2007 - 2022

Alba and the Dodgy Logic of the Supermajority

After their strange and shonky online launch the Alba Party raises some significant questions for the weeks ahead. Setting aside the cultural appropriation the fledgling party is mired in contradictions its scarcely even aware of.

Unlike the other scattering of other new pro-indy parties: Action for Independence, Scotia Future, the Independence for Scotland Party, (plus others that I have missed out) the Alba Party has some real advantages: brand recognition, high profile candidates that people have actually heard of and (presumably) some big money behind it. For that reason it should be taken seriously. But there are some real problems and issues that I don’t see them being able to overcome.

Here’s some of them:

Salmond’s Popularity

The Alba Party looks like a lab creation, like Farage’s Brexit Party, or Change UK, an artifice created with a website and ‘members’ but no real grounding. It has launched very late in the day without any real policies apart from some bromides such as “National Independence for Scotland as an immediate necessity, and overwhelming priority, achieved by democratic means through a vote of people resident in Scotland. The promotion of all Scottish interests, and the building of an economically successful and socially-just independent country, through the pursuit of a social democratic programme.”

But much rests on the popularity of its leader and several indicators suggest that this just doesn’t translate from the excitable bubbles of social media to the general electorate. A recent opinion poll suggested:

It does in this sense look like a vanity project driven by ego and revenge. One upside for the SNP is they won’t need to expel all those individuals that have stepped out.

The Supermajority Concept

If the Alba Party doesn’t have any discernible policies they do have one Big Idea, that of the Supermajority.

But this is deeply flawed. Recent polls have shown the possibility of both an SNP majority AND a pro-indy majority with the Scottish Greens. All of the indicators were that the Tories face electoral wipeout with Labour static and the Liberals irrelevant.

The Supermajority is attempting to solve a problem that doesn’t exist. In doing so they threaten that majority.

The idea articulated by Salmond that Boris Johnson would accede to demands if it came from a ‘whole parliament’ is just empty rhetoric.

A Crowded Field

The cluster of new pro-independence parties makes then look like a circular firing squad. Without co-ordination or compromise they will cancel each other out as bewildered voters vote ISP against Action for Independence, and Scotia Future against Alba. Collapsing all into one force might work but it’s really late in the day for that.

The Launch

The launch itself was strange brew of technical malfunction – long silences and weird ethereal appearances.

A sample of Kirk Torrance and Alex Salmond’s previous work – Scotland Speaks – shows a sign of things to come.

One of the strongest challenges for the Alba Party is how you talk about being “positive” but carry beside you the network of some of the most toxic and malignant forces of the fringes of the independence movement. That seems a tough challenge.

This is a sump driven by ego and narcissism and unlikely to survive the cold light of day.



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Comments (82)

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  1. Wullie says:

    The new Jim Murphy

    1. Iain MacLean says:

      There is a difference!

      Murphy has no credibility, Salmond has even less, but more to the point he looks like a tragic figure out to wreck what he believes in, in the false and deluded hope he regains his reputation.

      David Thompson formed a new independence alliance party in his belief that this party should place pressure on the SNP to go for independence, quicker and bolder. I understand this point of view, I respect it and I have absolutely no questions on David’s motivation or commitment to the cause. However I believe David to be wrong on the basis that divide and rule is how the british state has been able to rule Scotland.

      As for Salmond’s party, there is no objective to win seats to place pressure on the SNP to go faster or more assertive for independence. The objective is to hurt the SNP irrespective of the damage it will do to the independence cause, when we are winning and have never been so close to our goal of freedom!

      How did we get here, the Scottish Government’s mishandling of this issue is certainly a contributing factor, but the root cause of the entire debacle is Salmond’s behaviour and his continuing vendetta! History will not be kind to Salmond, regardless of of the outcome of May’s election and beyond!

      So in ten years time if we are still living under uk tory imposed westminster austerity, we know who we’ll have to thank, so let’s not go there, ignore Salmond and his disciples, they serve one person and not the interests of the Scottish people!

