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Low Morale among SNP troops as party faces referendum campaign: Alex's star has slipped


factual

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Alex Salmond faces a sceptical nation - FT.com

Fascinating story in the FT describing the low morale among the SNP activists in Glasgow.

For a while SNP was able to ride the waves but now activists are asking questions about Alex Salmond, and expressing disappointment that he is not moving on. He is making the same old speech to party conference.


Last Tuesday may have been the worst day in the first minister’s 25-year political career. It began with the news that two of his MSPs were resigning over the party’s decision to drop its decades-long opposition to remaining in Nato – a reversal Mr Salmond backed to move the SNP further into the mainstream.
That news was compounded when, Nicola Sturgeon, his deputy, revealed that contrary to earlier suggestions, the Scottish government had no legal advice that justified its assertion that the country could remain in the EU after independence. Not only had Mr Salmond suggested such advice had been sought and given long ago but the Scottish government had spent £12,000 of taxpayers’ money on a legal challenge to prevent having to disclose its contents.
Ms Sturgeon’s statement triggered a hostile reaction in the Scottish press. The Scottish Sun, which supported the SNP in 2011, ran a front-page headline branding Mr Salmond: “EU Liar”.
So is this the low point of his five-year rule as first minister?

That said, it may be too soon to write him off as he has come back before:

Mr Salmond is powered by a sense of being able to defeat the odds, say friends, which was further fuelled by overturning the polls in last year’s Holyrood elections.
This conviction he can achieve the politically impossible by sheer force of his own personality makes him remarkably resilient. When he stood down from the party leadership in 2000 amid bitter criticism of his “dictatorial” style, his career seemed over. Yet four years later, just months after saying he would not run again for the leadership, he was back at the SNP helm. Three years after that he was first minister.
 
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statsman

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Alex Salmond faces a sceptical nation - FT.com

Fascinating story in the FT describing the low morale among the SNP activists in Glasgow.

For a while SNP was able to ride the waves but now activists are asking questions about Alex Salmond, and expressing disappointment that he is not moving on. He is making the same old speech to party conference.
Given the likelihood of the referendum falling, Salmond is on his last lap anyway. Labour may well benefit.
 

factual

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Given the likelihood of the referendum falling, Salmond is on his last lap anyway. Labour may well benefit.
The article points out that Alex Salmond left the referendum negotiations with David Cameron to his deputy Nichola Surgeon so that if the referendum fails he can blame her.
 

hiker

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The article points out that Alex Salmond left the referendum negotiations with David Cameron to his deputy Nichola Surgeon so that if the referendum fails he can blame her.
Positively DeValera-ish... :)
 

TheWexfordInn

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From the same article. It reckons that Salmond won his 2011 SNP majority too soon, his 2011 electoral triumph could ironically have been the death knell to any short term hopes for Scotland's independence.

.. once he won a majority in 2011, he had little option but to call a referendum. The arch-gradualist was forced by his own success to take the last step on the path to independence earlier than he might have wished.
“2011 was his greatest victory,” says Mr Torrance. “It may also have been the worst thing that could have happened to his political career.”
 

statsman

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Positively DeValera-ish... :)
But for the fact that Dev didn't have to face Labour and the Tories in the next GE. Labour look to be on the rise in Scotland again, and are, ironically, best placed to capitalise on Scottish Unionism.
 

statsman

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The article points out that Alex Salmond left the referendum negotiations with David Cameron to his deputy Nichola Surgeon so that if the referendum fails he can blame her.
He can, but many will blame him among the electorate.
 

Keith-M

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The one really good thing coming from the referendum is that Scots are getting a chance to see and really examine what kind of government they would get if they vote for independence and compare it to what they have had for centuries. If you are going to discard a system that has served you well and brought stability for so long, then you need to be pretty certain that whatever replaces it is as good if not better.

That's a marked contrast to our mistakes of almost a hundred years. There was no vision, let alone proper debate of what would replace our position in the U.K. and once Home Rule was off the table, a vacuum was created where two factions of Irish nationalism that had little or no long term differences filled it. With no major policy differences, we created a political system that was dominated by the cult of personality and the party that produced the bigger personalities generally did better.
 

factual

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The one really good thing coming from the referendum is that Scots are getting a chance to see and really examine what kind of government they would get if they vote for independence and compare it to what they have had for centuries. If you are going to discard a system that has served you well and brought stability for so long, then you need to be pretty certain that whatever replaces it is as good if not better.

