Alex Salmond and the Alba Party

This discussion was created from comments split from: Scotch & Wry - the Scottish thread 2021.
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  • Any thoughts/comments from Scottish Shipmates as to the new *Alba* party being set up by Alex Salmond?

    The idea, ostensibly at any rate, appears to be the boosting of the pro-independence vote at the expense of those parties still favouring the *union*.

    From today's Guardian:

    https://theguardian.com/politics/2021/mar/26/alex-salmond-launches-new-independence-focused-political-party-alba
  • Ethne AlbaEthne Alba Shipmate
    edited March 26
    He‘ll not get my vote.




    And that is all about Him and nothing to do with independence.


  • Ethne Alba wrote: »
    He‘ll not get my vote.




    And that is all about Him and nothing to do with independence.


    I rather got that impression, though AIUI Salmond has still some considerable support in his own constituency.

    Maybe it'll turn out to be a damp squib?
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    ISTM that he’s in danger of becoming a kind of Scottish Nigel Farage.
  • Oh fuck. One of those is at least three too many!
  • If you want to vote for a pro-indy party on the list vote the Greens are sitting right there and you get progressive policies in place of Salmond's ego.
  • With the way the electoral system works, on the assumption that the SNP will get many of the constituencies votes for the SNP in the regional vote will have little impact. A smaller number of regional votes for another pro-independence party would therefore have a bigger effect, and result in more pro-indy MSPs than just voting SNP on both ballots.

    As @Arethosemyfeet just said, the Greens are way ahead of the other smaller pro-indy parties. I don't see what the Alba Party adds to the existing collection of small pro-indy parties. Presumably ISP or one of the others didn't want Salmond or he couldn't face being just another candidate in some one elses party.

    If he pulls votes from the Greens that could lead to less pro-indy MSPs, if he takes up SNP voters then it won't make any difference unless he gets a lot of those votes (and thus gets elected, or one of his candidates anyway).
  • Looking at some of the other candidates announced, he seems to have attracted a few of the SNP members who have been complaining that the SNP leadership isn't fully supportive of their bigotry.

    It's almost as hilarious as the current George Galloway party who had to change their name when it was pointed out that one bloke desperate for attention can't call himself an alliance for anything.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    BroJames wrote: »
    ISTM that he’s in danger of becoming a kind of Scottish Nigel Farage.

    That was exactly my first thought too, Bro James - or maybe more accurately, a Scottish what-was-his-name Goldsmith - the Referendum Party bloke. All he achieved was splitting the Tory vote (I remember it had a paeticular effect in Colchester, where David came from, where the Tories lost, probably for the first time since the Middle Ages).

    I can't help thinking it's just a case of sour grapes, because Nicola was cleared of breaking the ministerial code.
  • Looking at some of the other candidates announced, he seems to have attracted a few of the SNP members who have been complaining that the SNP leadership isn't fully supportive of their bigotry.

    It's almost as hilarious as the current George Galloway party who had to change their name when it was pointed out that one bloke desperate for attention can't call himself an alliance for anything.

    Apparently the pair of them will feature together at a hustings. SNP and Labour supporters can be united in embarrassment at ever having share a party with them.
  • Alex Salmond risks making a complete fool of himself.
  • Labour (and possibly the Greens) will surely be rubbing their hands in glee ... as will all pro-unionists.

    Meanwhile, in other news, Wales says "thank you" to the lads in ble, and WELL DONE!
  • Piglet wrote: »
    All he achieved was splitting the Tory vote (I remember it had a paeticular effect in Colchester, where David came from, where the Tories lost, probably for the first time since the Middle Ages).
    I don't think so, the LibDems had it from 1997-2015.

  • Alex Salmond risks making a complete fool of himself.

    Oh, he did that a long time ago when he bulldozed through permission for Donald Trump to wreck one of Scotland's most important SSSIs with a golf course.
  • LouiseLouise Epiphanies Host
    Salmond is a narcissist, a Putin-apologist and a sexist creep whose new party embraces a rabble of deeply nasty people, who if you don't occasionally glance into the Twitter abyss, you wont have come across them or necessarily have realised how worrying some of them are.

    We're not talking a normal political party but something more like the Farage vehicles where there's no real party democracy and no way to remove the leader. It would likely, if unchecked, lead Scotland down the road of Hungary or Poland where scapegoating LGBT people and women who 'dont know their place' is used to keep an ethnonationalist government in power.

