By Sean Martin
 
The second televised European Union debate between Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and UKIP leader Nigel Farage simply exhibits the separate political environment in Scotland compared to the rest of the UK, the SNP has said.
 
Clegg and Farage debated the issue of EU membership for a second time on Wednesday night, prompting demands from the SNP as to why the Prime Minister continually refuses to meet Scotland’s First Minister under similar stipulations.

An official YouGov poll of the BBC-televised debate showed Farage won over 68% of their audience, once again comfortably defeating Clegg, who polled just 27%.  In the last meeting between the two, also shown on the BBC, the UKIP leader managed 57% to Clegg’s 36%.

The YouGov results demonstrate the increasing influence of UKIP south of the border, where a recent opinion poll conducted by ComRes found that the right-wing party are set to win 30% of the vote, the largest share, in the upcoming European Parliament elections.

The SNP has pointed out that this is almost exactly the opposite of the party’s fortunes in Scotland, where it has yet to even save its deposit in either a Westminster or Scottish Parliament election or by-election and also has no councillors. They contend that growing UKIP influence has shifted the UK’s main parties increasingly to the right, thus undermining Westminster’s ability to represent Scotland at European level.

MSP for North East Scotland, Christian Allard, said UKIP’s relative popularity in the rest of the UK in comparison to Scotland simply characterises the separate and distinct political paths taken by Scotland and Westminster.  This is something reflected in the 41% of people polled in an ICM Research survey into voters’ intentions who said they would vote for the SNP in the European Parliament elections on 22 May.

“While UKIP are topping the polls south of the border, north of the border they are barely functioning as a party,” said Allard.  “There is no hiding from the fact that the No parties are dancing to UKIP’s tune – first we face threats of a referendum to rip us out of the EU, and now the Deputy Prime Minister debates Nigel Farage for the second time in a fortnight.

“The irony, of course, is that the Lib Dems, Labour and the Tories are united with the Europhobic UKIP in all supporting a No vote in Scotland’s referendum – when it comes to Scotland, UKIP and the Westminster parties stand shoulder to shoulder.”

Mr Allard also said that the Prime Minister has essentially told Scotland he has no time for them by not facing Salmond in a televised face-off at a time when his deputy has “so much time to waste” debating with Farage.

“A majority of people across Scotland want to see a debate between the First Minister and the Prime Minister ahead of the referendum,” Allard added.  “They will no doubt be wondering why the Deputy Prime Minister has so much time to waste on Nigel Farage when the Prime Minister has no time for Scotland.”

Comments  

 
#
UpSpake
2014-04-03 06:25

It is completely wrong to assume that just because the SNP has a love affair with the European Union that this applies to all Scots.
I am passionately anti the EU and ALL it stands for. As with Monty Python, Just what has the EU done for us ?.
Decimated our fishing industry, greatly increased our food costs through the halarious CAP policy, taken net contributions from us annually now running at around 800Milion and dropping a grant or two back and then telling us how we can spend what was our own money in the first place.
What fools we, seeking self determination as a nation state from a failed Union with England whilst embracing a thoroughly un-democratic and dictatorial EU and paying through the nose for the priviledge – crazy if you ask me.
There’s always EFTA and the EEA, way to go Scotland.
 
 
#
pomatiaH1
2014-04-03 08:31

That is entirely down to poor negotiations and alternative interests of the Uk Government.
Scotland’s interests were sacrificed, you only need to look at the league tables of where we stand in relation to other countries for farm payments and fishing rights.
It didn’t just happen by accident.
However I think you already know that, if not it would be best to check.
 
 
#
gerrydotp
2014-04-03 10:44

Well to be fair UpSpake, it was the Westminster government who negotiated away the fishing fleet, but I do tend to agree that EFTA/EEA is the way to go.
 

 
#
From The Suburbs
2014-04-03 07:31

Apart from the irrelevance of the two parties (5th and 6th in terms of recent popular support) note that these debates are given prime time TV coverage whereas Scottish referendum debates are relegated to after 10.30pm so as not to upset “national” TV priorities.
 
 
#
Caithness Calling
2014-04-03 07:51

The SNP has pointed out that this is almost exactly the opposite of the party’s fortunes in Scotland, where it has yet to even save its deposit in either a Westminster or Scottish Parliament election or by-election and also has no councillors

It should be noted by the SNP that there are just as many people in Scotland against Scotland’s membership of the EU as there are elsewhere, but we are not allowing it to distract from the independence vote. We will deal with the EU issue when we are an independent state. Farage made a number of excellent points, and Clegg merely behaved like a spoilt and petulant child, but voting for UKIP is not an option in Scotland for they are a Unionist party.
 
 
#
tartanfever
2014-04-03 08:20

there are just as many people in Scotland against Scotland’s membership of the EU as there are elsewhere

if thats the case, then why do i see opinion polls amongst Scots usually in favour of the EU ?

