Large part of the health


service in England have been privatised. American companies will


be allowed to bid for any NHS work and because Scotland is not an


independent country, we would not be seen as separate even though our


health services separate so our health service, despite the fact


that got less than 1% input from private companies could find


themselves outbid. The SNP is totally opposed to any


privatisation. Does it back TT IP? Why does Alex Salmond say it would


be especially good for Scotland? Hang on. It will not apply to


health. Do you back TTIP? No. As you know very well. I think you got the


answer there. I'm not sure we did, but OK. Gentleman here? It is not


about Alex Salmond or Nicola Sturgeon or the SNP, we are looking


at a Green Party and the Scottish Labour Party, people are engaging


with politics for the first time. It doesn't matter who is in government.


It is change and something we have to embrace. It is a brilliant point.


It is we started talking about democracy. This is democracy at its


finest. Walking through the towns, the excitement and the hope, there


is a social revolution happening that is happening without any


violence the worse we have had is something getting hit with an egg.


It is brilliant to see people talking about it and the winds of


change are coming and we have this brilliant youth movement and thank


God for social media, I know the amount of scare stories have come


from a biased media, but people on Facebook and triter are standing up


and being counted. The future is not Ed Milliband or Osborne or David


Cameron. It is these people here, the youth. It is time for us to be


big, brave and take this country back. Voting no doesn't mean we


think the union is perfect. We want change, we just don't want to leave


it all, I would like to see a federalised United Kingdom, where


England gets what it wants and Scotland gets what it wants. It is


drastic to leave because some things aren't working. Let's fix it. That


is a good point. If Scotland doesn't win the independence vote, how will


Scottish people get more of a say in what they want instead of


Westminster taking control? Let's for the audience at home, many who


aren't in Scotland let's say that Scotland is entirely in charge of


health and education. So it is in charge of policing. It has a


multiple bound budget and in -- pound budget. What the pro-union


parties have said if there a no vote there will be more powers over


income tax and welfare. I didn't hear you. There are no details. I


there will be more on income tax and welfare. We said we will work


together to make that happen and we invite the SNP to join us after a no


vote. But what is important... Can I say.? All these areas and still You


never apologised for the 200,000 people who have voted and haven't


had these powers mentioned. Will you apologise? They have already voted.


You have been so vague. You have had these nonsense promises. It has been


on our web-site for months. I can't work out what powers this mythical


time table and you have the three stooges coming up tomorrow and a


Saltire up. It is democracy, the people of Scotland have voted


200,000 people should have had the facts. Calm down. You can't have


that both ways. It is reasonable to attack the vagueness of the


policies, but you have got a yes campaign functioning on a white


paper that a proportion of yes campaigners and the yes vote thinks


is no blue print. A lot of people disagree with im. -- with it. We


said what it is on the first page of the Conservative web-site and it has


been there for months. What we have said is we have laid down a time


table. You have to build consensus. It is like they're going to give us


something on St Andrews day and if there was a haggis night it would be


on haggis night. It is so patronising. They think we are daft.


The parties had an option of putting a more powers option on the ballot


pap eand they did not do that. Nicola Sturgeon negotiated it. We


said we were open to that. The important point fis you don't


control your finances, you don't really have control. Although we


control health and education, our finances are Crombed in London. The


proposals we are being offered are a rehash of what we were offered which


leaves 85% of our taxes going to London and it keeps hold of the


lucrative taxes. The whisky revenue and VAT and controlling income tax


is a pig-in-a-poke and people shouldn't be taken in by it. What


did you say Hugo? The blue print for independence, the SNP fantasy world


is a currency union. That entails Scotland not controlling its own


finances. It will be a union dominated by England. You look at


the euro... If I may, you look at the euro, a huge currency union.


Dominated by Germany and France. You talk about a currency union which


only has two partners, England will call the shots and the rest of the


UK but specifically England. Scotland will


UK but specifically England. its own kourn Su and finances than


Greece has now. -- currency. All our taxes, oil revenue. They will be


able to control business taxes. There will be conditions, because of


the state of Scottish finances. It is what happens in a union. You have


a vote in the House of Commons like everybody else. OK, we are we are


going to move on. Our next programme is in Cardiff the Tuesday after


next. If you want to join the audience e-mail us. And we will


discuss feminism and the issues of the week. The next question. All


week Free Speech viewers have been going to the choose our question


page. Click through tl or the go to questions and it will direct you to


the right place and you will see the questions that have been submitted


since the end of the last show. The way it works is people pick like on


the questions they want to see and we count up the likes to make this


leader board. The question at the top was from Daniel who asked what


happens if Scotland goes independent and the country starts to fail?


