Why would Gordon vote for yesterday’s man?

Alex Salmond has today, 7th December, made his pitch for election to represent the UK constituency of Gordon in Aberdeenshire in the 2015 General Election.

He will of course be his party’s candidate but he will not necessarily win the seat.

This is a long time Liberal Democrat stronghold with a doughty candidate to replace the incumbent Sir Malcolm Bruce, who is retiring at the election. Seasoned journalist Christine Jardine, has already scored notably with the very real point that this election is not about Alex Salmond – not should it be. It it is about Gordon.

The reality for Gordon ~, in looking to its own interests, is that whatever the outcome of the 2015 General Election, the Lib Dems are likely to be back in government as the support act. The most likely outcome is the continuation of the current coalition, possibly with the Ulster Unionists on board. So if Gordon votes in its own traditions, it will have the greatest chance of access to the levers of government than it will in voting SNP. With the SNP committed to independence as soon as possible, no pro-Union party of any colour  could defend a coalition with a party whose very existence is dedicated to breaking up the Union.

This entire area, though being Mr Salmond’s Scottish constituency back yard, voted decisively against independence, rejecting the dodgy Salmond prospectus.

The former First Minister is not only already yesterday’s man and a noted bully, a characteristic today’s society says [but has yet to prove] that it abhors – but he was single-handedly responsible for the main reasons many who might have voted for indy could not do so.

With a straight ‘Yes’ to Andrew Neil’s question, he lied baldly about having legal advice on Scotland’s position with regard to EU membership – when he had not even asked for it.

He compounded this by getting Nicola Sturgeon to make this confession to the Scottish Parliament, rather than taking responsibility for it himself.

People fundamentally do not like bare faced liars; nor do they respect men who cannot take their due responsibility – and, particularly those who then take shelter behind someone else, here a woman.

The most important issue of the entire referendum campaign was the currency an independent Scotland would use. Mr Salmond typically took one massive gamble to reassure a nervy electorate and promised that an independent Scotland would use the pound sterling in a currency union with the continuing United Kingdom.

When this was refuted by the United Kingdom government and the question on the lips of the majority was ‘What’s the Plan B?’, it became clear that Mr Salmond’s gamble was absolute. It was the pound or chaos. There was no Plan B. He just kept saying we would get the pound – because he said so. Just like that.

The former First Minister’s conduct during and after the indyref campaign became progressively divisive. He even attacked older voters after his defeat, working to make them a target of abuse by the braveheart brigades and to alienate them from the rest of the population that their working lives had supported to maturity.

SNP supporters themselves have good reason to pause before voting for Mr Salmond in Gordon.

In his pitch for the seat this morning he was already making mischief in the SNP group of MPs at Westminster.

He announced that if he were elected he would not seek to lead that group but would ‘fully support Angus Robertson who is an excellent leader of the SNP at Westminster, a close friend and a fine MP’.

The issue here is twofold.

Firstly, the SNP group of MPs has previously been led by Mr Robertson because there was no superior authority in a group of equals and therefore no basis for any internal competition.

Now, however, the group contains the newly elected Deputy Party Leader, Stewart Hosie. He will expect and more importantly will be expected to lead that group – and not Mr Robertson who, another bruiser and bawler, has a natural affinity with Mr Salmond.

If Mr Hosie does not lead the Westminster SNP MP Group, both he and his position in the party will be profoundly diminished. What would he actually be for – some ritual nodding in the application of what Argyll witnessed as the SNP’s extremely flexible rule book?

There is here the precedent of Mr Salmond’s then Deputy, Nicola Sturgeon, being his Deputy Party Leader and automatically Leader of the party in Holyrood – when they were in opposition and he, as Party Leader retained his Westminster seat.

There can be no legitimate – or constructive – question about Mr Hosie’s automatic leadership of the Westminster group. Yet, in his intervention this morning, Mr Salmond was effectively bolstering Mr Robertson’s case in an internal turf war. This demonstrates that Mr Salmond is already a divisive force in a team that, in the SNP’s interests, must be and be seen to be a team performing in unity with objective propriety.