That's a marked contrast to our mistakes of almost a hundred years. There was no vision, let alone proper debate of what would replace our position in the U.K. and once Home Rule was off the table, a vacuum was created where two factions of Irish nationalism that had little or no long term differences filled it. With no major policy differences, we created a political system that was dominated by the cult of personality and the party that produced the bigger personalities generally did better.
That may or may not be true but Sinn Féin's rise is introducing a new dimension into our politics and hopefully the old "two factions" system is being brought to an end.
 

statsman

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That may or may not be true but Sinn Féin's rise is introducing a new dimension into our politics and hopefully the old "two factions" system is being brought to an end.
If by the old two factions system you mean, essentially, Civil War politics, it's hard to see how the rise of SF would represent an end; more an intensification, I'd have said.
 

factual

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If by the old two factions system you mean, essentially, Civil War politics, it's hard to see how the rise of SF would represent an end; more an intensification, I'd have said.
The point i was making implicitly was that SF is a party that puts first left wing values of helping low income people and workers rights. That moves the country on to left right politics. With SF on the left and the others on the right.
 

statsman

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The point i was making implicitly was that SF is a party that puts first left wing values of helping low income people and workers rights. That moves the country on to left right politics. With SF on the left and the others on the right.
And the point I'm making is that a choice between SF on the one hand and FG on the other is Civil War politics writ large.

But this is miles off topic.
 

dunno

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Alex Salmond is a battler. The longer the odds, the harder he fights. I would not discount him at all. Only when votes get counted will it be seen when this drive for independence has failed, or at least his party has suffered loss of votes.
 

statsman

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The point i was making implicitly was that SF is a party that puts first left wing values of helping low income people and workers rights. That moves the country on to left right politics. With SF on the left and the others on the right.
The data I set out here indicates that any party wishing to be the senior partner in government needs to win over the middle classes, not the working classes.
 

Thac0man

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Alex Salmond faces a sceptical nation - FT.com

Fascinating story in the FT describing the low morale among the SNP activists in Glasgow.

For a while SNP was able to ride the waves but now activists are asking questions about Alex Salmond, and expressing disappointment that he is not moving on. He is making the same old speech to party conference.
Perhaps people with more knowledge of the SNP might have predicted this, I certainly did not. Of course it cannot be assumed that those who leave the party over issues other than independence, will not continue to campaign and vote for it. But that said, there are problems in the SNP that cannot be avoided.

Top of the list is the very real possibility that some crucial SNP support is based on the parties endorsement of fantasy policies, which is fine as long as Scotland remains in the UK and is not required to plot and impliment the policies of an independent Scotland. If the list of things the SNP cannot do or contemplate, is as long or longer than the list of what it can do, the future for the SNP does not look bright. Those who resigned were perhaps right to stand on their principles, if it meant an independent Scotland that did not match their own vision. But splits in a party, even if done for honest reasons, are still splits, and the SNP is reduced as a result.

The two years forcast for Scots to make up their mind, might be too much time for the SNP to keep itself on message and its campaign on the road. With the party so closely tied to the ideal of independence, what befalls the SNP party will be argued is what may befall Scotland if it goes it own way. Salmond should have firmed up his party discipline long before now, rather than let this slippage occour, and risk more, as a referendum draws closer. Rousing speeches from Salmond cannot make up for the perception that what lies on the other side of a possibly successful vote, would be uncertainty.

Personally on this resignation issue, I think an unaligned Scotland is maybe not the only condition some would attach to independence. An Independent Scotland may be being viewed as a pinata by some, one they can hack out whatever policy they want from, and cannot get from the UK. Not being in NATO would deny Scotland more than it would benefit them. For a start the nations the SNP wants to more closely align itself with (not tiny broke us), are all members. Some may disagree with that, but leaving NATO is not a vote winner in Scotland.
 
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factual

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Alex Salmond is a battler. The longer the odds, the harder he fights. I would not discount him at all. Only when votes get counted will it be seen when this drive for independence has failed, or at least his party has suffered loss of votes.
Yes a good point.
 

Ex celt

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The point i was making implicitly was that SF is a party that puts first left wing values of helping low income people and workers rights. That moves the country on to left right politics. With SF on the left and the others on the right.
SF/IRA knows as much about left wing politics as my hole knows about snipe shooting. It is an ultra nationalist party attempting to capitalise on the downturn.It also has two versions on the island. In NI it has zero support from the majority community. It is a green(not red sectarian party).Jade Goody lookalike Mary Lala McD is an emigree from FF ffs. They have nothing to offer but a return to 1970s and 1920s hatred.
Interestingly,and I have said it before, the SNP(whether you like them or not)has studiously ignored SF/IRA yet has courted partnerships with other national movements.SNP is constitutionally minded. SF/IRA is not. It is important to note that,outside the confines of their own twisted and sectarian minds,SF/IRA are international pariahs except amongst similar extremists.
 

toconn

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Im speaking from afar here but I would add to the debate that the prospect of whether the Tories win outright or are likely to win outright the next UK general election will have a large bearing on the Scottish Independance poll. I don't think you should underestimate how unpopular the Tories are in Scotland ! The SNP will deploy this tactic to great effect, it's exactly what they want .
However if Labour are ahead in the polls for the UK as a whole then it paints a different scenario.
 

Clanrickard

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It is important to note that,outside the confines of their own twisted and sectarian minds,SF/IRA are international pariahs except amongst similar extremists.
The important thing to note is that you are a troll and not a very good one at that. Pariahs eh.........................









 
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