      1. Rich says:

        Spot-on , Iain , but I think that Salmond knows he’s out of the game and this most recent ploy isn’t ego , isn’t politics . It’s like a baby letting the world know that he can still scream while he throws the toys out of the pram (and make a smelly mess of himself) .
        His political relevance (to say nothing of public esteem) has been wiped out by his despicable conduct towards women . He narrowly escaped jail for that , but he was let go – “not proven” says enough for me given the multitude of possible complainants whose cases were not prosecuted . Publicly shamed , his initial revenge attack has foundered , the second is on it’s way . The saying that ends in “stop digging” comes to mind – but he is beyond reason now.
        But this once “cheeky chappie” has is using the mechanics of our election system and has formulated the cheap charade of a brand new ‘list only’ political party which is a vehicle cynically launched , the sole purpose of it being to allow him to extract more vengeance on his old party . It has little to do with a wish to create a super-majority (wtfit?) , it’s not even an honest endeavour to rebuild a shredded reputation (or heal a mortally-wounded ego). This is very raw rage and vengeance – pure and simple. Iain has hit this nail on the head – doing the Tories work for them .
        As party leader he will be top of his old regional list , so if enough folk there give him their unreflective sympathy he will be back – again – our come-back kid , but most definitely not our Teflon saviour.
        He was once the ‘god in his heaven’ – the party leader – but he cast himself down by his balls and now it seems he would rather rule in a little hell of his own making – no doubt spreading more of his recent sweetness and light .
        Maybe he’ll manage it , but who is going to be sitting with him in the canteen, who will buy him a drink – or share a taxi? Gae few .
        His personal story , this yet-unfolding and deep tragedy , is the epitomisation of hubris – that the effects of it should affect a whole nation only adds to it .

  2. Sìne says:

    That lighting wasn’t even lighting.

  3. Iain macphail says:

    I may well be guilty of rose tinted specs here (and I should say I have no intention of voting for Salmond) but it seems to me the parties who may be most impacted by the List Vote policy of this new crew are Tories, Libdem & Labour (who rely on the list quite heavily).
    Seems lots to be hesitant about with Alba Party, but their concentration on the List only is something that I find myself borderline welcoming.
    Interesting few weeks ahead

    1. James Mills says:

      How would the unionist parties be impacted by Salmond’s Party ( for that’s what it is ! ) Who among the unionists is going to vote for a nominally Independence party ? It can only impact those who might vote SNP 1%2 or Green or even the smaller Indy parties .
      A Dumb move by the EGO ! Or is his intention to split the Indy vote ?
      An act of revenge !

      1. keaton says:

        They’ll consolidate votes from GRA-obsessives who would have otherwise voted ISP or AFI (both a complete waste), or not voted at all. That’s unquestionably good for the chances of a pro-independence majority in parliament. What’s trickier is that they’ll also take votes from people who would have otherwise voted SNP. Depending on how the constituencies fall in each region, it’s a toss-up as to whether that’s harmful or beneficial.

      2. Iain says:

        It’s about achieving an impressive majority for independence, Jim. And doing something with any majority.

        Squealing about other peoples egos misses the point.

      3. Col says:

        Jim you are correct but that’s the point. The SNP 2 votes are virtually worthless due to the success of the snp 1 vote. Voting Alba will mean that is no longer the case, the Alba list votes will be of much greater value and have much greater impact than the SNP list votes. For this reason the unionists, reliant on almost a million independence votes being worthless, will now suddenly have to face the arithmetic of valuable Alba votes counting against them. The only party not really impacted will be SNP who have virtually nothing to lose in terms of list seats.

        1. James Mills says:

          This presupposes that The Alex Salmon …sorry, Alba Party , will attract enough List votes to make a difference .

          I hear ignorant people already claiming it will get rid of nonentities like Murdo Fraser et al – No , it won’t . It MAY attract votes from SNP voters , but that has to be balanced by the negative effect of Alex Salmond and some of the people who have been supporting him recently .

        2. Drew Anderson says:

          They are only “virtually worthless” under a particular set of circumstances; primarily having an exceptionally good outcomes in the constituencies as per 2016. 2011’s results show that a more modest constituency return was supplemented with a healthy number of list seats. However, in terms of overall seats, the totals weren’t dramatically different.

          The danger with viewing list votes as wasted for the SNP, is that if the constituencies don’t return what’s hoped for, the attempt to game the list vote could backfire by remove the SNP’s safety net & Alba not coming up with the goods. We then have a potential nightmare, where Unionists pick up the last list seat more often than not because of a split indy vote.

          I just want people to understand how the list vote actually works, instead of assuming that SNP votes there will always be wasted, based entirely on a single election 5 years ago.

          Proceed with caution.

      4. Rod says:

        Please research how the regional list vote allocation works. If you don’t understand the basic mechanics you should maybe keep your hysteria to yourself.

  4. gahetacicl says:

    Ah well. Nearly made it to the end without ad-hominem but then flubbed it the last 2 sentences with old standbys (“toxic..”).

    Leaving aside the specific concept of the “Supermajority” (sounds like an Americanism if I’m honest), the argument for voting Green on the List under D’Hondt – where party votes are of course divided by the number of constituency MPs won by a given party – holds for voting ALBA on the list for those who simply won’t vote Green.

    I suppose virtually everybody in that camp is a “bigot” according to the official line, but there might in fact be quite a lot of these “bigots” in the SNP ranks at present.