Related to what we were talking about. Ruth what happens? First


nobody in Scotland wants Scotland to fail, whether you vote yes or no and


nobody would work towards that. Everyone would work to making it a


success. But I think the best way to look at what you have done in the


past is when we have had tough times whether that is post-war, when we


were a poor country, the crash we had in 2008, the thing Scots have


done well is work across the United Kingdom for a common cause. I live


in Glasgow and my sister lives in Newcastle and my best mate since I


was seven lives in Liverpool and I can't find three cities that are


more alike than Glasgow, Newcastle and Liverpool. The idea you want to


put a border between them I... You I find it wrong. We believe in common


cause and working together. We believe in making the best that we


can and bringing as many people along with us as we can. That is


what I want to see in the future and I want to see that no matter which


way the country votes. It is important to make the point that...


Your party nearly destroyed Glasgow, Newcastle and Liverpool. So I think


she could have chosen better examples. Every year... For 33 years


Scotland has contributed more per head of tax. So we are pooling our


resources to send our money away. I would rather see that money stay in


Scotland. Every year we receive more in public spending to the tune of


1,200 pound a person. They're offering an in out referendum on the


EU. They're the biggest threat to us leaving the EU. And leaving the


biggest market of world. We want to stay in, but we want it to be


reformed. The Conservative Party being wagged at the tail by UKIP,


because they're terrified of losing. You will end up with a situation,


the referendum where Scotland votes to stay in the EU if, we vote no and


we lose the thing, if we stay, we can vote to stay in the EU. And


England votes to leave it but Scotland are forced to leave the EU


as part of the UK. It is nonsense. You touched on something that has


not been brought up the issue of disability. If Scotland becomes


independent the SNP have fledgest pledged the care limits to be in


line with the other benefits. Can the other parties offer similar.


Because right now, Ruth's government, well the party that you


support, your Government has been wrecking lives and that is not good


enough and doesn't seem like it will get better if we stay in the union.


One of the things we have said is these are decisions like attendance


allowance should be devolved to Scotland. But I think one of the


things that we have seen clearly in the white paper is there is a lot of


promises on spending, there is not much on talking about where the


money will come from. As this debate has gone on, there has been promises


and promises on spending and spending, but the idea that you cut


corporation tax or the big business and there is no other money from


anywhere else. I don't understand how you cut tax for the rich, which


is the only redistributive measure in the white paper, you keep the


political stuff that is here and still manage to spend more, where is


the money coming from? The lady here. I understand understand how


the rhetoric from the yes campaign is emotive. But I don't get why


people have their head in the sand about the pain that is ahead. We saw


yesterday the value of companies... What about the pain now? You don't


think we will have spending if we go independent? Of course, but this is


the point. We started this off talking about who would be


responsible if things go wrong. We could be responsible. That is what


this is about. We will make mistakes. It witness be easy, but it


will be our mistake, the people in Scotland taking control. Will that


be te better for austerity. We have 1.3 trillion pounds of debt. We have


nuclear weapon, food banks, bedroom tax, it has to be better than this.