Were Mr Salmond indeed to lead that group, despite his demurring this morning, he would be much less of a complement to Nicola Sturgeon’s leadership than, put simply, a damned nuisance in his egotism and unpredictability: both headline stealers and both subversive of anyone else’s stable strategies.

The second issue is of course that, if Mr Salmond were elected and were not, as he has now no right to be, Leader of the SNP group of MPs, he could not and would not accept the authority of the group leader. He might mean to do so but would not be able to help himself bursting out of the confines of his proper role in support.

Salmond is a man used to unquestioned and absolute command. He is used to having no brake put on his habit of making policy on the hoof every time he opens his mouth.

At Westminster he would be an experienced back bencher – but no more. He would not be the one making and laying down the SNP group’s policies and strategies there. These would come primarily from Mr Sturgeon and Mr Hosie, with contributions from the MP group.

But who can seriously imagine Alex Salmond ceding authority to anyone who has for long been his subordinate – positions whose subservience he relentlessly reinforced?

We have earlier reported a first hand account of an occasion at Holyrood when Mr Salmond came into a very senior Cabinet Colleague’s office, where he and another Cabinet Minister were engaged in discussion with third parties. Mr Salmon said not one word but clicked his fingers in the air, turned and walked out – with the two Cabinet Ministers immediately breaking off the conversation and trotting away behind his literally, dog-whistle summons.

Alex Salmond at Westminster would actually be a serious obstruction to the stability and the progress of the SNP MP group under the new regime. He started to be that obstruction today. If he was sent back to Westminister, he would be a dum-dum bullet for the SNP group. Every time he stood up his colleagues would see the point at which he entered a debate – but quite where he would emerge from it and at what cost to the party could not be anticipated.

This is the former First Minister who went to Brussels to make a speech intended to persuade – and simply threatened the EU instead. Mr Salmond has always found the straight threat the fastest way to make his point.

Any SNP voter with any wit would think long on where to place their vote, with the option of abstaining or spoiling their vote.

Any non-SNP voter would think as long – with the opportunity of supporting the Liberal Democrat candidate in a constituency-strong message to the SNP that it is not prepared to see Gordon become the agent for the endless performance of the Alex Salmond Show at Westminster. Gordon’s concerns are of much more substance than providing a cue for another entrance of the pantomime villain.

This is a situation we know Mr Salmond’s colleagues privately do not relish. The new government at Westminster from next May was to be their time to make their mark for their party in whatever ways suggested themselves as the most productive. They do not warm to the prospect of what would effectively be their continuing relegation to the cameo roles – but they cannot say this in public because to do so would have all the cultural resonances of abusing a sacred cow.

· · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · ·


Related Articles & Comments

  • NEWSIE cannot help the venom.

    The good people of Gordon will vote for who they think will fight best for them at Westminster.Either way, For Argyll will not persuade them one way or another. As for Argyll, For Argyll is there not an election taking place here?
    Do you believe the best candidate by far will win for the snp for South Kintyre and you are just trying to ignore it?
    Oh you are?

    Fair enough.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 27 Thumb down 24

    No Cheese Here December 7, 2014 4:09 pm Reply
  • We probably all have issues with Alex but it would be a very bitter Scottish voter who would ignore his name on their voting slip.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 26

    Murdoch MacKenzie December 7, 2014 4:35 pm Reply
    • Just to be clear do you mean if they refused to acknowledge his name was on it or if they didn’t actually select him.

      It would be fairly unpleasant to suggest not wanting to vote for Salmond makes you a bitter Scot.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 22 Thumb down 10

      Integrity? December 7, 2014 5:11 pm Reply
  • The three unionist parties should allow one candidate to stand which would allow most of the no voters (the majority of folk in Gordon (and also across Scotland)) to vote against Salmond to ensure that he was defeated.
    We are a divided nation so why should the majority No voters in Gordon support someone who wants to break our nation up? Keep salmond out at all costs.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 26 Thumb down 17

    Oban Worthy December 7, 2014 4:50 pm Reply
    • The No vote has been won, OW, and it’s back to party politics for the general election. For the Yes folk there be a choice of SNP, Greens, SSP etc and for the No voters all the usual parties too.
      Even if the SNP win, what are their policies? Will they just simply continue to bleat on about indepedence or will they actually do something useful for Scotland?