    Therefore if the ALBA pitch manages to diffuse beyond the “All Under One Banner” / Zoomer / WIngs filter bubble (and given Salmond’s media-pull this is a highly plausible game plan), it could deliver both a larger independence majority and a Holyrood make-up stripping the Yellow-Greens of their bi-lateral power to implement extremist policies like the Hate Crime Bill. This should be seen as a win-win.

    1. Col says:

      Yes, good point.

    2. Alec Lomax says:

      The same Hate Crime Bill that was supported by ALL the parties except the Tories?
      Haters gonna hate….

  5. Dougie Blackwood says:

    Long ago I suggested that it was a good idea but that the Indy list only parties should get together and fight with one slate of candidates and that it needed a big hitter to lead the band. In the same post I was adamant that the leader should not be Alex Salmond or any of his adherents. How many of these teams do we have now, all competing for that same pool of votes?

    If the SNP are not tarnished by this rabble they may win almost enough seats in constituencies to have a majority. If that happens SNP will get very few list seats. In recent times the Greens have said that they may be willing to come inside the tent and form a coalition with SNP to have enough cohesion and a main aim of independence. If this can be firmed up then that is the way to go.

    Look for more and firmer statements from the Greens then vote SNP – 1, Green -2.

  6. John Mooney says:

    Salmond and his Wings nut job cheerleader! That says it all really,what a sad pathetic “Little” man,Salmond is Scotlands modern day “Toom Tabard”,First the Gods etc etc etc etc.

  7. Alec Lomax says:

    What’s the photo of Quasimodo doing there ?

  8. Squigglypen says:

    Sigh……….bangs heid on wall.

  9. Percy Thrower says:

    Behind it all, we have just the same name calling, destructive dog in the manger nonsense from Mike.
    If Alex’s so unpopular, then you’ve got nothing to worry about, have you?
    So why the ad hominem stuff?
    Sad, really that the man who got the SNP into power and nearly won us independence should be so betrayed by an amoeba, but that’s politics at the bottom for you I suppose.
    This article is just a crude and thought free parrotting of the official NS line of “ego, yesterday’s man, not guilty but I know better, kent his faither” silliness.
    And anyone can dig up a weird pic of other people for a cheap laugh.
    Maybe that goes down well late at night in the pub, but it doesn’t convert sober people to your point of view.
    It’s not politics, well, it’s not grown up politics.
    Maybe good enough for the student union, but that’s about your level if the above is an example of your work.
    However, I’m glad that you support the idea of SNP 1, a.n.other (in this case, the Greens) 2.
    Having established that you aren’t quite daft enough to swallow the SNP 1 and 2 nonsense, it’s worth asking what the issue is with voting Alba instead of Green.
    It looks to me like your problem is a personal one, and that frankly you and your masters are just scunnered that Salmond isn’t quitting.
    Or maybe Nicola’s ultimate nightmare of a coalition with Alex in the cabinet is giving her some unpleasant moments, and you’re just being a good wee boy and firing her bullets for her.

    1. James Mills says:

      ”The SNP 1 & 2 nonsense” was Alex Salmond’s idea if memory serves . So now when he is against it it is nonsense ?

    2. I’m just quoting polling, I’m sorry if that’s difficult for you.
      “and anyone can dig up a weird pic of other people for a cheap laugh” – sorry thats a still from their poor launch event.
      Keep up.

    3. niall dickson says:

      Percy, i have never met one person who votes green for tactical reasons. why would they vote for a party with an unashamed neo lib leader backed by the most vociferous anti green scotpol commentator and with an anti abortionist as their “big” defector from the SNP?

    4. Alec Lomax says:

      Alex Salmond in a coalition cabinet . Aye right and I’ve got a bridge to sell you.

    5. Iain says:

      Some nice points, auld Percy.

      Would Ms Sturgeon be happy with a supermajority, if having Salmond back in parliament was the price?

      In the article itself, little justification was given as to how the practice of ‘2nd vote ALBA’ could threaten an overall independence majority.

      It’s always ironic to witness bitching about egos, from folks who give a fine impression of finding the relative success of certain flawed others rather grating.

    6. Drew 1314 says:

      I assume thats the same Alex Salmond, that no more than a few weeks ago stated “Scotland is not ready for Independence” does he assume it can’t be achieved without him and his aides, I sense the “Et tu Brute” phenomenon, in any battle there are casualties, let’s not be diverted from the ultimate goal, that is Scottish freedom from a dangerous power in Westminster that drags us around at will when it sees fit,

      1. Pub Bore says:

        No, the Scottish government is not quite ready for independence yet, but it has been beavering away in the expectation of independence to get in place the administrative infrastructure it will require to govern us. My partner works for the government; droves of civil servants have over the past decade been seconded to the task of realising this transformation. Obscene amounts of tax-payers’ money have already been spent on it, the real work of independence; getting the régime all stitched up and ready to go… or (dare I say it?) ‘oven-ready’.