Hugo? The sad troouft is doesn't have to be better than this. We


talked about what happens if Scotland fails, it is important to


understand what this means. - truth. There are some will say ten years


you will have burning cars in the street and zombies walking around,


but that is rubbish, but you talk about is a Scotland that drifts


further behind the rest of the UK and standards of living in income


and spending and investment and you if ask about what happens if that


takes place I believe it will take place. But what happens if that


takes place, what happens if that take place is bitterness, it is a


political culture in Scotland that will blame the rest of the UK for


that, because it will be blamed on the upshot of the negotiations


following independence. That is what will happen. And part of reason why


I am a unionist and will vote no is because I don't want to see the


United Kingdom in which I live torn apart and fighting in that way. That


is a frightening prospect. First, the only people that talk about


fighting, division, borders is the no camp. That is the only people


talking about it. That is not even my point. We are having this debate


because Britain has failed. Britain has failed. This is is no good. If


you think a new Scottish Government will not continue to blame many of


its problems on Westminster, I think you're mistaken. Some comments


online. David says, the reason the yes brigade have looked good is they


stuck to their message and not complicated, try ballism has -- try


ballism is a disaster. Welcome to a third world economy,


Scotland. People's views at home are valid, does he have a point? Days


ago, I distributed food parcels in Dumfries and people were A couple


ofdoes he have a point? Destitute because of sanctions imposed by the


Tories in London. People are destitute now. 400% rise in food


banks in Scotland. In certain sections of society, they have been


hit worst, disabled people, single parents, it's absolutely appalling,


and this is what this is about. It's about making Scotland a more humane


place by putting Scottish policies in and Scottish people in charge.


The gentleman here. The reference that Britain was broken, if it's


broken, surely all of Britain is to blame and not just England. People


say are not blaming England. All I've heard from both campaigns is


about currency, what's going to happen and what powers will be


devolved, but what's going to happen in terms of representation because


that's all anybody wants to know, who will be represented? Women and


other liberation campaigns are always under represented, and young


people and old people, what will happen? We want representation. I


don't know the political model of the SNP for an independent Scotland,


but what I think at the moment is that we need more people to find


their voice, not just in this country but all over the world and


one of the things I'm very proud of and I would take issue with the man


who said Britain was broken, I think the UK plays its role in the world.


You look around the world and we are the second biggest giver of aid


anywhere. There are people alive in the world today because we shoulder


the burden. I'm not saying independent Scotland would do that.


I look around the world at the immunisations programmes run out of


Scotland, different programmes keeping people alive in Africa, and


that makes me proud to be British. Scottish, too. What about Nestle? No


one here from Nestle to defend themselves and we can't talk about


that. I'd like to raise an issue about the finances. Alex Salmond


keeps saying about the oil but these resources will eventually get used


up so it means we have to raise taxes. We country the world who sees


oil as a burden. We the only country who has got poorer since we have got


oil. It's going to be there for a long time. I think we will be more


than successful without it but a huge bonus and we should not


underestimate it. It's important to understand the reality of the


situation because oil has been mentioned a couple of times to


write, Scotland contributes more than it takes back which is


marginally true because of oil. What that means as it's happening already


because of oil, so an independent Scotland, oil will provide no more


money, it's not like there's more money taken away. All that is being


used raising the money per head in Scotland to a level it's already at.


Just briefly, I think we should be aware, I'm not saying oil is a


burden but it's not the answer to everything. Every financial gap is


not going to be plugged. Moore was wiped off Scottish companies in a


single day yesterday than be raised in oil revenue in the entire year,


more is spent on welfare just in Scotland every single year for the


last ten years than the entire tax from the entire North Sea for the


last ten years, so let's put this in context. This isn't an unlimited


fund. It's about making sure people understand exactly what the


contribution of oil is, yes, a good contribution to the economy, but it


does not understand every -- answer every problem for Scotland. Ratings


agency said it without North Sea oil would qualify for its highest


economic assessment if we were independent. We have many strengths.


We have a ?13 billion food and drink industry, tourism, creative


industries, universities amongst the best in the world. I have real faith


in people of Scotland, we will succeed whether or not we have oil,


but it gives us a fantastic head start. I would much rather sit in


control of the people of Scotland than Ruth's colleagues in London.


OK, we're going to move on now. As you know, throughout the summer


there was serious conflict in Israel and Gaza. When we were looking into


the issue we came across a young British man who was planning to


leave the UK to join the Israeli army. We spoke to him about his


experience. This is a Facebook status. He's gone to Israel to fight


for the Israeli defence Force. In its ongoing campaign to massacre the


Palestinians. There's a lot of harsh comments like, he should be in


prison on terrorism charges. He has tricked us. It makes me feel


justified in my decision. He is so ugly, oh my God, what a total go


ahead. Israel says its targeted militant sites. This was a mosque


hit by six Israeli bombs. Even if you are the strongest critic of


Israel, there was an atmosphere of hostility towards Jews. That makes


me feel that maybe it is difficult to live in the UK, especially in


France and general in Europe. It makes me feel I need to live


alongside like-minded people who are my brothers and sisters. I believe


in the cause of IDF also whether I agree with every action does is


another question. I have no issue whatsoever joining an army defending


its people. A lot of people, when they start seeing an opportunity to


attack Israel, they attack Jews as well. In Manchester come there's


been a significant increase in anti-Semitic crime. You have Jewish


cultural institutions like the Jewish film Festival being banned


from theatres. When you have MPs calling for a city to be Israeli


free, not just IDF free, no Israeli academics, Israeli culture, Israeli


tourists, are we living in the 1930s? How can that be seen as


legitimate? Are the protests against Israel encouraging anti-Semitism?


