Carmichael: Alba leaflets can’t fit Salmond’s ego

Arguing that Scotland deserves better than to spend the next five years arguing over independence, Alistair Carmichael notes that Alex Salmond does not appear on Alba Party leaflets. Apparently it is all down to the size of Salmond’s ego. For the record, Newsmoggie is only interested in the size of the salmon in the River Tay.

Responding to reports that Alex Salmond is not mentioned on Alba party leaflets, Alistair Carmichael MP said:

“In ordinary circumstances you might think it would be hard to get a leaflet big enough for Alex Salmond’s ego but he seems to have realised that most Scots know now exactly what kind of man he is.

“If Alex Salmond gets elected again, we can be sure that the Alex Salmond show will relocate from Russia Today to the Scottish Parliament.

“Scotland deserves better than to spend the next five years arguing over independence. Voters should back Scottish Liberal Democrats to put recovery first.”

* Newsmoggie – bringing you comment from a different perspective

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  • Brad Barrows 23rd Apr '21 - 4:19pm

    Yes, I received an Alba leaflet through my door yesterday and no names or pictures of any party members were included – just an explanation of how voting SNP on the list vote would be a wasted vote due to the SNP being expected to win most constituencies. I don’t know how many MSPs they will have after May 6th but it appears they already have more party members than the Scottish Liberal Democrats.

  • Don’t know why Mr Carmichael is bothering with Wee ‘Eck. Everybody I know says he’s yesterday’s man, a busted flush, and totally discredited.

    Is there more to it than this, Alistair, and are you relying over much on the list vote ?

  • John Marriott 23rd Apr '21 - 5:00pm

    As Enoch Powell famously said; all political careers end in failure. Even Johnson’s?

  • @ Martin, Good question, Martin…… and its not a risk, it’s a fact.

    What I don’t understand in the slogan ‘put recovery first’ is the implicit process of leaving that in the incapable and questionable hands of Johnson & Co. It’s an abdication of responsibility – ‘the big boy in London knows best’.

    Why Scottish Lib Dems can’t campaign for Dominion status for Scotland within what is now the Commonwealth (as many of their Liberal MP forbears did in the years up to 1914) is beyond me.

    The current Lib Dem stance up here seems to be, ‘hanging on to nurse, for fear of something worse’.It compounds the damage done between 2010-15. If Denmark and New Zealand (same size population) can run perfectly viable and sensible democracies, then so can Scotland.

    As for Johnson’s competence and integrity take a look at today’s national UK press.

  • PS And of course Dominion status would enable Scotland to apply for EU membership (which Scotland voted 62% in favour of) whereas hanging on to Johnson’s first past the post Westminster won’t.

  • A system akin to Home Rule was established in the six counties of Ulster (Northern Ireland) by the Government of Ireland Act (1920). Under the Anglo-Irish Treaty (1921) the remaining 26 counties in the south achieved dominion status; the nominal link with the British Commonwealth was eroded in 1937 and was severed in 1949.
    Under Devolution Max, instead of receiving a block grant from the UK Exchequer as at present, the Scottish Parliament would raise and receive all taxation levied in Scotland; it would be responsible for most spending in Scotland but make payments to the UK government to cover Scotland’s share of the cost of providing certain UK-wide services, including at least defence and the conduct of foreign relations. This would, in practice, entail a federal constitution for the United Kingdom.
    The decentralisation of power should be one of the core aims of Liberal Democrats.
    If an independent Scotland remained in the sterling currency union then it would need arrangements with the Bank of England along the lines of those with the Irish republic until they joined the EU.
    If they opted for EU membership, then it will likely be either the ERM peg (as Denmark operates) or adoption of the Euro. An independent |Scottish currency would likely face similar problems to that of New Zealand. In 1985 the New Zealand dollar was floated, letting the market control the international value of the dollar instead of New Zealand. The idea was that balance-of-payments crises would not occur because the currency would self-correct. In practice, balance-of-payments problems continued to occur. The NZ Reserve Bank was the first central bank to adopt inflation targeting as a monetary policy framework. Australian-owned banks, dominate the New Zealand market. Consequently, the NZ banking system is reliant on Australian financial markets for its own financial stability.

  • @ Joe Bourke “Scotland’s share of the cost of providing certain UK-wide services, including at least defence and the conduct of foreign relations. This would, in practice, entail a federal constitution for the United Kingdom”……… Why ?

    Why should Scotland follow in the coat tails of a Tory centric England for its defence and foreign relations ? Scotland is, and always has been, a more internationalist society than the Little Englanders.

