Sunday, October 21, 2007

Salmond's Red Herrings

According to Scotland on Sunday Alex Salmond has launched ‘an audacious bid’ for Scotland to take part in talks at the UN aimed at ending the nuclear age. The First Minister has written to representatives of the 189 countries who have signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) - including Iran and Zimbabwe - declaring his aim for the SNP administration to be involved in future discussions. Last night, UK ministers reacted with incredulity, accusing him of ‘undermining Britain's foreign policy and making common cause with nations hostile to British interests’.

Here we go again, more red herrings from the Salmond. This whole thing is becoming a game designed to position the SNP as the champion of all causes likely to win votes. If only life and politics was so simple.

Naturally the rhetoric from the Labour government has already started accusing the FM of failing to deal with bread and butter issues. It’s all rather like the LibDems who are able to tilt at any windmills of their choosing without facing the consequences of delivering. The problem for Scotland is we need the SNP to deliver on practical matters and so far nothing of too much substance has happened.

Methinks that this tactic will continue throughout the life of this parliament and at some point Salmond will pick a fight, of his choosing, and then cause an election which will see the SNP make substantial gains against Labour. I remain skeptical about an independent Scotland but I see it as ever more likely that the SNP could gain a majority in Holyrood next time around. Of course that’s still a lot different from a majority wanting independence. The key question will always be how will any referendum be shaped and how will those who don’t want independence feel.

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