Thursday, September 27, 2007

Alex Salmond to Unseat Gordon Brown?

I hear that there are serious discussions going on within the SNP about the possibility of Alex Salmond standing against Gordon Brown in Kirkaldy if there is an Autumn election. They seriously think they could defeat him. That's not for me to judge, but it would also risk jeopardising Alex Salmond's hard won reputation for being a serious politician. He's now the First Minister. That's a position for statesmen, not party political hacks. Much as I would enjoy watching the spectacle of the political equivalent of mud wrestling, I doubt whether Salmond has much to gain from taking part. It would be a self indulgence of the first order.

42 comments:

Anonymous said...

If the talk of the election is a bluff, as most of us think - this is a good response.

The SNP could say, "Brown ran away from facing Salmond." As a Tory I'm happy from Brown to have to spend more time in Scotland.

Tony said...

I hope Salmond goes for it and I also hope all other parties stand aside to give him a clear run at Brown. That would be quite a decapitation strategy. Miliband would be drooling at the prospect of becoming Labour leader so quickly with Brown defeated.

Anonymous said...

It would be VERY interesting to see who would win!, Scotlands Scottish Prime Minister or England's Scottish Prime Minister!

Anonymous said...

Do you mean Kirkcaldy?

Anonymous said...

Iain, Iain. At this rate you'll be getting your invite to the Scottish political press corps annual Christmas awards bash, otherwise known as the Tartan Bollocks for the most wildly inaccurate stories.

Be a bit difficult for Alex Salmond standing in Kirkcaldy for the SNP since they have already selected a candidate which isn't Alex Salmond.

But the SNP candidate is far cheerier than Gordon. He's an undertaker.

Bob Piper said...

Bring them on.... not that Salmond is as stupid as whoever told you this gossip.

Fitaloon said...

Who cares whether or not it was a good idea or not, what fun it would be if the Clunker was deposed in his own backyard.

diogenes said...

Iain whilst it is an unlikely gamble, don't be too anti the most amusing idea to have come out of Scotland since the telly.

It would be, almost, worth a Labour landslide just to see Gordon's face on the hustings thanking the returning officer and congratulating Salmond through gritted teeth.

anonaLon said...

A bit like Gladiator surely..... Will Russell Crowe be Gordon or Alex in the movie?......

brown makes my flesh crawl said...

Brown has enjoyed teasing and tantalising over whether he will call an election or not so it's amusing to see the SNP give the loathsome creep a taste of his own medicine.

Norfolk Blogger said...

I also think brown would win comfortably. Salmond would be seen to be playing politics, as you say, without offering any advantage to Kirkaldy or constituents.

Chris Paul said...

Absolutely agree. It may be a press rumour to start but not a stunt to actually go through with.

Alan Douglas said...

but comes under the heading of the kind of thing you would regret NOT having tried, for the rest of one's life.

Anyway, there is no other opposition, he should go for it !

Alan Douglas

skip said...

I don't think Scots would take it too kindly if one Scot knocks another out of downing street, only to see us governed by an even less popular Englishman!

It would also mean Salmond would go back on the pledge to give up his seat in the Commons. I still think its a great story though and the SNP should speculate about it and suss out the reaction from the good people of Fife. In the scottish election the snp did reasonably well by taking Fife Central, even though that seat and the wider area has normally been a Labour/Liberal territory in the last 20 years. I still don't think the SNP has enough form here.

I believe the real reason this would be leaked would some more tactical cunning from the Scottsih National Party. It suits them if we talk about this because it portrays Salmond as the equal or close challenger of Gordon Brown and therefore Alex Salmond is perceived as by far more experienced and statesmanlike in comparison to Labour's new Scottish parliamentary Leader Wendy Alexander. The more Salmond is seen with involved in the Council of the Isles, Europe, and courting various scots business people.... the more we ask Wendy who?

Imagine the drama if the Scottish First Minister did take on the UK Prime Minister and win! Sadly the votes probably wouldn't stack up. Brown gets nearly 60% of the vote whilst serving as Chancellor of the Exchequer.

machiavelli said...

Not thinking of defecting are you?

Wrinkled Weasel said...

The idea of Mr Salmond unseating Mr Brown is seductive and the actuality cataclysmic.

Scotland, however, is not England. Whilst the idea of this happening in Tunbridge Wells might seem far fetched, up here Glencoe is still fresh in the minds of some.

For those whose history is not up to par, and according to one historian,Glencoe is summed up thus: "a small community was selected for extermination, by order of a British king acting on the advice of a Secretary of State for Scotland". A fair resume of the bare facts.

