Out-of-control Salmond sidelines Sturgeon

There ate two stories here – the political damage; and the sad reality of the individual psychodrama.

Former First Minister, Alex Salmond, who has no position of authority in the SNP or in government, nevertheless appears to be setting both the government and the party agenda for the upcoming General Election.

Mr Salmond is demanding tax autonomy for Scotland in return for a deal to prop up Labour in Government in the UK – working to take Scottish seats off them in the election and then lending them back the power of those seats if they do what he tells them, should, as is unlikely, the combined total of Labour and SNP seats will add up to enough to form a government.

Today Mr Salmond is back in the headlines, setting out ‘his’ conditions for backing Labour:  full control of taxes, of pensions and of oil revenues for Scotland [the less said about which the better for the former First Shrek].

These moves – and he is making repeat or varying demands on an almost daily basis – effectively sideline the current First Minister to the position of a parochial deputy with her predecessor talking the big game.

As First Minister, Mr Salmond was famous for making both policy and damaging statements on the hoof and when the game was up, taking cover and sending the more courageous Ms Sturgeon to the chamber at Holyrood to admit all and withstand the flak.

It was Nicola Sturgeon who had to make it known that not only did the Scottish Government  have no legal advice on an independent  Scotland’s approaches to EU membership but that it had never even asked for it, despite Mr Salmond’s throwing public money at taking governmental legal action to defend the right not to reveal the advice [that did not exist].

It was Ms Sturgeon who had to admit there was no Plan B on the currency for an independent Scotland – that it was the pound or… ?

In these political gymnastics, at least Mr Salmond was First Minister. Now he is a noisy memory but it still railroading the policy, setting the agendas – with or without Mr Sturgeon’s imprimatur and often with that imprimatur awarded retrospectively.

So who really drives Scotland?

Nicola Sturgeon initially insisted – verbally – that she would be in the driving seat.

It now seems that the vehicle of state has dual controls and that there is a co-pilot with authority denied to the official Deputy First Minster and the official Deputy Leader of the Party.

Ms Sturgeon is Leader of the party and of the Government. John Swinney is Deputy First Minister. Stuart Hosie is Deputy Party Leader. Angus Robertson is Leader of the Westminster SNP MPs. Alex Salmond is an SNP MSP.

Policy has got to come from the constitutionally proper source. It must not be hijacked by an unlicensed raider from the past.

In the current NHS incident, following the Scottish nurse’s infection with Ebola, it was noticeable that new Health Secretary Shona Robison was not given charge of her portfolio. Press statements were handled by the First Minister. Ms Robison was later allowed to appear on camera in a hospital corridor with an anodyne statement on another matter altogether.

If Mr Salmond does not think his successor is up to her job – or up to the job as he would have done it -he should keep quiet if, for no other reason, in return for the loyalty she has always shown him.

If Ms Sturgeon does not think her friend, Ms Robison, is up to her job, why did she appoint her to so elevated and complex a position?

This is looking very like the old familiar centralism – but with Mr Salmond conferring upon himself an autonomous roving brief outside the tent.

Nicola Sturgeon is being made to look like she’s limited to being Leader in Holyrood. Mr Hosie  – Deputy Party Leader and Westminster MP and Mr Robertson – Leader of the SNP’s Westminster group of MPs, look like impotent patsies. And Mr Salmond rampages on. This is no good for the party and if Mr Salmond does manage to be returned to Westminster via Gordon, it will be even worse.

The sad psychological inevitable

What is happening is the predictable psychology of someone used to complete and unquestioned power who, on leaving it involuntarily, struggles desperately still to command the oxygen of an audience.

There is the sense of no longer having a voice and experiencing profound disorientation with loss of identity. Most people, when they retire from their employment, experience a version of the same thing and so can relate to it.

Mr Salmond’s alter ego, Margaret Thatcher, suffered badly from this [and so did her party and its successive leaders through her regular public interventions]. She never really created a post-political identity for herself; and it is questionable whether Mr Salmond has any more ability than she had to do this.

It is an almost insuperable challenge. The answer is always to do another proper job – of any kind, necessarily outside politics and preferably not in the frontline of anything; but most lack the discipline and the interest to do this.

Such people have willingly abandoned the sanctuary of a private identity in the pursuit of power. They no longer know who they are beyond the temporary lease of authority through their former job –  and that private identity seems to be irrecoverable.

