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Free Speech - Live in Edinburgh

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James Emtage James Emtage | 15:44 UK time, Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Tonight we're coming LIVE from Edinburgh!

Up for debate is Scottish Independence, so to throw some insight into the argument we sourced two of our Free Speakers who regularly contribute to our Twitter debates to answer this question:



Contributor - Alex O'Neill

Alex O'Neill, 24, from Glasgow: YES

The recently departed Gore Vidal said that "the Scottish Parliament can only lead to independence”. I agree that it is the natural progression following the opening of the Scottish Parliament in 1999.

Since then, more powers have been devolved and to stop now would not only be cowardly folly, but, also disastrous for both Scotland and her partners in this Union. One cannot shove the contents of Pandora's box back in, we must empty it completely and allow Scotland to walk on her own two feet and reach her potential.

The Midlothian Question has for over three decades exposed a major crack in our union. MPs from my native Scotland can vote in matters effecting only England and Wales, but, not vice versa. An independent Scotland can finally end this bizarre scenario; allowing the remainder of the union to steer her own course, and Scotland hers.

Some of my fellow Scots suggest that Scotland is too small, too weak, too poor. I can't accept that a country that has given the world so much could be any of those things.  

It's time to move on.


Contributor - Scott Edgar

Scott Edgar, 18, from Renfrewshire near Glasgow: NO

I have lived in Scotland my whole life and for me independence is not the way forward for us.  

It is inevitable that if there is a 'NO' vote in the upcoming referendum for Scottish Independence, then Scotland will be granted more powers for its devolved parliament, and I feel this is the best way forward.

A stronger Scottish parliament operating within the UK and alongside Westminster and other devolved chambers is the best set up. The idea that Scotland can’t exert great influence on the UK from within is nonsensical.  We tried the smoking ban first and it was soon adopted nationwide, and we have recently been the first to legalise gay marriage, knowing the rest of the UK will follow suit soon.

As part of the UK, Scotland enjoys great influence in the world, a fantastic welfare scheme, security and valuable business opportunities from other parts of the UK.  Why break away from this?


So where does that leave you? Do you think Independence is the way forward for Scotland?

That’s just one of the debates being covered tonight, with the others including Higher Education, same-sex marriage and the death penalty. To help move all of these issues forward is a top-tastic line up of panellists:


Panellist - Shappi Khorsandi

Shappi Khorsandi – an Iranian comedian with a panache for making a point about freedom of speech through her unique blend of humour.



Panellist - Humza Yousaf

Humza Yousaf – A Member of Scottish Parliament for the Scottish National Party, who are campaigning for Scottish Independence.



Panellist - Milo

Milo Yiannopoulos – a journalist, broadcaster and outspoken gay Catholic with clear views on gay marriage.



Panellist - Ruth Porter

Ruth Porter – a media, Government and financial bigwig with award-winning knowledge of Educational Policy.



But this show is not just about HEARING what these people have to say. It’s about TELLING them what you think about what they have to say, by using our twitter-tastic Power Bar. As they're talking add a #YesName to your tweet if you agree with them, or a #NoName if you don't, then watch the Power Bar change in real time on the show. So for these guys the hashtags are:

Shappi: #YesShappi or #NoShappi

Humza: #YesHumza or #NoHumza

Milo: #YesMilo or #NoMilo
Ruth: #YesRuth or #NoRuth


Power bar


And as ever you can leave your comments below, or hop on to Facebook or send us a Tweet > your view could be read out live on BBC3 by Jake and Michelle. Which would be awesome. 

It’s going to be a great debate, so make sure you’re ready to get involved at 7pm tonight. See you there. 


Free Speech is on at 7pm tonight


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