Monday, 29 October 2012

Alex Salmond's Position Is Secure

Somehow I have an overwhelming desire to throw something at the television whenever Danny Alexander appears.

Often I've pondered on my dislike of the Libdem MP and only today I realised what irritates me.  Apart from his immaturity - which can be excused perhaps - it's his inability to express himself without avoiding a direct question and his obvious effort to stick to his pre-prepared script regardless of any question.

Johann Lamont has a similar style although I couldn't possibly accuse her of being immature, except in verbal debate.

Both are poor speakers but that deficiency doesn't make a poor politician.  Not all politicians are orators and the public understand for some it's a struggle to look comfortable in front of television cameras. Some take lessons, at taxpayers expense, yet improvement isn't always noticeable.  Iain Gray springs to mind and the Labour politician David Miliband who spent £7,000 on 'speech' lessons.

What does make a poor politician is one who pointedly insists on ensuring those who disagree with them are ridiculed.  The truth doesn't matter as long as they manage to get their insults recorded.

This past week, along with Danny Alexander, the leaders of the unionist parties have all criticised the character of the First Minister.  Their efforts were feeble and they only resulted in displaying how professional and competent Alex Salmond is when in the scrutinising eyes of cameras.

Yesterday I had a telephone conversation with a tory-voting friend and it was a more pleasant occasion than usual because for the past four weeks I had lost my voice (no sniggering please) but the third course of antibiotics seem to be solving the problem.

During our chat I asked what she thought of Ruth Davidson's performance at FMQs last week. 'Horrendous' was the reply. We discussed the 'legal advice' issue and both agreed it wouldn't cause Alex Salmond any long-term damage. "The public really aren't interested in politicians' petty squabblings and childish insults," she insisted.  I agree, although I don't think Jackie Baillie's latest nonsense should go unchallenged by the Scottish Government.  Telling the public that the removal of Trident would cost 11,000 jobs, when a Freedom of Information request by the Scottish SND revealed only 520 jobs at the Clyde Naval Base were directly dependent on Trident is lying. Surely?

We both said details of how an independent Scotland would survive enough to have the social policies and economy Alex Salmond desires were far more important.  Let Danny Alexander and his ilk continue to fill our screens with their soundbites, but none will produce a knockout blow on the First Minister - unless his economic proposals for an independent Scotland leave room for ambiguity.  We need clear details backed by international economists and figures which can be understood and verified by the voter.

I'm not a gambling woman but I would bet that, at present, Alex Salmond's position is safe in the hands of an opposition who are third rate by comparison.


Anonymous said...

Well said SR (well, I mean well typed, but at least now you could have SAID it).

I'd never follow either the SNP or Alex Salmond mindlessly without criticism. (I don’t particularly agree with the Nato decision, for example; nor minimum pricing; nor the sectarian legislation.)

Nothing, of course, will ever deflect me from my support for independence, no matter how wrong any of the politicians espousing it might be about individual issues. But I can criticise the politicians who take us there.

So many of the opposition parties, however, seem to want to criticise Salmond as a person, or the SNP as a party, and they fabricate nonsense to argue against independence, presumably because there are no decent true arguments for them to use.

That is to say that they cannot really argue that Scotland wouldn’t be a richer, fairer, more progressive nation without the UK and the cost of maintaining the fur coat of world leadership.

As I see it Alex answered the question Neil asked. He could, I suppose, have gone into detail about how this was only the legal opinion of Scottish law officers; it was not a proper legal opinion from the EU itself. But most politicians sometimes leave a wrong impression, without ever having lied. In any case, opinions from non political, senior legal figures in Scotland are surely not worthless.

Everything I've heard or read suggests that it is plain ridiculous to assume that Scotland would be required to reapply for membership of the union.

(I've said elsewhere that many Scots wouldn't be in the least bit worried about it, if Scotland were to have to reapply, and if they were denied entry, but that isn't the issue, and it's an argument for another time.)

As for membership of the €, Sweden has still to join, despite joining since it was made law that that be the eventual aim of new members.

