Last Friday I didn't see the launch of the Yes Scotland campaign but did view it on the Parliament channel on Sunday. It was less than inspiring and left me wondering to whom it was directed. Certainly it held little for the average voter and the critics who remarked upon expats who have done well elsewhere leading the event had a point.
The choice of venue was strange too. Maybe for those in attendance it was atmospheric, but on television it seemed sterile and over choreographed, taking the appearance of the performers being ushered from the depths of a black box to the glare of a spotlight intended to highlight their presence. Colourful it was not and somehow conviction was lost in the production.
Alex Salmond seemed weary and not his usual boisterous self and this perhaps was responsible for the lack of pomp - because there is no doubt the independence referendum will be a historic occasion, regardless of the result.
But recently, apart from thinking Alex Salmond may be tired, I have wondered if he's losing interest in the general governance of Scotland and concentrating his time on changing social values. As yet I can find no figures for the cost of the 'same-sex marriage' consultation but such public consultations don't come cheap.
Now, after the Scottish government has recently agreed a 50p increase in a unit of alcohol on the back of a report from one university, we have the NHS spending £100,000 for the reprint a booklet about pregnancy because one person complained the use of the word dad was discriminating against same-sex couples. Officials decided to replace 'dad' with 'partner' so now the word dad is being phased out of official use.
A spokesman for NHS Scotland innocently displayed the misuse of money within the NHS:
It is standard practice to review publications on a yearly basis, if not more often. At the time this complaint was received the Ready Steady Baby text had just been through its annual review, changes made and the new edition was printed in December 2011.
‘The review process identified the need to use language that was more inclusive, particularly in relation to same-sex partnerships.’
If 90,000 copies of the Ready Steady Baby booklet cost £100,000 to reprint, how many other NHS booklets are reprinted annually or even less and at what cost?
One hundred thousand pounds could keep several centres for the elderly open, could provide much needed additional psychologists for our mental health services or provide quality vocational training for enthusiastic 14+ year olds - just a few suggestions for better use of a large sum of money.
Why is Alex Salmond so intent upon re-engineering miniscule aspects of society when he should be channelling his energies towards increasing the economy and providing the public with his vision of an independent Scotland, complete with truthful financial projections?
While the UK government slides into absurdity, I would like to think Scotland was in safe hands. Is that wishful thinking?