        Those outsiders who keep faith in having some input into the shape of the future régime are going to be sorely disappointed; the real transformation of power is being carefully managed by insiders of the Scottish Establishment.

  10. Iain Oughtred says:

    I believe the Opinium percentages are the direct result of the highly-orchestrated, relentless, and shameful smear campaign, facilitated of course by the MSM. In spite of which NS’s Unfavourable number is high. Would now include myself if asked. Having seen with dismay how the reputation, the credibility, of FM and SNP have suffered. From the deceptions, the secrecy, the censorship. But what really concerns me now is if and how it might affect the Independence campaign. At this time!

  11. keaton says:

    Salmond’s net approval ratings, which you cite, are indeed pretty dire. But you didn’t mention that 15% of respondents to that poll expressed a positive view of him. Since Holyrood doesn’t have a preferential voting system, the number of people who feel negatively about him is irrelevant. If even half of that 15% vote for his party, they’d be likely to get about as many seats as the Greens have now.

  12. MBC says:

    Just watched a car crash interview on Channel 4 news. Salmond was shambolic, couldn’t dodge his reputational damage. Refused to fess up to or apologise for his behaviour. He just looked shabby.

    A pound shop Farage.

    1. Jim Bennett says:

      I watched the same interview and thought that AS performed extremely well. He put KGM in his place when KGM put a lie to him. He made no personal attacks and focused on independence.
      As has been said above, AS’s “poor” approval levels of 14% could win 8-12 seats on the list. In NE Scotland, where I vote, the SNP has zero list seats. Voting either Alba or Green there would be a no-brainer. My focus is on independence, so I’d happily vote either.

      1. Jim Bennett says:

        … and it goes without saying that I would be delighted to vote SNP in the constituency vote. Just as AS advised on the C4 interview.

    2. gahetacicl says:

      Krishnan Guru-Murthy seems to have won you over by repeating objectively untrue canards such as, “Salmond’s own lawyer described him as a sex pest.” I’d urge you go to check out the original footage (it’s still up on the Scotland on Sunday website.) What the QC says is clearly audible and to paraphrase: he was difficult to work with, a bully at times, “AS OPPOSED to being a sex pest.”

      How strange that this has never been honestly transcribed. There are strong shades of the nonsense, “Corbyn-filmed-on-a-train-saying-nothing-in-particular”-Gate. And who actually conducts this eavesdropping? SNP hired P.I.s? What used to be called papparazzi? MI5? Take your pick.

      The upshot is that there has clearly been some level of smearing in the case of Salmond, which eerily resembles the smearing of Corbyn; and both were amplified by ultra-fatuous establishment centrists determined to align themselves with the enemies of “populism” and paint their opponents as the analogues of Trump – while also hypocritically distorting the truth in exactly the way Trump did.

      Also, if Salmond is a Farage, surely he is more a Marks and Spencer Farage, whereas Oor Nicla is more a Poundland Hillary Clinton or Angela Merkel (hyper efficient managerial androids with all the class consciousness of an Amazon Echo.)

      Just a few thoughts. Cheapeau!

  13. Daniel Raphael says:

    Unable as I am to rigorously and knowledgeably analyze the entire Salmond/Sturgeon matter, I can only follow the larger arguments that undergird and frame the discussion of electoral strategy. I keep thinking of the old saw, “divide and conquer.” It’s not original and not the only homily that could be invoked, but it is what comes to my mind. I also believe Mike is right in noting that at this point in time, Salmond’s offer of a new party doesn’t seem the best contribution if the main intent is to further support the drive for Scottish independence.

    That’s all I can come up with; if I were a longtime resident or citizen of the UK, the rest would seem less obscure and opaque…but you make do with what you have and where you are. Bella helps a good deal.

  14. Mark says:

    One aspect you didn’t mention was that the launch of ALBA makes it possible for someone like me to give the SNP my constituency vote without losing too much sleep.

    I’m a long-time SNP supporter, but am deeply scunnered by the current leadership. I have lost all trust in Nicola Sturgeon, and have deep reservations about her character and integrity. I certainly would not want to vote SNP if she is going to claim that as some kind of ‘vindication’ of her conduct over the last three years.

    Thanks to ALBA I can now use my list vote to send a strong message that my support is conditional, that the SNP need to up their game, and get a whole new leadership team in place well before the next election.

    1. James Mills says:

      Yes , of course Nicola will read that from the votes for Alba !!!

