Today’s P&J front page – is he a winner or in deep water? You decide
My local daily paper, the [Aberdeen] Press and Journal, has a front page headline (above) and 3-page feature today based on an interview with Alex Salmond, with more ‘exclusives’ promised and a weekly column as from Monday. You can see a taster and some video clips online if you’re that way inclined. (Be warned. It’s headlined ‘Alex Salmond reveals all.’ He doesn’t.)
Let’s cut to the chase.
The interview is a ‘soft’ feature, not serious news, barely more challenging than the way the wily operator dealt with an interlocutor from the St Andrews student newspaper before Christmas (no link – you find it if you want). I await his interrogation by the likes of Andrew Neil, but I’m not holding my breath.
It tells us virtually nothing new except he’s, unjustifiably, bitter about Gordon Brown and reinforces the perception that this is not just an ex-leader who is now a backbench MSP but the puppet master already pulling the strings in Holyrood and intending to do so in another place (‘in terms of being Westminster leader, I’m perfectly happy not being leader’ – watch out Angus Robertson, current holder of that office).
He repeats, ad nauseum, his pernicious misinterpretation of ‘the Vow’ – ‘It is real home rule, devo-to-the-max or as near federalism as we can get in the UK – that is what was promised and what should be delivered.’ It wasn’t. He knows that and has been caught out on it already. Naïve nationalists will continue to believe the lie.
He claims he’s not interested in a ‘quick referendum’ (just as well, any unionist party would be fools to concede it) but ‘wants to fight Westminster to secure home rule for Scotland.’ No he doesn’t. There is only one objective and everyone should remember it – to secure what nationalists call independence and I call separation.
Aside from what the man himself says, the feature(s) and weekly column promised/threatened raise real issues about his general election candidacy in the Gordon constituency, which starts about a mile North of the P&J editorial offices. Will the area’s daily paper be affording the same uncritical and mainly positive publicity to the other candidates? You can ask them at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want. Good luck.
That’s it. There’s a lot more detail in the three pages if you want to know what he had for lunch or how masterfully he deals with the P&J’s cameraman.