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 18

      Lowry December 7, 2014 5:24 pm Reply
      • Lowry, let’s see what the folk of Gordon think of Salmond. Give them a straight choice between Salmond and one other Unionist candidate. The only problem with that is that we will still be stuck with him in the Scottish Parliament. If he does win, then as he did in the past, he will draw two salaries.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 14

        Oban Worthy December 7, 2014 6:09 pm Reply
        • Alex Salmond has already offered to give away his MP salary if elected for Gordon.
          http://news.sky.com/story/1387365/alex-salmond-will-donate-pay-if-elected-as-mp
          Yet another smear quashed.
          Btw, good luck trying to find other politicians with similar generosity.

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 9

          JnrTick December 7, 2014 8:53 pm Reply
          • JnrT, that’s old news, it was discussed on here when he announced it, just giving away what he would pay in tax.

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 12

            richard December 7, 2014 9:02 pm
          • Yes, we know. But why is he not resigning his seat as an MSP first, then putting his efforts into winning and properly representing the people of Gordon?

            How long before the SNP canvassers are trotting out the ‘It’s not a vte for Alex Salmond, it’s a vote for the SNP’ line…one you’d be familiar with JnrTick :p

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 11

            Jamie Black December 7, 2014 9:03 pm
          • .. and, in a similar vein, why isn’t Jim Murphy resigning HIS Westminster seat before standing for leader of the Scottish ‘branch office’ ?

            Sauce for goose etc..

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 3

            Ian Sanderson December 8, 2014 12:27 am
      • Lowry, The SNP do have policies, left of left, now Ms Sturgeon is going to grab crown estate income, anything to appease the members and take the route of if you want a monarchy Westminster can pay for it!
        A lot of people who voted yes want to keep the monarchy.
        It is obvious that Ms Sturgeon intends to have an even more abrasive relationship with Westminster and is going to continue sparring for a fight just so she can say Westminster has reneged on the devolved powers.
        People must be blind if they cannot see a pattern emerging, do the hard working people in Scotland want to have high taxation, unemployment and see investment going elsewhere, Scotland voted to remain as part of the Union with the advantage of spreading the risks, (oil is a good example) and being part of a rare success story in Europe.
        We will see at the election.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 14

        richard December 7, 2014 8:00 pm Reply
        • “..Ms Sturgeon is going to grab crown estate income,”

          Nicola is not ‘grabbing’ anything. This is a part of the Smith Comission / Agreement, yet to be ratified by Westminster, which Lord Smith has been at pains to point out, to both Holyrood & Westminster committees, has been ” Agreed by ALL five party’s involved “

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

          Ian Sanderson December 8, 2014 12:34 am Reply
          • Ms. S is going nowhere… except the next round.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

            Thistle December 12, 2014 2:16 pm
  • What on earth will he do if he loses??

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 20 Thumb down 11

    ClootieDumpling December 7, 2014 4:58 pm Reply
    • MEP?

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 11

      Robert Wakeham December 7, 2014 5:22 pm Reply
    • Probably stay at home and annoy his wife – if she’ll let him!

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 12

      Lowry December 7, 2014 5:25 pm Reply
      • That’s a wholly constructive suggestion.
        However, evidence suggests that the new First Minister has an escape hatch in preparation for Mr Salmond on the ‘What will he do’ question. We’ll be looking at this issue shortly.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 14

        newsroom December 7, 2014 5:44 pm Reply
    • Who cares…

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Thistle December 12, 2014 2:20 pm Reply
  • Can I check – is Samond resigning his seat as MSP to challenge the Gordon seat as an MP, or wil he hang on to his MSP seat as his fall back?
    I’d have more respect for him if he stood down as an MSP and THEN stood as MP. I’ve heard he will donate one of his two salaries to charity, which suggests he would continue as MSP AND MP…surely that cannot be right?
    If I were a voter in Gordon, I’d not vote for him on that point alone, assuming I’ve picked it up right.
    Anyone confirm or correct?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 13