As for JB, and her “barefaced lies”, which it seems she refuses to retract... Surely that is at least as bad, if not worse. It takes some arithmetical genius to magic 600 into 11,000.

Disgusted Dorothy said...

Have to agree , the attacks on the FM were astonishing and served to confirm a jaundiced view of the Holyrood opposition and its inability to formulate a question ,or policy.

To then have the Scottish media in the shape shifting guise of BBBC Scotland ,the Herald and those who pretend to know about Scotland who write for UK papers ,jump on the bandwagon is unforgiveable.
There will be no retractions and "cat stuck up a tree stories " or -heaven help us! - Rangers stories, will be the order of the day so that it can be claimed there was no time for anything else.

JimS said...

It may be that there are only 520 jobs DIRECTLY employed on Trident related business at Faslane. However, if the SSBNs were removed from Faslane then there would be no point in keeping the SSNs there either. In that case there would be no reason to keep Faslane open.
Similarly RNAD Coulport would also close along with the other submarine related storage depots in Scotland.
The economic logic of the MOD would rapidly begin to encompass all the other naval facilities in Scotland; there would be no use for Rosyth or Crombie either.
Open the can and the worms begin to crawl out.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

See the article in today's Herald - Cameron has mobilised the intellectual might (or should that be mite) to be used for the Better Together campaign in order to provide the answers on how more 'nothings' can be gained from something that has failed to provide anything other than the rhetoric of promises which amount to nothing except the pomp of tradition, the bling of inequality and the stiff rigour mortis of austerity.

Perhaps the stooshie of last week was the precursor - if so it's going to be a long and wearisome two years under the bombardment of too wee,too poor and too stupid to appreciate the munificence and regard bestowed on Scotland by the Mandarins of Whitehall and Westminster.

It's reported they will publish around thirteen papers; about one each month prior to the referendum, we may do well to keep and file each of them for posterity.

Dubbieside said...


Do not throw anything at the tele when Alexander is on. If you have no tele you will miss his "Portillo" moment at the next general election, when he will undoubtedly lose his seat, but in all probability his deposit as well.

The only questions are will he burst into tears at the result? will I do myself an injury by laughing too much?

You can also add Moore and most of the rest of them to the "Portillo" monent. It will be great to watch.

Key bored warrior. said...

Like so many JimS you cherry pick little nuggets get them all in a line and then present it as an argument, when all you have done is to illustrate the poverty of ambition and inability of the unionists to deal with the actuality.

After independence day Scotland will have it's own maritime force which will be based in Faslane.
"It now becomes time to look at the overall UK defence budget; Whitehall data puts it at £43.6 billion in 2011.

Based upon population, Scotland should have seen around £3.62 billion in current defence spending.

Scots should clearly understand that although their nation's defence contribution to Whitehall is about £3.62 billion, the defence spend in Scotland is reducing in both actual and real terms. According to the UK parliaments strategic defence review document, it dropped by 68% over 6 years. In 2008 it was down around £1.57 billion.

As things stand, Scotland therefore subsidises the UK defence budget by over £2 billion a year and London and the SE of England enjoy a massive defence overspend.

This week the First Minister announced that after independence the Scottish Defence Force (SDF) would maintain one air base, one naval base and one land force. But what would that really mean and what's it likely to cost our newly restored nation state?

Professor Malcolm Chalmers, research director at London-based Royal United Services Institute, an independent military think-tank, quoted a £2.2bn price tag for an SDF.

This would be an increase in real terms on current UK under spend of £500 million each year, available for direct injection into the Scottish economy.

It also appears enough to ensure a world class rapid deployment land force with specialist divisions for highly technical missions, several air sea rescue stations, and an ability to reverse the Westminster coastguard cuts. "

JimS said...


If and when... Scotland's naval force will be like Ireland's, a few coastguard cutters if you are lucky.

Your 'subsidy' to SE England is the price you pay for the heavy back-end costs of the modern military, (don't believe the myths of the politicians and the media that money should be spent on 'the front-line', the trend is the other way and always has been).

The UK struggles to do defence in breadth, that is why we only put one SSBN to sea and sometimes manage a single helicopter carrier. We have too many naval bases; it is politics that keeps so many open. Nothing would please the MOD more than to ditch the Scottish component.

