CAMPAIGNING FOR SCOTLAND
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Nationalism and all that is best in Scotland."
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Issue 746 - 19th September
Today Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland
and leader of the Scottish National Party announced his resignation from
both posts; he accepted responsibility for failing to win independence and
felt very strongly that the SNP would benefit from a new leader, and the
Scottish Parliament from a new First Minister.
I am very sad that Alex is standing down, and this came as a complete
surprise to myself and to all in the SNP. He has identified what we have all
noticed and that is the grassroots campaign, non party political, and puts
his trust in them.
However, while respecting his decision, I do not expect him to disappear, he
will find a new role, which I think he must know – he’s always three moves
Gordon Wilson Regrets
Resignation of Alex Salmond
Alex Salmond fought a brilliant referendum campaign. It is not his fault
that the Scottish people did not vote for independence on this occasion.
The winning of 45% of the vote in the Scottish independence referendum
is a superlative achievement.
It is a mark of Alex’s integrity that he has taken personal
responsibility. He is undoubtedly the greatest Scottish politician of
his generation. He has led the SNP with distinction over a twenty year
period and made a tremendous contribution. I am vexed that he has felt
it necessary to offer his resignation. From personal experience, I know
just how exhausting the responsibilities of leadership are and Alex had
to carry also the responsibilities of First Minister of the Scottish
Government. To form that Government and win a majority is his major
achievement in a formidable political career.
I wish him and his wife, Moira a long and happy retirement.
I make no apology for republishing last week’s Flag introduction, as my
prediction has come true, impossible as that may seem.
Promises - the siren
In 1979, before the Referendum, a former Prime
Minister, Lord Douglas Home, Tory, said “Vote No and we will give you
While Scotland did not vote No, not enough voted Yes to win the Referendum;
the devolution project was dumped and the “something better” was Margaret
In 2014, before this Referendum, a former Prime Minister, Gordon Brown,
Labour, has said “Vote No and we will give you something better”.
There was no devolution question on the ballot paper, Westminster’s rule,
and thousands of postal ballots had been cast before this non option was
Margaret Thatcher has gone, but this very week, Cameron, Clegg and Miliband
are in Scotland trying to regain lost ground. Mr Farage of UKIP is coming up
next week to support the Union, and London Mayor Boris Johnston is
salivating at the prospect of becoming Prime Minister and sorting out these
The opinion poll that
shook the world
Everything was coming along nicely, the opinion polls had shown a movement
towards Yes that I had been experiencing on the doorsteps, and the No lead
was being cut but not overtaken.
10 days before the vote a YouGov poll showed Yes 51 No 49; as recorded above
we had Cameron Clegg and Miliband up in Scotland, panicking, the pound fell
and the market went down with share prices dramatically down particularly in
This led to statements from banks, supermarkets, the oil industry and
members of the financial services of the disasters about to befall us. The
No campaign awoke from their torpor, Gordon Brown made more impassioned
speeches and Labour activists, hitherto invisible in the campaign
materialised from some where and starting charging up and down the streets;
over the last two months I have campaigned in Ratho, Ratho Station,
Kirkliston, South Queensferry, Corstorphine, Craigmount, Drylaw, Pennywell
Muirhouse, Clermiston, Drumbrae, South Gyle, Carricknowe, Davidsons Mains,
Silverknowes , Broomhall and others I cannot remember, and there were no
Labour activists in view – must have been my failing eyesight.
As the scare stories ratcheted up the newspapers took full advantage of this
manna, and gave headlines, even using slanted words when reporting any good
news for Yes.
Opinion polls settled back to their previous pattern; how odd that the one
poll that created all the mayhem just reversed within days – job done!
I wonder, yes I wonder.
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Read Christina McKelvie MSP's Weekly Diary