Strong voice from Teries in televised debate

SEVERAL Teries lent their voice to a televised debate on the Scottish referendum in Kelso on Tuesday night.

The discussion, which was hosted by BBC Scotland’s political correspondent James Cook, was the second in a series of programmes as the country prepares to make a historic decision on its future – and a few well-known Hawick faces appeared on screen during the one-hour show.

Former provost and councillor Kenny McCartney was the most vociferous when he angrily criticised the ‘No’ campaign and Prime Minister David Cameron.

He told the Hawick News: “I am for the ‘Yes’ vote without a doubt, because I think we have a chance to make a real difference, and the No vote have come up with nothing. My main point was that I thought it was absolutely ridiculous that David Cameron was asking people in England to phone their relatives in Scotland and tell them to vote No.”

Michael Grieve, a former Labour candidate for Hawick and Denholm, also seized an opportunity to speak, his contribution coming during the pensions debate. Mr Grieve, who was unsuccessful at the 2012 Scottish Borders Council elections, said: “It went very well and showed a large voice against independence. I said that there are still no real answers, and that the SNP’s White Paper is just a ‘me’, me, me’ from Alec Salmond.”

Former high school teacher Liz Parkes put her hand up to say she felt there was a lack of an alternative in the SNP’s currency policy. “I said Alec Salmond is disputing he has no Plan B, but we still don’t have any answers.”

The programme is available on the BBC iPlayer until Tuesday.