Earlier today, I was going to write a finely-honed analysis of Alex Salmond’s day yesterday.
First the facts. Cameron made a statement to the Commons about Syria. Salmond wasn’t there. He was in Edinburgh where the headlines had it that he was unveiling a portrait – of himself of course. I thought I’d try and get at some of the truths about what happened. These are the questions I meant to address.
- What was he really doing yesterday? Was he just back early for the unveiling/launching/reception of the portrait? Did he really attend first minister’s questions? Did he ask a (supportive) question or just glower from the back benches? And did he meet those veterans in the evening? Anything else?
- What was the portrait all about? Was it part of the Commonwealth Games celebrations and if so why? Who commissioned and paid for it? What was the involvement of Business for Scotland? Was it going to hang in the National Portrait Gallery or Parliament or somewhere else?
- Was he really not needed at Westminster? Is it true he wouldn’t have been able to speak as the SNP Commons spokesperson on international affairs? Did he get a briefing on Syria the evening before as a member of the Privy Council? Did he really say MI5 and MI6 were part of that briefing and if he did should he have or should that have remained confidential?
- Did the portrait unveiling really only last a short time? Was there really a child there who is apparently famous online (God help us) for doing Alex Salmond impersonations? Did a charity get a cheque for £50,000 that was somehow related to the portrait?
- What was the detailed timing of all this and did some revelation of unpalatable truth lie in that?
I even started researching one or two of these issues.
And then I thought, what the hell, what difference does it make? If there are dodgy dealings others will find them. All we need to know is that the ego has landed again. Whether he travelled from London City Airport as A Salmond or J Kirk I neither know nor care. He was the centre of attention again and there’s another memorial to him in the public domain. Just what he loves. No wonder he fell out with Trump after the first cosying up. Scotland/Scardl’nd wasn’t big enough for the two of them.
What he didn’t do was entirely detract from the performance of the first minister in Holyrood this week. She’s looking rattled and given recent news (highlighted elsewhere in this blog) she has every reason to be. She was all pursed lips and restrained ill-temper when challenged about the SNP’s oil price forecasts at Holyrood. Even more telling, the microphones caught her calling Labour MSP Dr Richard Simpson ‘an idiot’ (she says it was ‘ignorant’ but I’ve listened and I’m sure she comes out with ‘idiot’). This is the idiot by the way. Seems a decent sort of guy and probably brighter than most on the SNP benches (Holyrood and Westminster).
Anyhow, so much more important than the pursed lips of minor players, those portraits of a great man … enjoy.
Salmond … and Salmond with the Artist
Salmond and … some alternative visions (via Huffington Post, where you’ll find many more)
Salmond and … a rock. Another monument to the great man