Well, I have to say that following the trial proceedings had somewhat the opposite effect for me. I’m pretty much ambivalent about all politicians. They are like actors, playing a part. A good politician is always on show, and Alex Salmond is a good politician, a very good debater and is on par with many a Westminster character, and he has charisma, and rarely says the wrong thing. A good politician does not necessarily make a good person, because you don’t know if you only ever see their game face.
This is why I wonder at people that almost worship individual politicians: yes, you can admire the skills, talent, charisma, but they are rarely genuinely the person they present to the public. So, innocent until proven guilty, but you really can’t tell with any politician. Defending the integrity a politician you don’t know personally is really setting yourself up for disappointment.
Anyway, back to Alex Salmond, a good politician. I supported his civil case because any procedure needs to be fair, and the one carried out by the Scottish government hadn’t been, as was proved in court. And I do like a judicial review as well. The criminal case did sound like it would be dubious – which turned out to be the case – but I remained sceptical and thought there must be something in it even if he was just a bit of a sleaze. Well, it turns out, after following procedings as closely as possible, that I now admire Alex Salmond a great deal more than before – and far from being any kind of creep, I believe him not only to be a good politician, but a genuine person, one that really does believe in his causes, and our cause, one who does have integrity.
Just to be clear, I am a woman, brought up in a still-sexist culture, that has worked in a male-dominated environment for many years, and I have approximately zero sympathy – possibly closer to negative a million – for any man that takes advantage of his privileged position, or abuses power in any way. (Equally, I despise women that do the same, but perhaps for different reasons). Alex Salmond has lived and worked through an era of change, but he showed that he was willing to change and apologise at the time, and he did not demonstrate any knowing abuse of power during his time in office.
An open mind and paying attention to the evidence, not believing headlines, can really help in forming opinions, and I am now a firm advocate of Alex Salmond. More strength to him.
There won’t be any further cases against him coming out of Westminster as is being rumoured – AS is an establishment figure, years in Westminster, lots of ‘pals’ there, and we are never going to find out how many skeletons are buried there. There is likely a very good reason the accusation in that case centred around Holyrood only, besides the alleged obvious and declared alleged political motivations.
I do believe there will be political upheaval once the pandemic has passed, and I have no doubt the British nationalists will be like pigs in muck for any SNP infighting, but the fact is, the SNP is a vehicle to deliver independence not the cause in and of itself and I’d prefer some muck raking if integrity could be restored and let us get back on track – I believe it will be swift and not quite as painful as many seem to believe. Seeing the behaviour of governments during this pandemic has given me a scary insight into how dangerous it is to not hold them to account, for the things they need to be.