Hi, it’s me. Ken again. Ken… again. That rhymes! Oooh, look at the kitte- no; time to concentrate. So! Alex “Independence or Bust” Salmond has come out and suggested that Rangers exist for the good of Celtic and the good of Scottish football. Ok, that’s a bit sketchy. More sketchy though is the way he’s trying to influence the HMRC to be lenient with Rangers:
“We’ve certainly been arguing to HMRC on one hand, and indeed to Rangers, to for goodness sake get a settlement, get a settlement and a structure over time whereby Rangers can continue because Rangers must continue for the future of Scottish football and for the fabric of the country.”
Oh dear, Eck! Alex Salmond isn’t really in a position to comment on businesses in financial trouble (hello 2000) anyway, but there’s been a lot of talk about how this would be a bad move for Alex Salmond and the SNP to make politically. The term ‘political suicide’ has been thrown around, though I really don’t think this is the case.
I want to say at this point that I am not an admirer of Alex Salmond’s SNP or their politics. I think independence would be economically suicidal for Scotland and no amount of yellow smoke and mirrors will prove otherwise. I’m a great believer in ‘the facts’ and the SNP haven’t been able to provide any financial or political analysis or representation of facts that would suggest Scotland would be better off as an independent nation. Have people got such short memories that they have forgotten what happened to Ireland when they left the Union? Eurozone bailouts, anyone?
Salmond wants independence for Scotland, and sees Rangers (an extremely pro-Union establishment) as a demographic he can win favour with by urging the HMRC to be lenient with over potentially devastating tax concerns. Come time to vote, Rangers’ extreme large fanbase will have greater inclination to support the man who tried to help them out of a tough situation. But elections are a while away and while this has potential to cost them electorate support they’ve got a long while to ‘make amends’ for that. It’s a case of balancing short-term outrage against long-term loyalty.
Meanwhile, Scottish Labour are so unbelievably weak and fragile that they don’t dare contradict anything the SNP has said for fear of looking in any way like they’re not “for Scotland”. Yes, that makes them idiots. The Scottish Conservatives are falling apart. Their numbers halved from 16k party members to 8k party members in the last 6 years. The Scottish Lib Dems are entirely insignificant and as such there’s nobody in a position to challenge the SNP for the Scottish Parliament unless one or more of the above seriously up their game.
So Salmond thinks he’s bullet-proof. And all this does is gain him favour for a cause he believes in with a group who’d otherwise not think to offer it. Rangers are in big trouble, it’s a national issue – and like all national issues the First Minister had to weigh in at some point. And like everything else he does, there’s only one thing on his mind as he’s doing it.