Few are worth listening to as thinkers. Most continue to crave the adrenalin of performance though, realistically, their time onstage is over. Nothing lasts for ever.

It’s all very sad and inevitably, it is always played out so gladiatorially in public, like watching time land a marlin.

We cannot think of a single dominant political leader who went on to create a successful post political and different identity for themselves. Can anyone else?

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Related Articles & Comments

  • Say what you like about Nicola Sturgeon but she is not daft. One of her earliest actions as First Minister was to demote Mike Russell.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 38 Thumb down 10

    Simon January 9, 2015 4:15 pm Reply
  • For Argyll
    What another load of rubbish from you. You state “Former First Minister, Alex Salmond, who has no position of authority in the SNP or in government, nevertheless appears to be setting both the government and the party agenda for the upcoming General Election”
    Explain exactly what is your position of authority in the snp? Were you not consulted? lol
    Like your pals McCuish and Glen Devon you chose to leave the snp??
    The idea that FM Sturgeon and her predecessor are not working together with the other party MP’s MSP’s and members for the benefit of Scotland is just laughable. I think Nicola Sturgeon knows what she is doing.
    What a contrast with your attempt at “unbiased, accurate reporting” as a journalist.
    Whats your view of Ms Sturgeon taking part in a TV debate with other party leaders? There is a space available after coward Cameron has done a runner again? 3RD LARGEST UK PARTY MUST BE REPRESENTED I AM SURE YOU WILL AGREE.
    or not?

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

    No Cheese Here January 9, 2015 4:30 pm Reply
    • NCH, I have to say that Newsroom is 100% correct on this. She has said what I have been thinking for a few weeks now. It was clear when the Scottish nurses Ebola case arose that Sturgeon was taking charge. We never saw the Health Secretary speak on this issue. It was always Sturgeon. The Health Secretary, Shona Robison must have felt totally undermined by Sturgeon.

      It certainly looks like Sturgeon wants to control everything that is the Scottish Government’s responsibility. It has certainly appeared that the Sturgeon is the only spokesperson the Scottish Government has.

      The problem now is that Salmond appears to be making policy for the Scottish Government. He is the only MSP we hear speaking about Westminster and Westminster policies (and he ain’t even there yet). It certainly looks like he still thinks he is in charge and Nicola is too frightened to argue with him.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 32 Thumb down 18

      Sceptic1 January 9, 2015 5:36 pm Reply
      • ‘It has certainly appeared that the Sturgeon is the only spokesperson the Scottish Government has.’

        It will be interesting to see what happens when something goes pear-shaped, will she be as quick to accept responsibility as she is to grab any glory?

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

        Lundavra January 9, 2015 5:53 pm Reply
      • Septic1
        You and your pal “NEWSIE” can agree 100% with each other all you like. No change eh?
        The First Minister took charge. Now your hero Cameron also got in on the act by commenting. So what? In such circumstances the leaders of parties do such things.
        However I am commenting once again on For Argyll political bias and lack of neutrality when commenting on such matters.
        Look at her title. Her hatred for Alex Salmond and the snp knows no bounds as do you and your co-conspirators. Looks like the snp are doing all the right things!
        Snp win for Argyll? We will have to wait and see.
        Should Farage and the Greens be on the podium in the TV debate and not the snp ?
        In this free country of speech and thought why the censorship?
        If For Argll just admitted that it is pro liebour Tory fine. It does not . It claims it is impartial . Now run off and have a laugh!

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 14

        No Cheese Here January 10, 2015 8:57 am Reply
        • But the SNP can only be representative in Scotland and not the rest of the UK – so why should they be on the podium when the bulk of the voters can’t vote for them anyway? What use would they be?

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 15

          Lowry January 10, 2015 9:26 am Reply
          • For Argyll
            What another load of rubbish from you.
            Like your Unionist pals McCuish, Breslin, Blair, MacIntyre and Devon you chose to leave the snp?
            Nicola Sturgeon knows what she is doing. The SNP wil hold the balance of power.
            Which SNP candidate sends his children out of Argyll & Bute to be educated 😉

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

            No Cheese Here January 10, 2015 10:33 am
        • It would perhaps be reasonable to offer a TV debate position to those parties submitting candidates in an appropriate number of the Parliamentary seats to ensure widespread interest. A majority would seem a bit high and favour the big three. How about 25%? That would seem to be a more reasonable figure.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

          keith stanger January 10, 2015 10:26 am Reply
          • Then someone will complain about being on the same programme as other nationalist parties like the BNP and EDP. If 143 candidates guaranteed appearing on the TV ‘debate’ then more would probably try to reach that target.

