With four days until the referendum vote, two things unite Yes and No campaigners. Amazement that a Sunday Telegraph poll has Yes ahead by a whopping eight points and astonishment so many Scots reacted to a week of non-stop disaster predictions by moving towards independence.
This week’s @lesleyriddoch podcast comes from Orkney. As ever, recorded on Sunday night, we have had a few adventures whilst here. Lesley has been talking about housing at the Orkney Science Fair and there were some surprising revelations from the MD of Orkney Builders.
Lesley also opened the Yes Shop in Kirkwall and there are a few stories to tell from that. Ed Milliband has been in the news as well…but probably not in a good way as Lesley wrote in Newsnet Scotland.
And there has been a YouGov poll which puts ‘Yes’ at 51% for the first time. So ; what does it mean, what comes next and how do we react? Lesley has some ideas. If you enjoy the podcast please share it. Lesley talks a lot of sense and not everybody is up to speed on this technology. Thanks from the man with the Lemsip.
It’s been like waking up on another planet. The day after Yes broke the 50 per cent barrier for the first time in an official poll, independence campaigners have been simultaneously celebrating, pinching themselves and struggling not to appear smug. Far from TV sofas and academic debates, folk on the campaign trail have been witnessing a steady drift towards Yes which became a dramatic lurch after the last Salmond/Darling debate. Now the polling organisation traditionally most pessimistic about the independence cause appears to have caught up.
Just back from a visit to Sweden, Lesley explains Radio Sweden, immigration and their upcoming general election. The points of difference are significant in each of those areas. They might just show a different way of approaching the topic. They are also not reported here; so we ask why not?
Turning to matters at home, pensions have been an issue raised in this phase of the Referendum Debate as a big scary issue too complex to contemplate and Lesley expands on her thinking in her Scotsman column.
She rounds up her experience on more meetings and talks about the delights of finding local treasures like an aquarium in Millport .
She also explains what it is like watching the Big Debate alone abroad.
Is an unfounded worry about pensions encouraging some senior citizens to plan a No vote on 18 September? Last week’s Survation poll found Yes was in the lead amongst 25 to 54 year-olds but behind amongst younger and older voters. So far there’s been great emphasis on the newly enfranchised 16 and 17 year-olds – partly because their risk averse outlook can be cast as a “snub” to the SNP government and partly because their participation in a major ballot will make UK history. Yet that youthful cohort of 98,000 registered teenagers is smaller and less likely to turn out than the most Yes-resistant group of 145,000 “dignified elderly.” These are female pensioners (in the main), often emotionally torn between children living in England and Scots-based children who intend to vote Yes. All have had a lifetime’s experience inside the UK, and many have a profound belief that any kind of change will leave them financially worse off.
This week sees the last episode of Referendum TV and Lesley reflects on some of the highlights and unexpected aspects of working with fellow journalists and presenters. There’s been a full range of new voices in this exciting new venture.
We also manage to squeeze in Scotland’s visibility as described in the Sunday Post. We also report on the street market that was ‘ Leith Says Aye’ Sarah Beattie Smith of the Green Party steps in to explain the idea of a ‘Citizen’s Income’ . Lesley reflects on George Foulkes explaining Lords Reform, expresses her solidarity with Otters For Yes and reviews the National Theatres’ production of the ‘James’ trilogy.
We touch on the West Midlands Police Commissioner by-election and more besides. Finally, we recorded this podcast before the big ‘Salmond versus Darling’ debate; so on Sunday we were thinking about the issues- how well did we do?
The UK and world audience for the Salmond v Darling BBC debate tonight should easily exceed the million folk who watched round one.
Yet the hype around this second TV clash is not nearly as feverish as it was before the contest on STV three weeks ago. Maybe that’s because the second bout is rarely as raw and surprising as the first. Maybe Aunty is more sedate than commercial TV. But maybe opinion has shifted since 5 August.
In this week’s @lesleyriddoch Podcast, we sweep up some of the big issues which have been mentioned in the newspapers and frequently come up as ‘talking points” in meetings and conversations.
Lesley starts with her Sunday Post article “Let’s Do The World A Favour And Ditch Trident” – which has proved popular on Twitter with over 170 retweets almost straightaway. She elaborates on the immovable object that Trident doesn’t appear to be.
The polls have also outlined NHS is an issue which women seem to be concerned with. It’s clear “health is more than hospitals” and Lesley tries to unpick what’s happening in England and contrast that with Scotland.
Finally we round up the vibe from various meetings, some fringe shows and Referendum TV. Again we are trying to relate the positive feelings and give you some new voices to seek out and ideas that may prove useful now.
Alex Salmond will announce a new Declaration of Arbroath today, pledging to protect the NHS from privatisation and create a fairer society. Is that a “cynical ruse” to win votes in a narrowing referendum race or just clear, unambiguous recognition of the widening gap between the Scottish and English health systems?
In this week’s @lesleyriddoch Podcast, Lesley expands on the reasoning in her recent Scotsman column “Let’s Concentrate on the Real Debate”. The whole referendum seems to have got snagged on the consequences of a vote rather than examining the rationale for independence whichever way you intend to vote. There are a series of topics and Lesley tries to explain a couple; voting records and education in a bit more detail.
We also recorded the views of a number of tourists and visitors to Edinburgh who share their insights. Lesley also talks through the perils of ‘vox pops’ or recording in supermarkets.