Alex Salmond always was astute. He has done it again and launched a new political party called Alba to supercharge the separatist vote.
His new Alba Party will stand only on Regional Lists to capitalise on the SNP’s inability to gain further List seats where the SNP wins first-past-the-post constituency seats.
The idea is not new. What is new is that Salmond has returned to the political fray. He has proven himself adept at finding ways to use the system to his advantage. “Alex Salmond for First Minister” on the ballot paper in 2007 was astute. Putting two posters beside each other to make supermassive posters in Inverness was another trick to circumvent election regulations until I drew attention to it, leading to their being required to modify every supercharged poster around Inverness. Now he has found a way to return to mainline politics without undermining the SNP which he led from protest to power in Scotland. He claims that elected MSPs from his new Alba Party “will add and build the independence supermajority in Scotland’s parliament” to justify a second referendum, thus going back on his public pledge to Andrew Marr that it is once in a generation. His idea is that several separatist parties in the Scottish Parliament will make it harder for Boris Johnson to single out the SNP.
In doing so, Salmond has ridden to the rescue of the leaguered Sturgeon who is now predicted to deliver at most a hung Parliament. He has reached out an olive branch to Sturgeon to campaign with him! However, the SNP are not thanking him, and Humza Yousaf said that it will help Unionists. So be it, but it is not so clear.
It was the first item on the main UK BBC news and the main topic on the BBC Newsnight, which pointed out how the vicissitudes of the D’Hondt system of proportional election benefits the separatist sentiment of the SNP and Alba parties. This makes it the more imperative to have a strong and effective Unionist opposition to the SNP.
Salmond may have pulled another rabbit out of his hat, but there is another hat already on the platform in the form of the behatted George Galloway, who is proving to be a more effective Voice of the Union than the current opposition party leaders. He is more than capable of dealing with the arguments of the separatists, but voters need to give him and the All For Unity Party that opportunity to speak in the Scottish Parliament where Galloway has vowed that his first words upon entering Holywood as an elected MSP will be “open the books”.
The Scottish Parliament needs both voices – one to expose the misguided emphasis of the transgenderism of Sturgeon’s administration, at least to neuter it – the other to expose the poverty and maladminstration of SNP rule over the past 14 years and the folly of Scotland separating from the United Kingdom.
Good government requires strong opposition and this is why the Scottish Parliament has been so anodyne during the SNP hegemony.
The disenchanted separatists who cannot thole Nicola Sturgeon’s administration will do what they can to send Salmond back to Holyrood. Salmond has thrown his hat into the ring but Galloway is squaring up for the contest. It is now time for Unionists to unite behind the All For Unity agenda.
24 Mar 2021: there is uncertainty whether Jackson Carlaw is supporting a Unionist alliance.
27 Mar 2021: Alba has stung Douglas Ross, the Scottish Tory leader, into action. He has called on the Labour and Lib Dem Scottish leaders to revive the Better Together campaign – “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” and the leadership of the major Scottish parties should rally behind the real leadership and vision which began last year with @Alliance4Unity.
Nevertheless if Tories will vote for Labour and vice versa in the constituency seats (without outwardly endorsing A4U) it amounts to the message and aims of the A4U. “Better late than never” for this Johnnie-come-lately. Ronald Reagan said: “There’s no limit to what a man can do if he doesn’t care who gets the credit.”
27 Mar 2021: Michael Forsyth is also publicly supporting the vision. George Galloway asks him: How? At the constituency level it amounts to the @Alliance4Unity message. We await @Douglas4Moray response about the Regional level – after all, @Alliance4Unity represents different parties. Do others have an issue with this, and why? Is this not the essence of a coalition? Alex Salmond has supercharged the Unionist cause and created confusion among the Separatist cause. Salmond has overplayed his hand but only if #BetterTogether functions as a true coalition with the vision of the @Alliance4Unity.
27 Mar 2021: the spirit of the SNP – www.albaparty.scot takes you to http://www.snp.org. Does the SNP approve of masquerading? Who is responsible for this? We should expose anonymity. If people cannot play fair with reasonable debate they deserve to be ignored. I have tweeted about this here. The SNP website is currently promoting Postal Voting as ‘the safest way to vote’, not safest to ensure your vote is registered and counted, but “you’ll be able to vote in a way which reduces your risk from the virus”. The recent US Presidential Election experience raised serious questions about postal voting and it is generally thought that people will vote for the party that helps them to register for a postal vote. I cannot find any Polls about this question, and if not, why not?