            The ‘debate’ would end up chaotic with no one having much time to say anything. On past form some (usually those from the Left) will talk over the top of other party representatives as Salmond did in the Scottish Referendum, the Greens and others are bad for doing that on Question Time.

            It might be entertaining but I doubt whether anyone will learn much.

            It’s ridiculous for some to claim that David Cameron is ‘afraid’ of debating against them, he is probably the most competent debater of the main party leaders.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 5

            Lundavra January 10, 2015 2:30 pm
    • As Labour drops the shackles of English Labour, the SNP is taken over by someone who wants to rule Westminster. You could not make it up.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 7

      DP January 10, 2015 2:59 pm Reply
  • Sounds to me as though the “branch office” has changed party. We now have a Labour leader in control of Scottish Labour but a first minister not in charge of the SNP government.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 22 Thumb down 19

    Lowry January 9, 2015 5:08 pm Reply
    • Lowry, it’s all running to plan, leave Salmond, Sturgeon, Swinney etc to keep digging a deeper hole.
      £400m sitting in Swinney’s slush fund account! The NHS trusts are desperate, NHS Lothian with a £70m deficit, the only reply Sturgeon could manage when asked at FA questions is that it was ‘worse when labour were in power’ she seems to have missed the point, the SNP have been in power for 7 years.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 27 Thumb down 18

      richard January 9, 2015 6:34 pm Reply
  • How often will the SNP keep using Labour as their defence? People will judge on their own experiences. Day by day, pefson by person…the SNP will be exposed fod their manipulation of and hiding behind statistics and refusing to listen to people on the ground… I heaf Jackie Baillie snd Dugdale on the NHS and…they paint an accurate picture that matches my experiences…the SNP modus operandi of head in the sand will be their undoing…

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 30 Thumb down 16

    Jamie Black January 9, 2015 7:43 pm Reply
    • There is an article in the Telegraph that sum up ‘Alex fro Strichen’ very well, apparently the staff of the paper are ‘deranged’, now he has reneged on his bet with the Sun’s Trevor Kavanagh.
      According to Kavanagh he is ‘as poor an economist as he is a gambler’
      Is this the behaviour of a future deputy PM?

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 19 Thumb down 15

      richard January 9, 2015 8:37 pm Reply
      • The Telegraph FFS!

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 10

        Ian Sanderson January 10, 2015 9:36 am Reply
      • Rickets based in England once again the personalisation against our previous First Minister of Scotland shows for all to see the right wing English view of one of Scotland’s most capable politicians. Of course that is why you and your compatriot are worried .
        Is Kavanagh an economist or a blaw hard like you?

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 16

        No Cheese Here January 10, 2015 10:40 am Reply
  • “So who really drives Scotland?”

    Democratically elected by majority SNP are driving Scotland, only, the vehicle they drive has a restrictor fitted to it’s engine.

    I remember Nicola Sturgeon being interviewed not so long ago when asked if our ex First Minister would have any influence. She advised that she is her own person but when required would call on Alex Salmond, a great waste not to tap into a great political mind. Yes/No?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 18 Thumb down 17

    JnrTick January 9, 2015 10:50 pm Reply
    • JnrT, How do you explain Ms Sturgeon saying she respects the referendum result and in the last 48hrs saying she supports Salmond and his actions?
      Salmond will become a major liability to the SNP, it has been noted that the SNP press office have been very non committal over some of his recent statements.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 19

      richard January 9, 2015 11:17 pm Reply
      • Tell you what Richard, I’ll do my best to put forward my view on what you request but ONLY if you can clear this up for me –

        How come Gordon protector of the Labour party NOT Scotland Brown, saviour of the union, signatory of ‘The Vow’ (despite near zero political clout being the forgotten man of politics, yesterday’s man, a WM backbencher)recklessly desperately promise the people of Scotland, our electorate ‘near Federalism’ yet we as proponents of an independent Scotland are finger wagged by unionists who having the brass neck advise us to be grateful and get on with what has been promised?

        So lets get this right.
        Nicola Sturgeon, Alex Salmond and all the others who have ambition for this country were expected to walk away tamely having just witnessed lies in progress, lies that were hoped to dupe as many as they (the NO campaign) could desperately reel in?

