2007 - 2021

Sore Alba

The arrival of the Alba Party threatens to dominate the Holyrood election to an unhealthy extent, excluding policy issues and positive platform ideas to transform Scotland to focus instead on personalities. We will limit comment in the following weeks to the minimal but the following problems for the Alba Party seem insurmountable.

Alex Salmond and the Failure of the Neural Transmitting Zero Synapse Repositioner 

The first thing is Alex Salmond’s complete inability to show any contrition, remorse or apology for his actions. The idea that you could go through the trial and then think: “I think the best thing for me would be to run for office” is extraordinary. His supporters require not just his redemption they require his resurrection. The rapid re-writing of history and the hasty penning of embarrassing hagiography urges us to think of Salmond in Saintly / Fatherly tones that are cringeworthy on every level. I know that Salmond and his supporters believe that a) none of that ever happened at all or b) it doesn’t really matter, but that’s not the point. Alba supporters are effectively asking the general public to be given the Men in Black Neural Transmitting Zero Synapse Repositioner and wipe these actions from their minds.

All the suggestions are that the electorate remain resolutely outside the Alba bubble despite the party’s delusions. Salmond’s net favourability rating is a dreadful -61, making him significantly more unpopular with Scots than even Boris Johnson (-32).

The alien tech has malfunctioned.

Policy Void

The point of an election is – just as a general reminder – is to reach out to the general public with an offer of choice and policy. On this subject alone, the party has failed. As people joined a party without policies they are now being dribbled out for public consumption. Surely it should be the other way around? If the new members are joining a new party without policies (they are) – they are either doing this because of the strength of their leader or the strength of some magical strategy. Neither stand up to the slightest scrutiny.

Super Majority

What has got most Alba-enthusiasts excited is the notion of a “super-majority”. The whole thing is based on an injustice, a weird anomaly of the D’Hondt system that SNP votes on the Constituency List would be “wasted” and go to Unionist parties. I get that frustration and it sounds like a plan, but it really isn’t.

Yet as Lindsay Bruce points out: “There’s no defined plan beyond “supermajority” – the actual definition of which (two-thirds) is in Salmond’s own words, “not the definition we’re using”.

As Lloyd Melville says: “Wait so is Alba’s independence strategy: – A plebiscite election – A referendum – UDI? Because it can’t be all three and its supporters can’t decide which of these it is.

This is the contact point between the policy void and the “super majority”. None of it makes any sense. It’s strategically incoherent. First of all, as this site has been pointing out for at least six months, there already existed a pro-indy majority (including an SNP majority) in all the recent polls. The arrival of Alba (if they succeed in getting candidates elected) does nothing whatsoever to strengthen the case. Nothing.

Instead of rejecting this allegation or clarifying the strategy instead we get from Salmond: “A section 30 referendum could be part of that, as could a plebiscite, or another democratic test as could domestic legal action or international and diplomatic initiatives, as could peaceful and popular demonstration.”

Confused? He is.

The Unity-Farce and the Blocklist Party

That none of this makes any sense at all doesn’t matter to the newly converted. The 701st Anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath (yesterday – you might have missed it amongst the pandemic and your collapsing life) was the moment for Salmond to issue a grand statement in which he said:

“The importance of the “Declaration” was not that it came just from those in positions of wealth and authority. Rather, it’s enduring power and appeal was that it was rooted in the whole Community of the Realm of Scotland. It was the recognition of the need for that essential endorsement by the Community of the Realm which elevated the letter far beyond what it could otherwise have been if simply endorsed by loyal supporters of The Bruce. And how successful that strategy was. Within a couple of years of the Declaration, international opinion moved in favour of the Scots. It was the English King who became diplomatically isolated and eight years later Scottish independence was negotiated, acknowledged and accepted. As it was then, so it can be now.”

This is just Braveheart Bollocks.

It was followed by Neil Mackay of AUOB declaring in the National: “The Yes Movement Unblocking Day will take place on the 701st anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath” and Dave Llewellyn (?) declaring: “On the anniversary of the declaration of Arbroath we need to stop blocking and unite the clans”.

A quick reminder in case you have in fact been subject to a Neural Transmitting Zero Synapse Repositioner:  I’m not in a clan. Neither are you.

Sections of the movement that have spent years engaged in the most toxic hostile attacks on the rest of the (nominally) same movement now realise that they desperately need your vote, so they have switched 180% from belief in Rage as a Tactic to all holding hands in Togetherhood. The baleful look on their face when people reject this offer is *sad face* quite funny.

The story is this: we may have been engaged in advanced vitriol on and offline for years, please forget that and campaign with us; our leader may be hugely unpopular in Scottish society, please forget that too; we may have been engaged in attacking Nicola Sturgeon and positioning the SNP as THE obstacle to independence and closet Yoon traitors, but we now urge you to vote for them; we may have critiqued the SNP for having no strategy for gaining independence but we have none: Rally to our Standard Now!

This is completely incoherent quasi-Medieval nonsense.

It is deeply inauthentic. It is as inauthentic as people who claim “Alba” as a name but can’t pronounce it. It as inauthentic as “uniting the clans”. Some of these people are so immersed in their counter-culture that dressing up as Jacobites at the weekend really is a liberatory act.

The dissonance between a party supposedly calling for a country to have a future by evoking a 700 year-old past may cause pause for thought given much more recent history. This tension between what’s real and what’s really unreal runs throughout Alba’s rhetoric. As Rory Scothorne writes for the New Statesman:

“In its disdain for “wokeness”, its mistrust of trans self-identification and its suspicion of a leadership that takes the slow road, Alba’s ideological core represents a Scottish nationalist version of what the writer Joe Kennedy calls “authentocracy”. It sees fraudulence everywhere, dressing up its own bizarre preoccupations as dissident realness. The trouble is that there is nothing more inauthentic than somebody trying desperately to prove their authenticity, which is how we have ended up with Alba’s supporters struggling to pronounce their own party’s name.”

The worry is that they have been consumed by their own rhetoric and over-indulged by their (too) close reading of the same blogs over and over again. This results in what Mark Fisher called: “the solitary urinal of male subjectivity.”

In 2014 I argued that independence was about Raploch not Bannockburn.

In 2021 I want to hear more about how we transform Scottish society not how we will indulge in medieval fantasy.

A new poll out today shows that this may remain a vanity project.

 

Poll details are here: https://news.stv.tv/politics/snp-still-on-course-for-holyrood-majority-stv-poll?to&top

The STV/IPSOS Mori Poll out today suggests, wait for it, that the SNP and Greens will create a Super Majority for independence on their own:

“Support has risen for the Scottish Greens, increasing the prospect of an pro-independence “supermajority” at Holyrood, but former first minister Alex Salmond’s new party Alba would probably fail to win a seat if the poll is replicated on voting day.”

If that comes true the “dream will never die” but the Alba Party will, without the help of a Neural Transmitting Zero Synapse Repositioner.

 

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Comments (97)

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  1. Cathie Lloyd says:

    Thanks for rational words. Shuffling the deckchairs will not win us a majority in any referendum and most likely deter the don’t knows and people who are hesitant

    1. Iain says:

      The publicity generated around Alba may well have the effect of enhancing the Green 2nd vote, by bringing to the attention of independence minded voters relevant aspects of the voting system.

      Voila an enhanced parliamentary majority for independence. Job done.