The UK struggles to build major warships; the QE class carrier is under assembly in Rosyth but it requires the co-operation of multiple yards UK-wide to produce the sub-assemblies.

Forces Scotland would just be Police boats, light aircraft and boy scout troops, or buying in military services from the RUK or your fellow marxists in the EU.

Apogee said...

After all the talk of what the effect of independence will be on poor little Scotland, why has there been so little talk about how the rUK will fare when Scotland is independent.
Just how will it affect England/Wales/Northern Ireland economically? Why is this something that seemingly is not to be talked about,except in terms of stories to frighten the Scots? Could it be that the truth might frighten the rUK considerably more. A lot of Scots,as already said, would consider being dumped out of the EU as a plus, Killing two birds with the one stone as it were.
What do you see as Scotland's place in the world? A county of England? An afterthought to the EUSSR,with all our assets claimed as community property ? Or would you rather that Scotland be a free country,able to create and own its own future,without being shackled to other countries and alliances which we had no say in joining or not?
Yes, we will make some mistakes, but that is different to being shafted by a foreign power,where we have no control.
We have two years to think about this, and the make up of Scotland as a country. Think carefully and well as to what you want, and make your thoughts and feelings known to those in charge of this momentous change, you have as much right to a say as the citizen standing next to you.Always remember that.

Nikostratos said...


Alex Salmond's position is safe

course it is a wounded and discredited Alex is a far better proposition to his adversary's.
Than say Nicola sturgeon in the top job doing it differently and probably more efficiently the Alex.

Obviously the Nat extremists such as yerself say how wonderful Alex is at all time no matter what.
If he read out the Phone directory to you you'd sing out his praises.

But your vote is in the extremist Nat bag and as such of no value to the yes to the UK .
Its the more normal fair minded voter who will decide the issue and with them Alex has had his shine rubbed off.

JRB said...

I can no longer look at Mr D Alexander, or take anything he says seriously. For now, there is forever etched into my mind’s eye …

subrosa said...

We think along the same lines Tris. However I do think Eck have the opposition a goal with the Andrew Neil business. He tried to be slightly too smart and to the person in the street it was translated as 'Yes we do have legal advice'.

subrosa said...

That's where the opposition lets themselves down Dorothy by showing their visceral hatred of Alex Salmond. They just can't control their emotions.

Obviously that's where Salmond wins and the people like the fact that he doesn't show personal attitudes.

subrosa said...

Fair enough Jim, but surely most or all of the facilities you mention could be used for other purposes?

We can't afford to lose the skills many of these people possess.

subrosa said...

Read that just a short time ago Crinkly and smiliar thoughts drifted through my mind.

Now that's an idea. I will buy a new box file asap.

subrosa said...

Oh I do hope so Dubbie. I can't see he would be a good MP as his main interest is his own future and nothing else.

I will do my best to preserve the TV. :)

subrosa said...

Thank you for your excellent contribution KBW. Always appreciated.

subrosa said...

Ah Apogee, the other side of the coin but with nothing on it. :)

The unionists are far too scared to even mention what would happen to rUK, although the small groups that want independence for England do try hard to uncover any information.

subrosa said...

Wounded and discredited Niko? Auch, yer dreaming. Johann is far more wounded and discredited than Salmond.

You know full well I'm not in the extremist Nat bag and I do criticise any politician. My interest is in independence.

Speaking of that, how's the Labour independence movement doing? I heard it was doing very well in the central belt.

subrosa said...

JRB, the video raised a smile here.

Unfortunately, Alexander says nothing - he waffles.

Disgusted Dorothy said...

I would like to think that there were those sitting behind both women who were embarrassed ,shocked and appalled by the two harridans.
Surely there are still some fair minded ,intelligent folk left on the opposition benches?


subrosa said...

Dorothy, did you see Henry McLeish on Scotland Tonight? He didn't mince his words about his Labour colleagues.

Disgusted Dorothy said...

I read about him but actually hearing what he has to say is better .
I'll catch him on STV player ,thanks.

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