Monday, November 26, 2007

Alex Salmond and the Smart Guys Theory of History

Unlike yours truly, Mertin Kelly only posts when he's got something to say. In a long post he examines (inter alia) Alex Salmond's qualifications as a nation-builder.

I like :

Perhaps his mischief can be dismissed as the immaturity of an intellectually immature nationalist ideologue, aching to blast white noise into The Saxonist Entity’s lug and to outrage ‘Outraged of Tunbridge Wells’. If so, it casts a sad, and telling, insight into the nature of Salmond’s character. Few successful nations have had a pater patriae who behaves like a glue-buzzing, Burberry baseball-capped Buckfast swiller spoiling for a fight with the cops in Coatbridge – yet in terms of the constitutional settlement that he must work within, that is precisely how the First Minister of Scotland behaves towards Her Majesty’s Government of The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

But his point is - what kind of nation-builder will Alex Salmond be ? A Bismarck or a de Valera ? My hunch is that Salmond would be quite happy to be a de Valera - but whether sullen resentment of the English, in the absence of the Catholicism which also united the Free State, is sufficient glue to unite Scots must be in doubt.