WHO BEST TO LEAD SCOTLAND?
My first observation is the varying levels of competency amongst the Party Leaders. Douglas Ross strikes me as an insurance salesman. Smartly dressed ready with a dozen or so words when one would do he appears confident until somebody challenges him on what he had said. All of a sudden he is off script and itContinue reading "WHO BEST TO LEAD SCOTLAND?"
My first observation is the varying levels of competency amongst the Party Leaders.
Douglas Ross strikes me as an insurance salesman. Smartly dressed ready with a dozen or so words when one would do he appears confident until somebody challenges him on what he had said. All of a sudden he is off script and it becomes confused bluster very quickly. The SNP are fortunate to have him as their main challenger. He stays on message and it ensures a conversation on Independence as it appears to be the sole topic on his mind. This is a gift to the SNP, they are far more vulnerable to attack on a wide range of other topics like woman’s issues and the sex and gender programmes being introduced by the SNP government into our schools. Douglas however had been programmed to oppose a second Indy referendum and thus far he has shown no ability to multitask. The irony here is that to all intents and purposes Nicola Sturgeon may be closer to Douglas on this issue of a second Indy Referendum than she is to Alex Salmond. The Tory argues not in this Parliament Nicola argues for after Covid and the effects of Covid are over. Argue amongst yourselves which is the shorter!
Anas Sarwar, the new Labour leader is certainly an improvement on Richard Leonard and has thus far managed to project as an amiable bit player in the contest. Abandoning any pretense that Labour could form a alternative Government has allowed him to present a looser programme and has enabled him not to take anything, including himself too seriously. It does make him electorally more appealing and I would not rule him out edging out the TORIES for second place. For the first time in years Labour may find themselves after the election without needing to scratch around for another leader. That alone would make it a good election for Labour. To have any electoral success they will have to get away from the phony scaremongering on the campaign. This time it is the notorious Jackie Baillie promising free TV licences for the over 75’s and blaming the SNP for them having to pay. You would have thought that after all those years in politics she would have known TV Licensing is a reserved matter and Holyrood has no say in the rules. Old habits die hard!
What can I say about Willie Rennie? A good question? Willie must be worried his Party have wandered through the last five years making little or no impact. The arrival of Alba effectively makes it hugely difficult for any hope of new wins on the list for Willie so this will be a survival election for the Liberals at best. I do hope that smarmy Alex Cole Hamilton loses his seat. He is a seriously nasty man.
Patrick Harvie, if we listen to him has been running the Scottish Government for the last few years and looking at the long list of benefits he claims they have delivered on behalf of Scots is hugely impressive. A bit cruel for them not to give their junior partners in the SNP much credit for anything but Patrick was insistent it was all the Greens own doing. Patrick’s Greens is another Party vulnerable to attack on their GRA proposals and while thus far the Green polling looks quite good I would forecast it will start to drop as a hardening of the Alba vote makes obvious the most productive use of people’s list vote. He must be another, just like Nicola who must be praying GRA does not feature in the next fortnight. Have not heard much about his workplace car parking taxes yet either so they are very vulnerable to attacks if anybody can be bothered to do so.
Then of course there is Nicola Sturgeon. In the spirit of going easy on the SNP at the moment I will be gentler than I feel about her. She has been a disappointment. Handed a “golden inheritance”. A Party with membership going through the roof, awash with funds, less than seven years later it is a story of collapsing membership, huge financial woes, including missing Indyref funds, the creation of multiple rival pro Indy parties and a glacier like pace on driving the Indy case forward. A policy agenda that concentrates to the point of total obsession on minority issues. Issues that can never gain the support of her own Party Conference she surrounds herself with sycophants rather than build a competent team of leaders.
Ability in the Party attracts persecution tactics to keep down anyone mentioned as a potential alternative future leader. I have learned much from her on how internal democracy can be sidelined. Never have I known such a gap to exist between the Leader and the ordinary membership. She has made very clear their views on issues are not wanted and she has went to extraordinary lengths to close down any internal democratic routes where their input could be considered. She is undoubtably the worst and most damaging SNP leader in my lifetime and has betrayed the democratic traditions of a great Party and its previous leaders. Past members must be twirling in their graves. I will limit my thoughts there.
Now I have left the best to last. The much maligned Alex Salmond who has faced down successfully a range of spurious and false charges made by, in the main, friends and supporters of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Having undergone a police investigation involving over 700 interviews with around 400 different people which failed to come up with a single additional allegation other than those previously alleged by the latter day Nicola fan club but who, having been cleared of all these spurious allegations,still has to endure the spiteful smearing from a First Minister, who these days is clearly unfit to hold the office. Strangely the media seems unable to form a question to her about why friends of hers so clearly lied in court. People ask “what was the motivation to fit him up?”. The answer is “do you think mad policies like the Hate Crime Bill, GRA, the sex education in schools programmes would be the same if he had not been taken out through facing spurious allegations” They had a plan, they knew he would not go along with, so they plotted to take him out. They failed and now they are bitter and twisted. Yes it really is that shallow.
The amazing thing of course, and what makes him the best leader by far, is that he has managed to rise above it all. To never say a word in his own defence to return or respond to any of the smears. Instead he has concentrated on the job in hand, creating from scratch a brand new political party, the Alba Party. In a matter of a few weeks there are now thousands of new members, candidates in place across the entire country, an exciting Policy programme and his own personal performances, measured, considered and innovative single him out as a man at the height of his powers, more than capable of forging an effective path to bring Boris to the negotiating table. Policies of maximising opposition to the Tories, energising our people to resist. True, inspiring, strategically competent planning and effort. All the things that have been missing in recent years. He has no fear of rivals, he is building a wide team full of competent people, indeed Alex often mentors those who might one day be his successor. Yet some in the SNP still try to smear as being ego driven. There is only one thing that drives Alex Salmond. It is delivering Independence for Scotland. The Unionists know it and are petrified because of it. You know something? They are right to be so. Vote Alba on the list and let’s get our best team, our strongest team, playing in the Scotland jerseys!
I am, as always
Yours for Scotland.
Free subscriptions for this site are available on the Home and Blog pages of this website. You will be most welcome.