      Of course, only an independence majority of total votes cast will give Boris Johnson a difficult decision. Without that prize the Yes movement shall be waiting at the altar for some years yet.

  2. Graeme McCormick says:

    First rate analysis. Alba is a bubble unto its self! It speaks to no one who is there to be persuaded. It puts the soft Nos, off!

    If it fails to gain a seat what does it do? Do we engage with its members if the price of that engagement makes it more difficult for us to persuade the soft Nos?

  3. Radio Jammor says:

    I absolutely, completely and utterly agree with everything here, and it’s been a while since I have been able to say that about any Pro-Indy blog (other than my own).

    The pro-Alba bubble and a lot of the pro-Indy bubble, forget that they are in exactly that. That their view is merely being echoed. But I don’t think that is all down to them.

    When I see reports, such as yesterday in the New European, of Tories supporting Alba, for *reasons* , I know that there is BS there somewhere.

    Today’s polling seems to strongly suggest that the 6% polling for Alba was an anomaly from “prompts”, it also demonstrated that stories from Tories about their parties slipping support to Alba & AFU also seem to be fiction.

    I feel the same way as expressed here about Salmond, and I am increasingly convinced that the Tories & the UKGov want Alba to split support away from the SNP & Greens, but also are very happy to have Salmond in play so that they can attack the undecideds, and the more ‘woolly’ Indy supporters, with a barrage about Salmond and his proclivities, during an Indyref2 campaign.

    This also leads me to think that there just may be some help coming from covert places with Alba’s campaign. That agent provocateurs may be bigging-up the Alba support, which in turn has led some to think that there is greater support than there actually is for Alba. The number of people who seem to believe that 3% is unrepresentative (not helped of course by that 6% showing), is surprisingly large.

    I could of course be wrong, at least in some respects, but the theory fits, and the more I see, the more it seems to fit.

  4. Sheena Jardine says:

    For me this is the most exciting development for independence there has been in years. The SNP promised we would not be taken out of Europe against our will and then just did nothing and let it happen. They focussed so much energy on the HCB and trans activism that many members were left disenfranchised and disappointed at the lack of fight for Scotland. I myself nearly left the party three times last year but stayed due to friends and loyalty to others in my branch. The leadership do not reply to complaints and enquiries. So Alba is picking up the votes of many committed yessers who were preparing to give up the fight and spoil their ballot. Your one sided viewpoint shows that you have no understanding at all of the point of view of many of us. I am still in the SNP and they will get my first vote. But I am also delighted with the emergence of Alba and seeing AS back, after the obvious attempt to destroy him with lies and exaggeration, what a brave man. He committed his life to the independence cause, and it is great to see him back. If only people would take the time to see the full details of why he was found innocent, before continually casting aspersions. Let him now get on with his life and his life’s work.

    1. Radio Jammor says:

      Sheena, being innocent of a crime is the low bar expected of all of us. Salmond’s behaviour towards women is still repulsive, even if short of being criminal. Have you read what he did? Have you seen or heard him show remorse?

      You need to understand that many, many people are *never* going to support what he stands for, or is associated with, as a consequence of this and that, in terms of getting people to switch to Independence, he is a liability that we cannot afford.

      It is no wonder that there are Tories saying that they would vote for Alba on the list. They know he is a liability that they can exploit in an Indyref2 campaign.

      1. Sheena Jardine says:

        What did he do that was so wrong? He was falsely accused of rape by a woman who wasn’t even in the building on the evening in question, he had a fully clothed embrace with a woman he was working late with and drinking with. He apologised next day and she accepted and continued to work with him for years. The rest of the accusations were ridiculously trivial, pulling a lock of hair, pushing someone aside in a jokey manner etc. etc. designed only to create headline numbers to convince everyone he was guilty. The media did not publish full details,of the defense so most folk are ignorant about how he was set up. All done to destroy someone who is a threat to the British state. So glad he is strong enough to have bounced back from the lies.

        1. Radio Jammor says:

          And I quote: “set-up”. Aye, right. By all these people. And Mhairi Black was part of it, too. SMH.

          1. Louis says:

            Not a conspiracy, vested interest, spooks, crooks, spivs and speculators, with there own vested interest.

            Permanent secretary’s should not insert themselves or get involved in the minutia of a criminal inquiry, unless they themselves are part of that criminal enquiry. Let the Polis do their job, let the dectives detect.

      2. Philip Maughan says:

        In what way has Alex Salmond’s behaviour been ‘repulsive’ , please elaborate, with examples. I note that in a later post you urge another poster to check out Mhairi Black’s twitter feed to understand Alex Salmond’s ‘appalling’ behaviour. So I looked and all I found was the following from 26th. March, ‘Alex Salmond has yet to show any reflection, remorse, or basic understanding of his own unacceptable behaviour’ , which is pretty much a cut-and-paste of other similar smears, with no actual evidence. The police scoured Alex Salmond’s entire life looking for more evidence of sexual harassment and came up with nothing. I think it behoves us all to stick to the known facts rather than resorting to innuendo and smear when dealing with political opponents.

        1. Radio Jammor says:

          Not a complete quote that, though is it, Philip. Funny how you left out the bit about the “makeover” in your reply. That wasn’t a generic, cut and paste, was it.

          And I’m not your personal Google. There are online reports of the trial. Go read them.

          Also, ever been a jurist in a trial? I have – twice. I can absolutely see why Salmond was not convicted, as the jury could not have convicted him of the crimes he was charged with, based on the evidence. I am of the view that this should not have come to trial. The burden of proof was too great to demonstrate criminality. As for bad judgement and standards of behaviour in the workplace, etc. #Fail. Big time.

          The lack of a criminal conviction does not mean that these events didn’t happen. His own QC said he behaved inappropriately, on multiple occasions, with women.

          Alba & Salmond supporters need to get past their denial. Salmond is now a political liability to the Indy movement. The opponents of Indy can weaponise this just as this did anti-Semitism against Labour and Corbyn and slaughter our chances of persuading people to choose Indy over the Union.

          You know, I am not party aligned. I could be persuaded to support Alba, were it not for Alex Salmond being a list candidate. But as it is, all I see is an unnecessary liability, when the SNP & Greens could provide that (unnecessary) Supermajority between them.

          1. Sheena Jardine says:

            One charge was he pulled a lock of a woman’s hair as part of a joke, with others present, one charge was he touched a woman and pushed her out of the way on a staircase with his wife by his side in a jokey manner, another charge, he touched a woman’s face to wake her up in a car as they drew up at the airport, another charge, he grabbed a woman’s arms and suggested they re-enact the scene in a painting, in a jokey manner with others present. This is the caliber of the trivialities I was talking about. These should never have reached court, but the aim was the headlines imo. On top of the trivialities was a false accusation of rape where the woman was not even there, and then the case of a fully clothed cuddle after some drinks. The man is innocent and the case should never have reached court, except for people with an agenda to destroy him. Stop insinuating otherwise.

          2. Radio Jammor says:

            Given the reports, and comments from the likes of Mhairi Black, your denial is absurd.

            But let me throw this at you: even if you were right, that this was all a put-up job, a set-up, a bunch of lies, the public at large don’t accept that, and revile him. So much so, it is measurable. He is reviled even more than Boris Johnson, despite all of this apparent loyalty (and bigging-up by 77th Brigade).