      And she will be quaking at the thought that you are warning her to get her act together or YOU will walk off in a strop !

      Will she also be able to detect your respect for an ego-driven , poor loser who cannot abide the fact that a woman , formerly his deputy , has been more successful than him at putting the SNP closer to Independence ?

      1. U Watt says:

        Projection dear oy, projection.

    2. Col says:

      Yes it could be a boost for SNP because it will get many people who may otherwise not have voted, into the booth doing SNP 1.

    3. Col says:

      The relative popularity of leaders is of little importance for list votes. Why vote for a party who’s leader you really luv when your vote gets divided by 9 before it’s counted, when you could vote for a party who’s leader you don’t really luv but who’s policies you do and in doing so get your vote counted as a full vote. West of Scotland 2016, 135k snp 2 votes wasted due to 8 off constituency msps wins.

  15. SleepingDog says:

    If Alex Salmond’s words are correctly quoted in the article linked below (and they are repeated elsewhere in the media though I have yet to track down the source, not wanting to plow through two hours of zoom recording):
    then I am somewhat digusted if he presents his new party as standing for democratic values. Salmond is reported as saying that SNP and/or Independence votes are ‘wasted’ in the list system. Yet that would be a monstrous distortion of what the voting system is intended for: the correction of the monstrous distortions of First-Past-the-Post. If Salmond actually made that claim, I hope his political career is ended with it, and any other politician who makes such a claim. I see that Salmond has made it on to Wikipedia’s Additional Member System page in the subsection on Decoy Lists, so I am not the only person to view this as an anti-democratic moral crime, and a perversion of the concept of super-majorities. If unionists set up a separate ‘Save the Union’ list party, they would be as culpable of attempting to undermine democracy. If you are mostly OK with the Green platform, just vote Green in the lists, otherwise don’t. This Alba thing is another of the race-to-the-bottom mentality of the political party system.

    1. Jim Bennett says:

      What’s the weather like up there on the moral high ground?

      1. Alec Lomax says:

        Fine, if a little windy.

      2. SleepingDog says:

        @ Jim Bennett, it boils down to the difference between treating voters (people) as means to your end, or treating them as ends in themselves, who have their own valid agendas and worldviews, which should be represented (under constitutional limits) in democratic society. It is the wasted votes in First Past the Post electoral systems that the Additional Member System list seeks to redress, and a vile undemocratic insinuation to insist the reverse. Anyway, others have ably commented on this here. My point is that corruption and degradation of politics is a threat to any democracy we may have. If Salmond has been correctly quoted, he seeks to cheat a section of voters who would otherwise be granted compensatory list seats after losing in the FPtP electoral constituencies, a regressive piece of chicanery that is furthermore harmful to building a broad coalition of diverse pro-Independence platforms, and does nothing to build an actual supermajority amongst the electorate, where the final say on Independence should rest (and I do support supermajorities for constitutional changes, even if that makes it more challenging to cross the line in a referendum; I do not support changing the rules whenever convenient to pursue a result one favours).

    2. Craig MSL says:

      Agreed. The whole super-majority concept denigrates PR. Functional PR is SNP policy, which they support even against their advantage in Westminster elections. Salmond is repudiating a fundamental democratic policy he supported as SNP leader.
      All Scottish voters deserve equal electoral rights, including unionists.

    3. gahetacicl says:

      Unionists can absolutely do what you describe (counter ALBA with a pan-unionist List vehicle.) It is their right, and frankly, if ALBA works as intended, their obligation.

      At the end of the day, ALBA now stands for the Refusenik aspect of nationalist politics. Against managerial centrism and Wokeness. And therefore it is no more of an “electoral hack” than the SGP, who also effectively are a list party for independence voters. In fact, Salmond’s only crime is to make inevitable voting strategies under AMS/D’Hondt explicit. if you look at Wiki, you’ll see that everywhere the system exists, it generates these stratagems. We in Scotland, simpletons that we are, are late to the party it seems.

      But what’s terrifying for the SNP is that what now threatens to become the principle List “ghost party” is precisely not merely a “ghost party” but a counterweight to its New Labourizing tendencies within the independence movement.

      In reality there will be no List “ghost party” but 2 opposing flanking Yes parties on the List, ALBA and SGP. But even this deeply alarms the SNP control freaks. It’s upsetting their power structures – which they had carefully arranged with the SGP – you see. And nothing is more sacrilegious to a managerialist party like the SNP than upsetting the Jenga tower of power structures.

