Saturday, 30 April 2011
Now's the Day (well, Thursday will be)
'Anybody I speak to up in Scotland says that he’s done a great job and sometimes I watch him on Scottish TV in Parliament and he wipes the floor with everybody. He’s great on his feet.'
Can't say I'm a big fan of his painting but I think he's right. Alan Cumming also made an interesting endorsement, based on Salmond's vision for Scotland. A gay thespian might not seem the most self-evident figure to support a patriotic candidate, yet I think social liberalism is never going to be as screechy and narcissistic as it is in England. We are proud to be a nation and proud to be a tolerant nation.
I notice that few of Alex's celeb fans seem to be especially political, and I would say that as a political talent, speaker and brain, Salmond towers above the shower of his opponents.
His primary opponents in terms of sheer demographics are Labour, mainly in the industrial lowlands. Whilst I have some sympathy for the Labour party, they are a pernicious presence in Scotland: sending Blairites to deprived Glaswegian areas and then boasting that their being elected is a sign of Blair/Mandelson genius. In the general elections, I think this area will still be a Labour stronghold, but when travelling through Scottish cities, St Andrews Cross flags and Stuart Lions are omnipresent: on Thursday, I think this region will probably back SNP.
In more direct competition there are the Lib Dems in the north. Beaker comes from not a million miles away from my constituency, but you're more likely to see a 1930s Soviet photo of Trotsky driking to bruderschaft with Lenin than you are to see Beaker in any local lib dem leaflets. The Dems are pegging all their hopes that voters will be mightily furious with the SNP for making administrative changes to to the running of the northern Scottish police force. Sadly, I think that taking Blighty into a double dip recession will be a more pressing concern, along with the small matter of the Dems knifing their voters in the back. The Lib Dems have always depended on their not being Tories and not being Labour for their popularity. I guess this is correct, given that they don't have the spine of the Tories nor the spine of Labour. Which means anything could happen and the same lack of spine that's led to their supporting Tory cuts could see Clegg telling the population he would vote for everyone to have a microchip implanted in their head if he formed a coalition with John Reid.
Lastly there are the Tories. What to say? Annabel Goldie looking at her prospective demesne like a plantation owner's wife looking at the 'natives' and a message that is utterly out of step with the vast majority of Scots. 'Right Wing' in the sense of wanting to lick American and Israeli arse and believing that John Galt will pull some jobs out of the ground when the state withers away, I don't think the Tories can really compete with the genuine patriotism of the SNP and their understanding that market fanaticism is not beneficial to the Middle Class. Subsequently they will probably get a good hiding in the South/Central Scotland where they were owned by the SNP in the general election.
As for independence, I don't have a clue. As for the Donald Trump golf course, I'm with these guys. But in a day when politics is ruled by various insipid flavours of spineless nonentities, I'm definitely backing Salmond for First Minister.
Oh, and if the celeb endorsements so far aren't enough, Brian Cox has joined the line. This is a clip of him in one of my favourite films, Steven Seagal's demented masterpiece The Glimmer Man (I take the Borgesian view that meaning is a dialogue between viewer and auteur so readily praise the American action movie as one of the most superb schools of satire, no matter what they were trying to do). Say what you like about Seagal's acting talents, Cox is brilliant here. Also a way better Hannibal Lector than Anthony Hopkins.