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 13

        JnrTick January 10, 2015 1:28 am Reply
        • JnrT, what was the point of the Edinburgh Agreement? why bother to sign it if you have no intention of respecting it or the result.
          Salmond was so arrogant that he thought he could get the people of Scotland to swallow all these promises without any foundation, he has lost the plot and Sturgeon thinks she can carry on in the same manner, she treats FM questions with contempt just as Salmond did, the first thing she did on becoming FM was double the number of her advisers, the honeymoon is over, only a couple of shots have been fired to test the water, let’s see how happy you are in a couple of months time.

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 17

          richard January 10, 2015 7:56 am Reply
          • As far as John Swinney and the SNP are concerned, something is better than nothing but this is NOT the point. The referendum may have been swung at the final hour by ‘The Vow’, empty words, shameful.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 6

            JnrTick January 10, 2015 1:46 pm
  • Newsroom, in reply to your question of political leaders post political identity maybe Bill Clinton qualifies or in reverse Ronald Reagan.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 14

    richard January 9, 2015 11:08 pm Reply
  • Junior Tick, or should I say “David”, you surpass yourself. What a load of tosh.

    Gullibility must be your middle name!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 17

    JimB January 9, 2015 11:22 pm Reply
    • If you have something you disagree with from my post lets hear it. I could be wrong here but I doubt anyone comes on here to read paranoid inaccurate snipes at contributors comments.
      Grow up

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 10

      JnrTick January 9, 2015 11:53 pm Reply
      • But David is a much nicer name than the somewhat strange moniker Jnr Tick 😉

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

        Simon January 10, 2015 8:42 am Reply
        • I quite liked Lillian, I was swaying, it was such a tough call but in the end that would give the sexists armoury when they do not possess decent arguments to things they disagree with.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 5

          JnrTick January 10, 2015 1:54 pm Reply
    • Jim b you support liebour and Murphy. Whose Gullible!,

      Murphy is he standing for Westminster? Who is standing down at Holyrood. Time is running out.

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

      No Cheese Here January 10, 2015 9:03 am Reply
      • Who’s gullible? Why, it’s SNP members of course! Just look at the results of the referendum.
        You sound a little desperate, NCH – have patience.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 11

        Lowry January 10, 2015 9:23 am Reply
        • Referendum is over Lowry . Let it go. We are debating the GE. Now are ukip/ liebour/Tory?
          Do you think snp will win Argyll?
          Stil the snp will put Scotland first the other parties won’t. Of course as a Anglo Brit you don’t care about puting Scotland first.

          A general election– where ALL are treated equally!!
          Democracy at work unless you think the snp will do well then you lock them out as Lowry, Rickets and other scared tories/ liebour would do

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 10

          No Cheese Here January 10, 2015 10:37 am Reply
          • Exactly, NCH. What has the SNP got to do with the genereal election in the rest of the UK? Are they fielding candidates in England and Wales?

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 8

            Lowry January 10, 2015 11:43 am
  • It’s odd actually – Scotland went on hold for a year or so – I put it down to the referendum and the SNP focissing on that rather than making Scotland a better place. But even since the referendum, it’s like they have run out of ideas. They talk about social justice – what are they doing to deliver this? The changes to stamp duty? Hardly – a most bizarre move and one that created division and punishes those who most often contribute most financially to society. Proposing a law to force hospitals to produce good quality food – an admission of complete failure of government to gover, in my view. Spending millions on an airport and, to date, absolutely no credible plan whatsoever to make it prosper. Land reform that no-one can really explain the rationale not who will actually benefit. And this ridiculous and completely unfair ‘Community charge Bill that sticks up to fingers at hard working Scots who did they right and honest thing even although they disagreed with it. I could go on of course, but as pointed out – they have such a lack of ideas, they have been left with nearly £500,000,000 (yes, half a billion) of cash they didn’t bother to spend. Absolutely incredible.

    The great thing is – no longer can Sturgeon or any of them complain about cuts by Westminster – this will haunt them for a long long time to come. The less great thing is that the SNP who use foodbanks as some sort of political weapon have been sitting with hundreds of milions in the coffers whilst letting people go hungry or cold. how would NCH or JnrTick or any of the other lackeys defend that I wonder?