    Jamie Black December 7, 2014 6:57 pm Reply
    • Jamie, Salmond does not have the guts to put all his cards on being elected as an MP. That is why he is keeping his MSP seat as a fall back and to give him two salaries. All this rubbish about one salary going to charity. His smallest salary was put in to a trust. He then decided where the money went. It clearly went to local groups and to those which ensured he would get votes in return. No flies on Salmond. Everything he does is to promote himself.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 17

      Sceptic1 December 7, 2014 8:02 pm Reply
      • Salmond is the new Blair…

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 14

        Jamie Black December 7, 2014 8:26 pm Reply
        • I have always thought they were very similar, will say whatever they think a particular audience wants to hear and not able to distinguish truth from fiction (i.e. lies).

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 12

          Lundavra December 7, 2014 10:03 pm Reply
      • That sounds suspiciously like Gordon Brown and his ‘Office of Gordon Brown’ which many mistakenly think is a charity but no one knows where the half a million goes.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 13

        Lundavra December 7, 2014 10:01 pm Reply
      • Isn’t Alex Salmond also giving all the 5ps from the poly bag tax to offset future ‘Socialist’ Labour leader and pro-self-harmer Jim Murphy’s expenses?

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 7

        JnrTick December 7, 2014 10:01 pm Reply
        • well, what we do know for sure is that little of it is actually going to charity JnrTick, thanks to the shoddy legislation your party put inp place…which in most cases is allowing companies to allow their customers to pay for what was previously an overhead…nice one!

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 7

          Jamie Black December 8, 2014 6:50 am Reply
    • Would be disrespectful to the position to hold on to both and i dont think alex will do that.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 10

      phill December 7, 2014 8:03 pm Reply
      • Yes it would be disrespectful, Phil, let’s just see what happens.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 7

        Lowry December 7, 2014 8:11 pm Reply
    • .. and, in a similar vein, why isn’t Jim Murphy resigning HIS Westminster seat before standing for leader of the Scottish ‘branch office’ ?

      Sauce for goose etc..

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 5

      Ian Sanderson December 8, 2014 12:36 am Reply
      • Agreed, Ian, let’s just see what happens.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6

        Lowry December 8, 2014 7:17 am Reply
      • Did he not? Or was that just his shadow cabinet position? Surely it’s not the same thing as he’s not running for MSP whilst being an MP?

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 7

        Jamie Black December 8, 2014 7:43 am Reply
  • Until last nights review the papers on bbc 503 I would have voted lib dem. tomorrow I join SNP and work for an SNP majority. If any Scotsman had ridiculed a country the way it was done last night they would be in jail by now

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 21 Thumb down 14

    clipclop December 7, 2014 7:54 pm Reply
    • Indeed. Patronising, spiteful and deeply ignorant and ill-informed.

      It’s on Youtube if you missed it.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 9

      Longshanks December 8, 2014 1:03 am Reply
      • Just watched the video – excellent – so absolutely accurate – it was everything the NO campaigners were saying running up to the Referendum and why we won. I see one of the headlines in the Herald this morning is a statement from Sturgeon saying that ” Westminster will be shaking in their boots at the thought of Salmond’s return”. And she has the title of ‘first minister’ – God help us.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 16

        Malcolm Kirk December 8, 2014 8:20 am Reply
      • I agree too – the video sums up my thoughts perfectly.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 9

        Lowry December 8, 2014 5:23 pm Reply
      • Good video, thanks for sharing. Sums it up pretty well. The funny thing is, even now, I’ve not idea who actually likes Alex Salmond because I’ve never met anyone who wil say they do. even the Nats I know never come out and say they like him, usually they scrurry around telling me the SNP is more than Alex Salmond…poor old Alex Salmond….I reckon the gloves will come off post the General Election and he’ll be put in his place. Assuming he even get elected…

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 5

        Jamie Black December 8, 2014 7:48 pm Reply
        • I do.