            Salmond is political poison to the movement, whether you like it or not, regardless of the fact that he didn’t commit an actual crime. Therein lies the problem. This will be mercilessly exploited by the Unionist campaign come the next Indyref.

            Why allow them that target? We don’t need him! We have the majority, bar some unforeseen disaster. But with him as part of the movement, you risk ALL. We will struggle that much more to turn people towards us with him in play, than without him.

            If Alex Salmond truly believes in Scottish Independence, and is still as canny a politician as before, he should recognise himself that HE is the problem and that it would benefit the movement if he stood down, and potentially disastrous for him not to.

          3. Louis says:

            The lack of a criminal conviction does not mean that these events didn’t happen. His own QC said he behaved inappropriately, on multiple occasions, with women.

            Alleged third party here say.

    2. JohnTosh says:

      AS was acquitted at trial and that should be the end of that matter. I wasn’t present at the trial to hear the evidence and must, therefore, trust the judgement of my peers; that is how our criminal justice system works. Admittedly, the bar for criminal conviction is, rightly, set high but, again, I didn’t hear the evidence so must refrain from passing judgement based on third party comment.

      That said, AS did, in his email to NS on 15 or 16 July 2018, attempt to use his connections and influence as a powerful individual to make the problems of his alleged misconduct go away, at least that’s my interpretation. To me, in this day, that is simply unacceptable and heavily influences my judgement as to the character of the man.

      I don’t accept that the SNP have failed to progress independence. over the last few years. Legal foundations have, I understand, been laid to enable the launch of future referenda, foundations which will remain even if the next one is lost. Establishing the principles and legal framework is, to me, more important than rushing to an early referendum which may well be lost. Taking the time to establishing Camp 1 and Camp 2 in pursuit of the summit is, to my thinking, a better strategy to achieving our objective than starting at the bottom with each attempt.

      However, it is possible to be over cautious. Perhaps the focus from AS and Alba may encourage an SNP administration to “gee their ginger” a bit now that majority support is stabilising a bit.

      An observation from today’s poll. AS may gain sufficient exposure to promote the idea that SNP 1 & 2 results in wasted votes, and persuade sufficient numbers to change their voting intentions. How many will be persuaded by the argument for their list vote but not willing to vote for Alba? Perhaps the Greens will be the beneficiary.

    3. Jim Sansbury says:

      “The SNP promised we would not be taken out of Europe against our will and then just did nothing and let it happen.”
      I think you just made that up didnt you?
      How the hell were the SNP supposed to stop what happened?
      They, and the Lib Dems were the only ones who voted against, what else could they do?
      Send an invasion force to Westminster?

  5. Hugh Hunter says:

    To me, this whole article is nothing but sour grapes. I will unreservedly give Alba (Alapa) my second vote. The SNP have been lack lustre at best in the drive towards their founding principle. They’ve become complacent in that drive, and we all know where complacency leads, just look at labour in Scotland. It’s well past time the SNP had their feet held to the fire and Alba, like them or hate them, will do the job.

    Vote: SNP 1 Alba 2

    1. Radio Jammor says:

      Oh dear, Hugh. Your response is the quintessential definition of a sour grapes response.

      Since 2016, we’ve had two general elections, Brexit and Covid to deal with. It is unfortunate that things have stalled, but this is hardly the fault of the pro-Indy parties.

      We have the Referendums Act in place. It only needs a majority to support the Indyref2 bill. Once passed, it will be a legal referendum, and I doubt the UK Gov will succeed if it tries to go to the Supreme Court to stop it.

      1. Hugh Hunter says:

        So you’re saying the SNP government are incapable of multi tasking? Is it only the SNP who can’t stretch that far. God help us if that turns out to be the case. Too many conflicting responses regarding independence from the party as a whole. First it was a referendum before the end of the year, now it’s when the pandemic is over. Jesus! You couldn’t make this up.

        1. Radio Jammor says:

          Polling has only been consistently pro-Indy since early 2020, and we have been in lockdown for much of the time since. The last five years have been truly extraordinary by any reasonable definition, but you insist on a rigid timetable that takes none of this into account.

          1. Hugh Hunter says:

            And the comments about a referendum by the end of 2021 were made in October of that year, (2020) by the president of the SNP (Mike Russell), and the leader of the Westminster group (Ian Blackford). Anyone would be forgiven for thinking an election was in the wind.

          2. Radio Jammor says:

            I refer you back to my previous answer, which effectively answered your comment before you typed it.

          3. Hugh Hunter says:

            Did you? So the fact you didn’t refute the point about multi tasking means that this is a unique quality that the SNP possess? They alone in the world can’t get about carrying out their raison d’être?

  6. Michael says:

    The shambolic launch of the Alba Party following so closely after the tragic legal cases of the last two years has made Scottish politics look like a terrible soap opera. It does very much look like Alba will do nothing other than fueling division within the independence movment – the meaningful political battleground is within the SNP.

    Mike, there are a few points regarding your analysis I would like to raise:

    – you say: ‘… The arrival of the Alba Party threatens to dominate the Holyrood election to an unhealthy extent, excluding policy issues and positive platform ideas to transform Scotland to focus instead on personalities.’ – this is exactly what so many of us have been critical of the SNP leadership for doing. And yet a lot of your recent postings have been basically: just shut up and show fealty to the FM. Why is this?;

    – you say that: ‘Alex Salmond’s complete inability to show any contrition, remorse or apology for his actions. ‘. It would be very helpful to someone like myself (who is too busy trying to pay the bills to be able to follow the ins and outs of the long-running legal cases) if you could explain specifically what actions Salmond should apologise for?;

    – you say that: ‘What has got most Alba-enthusiasts excited is the notion of a “super-majority”. ‘ What is your evidence for this assumption? Have you asked any Alba supporters if this is this is what they are excited about? Because it seems pretty clear to me that the main motivation for joining Alba is complete frustration with the SNP leadership and its avoidance of policy progress and lack of independence strategy. Maybe actually get out and talk to a few folk!

    I’m interested in your thought?

    1. Radio Jammor says:

      Whilst I’m sure Mike can respond for himself, I have my own two penny piece on your post.

      Your first Q is just not worth responding to, given the wording.

      If you are unaware of what Alex Salmond did to get himself in court and accused of crimes, you should go read-up. Even his own QC said his behaviour was “inappropriate”. And Mhairi Black’s Twitter feed might also enlighten. If you still think after reading about what he did that he shouldn’t be remorseful and apologetic, it says more about you than anything else.

      As for the Supermajority and your perception of a lack of progress, aside from dealing with GE17, GE19, Brexit and Covid, the Scot Parly has enabled the Referendums Act which paves the way for a referendum that is not reliant on a S30 order. Did you not know?

      And if you haven’t seen how much Alba supporters have been banging on about a Supermajority, that has led some of us to point to exactly what it says in Section 11 of the Scotland Act, you really haven’t been paying attention.

      1. Louis says:

        “And Mhairi Black’s Twitter feed might also enlighten”

        Opinions, heresay, and lies, will not stand up in a court off law.

