Monday, March 23, 2020

Alex Salmond and the future of Scottish politics

Alex Salmond is my biggest political hero.  I think I've previously recounted the story of how I was converted to the cause of independence about a billion years ago when I watched him one morning on an edition of Election Call with Nick Ross.  He spoke up for millions during the Iraq War, and of course was largely responsible for giving Scotland its first pro-independence government in 2007 - a government that remains in power to this day.

So I was heartbroken when Mr Salmond was charged with a number of sexual offences.  I didn't make any prejudgements about whether the allegations were true or untrue, but I was certainly very much hoping he'd prove to be innocent, and I'm extremely relieved that's turned out to be the case.  After the verdict, I said on Twitter that he should now be able to rejoin the SNP without any stain on his character whatsoever, and a number of people immediately said "he won't be rejoining the SNP, he'll lead Scotland to independence with his own list party".  Stuart Campbell seemed to be vaguely hinting at the same thing with the closing line of his own blogpost.  Is this based on wishful thinking or on inside knowledge of Mr Salmond's intentions?  I've no idea.

What I would say, though, is that when I've pointed out the impossibility of "hacking the Holyrood voting system" with a list-only party, I've sometimes added the caveat that there are a very, very small number of people (you could probably count them on the fingers of one hand) who are high-profile enough and have enough of a following that they might just about be able to tear up the normal rulebook and make it work.  Stuart Campbell isn't one of those people, but Alex Salmond is.  There's certainly no guarantee he'd be able to pull it off - history is littered with charismatic, well-known politicians who set up their own parties and got absolutely nowhere.  (David Owen and Robert Kilroy-Silk are two obvious examples.)  But you could at least make a plausible case that Mr Salmond would be given a hearing by SNP voters and might be able to convince a sizeable proportion of them that they'd be serving the cause of independence by voting for the SNP on the constituency ballot and for another party on the list.  With anything above 5% of the list vote, that other party would start winning seats.

Would Mr Salmond be remotely wise to attempt that?  In my view, no.  Movements that are divided against themselves, particularly along the lines of personal feuds, tend to fail.  I think he'd be much better advised to return to his political home in the SNP (a party he was leader of for almost one-quarter of its entire existence to date) and to fight the good fight from within.  That course of action would also have the added bonus of annoying the controversial journalist David Leask, who for several years has been trying to gaslight us into believing that there is something called "the real SNP" which Mr Salmond and his associates are not part of.


  1. A very sad situation all round. For one thing, this may bring GWC back out from his skip to share his wit and wisdom on the subject.

    One of the few heartwarming aspects of the virus is that it showed that all it eventually took for GWC to stop posting his racist pish was a global plague with a mortality rate of 14% and rising. That was really nice to see, really raised the spirits, when the smart money was on him not STFU until a complete extinction event like thermonuclear war or an asteroid. Made you think there was hope for the bloke, and humanity in general. If GWC can turn a corner then who among the rest of us could not?

    Then this verdict in the Salmond trial.

    Let’s see how long we can retain that hope in humanity.

    1. Which virus are you talking about? In every country outside Italy the death rate is 2% or less. And that's 2% of the minority of the population which will contract the disease in the first place.

      Feel free to take your scaremongering and ram it.

    2. The mortality rate in worldwide completed cases is 14% and rising. Ten days ago it was 6%. This is out of over 100k completed cases now and is the only reliable mortality figure we have.

      If you want to insist the mortality rate among those *infected* is 2% -- it was unclear from your screech above -- you need to show that for every confirmed case worldwide there are seven unconfirmed cases.

      But you're not going to do that, are you, because you haven't a fucking clue what you're on about. You’re just another prick lashing out because you can’t handle unpleasant data.

      You badly need to go and do some reading because if you’re wandering about assuming the deathrate is 2% you’re in for a very nasty surprise in the weeks ahead. Start here, if you can handle it without another freakout.

    3. What a breathless and hysterical response, BDSM Club. Seems like the above commenter hit a nerve - lashing out and screeching indeed!

      It's your prerogative whether being a big daft panic merchant gives you a stiffy. But don't have a fit just because people reasonably don't wish to indulge your doom-fetish by entirely excluding ongoing cases so you can get whatever perverse pleasure you get out of artificially inflating the numbers.

      It seems entirely reckless and irresponsible not to wait until the vast majority of cases have concluded to begin approximating a mortality rate. Besides giving you an insalubrious thrill and satisfying your strange and unhealthy little fixation with fear-mongering, using these early, distorted figures accomplishes little else.

