I WATCHED the leaders’ debate on Tuesday night and was disappointed in the selection of questions from the audience, which I presume were previously vetted. The majority of people selected for questions or comments were from the Unionist side of the argument. As the BBC decides who speaks, choosing opinions and questions from one side of the debate only creates a very poor platform and gives the impression of bias. Sarah Smith introduced the Alba Party for some reason, wasting important inclusion from the audience, and allowed Douglas Ross to bully other participants when speaking.

With yesterday’s Good Morning Scotland (GMS), the BBC appears to indicate it has become the pro-Union voice, ably supporting the Unionist parties. The reporters and news broadcasts continually repeated the “another independence referendum” rhetoric at every opportunity. The BBC participation in Unionist messaging is restricting debate on other topics.

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Why have a political debate when the BBC reporters and presenters are doing the job on behalf of Unionist parties? Why are they not similarly holding the Unionist parties to account? Why are we not hearing of the parties’ vision for a future prosperous Scotland? That is what voters want to hear.

On GMS Ross Greer made some positive points but Keith Brown was interrupted when speaking and at one point Laura Maxwell could be heard continually trying to interrupt him, yet Tory Murdo Fraser’s microphone was loud and he was allowed to interrupt when Keith Brown and others were speaking. Anti-independence voices are being given an unfair amount of time to make their case – there should be a balance. If the BBC is facilitating the debate to be about independence then both sides should be given equal time to make their arguments.

From the start, with the appearance of wrong names/captions below the participants, to the lack of control of the debate, the BBC looked very unprofessional and appear to be suffering from a low budget commitment to Scottish politics!

Christine Smith

I WATCHED the BBC leaders’ debate on Tuesday night – the SNP have the majority of votes in Scotland and yet for more than the first half we only had people from the audience who were against the SNP and independence. Sarah Smith must know who she is going to invite to question, so it is no accident.

Of the audience of 25 people, fewer than half of them spoke and many more were against indy than for, yet the country is actually divided half and half.

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Douglas Ross was just a clone of Ruthie with his “no to a second referendum”. He has nothing else – every question took him to his mantra “no referendum”. He has no policies, no ideas, and avoidance was the order of the day. When asked about the 4% for nurses, he agreed kind of, but not enough to endorse it. A few words and then back to the “no to an independence referendum”. He will not work with a party that wants separation – he just wants to work with a party that wants austerity and contracts for its cronies that make them rich overnight and whose leader has the morals of an alley cat. Ross just comes over as aggressive and a bit of a bully – I can talk the loudest and you will listen to me.

Willie Rennie is obviously worried and several times mentioned Alex Salmond – indeed the elephant in the room.

They are all watching their list seats disappearing before their eyes and they are floundering, and if Nicola Sturgeon says she would work cooperatively with anyone across the parliament surely that must include Alba.

Winifred McCartney

THE first Scottish leaders’ debate was rather a dull affair, presented by the Unionist BBC featuring questions mostly about indyref2. Only the ladies stood out, with a spirited performance from Lorna Slater and a controlled and competent one from Nicola Sturgeon. Douglas Ross was a disaster with his endless diatribe against independence, which Anas Sarwar and Willie Rennie tried to counter.

As to the question of Union or independence, facts and figures may be discussed but with conflicting views, littered with deceit and lies, a fair conclusion is difficult.

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However, one question is now clear. If a supposedly highly subsidised Scotland is such a burden to the UK, why is Westminster so desperate to keep us in the Union? The answer is that apparently poor, wee Scotland holds the majority of the UK’s energy resources, including lucrative food and drink exports, and has the talent and ability to manage all.

Indeed Scotland is certainly “big enough, rich enough and smart enough” to prosper as a fully independent country again and make no mistake, Westminster is very well aware of this as they would miss our financial contribution massively.

Finally I ask those Scots who lack vision to have confidence and believe in Scotland’s destiny as a richly endowed independent nation, more than capable of prospering in a world that respects its worth and contribution.

Grant Frazer

IT really wasn’t a case of who won the debate, rather who lost the debate, and by a country mile. No surprise it was the spiteful, hateful, clueless, vitriolic, broken record, cringeworthy DRoss of the Tory & Unionist party.

His hate-filled spitting questions to and about the FM dragged the “debate” to gutter-level politics. When Sarwar to him to “grow up” I thought he was going to sulk away like a schoolboy who had just had his lollipop taken out his mouth. Disgrace of a man.

Iain McEwan