Friday, 2 November 2012

Alternative endings

First Minister Alex Salmond
First Minister Alex Salmond - credibility intact.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Funny how things turn out. Even an apparently ploddingly predictable script can have some surprising plot twists. Events appear to be heading inexorably in one direction, but end up in a different place altogether.

Seems like little more than a week ago we were being assured by the braying donkeys of the unionist media that the SNP's position on post-independence European Union membership lay in tatters while First Minister Alex Salmond was fatally wounded, his political survival on a precariously shoogly peg, and the referendum on Scotland's independence surely lost to the forces of British nationalism.

Instead, what do we see?

The arguments for the two successor state scenario, favoured by the SNP and Yes Scotland among others, look stronger than ever having received the unequivocal backing of a number of authoritative individuals, including Dr James Ker-Lindsay and Graham Avery. The bare-faced hypocrisy of the anti-independence campaign has been exposed with the revelation that London has refused Freedom of Information (FoI) requests for its legal advice on exactly the same grounds for which the Scottish government has been so viciously castigated. And after squawking loud and long about how crucial the views of the EU are to the debate, the UK government petulantly declines an offer from the European Commission (EC) to give its view if this is requested by a member state. With some of the more perverse commentators somehow managing to blame Alex Salmond for the UK government's immature and cowardly intransigence!

And what of the supposedly bowed and bloodied Salmond? Did he slink off to some corner to lick his wounds and die as per the gleeful predictions of the more excitable pundits? Far from it! The man seems thoroughly invigorated by the ineffectual assaults of his enemies. The British parties at Holyrood tried to waylay him by staging a "debate" intended to give all the unionist "big hitters" an opportunity to rehearse their extensive repertoire of smears and calumnies against the man they live to hate. But it all turned into a decidedly soggy squib as Salmond went serenely on about his First Ministerly duties leaving his eminently capable deputy, Nicola Sturgeon, the task of repelling what turned out to be a far from fearful onslaught.

Even with the target right in front of them at First Minister's Questions on Thursday the combined forces of the Tory/Labour/LibDem alliance couldn't create so much as a crease in Salmond's calm composure. By this time they were mostly backing-off from specific and explicit accusations of dishonesty on Salmond's part, resorting instead to vague and generalised allegations of "untrustworthiness" in the fervent but ultimately forlorn hope that they could get some of that malicious mud to stick. They gave it their best shot - and they failed to make any impact at all. More damage was done to the Better Together cabal than to the independence campaign with bitter recriminations and squabbling over who was most to blame for the fact that the proverbial coo's erse remained blithely un-banjoed.

Attention has now turned to a different prey. Having belatedly and rather foolishly demanded an inquiry into the First Minister's conduct regarding "legal advice" and FoI requests, the unionists now realise that any impartial examination of the facts is likely to expose the vacuous maliciousness of the allegations. In a desperate effort to minimise the anticipated embarrassment they have set about yet another smear campaign, this time with the aim of undermining the credibility of the inquiry and impugning the integrity of Sir David Bell, the academic administrator appointed to lead the independent investigation.

In this disreputable venture the anti-independence mob are, as would be expected, enthusiastically aided and abetted by their friends in the media. But here too, bitter disappointment over the total failure to damage Salmond's credibility and standing with the Scottish people is palpable - with slavering, growling attack-dogs like Tom Peterkin reduced to cowering, yapping pups.

All very different from the way things were supposed to play out. So different, in fact, that one might be forgiven for thinking that, whatever tall tales his opponents may tell, Alex Salmond has the ability to write his own alternative endings.
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  1. "..And what of the supposedly bowed and bloodied Salmond? Did he slink off to some corner.."

    Glasgow, wasn't it?

    1. You are as confused as ever. Alex Salmond was fulfilling prior engagements and attending to matters of some importance. It is only right that the inconsequential whining and sniping of bitter Britnats should not distract him from his duties as First Minister.

  2. Mr Bell

    As I was perusing Moridura's TV thingy on YouTube I watched again Stewart Maxwell's floundering attempts on Newsnicht at contextualsing wee Salmond's mis-speak in the now notorious Andrew Neil interview.

    If you remember the interview went thus:

    Neil: 'Have you sought advice from your own Scottish law officers on this matter?'

    Salmond: 'We have, yes in terms of the debate and obviously..'

    Neil: 'And what did they say?'

    Salmond: 'you can read that in the documents we've put forward..'

    I'd love to hear a SNP supporter explain that interview line by line, including Mr Neil's questions and explain wee Salmond's lies away...

    1. As well as being characteristically silly your comment is off topic. The issue to which you refer has been comprehensively dealt with elsewhere.

      Peter A Bell: Communication and understanding

    2. Sorry for being off-topic but where is the comprehensive explanation of the interview (including Mr Neil's questions) put out by the SNP?

      You see, I can only find redacted versions from the SNP where Mr Neil's questions are dismissed as interruptions rather than part of a conversation.

      Perhaps you would be good enough to show me where I can see this?


    3. Why would it be the SNP's responsibility to publish transcripts of a BBC programme? You make no sense.

      Further off-topic comments will be ignored.

  3. Sorry, didn't see your link to a previous post.

    It's nonsense of course and I note you couldn't point to the bit where wee Salmond explained how 'we have, yes' actually means 'we haven't, no'.

    I'm not surprised because wee Salmond didn't say anything of the kind...

    1. I think I may have to consider an age restriction on this site.