Wednesday, 23 December 2009

No, First Minister

Alex Salmond once stood down from the leadership of the SNP. Then, such was the shallowness of the talent pool available to the nationalists, they begged him to come back. Then, on the back of an unpopular Labour government, he became Scottish First Minister (albeit of a minority government) now his smug, irritating face seems to be everywhere, constantly complaining, constantly finding some cause to imagine that Scots are being hard done by and constantly having to be reminded that he is in fact in government and no longer the opposition.

Now he is even arguing that he should be involved in the TV debate to be held prior to the general election despite the fact that he is not standing in that election, his party is only contesting seats north of the border and he would be the only one of the three participants who did not aspire to be our Prime Minister. His argument is of course ridiculous and presumably he is aware of this. It would make as much sense to include Boris Johnson in the debates as he is the leader of London and represents an area of the country with a larger population and greater GDP. Yet the great chancer of British politics has seen an opportunity for more cheap publicity, more fake grievance. How can the Scots bear the man?

Perhaps Salmond is in danger of overplaying his hand though. His poll ratings have been on the slide of late. Scots are also very clear that they do not want independence and he has no chance of getting the referendum he wants to even ask the question. His best policy would be to keep his head down, govern quietly and wait to see what happens in that election. If the Tories get in he might have a chance given his country's antipathy to that party.

Or perhaps his strategy is to so irritate and enrage the English with his piteous and illogical whinging that we start calling for our independence from Scotland and a separate broadcaster so that we don't have to see or hear him on the BBC constantly. If so it's a strategy that's working on me.


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