      1. SleepingDog says:

        @gahetacicl, only the multiple-single-constituency-winning-by-significant party side can usefully create a decoy list, because then the constituency wins are not added to the denominator when calculating the additional regional seats for the decoy list. So unionists are unlikely to benefit in any Scottish region. It is kind of a bullying tactic, a force-multiplier by the stronger side. So it seems that the independence movement is going to be tarred with starting this particular race to the bottom. Do you not think this is kind of counter-productive? If the idea is to keep alive the winning of a referendum, you surely want to build faith in politics, especially from the side proposing changing the status quo. A low turnout would be detrimental to claiming that a parliamentary majority was an accurate expression of the will of the electorate, and a low turnout could even disqualify a positive referendum result.

        Of course, unscrupulous party managers may also be betting on some electors not fully understanding the system anyway. And why would anyone believe those politicians if they expressed support for more proportional electoral systems which are widely viewed as fairer? Downward spiral.

  16. Glenn says:

    … Dear oh dear Mike. It’s been a while since I looked at any BC output. It’s apparent that in that time you’ve only become more narrow minded and bitter.

    Let’s just wait and see, no?

    Didn’t think so, not enough for you. You have to get your view, and only your view, into the heads of the uncritical.

    You’re just an opportunist, a bitter, jealous opportunist

    1. Im not sure how a magazine of political analysis can just “wait and see”? Should we just not publish until after the election?

      We publish multiple opinions and writers, not just mine.

  17. Robbie says:


  18. Robbie says:


    1. Col says:

      Or maybe Impedance right enough.

  19. Craig P says:

    I’d normally agree with you Mike on the wasted vote angle, which would be true for most small or pop-up parties. In this instanace though I think Salmond has enough brand recognition to get a seat in every region. If the new party gets disillusioned SNP voters into the polling booth then surely that is a good thing? I don’t see a downside for the SNP, but this could be bad news for the Greens unfortunately.

    The supermajority isn’t just a buzzword, but an important technical point about the number of MSPs (two thirds) required to call an election at the time of Parliament’s choosing. Achieving that is maybe a step further than Alba can manage at this stage. We will see…

    1. Alistair Taylor says:

      SNP 1 (first past post) Green/Alba 2 (list).

      Murray the Ambassador has a good explanation of how the D’Hondt voting system works on his blog.

      Get the vote out!

    2. I’m not sure how someone intending on voting Green would then switch to a vote for Alba – they seem diametrically opposed on every major policy/culture. That doesnt make sense

      1. Fultonius says:

        I am a current member of the greens as I support: Environmentally focussed policies, socially fair polices etc. But the recent shift towards more of an identity-focussed position is troublesome. I also think the Greens could have used their position better to pull the SNP juggernaut back towards independence. There have been so many open goals and missed opportunities. The SNP have been comfortably in power for too long, and they need some effective opposition.

        I really wish, REALLY wish it wasn’t Salmond leading the party, but I do have a dilemma on where to cast my votes and whether to rescind my membership (I probably should have always just donated rather than joined, as I’m not active and just want to support the green cause). 1st vote green always seemed a waste, but I’m struggling to support the SNP at all now, given the recent leadership issues.

        Scottish politics has become very, very messy. I don’t believe NS/Peter Murrell will lead us out of that. Maybe Alba will give the SNP membership enough to think about to force the hand.

      2. Pub Bore says:

        I think it would depend on why the voter in question was voting ‘Green’ in the first place. Someone who votes ‘Green’ positively, because they want green issues to be promoted in the Scottish parliament, probably wouldn’t vote for Alba (or any other of the pop-up pro-independence parties) instead. On the other hand, someone who votes ‘Green’ tactically, as a vote against pro-union parties, might.

        I don’t see how the proliferation of pro-independence parties on the list can harm the SNP, and it can only harm the Greens if the latter’s core vote is insufficient to see-off the threat to its election prospects posed by the loss of at least some of the tactical vote.

        I’m presuming, of course, that the pop-up pro-independence parties will be urging their supporters to vote ‘SNP’ in the constituency ballots.

  20. Simon says:

    So its vote for a party that hates men (Greens) or a party that hates women (Alba). Head says vote for one of them to achieve increased indy majority, but I dont think I could bring myself to vote for either personally.

    Having the Wings guy involved in the Alba party is an embarrassment. I used to hold Salmond in such high regard but just so disappointed in how he has handled all of this.

  21. Jim Bennett says:

    I have always seen my primary goal as independence, not advancement of a party. I have happily voted Green on the list and where I am (NE Scotland) that has been successful once. The SNP has zero list seats here.
    For me, Alba offers the opportunity to return two independence supporting MSPs, rather than just one.
    As for a moral view on this, I just have to suck up the fact that the SNP has anti-abortion creationists and barely disguised Tories in its MSP group. AS has done enough in his life to promote independence for me to vote directly for him on my List whilst continuing to vote SNP in the constituency.
    The SNP needs a rocket up its conservative Backside. Whether that’s through the Greens or Alba doesn’t bother me. But we need something to shake the SNP out of comfy careerism.