    I stand by my prediction that the SNP may do well in May by default, but come 2016, people will realise – they are the same old, same old. Just a political party like any other running out of ideas and spending too much energy and money on ideological dreams that will deliver little and not enough effort into making our country a better plce for everyone. The SNP state (apparntly proudly) that coallition does not come instinctivly – too damn right, but probably not by choice. A rainbow coalition in 2016 is on the cards in Scotland…a very interesting thought.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 23 Thumb down 17

    Jamie Black January 9, 2015 11:50 pm Reply
  • . . . they have been left with nearly £500,000,000 (yes, half a billion) of cash they didn’t bother to spend

    How can ‘Eggs’ Murphy call for a resilience fund then complain because the SG have set a bit of money by for a rainy day?

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

    Longshanks January 10, 2015 12:47 am Reply
    • It’s raining now Longshanks.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 6

      James Walsh January 10, 2015 12:48 pm Reply
    • I think this underspend of £444 million needs to be put into a little bit of perspective. Yes it is a record underspend however it is still only 1.3% of the overall budget. It isn’t ideal and it is an easy target for the SNP’s opponents as they do tend to bleat a bit repetitively about how much Westminster is screwing them for cash (and how they would love to do more if ‘Wastemonster’ wasn’t cutting so much funding’. However the money hasn’t gone and it is available to be spent this year and beyond.

      Also when they underspend the justice budget by just shy of £100m when courts were being closed to save money further gives easy stones to throw. However there could be a counter argument that these actions to generate savings are recurring and shouldn’t be considered against a solitary year’s underspend.

      Further embarassment can be taken from the fact that a few years John Swinney went on record to say that long gone were the days of hundreds of millions of pounds of governemtn underspend whilst nothing was being doen to help communitires (or words very similar to that).

      What is more interesting than the number are the reasons for the underspend and those have not been forthcoming yet (unless I have mised them). Are these what used to be called efficiency savings (i.e. savings without reducing the quality or quantity of service delivery) – something rarely seen but often claimed. Or are they simply cuts in service delivery which can sometimes go unoticed as it is salami slicing the budget.

      The Herald carries a quote from a Govt “spokesperson’ which says ‘This report contains no new information. It simply brings together budget and out-turn information already laid before the Scottish Parliament and published in the audited accounts of the bodies that make-up the Scottish Administration.’

      I have no doubt that is true but it is not really a good enough response. That doesn’t really tell people why there has been an underspend and it is ridiculous to ask people to go away and scrutinise a multitude of reports from various bodies to try and work it all out. The Government’s job is to give clear information on performance, financial and service delivery.

      Also arguably, the various bodies all report to the SG. If budget monitoring throughout the year is robust then this underspend should have been seen coming quite a long time ago and consideration been given to virements to move money from one body to another, or between budget lines.

      HOwever as I said in my first paragraph whils tthis is a record underspend it is not massively more than some previous ones and the money is still available. Being cynical one might think the SNP were putting it aside to spend post independence. Or, being generous, one might say it reflects a prudent approach to service delivery. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

      Integrity? January 10, 2015 12:48 pm Reply
      • In my opinion, an underspend as much as this while so many people are having to get food from foodbanks is unforgivable.

        No wonder the SNP could afford to give away freebies to the rich, just before the referendum, whilst apparently ensuring the poor continue to suffer.

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

        Lowry January 10, 2015 2:47 pm Reply
        • Totally appreciate that point Lowrry (about the food bank issue, especially after we have listened to the food bank issue being brought up time and time and time again on here as an example of why Scotland should get independence).

          I suppose that is what I am getting at in terms of the explanation for the underspend and maybe answering the difficult questions about why budgets were not adjusted to move the available funds to areas of clear need.

          At the risk of somewhat repeating myself it does boil down to whether budget monitoring was robust enough to identify the underspend as and when it started to materialise and allow for virement decisions to be considered. An uglier idea is that the underspend was quite apparent and decisions were taken not to spend it on areas of need becasue it suited the agenda better to keep claiming that there was not enough money travelling north of the border.

          The idea that the SG were putting money aside for a rainy day is nonsense. The SG, like all major public bodies, have reserves and their annual budget is for in year expenditure. If they want to increase reserves then that is built into the budget. If you have a sizable underspend there can be many reasons for it, two obvious ones being that the budget was poor in the first place or that areas of expenditure which are demand driven did not see the level of demand which was expected – this can be a good thing, for example if the social care budget is underspent because less people are in need of care then we would all surely welcome that.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

          Integrity? January 10, 2015 6:24 pm Reply
          • I agree Integrity?, wouldn’t it be a dreadful thing if the SNP deliberately withheld money in an attempt to increase the Yes vote?