The interesting thing about that little programme we just watched is


that as a young man who was emigrating to another country hoping


to join his army. That's what some people want to do. Now, people could


do that are lots of countries for that this could be somebody


emigrating to Nigeria and joined the Nigerian army, join the French army,


the Turkish army, if we see that as different what we just watched, to


all those examples, we are getting into a dangerous place. I don't


believe that criticising Israel, supporting Gaza, necessarily entails


anti-Semitism. Of course not. I frequently criticise Israel in the


columns are right for them I'm proud to be Jewish. However, I think very


often, it does bleed into anti-Semitism. Not always


deliberately. It can be done carelessly, but it is Scottish


audience will understand, people who criticise Scotland in a way which


could infuriate and irritate Scots far more than they mean to and I


think quite a lot of the time, when people talk about Israel, and


criticise it, they end up holding Jews in this country responsible for


it and in a manner which would not happen with any other ethnic groups.


Obviously anti-Semitism is on the rise in this country and Europe and


especially in France and need to be on top of that. Wheels is a need to


make the important distinction, the anger at the Israeli state, people


aboard the Israeli Government. Many Jewish people across the world and


Israel as well protesting against that. When you see them targeting


militants, they took out an entire streets, it's disgusting, war


crimes. At the same time, you have to remember this particular cycle


starts and three Israelis were murdered. There's a rising but not


distinguish between anger at the Israeli Government and the Jewish


people. I think anti-Semitism only comes in


the small-minded people, but anti-Semitism is wrong but what's


going on in that part of the world is also very wrong. What the Israeli


state may or may not do may be wrong but to criticise, people can also


criticised Hamas for sending thousands of rockets into Israel,


which nobody mentions either, or the fact people have to run to bomb


shelters which are in every building in Israel, and they have a couple of


minutes notice to get there. That's why there have been such less loss


of lives, but I tend to think the media campaign on this particular


conflict, when so much is going on in Syria and Iraq, and a lot of


stuff in Iraq is down to the British going into Iraq in the first prize


and the stable in it, we responsible for killing 180,000 Iraqi civilians


but nobody seems to mention it. It's very asymmetric for some it seems to


be easier to protest against a democratic state than to process


against ISIS, to boycott Israel but rather than criticise ISIS and a


mass movement. There hasn't been a public outcry about what's happening


in Syria and Iraq like there is about Gaza. It isn't what's


happening in Gaza is right, but there are so many people dying every


day and this is the media focusing on it. Do you agree? It works in


other ways as well for that we have seen attacks on Muslims because of


the stereotyping of their religion. I'm a great admiring of the Jewish


contribution to our culture and history which is properly second to


know other people, but I would distinguish that completely


know other people, but I would actions of the Israeli Government at


the moment, which are disproportionate. Tina, what are


people saying at home? This one comes from Sebastian on Facebook.