    The Republic of Ireland, with a smaller population than Scotland, appears to run a perfectly adequate defence and foreign service for its needs, as does Denmark, New Zealand, and Norway. Is there some sort of magic about the competence and intelligence – not to mention integrity – about what happens in Whitehall and Westminster, or is this simply a hangover of an insular Imperialism based in London and the Home Counties ?

  • David Raw,

    Why should Scotland follow in the coat tails of a Tory centric England for its defence and foreign relations ? It would do so if remaining in the Union with a devo-max settlement was the expressed wish of the Scottish electorate as it was in the 2014 referendum.

  • @ Joe Bourke Devo-Max is not, and never has been, on the Agenda with this Westminster Government, and it’s hardly logical to support a second referendum on Brexit but oppose one on Scottish Home Rule by a House of Commons elected on first past the post led by a man described as a ‘Moral vacuum’ by a former Attorney General.

  • I have ‘no dog in the fight’ but, if my memory serves, most of the promises made to Scottish voters prior to the last referendum seem to have either been watered down or have vanished like ‘Scotch mist’..
    The most obvious was, of course, EU membership. However, considering the current climate debate, Ed Davey’s (UK energy secretary at the time) personal promises on how “Scotland could lose billions in renewable energy subsidies with a ‘Yes’ vote and would put our green energy revolution at risk” and how “the commitment to the climate change project at Peterhead would be endangered” it is worth noting that, after the ‘No’ vote, the first was drastically cut and Peterhead scrapped entirely..

    Whoever said “That to forecast the future we should look to the past” wasn’t far wrong.. Westminster promises are like ‘faerie gold’: they don’t last past the dawn…

  • I had basically given up on the Labour party, but over the last few months I have watched the SNP leadership struggle more and more and Anas Sarwar impress. The SNP and Lib Dems might be worrying about Alba, but perhaps it’s the Labour party they should be concentrating on.

  • @ Martin Thank you, Martin. I’ve read your article – found it very interesting and thought provoking. Could you give me a few days to reflect on it ? How does Luxembourg get on economically given it’s size, and what sort of defence policy does it have ?

    @ Malc Nothing to be anxious about about with regards to Alba…… currently on 1%. More of an Albatross than an Eagle. Salmons usually perish at the end of their spawning season.

    John Marriott Ah, Gustave Stresemann

  • Peter Martin 27th Apr '21 - 6:54am

    “Smaller countries than Scotland can survive, prosper and have a clear sense of identity if they are are prepared to operate constructively with their neighbours and partners.”

    Who would argue otherwise? But what does “constructively” mean? Do Scots want to operate as an independent country or do they want to share laws and currencies with others?

    I was disappointed with Andrew Marr’s questioning of Nicola Sturgeon on Sunday. He should have asked her about her plans for a Scottish currency after independence and whether her ultimate aim was to switch over to the euro.

    As anyone who will have studied the Greek crisis will know you can’t use someone else’s currency and have genuine independence. Ireland made the mistake of using the pound for decades before getting it right with its own currency (the Irish Pound or Punt) then getting it wrong again by switching to the euro.

    If Iceland (pop 300k) can do Ok as an independent country then so can Scotland. But the Scots need to decide not just about breaking ties ties with the UK. They have to choose whether to they want genuine independence or a form of pseudo-independence, If they think the UK Tories are far too austerity minded and will get a better deal from the EU “Tories” aka Christian Democrats then good luck to them. They might, though, want to take a look at the small print in the Stability and Growth Pact first.

    @ David Raw,

    “it’s hardly logical to support a second referendum on Brexit but oppose one on Scottish Home Rule”

    Logic doesn’t come into it. If you want to maintain the (UK) Union you’ll oppose a Scottish referendum. And vice versa. If you wanted to be a part of the European Union you’d have supported a second referendum but opposed the first. And vice versa. That is if you had sense enough to realise that the vote might not go your way!

  • Peter Martin 27th Apr '21 - 7:28am

    @ David Raw,

    “The Republic of Ireland, with a smaller population than Scotland, appears to run a perfectly adequate defence and foreign service for its needs, as does Denmark, New Zealand, and Norway.”

    A study of the history of the 20th century would suggest otherwise, at least for two of the countries on your list. The history of the Republic of Ireland could read a lot better if they hadn’t adopted a policy of WW2 neutrality as they did. Neutrality didn’t do Belgium and the Netherlands any good and wouldn’t have done them any good either without the UK to guarantee it.

  • Peter Martin 27th Apr ’21 – 7:28am………….. The history of the Republic of Ireland could read a lot better if they hadn’t adopted a policy of WW2 neutrality as they did. Neutrality didn’t do Belgium and the Netherlands any good and wouldn’t have done them any good either without the UK to guarantee it………….

