Question Time: 28/5/15

Question Time was in Aberdeen and the first question was about the SNP’s role at Westminster. John Nicolson argued that as the third largest party, the SNP should sit where the third party traditionally sit and that Labour were making an unnecessary fuss over it; Nicolson said that he believes most people are more interested in what is being said as opposed to where people are sitting. Nicolson said that the SNP would be looking to increase the amount of power Scotland has. Ruth Davidson, leader of the Scottish Conservatives, focused on some problems the SNP has in the Scottish parliament as opposed to their role at Westminster. Lord Falconer argued that the SNP MPs should be looking to represent their constituents as best they can within the context of Scotland as part of the UK. Alex Massie, Scotland editor of The Spectator argued that the role of the SNP is, as with all opposition parties, to hold the government to account, particularly with regards to the Scotland Bill. Lesley Riddoch, columnist for The Scotsman put forward the view that the SNP should be looking at big issues, such as Trident, PR and the EU Referendum.

Question two asked if the Home Nations should boycott the World Cup. Massie pointed out that it needs collective action for it to happen, otherwise it would be fairly ineffectual. Riddoch argued that there are problems throughout the game of football, so there should be little surprise that there are issues at FIFA; I would argue that there is a big difference between the game of football and FIFA. Nicolson wanted the presidential election to be delayed and the 2018 and 2022 bids to be re-run. Davidson’s point was that there has been the suggestion of corruption at FIFA for 10 years. Lord Falconer believes that withdrawals would hasten the end of FIFA in its current state.

The third question asked what should happen if the UK voted to leave the EU, but the vote in Scotland showed a majority wishing to stay in the EU. Massie believes that if that were the case, another independence referendum would follow. Nicolson argued that all countries of the UK should have to vote to leave in order for the UK to leave and that 16 and 17 year olds should be eligible to vote, along with EU citizens. Lord Falconer believes that the vote across the UK should be the one that is stood by, regardless of regional differences. Riddoch argued that polls have shown Scotland being steadily 2 to 1 pro-Europe.

Question four asked if Alistair Carmichael should resign following a story during the election that Nicola Sturgeon wanted David Cameron to win. The general view seemed to be that it was up to Carmichael and his constituency to decide what should happen.

The final question concerned the right to die for terminally ill patients. Riddoch said she supported the right. Davidson said that it is an issue that needs to continue to be debated. Lord Falconer was in favour as long as there are safeguards in place like there are in other countries. Massie was unsure as to what should happen. Nicolson argued that it is a matter of conscience for the individual, but personally would be in favour.

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