  22. Tam Mac Nuccator says:

    In 2014 Salmond contrived to guide the Scots to defeat in the referendum.
    This time round he will contrive to divide the Scots to defeat in a forthcoming referendum.
    As long as he somehow, any how, maintains a feeling of high profile.

    1. Jim Bennett says:

      Such utter nonsense.

  23. Paddy Farrington says:

    We must distinguish between pro-indy parties that genuinely increase support for independence by expanding the pro-indy alliance into new political territory, and those that have no interest in doing so and seek only to exploit the list system. To my mind, the Greens are most definitely in the first category; a pro-independence socialist party with genuine support within the Labour movement would do likewise. All such progressive initiatives are to be welcomed.

    The Alba Party, on the other hand, is parasitic. Built on resentments, it will not even seek to convince anyone who is not already a supporter to back independence. In fact, it may put some people off, owing to Salmond’s personal baggage and his unsavoury fellow-travellers. The supermajority is a con: it does not increase support for independence by a single vote. It is parliamentary cretinism personified in the figure of Alex Salmond.

    1. Dougie Harrison says:

      Well said Paddy. As an active Green member, I’m also doing my wee bit to encourage understanding of the need for Scottish independence on the English left.

      Salmond has made a huge contribution to Scotland’s welfare in the past. Now he’s a has-been on an ego-trip.

  24. Pub Bore says:

    I’ll be voting for George in the regional ballot, just because he’s George, and ‘None of the Above’ in the constituency ballot because they’re all much-of-a-muchness; nondescript party creatures.


    1. Alec Lomax says:

      Don’t be catty

      1. Pub Bore says:

        Precisely! As a politician, he has great entertainment value.

  25. Nicola says:

    I’ve read through all the comments and it’s interesting that amongst all the men commenting, there seem to be none reflecting on how women might feel about Alex Salmond. There are even some who are suggesting that women who might have been tempted to vote ISP to protect their sex based rights might be tempted to consider the Alba Party instead. But voters know you by your actions. By his own admission, he lay down on top of a female employee and groped her under her clothes while exceedingly drunk. Remind me again what it is about this man that I am supposed to respect. Leaders don’t have to be perfect. None of us are. But there are some things which are truly unacceptable – and that is one. Nobody should feel unsafe in their workplace because of the inappropriate sexual advances of a powerful employer. Alex Salmond has shown no public contrition, regret or shame. I can assure you that, no matter my concern for my sex based rights, I could not bring myself to vote for such an arrogant and abusive person if he were the last man alive.

    1. Dougie Harrison says:

      Spot on Nicola!

    2. Pub Bore says:

      Not to worry, Nicola; all that will be sorted with Independence. The main thing now and for the foreseeable future is that the Scottish government becomes independent of the UK government, which is the source of all evil; everything else will follow.

      Keep the faith! Don’t be distracted from the immediate goal by all that other emancipatory/social justice stuff. That will all be sorted once Scotland’s free from the yoke of English rule through the British state. Trust me!

      1. Dougie Harrison says:

        Och aye, Pub Bore. It doesnie matter HOW we get there, as long as we arrive? I’m afraid that for me, it DOES matter – a great deal – that we get there ethically. How do we face the world as an independent nation otherwise?

        1. Ends and Means matter. The End.

        2. Pub Bore says:

          Indeed, Dougie; I was being ironic! The critique of instrumental reason (of thinking that assumes a distinction between means and end) concludes that the two can’t be separated; that ends don’t exist independently of the means we use to reach them, but are realised as praxis – that is, in and through the actions we immediately pursue. Thus, if we act unjustly, whatever we realise in or through our actions will be unjust; thus, to become autonomous beings we need simply start to behave as if we were autonomous beings. In the jargon of dialectical materialism, ‘existence precedes essence’; we reap just what we sow.

          The fruits of independence will be determined not by the idealistic ‘imaginings’ or ‘envisionings’ of an ‘Independent Scotland’, to which end we then aspire by any means, but by the actual process through which we pursue that independence.

      2. Nicola says:

        We will have independence when a majority of Scots vote for it in a referendum. That might come sooner or later. But I’m under no delusions that it will be a utopia.

        In the meantime, like everyone else, I’m voting in a parliamentary election next month, for a real government which will decide on policy for the next four years. You know, all that “other stuff”that has a real effect on real lives. I will be casting my votes for people who most closely match my personal concerns and who demonstrate personal integrity, compassion, wisdom and justice. Those are the four values inscribed on the Scottish parliament mace. They are there for good reason – because they are the only way to achieve good government. Alex Salmond, by his own admission, can no longer be said to uphold those values.