            I understand that this is a record underspend which must surely warrant an explanation when occurring during times of such austerity and suffering.

            In my view there can only be one of two reasons: either the SNP gvt. did it deliberately as suggested above or the SNP gvt. hasn’t got a clue about managing the Scottish economy, perhaps supported by the comments made by Swinney who clearly didn’t have any idea about what was going on.

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 3

            Lowry January 10, 2015 8:08 pm
          • Aside from talking about delivering social jutice whilst running a large underspend (sure, 1.3% sounds low, but it’s al relative – it’s a sizeable mount of money), it does maybe support my idea that the SNP are running out of ideas.

            It does also sugget that policies like the Land and Building Transaction Tax, as suspected, are more about proving a point rather than raising real revenue – we now know they dont need to boost revenues!

            Maybe they are going to distribute the spare cash to LAs to compensate from effectively barring them from raising Council Tax to support services locally…fat chance! The SNP will contiue starving LAs for the simple reason that they never want to know known as the party that raised coucil tax. A very odd and worrying precendent. The next ruling administration will be have that very unpopular move to make.

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 3

            Jamie Black January 10, 2015 10:16 pm
  • Personally I am very much looking forward to the impending general election.

    With a phalanx of SNP MPs in Westminster, I’m absolutely sure that they will hold Labour’s feet to the fire to deliver on Home Rule.

    And with an experienced operator like Mr Salmond Robertson and Hosie on the team, and Ms Sturgeon and her majority in Hollyrood, I see a bright future for Scotland.

    Home Rule is coming and the SNP have the team and the public support to make it happen.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 21 Thumb down 23

    willie January 10, 2015 6:47 am Reply
  • Yes, it will be most interesting to see the SNP in power in both Hollyrood and Westminster.

    Yes, with a majority in one chamber and with holding the balance of power in the other, the future is tantalisingly bright.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 19 Thumb down 20

    willie January 10, 2015 7:00 am Reply
    • They made Scotland much more divided than previously thanks to their campaign in the Scottish Referendum and it sounds as if they want to do the same to the rest of the UK.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 9

      Lundavra January 10, 2015 2:36 pm Reply
      • What made Scotland more divide was 13 years of Thatcher policies from a Labour government 1997 to 2010. They let the people down.
        This let in the Tories backed by the Libdems in coalition. Thankfully it looks like they are all going to get their reward with a resounding defeat of their right wing policies. Red Tory, Blue Tory, Libdem Tory, a curse on all their policies.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 6

        agnes moffat January 11, 2015 5:10 pm Reply
        • If you believe that voting SNP is going to keep the Tories out then perhaps you should have another think. The only way to keep out the Tories is for everyone, including Scottish votoers, to vote Labour.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

          Lowry January 11, 2015 6:49 pm Reply
          • Listen, we’ll take whatever government we inherit from the larger populated England. That’s what a small majority who supposedly have Scotland’s interests at heart voted for.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

            JnrTick January 11, 2015 11:35 pm
          • Voters are coalescing around the SNP in Scotland – and it is very likely that they will take the vast majority of seats.

            With numbers like that the Labour party will be more than willing to accept the SNP’s patronage but that will come at the price of delivering for Scotland.

            Home Rule as promised in the sacred vow is what Scotland wants and that is what a strong SNP will get.

            The logic of voting Labour has gone – and there are no Labour heartlands anymore. Quite the reverse – and people will vote SNP where before they might not have.

            Indeed 1 in 40 of Scottish voters are now SNP members – and the message is clear.

            Scotland want’s Home Rule and that’s what it will get with a huge vote for the SNP in May.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

            Willie January 12, 2015 12:20 pm
          • I’m not very clever with numbers, Willie, but is this just 2.5%?