    It's frightening that he's been given so much publicity and that a lot of the media has tried to give it a kind of 'horse race' coverage so they can make an 'exciting' Sturgeon versus Salmond narrative. We all know how that panned out in America with Trump versus Clinton and we've already had the 'But her emails!' equivalent.

    I don't think I've ever been so scared in my life about Scottish politics. If his ugly 'more alt-right than people realise' party gets a foothold, we're in deep trouble. As he's more unpopular than Boris Johnson in Scottish polling I hope he gets nowhere but my fear is that irresponsible media coverage might puff him up.
  • CathscatsCathscats Shipmate
    This.
  • my fear is that irresponsible media coverage might puff him up

    This scares me too.
  • Action for Independence have decided to stand down, and support Alba Party instead of standing candidates themselves. Tommy Sheridan and Alex Salmond are not obviously natural bedfellows.
  • My feeling is that unionists despise him even more than Sturgeon, and the number of nationalists who will follow Salmond rather than stick with the SNP is tiny. The message of Change UK (or whatever the fuck it was called) is that the media fawning over you can't make up for being (a) pointless and (b) useless. Gaelic twitter is already having a field day mocking Salmond's inability to pronounce Alba and mocking the unionists who don't know what Alba is.
  • North East QuineNorth East Quine Shipmate
    edited March 27
    Alex Salmond risks making a complete fool of himself.

    Oh, he did that a long time ago when he bulldozed through permission for Donald Trump to wreck one of Scotland's most important SSSIs with a golf course.

    I live not a million miles from here. There are a lot of SSSIs locally, and the news that this particular one was one of Scotland's "most important" comes as news to me.

    My recollection was that there was a lot of local support for Aberdeenshire to have a world-class golf club, and also a lot of opposition, mostly due to the plans to also build a village next to it. This would have added traffic to the A90, which was already carrying more traffic than it could cope with.

    Salmond was the local MSP, and was involved wearing two hats - MSP and First Minister. Much as I now dislike the Salmond, he was a good constituency MP, visible and involved in the community.

    Aberdeenshire Council was split down the middle - the plans were voted down on the casting vote. I think a different plan - just the golf course with associated golf-course buildings - would have passed.

    Given the council were almost evenly divided, I think describing what happened next as "bulldozing through permission" is a tad strong.

    For what it's worth, Aberdeenshire Council have now approved plans for Trump to build a second course adjacent to the first - no "bulldozing" required this time.

    Edited to add - I'm not saying the whole thing was devoid of sleaze, I'm saying that Salmond did not "bulldoze" through permission, given that opinion was fairly evenly divided.



  • Tommy Sheridan and Alex Salmond are not obviously natural bedfellows.

    Oooh, I'm not so sure.

  • Pass the brain bleach, please.
  • Nice description of Alex Salmond on the BBC R4 Today Programme from whoever was being interviewed from the SNP. I can't remember the question, which compared Alex Salmond to someone in politics, but the answer was that he thought Alex Salmond was the SNP's George Galloway without the hats.
  • Nice description of Alex Salmond on the BBC R4 Today Programme from whoever was being interviewed from the SNP. I can't remember the question, which compared Alex Salmond to someone in politics, but the answer was that he thought Alex Salmond was the SNP's George Galloway without the hats.

    There's also some similarity to Tony Blair - charismatic politician who time and questionable behaviour have erased the shine from keeps sticking his oar in both to stroke his ego and sabotage his successor.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Piglet wrote: »
    All he achieved was splitting the Tory vote (I remember it had a paeticular effect in Colchester, where David came from, where the Tories lost, probably for the first time since the Middle Ages).
    I don't think so, the LibDems had it from 1997-2015.

    That's the election I was referring to. I'd forgotten just how long ago it was! :blush:
  • LouiseLouise Epiphanies Host
    Action for Independence have decided to stand down, and support Alba Party instead of standing candidates themselves. Tommy Sheridan and Alex Salmond are not obviously natural bedfellows.

    Salmond and Sheridan are both Russia Today presenters - as well as being sleazy sexists, and so is Galloway who is performing a similar toxic role on the Unionist side running for the Alliance for Unity party.

    I don't think there's any co-ordination to that, it's just happenstance that we've got a lot of vile ego-ridden sexist creeps who've joined Putin's last chance saloon because no reputable party or organisation will have them.