        1. Pub Bore says:

          But why should the will of a majority of Scots be privileged over that of dissenting minorities? That’s tyranny. In a democracy, collective decisions should express the general will of a political community, not just that of the most powerful party therein.

          1. Alec Lomax says:

            I could reverse that with Boris Johnson in mind. “Why should the will of a minority (43%) be priviledged over a dissenting majority ?”

          2. Pub Bore says:

            Why, indeed! There’s no justification for either.

  26. John Monro says:

    It’s all fascinating stuff, from my present home in NZ. Although we have an MMP voting system here, we don’t have this separate “regional” list vote, the list vote is national. I am not sure exactly how that differs in practice from Scotland’s, but the fact that the SNP are so overwhelming in the constituency seats rather distorts the whole system (which I suspect was never envisaged when this particular variant of MMP was introduced) , which makes it worthwhile for a party pursuing a particular agenda to put in list candidates only and no constituency ones. As this is the first time I imagine this has happened on this scale, I don’t suppose anyone is truly in a position to tell how things will go. The MS Media in the UK all think this is a bad idea and obviously have no time for Salmond, but it’ll be the people of Scotland to decide whether they share the same sentiment or not. It could be a flop, but Salmond is no political lightweight, he might get a good number of votes by telling the electorate that he and Alba support the SNP, but if the Scots want independence (do they?) vote for us and you’ll have a bigger majority in the Scottish Parliament. I can’t really see anything wrong with this, I don’t think he’s abusing the system or the voter, it’s actually giving the voter a bigger choice, isn’t it? As for Salmond’s thought this will somehow make the UK government more receptive to independence, I think that’s pretty doubtful, and there’s the obvious problem as to the relationship between Sturgeon and Salmond should the latter do well in the election. But politicians are nothing if not pragmatic, and I think we’ve seen enough duplicity from both Salmond and Sturgeon that means they’ll both do whatever they have to to stay in power, and if that means burying a very large hatchet, so be it (as we say in NZ, they’re equally capable of swallowing a dead rat) .

  27. IAB says:

    Strange post and even stranger photo of Campbell. I know many SNP members who have resigned in the last year because of the conduct of the party management. Salmond isn’t perfect but he was rightly cleared at trial although, sadly, Murray has been caught by the witch hunt. This new party is a pressure group that may jolt the present SNP hierarchy into change. I find the inclusion of the ‘cultural appropriation’ label troubling – does this mean that Scots with no Gaelic cannot use any Gaelic words?

    1. The photo is a still from their bizarre chaotic media launch.

      “I find the inclusion of the ‘cultural appropriation’ label troubling – does this mean that Scots with no Gaelic cannot use any Gaelic words?”

      What do you find troubling about it? Anyone can use any words they like – but if its explained they are using them incorrectly its best not to double-down and be aggressive – as was the actions of people over the last few days when politely challenged by native speakers.

  28. Alex Montrose says:

    The Super Majority slogan Alex Salmond is parroting is just a smoke screen for his get Nicola Sturgeon plan, when ask on CH 4 news twice if he would support NS for FM in the next Parliament he gave obtuse answers, it seems to me that should Alba hold the balance of power after the election, the price of backing the SNP with a Confidence and supply agreement would be Nicola Sturgeon’s head.

  29. Siobhan Tolland says:

    You know what. I only realised, yesterday morning, how much the Alba party upset me. And I discovered my friend was extremely upset about it too. From that launch I saw three men who have, in the past, left me feel deeply uncomfortable at the level of hate shown by them against women – in some cases feeling physically sick (a fourth is involved and he levelled this against me personally). There is something quite dark and upsetting about this I have to say. Wings is a line for me. I was just thinking how we need to turn our back on him because of the level of bile he now expresses against simply anyone, and yet he turns up at this party launch. Perhaps more upsetting was having to deal with some men who told us we should rise above this, and och we all just have to get on etc. Its hard to explain how upsetting this is for me, and for others who have witnessed and felt the wrath. I am ok with other parties- Its folly strategically, but its just politics. But Wings cannot be tolerated. I simply cannot. But the brighter side is this. I read this article but I also read through these comments and you have no idea how uplifting some of them have been. After a difficult phone call with a friend where we shared our upset at this sage, I forwaded this page onto her and told her to read the comments because it made me feel much much better with this whole thing. Many thanks and respect to those who get it on here. Solidarity and equality. Thanks x

    1. John Mooney says:

      Well said Siobhan,Salmond and his toxic Wings pathetic cheerleader really are beyond the pale,a truly disgusting crew of malcontents.All the best to you and yours!

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