    On the contrary, ‘neutrality’ helped Ireland, as it helped Sweden, Switzerland and Spain…

    As for it being ‘guaranteed by the UK’ that is laughable..Ireland bent over backwards to help the UK…. RAF pilots/RN sailors were repatriated immediately, Luftwaffe pilots/German sailors were interned and the German government made to pay for their upkeep. Irish weather reports, vital to British air/sea activities were shared with Britain and not Germany…When Belfast was bombed Irish firefighters and ambulances responded to a request for help from N. I. within hours…Thousands of Irish citizens joined the British military and Merchant Navy and thousands more worked in factories, etc., etc.

    I lived in rural Ireland (Eire) during the early 1950s and witnessed an increasing farming economy year on year..

  • I really wish this party would go back to its liberal roots and accept that if we are in a Union by consent, then that consent needs to be assured. Willie Rennie doing all he can to appear to be more anti self determination than the Conservative & Unionist party is hopeless. Yes it might keep a couple of LD bums on seats here and there for a while longer but no one hears anything else he says. He actually appears to disdain Scotland and the capabilities of both the country and its folk.

    As the banner goes, ‘independence is normal’, Scotland was sold out in the 18c by its then parliament (gentry one and all) and despite all the propaganda and snares and snags of the imperial state, it’s folk are fi sting their feet again. That should be being celebrated, not talked down.

    And remember, liberals and Democrats, the party policy is even to oppose a referendum in the question – hence my ire.

    Finally, remember that not everyone who votes for a cause (brexit, independence) will vote for the vehicle that delivers that end. The SNP may well not survive as an entity post independence, let alone as the governing party. Who will the future be for?

  • @ Peter Martin. I’m afraid your usual self assurance has resulted in a conflation of apples and pears, Mr Martin. The political and military facts of 1940 and 2021 are entirely different and impossible to compare. You’ll be using the Spanish Armada as an example of the EU threat to the UK next. I’d stick to economics if I were you.

  • Scottish parliament voting intention(s):

    SNP: 45% (-2)
    LAB: 22% (+2)
    CON: 20% (-3)
    LDEM: 8% (+2)
    GRN: 4% (-)

    SNP: 36% (-)
    CON: 21% (-1)
    LAB: 18% (+1)
    GRN: 10% (+1)
    ALBA: 6% (-)
    LDEM: 6% (-)

    , 21-26 Apr
    Chgs. w/ 12 Apr

    Perhaps Alex Salmond is more popular than David Raw thinks.

  • Peter Martin 28th Apr '21 - 8:45am

    @ expats @ David Raw.

    Sure, there are times when it is better to stay neutral, but equally there are times when you do have to step up and be counted. Many Irish citizens did just that. The Irish govt was less enthusiastic. They may have done just about enough not to give the UK any excuse to invade, as Iceland was to prevent ports being used by the German navy, but however you want to spin it, neutrality was still neutrality.

    Thanks for the tip about the Armada BTW. I’ll have to see what I can do with that!

  • Peter Martin 28th Apr '21 - 10:16am

    To get back on topic, and follow David Raw’s suggestion of talking about economics, I should just say that Nicola Sturgeon, on Sunday’s Andrew Marr show, was talking a load of ………… on the question of Scottish deficits. I’d like to use a word which is only allowable on LDV if it is followed by “to Brexit!”.

    They wouldn’t at all be a good thing for Scotland, as she was claiming they would be, unless Scotland was using its own currency. If it was using either the Pound or the Euro it would simply be racking up repayable debts denominated in someone else’s currency which it wouldn’t have any control of.

    So the Scots would simply end up with an ultra depressed economy as they struggled to make spending cuts to reduce their deficit. Unemployment would soar and the only solution for Scottish workers would be the same one as existed for Irish workers for many years. ie Emigration to the UK, America, NZ, Australia or the net exporters of the EU.

    So if the Lib Dems in Scotland want to preserve the Union, or at least their future credibility, they might want to outline the viable and non-viable options an Independent Scotland would have to choose between.

  • Peter Martin 28th Apr ’21 – 8:[email protected] expats….The Irish govt was less enthusiastic. They may have done just about enough not to give the UK any excuse to invade,…

    What!!!!! Given the Irish American attitude to a British invasion of a neutral Ireland, and Irish bodies in the streets, it would, at the very least, have prevented Roosvelt’s March ’41 ‘lease lend’ and pre-1941 co-operation..The U-boat threat* may have even lost us the war before Pearl Harbour brought the USA’s ‘neutrality’ to an end..

    *Winston Churchill, ‘The only thing that ever really frightened me during the war was the U-boat peril.’

