Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Alex Salmond smells of wee

Do you know, I wasn't going to bother writing this, but I came up with the title and thought; how could I not.

So - as ever on this blog -  we start with the basics, who is Alex Salmond?

This is he.
In reality, it would be hard not to know who he is, although going by the usual fodder in the media, you would be forgiven for thinking ill of him and not much else.

He's the current leader of the SNP and First Minister of Scotland. Before getting involved with politics he studied Economics & History and St Andrews University. He's been an economist at the old Scottish Office (in agriculture) and at the Bank of Scotland (in oil.) He was born in Linlithgow, supports heart of Midlothian and enjoys a curry. He's been an elected politician in various roles at Westminster and Holyrood since 1987.

It is not my intention to defend Alex Salmond, anyone who's heard him talk will know he's well able to do that himself. Nor am I going to blindly agree with everything he says (although many a unionist protagonist would have you believe all supporters of independence do.) I'm just going to suggest he's not as terrible as the press and unionist supporters would have you believe.

Breaking it down, what is it he's offering next year? Putting all the presumption, assertion and conjecture to one side - what he and the SNP are offering is choice. Currently, your Westminster vote counts for nothing (unless you happen to vote the same way the South of England do.) 

Two examples among many.
Even if you quite like trident or vilification of the poor, you can still have and do those things after a Yes vote - the point is - your vote on it will actually count.

If we can suspend our disdain (and in some cases hatred) for Alex Salmond for just a moment, how can a politician offering choice, democracy and fairness be the target of such hostility? Its simple, the hostility comes from the media and the media are predominantly behind the retention of the status quo.

I know you're thinking, 'I just don't like him' or 'he's so smug' etc, you can continue to believe those things (and worse,) but you're not voting for him in the referendum - you're voting for proper representation. If you decide to vote no, you won't be saying no to Alex Salmond, you'll be saying no to having a voice in the way you are governed. 

Voting no because you don't like Alex Salmond personally or the SNP's policy on the EU (for example) is a bit like voting no to cooked breakfasts because you don't like a cooked tomato - its the ultimate in self-defeat. (As is voting no because you don't like Alex Salmond.)

A cooked breakfast.

Even the press - nominally quite keen on a Better Together soundbite - are beginning to hesitate when it comes to reporting daft negativity. It seems now they are turning their attention more fully on to Salmond, which isn't to say they haven't had a go in the past. The Daily Record stepped in to the breach with this:

Oh dear, I seem to have provided an image of a massive pile of crap, what I meant to provide was this:

The FM has written to a number of successful Scottish sportspeople over time congratulating them on their various respective successes and the Record thinks this is a bit sad and desperate. According to the article, the 'news paper' engaged in a six month FOI battle to get copies of the letters - none which has been answered by any of the sporty ingrates. Of course, that it was a 'six month battle' is part of the same article in which the Daily Record assumed a reply was expected. The letters basically said 'well done' which is a statement, not a question in need of a reply.

Alex Salmond was also criticised for unfurling a Saltire at Wimbledon, about which an independent councillor from Inverness South has lodged an official complaint. At this time, no complaint is forthcoming over David Cameron waving a Union Flag while in the crowd at the Olympic Games or Boris Johnson grimly flapping Union Flags while stuck on a zip wire during Olympic celebrations - both took place in, or in Boris' case, above London.

Personally, I don't mind Alex Salmond. While I don't agree with all of his politics I completely agree with the notion of self-determination and no other political leader is offering that to the people of Scotland. What I do mind is being manipulated by papers like the Record, I mind even more that a moronic tabloid thinks it could.

So by all means, dislike Alex Salmond but don't let it cloud your judgement over the independence referendum, if for no other reason than you'd be falling for an obvious red herring at the behest of the gutter press.

And yes @A_DarlingMP, there will be cooked breakfasts in a separate Scotland.


  1. Good points.

    You could add that if you vote AGAINST independence because it is what Alex Salmond wants, and you don't like Alex Salmond, you must also consider that voting FOR the UK is voting WITH David Cameron, because more than anything in the world he is desperate not to lose Scotland on his watch. So maybe you like Cameron more than you like Salmond... who knows

    The truth is you vote for what you believe in. If you are not sure what you believe in you look at the status quo and consider whether you like it or not, remembering that it might change. You then consider in what ways it might change given the prevailing climate in the part of the Uk were the votes are and where opinions therefor matter.

    Then you look at what the various parties are offering in the independence stakes.

    The SNP's policies are readily enough available, and of course they have been in government in a devolved Scotland for 7 years, so you have some idea of what their ideas mean for the country.

    You need to look too at the Green party; Labour for Independence; Liberals for Independence... Scottish Socialists.

    You even have to try to work out what the Tories would be like in an independent Scotland... something maybe along the lines laid out by Murdo Fraser, a potential leader before Mr Cameron interfered in the election of the leader of the Scottish group.

    Then you decide which of the futures you want for yourself and your children and their children.

    The idea that it is about the SNP or even more farcically Alex Salmond, a man in his 60s, who has been first minister for 7 (and by the end of his tenure 10) years, and who will almost undoubtedly stand down in the not too distant future, is just silly.

    Still, if you can't pick holes in the argument, you can always pick holes in the man.

    That Alex is a bit overweight, supports Hearts, and eats curries is a pretty low thing to base your whole future on.

  2. Exactly right, the logic is obvious. If yes means Salmond, no must mean the UK PM - Cameron, Clegg or Milliband.

    The thing is, its become really fashionable to dislike AS, the number of people who say 'I'd vote yes except for...' is just boggling. I want to give them a shake, some are proud that they've seen through the rest of the unionist propaganda yet they insist on clinging on to this? Of course he's not perfect, but when put up against any other politician, as long as you can suspend the preprogramming; he's actually been pretty honest relatively speaking.

    You do get the odd interview where he gets a bit prolix and evasive and that is always disappointing, but compared to an interview with say, Milliband or Lamont...

    I suppose it comes down to what you choose to believe. In any case, as I said, I may not agree with all SNP policy, comparatively speaking, they get my vote till the dust settles and we got the Yes vote we need.

    After that, I'll be looking really closely at what the other parties do and most importantly; who gets sacked because I think we can all agree - a fair few need it.


Thanks for comment as always and I apologise if you have to jump through any hoops to do so. Its just that, I'm still being spammed by organisations who are certain I can't get it up or when it is up its not big enough or that I don't have anyone to get it up for.

Who knew blogging could be so bad for ones self-confidence?