Until 2014 I hardly followed Scottish politics, because I was more interested in international than domestic policy and knew that those powers were held by London. Until this year I didn’t know much about Alex Salmond either. Yet the more I learn about him, the more infuriated I become at people who disregard his economic, intellectual, political and arguably moral qualities. I’ve met some who have made valid criticisms, but those are very rare.
Most of the time I find that a person’s distrust or dislike stems from newspaper articles they’ve read or what others have told them; not actually reading or listening to what the man himself has said or intends. When asked they are rarely able to tell me what exactly their problem with the First Minister is. Not why David Cameron, who has no mandate from the people, is somehow better to represent Scotland on the world stage; nor why George Osborne, who has no economic knowledge, is best placed to direct Scotland’s economy.
So here is Alex Salmond intellectually challenging Aberdeen Council leader Jim Giffnock on Radio Scotland over claims that the council will seek unpaid poll tax from those recently registered to vote. As both Salmond and host Adams point out, the council’s intention is clearly to discourage any recurrence of our recent democratic outburst. This is why I am annoyed to be losing a rarely respectable politician in our First Minister, even as a non-SNP supporter. David Cameron? Fuck sake.