    But it's important to remember that RT is racist, sexist, anti-LGBT+ and a genocide-denying propaganda channel for a mass murderer and dictator, so whatever their previous track record these people should now be regarded as a sinister part of the far right.
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited March 27
    Louise wrote: »
    Action for Independence have decided to stand down, and support Alba Party instead of standing candidates themselves. Tommy Sheridan and Alex Salmond are not obviously natural bedfellows.

    Salmond and Sheridan are both Russia Today presenters - as well as being sleazy sexists, and so is Galloway who is performing a similar toxic role on the Unionist side running for the Alliance for Unity party.

    I don't think there's any co-ordination to that, it's just happenstance that we've got a lot of vile ego-ridden sexist creeps who've joined Putin's last chance saloon because no reputable party or organisation will have them.

    But it's important to remember that RT is racist, sexist, anti-LGBT+ and a genocide-denying propaganda channel for a mass murderer and dictator, so whatever their previous track record these people should now be regarded as a sinister part of the far right.

    In which case, it is devoutly to be wished that they remain a very small part of the body politic in Scotland.

    O dear O dear. Here we are in blighted little *England*, stuck with the bloody tories until Hell freezes over, but some of us, at least, are hoping for better things for our northern neighbours.

  • I see RT as a very strange phenomenon. It's entiirely alt - alt-right, but also uncritically disruptor-worshipping. Someone somewhere in it seems to think that unpopular causes are automatically righteous. This can lead to it supporting "progressive" causes, such as being in favour (from what I have seen flicking past it) of the rights of refugees and immigrantts, whilst being otherwise anti-progressive, especially in its sexism and heteronormativity.
  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    My feeling is that unionists despise him even more than Sturgeon.
    I doubt that outside politics geek types anyone despises Sturgeon. Salmond comes over as an oily creep, but Sturgeon is at the very least able to say the right things in public. Most of the serious criticism this unionist has seen has been from Conservative sources who would say that sort of thing anyway.

  • ForthviewForthview Shipmate
    In founding a new party Salmond has given himself an outside chance of being 'returned ' to the Scottish Parliament on the List system. In spite of his failings there will always be a certain number of people who will support him and he might get up in his own backyard in North East Scotland a sufficient number of votes to give him a parliamentary seat as No 1 on the List for his party. It is doubtful if there will be any others voted in.
  • (My thanks to @System for hiving off this thread from All Saints. Had I thought there might be such a reaction, I'd have started a separate thread myself!).

    Salmond really is Bad News, ISTM. He's no good to anyone, it seems, apart from himself...

    Am I right, though, in thinking that the short time between now and the elections in May is insufficient for him to garner much support, other than from those who would vote for him anyway, IYSWIM?

    I don't really have a horse in this race, except that my Ma's family originated in SW Scotland, before migrating to Ireland mumble mumble years ago...
  • This election is very strange, without all the usual knocking on doors and talking to people. That means media coverage is even more important than normal, and Salmond has managed to get that in spades. Though, the bigots seem to always manage to get the media to talk about them.

    This incident may finally get the people of Scotland to realise how our voting system works, and all the non-SNP parties a boost in the regional vote if SNP voters finally realise that voting SNP on both papers has little real benefit in returning SNP MSPs. All those people who tell the Greens "I'll vote for you after we get independence" thinking voting SNP in both papers is the only way to gain pro-Indy MSPs. The D'Hondt method does disadvantage smaller parties, so hopefully that will work against the Alba Party.
  • Enlarging on the remark attributed to P T Barnum, Brendan Behan said:

    There is no such thing as bad publicity except your own obituary.

    Not that I wish Salmond any ill, but it would surely be better if he were NOT about to return to Scottish politics, but were to be consigned to the dustbin of history, in which he could enjoy his retirement...

    Along with a few others, such as Farage etc. etc.
  • Enlarging on the remark attributed to P T Barnum, Brendan Behan said:

    There is no such thing as bad publicity except your own obituary.

    Not that I wish Salmond any ill, but it would surely be better if he were NOT about to return to Scottish politics, but were to be consigned to the dustbin of history, in which he could enjoy his retirement...

    Along with a few others, such as Farage etc. etc.

    Salmond is already in the dustbin of history. This is just the lid rattling.
  • my fear is that irresponsible media coverage might puff him up

    This scares me too.