    2. Hi Michael
      like almost all of your contributions your comment is unnecessarily aggressive.
      Your first question is framed in such a way as not to be worthy of an answer.
      Your second question assumes that Alex Salmond’s (admitted) conduct in office is just fine. I’m afraid I just don’t agree – and I know I’m not alone. You’re welcome to your opinion, but I disagree.
      You ask: ‘What has got most Alba-enthusiasts excited is the notion of a “super-majority”. ‘ What is your evidence for this assumption?’ – well that’s the most talked about issue that the party has been focusing on – and it’s the only discernible strategy. Ive focused on it because it’s literally meaningless.

      You are very welcome to stay and disagree with every single thing you read. You’re repetitive tone is however draining. If you want to be part of this community please dial down. Thanks.

      1. Iain says:

        Sorry to butt in, but I just read Michael’s post and I’m struggling to detect the unnecessary aggression that you’ve mentioned. Could you perhaps enlighten me? I may like to post in the future and don’t wish to be accused of aggression (unnecessary or otherwise).

        Many thanks.

      2. Michael says:

        Mike, I’m sorry that you felt my comment was aggressive. That was not my intention.

  7. florian albert says:

    If there is one thing which might break the present impasse in the campaign for independence; an impasse where Nicola repetitiously informs us of her commitment to independence and then does hee haw to bring it about, it could be the presence of Alex Salmond behind her in Holyrood.
    His approach may well be opportunistic but he is the one person who could galvanize the pro-independence diehards – a significant number; at present noisy and angry but leaderless.
    I can’t avoid thinking that much of the opposition to Salmond is due, not to his being a ‘sex pest’ but to the fact that he will be a disruptive force in the cosy talking-shop at Holyrood.

    1. Sheena Jardine says:

      The excitement about independence is back, and that is mostly because of Alba nipping at the heels of the SNP in my opinion.

    2. Radio Jammor says:

      I really don’t think I can overstate the problem of Salmond’s behaviour in terms of gaining further support for Indy, especially if he is in the Scot Parly, when Indyref2 happens. The Unionist side will use it to repel people not already repelled. They will tar the entire movement with his behaviour – and don’t say it won’t work, because it worked for the Tories with Corbyn, Labour and anti-Semitism.

      I am also seeing a pattern here of Alba supporters not really being aware of what he got up to, or are in denial about it. It may not have met the standards required of criminality, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t bad. Alba supporters need to go read about it. Then perhaps more will realise why some of us see him as a liability to gaining independence.

      1. Niemand says:

        Actually you need to detail it right here and now, with evidence, not tell people to go do the research. They have done and have found very little but this was nevertheless actually stated by Sheena above. You have not given one single detail of any wrongdoing so need to say exactly what is being missed. Otherwise it is hearsay and empty and a case book example of how people’s characters are assassinated without sound basis.

        1. Radio Jammor says:

          Really? You must be terrible at searching. You can’t even check what has been posted here. I’m not going to go through every single instance for you, because you’re too unwilling or unable to find it yourself. I have better things to do.

          His own QC, during the trial, used the phrase, “I’m not here to defend him”. His own QC acknowledges that Salmond’s behaviour was inappropriate towards a succession of young women.

          That should suffice as a summary.

          1. Sheena Jardine says:

            Pulling a lock of hair etc, as detailed in a post above does not result in a man who is a danger to women, no matter what his QC said or didn’t say, actually we don’t know what the QC actually said in full.

          2. Radio Jammor says:

            Your denial remains absurd.

            “”What he described constituted, in my view, deeply inappropriate behaviour on his part.” – Nicola Sturgeon.

          3. Pub Bore says:

            Sheena, surely the salient points are: a) that his attentions (however innocently they might have been intended) were unwanted by the women involved; and b) that his visiting of those unwanted attentions on them was therefore inappropriate and an abuse of the power he had in relation to them as First Minister.

            Classic male entitlement, in other words, is what he’s guilty of.

          4. Niemand says:

            You don’t really have much do you or you would shouting the detail from the rooftops?

          5. Niemand says:

            PB – yes I think that is fair (previous comment is for Radio Jammer btw) but to suggest this might now make him an unacceptable candidate and should be endlessly brought up is taking it much too far as is using it to assassinate his whole character.

            People will make their own minds up about how much to condemn the man of course but it should be based on the actual facts of the matter. And let’s not forget very many leaders indeed could be scrutinised for bad behaviour, sexual or otherwise and be found wanting – it goes with the territory – look at NS – she and the party she leads has clearly done morally wrong things in the last few years but has got away with it. So be it.

          6. Pub Bore says:

            I agree, Niemand. It’s for the electorate to decide whether it wants him in the Scottish parliament or not, whatever we privately think of him. I was just challenging the impression Sheena gave that his behaviour was relatively innocuous.

    3. Michael H says:

      Is it naivety or just an incapacity to think creatively that causes people to claim that the government don’t have an independence strategy. For Independence to happen we need the majority of voters to want it. The ‘strategy’ for gaining independence is to bring those who presently support the UK over to our side. There are various ways of doing that but it strikes me that the main ones involve demonstrating higher levels of competence than the Uk and pointing out why the Uk is failing. That’s the strategy that’s working and that’s why we have record levels of support for Indy and the party that is its main advocate. I’m not really sure what else people want. Maybe one of you could explain

      1. Pub Bore says:

        Yes. That and the fact that, to ensure continuity, the Scottish government has been beavering away to create within itself (at huge public expense, by the way) the organisational infrastructure it will need to deliver the full responsibilities of government it will assume from the UK when it does become completely independent. (My partner’s a principal business analyst with the Scottish government; for the past three years, she’s been heavily involved in the huge change-management project of getting the whole government ‘independence-ready’.)

        Would the government’s critics prefer Independence to be more akin to stepping off a cliff-edge?

        1. J Galt says:

          “The huge change-management project of getting the whole government ‘independence ready'”

          Perhaps we could have some details of that because that is news to me.

          1. Pub Bore says:

            I don’t know the details, JG; it’s just what my partner tells me while we’re having our tea at night. Work is going on apace of the politics to develop the apparatus of state for an independent Scotland in order to facilitate the transition of power from Whitehall to St Andrew’s House if and when it comes.

            It’s all Agile, Prince 2, Lean Thinking… crushingly boring managerial science kind of stuff that’s beyond my ken and about which I find it hard to muster any enthusiasm. But it does strengthen my suspicion that our parliamentary politics is just a diversionary spectacle; that the real business of government is bureaucratic rather than democratic, and that this ain’t going to magically change with Independence.

            If and when the latter comes, it will be a done deal.

  8. Peter Murray says:

    A few cheerleaders here for Mhairi Black. Any comment on her ” Plastic Paddy” remarks. Said remarks will alienate a lot of potential SN P voters.

    1. Michael H says:

      Wasn’t she returned at the 2019 UK election with an increased majority?

    2. James Mills says:

      Misrepresentation : read the context – that is everything !

      But you probably knew that having read it – or did you just copy the opinion of a sour-faced blogger from Donegal , whose judgement was tainted because it struck to close to home for him ?

  9. James Mills says:

    ”SNP 1 & 2 ” was pushed by Alex Salmond in the past – it got him a majority in 2011 , but today it is not acceptable to have all those ”wasted” SNP votes – he says !

    Alba is all about ”supporting the SNP and Independence ” , we are told by Alex Salmond , and will not contest the constituency seats AND YET he is standing candidates in regional areas where the SNP rely on their ”wasted” List votes for seats . e.g South of Scotland .
    If he was TRUE to his word he would have avoided these regions where the Unionists are strongest in the constituencies thus GENUINELY supporting the SNP election chances .