On the same website:
What action will the SNP take to employ a proof-reader? Does it mean that not enough SNP supporters read its articles nor care enough to put it right?
27 Mar 2021: Douglas Ross says it took only three hours for Labour and the Lib Dems to reject his call for a Better Together Alliance. The @Alliance4Unity strategy shows that an alliance would help both the Lib Dems and Scottish Labour. The Lib Dems would win six constituency seats whereas in the last Parliament they had five, and Labour had 23 but it would win 37 constituency seats! Possibly they cannot count, or they cannot get their head around a sensible strategy. The Tories would only win 11 constituency seats. So what is the issue here?
27 Mar 2021: Kenny MacAskill, a former Scottish Justice Secretary and a Westminster MP, has left the SNP and joined the Alba Party and thus becomes its first MP. The friendly SNP leader in Westminster, Ian Blackford, has described MacAskill’s departure as “somewhat of a relief”. MacAskill said that Alba membership is soaring “through the roof” and there have been other claims that tens of thousands have left the SNP. Events are moving at pace, faster than the race between the coronavirus and vaccination. The volatility in Scottish politics has increased, with swinging sentiment over Salmond’s new party. An Irish Green councillor explains the voting system quite well but prophesies that Alba makes “a supermajority for Scottish Independence almost certain“. However, this same Green councillor predicted in 2018 “there will be No Brexit or even Brino” and the year before he gave “Ten Reasons why Brexit will not happen”, which proudly followed up on “my prediction made following the referendum that Brexit will never happen. See http://www.northdownindependent.com/10-reasons-why-brexit-will-not-happen/” in August 2016. However, this false prophet failed to remember that “a week is a long time in politics”. A day hardly passed till Alba gained its first MP in Westminster. Similarly, it took one day for the Scottish Tory leader to go public with his Better Together suggestion and it took three hours for Scottish Labour and the Lib Dems to reject it!
7 Apr 2021: the Ne’er Do Wells are complaining that All For Unity will spoil the Tories chance to neutralise the SNP. If the Unionist vote is split it is only because the main Unionist Parties don’t know how to play ball. It’s a team game but the Tories have run away with the ball and Labour would not even walk on to the pitch.
5 thoughts on “Alex Salmond and his new political party”
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Should Kenny Maccaskill not resign and stand again ? He was, after all, elected as an SNP MP.
There is a difference between MPs and List MSPs. Those who are elected on the List system to the Scottish Parliament should probably resign as the electorate clearly voted for the Party, and the Party decided who should be on the List and in what order. However, it is generally reckoned that an MP is accountable to the whole electorate and not to their Party and on this basis many MPs have ‘crossed the floor’ to another Party without resigning. In fact, MPs are not allowed to resign https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resignation_from_the_British_House_of_Commons. There are ways around this and the Recall of MPs Act 2015 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recall_of_MPs_Act_2015 gives the electorate a method of calling a by-election.
Other matters to consider are 1. constituency MSPs and 2. disciplined MPs. Margaret Ferrier MP https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Ferrier has not resigned as an MP although suspended by the SNP.
It is difficult to disentangle the Party vote from the personal vote in the case of long-standing MPs. Some claim that the Party has changed, not them https://donaldboyd.org/2019/11/11/christians-and-political-party-loyalty/#change
Parties secure the election of politicians, so that, in practice, politicians are beholden foremost to their Party and to the electorate only secondarily. Forcing a by-election if they resign or are disciplined by the Party reinforces the priority of the Party over the electorate. I discuss this issue here https://donaldboyd.org/2019/12/03/there-is-a-christian-party/
What does each politician really stand for? https://donaldboyd.org/2021/01/08/fundamental-beliefs/
The importance of voting for the person you want to represent you is discussed here https://donaldboyd.org/2019/10/28/representative-democracy/
I hope this helps to answer your question.
Thank you for your reply. I Understand that the SNP have called for Maccaskill’s resignation, and a bi-election to follow. I am no SNP supporter but I agree with them in this instance.