Your editorial on a televised debate between Alex Salmond and David Cameron (5 May) is wrong on two counts.
Firstly, the referendum on independence is a decision for the Scottish people and Mr Cameron is kind of right that he should stay out of the debate. It is also understandable that he can’t and the facts on the ground show very strongly that, no matter what he said some time ago, he isn’t staying out of the debate; nor are any his Cabinet colleagues.
Mr Cameron has instructed every UK government department to produce “analysis” which is completely one sided and created to make the anti-independence narrative fit the facts rather than the other way round – very similar in fact to the way the Iraq war dossiers were created to justify invasion of Iraq by Tony Blair.
Mr Cameron and his colleagues have also made numerous trips to Scotland to speak out against independence. You can’t cut it both ways.
Mr Cameron is involving himself in the debate and therefore, as the most senior person in a UK government waging a very strong No campaign, must make himself available to debate the issues with Mr Salmond. There is no other way that he and the UK government can be held accountable for the campaign they are running.
Secondly, to suggest that Mr Salmond should be pitted against Better Together’s Alistair Darling is bizarre. Why on earth should the First Minister of Scotland, the most democratically accountable leader of a government in the UK for decades, who won the first majority in the Scottish Parliament and has an absolute mandate for this plebiscite, be expected to debate directly with an ex-chancellor who presided over the collapse of the economy and is not even in government now?
He has no mandate for this at all. At best Mr Darling, as leader of the No campaign, should expect to debate against Blair Jenkins as he is the appointed leader of the Yes campaign.