    Alba will not contest constituency seats because they will NOT WIN any constituency seats – this is not due to Alex’s deference to the SNP or Nicola Sturgeon but is purely based on the arithmetic . He knows a ”pop-up”party has zero chance of winning a constituency particularly with candidates who have nothing to offer the voters on the doorstep except #Independence .
    How do you persuade people who are not obvious supporters to move to your position when you have NO POLICIES with which to persuade them ?

    However Mr Salmond is graciously allowing the party that he and his supporters have attacked relentlessly in the last year or so to DONATE their votes to him – how magnanimous of the man .

    And , of course , if elected to Holyrood , we can be certain that Mr Salmond , and any of his candidates who get elected on the backs of SNP votes , will be wholehearted in their support of the FM -the same FM who is still being vilified by Alba supporters online ,as she has been for months on end ( although they were posting under a different banner until the Second Coming last week ).

    Alba is nothing more than a vehicle for one man’s ego and his jealousy that one of his ‘juniors’ has achieved more in Office than he did , has taken the country closer to Independence than he did – despite the moaning of those who think we should have had a referendum/UDi /Revolution when not even half the country were in favour – and is RESPECTED far more than he ever was !

    Every utterance from the Alba party is made through Mr Salmond , every press conference , every statement HE is there ! This is ALL about Alex !

    Hell hath no fury like a teacher shown up by his pupil !

  10. SleepingDog says:

    Since Alex Salmond lost his Gordon constituency seat in 2017 to the Conservatives before these recent contentions, what makes anyone think he is material for the future, given his rejection by those electors he represented?
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-40212541
    How does that make him a canny operator or great leader or whatever? If he could not win that election on home turf, as it were, what expectations should anyone have of his ability to positively influence future votes?

  11. Col says:

    The guy was set up everybody knows it. But it suits too many not to admit it, that’s why
    we have courts without kangaroos in them.

  12. Conor O'Hara says:

    Those who are impatient with SNP independence velocity would do well to note the life and work of Liam Lynch, anti-Treaty republican, compared to the pragmatic longer-term vision of Michael Collins.

  13. Chris Ballance says:

    There’s a wee secret about Salmond which oddly no-one seems aware of.

    He called a referendum – and LOST it. Yes, with a parliamentary majority, with possibly the biggest budget in Scottish campaigning history thanks to the Weir’s lottery win, and definitely the biggest mobilisation of activists Scotland has ever seen, Salmond led and LOST the referendum. A significant part of why he lost was because, over self-confidence meant he didn’t prepare properly for the big set piece tv debates and comprehensively lost the first two of them to Alastair Darling. (He Lost to Darling for heavens’ sake!) Just at the point that Yes street activists were powering up towards the lead, Salmond let us down at the single most important political event of the campaign.

    He’s no great shining knight come to revisit his great victories. He a loser, threatening to revisit his loss.

    1. William says:

      What a load of garbage. There’s a wee secret about Sturgeon which oddly no-one seems aware of.

      She was the deputy leader at the time of the last referendum so by your standards, she lost it too.

      A wee reminder for the Sturgeonistas on here. pedestals have a nasty habit of falling over.

      1. Rich says:

        If anybody has read to here and is of an approaching-august age I’m sure this all sounds much like ‘the Left’ of the 60s splintering and attacking itself . It is so disappointing to see .
        I know many are impatient , I can see they have been fed promises for many years , but ‘we’ , the electorate , could really have done without having to assuage the needs (whatever they might be) of an unhappy and otherwise-side-lined egotist .
        So many women , so many instances . The “Oh , I’d had a wee drink” excuse , and – let’s not forget – the verdict of “not proven” , the admission of his solicitor.

        Let’s also hear again part of the statement from those women: “Many of us did speak up at the time of our incidents but were faced with procedures that could not deal with complaints against such a powerful figure. Others were silenced by fear of repercussions.
        “It was our hope, as individuals, that through coming forward at this time we could achieve justice and enact change.
        “We remain firm in our belief that coming forward to report our experiences and concerns was the right thing to do.”
        Ask yourselves now if this sounds like the back-tracking excuses of thwarted political schemers ? Sex pest – yes . Despicable liar – unbearable egotist – “small man” – vengeful disruptor – unworthy , sneekit , needy , creepy – yours to decide .
        The cause – yes – but Green is the way to achieve that …the man , that man – no !

  14. John Monro says:

    I am observing all this from a long, long way off, New Zealand in fact. But even reading from here, what stands out, and as noted many times before, is this mighty antipathy to Alex Salmond, a prejudice so marked even in places where you’d think there might be some more nuanced reflection, such as in these pages, that seriously distorts your analysis of what is happening.

    1) However unpopular he is in Scotland, and you certainly keep tarring him enough to help make him so, he is a free man, a free agent. He used to be, for many years, Scotland’s most important politician. His political life has been devoted to a cause, the same as yours, funnily enough, that he is now totally free to pursue. It is not surprising that any politician with any ounce of his own worth (and admittedly he bears a heavy burden this way) should react to the fact that he is a free man and not in prison for some years, overcoming a serious existential threat, which you don’t seem to even begin to understand or acknowledge, by basically saying “Damn the lot of them, I have a right to do what I think I need to” and be perfectly at ease in throwing a big spanner in the political machinery of Scotland, when he sees the need for it. The idea that “it’s extraordinary” that Salmond hasn’t, apparently, shown public contrition or remorse (for what, exactly?) shows how little you understand of human psychology and a certainty that you’re not entitled to that he hasn’t done so rather more appropriately in private.

    2) Your claim that any gains by Alba in the Scottish Parliament does nothing, repeat nothing, for the case for Scottish Independence, is nonsensical. Any seats won by a party only in existence for a few weeks would be amazing, and would need to be taken seriously, six seats six times more so. Because your claim that it won’t make any difference depends on the thought that the SNP is truly dedicated to independence, and is willing to take political risks to achieve this. The whole point of Alba, and what many others have been saying, such as that other bête noir of yours, Craig Murray, is that Sturgeon and the SNP are too comfortable with the status quo, and need some serious political rocketry to stir them out of their torpor. You may or may not agree, but a good result for Alba, however you pronounce it, will be the lie to your claim of its irrelevance.

    3) The idea too, previously expressed, that somehow there is something underhand in manipulating the strangeness of the d’Hondt voting system, is also unhelpful. It’s the voting system you have, and its not Alba or any other party causing the problem, but the system itself. That should of course be one of the most important subjects for a constitutional review of how a truly independent Scotland might work rather better, and isn’t this itself a troublesome failure that the SNP haven’t been able to make any apparent progress on this matter – you’d think that any party truly committed to independence would have had this all worked out long since?

    4) When Salmond makes reference in his speech to the Declaration of Arbroath, in which I think he actually makes some important and appropriate parallels with the Scottish Independence movement of today, your deep analysis of this quite animating Salmond declaration is to call it “Braveheart bollocks”. You really have it in for the man, don’t you? You continue in the same vein. We’re not a clan, you suggest. True, but what relevance is that when any Scot listening to this would know what was meant, and that politicians and activists are allowed to use metaphor and the English language in colourful ways in making their point?

    Sorry, Mike Small, I’ll end as I commenced, personal prejudice is not likely to produce a worthwhile or reasoned article, and I think you’ve proven it here.

