Vote to Put Alex Salmond Back in His Time Machine
“Ye Jacobites by name, Your fautes I will proclaim, Your doctrines I maun blame, you shall hear, you shall hear”—Burns
It is fitting that the online launch of the Alba party (the name of which its leader, Alex Salmond, does not know how to pronounce) was disrupted by technical issues, and then had its membership list leaked, because the party represents a time before such technology existed.
I have a dear friend who, like me, is in his mid-50s. We met in the 1980s, and my friend is still in that era. He is a walking time capsule who still speaks the vernacular of 35 years ago — people who would now be called “woke” are “right on,” or they are “trendy lefties.” He is disturbed by the acceptance of transgender people, and declares that there were only two genders until recently, and he does not see why it should change. (I am not making this up.) He also believes passionately in various conspiracy theories, including that the 9-11 attacks were committed by the US government…
And, of course, he is an admirer (I will not say supporter, because he does not actually do anything) of Alex Salmond and Wings Over Scotland a.k.a. The Daily McMail. And so, he is excited about Alba, which, appropriately, is also being endorsed by a band from the 80s, The Proclaimers. Tommy Sheridan has joined the gang, along with bigoted ex-boxer Alex Arthur. And it has the support of Nigel Farage.
Nicola Sturgeon said she does not know what Alba’s vision for the country is, but I think she does know, and so do I. It is a reactionary vision, one of a macho, sexist, parochial politics that seemed primitive even in the 80s compared with that of other Western European nations, a vision of a Scotland that now exists only in the nostalgic imagination of a minority of flag-waving fogeys who cannot accept their irrelevance.
My friend, who has voted SNP since its days as a Tartan Tory party, argues that Alba will be good for the SNP because people who would not normally vote for the SNP will come out to vote for Alba on the regional list, and therefore will vote SNP as their first vote. (He offers no evidence for this; I assume he read it on Facebook).
Look at Alex Salmond, shill for Donald Trump, and Russian TV personality. Look at Alex Arthur. Look at Tommy Sheridan, convicted and jailed for perjury. Are these people you want to have seats in the Scottish Parliament?
If a party of bigots favours Scottish independence, that is not a reason to vote for it, unless you are also a bigot. Alba is so reactionary even the recently-fired transphobic SNP MP Joanna Cherry (another of my friend’s favourites) has announced she will not be joining it. If you are not a bigot and you want an independent Scotland, then both your votes should be for the SNP. If you want your second vote to go to a different party that also supports Scottish independence, then you should give that vote to the Green Party. But if you care about a progressive, open, outward and forward looking Scotland, the Scotland of today and of the future, your vote should send Mr Salmond and his crew not to Holyrood, but back to the small, ugly historical period they represent.