We have not forgotten that "acting on the advice of the Secretary of State for Scotland" we nearly had a massacre of an election, in May of this year, when 140,000 voting papers were returned spoiled and accordingly many voters were disenfranchised.

If Scots can rememember the struggles of centuries ago, they are going to bear something of a grudge over more recent history. The Labour party up here went out of its way to try and destroy the SNP, just as it is doing to the Tories down South.

The fight up here is not about Alex Salmond, it is about the Nation, and if he can be held to be a symbol of that, just as many political figures before him have been a symbol of nationhood, then Mr Brown should be afraid..very afraid.

I am afraid the Scots have been bloodied in battle and the vote up here will be a "bugger off Westminster vote", if not an entirely Nationlist one.

Labour politicians up here do not want an election because they know it spells curtains for them. I suspect they would regard your rumour with a degree of seriousness.

W.B.A.Calais said...

Absolutely brilliant idea. There is no downside.

Even if he loses, Alex is still PrimeMinister of the Government of Scotland (or whatever they call it these days).

And just think of the fun we will all have seeing the photos of Maggie'n'Gord on every lamp post.

And to top it all, Gord might lose..

Go on Alex, you know you want to!

Paul Linford said...

If Salmond really believes in an independent Scotland, why would he want to stand for the UK Parliament again anyway?

Anonymous said...

"O Flower of Scotland,
When will we see
your like again,
That fought and voted for,
Your Nation's Leader,
That stood against him,
Thatcher's Heir - Gordon,
And sent him southwards,
Tae think again."

ezra said...

Doesn't Brown have the biggest majority of any MP? If Salmond wants to risk his political career that's his business but he would be humiliated.

ChrisD said...

Priceless to see the SNP giving Gordon a bit of his own medicine in his own backyard. Political brinkmanship and game playing to rattle Brown, Salmond is having a bit of fun.

Anonymous said...

It's a sad day for the Tory party when the best prospect of defeating Gordon Brown comes from wee Eck. I, for one, would love to see it though.

Btw, having dated a girl from Kirkcaldy I can say that the town is a grade A shithole. It's what our English friends would call "Chav Central".

Man in a Shed said...

Its a great idea. Brown should have already moved to an English constituency - to strengthen his 'British' spin ploy.

Too late now. Remember Labour lost the seat next to Brown to the Lib Dems, despite Browns heavy campaigning.

That conference speech might have been targeted at middle England, but I suspect in Scotland they were passing the vomit bucket.

Anonymous said...

"[Salmond is] now the First Minister. That's a position for statesmen, not party political hacks."

Kindly inform Messrs McLeish and McConnell of this excellent apercu.

Peter said...

The SNP would need a 22% swing. I really don't see it happening. Even if all the other parties stood aside and assuming they all voted for Salmond, he'd still need a 9% swing.

Has a sitting prime minister ever lost his seat? Their constituents would always rally round them.

Oscar Miller said...

I suspect in Scotland they were passing the vomit bucket.

For sure - there should be a SICKophancy award for the most fawning media coverage of that nauseating speech. As for Salmond - sounds to me like he's giving Brown back a bit of his own medicine - a stunt to get him jittery.

Anonymous said...

Don't be a spoil sport.

bergen said...

Peter,very sad thing to know but Balfour was the last incumbent PM to lose his seat at a general election and that was in 1906.

chris (m) said...

Iain, with respect, I think your analysis is wrong. It would be a masterstroke by Salmond as it would be a clear statement to the voters that the cosy world of professional politics is coming to an end.

The so-called Statesmanlike approach to politics is piffle and leads to actions like the standing ovation given to Tony Blair that was egged on by David Cameron.

We in England more than ever need a party like Salmond's nationalists to lead the fight against Labour.

Anonymous said...

Peter, Salmond achieved an 8% swing to take his Gordon constituency in Holyrood, so it's not impossible.

Unlikely, but not impossible.

Roger Thornhill said...

Delicious.

english democrat said...

The NULAB toadies are running scared on this blog already! So I think that Salmond would be advised to run against Brown! You all must see that the Brown machine were involved in some very dirty tricks against the SNP and the jocks dont forget! In some ways they(Jocks)are like elephants, cross one badly enough and they will never forget OR forgive! Brown made the error of thinking that the SNP would soak up the dirty tricks like the English Tories! BIG MISTAKE GORDON!
The English softy Cameron may roll over and say Ah well "to forgive is divine Blah Blah" but Salmond is made of tougher stuff!

antifrank said...