    Cheers.

    1. Sheena Jardine says:

      Well said

    2. Hugh Hunter says:

      Excellent points, sir.

    3. Hi John
      thanks for your comment.

      You are quite right – Salmond is a free man and quite free to do as he pleases. Nobody denies that. I am just pointing out some realities about how many people view his conduct in office and the realities about how he is viewed.

      I haven’t made these facts up or created them and I’m sorry if you don’t like them but they’re verifiable. For example polling out today from Savanta ComRes shows shows the SNP on 64 MSPs, one short of a majority, and Alba Party returning zero MSPs with three per cent of the list vote. It shows Mr Salmond to be the most unpopular politician in Scotland:

      “The poll shows, with the former first minister returning a net ‘favourability’ rating of -51 per cent, 23 points lower than Boris Johnson (-28 per cent, up two per cent) and more than 70 points behind Ms Sturgeon on +20 per cent, up three per cent compared to March.

      Two thirds of Scots also believe the former SNP leader to be untrustworthy (67 per cent), dishonest (65 per cent) and disingenuous (66 per cent), though almost half (47 per cent) believe he is intelligent.

      Overall, almost two thirds (63 per cent) of Scottish voters believe Mr Salmond to be unfit for public office, with fewer than one in five (19 per cent) stating he is fit to be an MSP and 18 per cent stating they did not know.”

      This isnt me “tarring him” – this is me reporting a poll. Again, sorry if this is somehow difficult. Nor is this my “personal prejudice”.

      1. Sheena Jardine says:

        The media has done its job of painting him black. He doesn’t deserve any of it as I have shown in comments above. The media did not give the public the arguments of the defense, and quite blatantly pushed the idea of Salmond bad onto every front page. Thankfully many of us took the time to find out the truth, and to respond to comments above (which I seem to have been disallowed from replying to) we should never let the media dictate our thoughts and actions. If we do that, propaganda wins. Alex Salmond is the same as the rest of us, he is not a saint but neither are any of the rest of us. I think he is a very strong and very brave man to return to politics after everything he has been through, and I fully support him as do many others. I hope the polling percentages for Alba grow and grow.

        1. Ah, it’s all the media’s fault. Ok.

          1. Sheena Jardine says:

            Of course not, but if we don’t look beyond it to find out what the truth is, then we allow the media to dictate to us what to think. Headlines shape public opinion, but they are rarely the whole story.

          2. Pub Bore says:

            Ah, that would be nice, Sheena: to be able to look ‘beyond’ the media to find out what the ‘truth’ is…!

            God’s dead. There’s no ‘beyond’. All information is carried to us through the filter of some medium. There’s no ‘truth, only competing mediations. Everything is ideology.

      2. WT says:

        Hello Mike
        Some of your articles are spot on but I have to say that I was disappointed in this article and the stance you took – which was really just a “no smoke” perspective. We are here to gain independence for our nation not continue the factionalism that is spreading in the YES movement. Getting people to change from NO to YES is what we should be doing not feeding factional flames.

        If we are to create a fair and even society in an independent country we must leave judgement to the organs of the state that we have. No second guesses, nothing. Leave judgement to the institutions we have at hand. If not found guilty then the individual is not guilty.

        Is a person unfit for office because of reputational damage? Is it right not to question whether the reputational damage is fair? We have already seen how this affected the likes of Sir Cliff Richard, Paul Gambaccini and others. In the case of Salmond, to point out “how he is viewed” or refer to polls that merely measure the extent of the success of media in trashing his reputation is unnecessary, unfair and unkind. We should be looking at why there is little reputational damage to people like Boris Johnston (racist) or Tony Blair (war monger). The media chooses who to pillory and who to support or protect. Articles like this only compound injustice, it was not necessary to write this – so in a sense you chose to ‘tar’ the man.

        Yes, I’m not in a Clan but I am an individual, Salmond too is an individual with the same rights as the next. The state has the machinery to deal with law, if we do not respect this, if law is not enough for us, then we have to ask what is law, what is it for? Victims – and I refer to Salmond here – have to be protected from insinuation etc. To create a better Scotland we have to respect our institutions and the rights of all individuals. This paper from Oxford University is one worth reading to put another perspective on this matter.

        https://www.law.ox.ac.uk/sites/files/oxlaw/the_impact_of_being_wrongly_accused_of_abuse_hoyle_et_al_2016_15_may.pdf

        Perhaps we could all get on with the task at hand and concentrate on the unionists, concentrate on the laws being passed in Westminster and the corruption in our UK parliament.

        Alba as a party might make no in-roads in the election at all, but it certainly has widened and enhanced the debate – your article itself is testimony to this. If nothing else Alba has increased awareness of the D’Honte system and this might assist the Green party. Alba’s own success might be useful, but its failure irrelevant. In earlier times the polls we see for the SNP, the Greens and for YES would be viewed with enthusiasm and positivity not factionalism and negativity. Lets try to stick together and push for independence. All that should be important for all independence supporters is to get more NO voters to turn to YES. That is how we get our independence.

  15. Alex Montrose says:

    If the Alba party are still at 3% in a couple of weeks time, would it not be a good thing if they stood down, like the AFI and ISP have already done.

  16. MBC says:

    Great article Mike.

    The saddest thing is how tawdry it is.

    I was thinking that the other day, how tawdry our politics has become. Galloway, Salmond, Farage. They’re all gifted in certain ways, yet seriously flawed just desperately grabbing about for attention and power, how small and cheap. Where is the idealism, where are the larger thoughts to inspire?

    1. J Galt says:

      “Where is the Idealism, where are the larger thoughts to inspire”

      What, more hopey changey?

      I’m not interested in “Idealism” and “larger thoughts”, I’m interested in real practical and provocative steps to independence. Love him or hate him Salmond will be a cat among the comfortable managerial SNP pigeons if he succeeds.

      1. Graham says:

        I want independence too, first and foremost, but I also want integrity, ethics, honesty, big ideas, equality, good housing, public transport, rid of Trident, social justice and men who respect women and regard them as equals, not chattels. Without integrity and decency, honour and honesty then we’ll sink into the abyss of corruption and criminality that we see in the Tories in Westminster.

  17. Darby O'Gill says:

    On a lighter note, the title of this article reminds me of my old gym teacher telling us his favourite joke. ‘Why does Napoleon always keep his arm inside his jacket’? It’s either a Bone-apart or a sore Elba.’

    1. Rich says:

      Or his armies up his sleevies ?
      Poor bugger – he exhibited a lot of AS’s traits also…mind you , I dare say our once-glorious leader never sent a mail to his lover saying “Do not wash yourself, I am coming and in three days I will be here.” !

  18. Graham Ennis says:

    Weel, I dinna agree entirely with whats been said about those Notorious “Albanians” .
    I rank them 60% for entertainment value, 30% for credibility, and 20% for common sense, plus about 15% for coherant policies.
    So what? If you compare them with the grotesque Conservative Party, Madly waving their blood stained flag, they are harmless.
    I expect that for sheer fun and novelty value, they will gwet at least one seat. So what. On an independence issue, they would vote for it.
    On anything else, they would be cheap entertainment. Ideally, they would be penetrated by various Trotskyite elements, etc etc…
    Let them be, they are the priced you pay for genuine democracy. Fringe parties that have no hope of pulling off a no vote against independence,
    are not important. They do have one valuable asset. They serve as a bench mark upon which to judge the SNP. (who by comparison, are spotless and sane.)
    Long live the Albanian party.!!

