Alex Salmond. He’s not gone away, you know.

Iain Macwhirter

A week is famously a long time in politics.  Alex Salmond  who resigned following the defeat of the Yes campaign in Scotland’s independence referendum, had been leader of the Scottish National Party for nearly a quarter of a century.  That’s an eternity in politics – as I can testify from personal experience.   I remember doing the first interview with him after he defeated Margaret Ewing for the national convenorship in September 1990.  That’s back when Margaret Thatcher was still in Number 10.

Granted, Salmond had a period in exile in Westminster at the turn of the century, but that is a hell of a long time to lead any political party, let alone one as fractious and difficult as the SNP.  During this time Alex Salmond has been under almost constant scrutiny from a hostile media, with his personal life minutely examined by nosy journalists and his political opponents…

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Why Scots have turned away from Labour’s Gradgrind Union.

For the Political class…here’s some more thoughts from Iain MacWhirter as the vote gets nearer…

Iain Macwhirter


Over the last six months or so, though they would never admit it, many supporters of independence had settled into a defeatist rut, consoling themselves that they had run the best campaign but in the end could not break through the default unionism of the “mainstream media” and its promotion of Project Fear.

Well, that’s all changed. A Yes victory is now absolutely possible and we really could be living in the early days of that better nation. The only question is whether this extraordinary grass-roots campaign – the first truly “bottom up” political movement I have had the privilege to witness – really has the will to win, to press home its advantage.

What made the difference? Well, clearly Alex Salmond’s victory in the second televised debate with Alistair Darling  was a defining moment. It was not just that the First…

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NYT Article on the hardest places to live in the US

This article has a great interactive map on quality of life…note the overall geographic pattern of low quality of life….comments welcome….