Thursday, 8 September 2011

Alex Salmond, the Laird Protector

Yesterday saw a bravura performance from Alex Salmond announcing his administration’s programme for the new parliamentary session.

In his speech we saw a central tenet of his political tactics in that all things emanating from Westminster are to be considered bad and all things from Holyrood are considered  good.  The SNP will ride to the protection of the nation while others are impotent or tied to interests elsewhere. 

Salmond is building the case for independence like an Alabama governor railing against Washington.  As if somehow Scotland could do so much better on its own.  I expressed my issue with this in my last post when I quoted Jim Wallace’s interview in the Times last Saturday.  He noted the fallacy of this argument, “that somehow of all the countries in the rest of the world that have experienced economic difficulty, Scotland would be the one that doesn’t have to engage in deficit reduction and is only doing so because it’s being foisted upon us by Westminster.”

Of course, with the SNP, independence is in reality the only show in town.  In this regard the questions put out there by the Secretary of State as necessary to discuss are genuinely important to address.  It is not that there isn’t an answer to these questions, rather it is necessary to think through these core issues if we are to work out the direction of any future constitutional settlement.

Salmond said that Westminster needs to show humility.  Maybe it does.  However, so should he.

Alex Salmond has a mandate to run a competent Holyrood administration and he has a mandate to put the independence question to Scotland .

He does not have a mandate for independence.

The question as to whether we adopt the status quo, reform, devo-max or independence is for the Scottish people to decide. 

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