  19. Real Yes says:

    this blog is going seriously downhill. The two mainstream representatives of the independence movement the snp and greens have no coherent plan to actually deliver independence. Their fake plan is to request a section 30, which will be refused, and then to legislate a legally approved referendum which Holyrood has no authority for (Scotland Act 1998 constitution reserved). There are numerous other courses of action none of which these two parties ever discuss, engage the wider population in or in way lead.

    By delaying approaching when the conditions are ripe to lead on it (pandemic, brexit, unpopular UK leader internationally – i.e. for int support for UDI), you risk everything. In 15 years popular leaders like sturgeon won’t be there any more, people will have become accustomed to brexit, the UK government will power strip Holyrood, the internal market bill will have passed, the NHS will be privatised and the UK government will have developed ways of ensuring that Holyrood cannot deliver independence in other form – through say a phoney constitutional settlement in the next few years.

    Many people openly think the SNP has gone soft on independence and that it is convenient for the Greens anyway to pretend they are when tmany are pretty neutral on the matter. This is given added weight by Sturgeon’s and the Greens disgraceful attacks on Salmond this campaign with social media awash with nonsense of how Alba are splitting the movement. The real reason for these attacks is that Sturgeon and the greens fear a real yes party like Alba exposing them as frauds doing nothing to actually deliver independence. If that was to happen, committed yes supporters in the SNP in particularly post-election could continue to defect to Alba diminishing her authority. In short, Alba if elected in sufficient numbers could force her to actually deliver independence.

    Delivering independence is not without risks. It will require domestic and international legal action, agitating the population with peaceful protests, lobbying the international community and if the UK still likely resists, declaring UDI finally and looking for international recognition, a well warn path which many countries have trod. Salmond has discussed this more in the last 11 days than Sturgeon or the Greens have mentioned in the last 7 years. Their mealy mouthed fake strategy is resistance will crumble from the UK in the face of another holyrood pro-independence majority. No it won’t. It’s a lie by the SNP and the Greens.

    This is the vacuum that Alba is trying to fill. The UK government is terrified of Alba as they know it would shift the dial into the space where independence would actually be delivered. So no debates for Salmond. We also have the sight of the Greens and SNP aligning themselves with the Unionists attacking Salmond. What does that tell you about their commitment towards on independent Scotland. It tells me they are at best lukewarm towards it and are putting party before independence.

    It comes down to if you actually want independence or say that you do but are actually content with nominally pro-independence parties in a devolved Parliament.

    1. James Mills says:

      The ‘conditions’ for getting independence depend , not on a party deciding that they ‘want’ Independence but on the MAJORITY of the people wishing to take that step . How do we gauge this – by polls ! Until very recently the polls have NOT shown a majority for Independence so ‘agitating ‘ for one would have risked getting one and then LOSING it !
      The SNP’s softly , softly approach has many detractors but the result is that by showing competence in Government and trying to govern for ALL of the people regardless of political affiliations they have reached a point where we can optimistically say that we CAN WIN a referendum .

      As for the Section 30 being denied , the Tories in their campaigning only this week have all but admitted that they CANNOT refuse a majority Independence -minded Government the right to hold such a referendum .

      As to Alba’s contribution , the polls were relentlessly in favour of an SNP majority , with or without Green support BEFORE Alex Salmond’s Party appeared .

    2. Sheena Jardine says:

      Totally agree, the passion for independence is just not there, but the Alba party has it in spades thankfully. Nicola Sturgeon should have ensured that Scotland was not taken out of the EU against its will, as she promised. You can guarantee that Alex Salmond would not have allowed this to happen without a fight. If the SNP was serious about independence, all it needs to do is to join forces with the Alba party and the Greens, and make Independence happen, just as Alex Salmond has suggested. It could all be happening this year. The fact Nicola Sturgeon instead keeps attacking Alex Salmond sickens me and tells me her personal feelings and animosity, override the needs of the country. We need out of this Union as soon as possible.

      1. James Mills says:

        Nicola Sturgeon should have prevented Scotland being ”taken out of the EU ” – How exactly ?

        1. Sheena Jardine says:

          Well she and Ian Blackford said countless times that Scotland would not be taken out of the EU against its will, and yet there was no fight back, no campaign, no referendum, no effort at all put into making this a reality. Without the will, nothing happens.

          1. James Mills says:

            Oh well , that’s so simple , isn’t it ? Let’s have a referendum on leaving the EU ? WoW !!!

          2. Pub Bore says:

            Yes, but they said this rhetorically, knowing full well that Scotland (like London) would, as part of the jurisdiction of the UK government, leave the EU if the UK electorate so determined, which it did. They said it not as a declaration of intent or ‘promise’, but as a complaint to bolster their case for Independence. Brexit has been good for the SNP, a godsend.

            In any case, the plan is for an independent Scottish government to alienate some of its sovereignty back to the EU just as soon as the latter decides it’s worth having. That ‘promise’ might yet be fulfilled, with Independence the means of its fulfilment, dependent – of course – on the will of the unionists in Brussels.

  20. Robert says:

    I think it’s extremely sad that when a new pro-Indy party shows up with the potential to transform Scottish politics, with the potential to win a big majority by mobilizing a million wasted SNP list votes, all Bella can do is hate on it because of old allegations against the leader which were disproven in court, plus personal dislike of him and some of Alba’s supporters.
    As if the SNP or Greens have got a clever strategy for Indy that they haven’t deployed in the past 7 years but will suddenly wheel out once they get put back into power!

    1. James Mills says:

      Enough with the ”wasted” votes !
      Firstly , these are people’s preferences and should be acknowledged and respected .
      Secondly , they are insurance against the uncertainties of a voting system that cannot GUARANTEE that the SNP WILL win the required seats in the FPTP element of the D’Hondt system . And now with the distraction of Alba in regional areas like the South of Scotland even the List seats which the SNP won may be jeopardised .

      If the polls continue to show Alba attracting very low numbers will potential Alba voters see their votes as being ”wasted” and switch to the SNP ?

    2. Sheena Jardine says:

      I agree Robert, if these three parties worked together, we could be Independent pretty quickly. The will has to be there though.

  21. gahetacicl says:

    As ever with the dismissals of Alba, it’s difficult to know where to begin.

    First of all, maybe the most general points. Electoral-strategy sauce for the goose is good for the gander. If the Greens can campaign as a second pro-independence party on the List, likely to maximise total Yes MSP representation, so can Alba. That point often leads onto the counterargument: “Well why not just vote Green?” Well, because a lot of people don’t want to vote Green. To explain why gets us into the realm of value judgements, but let’s look at it in terms of Realpolitik. It is often said that Sturgeon’s tepidness on independence is in fact evidence of a 3D-chess gradualism. Surely if that were the case, she would be triangulating towards an appeal to older voters, who overwhelmingly comprise the unionist population.

    (A lot of these unionists’ unionism is purely “head” not “heart” actually and some quite like what it’s clearly now fashionable to condescendingly call braveheat bollocks, incidentally.)

    Instead she’s triangulating towards the Greens, even saying recently that a Yellow-Green coalition was desirable even if the SNP wins an outright majority.

