As one door closes another one opens as the first minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond prepares to step down at the forthcoming SNP conference in Perth.
Love him or loathe Salmond, he honoured a manifesto pledge to give us our first referendum on the union in 307 years. It may seem a small thing, but it is something that seems to have fallen out of fashion with the political pygmies in Westminster, where the electorate seems to have become too passive to hold them to account.
No doubt about it. Scotland is a very much better place today with the SNP fighting austerity cuts from London, than it would have been with so-called 'Scottish' Labour 'fighting for Scotland'. Capitulation on a massive scale would have seen even Scotland's water sold off by 'Scottish' Labour to London.
Salmond and the SNP have got Scotland more than we ever dreamed we could have, especially under Labour. No more 'subsidy junkie' jibes from the London-based media about Scotland, and recognition worldwide of our small country. Salmond has restored Scotland's pride and left us in a better position now than when he started his campaign, long, long ago. He has left the SNP in good hands in Nicola Sturgeon, and has secured a population re-engaged in the politics of Scotland once again, and that in itself is a major accomplishment.
Salmond is not finished, his job not yet done, but he has broken the back of this 'union', which as we can all see, is broken beyond repair. Infighting in the aftermath of desperately concession to try to maintain it by the Unionists, merely serves to show the cracks becoming irreparable, day by day.
Holed below the water-line, the good ship Britannia is sinking before our eyes. However, in this 'union', and as Salmond has already stated, "it used to be Britannia rules the waves. Now, it's Britannia waives the rules."
Not any more. Scotland is calling the shots now. No more substantial powers, then a 6% swing is all that is needed next time. As good as independent in the Union. Or, fully independent outwith this Union.
Either way, the Scots have won.
A YouGov poll last weekend found 52% of Scots now favour independence. Some 45% want a fresh vote within a decade, compared to just 16% who never want another referendum. Next time the scaremongering shall not work. Better Together have already admitted the currency issue was a bluff on their part and there would have been a currency union. Indeed Mark Carney had the plans already set up.
And on the fourth of this month a study by Ipsos MORI found 57% would support the SNP in the constituency ballot for the Scottish Parliament, giving the party a 34-point lead over Labour on 23%. that was in a new poll on news tonight.
Meanwhile, half (50%) of people who say they would definitely vote would also back the SNP in the regional section of the ballot, compared to 23% for Labour, according to the poll for STV News.
And I can't see Eck forming a Westminster coalition with Miliband, Salmond is too sharp to fall for it. Deputy PM? He's seen what happened to Clegg.
He seems to be doing pretty well for someone who lost. Enjoying higher trust ratings amongst the Scottish public than any other politician in Westminster or Holyrood, with the sole exception of Nicola Sturgeon. The Labour Party in meltdown in Scotland, with the SNP expected to win the majority of seats in 2015, and to win another majority in Holyrood in 2016. Membership of the SNP at a record level and it is the third largest party in the UK. 58% of the Scottish public support having another referendum within five years and 66% within 10 years.
A second referendum should be held within the next five.years. The UK under David Cameron has lied to the Scottish people - they have NO intention of expanding devolution. Do not believe these empty promises. Scotland must chart its OWN course and this can only be achieved through national independence. Nicola Sturgeon of the SNP must remain strong and NOT compromise. Scottish devolution was proposed in 1977 but the Tories under Margaret Thatcher and John Major opposed it vigorously. Scotland should never trust the Conservative Party. Alex Salmond has made the SNP, what was considered a fringe political force, into the governing party of Scotland, with the largest party membership. His record speaks for itself.
Independence was always going to be an uphill battle. Just as there were setbacks in the re-establishing of the Scottish parliament, so there will be setbacks to the road to independence.
Salmond comes across as far more trustworthy than any of the opposition. He has always been out amongst the people in the street. His support is increasing, despite the result of the referendum.