      The crisis is already bad enough without you losing your head and then throwing a tantrum because everyone else isn't losing their head too.

    4. The worldwide mortality rate currently amongst all known cases with and without an outcome of recovery/death is 4.3% i.e. 16747 deaths out of 386406 cases). It is 14.1% amongst cases with a known outcome of either recovery or death i.e. 16747 deaths out of (16747 deaths plus 102393 recoveries = 119044 results) as of 10:07 GMT today 24.03.20.

      Data Source

  2. As one generally sceptical of the List party idea, I also admit that AS would be a game changer. But I'm not sure it would be in his interests to "do a Farage" (in sense of starting a new party that would come to eclipse his old one). He doesn't seem to be in the David Owen / Kilroy mould, or of the type whose only shot at power is to invent their own party. Sirely he's been there and done that and would find it more satisfying to carve a new role in his old party within which he'd be a hero to many, rather than the graft of starting a new party from scratch.

    That said... Someone said somewhere (today, but can't remember where) that Salmond could possibly do a Margo McDonald, and stand as an independent list MSP for a region.

    That seems an interesting thought, and wonder what woudl happen if other high profile people did the same in other regions.

    How many "high profile" listers would it take for this to be viable? (sorry I've forgotten how many seats winnable would be involved)

    That would avoid the need for the starting up of a new party and all the energy that would involve, diverted away from the cause, into tribal battles.

    It would be seen as individuals offering an alternative, without being any more of a threat to 'split the indy vote' than Margo MacDonald?

    Just asking

    1. Alex Salmond should be asked to rejoin the SNP and offered a position in the Scottish Government.

  3. I'd rather Alex formed a separate, genuine pro-indy party.

    The SNP's been infiltrated by careerists and fakery..

    Let him have his vengeance!

    He'll have my full backing/vote ..

    No disrespect to Mr Campbell, but we need a political heavy weight to lead the charge!

  4. I genuinely hope GWC and his wife are self isolating and are in good health.

    Sceptical about him behaving, though😂

  5. Stuart Campbell and his cabal will throw you poisoned bait and if you're hungry enough you'll swallow it
    Alex Salmond was always innocent, of course he was but Campbell and his crew want you to swallow his poisoned bait because he needs somebody to blame and that somebody is Nicola Sturgeon

    When you set out to be a subversive the well must be poisoned in order to create sides, who do you like, this one or that one, then the weasel worms his way in to glean what he wants from the situation
    When you have Someone like Campbell agreeing with Jackson Carlaw Tory or Pauline McNeill Labour and quite recently even Piers Bloody Morgan there's something fishy about this fisherman who's throwing his hooks into the water and hoping folk will bite

    If you have anything to do with the SNP or you vote SNP, have nothing to do do with the charlaton that is Stuart Campbell and his crew, these people are not what you hope they are, they want to break the party not build the party, then they want to replace it with themselves

    What decent people in Scotland are going to vote for the most foul mouthed insulting person on the internet, and to prove it he has the court cases against himself for doing it

    What does Scottish Independence mean to someone who has no intention of ever living in Scotland

    1. Obvious troll is obvious. Mad Mental Nicky has just lost TWO court cases where she attempted to frame her predecessor as a rapist.

      The closeted dyke and her lavender beard conspired to have an INNOCENT MAN thrown in prison for the rest of his life in order to defend their jobs. She needs to go. Tonight if not sooner.

  6. I have read Craig Murray's blogging on this with no little surprise: and that was compounded by the public reaction of figures like Joanna Cherry and Kenny McAskill today

    Leaving aside the question of whether the claims Murray makes are correct, and leaving aside for now the court case and the SNP's internal procedures: it seems clear there are huge political differences between Salmond and Sturgeon which predate this case.

    What on earth are these differences about? I find Craig's speculations on this rather weak, for all that I generally like his work.

    1. I bet Salmond would not have squandered the opportunity presented by Brexit which Sturgeon did out of incompetence and cowardice.

  7. Time will tell.
    None of us on here know what the future holds for AS.

    If he starts a List party I think it will be successful and get seats.

