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Newsweek Scotland: papering over the cracks

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Derek Bateman Derek Bateman | 09:45 UK time, Friday, 24 February 2012

I go away for a break in the Highlands and what happens? The Prime Minister takes advantage and nips up for a key speech. Typical...waited till I was out of range. He came, He saw. He conned us...No, sorry, that's wrong. He came. He saw. He conquered... with a reassuring trot through our history mentioning famous Scots who made a contribution to Union. I must have missed the reference to Fred Goodwin. But surely the key point was the sudden screeching of brakes from the straight and narrow No Deviations route to Well, Maybes Aye, Maybes No detour to devolution.

For better or worse that was a breakthrough moment which really changes the game and makes it clear that even the PM is dancing to Salmond's tune. It may only be a desultory wee shuffle but surely any suggestion of home rule jam tomorrow allows Salmond to say all these promises are the result of his campaigning. He plays a Highland reel and D Cameron does a fling.

On a personal note when I appeared in kilt for a house party amid the snowy fields of Carrbridge, the daughters were delighted and shouted: Look it's a piper! I couldn't muster a pibroch for them but I did manage a snowman.

This week we're papering over the cracks as the Producer falls victim to a virus and I've had to direct a series of producers taking turns on Newsweek. Talk about herding cats...Still with my help they have produced a show which includes a return to one of our perennial topics, the future of an independent Scotland in Europe. This time we speak to two home-based contributors David Martin the Labour MEP and the veteran nationalist Paul H Scott. They will throw the haymakers and I will stand between them and duck.

We're trying to set up a discussion on Syria where Marie Colvin met her end under Syrian mortars. What kind of person puts themselves in that position when they're not a combatant? I don't know the answer but I salute her and her dead colleague. So when should we intervene in another country? It reminded us of Libya and the debates we had between Ming Campbell and John McDonnell. We'll to do the same this time.

We're looking for a correspondent to tell us about Honduras which seems to be falling to bottom position in Central America with dismal social conditions and poor prospects. Sometimes it's perversely informative to hear how others live their lives on our planet.
I've sent a memo to Downing Street warning them not to send Cameron north again without prior notice. Join me tomorrow at 8


  • Comment number 1.

    Sounds like a cracker Derek. looking forward to the "punch up" which are all the rage these days.
    Invited to PQ to meeting re my sympathetic rant re your possible demise, Cannot make it but will be well represented.

  • Comment number 2.

    Listened to the comments of both David Martin the Labour MEP and Paul Scott.
    Frankly its a no-brainer. Scotland IS a country and not a region as implied by David Martin. Scotland was one of two signatories to the Treaty of Union, which led to each parliament in Scotland and England passing the respective Acts of Union that created the United Kingdom. These are facts that simply cannot be airbrushed out.
    David Martin is being disingenuous when quoting Romano Prodi (from a 2004 statement) as Romano Prodi was not talking about Scotland , but was stating something in general terms. Its quite idiotic to try and bend something in order to fit an arguement. In this case David Martin is making out that Scotland is merely a region of the UK and as such did not exist prior to 1707, which as we all know is sheer nonscence.


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