Like the Islamic state, ring the reason is a phobia exists, and the


actions of countries like Pakistan. The Zionist values and the


persecution of Jewish people justify Israel's persecution of the


Palestinians. What do you think about that? Is Darren defending


Israel? He believes he is defending Israel. I mean, this isn't something


conflict. I have been there several times, mainly in a professional


capacity and I have family in Israel as well. -- simple conflict. It's a


mess. The Government have a destructive policies brought a long


time and no reasonable leadership they can speak to in Gaza, because


they have killed a lot of them and those that haven't killed up


Palestinians killed. It's a terrible mess and you reach a point where


reasonable behaviour is no longer possible and I question whether, if


we were sitting here and now on the threat of rocket attacks, from near


neighbours, our behaviour would be much better than Israel's. The more


we try and portray Israel as a pariah state, the more be in with a


true maddening of the world, the more ageing lines Israel's behaviour


to be poor, because what's left to lose? It's not about the Israeli


state matter orange Hamas but about innocent civilians dying. People


seem to forget that. I think also, yes, Israel is under attack but it


also has hundreds of thousands of pounds coming from America as


opposed to Gaza, which doesn't have that protection. The lady in the


red. They have millions of dollars coming from Qatar for example. It's


not like they are underfunded. They choose to use that money building


terror tunnels. So, you know one side has chosen to protect its


people, which is why fewer people die, and the other side choose to


exploit of. And sadly, I think the media campaign, it was terrible, the


coverage in the last conflict, very, very biased. I think we have to be


careful that we cannot confuse our nation state with a face or


religion, so you have to separate the state of Israel from the face of


Judaism. These things are not concurrent for the BS, Israel is a


Jewish state, but there should be no anti-Jewish backlash for what the


nation state in the world does, and I think let's not get wrapped up in


the hierarchy of suffering. There are casualties here from both sides,


but primarily on one side. And we have to be able to help and the way


we can do that in a conflict, which has been going on since before I was


born, is stop the violence, so a cease-fire, get people around a


table, and try and find leaders within communities who can work


together and there is no glib sound bite or easy answer to this full


service there was, it would've been fixed by now but I think we have to


try and do is try and take the foot off the gas in terms of blaming


people. Don't get me wrong, there is blame on both sides here. Let's not


be blind to it, but there has to be a movement within the international


committee to facilitate that and that's not picking sides, that


getting people around the table because there's been going on for


decades and it needs to stop. It has to be a two nation state. The people


of Gaza need to be protected by international law. It is always wort


comparing what happens in Gaza with the West Bank. What happened there,


the other Palestinian territory used to be similar. But over the course


of the last ten years, two things have happens. Well three things.


They have built a great big wall. That is more contentious than the


rest of what I'm about to say, but they have cracked down in security


terms and there has been massive economic investment. I have been


into the West Bank, you drive through and there is a mobile phone


network and coffee shops and a thriving industry there. When you


have thriving industry you have a lot to lose and when you have a lot


to lose, you're more encouraged to dialogue and the people you have


dialogue with are more wary of destroying the infrastructure. When


there is nothing else there it is very easy to fight, because you have


nothing else to do. To come back to the question about the effect on


anti-Semitism, it has caused anti-Semitism, they're lumping in


the actions of the Israeli state with Jewish people and this a


present even in Scotland when you have bog ts like George Galloway


making hot headed statements and you get backlashes and hate from both


sides and people who are identified as Jewish or Muslim. These debates


encourage people to identify themselves to with the actions on


the ground and that makes it more difficult for sensible, reasonable


people to be heard. And what you get is people like George Galloway


dominating the debates, specially in the countries that are not involved


in the conflicts. I think the way we end anti-Semitism is by educating,


but not just educating the children in school now, but the people who


have more extreme views we need to teach them to have respectful views


and deliver them in a respectful way. But how do we do that? Well...


It is not easy! It is not how we do it. Is how they do it there. They


have to do it within themselves, teach other and get around the table


and work from there and bring a better Israel and Gaza. The power


bar is back. And here what is the online audience think. We have been


running this question at the bottom of our screen. This is the power


bar, just use the hashtag Free Speech yes or no to give us your


view. We have had some answers in. 48% think yes, 52% think no. And the


comments we are getting from Jade, this protest against Israel and not


IS, because our government supports the former. Sean says the protests


are encouraging anti-Semitism. Israel is doing that by itself.


Yes? What concerns me this a in 2014 the op way to solve problems in the


world is through murder and war. That worries me. I think going on,


there has been certain deals done by Britain, David Cameron was actually


just involved in a negotiation which sees Britain actually helping with


the idea of trying to control the Islamic states there. That concerns


me. I think that we can do so much more and I think there is lot better


ways of dealing with these issues. I also think if we look at the


uprising of different groups, separatist groups, whether it is in


Nigeria or IS, if if you look in Nigeria they only came into


inception in 2009, we should ask what is it we are doing that is


causing so many people to feel so disenfranchised from the society


that they need to kill each other? I think that is what we need to


discuss. I think you're probably right, but were going to move on to


our final question. James? Can I ask the panel what will happen to my UK


identity? So what will happen to this gentleman's UK identity if


Scotland votes for independence? Either. Martin? Again a answer is I


don't know. You will still consider yourself British. Its not just


Scotland and England, there is four partners, I assume there will still


be a United Kingdom, unless... The other nations feel energised by what


we have got and I include England in this and want self rule and we will


all be better, unless it is Wembley or trick nap, we will be better pals


if we are all on an even footing. What did you mean by your question?


