Considering we’re a pro-independence political blog, we did our level best to make it through the referendum with no more than passing references to Former First Minister, Alex Salmond. The media decided that a personalised campaign against Salmond was the best tactic, ignoring the fact that he (and the SNP) were more popular than independence with your average punter. It backfired badly, with support for Yes increasing by nearly 50% during the 2 years of the campaign and the SNP now Scotland’s largest party by miles.
We maintained a stoic ambivalence towards the SNP but with the referendum over, we breathed a collective sigh of relief, assuming that at least we’d no longer be subjected to never ending tales about how that evil Alex Salmond was intent on destroying democracy. How wrong we were.
He’s no longer the leader of the SNP nor the leader of the SNP group in Westminster. He’s 1 guy standing in 1 constituency in a General Election, like thousands of others. His tour to promote his new book seems to be going well though.
I could go on and on about the ridiculous nature of the media campaign which is STILL focused on this one man. I could rant about how Nicola Sturgeon has been written out, reduced to the status of “a wee lassie.” I could spout about how Angus Robertson is the SNP leader in Westminster or about how every MP elected will have the same number of votes (one) which they can use for whatever purpose they wish, including toppling hated Tory Governments or voting to get rid of nukes. I could rage about how even the Herald managed to squeeze column inches out of how many fatalities there were on the roads in “Alex Salmond’s former constituency.”
I want to imagine another world, a world where Alex Salmond doesn’t exist. What would the General Election campaign be like if the press and the politicians were forced to more evenly distribute their personalised hatred? Maybe, a bit like this…
- In the final PMQs before the dissolution of Parliament, David Cameron branded Labour leader Ed Miliband “Bardell’s poodle,” stating the SNP’s candidate for Livingston, Hannah Bardell, would vote for tax hikes. As Tory backbenchers cheered, Cameron declared,
As far as I can see, Hannah Bardell has taken the entire Labour Party hostage and today we have got the ransom note
- The Tories new election video warns that despite having lost the referendum, Natalie McGarry, the SNP candidate for Glasgow East, is preparing to make Ed Miliband dance to her tune.
- Most of the weekend papers cover the national scandal that the SNP’s candidate for Edinburgh South West, Joanna Cherry, had a glass of fizz with her lunch. The journalistic world, famed for the staunch opposition to drinking during the day, brand her “Champagne Cherry.”
- Broadcasters are keen to host a series of debates, including a head-to-head between Cameron & Miliband. The Prime Minister refuses unless SNP candidate for Dunfermline & West Fife, Douglas Chapman, is also included in the line up.
- Columnist Allan Massie warns of “rivers of blood” if the SNP and Labour co-operate:
Responsibility for the future of the UK now rests with Ed Miliband. He can put it at grave risk by doing a deal with the SNP – or he can listen to his Scottish colleagues and tell SNP hopeful Mhairi Black straight there’s nothing doing.
- Posters appear across England, warning of the dangers that SNP MP for Perth & North Perthshire, Pete Wishart, may end up propping up a weak Labour Government in the event of a hung parliament. Confused residents are heard to say, who the fuck is Pete Wishart? before someone directs them to take the high road/check on Twitter.
None of the above situations are any more ridiculous than what’s actually happening in most, if not all, of the British press, as the Tories take Project Fear nationwide.
It’s becoming clear that if Alex Salmond didn’t exist, it would be necessary for the media to invent him.
More improbable fantasy:
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