Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Salmond's Illusion of Freedom

In the Scottish edition of today's Times there is a look at Professor Tom Gallagher's new book The Illusion of Freedom: Scotland Under Nationalism. In it he compares Salmond's leadership to that of Tony Blair, surrounded by a band of loyal advisers more closely than the party machine. He writes:

"Salmond rules through a small group of loyalists, some of whom have been by his side for a long time while others, still in their twenties, have only recently hitched themselves to his star."

Also the book looks at just who hope Scotland would have should he ever achieve the goal of independence. His summary of the team that would take us on in such an event is not inspiring:

"A look at the SNP reveals few builders or people driven by compassion and concern for the condition of Scottish society in present times. Instead there are many people motivated by driving ambition, ideological obsessions and a few who find it hard to contain their disdain for three centuries of the British experience or indeed the broader story of Western achievement which Scots contributed to in disproportionate numbers."

There is also cutting remarks, as if comparison to Blair was no enough that the Nats are actually Unionists in disguise. What has been revealed in their planning for independence is that there is no plan to replace some of the national institutions that derive from the rest of the UK. The whole central bank debacle in recent times. The desire to cling to the Union's monarchy rather than looking at potentially the rightful heir to Scottish throne disbarred by the British Parliamentarians by the Act of Settlement.

But most tellingly of all is that along with maintaining some of the functions of the Union what will sustain an 'independent' Scotland isn't so much oil revenue but an even greater reliance on unionism, European Unionism. The smaller state is going have to rely on greater handouts from Brussels than from Westminster, and hand over more sovereignty than the UK is prepared to do so.

One lesson Prof. Gallagher seems to be telling not fully committed nationalist inclined voters is be careful what you wish for.


  1. A rather poor and confused post Stephen.

    You sound like an old fish wife.

    Maybe you can tell us all about 'cuddly' federalism, did the professor have anything to say about that option?

  2. I am actually looking forward to reading the book. Tom Gallagher is such a preposterous character he is quite entertaining.

    Alex Salmond has clearly done or more likely said something to piss him off at some point as his hatred knows no bounds.

    I love the description of Alex 'ruling' through a small group of loyalists. Rules what?

    Rules the Parliament? The Government? The SNP?

    None of those concepts stands up. He clearly does not rule the Parliament. He does not rule the Government the way that Blair did - his Cabninet is filled with people who challenge him, not people who suck up to him like Blair, and he does not 'rule' the SNP either as any member can tell you!

    Yet to TG he is clearly a Mussolini-like character.

    I wonder what Alex said to him?????

  3. Tom Gallagher did a piece for the increasingly insane Harry's Place blog the other day.


    Not content with blaming the SNP for the mess created by a tram line they voted against, a Homecoming event thought up by the previous administration, and a banking system they have no control over, Tom seems to have a particular grudge against the "supine Scottish media". BBC Scotland, he suggests, are all wannabe SNP candidates (no mention of Ruth Davidson standing for the Tories) and The Scotsman newspaper won't publish his articles because George Kerevan is the assistant editor (except he's just given that particular job up). Clearly the only "psychodrama" going on is the one inside Mr Gallagher's head. Still, credit to the prof for not mentioning any "muslim hoodlums" this time.