Thursday, July 12, 2007

Salmond – the new Livingstone?

It is difficult for me to comment as an Englishman, but there is a good article by Tom Gallagher in Open Democracy on the SNP’s attempt to co-opt the Muslim vote in Scotland, which has an all too familiar feel to it

Gallagher contrasts a perfunctory commendation for John Smeaton with more fulsome praise of the Muslim community and highlights the leading role of the Muslim Association of Britain’s Osama Saeed in a rally held on June 6th. According to Gallagher, Saeed ‘called for an enquiry into the root causes of terrorism in Britain and appeared confident that the finger of blame would be pointed at departing prime minister Tony Blair, who was condemned at the rally more often than any bomb-carrying doctor’.

Gallagher is sharply critical of Salmond’s opportunism (he was opposed to intervention in Bosnia and Kosovo to aid European Muslims), and identifies his strategy as one of ‘projecting himself to religious minorities previously loyal to the Labour party’.

Sounds familiar? Gallagher doesn’t miss the parallel either.

A separate Scotland could turn out to be a modern, efficient state that harnesses the energies of its people, including those achievers who previously had to go abroad to make their mark in the world; or it could be a kind of leftist London authority on a larger canvas’.

It is worth reading the whole article here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The article is indeed a good read; but the comments! I really fear for the left if these are a representative sample of thought ... Those who ride the tiger.

Thirty years ago I went to Scotland and asked a left journalist collective "You don't have the National Front here do you?" "Have you heard of the SNP?" Many English simply do not know the history of the SNP and think Alex Salmond on telly is so nice, funny, etc. They should see – hear – the SNP rank and file. Funny how the Scottish Tory vote (Scotland elected a majority of Tory MP's throughout most of the 20th century) has collapsed as the Nat's has risen.