The problem I have, I'm English, not a problem, but... But I have


Scottish children, so am I going to be separated from a national


identity from my own children. I live and work in Scotland, but I


still see myself as English. There is a chap there who is wearing an


English Scots for yes badge, perhaps he would like to answer that


question. He would. I'm not going to get too angry this time. With


regards to British and English identity, the White Paper suggests


those who are using UK passports can continue with them all it is if you


continue to be born in Scotland after independence, you become


Scottish and that is not necessarily a bad thing. I would like to keep


Scottish and that is not necessarily British passport, I have family in


Buckinghamshire, I'm proud to be living in Scotland and have the


opportunity living in Scotland and have the


living here you shouldn't be threatened by the idea you're going


to be taking part in the Scottish civic state. If there is a poss


yiblgt to be -- possibility to be the a member of the community after


independence, I don't think that will stop me from being British. We


all live on the same island, Scotland will not drift off into the


attack. Do we know that for sure? I think so. We don't have chain saws


ready. The point is of course your identity won't change. We will still


have all the shared bonds that we have between Scotland, Wales,


Northern Ireland, England, we are still going to be friends with these


people, but we are voting for a more democratic fair irstate with our


vote counts. We get the government we vote for. It is about democracy.


We were talking about what happens if an independent Scotland fails,


but the union has already failed and a lot of people in Scotland, we have


people in Glasgow where their life expectancy is lower than African


nations. We can change that with a yes vote if we vote yes. It is about


making a fairer society. Of course we will still have the bonds, but


its about democracy. The gentleman at the back. It is clear the UK has


problems and that London, or government is too centred on London.


But we don't have to break up the UK to fix those problems. The debate


has been brilliant that we have been able to for the first time talk


about the constitutional make up of the UK. I think now we have had this


discussion we can improve it, we don't have to bluntly slice off


Scotland from the top. There are better more perfect ways to fix the


country. I think Scotland could have been bankrupt in the financial


crisis if it wasn't part of UK, because the Royal Bank of Scotland


was bailed out by the UK. Scotland would never have been able to


shoulder that weight by itself and the help would have had to come from


England. Ruth? Back to James' question about identity. I can't


answer James' question. I don't think anyone could and I don't think


the White Paper does. I can only talk for myself with identity, I


feel twice blessed, I'm Scottish and lived and worked here all my life.


But I get to be British too. I feel like can I kind of flow between them


in a way I'm not sure I'm able to articulate. If we do vote


independent and in eight and a half days I hope we don't, I will feel I


have lost something. It is inevitable when Britain no longer


has Scotland as a part of it, people will feel less British. One of the


difficulties that people across Scotland have had in is in campaign


is that the tale they have been told by those proposing yes that


everything will change but nothing will change. But starting a new


country, things will change. It is rich talking about health. You have


got to weigh it up and with identity that is something people have to


take with them. Whether they want to walk away or work together. Opinions


from people at home, this one is from, we have lost one, Ritchie, why


is it your Scottish, English, Welsh... I have lost that one too!


The technology is failing. Harvey, I wouldn't want to see a British flag


with no blue. It is just not right! Final call from you on this Joan.


When Ireland left the union the cross of St Patrick remained in the


Union flag. So there is no pressure to change the Union flag. I think


the other point is Scandinavians can be Danish, Norwegian and still feel


sclachltian. We are back in a fortnight when we will be in


Cardiff. You don't have to wait until then to join in our Facebook


page is waiting for you questions. Click like on the questions you want


to see on the programme. And in 2 days you can watch thousand of 16


and 17-year-olds talking part in the big debate. It is at the Hydroin


Glasgow. Thank you for an excellent debate and good night.


Live current affairs debate from Edinburgh, just one week before the big vote on independence. On the panel are Joan McAlpine of the SNP, leader of the Scottish Conservative party Ruth Davidson, actor Martin Compston and Times and Spectator columnist Hugo Rifkind.

As well as Scottish independence, the situation in the Middle East is also debated and whether the protests against Israel are encouraging anti-Semitism.

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