    If it can keep good terms with SNP
    which will not be difficult
    if the AS List party is a single policy party
    and Scottish independence is their one and only policy

  8. Alex Salmond will almost definitely not return to politics front line and couldn't even if he wanted to, although innocent of charges against him he would be a tainted liability as a politician, my guess is he'll go through the exoneration process of the SNP who will determine the identity of the original plotting leaker to the Daily Record and the storytelling to the Police then he'll go home write his memoirs and comment on politics from time to time
    The folk determined to wreak some sort of misplaced revenge upon Nicola Sturgeon who will be found to have played no part in any of those proceedings will pay for their behaviour, certain bloggers and ex *British* politicians will be seen through as party wreckers for their own benefit as most of the SNP already know who they are will be got rid of and their current attempt at a coup will be seen off by the current FM
    There'll be no list party by these fanatics, they're fantasists and subversives and thank God most of the party know who they are
    I do think that they should keep on slandering the FM though, because the more they do it the more they dig their own ambitious grave and could well end up in court themselves
    It wouldn't be the first time for some of this lot

    1. Hi Nicola! Shouldn't you be taking it up the arse from BOJO and imposing a police state on Scotland against the democratically expressed desires of the populace, instead of spamming political weblogs?

    2. I confess, I was unaware the Scottish populace had already democratically expressed their desires over the COVID-19 response. Pray tell, when was this plebiscite and what the result?

    3. Why should Alex be tainted when obnoxious Boris NOT.

  9. I think before Salmond would even consider rejoining the SNP, if indeed he is interested in doing so, the one thing above all else that would have to happen - and which should have happened already, and should definitely happen now that the court verdict is in - is that Leslie Evans needs to be fired.

    Without that Salmond is unlikely to even consider a return to the party.

  10. I've said for some time that the SNP was losing the plot. Since it's become the establishment party of Scotland it's been infiltrated with entryists who have zero commitment to Scotland or independence, but who think they can use the levers of the party to advance their woke ideology. Once, before devolution, they would have been down the road to London straight out of university. So fast, indeed, they'd have had to clear the motorways to let them through. Holyrood means they can now work from home. Quite frankly, there isn't a hope in hell of independence while these creatures are in the ascendant in the SNP.

    So what's the solution? First, I think it's important to realize that independence was never going to be as easy as a simple vote in 2014. The British establishment pulled every stop out of the organ to prevent it, right down to rolling the Laird of Scotland, one G Broon, out of the shed, and even the despicable tactic employed by the Labour Party of sending their activists around telling pensioners to have their pension books ready for collection. Independence is a long haul, and people are going to HAVE to dig in for the duration.

    With that in mind, I think there IS room in Scotland for a second independence party. Because of the distortion caused in the country's political system by being essentially ruled from abroad, the SNP has, heretofore, had to be responsible for representing both the left and right of Scottish opinion. With the takeover by the entryists, the small "c" conservatives stopped receiving any representation as the party has been dragged ever more steadily to the left (they certainly don't get any from the Tories). There is an opening in that market.

    Wouldn't this split the vote and weaken the greater independence movement? Not in the long term. Remember what I said above: independence was always going to be a long haul. This is the bit people are just going to HAVE to swallow. With a moderate right nationalist party in the field, the hand of serious, realistic nationalists in the SNP would be greatly strengthened because now, there would be an alternative to the SNP. Remember why the Labour Party collapsed in Scotland? Because they just assumed people had no place to go and would, accordingly, swallow anything they cared to shove down the public's throat. How'd that work out for them? The same attitude is now pervading the SNP, and it will eventually kill the party. And if the party is the sole public face of nationalism, it will kill nationalism along with it.

    The movement may take a hit in the short term. Scotland may be stuck for a term or two with one or other of the English parties in control, but long term, I believe it's important the SNP entryists be challenged.

  11. My view is that the case against Salmond was a conspiracy by unionist civil servants to damage the SNP, into which a couple of SNP women were inveigled on the basis of it being justifiable 'Me Too' action. And Sturgeon was caught in the middle.

  12. After reading Craig Murray, I may have to amend the above: he states that 2/3 of the accusers are in the SNP. If true, how on earth could any but the most foolish and most incapable of useful membership reckon that a successful prosecution would not damage the SNP? But I stick to my conviction that the driving force was unionism within the civil service

  13. All above may be true. Or not true. It is opinion based. What is not opinion based. Westminster does not work in Scotland. Lets face it. What ever it takes for Scotland to go its merry way. Is fine by me. Whether I like or dislike anybody. In terms of Corona Virus. Here is the BBC news. All those tested in Scotland who have contacted the bug. None came from London. I wonder when the dick heads are going to blame it on the SNP and the EU.