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Tavish Impresses in Webchat

Tavish Scott, leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats today participated in an hour long webchat for the Scotsman online newspaper. He answered a range of questions from police, pensioners, education & Scotland’s constitutional future.

One question asked by Pauline in Aberdeen was particularly interesting: “My children are being put off applying to university because of the amount of debt they’ll end up with. Does your party support more tuition fees?” Of course Scotland doesn’t have tuition fees so not quite sure why her children would be put off going to University as they could always go to a Scottish one for free. #devolutionfail

Tavish’s response to Pauline put across the fact that it was the Scottish Liberal Democrats who abolished Labour’s tuition fees in Scotland & they also voted for abolishing the graduate endowment.

The question made me think whether devolution works, especially whether the media handles devolution well. I put it to Tavish & his response was: “Devolution has delivered Scottish solutions to Scottish challenges and does mean that decision -making is much closer to people across Scotland. Those were two of the great wrongs of the previous pre-1999 arrangements. There’s lots more to do there’s lots more we need to improve and the media’s reporting of politics is there job to comment on not mine.” I agree with him but i think, it would still be wise to have a debate in the Scottish parliament as to how well the media reports Scottish issues & what the Scottish parliament is doing to tackle those problems. It is far easier to know what Westminster is doing on the devolved issues than it is to know what the Scottish parliament is doing on the same issues.

I also asked Tavish about his thoughts on the Tories plan on allowing 14 year olds to enter vocational training instead of sitting Standard Grades. His response was a carefully measured one, saying that we need to marry core educational needs with practical work experience & encouraging businesses to work with schools to create a new approach to education.

Overall, I thought Tavish came across well & showed he had the right solutions for Scotland.

The full transcript of the webchat can be read here

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