Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Alex Salmond knows what he is doing

Just occasionally you come across a politician from another party who knows what he is doing. Sitting 300 miles away as I do, Alex Salmond seems to be one of them. He has managed to lead a minority government in the Scottish Parliament for nine months that has not collapsed under the weight of its own acrimony. Indeed, it spent the first few weeks taking all the popular decisions and gaining huge kudos.
Now it is crunch time with his budget and he has threatened to force a new election if he doesn't get it through. I have a sneaking suspicion that he would quite like such an election. Let's be clear, he would also quite like to win the budget vote.
But if he doesn't, would he really like to have to bring back a weakened budget and labour on knowing that the opposition parties have the taste of his blood?
A fresh election would allow him to cash in on the strong performance over the first nine months. He could quite accurately say that the other parties never gave him the chance to govern. He couldn't win an overall majority under the AMS system, but he could force one of the smaller parties to enter a formal coalition with him.


Fraser Macpherson said...

I am not 300 miles away. All too unfortunately, as a Scottish LibDem councillor, I am seeing Salmond's government in action.

He has held on with Tory support, but we always knew the SNP were Tartan Tories.

The SNP "government" has significantly cut the Community Regeneration Fund, which helped Scotland's most vulnerable communities. It has equally forced councils to freeze council tax, helping Band H householders most.

His "threat" to force an election was total rubbish - the Tories had already signed up to his rotten budget. Bought our for two pieces of fudge rather than 30 pieces of sliver (OK, I didn't think that one up - it was a Labour MSP - but she was absolutely correct).

Thank goodness for Scottish LibDem Leader Nicol Stephen MSP, providing the effective and principled opposition to this awful administration.

I do not comment on politics from South West England because I am too far away to comment objectively.

Alex said...

Don't get me wrong, Fraser. Just because I think Alex Salmond knows what he is doing doesn't mean I approve of his policies (being so far away I definitely cannot comment on that aspect). All I meant by my post was that Salmond was being canny in his manouevrings