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

            Lowry January 12, 2015 12:55 pm
          • You are spot on Lowry, a vote for any of the small parties can only keep the Tories in power.
            Only by voting for Labour can we get the real changes the country needs.
            Those who don’t see this are kidding themselves.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

            Gus MacKay January 12, 2015 1:14 pm
  • What another load of rubbish from the Nat Basher.
    Like your Unionist pals McCuish, Breslin, Blair, MacIntyre and Devon you chose to leave the snp?
    Nicola Sturgeon knows what she is doing. The SNP wil hold the balance of power.
    Which SNP candidate sends his children out of Argyll & Bute to be educated 😉

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 21

    No Cheese Here January 10, 2015 10:45 am Reply
    • Imposter again
      Your poison against certain individuals is interesting.
      I have noted that over the years only certain people use little smiley, mr angry type faces.
      Nat bashed comment tend to be used by unionists. Put a wee Mr angry after your next post NCH Imposter.
      Ps back to the real debate closet liebour/ Tory!

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 13

      No Cheese Here January 10, 2015 11:10 am Reply
      • Oh no, is there two of you?

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

        Simon January 10, 2015 12:52 pm Reply
        • No just me and an imposter

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 7

          No Cheese Here January 11, 2015 9:47 am Reply
          • I know the feeling 😉

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

            Simon January 11, 2015 11:25 am
  • Simon
    where is your wee smiley!!
    I am the nice one.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 5

    No Cheese Here January 10, 2015 4:17 pm Reply
    • 😉

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

      Simon January 11, 2015 11:22 am Reply
  • The YES crowd have such short memories… you are not going to get indy via the back door… check the E Agreement… seems to me the rUK get to vote on any future indy proposal…. 55%

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 3

    Karl Hughes January 11, 2015 10:01 am Reply
    • Seems to me the victorious No campaigners are more worried about the state of politics than the defeated Yes campaigners. Funny that.
      Karl are you still taking your money from the bombed out shell of a country called Iraq.
      Oh that politics had been so different, so many deaths could have been avoided.
      Of course you might not have had such a good earning job then. Illegal wars mmmm
      There are always plusses in everything I suppose.
      Were you so thankful you had to vote No and continually try to rub us “YES CROWD’S’ noses in it? Nice.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 10

      agnes moffat January 11, 2015 5:24 pm Reply
      • Rather rich that you continually rbu ‘No’ voters noses in your own bitterness, bleating on about the same old things from the past.

        I see Salmond has mnaged to get the snP to pay for a chauffuer driven car to take him places – NICE! I’m sure all the new members of the SNP will be delighted at their subscription money being used to provide luxuries to Salmond. For us mere mortals, we would have to pay our own way but not the failed First Minister.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

        Jamie Black January 11, 2015 5:40 pm Reply
        • Jamie, at the moment Holyrood is awash with money, £444m unspent, a £125m windfall because of the additional funding for the NHS in England, £65m of this to be announced as a boost for the Scottish NHS tomorrow, a rethink and change on the stamp duty only announced the other day.
          The ‘cat is out of the bag’ blaming Westminster won’t wash.
          All this and Mr Salmond wants Scotland to abandon the Barnet Formula and raise all it money through tax set by Holyrood, how long is the love in between Sturgeon and Salmond going to last with him pulling the strings?

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

          richard January 11, 2015 6:41 pm Reply
          • Scottish parliament’s John Swinney, paid all the bills, well done
            £444 million left to target real needs Well done
            Westminster parliament successive chancellors, failed to pay the bills, not so well done
            Thank you Gordon “the vow” Brown and Alistair “cuts worse than Margaret Thatcher” Darling for leaving the country {UK} with £1.4 trillion in debt.
            Thank you George Osborne for failing to do very much to repair it
            Shame on you lot.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6

            agnes moffat January 11, 2015 7:12 pm
          • £444m left to target real needs…really? whatever wy you look at that, the SNP hve faild to tackle real needs, or simply ‘real needs’ are at the end of the list when everything else is paid for!
            I would suggesst poor planning and forecasting – did Swinney not keep an eye on such things?. We’re not talking a small amount of money that suddeny appeared, this will have been accruing at a rather quick rate.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

            Jamie Black January 11, 2015 7:29 pm
          • Remember what the SNP said about the NHS, remember they had no money because of what was happening south of the border.
            An extra £125m through the Barnet Formula because of the additional money given to NHS in England, why isn’t the full £125m being spent on NHS Scotland? Perhaps there are a few more promises to pay for, childcare, Guardians, school meals, bedroom tax, or is this just to cover NHS Lothian’s £70m deficit?
            Swinney only has to ‘spend’ he doesn’t have to set tax rates to raise the money!