Most seem to favour the EU by 55-45% up to 60-40%.

The complete opposite is true of England.
 

 
#
galamcennalath
2014-04-03 07:55

This highlights the ‘passive bias’ against Scottish affairs. Most UK wide political and news programmes simply ignore the debate here. This is just as important as the active bias shown in Scottish programming.

Scotland is presented with Unionist politicians discussing issues in Unionist language and offering Unionist views and solutions. These topics often effect Scotland as much as any other part of the UK. The entire point of the Scottish Referendum debate is that in Scotland there is an alternative narrative concerning the issues of the day. There are political parties, organisations and individuals who see the issues under discussion in a totally different way and can offer alternative solutions involving self-determination.

ALL political debate being broadcast has bearing on the Referendum. It is totally undemocratic to bombard Scottish viewers with London centric views and exclude the other possibilities currently being presented in Scotland.
 
 
#
Breeks
2014-04-03 08:28

I’m as pro EU as some are anti. Yes there are big problems with it, but we forget the miracles it has delivered in reconciliation between warring nations and empires. Without the EU, we’d have the same tinderbox which has blighted Europe for centuries. It is a Union worth fixing. We have yet to see the best Europe, but via the BBC, we never will.
Either way, deciding in or out requires a YES vote first.
 
 
#
Will
2014-04-03 13:37

Breeks praises the EU for keeping the peace in Europe. Nothing to do with the NATO/Warsaw Pact stand-off then? And when did another war start? After the demise of the Warsaw Pact, while the EU was still in being, and with the EU in fact actually leading the charge to break up Yugoslavia by recognising Croatia! So maybe it was the Warsaw Pact’s existence that kept the peace, not the EU.
 
 
#
gandkar
2014-04-03 15:02

I agree with you both. So think what the situation would be like if Russia was part of the EU. Perhaps there would be no problem in Georgia,Ukraine and Crimea. Maybe the world would be a safer place. Yeh I may be dreaming but I am voting YES and that’s reality.
 
 
#
Breeks
2014-04-03 20:19

You miss my point. 18th, 19th, 20th C Europe and European politics was prolific in spawning all manner of wars. I didn’t say Europe imposed peace, but it has ceased to be melting pot for hostilities between nations competing for supremacy, and instead at least make the effort to progress through common purpose and consent.
If all nations of Europe adopted the UK’s insular attitudes and “I’m alright Jack” philosophy, we’d very quickly be no better off than we were in 1914. The EU is the living embodiment of the post WW2 New World Order, and we should think twice before we start taking it for granted.
 
 
#
Will
2014-04-04 15:23

The Eu is bad for all of Britain. There’s good reason why the EU is part of infamous IMF-EU-ECB ‘troika; they share a common ideology’, born of finance capital.
The EU was carefully designed to prevent the last war. It is NATO’s ‘soft’ face. The EU backed NATO’s attacks on Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. The British people forced parliament to abort the planned EU attack on Syria. Now the EU is trying to prod a fascist-led Ukraine into war against Russia.
 
 
#
Breeks
2014-04-04 16:02

You’re not spelling USA correctly. No ‘E’, but add an ‘S’ and an ‘A’.
 

 
#
James
2014-04-04 10:58

The Achilles Heel of the whole independence campaign is that the SNP knows almost nothing of diplomacy and international affairs, and is grossly misinformed on Europe. This, coupled with the amount of propaganda peddled by the ideologically motivated EU – the smallest of all the major European institutions – is leading Scotland into a situation that is sub-optimal at best and positively dangerous in the longer term.

The EU represents half of Europe, despite its hijacking of the the term “European” for its institutions, and its claim to have pacified Europe is completely spurious. It was the 57-member Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) that ended the Cold War and disarmed Europe, years before the EU even existed.

The SNP has been brainwashed by external interests into reversing its previous policy against EEC/EU membership, and it is leading Scotland into a situation 10 times worse than the one we are trying to escape.
 

 
#
Tom767
2014-04-03 10:07

If we were an independent country and part of the EU then maybe the outcomes on fishing and agriculture would be different.
 
 
#
BDF
2014-04-03 10:10

I sympathise with the non-EU arguments above, but with regard to things such as the fishing industry, it is worth remembering a lot of these were agreed to by Westminster, and its hard to say that things would have been as bad if Scotland had been independently represented in negotiations.

Yes vote first, everything else afterwards – so say we all.
 
 
#
rovinrobin
2014-04-03 10:21

O/T but SKY reaffirm commitment to Scotland.

twitpic.com/e055zr
 
 
#
gus1940
2014-04-03 10:29

Not having paid much attention to Farage up till now and having missed the first debate I was amazed at the way he slaughtered Clegg last night.

I can now see why the Tories are terrified of him and the EU results in England next month should be interesting.

He can certainly hold his own in one to one debate and in my view he is dangerously plausible on the surface.

