The televised debate from Greenock on BBC2 on 21 January was absolutely dire. The panel consisted of one Yes politician and one No politician trotting out the same “yes it is”, “no it isn’t” rubbish, with a journalist and a comedian whose opinions I couldn’t have cared less about and who seemed to be there for self-aggrandisement.
The audience, although apparently comprising a balance of Yes, No and maybe voters, were sitting mixed together which made the selection of comments by the chairman on a balanced basis impossible.
Contrast this with the BBC Parliament programme broadcast on 18 January. This was a three-hour session of the Scottish Affairs Select Committee questioning three Scottish specialist academics on some issues regarding independence.
There was a professor of European law from Cambridge University, a professor of public law from the University of Glasgow and a professor of political economy and Fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford.
It was very enlightening and I would strongly recommend the BBC show it over three hour-long programmes.
I would hope at least that the producers of future televised jousts on BBC2 Scotland choose panellists with some knowledge and gravitas to aid the debate and stay away from people who they might think may be controversial or make for so-called “good television”.