          But we’ve never met thank goodness

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

          dp December 9, 2014 1:41 pm Reply
      • WRONG — it’s wee smart-A… who’s the patronising rabble-rouser, full of jaundiced, can’t-get-over-it spite and to any right-minded Scot unbelievably, indeed shamingly, ignorant and ill-informed.

        The content was spot on in its astute observation of Scotia’s problem child.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

        Thistle December 12, 2014 2:43 pm Reply
  • Newsie, you ould trout you – methinks you doth protest too much…

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 9

    Simon December 7, 2014 9:24 pm Reply
  • So there isn’t a by election in Argyll then?
    looks like the Tories lib dems and liebour are trying to ignore the whole thing.
    The whole Tory unionist troll brigade have ignored the election in Kintyre as they know what is coming. For Argyll no news.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 18 Thumb down 8

    No Cheese Here December 7, 2014 10:17 pm Reply
    • So you think that a local authority election in Kintyre has any wider political significance? Really?

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 15

      Robert Wakeham December 8, 2014 12:46 am Reply
      • Good to see that you think Alex Salmomd is of political significance.

        I am merely pointing out that For Argyll and ilk are ignoring the South Kintyre by election and I am questioning why?

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 7

        No Chees Here December 8, 2014 8:15 am Reply
      • Roberto

        Local election local news of no consequence.? Is there a news ban?

        It is good to see you recognise that should Mr Salmond be selected as a candidate and should he then be elected will have a major impact on Westminster.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 5

        No Cheese Here December 8, 2014 9:52 am Reply
        • I don’t recollect making that comment about Salmond (other than promote him as an MEP) – all I’ve said recently was that la Sturgeon’s attack on the royals could well be to create space for a President Salmond (if not Emperor, on further reflection).

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 13

          Robert Wakeham December 8, 2014 10:14 am Reply
  • David Cameron will be ordering a gross of Pampers at the thought of having to debate with Salmond.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 19 Thumb down 10

    Willie December 7, 2014 11:23 pm Reply
    • There’ll be a first!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2

      Ian Sanderson December 8, 2014 12:37 am Reply
    • I would not expect the Prime Minister to be debating with a lowly MP like Salmond very often…but I wish he had in the referendum, would have shown Salmond up in a most embarassing way as a conceited, immature smart arse lying politician.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 18

      Jamie Black December 8, 2014 6:54 am Reply
      • Not sure that I agree with you here, Jamie. I believe the reasons why Cameron didn’t debate with Salomond were sound and kept Salmond in his place. The hissy fit thrown by Salmond showed what kind of person he was and may well have led to an increase in the No vote.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 14

        Lowry December 8, 2014 7:15 am Reply
        • What a massive ego Salmond has, he towers above almost all other parliamentarians in this regard.

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 6

          Charlie Jack December 8, 2014 10:32 am Reply
          • Egotism is easily confused with confidence in one’s abilities.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 5

            JnrTick December 8, 2014 11:54 pm
        • I’m on the same page there, Cameron did the right thing, Salmond was not worthy of a debate, as the others he participated in proved. But nonetheless, it would have been fun. Statesman vs petulant schoolboy who wants everything his own way.

          Cameron is playing a long game with this, but the SNP seem blissfully unaware….

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 10

          Jamie Black December 8, 2014 5:17 pm Reply
        • That’s what was being conveyed

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

          Thistle December 12, 2014 2:50 pm Reply
  • I must admit to respecting “the Spectator” more than the infantile drivellings of For Argyll.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-30238389

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 18 Thumb down 5

    dp December 8, 2014 5:10 pm Reply
    • Are they havin’ a laugh, snort, snort

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

      Thistle December 12, 2014 2:53 pm Reply
  • Thu perra fushies urr a wa wi thu ferries

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Thistle December 12, 2014 3:02 pm Reply
  • Oh! and while on, it would be much appreciated if the newsroom team will respect their byline and concentrate on ARGYLL musings rather than peripheral political pronouncements and protestations.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

    Thistle December 12, 2014 3:08 pm Reply

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *