Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Mr Salmond and the Real World

Stunning interview in today's Telegraph with Alex Salmond, leader of the SNP (Scottish National Party). It looks as if Mr Salmond has decided that he would quite like to be First Minister of Scotland. He has set about making himself acceptable to the Liberal Democrats as a coalition partner - and intends to transform Scottish politics by forcing Labour into opposition. Scottish politics is growing up. Oh that we could say the same for Welsh politics.

It seems that Mr Salmond now wants to be 'the closest of buddies' and 'best pals' with England. He seems deeply concerned by how unfair the devolution settlement is to England - which it is. But what has really shocked me is his attitude towards the Monarchy.

I had always assumed that the SNP would want to cut all ties with the Monarchy - as most of Plaid Cymru seem to want to in Wales. But No. What the leader of the SNP wants is "independent countries united by a monarchy that symbolises the social union between the two countries". Even allowing for this sounding a bit woolly, it is a pretty astonishing statement to me - and wholly welcome. He sound a bit like the Dafydd El of the Highlands.

More significant for me is what this interview says about the SNP leader's approach to government. He means business. He's given up pandering to the anti-English republicanism which has handed government on a plate to the Scottish Labour Party for so long. He's giving the Scots a genuine choice other than Labour domination. We will have to wait to see how he manages his unwise committment to a referendum on 'Independence' - but he will know that it will bring down the coalition he is now preparing for. Alex Salmond wants the politics of Scotland to grow up. You'll have to work out why I think this is so interesting to us in Wales.

The Telegraph has also decided to help Mr Salmond's cause by publishing an editorial based on this article which is so pathetic that it will ensure that almost every Scot who reads it will vote for Alex Salmond.


Anonymous said...

Yes, the pro-Monarchy move is canny. Most Scots I think don't see why they should lose their status as a kingdom, after all they weren't conquered and it was their king that took over the English crown. I noticed in an interview a few weeks ago that he refers to the Queen as "Elizabeth, Queen of Scots". This is because, from a Scots perspective, she is Elizabeth the First, not the Second.

Doesn't work in Wales though because the title of Prince was stolen through conquest.

Glyn Davies AM said...

This is largly irrelevent sanddef. The point is that Salmond has decided that he will compromise on all the posturing to get a taste of real power. That's grown up politics - leaving the touchline for the field of play.

Anonymous said...

The point is that Salmond has decided that he will compromise on all the posturing to get a taste of real power.

Erm, that's what I was saying:

the pro-Monarchy move is canny.

Glyn Davies AM said...

accepted sanddef.

Anonymous said...

Scotland has few of the grievances Wales has with the monarchy, because it's their king who took over in England not the other way around!

Glyn Davies AM said...

I'm not sure you are right about this. I wonder how many people in Scotland think of the Royal family as Scottish? But the point ha snot been lost on me - and will feature in my discussion with colleagues in Scotland - post May 3rd