|Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland|
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I sense a new theme oozing out of Project Fear. Or, rather, a redoubled effort on an old theme. The campaign to deny Scotland's rightful constitutional status has always aimed to sideline the massive grass-roots, community-based Yes Scotland campaign that they know they cannot defeat and deceive the people of Scotland into thinking that the independence movement is all about the SNP and, more particularly, all about Alex Salmond.
British nationalists think so little of the people of Scotland that they imagine we will be readily duped into swallowing their decidedly amateurish propaganda about the 300-year old struggle to restore the sovereignty of Scotland's people being nothing more than one man's personal project.
Unionists have such contempt for the people of Scotland that they suppose it will be easy to deceive us into seeing David Cameron as the heroic saviour of Scotland while the man we actually voted for as the political leader of our nation is somehow our enemy.
Note too the matching rhetoric from the Tory UK government and British Labour's puppets in Scotland, Johann Lamont, Anas Sarwar and the rest. They speak with one voice. And it is a voice shrill with fear and hatred. Hatred of the man who has done nothing worse for Scotland than deliver the independence referendum that the vast majority of us wanted. A man who has championed Scotland around the world and steadfastly defended the rights, institutions and public services that the people of Scotland cherish against the predations of successive UK governments.
A man who, whatever faults some may find, is so unquestionably committed to the interests of Scotland and its people that he has won the plaudits of commentators of every persuasion and support across the political spectrum in Scotland. Unprecedented levels of support which, exceptionally, he retains after more than six years in office and despite a massive and ongoing smear campaign by the British parties and their lackeys in the mainstream media.
This is no cult of personality. Nobody in Scotland gets misty eyed and tearful over a mere politician. We don't do hero-worship. And even if we did, Alex Salmond would be a most unlikely subject of mindless adulation. Nobody is hanging portraits of Salmond on their wall. You won't find people lauding and saluting this man.
But you will find people shaking him by the hand. You will find people giving him a cheery wave and a thumbs up. You will find no shortage of people paying Alex Salmond the highest praise in the Scottish parlance, "He's a' right,"
If nothing else, Alex Salmond is our First Minister. An office which he holds because the people of Scotland saw fit to grant it to him in free and fair democratic elections. To insult that office is to insult the people of Scotland. The effort to preserve the British state is increasingly turning into a vicious hate campaign directed primarily against Alex Salmond. But make no mistake, the real target of this campaign is Scotland itself. It is a project to turn us against one another and undermine our confidence in ourselves. An attempt to infect us all with the rancid bitterness of those who identify Salmond with a threat to their power and privilege.
Let us not fall victim to this despicable ploy. Let us reject the politics of fear and hate being purveyed by the cabal of British parties. Let us all stand firm in defiance of those who would turn the referendum debate into an extended "Two Minute Hate" against Alex Salmond. Let us defend our First Minster against the smears and calumnies of those who would turn us against him in the hope of turning us against each other.
Let us all get behind Alex Salmond, not for his politics or his personality, but for the fact that he has the mandate of the people of Scotland. And for the fact that, if Alex Salmond is Scotland's enemy, then we surely have no friends.