If I were him, I'd do it. He's got nothing to lose, it would be a potent sign that he fears no one and it would give Gordon Brown something to think about when he bangs on about Britishness. It would be a perfect way of driving a wedge between what works for Labour at Westminster and what works for Labour in Scotland.

ASwaS said...

Oh please. This may have been a joke someone said in the Scottish Parliament canteen or something. It could never go further than that. Salmond is busy running Scotland. Westminster is - compared to that - a sideshow. End of story.

David Lindsay said...

To hell with the Tory Conference! To hell with all of them!

Britain wants, needs and deserves there be operating at every level a One Nation party, with an equal emphasis on the One and on the Nation; a party in the tradition that came down from Colbert, Disraeli and Bismarck through Lloyd George, Keynes and Beveridge to Attlee, Bevin, Morrison, Bevan and Gaitskell.

Britain wants, needs and deserves a party which will be ready to call for the utilities to be taken back into public ownership and subjected to democratic political control (just as the Tories did to electricity) when, a few years from now, the readers of the Mail and Telegraph newspapers want to rise up and demand this; a party which will have made this proposition financially viable by the effects of its taxation policies on the utilities' share prices.

Britain wants, needs and deserves a party which rejects the Lib Dems' false dichotomy between liberty and authority, instead explaining that there cannot be liberty without the authority needed to protect it, nor authority (as radically distinct from raw power, brute force) without the liberty that provides its moral basis.

Britain wants, needs and deserves a party which will use "soft power" in relation to the United States and others, to advocate and cultivate the closest possible economic, social, cultural and political co-operation between the people of West African slave descent and the people of English, Scots, Welsh and Irish descent, on the basis of their shared economic, social, cultural and political heritage, including their shared English language and their shared blood ties.

Britain wants, needs and deserves a party which will insist that the Union simply is not the Union, nor is the Commonwealth the Commonwealth, without a very strong Irish dimension; a party which will therefore work towards the Irish Republic's accession to the Commonwealth while re-enfranchising all those disenfranchised by the decline of the UUP and the Alliance Party, by the emerging takeover of the SDLP by Fianna Fail, and by the scandalous failure hitherto to provide a pro-Union party acceptable to Catholics and to social democrats, all the while emphasising that fidelity to any of the Gaelic-Irish, Anglo-Irish and Scots-Irish traditions has long (arguably always) called for the closest possible ties across the Irish Sea.

And so very much else.

What are you doing about it?

Gus A said...

Aswas is right. Peter linford writes: ", why would he want to stand for the UK Parliament again anyway?"

Well he wouldn't because he's just withdrawn from Westminster. Btw I love the question 'If Salmond really believes in an independent Scotland'?

Anonymous said...

Bring it on

Nationalist

SNP
Plaid Cymru
English Democrats

Against the

Unionists
British Gordon Brown
Ha, Ha, Ha

Anonymous said...

Salmond would have nothing to lose, if he handles it the right way, it would be very destabilising to the tyrant Brown, who hates being challenged in any way - and he might just win and wipe McStalin off the political map. Brilliant. I love it.

David Lindsay said...

I managed to post the wrong comment entirely earlier this afternoon! Forgive me - it's Friday. Anyway, if you want to discuss what I wrote before, it is up on my blog, as intended.

Now, to business: why would Salmond stand againt Brown? Certainly not because of the constitutional question, on which they do not any longer disagree, whatever Sir Alex's (or is it now Lord Salmond's?) party might think, if it still does deep down.

There.

Anonymous said...

"Peter said...
The SNP would need a 22% swing. I really don't see it happening. Even if all the other parties stood aside and assuming they all voted for Salmond, he'd still need a 9% swing. "

In the Dunfermline and West by election of 02/2006 Brown ( who lives in the constituency ) campaigned heavily for The sitting Labour candidate , who had a 11,562 majority .
Labour lost , the LibDems won with a 16.2 swing .

The results were :
2005 Labour 20,111/47% of the vote with a 11562 maj.

2006 LibDems 12391 /40% of the vote with a 1800 maj .

And Brown had put his reputation on the line .

This is why the SNP are considering challenging Brown .
He could well be beaten .

-----------------

Another point is the small size of Scottish Westminster constituencies ( Dunfermline is about 43000 or so , compared to English ones - 75-95 000 or so .
totally unfair and biased aginst the English of course ,

just like about everything else about the British state !

David Farrer said...

I could always change my name to "Alex Salmond" by deed poll and run in Kirkcaldy as an "independent"...

Commenter reaches for a dram

Richard Thomson said...

You'd have to be careful how you campaigned, though, David, if you were going to change your name...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/News_Bunny