Magazine article The Spectator

Salmond May Save Labour

Magazine article The Spectator

Salmond May Save Labour

Article excerpt

Pity Alex Salmond and his separatist supporters. The publication of their manifesto for Scottish independence this week is no threat to the Union, but a requiem for a dream now vanquished. The devolution settlement gave them the rope, and now they've managed to hang themselves with it. During Mr Salmond's tenure as First Minister, Scotland's economic situation has become progressively worse.

If Gordon Brown did not send home pocket money - a subsidy of £11 billion each year - Scotland would have a budget deficit that would put even Britain's to shame.

So now Mr Salmond is under pressure: this week he had to demote one of his ministers to avert defeat in a no-confidence vote and he is being routed in Glasgow's by-elections.

The Conservatives, who care for the union, are delighted by all this - but their cheers should be muted. They should take notice of whom Salmond was routed by: the Labour party which is not dead but winning substantial majorities (as it did in Glenrothes last year). …

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