Fair debates

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I have attended Scottish Parliament debates on numerous occasions, usually with a group of senior journalism students. These are always informative and civilised affairs, but they are rarely riveting. Patrick Harvie, co-convenor of the Scottish Green Party, however, always manages to light up the chamber.

His contributions never seem to be the mere parroting of a party line; they are always lucid, fair, articulate and above all authentic. The students invariably rate him highly.

One does not have to endorse all of his views to agree that he and the Greens generally have been an important voice in our polity. I believe, therefore, that they have earned the right, whatever the electoral maths, to speak in the forthcoming STV debate.

(Prof) Alistair Duff

Glen Douglas Drive

Cumbernauld

AGAIN we will have the usual outnumbering, lopsided TV hustings debate, scheduled for 7 April on STV.

Nicola Sturgeon will be on the same stage as three heads of parties in Scotland who unanimously oppose independence for Scotland.

The presence of Patrick Harvie would at least have modified the balance a bit. Because, despite the debate being on general election issues, you can bet the three from the Better Together side won’t be minding too much on this occasion if the independence issue takes precedence over what they normally call the “bread and butter” matters of pensions, jobs, the state of the economy, price of oil and cost of living, something they regularly complain about.

Why will they want to bandy about arguments on what might divide them when they can focus on what they have in common, particularly in a three-to-one circumstance?

Ian Johnstone

Forman Drive

Peterhead

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