    This is almost certainly the hope. The right wing press, in their hatred of Sturgeon, will be only too happy to give as much publicity to Salmond as they can. And as with Farage, they can paint him as a "folk hero" bravely battling against the system, which will boost some people's view of him.

    Let's not forget that a key factor in the success of the right wing press in influencing public opinion has been to continually present politicians (especially those in power) as "the enemy of the people". Undermining confidence in the democratic process is a basic right wing tactic.
  • True, but how many people in Scotland are likely to believe this shite?

  • Unfortunately the Daily Mail and similar purveyors of hate have too many readers north of the border for me to think that the number of people who will consider a sexual predator surrounding himself with assorted trans-phobic bigots and other assorted vile characters as their saviour from ... well, something ... is going to be insignificant.
  • AnselminaAnselmina Shipmate
    Maybe someone can help me here. I'm a little ashamed to say I am genuinely confused by some of the Salmond/Sex Assault court case business. At the time of the trial he seemed to agree with some of the milder evidence given against him, except to say he didn't know he was being gropey and creepy, and the final result was 'not guilty', as we know. Okay. However, everyone keeps bringing up how betrayed or let down the women were who brought the case against him. If he's not guilty, then where's the betrayal? Either they were right or wrong to bring him to account. Or either the verdict was right or wrong. I don't understand how the court can have cleared Salmond of the accusations, and in addition how the inquiry could be justified in questioning how Salmond was brought to court and yet everyone is still saying the women were let down, too. I think I've missed some information?
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    Is Salmond right wing?
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Boogie wrote: »
    Is Salmond right wing?

    I've been wondering that myself, because as a decided NON-FAN of nationalism, I was grudgingly prepared to admit that Scottish nationalism might be the one variant that remains truly in a civic mode, and doesn't descend into chest-thumping ethnocentric tribalism.

    But then I heard that he was working for RT, which is pretty right-wing, albeit with a veneer of anti-Americanism that can seem superficially progressive. So I am now curious to know what others think.
  • Anselmina wrote: »
    Maybe someone can help me here. I'm a little ashamed to say I am genuinely confused by some of the Salmond/Sex Assault court case business. At the time of the trial he seemed to agree with some of the milder evidence given against him, except to say he didn't know he was being gropey and creepy, and the final result was 'not guilty', as we know. Okay. However, everyone keeps bringing up how betrayed or let down the women were who brought the case against him. If he's not guilty, then where's the betrayal? Either they were right or wrong to bring him to account. Or either the verdict was right or wrong. I don't understand how the court can have cleared Salmond of the accusations, and in addition how the inquiry could be justified in questioning how Salmond was brought to court and yet everyone is still saying the women were let down, too. I think I've missed some information?
    He admitted to "inappropriate behaviour" towards several women while he was First Minister. He was acquitted of criminal behaviour (which doesn't make what he did do acceptable). During the trial it became clear that the procedures within the Scottish Government had been significantly deficient - that was the second time these women were failed (the first being, of course, being subjected to unwanted sexual advances). It's unclear whether better handling of their complaints would have lead to a different legal outcome (either the case not going to court, requiring these women to give evidence and talk about what had happened, or a different verdict).

    The Parliamentary committee that's just reported was supposed to be investigating the complaints procedure, identify what went wrong and how to prevent the same mistakes happening again. It turned into a "he said, she said" about when Nicola Sturgeon was informed of the complaints and whether there was a faction in the SNP out to "get" Salmond. The result was to shove the way these women were treated, not just by Salmond but also by the complaints system, into the background. Basically, the committee failed to fulfil it's remit and instead got into partisan political point scoring over the different stories about when Sturgeon was informed, which is largely irrelevant to the workings of a civil service complaints procedure. So, the women have been failed again because their experience of the complaints system has been ignored, and any lessons that could have been learnt not learnt.

    These women had a genuine grievance against Salmond (irrespective of the courts, he's admitted to behaving inappropriately) and the complaints system in the Scottish government failed them. Then their grievances about the failure of the complaints system also went unheard as the committee set up to investigate got side tracked into partisan bickering. All round, a disgraceful series of events.
  • stetson wrote: »
    Boogie wrote: »
    Is Salmond right wing?

    I've been wondering that myself, because as a decided NON-FAN of nationalism, I was grudgingly prepared to admit that Scottish nationalism might be the one variant that remains truly in a civic mode

    Scottish Nationalism (in some forms) may be that. The SNP is an alliance of people of different political stripes though.
    But then I heard that he was working for RT, which is pretty right-wing, albeit with a veneer of anti-Americanism that can seem superficially progressive.