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

            richard January 11, 2015 8:06 pm
          • And only now has the SNP gvt. decided to give an extra £65 million to the NHS. It strikes me that they have been caught out and are trying to claim that they are giving something that should have been there at the start. After so many people have suffered in A&E and on waiting lists, how dare they try to sell it as something for which we should all be grateful.
            It now looks to me as though Salmond has always been “out of control”.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

            Lowry January 11, 2015 8:09 pm
          • Lowry, it doesn’t even cover the NHS Lothian deficit, wait for the other health trusts to announce the real figures, then we have the education issues.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

            richard January 11, 2015 8:31 pm
        • You must be reading the same stuff as Malcolm Kirk.
          The Bunty, The Beano, The Dandy, come on Jamie Black which one is it, or is it all three?
          No one with at least half a brain Jamie or a head full of bitterness would suggest Alex Salmond was a failed First Minister.
          How the other parties must envy his political brain and how the previous First Ministers must envy his success.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 7

          agnes moffat January 11, 2015 6:53 pm Reply
          • You’re all completely deluded!

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

            John M January 11, 2015 7:24 pm
          • Blair was deemed a sucess but was then found out. Time will tell as is always the case with policians.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

            keith stanger January 11, 2015 7:25 pm
        • A chauffeur driven limo is befitting of a statesman such as Alex Salmond. You’ll be hard pushed to find a red cent of what it costs to do so being grudged by any member.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

          JnrTick January 11, 2015 11:31 pm Reply
          • Statesman? Is that a joke?

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

            Jamie Black January 12, 2015 6:46 am
          • JnrT, it’s tax payers money and plenty of us object, I hope that HMRC has a good look at this.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

            richard January 12, 2015 9:59 am
          • I am getting worried about you, JT. Your delusions are getting grander and grander.

            Alex Salmond is definitely not a Statesman – he will go down in history as the “Nearly Man”. He could have easily taken Scotland into independence if he had done his homework, but instead he tried to wing it using guesswork and back of fag packet calculations and the majority of Scots saw through it and voted “No”.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

            JimB January 12, 2015 11:14 am
          • In response to Richard’s post (sorry can’t reply directly underneath)

            I don’t think it is public money that is paying for the chauffeur driven limo is it? I think it is being funded by the money paid by SNP members to the party. Apologies if I am mistaken on this.

            It is a little crass but I doubt he is the only ex leader of a party that gets chauffeur driven.

            Not so sure about the public transport line he uses – if it is purely to save money (through saving time) then maybe he could drive himself (I assume he has a licence)

            However as it isn’t tax-payers money then if the SNP members are happy for their membership fees to be spent in such a way then so be it.

            (I was expecting a joke from someone about Nicola Sturgeon being the chauffeur!)

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

            Integrity? January 12, 2015 11:53 am
          • Indeed, it appears to be some sort of idolatry.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

            Lowry January 12, 2015 12:48 pm
    Blair was never deemed a success.
    His first party conference was viewed as a testing point which he failed and doubts were expressed as to his abilities.
    Step up Alistair Campbell the ace media fixer, former editor of the daily mirror and the man who put spin into spin doctor.
    Not only is this country paying a heavy price for that “marriage” but many countries, indeed the whole world are still suffering from their legacy and it looks like there is no sign of an end to that legacy.
    Blair, the champagne socialist’s only success appears to be how to accrue personal wealth of maybe £50 million plus

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

    sara Swann January 11, 2015 10:08 pm Reply
    • I’ll re-phrase my first sentence: Blair was deemed a success because he was re-elected twice but was then found out. It’s a general point that can be directed at most politicians as the chickens come home to roost.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

      Keith stanger January 11, 2015 10:54 pm Reply
      • Point taken, he was successful in being elected 3 times.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

        sara Swann January 12, 2015 10:20 am Reply
  • Tony Blair was not deemed a success, Tony Blair WAS a success.

    Like the Referendum result, get over it!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4

    Gus MacKay January 11, 2015 11:22 pm Reply
    • Like most politicians Charles Lynton (aka Miranda) was controlled by outsiders, blackmailed into following their agendas.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

      Murdoch MacKenzie January 12, 2015 6:16 am Reply
    • I would love to see like many many others the successful Tony Blair on trial at The Hague for war crimes.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 7

      agnes moffat January 12, 2015 10:17 am Reply

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