    As David Raw says,”I’d stick to economics if I were you.”

  • Peter Martin 28th Apr '21 - 1:01pm

    @ expats,

    The Americans said nothing much about the invasion of Iceland in 1940. It’s not particularly well known in the UK but it certainly happened as can be read in this link.

    So the thinking of the Irish govt was very much along the lines they didn’t want the same thing to happen to them. It would have been more difficult to square this with the Americans before Dec 7th 1941 but no problem at all afterwards.

    Whatever the rights and wrongs of such a course of action, I have no doubt that it would have occurred if it had been considered necessary. It wasn’t because, as you’ve said, the Irish govt interpreted the term neutrality in a way that was generally acceptable to the Allies.

  • @Martin – I live in Edinburgh Central too, and have received several pieces of literature from the LibDems.
    Assuming she is on the electoral register your daughter will certainly get an election address from us. We obviously can’t control the timing of that, but she will get it.
    In the meantime, she can find out about our excellent constituency candidate here: and our regional list here:

  • Martin, this reminds me of a coleague who lived in the ward I represented. She told me she had never had a leaflet from me, yet I must have been to the property at least four times a year. She investigated chal;lenged her husband and it truned out he emptied the mail box and disposed of what he thought was rubbish without showing the articles to his wife. She was none too happy I can tell you.

  • @Malc

    Actually Panelbase has always given Alba a higher rating than the other pollsters – they have varied between 1%-3% with all the other pollsters – except one from BMG where they got 4%. So it looks like a house effect with Panelbase and new parties can be quite difficult to poll. And Alba are only on 4% in the most recent Panelbase poll.

    It is thought that you need around 6% in a region to pick up one seat on the regional list. Obviously you might do better in one region than another – but it *seems* the Alba vote is relatively consistent across Scotland – although you *might* expect them to do a bit better in Salmond’s home turf of the North East. (Although people there were fairly negative about Salmond in a recent Guardian article).

    Panelbase might prove to be right – but in general it looks as if Alba might struggle to even pick up a few seats and its a little “chicken and egg” and actually probably if you’re an independence voter trying to maximise the number of pro-indy MSPs you would do better to vote for the Greens on the regional list than Alba.

  • @Martin – please tell her that there is a very strong anti-independence group in Scotland which is also anti-Brexit. Voting LD would certainly not be seen by anyone as a pro-Brexit vote (We still wear those ‘Bollocks to Brexit’ T-shirts!)
    If she is keen on the EU single market, you might also say to her that Scotland leaving the UK would mean us leaving the UK’s single market, so we would be outside of both. And despite the SNP idea that an independent Scotland would be able to just stroll into the EU, the reality is that this would be an extremely complicated process. It certainly wouldn’t happen quickly. So for years, possibly a decade or more, and all during the post-covid recession, we would be out of the common markets of both the EU and the UK. And if we did eventually join the EU, we’d have a hard border with England (the EU would insist on it). That’s what she’s voting for if she votes SNP, Alba or Green.
    The real way to get back into the EU is for the UK to stay together, and then for the UK *as a whole* to rejoin the EU. That is the LibDem vision. It will take time, but it’s the only sensible way to do it – and at least we’ll have the UK single market in the meantime.
    I wish her good luck with her decision. 🙂

  • Peter Hirst 4th May '21 - 1:28pm

    Alba and its chief proponent seem to be an excellent advertisement for a different voting system. One vote is more than sufficient for an election. It can be counted in different ways that most people will not be interested in, to allow proportionality, especially if it uses preferential voting so more votes count.

  • @ Tony H. “That is the LibDem vision” ??

    You forgot to include the bit about having to kow-tow to an English Nationalist Johnson led first past the post Tory Government to whom telling the truth is a mirage when inconvenient.

  • @David Raw – Nobody is kow-towing to anything. I hate this Tory government as much as you do, and I hate the fact we are in this post-Brexit situation where there are no easy solutions. But I believe the long-term benefits of being in the UK outweigh the evils of any transient government. By keeping the UK together we can campaign to take a unified UK back into the EU. That way Scotland can get back all the benefits of being in BOTH single markets – and avoid a hard border at Berwick, which would be catastrophic in so many ways.

  • John Roffey 4th May '21 - 10:38pm

    From the Dalai Lama:

    Finding Peace of Mind

    As human beings, we all want to be happy. His Holiness the Dalai Lama says the key to this is finding peace of mind. Here he outlines how destructive emotions disturb our inner peace and steps we can take to secure it.

    I don’t think the Dalai Lama can travel at the moment because of the pandemic – pity, because it seems as if he is needed North of the border!

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