    I think RT is more of a champion of anything that seems to disrupt the status quo.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    stetson wrote: »
    Boogie wrote: »
    Is Salmond right wing?

    I've been wondering that myself, because as a decided NON-FAN of nationalism, I was grudgingly prepared to admit that Scottish nationalism might be the one variant that remains truly in a civic mode

    Scottish Nationalism (in some forms) may be that. The SNP is an alliance of people of different political stripes though.
    But then I heard that he was working for RT, which is pretty right-wing, albeit with a veneer of anti-Americanism that can seem superficially progressive.

    I think RT is more of a champion of anything that seems to disrupt the status quo.

    That's probably an accurate description of RT. From what I've seen, they are not uniformly pro-immigration, but rather like to cover the issue in ways that make the West look bad(which can mean either saying the West is being overrun with migrant hordes, or is going authoritarian to stop the hordes).
  • As noted, the SNP has long been a very broad coalition of people united under a desire to see an independent Scotland, but with little else politically in common. With devolution and their gaining significant political influence they needed to start putting forward actual policies other than just independence. Where they ended up under Salmond was a broadly centre-right set of policies, similar in many ways the New Labour under Blair and Brown, and the epithet "Tartan Tories" still fits in many ways, though since 2014 they've moved a bit more towards the centre. Whether Salmond himself was on the same center-right position or not is harder to say, but I think he was possibly even further to the right - though, well short of the Conservatives even before they leapt to the right in 2016.
  • I think Salmond is on whichever part of the political spectrum he thinks will get him votes. He certainly gives every indication that he sees himself as the only "true" leader for Scotland.
  • AnselminaAnselmina Shipmate
    @Alan Cresswell Thanks. That helps to clarify it. All very murky and nasty.
  • I see RT as a very strange phenomenon. It's entiirely alt - alt-right, but also uncritically disruptor-worshipping. Someone somewhere in it seems to think that unpopular causes are automatically righteous. This can lead to it supporting "progressive" causes, such as being in favour (from what I have seen flicking past it) of the rights of refugees and immigrantts, whilst being otherwise anti-progressive, especially in its sexism and heteronormativity.

    My experience with Russia Today locally was them stirring the pot about asylum seekers being housed in a nearby motel - a Home Office initiative. Russia Today interviewed various locals in such a way to stir them up against the asylum seekers. The article was inflammatory, to put it mildly.
  • ForthviewForthview Shipmate
    Anselmina - like yourself I wondered how one could speak about the complainants about Salmond's behaviour as having been let down.
    Given that Salmond was acquitted of all charges -(not proven on one and not guilty on all the others) how is it that the complainants were not then - in legal terms - to be seen as time wasters ?
    A QC friend explained that even a verdict of not guilty simply means that the Crown has not been able to prove that Salmond was guilty. Therefore he is presumed to be innocent. He may or may not be innocent of the charges. The women may or may not be telling the truth about what they claimed happened, but the verdict of the court of justice is Not Guilty and we leave it at that.
  • Guardian article here entitled Scotland: concerns over whether system fails sexual harassment victims includes this description:
    The 10 pages of testimony from Ms A and Ms B powerfully focused attention on the manifold deficiencies they faced throughout the process: they described a culture of complicity around Salmond’s allegedly inappropriate behaviour during his time as first minister where a “blind eye” was turned and “making complaints was simply not the done thing”.

    They also related how they felt “basically just dropped” by the Scottish government after the initial inquiry, and left with no support during the subsequent police investigation and trial, after which a jury acquitted Salmond of all charges.
  • To be found guilty of a criminal offense is a different level. Many workplaces will have thresholds for unacceptable behaviour well below that needed to reach court. Making complaints of wrong doing is never time wasting - to do otherwise is to make a nonsense of the guidelines most live by and to say that such behaviour is acceptable. One of the big problems with the legal system handling sexual abuse is that the victims do not come forward expecting that they won't be believed and if it gets to court that the defendant will get off on some technicality - remember in many cases there would be no corroborating evidence. Of course, that becomes a self-fulfilling cycle - sexual abuse doesn't get prosecuted because people don't come forward, therefore they don't come forward.

    Salmond admitted to inappropriate unwanted sexual advances, that in itself was enough to justify the court case. No time wasters there.
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