    The roughly 5% rise in support for Yes we’ve seen since 2014 has been a function of the Tories’ sudden lurch into hyper-Thatcherism and economic arson for the sake of the tiny fraction of the City elite and the Russians that wanted Brexit. Since Sturgeon’s political style is bland anti-Toryism in the style of New Labour, this has also created is a tremendous para-social cult of personality around Sturgeon as the plucky wee wumman “who stands up to Boris.” That’s why Salmond is unpopular: because he is as it were, the grit in the nationalist oyster.

    It seems to me that modern “populism” is repeating after tragedy as farce. Trumpism and Brexitism was tragedy. The farce now in Scotland, and elsewhere, is that the professional managerial class-oriented, centrist parties have become as guilty as Trump of demagoguery, cronyism and anti-liberalism (all highly compatible with “Woke”)- and thus they have “upcycled” their bland technocratic ideologies into something from which, by intellectual blackmail and fearmongering, a creaky majoritarian politics can be assembled. By contrast a party like Alba is combining “populist” rhetoric and style with some ironic features. A leader who’s been smeared in the public eye, who was acquitted in court and then subjected to hit-pieces in the MSM and the head of the ruling party dismissing the verdict of a jury (the “behaviour complained about” still happened). And so this “populist” leader is thus precisely not popular, leading a party of cancellees.

    The Russia Today man is saving us from Putinism-Lite at home.

    Not coincidentally, such a party becomes the bearer of some important critiques of the SNP’s failings regarding rule of law, liberal constitutionalism and basic civil rights. What no-one is saying, because no-one has an interest in saying it: these are critiques which, if they go unheard, point the way to an independence Scotland as a failed democracy. But over in the centrist-populist bubble, these critiques are all based on lies, foreign interference and now apparently, “authentocracy” (a dream concept for the Professional Managerial Class and sure to become a go-to for its apologists.)

    1. Alec Lomax says:

      In short , you think Scotland doesn’t deserve independence.

    2. Graham says:

      It’s difficult to know where to begin with this, a catalogue of tropes, misinformation, and like the mentioning of Hitler was always a sign that you had no argument, now the comparing someone you clearly don’t like and their alleged misdeeds is the equivalent ofTrump is the new Godwin’s Law- even Johnson, bad though he is, must bow to Trump.

  22. Alec Lomax says:

    Salmond +Galloway = 5%

    1. James Mills says:

      Salmond + Galloway + hat = 5% . Sorted !

  23. Brian McGrail says:

    Let’s presume for argument sake that Salmond is a repulsive and reviled character you state him to be, along with the paedo, the mugger, the ‘Jew’, or the bearer of whatever traits and conducts have fallen from favour in any post-Enlightenment society. Does that mean he is not entitled to ‘due process’?

    The German (Jewish-Catholic) critical theorist, Adorno, who escaped Nazism, once put it like this (when he called the police to have protesting students removed from his university office): it took 800 years of human struggle to establish the principle of ‘Habaeus corpus’ – that to try someone you need to ‘have a body’, that is, evidence. Adorno noted that when the Nazis came to power, like other fascists, they immediately swept away the need for evidence and trial – you could be arrested and imprisoned simply for being ‘a Jew’.

    So, this is the most disturbing element of the Sturgeon Affair for me. That she washed her hands, giving investigatory and decision (judgement) making powers over to an unelected bureaucrat, who then attempted to have Salmond tried and punished – public humiliation – without recourse to ‘due process’. When Salmond first attempted to have Evan’s ‘judgement’ made subject to a court interdict, the legal process was undermined by a criminal leak to a newspaper – the Daily Record (timed to undermine the court process).

    Furthermore, reassurances were given to two ‘concerned’ civil servants that if they became ‘complainants’, then they would get to decide if the police were to be involved. These two women were shown a draft copy of the proposed ‘procedure’ before it had been finalised. When it was finalised, the need for consent from the complainants (with regards to advising the police) had been cleverly … err … “reworded”, that is, removed.

    The behaviour of those in government involved in the Sturgeon Affair (which it is possible to keep separate from the Salmond Affair) was deemed as ‘unlawful’ by Lord Pentland.

    The key question is ‘what kind of path did Sturgeon, Evans and Lloyd think they were on?’ Is it ever right to wipe away hard won historical gains and progress. Everyone is entitled to ‘due process’, not least because it could be your children who are next to be denied.

    1. Pub Bore says:

      Habeus corpus is the legal requirement to bring a detainee before a court to determine whether or not his/her detention is lawful. That requirement was fulfilled when he was arrested.

      Moreover, you say that he was denied due process… He wasn’t. In fact, it was because he was granted due process that he was able to refute the charges that the Crown brought against him.

      In both instances, justice was done.

      The only injustice Alex suffered was at the hands of the Scottish government, when it employed an unfair process in handle the allegations of sexual misconduct that had been raised against him. And even that injustice was rectified when the judicial review into the fairness of the process found in his favour.

      He’s hardly the victim of ‘fascism’ you make him out to be.

    2. James Mills says:

      Always suspicious of posters who feel the need to justify their arguments today in Scotland on Scottish politics by citing Nazism . Do events here REALLY trigger those type of memories ?

      1. Alec Lomax says:

        Godwinism seems to be contagious.

        1. Pub Bore says:

          ‘Godwin’s Law’. ‘Godwinism’ is something quite different.

          1. Alec Lomax says:

            Ah.

  24. Paddy Farrington says:

    As the campaign progresses, what little rationale for the Alba Party there might have been is disappearing fast. Its leader is the most unpopular Scottish politician. Its policy platform on how to achieve independence is delusional. It is polling 2-3%, which means that its primary raison d’etre, to generate a ‘supermajority’, is dead in the water. Its likely impact will be to reduce the SNP list vote and hence endanger some of the list seats the SNP currently holds in Southern Scotland and the Highlands.

    I previously wrote on Bella that Alba was a parasitic emanation from the resentful ego of one man, supported by a coterie of unsavoury bloggers. Nothing has since happened to change that view. Another path to redemption was open to Alex Salmond. He did not choose it. Instead, the course he has embarked upon will most likely weaken the independence movement.

    1. James Mills says:

      Or , to quote Life of Brian : ” He’s NOT the Messiah , just a very naughty boy !”

    2. Wilma Grant says:

      Another ‘path to redemption’ was available?
      What pompous priggery.
      Even in the midst of the Rigidly Righteous you stand out.

  25. That Guy Brian says:

    Who knew the self exiled fringes of the independence movement were busy crafting a whole new reason to make the rest of us cringe again.

    The pelters are coming as thick and fast as the new ways to describe them.

    The Eckobites, the Alba Wallopas, the Alba Taliban, the Fundy Mondays. Sore Alba, and the Sensational Alec & Wings Band.

    They now run a real risk of being totally finished off in this election by a big hysterical wave of laughter.

    *PS: Great article btw, a pleasure to read.

  26. GM Stevenson says:

    Excellent article. I’ve written about Alba a couple times recently, but I think you’re right. I’ll aim to ignore them from now on.

  27. Alex Montrose says:

    Salmond’s Alba Party has certainly made folks sit up and think, the results of that are good increases in the poll ratings for the SNP and Green Parties.

    A month to go and it would appear that the electorate are adopting the “anyone but Salmond” position.

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