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.