Alex Salmond’s account of last year’s Scottish referendum was described on Friday as “the longest exercise in literary masturbation since politics began.” Former Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown gave Salmond’s recently-published opus the sour review during a briefing at the Scottish Liberal Democrat conference in Aberdeen.
Salmond, who led his side to second place in the historic referendum, penned a tome called "The Dream Shall Never Die," which recounts how the nationalist’s cause suffered a heavy defeat. Ashdown told the press he had been reading the book on the way up to the conference, adding: “It's not very good, is it? In my view, I think it is an extraordinary exercise in self-congratulation."
He then went on to describe the book as "the longest exercise in literary masturbation since politics began". Ashdown added: "I speak not as a political leader in any way, just as a fellow author and critic."
A spokesman for Salmond said responded by calling the former Royal Marine, intelligence officer and diplomat a “desperate figure from a bygone age," adding: "The fact is, there were more people at Alex's book signing at Waterstones in Aberdeen's Union Street than at the entire Lib Dem conference."