What remains to be seen is if Labour and the Tories can recover in time for the next campaign. It may indeed have been a hollow victory for the No camp, possibly one of some permanence. How come the pro-Independence parties have quadrupled in size since the referendum, how come the Labour Party is going to lose almost all its seats in GE2015? How come the Radical Independence Conference on 22 November has sold out and has to move to a bigger venue? How come there's more folk in Scotland engaged in political activity than ever before? How come the party that "won" the referendum is falling apart like a chocolate Santa Claus at Joan of Arc's feet?
Devo-Max wasn't on because the Establishment rather nonchalantly assumed the support for Independence would be approximately the same as the support for the SNP, not realising that in fact the SNP turned out to be a wee part of a very big grassroots campaign.
I've got a lot of respect for this guy. He really is a heavyweight and virtually every establishment character I've seen go head to head with him gets shown up for the duplicitous slime they are.
He's done Scots a world of good - wonder if they'll ever realise it. Alex lives and breathes for Scotland, started when he was a young man 18 years young, never faltered or wavered.
Alex is well aware of the respect many Scots have for him, grassroots and all, and, yes, he has changed Scotland for the better. Scots want better than status quo, still do, and there's a big movement going on in Scotland; cheers big man.
I have friends in England who had only ever heard about Alex Salmond in the English media.
They could not believe it when they watched the recent Question Time and saw and heard him speak for themselves. They could not believe how different he was to the hysterical rubbish printed about him in down south. Their conclusion was that they wished they had a politician like him at Westminster instead of what they are stuck with. Who knows it could happen yet?
It seems many are just not aware of the ground swell in Scotland against Labour. Its not been a sudden thing more like an awakening and the favoured new Scottish Labour leader will not be able to patch up the damage done. Most of the damage has been internal and for me I get the sense that Labour MSPs feel they have a sense of entitlement when it comes to their seat. What happened during the referendum was that Scottish Labour were singing from the Westminster hymn sheet and they had no voice of their own. The recent resignation from Lamont only went to emphasise this. For me personally I get the feeling Labour MSPs in Scotland are waiting for a step up to a seat in Westminster.
He lost the battle but he may live long enough to win the war. The No vote was not an endorsement of the UK; it was a stay of execution. The main UK parties need to follow an agenda of devolution not just for Scotland, but for the rest of the UK. A federal system is the only way this union can be held together long term. There won't be a second chance.The people of Scotland were conned by a media playing the bugle for a corrupt Westminster government.
And on the Marr show this week, the FM is going out with a bang. "The role, hand-in-glove, shoulder-to-shoulder with the Conservative Party in the referendum campaign is not going to be forgotten or forgiven for a generation in Scottish politics. Every single Labour personality who has been pictured in the referendum campaign in that pose - that hand-in-glove, shoulder-to-shoulder pose - will pay a heavy price for many years to come," he stated.
Salmond put the Scots in a no-lose situation. Squeezed concessions out of the three stooges parties and moved even closer to breaking away, and some people think he lost! Westminster now need to offer more than sneering and threats, and empty promises; you can only get away with bluffing for so long, in the end, threats no longer frighten anybody.
And burning an effigy of Eck and Nessie on the East Sussex County Council Bonfire is indeed insulting, especially as he's wearing 45% and Yes badges, this will no doubt lead to more Scots joining the SNP and the 45% (That's how we work in Scotland). But the First Minister has instead asked why "poor Nessie" has been targeted, he then stated "if this Tory council think I am a threat to Westminster like Guy Fawkes, then they are right!"
The creators were obviously "threatened" by the 45% of people who voted Yes, which is a good sign. Keep up the pressure, this insult to the people of Scotland will add more members to the SNP, and also piss off a lot of No voters as well. Well done, Lewes.
Sturgeon in Holyrood, first minister of Scotland, with devo-max in the bag, Salmond in Westminster, Parliamentary leader of 30-50 well disciplined MPs. Labour in disarray after losing Scotland, the Tories a shambles after Ukip take a good few scalps down south. Any politician in Salmond's shoes would be licking his lips.
The Referendum. Free Prescriptions. Free Higher Education. Free Concessionary Bus Travel. Bedroom Tax Revoked. Council Tax Freeze. Historic Poll Tax debts written off. A more politically aware country. The SNP have done more for Scotland in seven years than Labour in 70.