Salmond’s speech short on humility

Alex Salmond has delivered his keynote address to the Scottish National Party’s annual conference in Inverness, the last before the election. Salmond provided a long list of what his government has supposedly achieved, showing few signs of humility over recent controversies.

Alex Salmond has delivered his keynote address to the Scottish National Party’s annual conference in Inverness, the last before the election. Salmond provided a long list of what his government has supposedly achieved, showing few signs of humility over recent controversies.

On the SNP’s central mission on independence, Salmond declared:

    “For the people, many who have waited a life time – for those, with a life time ahead. Each and every one, has a stake in the future only independence can bring.”

This contrasts with a recent poll by YouGov, typical of others, which showed just 28 per cent said they would vote for Scottish independence, against 57 per cent opposed. Given these statistics, questions have been raised over the wisdom of spending £700,000 of public funds on a national conversation on independence.

On crime, the SNP leader trumpeted the SNPs achievements in making Scotland a safer place. He told delegates:

    “knife crime is now falling in Scotland – still far too high but falling not rising. Falling by 18 per cent in the city of Glasgow over the last two years.”

But a recent report in the Scotsman outlined that, “half of Scottish communities are being blighted by soaring crime rates even as national figures continue to fall … A total of 546 beats saw an increase in offences between April 2007 and March 2009 with violent crimes such as murders and serious assaults rising in 384.”

On the economy, Salmond declared:

    “we are working hard to protect jobs and leave people with more of the money they earn.”

This contrasts with the recent draft budget of Finance Secretary John Swinney, described as “anti-Glasgow,” which axed the Glasgow rail link and prevented the creation of what the SNP government has admitted would have been 1,300 vital new construction jobs. Similarly, the decision by Education Secretary Fiona Hyslop to enforce average class sizes of 25 (rather than 18) has been roundly condemned as being likely to lead to job losses in higher education.

On education, the First Minister talked of how the SNP have been improving schooling to children across the country. He did not mention the words of Professor Lindsay Paterson of Edinburgh University who described the SNP’s planned reforms to the curriculum as “vague”, “confused” and likely to turn schools “upside down”.

Finally, much of Salmond’s speech continued to blame what he describes as “the London parties” for the troubles and tough decisions ahead for Scotland. This was in keeping with John Swinney who earlier pleaded with the Chancllor to free up more cash for Scotland. If cash is so tight in Scotland, why do they not use the tax varying powers they have to raise such money independently of Westminster?

2 Responses to “Salmond’s speech short on humility”

  1. Rory

    Yes, clearly their left-wing policies are doing great damage to Scotland. The £700,000 is certainly a waste of money, although perhaps not as scandalous as the hundreds of millions New Labour wasted on the not-very-impressive parliament building.

    By the way, do you really think the job losses resulting from the higher class sizes are more important than the damage to childrens’ education?

  2. ShermanTEL

    Salmond's speech short on humility | Left Foot Forward: Similarly, the decision by Education Secretary Fiona.. //bit.ly/Aa7fE

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