Alex Salmond likes to play stupid games; he thinks he is a mastermind, a strategic visionary who is going to lead Scotland to independence.
Part of that delusion is the two wins by the SNP at Holyrood, however, despite winning there is a problem, the SNP’s popularity is massively helped by the unpopularity of voters with the Labour Party.
In 2010, the SNP ran with a strategy called ‘elect a people’s champion’, a reasonable idea if that was exactly what was being offered to the people.
It was a slogan that wasn’t true as far as I could see; a more apt description was ‘Elect a Salmond/Sturgeon crony’.
In the Pollok area where I was or am a member and who knows since I was blacklisted, the SNP branch headed up by Chris Stephens never ran a campaign on local issues, never ran a campaign on behalf of a local person and never ran a campaign on behalf of a local organisation.
In Pollok, ‘elect a people’s champion’ was a sick joke which in the 2010 campaign fell flat on its face.
And across the City of Glasgow, the result was the same, people wouldn’t back an SNP Candidate to send them to Westminster, even the seat captured by John Mason fell back into Labour’s hands by a massive 13,000 majority.
Pretty hard to sell something to the public which is fake, a people’s champion who doesn’t fight for the people!
So, strategy isn't a strongpoint in the Scottish National Party, their success is by way of opportunism, some recognise that but others don’t they think they are power players, 2012, Team Sturgeon completely messed up the Council Election.
It turned out to be a rather squalid affair, the people of Glasgow returned Glasgow Labour by a clear majority, despite everything going against Labour, they hung on and defied the odds.
Of course they were helped by a weak SNP manifesto, poor candidates linked to Sturgeon who do council work as very much a part time job; the corridors of power in Glasgow are pretty much devoid of Sturgeon’s cronies during the working week.
So, back to Mr. Salmond, the ‘visionary’, he has a new game to play, guess the date of the independence referendum.
The rules are quite simple; Salmond makes everyone guess thereby drawing attention to himself when the focus should be on the issues.
So, he now faces calls from opposition parties to name the referendum date and spell out his plans for an independent Scotland ahead of the vote on whether to leave the UK.
The smart move is to name the date as soon as possible, be straight with the public, end uncertainity but probably Salmond won’t do this, he thinks he is a visionary.
2014, he is going to find out that he should have gone to Spec savers!
Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont said “the people of Scotland have made it clear they want clear, honest information.”
Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said the First Minister’s reluctance to name a date revealed a “coy reticence”.
“Now the Electoral Commission report has been widely accepted by all sides of the chamber, we know the spending limits and the question for the referendum but, as mentioned, there is a piece of the jigsaw missing. Can the First Minister tell the people of Scotland what is the exact date on which the referendum takes place? If the referendum is the property of the people of Scotland, why can’t he be straight with them?”
I suppose his argument is he doesn’t want to name the date for his political career execution and the realisation that he isn’t as popular as he thinks he is, the ‘jolly fat man’ approach is fine in politics right up until he has to talk about substance.
We appear to have a bill containing a date which will be published in March.
Another grandstanding launch, another ‘Declaration of Cineworld’, SNP spin doctors spreading lashings of the word ‘historic’ about the place trying to build up momentum when there isn’t any.
Awhile ago there was an independence rally in Edinburgh, about 5,000 turned up, Scotland is a country of about circa 5 million.
Trust is an issue in the independence campaign when it shouldn’t be, but who opened that can of worms, Alex Salmond, the ‘visionary’, only in his own lunch time though.
When it became clear that the SNP hadn’t done any work to prepare Scotland for independence, the walls of illusion came crashing down and were painfully exposed on issues like the EU.
Salmond was deservedly heavily criticised over his claim that an independent Scotland would automatically be handed membership of the EU.
Ireland’s Europe minister said Scotland would have to formally apply to join.
Of course the SNP quote ‘eminent’ people that membership would be automatic but none of these people have any power to enact their statements.
Lucinda Creighton (Ireland) was reported to have said an independent Scotland would be welcomed into the EU but would need to apply and go through a lengthy process after any Yes vote in 2014.
The word lengthy means years, this raises questions of matters such as EU law and EU grants.
Labour Leader Johann Lamont said:
“How do the people of Scotland have faith in the information supplied by the Scottish Government when they so often have been forced to admit they are wrong? People want information so they can make a judgment on what an independent Scotland would look like. So far, isn’t it the case that all we know is it will be a land where you’re not allowed to disagree with Alex Salmond.”
What is killing independence is the very people who want it, and in particular the SNP Govt.
On the issue of law, Scots will not vote for independence given what has happened under Kenny MacAskill, Scots will not drop the protection of the UK Supreme Court.
And recent developments which the SNP Government is limited the right to a fair trial will lead many to opine that trust, decency and integrity has collapsed between Salmond and people of Scotland.
Mr. Salmond should play his silly small minded provincial games, the people of Scotland have spoken in poll after poll, hand over Scotland to you and your vile nasty poisonous little clique, it isn’t happening.
The last task of Alex Salmond is to prepare his exit strategy as First Minister of Scotland after the independence vote.
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University