However, I can’t see him having a significant influence in Scotland either in the EU election or on 18/9.

What effect he will have on next year’s General Election is obviously something which will concentrate the minds of the 3 main Westminster parties and almost certainly push them further to the right.
 
 
#
hetty
2014-04-03 10:31

My great concern is that Farage is given such high profile television coverage in the first place. He and his party, with no seats in parliament if I am correct, seem to be being pushed into some kind of limelight and the exposure will for sure render them more popular, especially as they appeal to the disengaged and disempowered in the poorer regions of England, areas where there is no investment and high unemployment, as well as austerity cuts that are crippling the councils and the services they should be providing to their population.

Cameron must be loving all this, Labour now assimilated into the tory mindset, the lib dems will go down next election for sure, whats not to like for the tories? Are we seeing Cameron even considering debating with our first minister? The media and the tories really do like to call the shots, democracy is dead in the water if Scotland votes no.
 
 
#
michaelkav
2014-04-03 11:27

Independance first we will deal with the EU later. We DO NOT need to be IN day one – oh we will live. Scotland has a great deal to do first.

There is a debate here to be had. I am a nationalist but not all that much a fan of the EU either in its current guise. Scotland needs to have this debate post independence.

But I am pretty sure England is on her way out so we won’t even get a debate or choice if we stay in the UK.
 
 
#
Aikenheed
2014-04-03 11:40

Upspake
I may be wrong but a lot of the damge caused to Scotland by EU mebership came about becouse of westminster decisions eg Fishing rights in exchange for dominance of Finance market, the “rebate” going direct to the treasury in place of regional development grants given directly to the bodies concerned?
 
 
#
SolTiger
2014-04-03 12:12

Let us also not forget that while being Anti-EU is the core of UKIP they also have dirty BNP style far right beliefs too.

The second issue listed on their website is:
“Another wave of uncontrolled immigration comes from the EU (this time Bulgaria and Romania). Yet the political class tells us the EU is good for the UK.”

Scotland is in NEED of people, our population increase lags way behind that of most other successful European nations, the fact we had a population decrease under Thatcher made things even worse.

Other interesting ones:
“Make welfare a safety net for the needy, not a bed for the lazy. Benefits only available to those who have lived here for over 5 years.”

Just a wee bitty “all immigrants are lazy” that one.

“The law of the land must apply to us all. We oppose any other system of law.”
Where does that leave Scots law?
 
 
#
Leader of the Pack
2014-04-03 12:57

While UKIP will have us believe that they are a patriotic pro UK British party the truth is they are nothing but a right wing extremist fringe group whose real objections to the EU are the fact that they force socialist policies on what would be a far more right wing extremist policy agenda than the one we already have. The EU forces the UK to adopt basic human rights forces a minimum wage forces a maximum hourly working week. Without this layer of “PROTECTION” from the EU the UK would be even worse than it is now. Can you imagine the likes of IDS having no restraints at all on our working and living conditions? A UKIP Conservative Tory alliance outside the EU is a horrendous prospect for anybody to contemplate and yet an all too real one as a result of a No vote.
 
 
#
Corm
2014-04-03 13:15

I’ve never really understood a lot of the anti EU arguments. Personally I see it as being the main reason Westmonster hasnt managed to drag us into another European War.
 
 
#
thejourneyman
2014-04-03 14:32

Ironic that UK politicians can justify debating a referendum that may or may not happen, yet they avoid televised debate of one taking place in less than 6 months. This demonstrates 2 things, 1. current TV debate is just politics and 2. There is no positive vision of the Union that any unionist politician can sell to the electorate.
 
 
#
bringiton
2014-04-03 18:28

The British nationalist parties are trying to portray UKIP and the SNP as having a similar narrow view and failing to see the big picture.
UKIP are a party who seek to repatriate all powers to the UK/English parliament.
The SNP seek to repatriate all powers to the people of Scotland in matters which affect them.
These are two very different objectives.
One based in the supreme power of parliament over it’s subjects and the other in the supreme power of the people over it’s parliament.
The British national parties have much in common with UKIP in that they do not wish to see any meaningful changes to the constitutional arrangements within the British Isles.
In that respect,they are completely out of step with Scottish thinking and certainly,as far as UKIP are concerned,a totally alien concept.
 
 
#
call me dave
2014-04-03 18:31

Jim Sillars and Ivan McKee
Renfrew Town Hall

Live streaming debate 19:30hrs tonight

link here.

new.livestream.com/…/
 
 
#
theycantbeserious
2014-04-03 20:15

How’s about this for an idea gentlemen…vote Yes for Scotland’s independence, then as an independent nation with the government of our choosing vote for issues like our membership of the EU. Then we will know how the people of Scotland feel about the EU. However, if we don’t achieve independence its all academic and we will be dragged out of Europe whether we want to be or not! Yes FIRST!
 

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