“Rage against the machine,” was the unofficial theme of Alex Salmond’s SNP (Scottish Nationalist Party) speech at Aviemore at this week. Citing the Deputy Minister’s favourite tv show, “X Factor,” this Salmond speech noted how a populist movement had upset the Christmas music charts. Yes, they had got “Rage against the Machine” as the Christmas no.1. In place of the bookies favourite X Factor single. The people won.
Using this simple analogy the Salmond speech then aimed to show how the people of Scotland would upset the cosy order of Westminster in the coming elections. The people would win against a cosy order that he topically compared with that of Matt Lucas’ depiction of Tweedledum and TweedleDee in the new film, “Alice.” Gordon Tweedledee and David Tweedledum.
He returned to this rich vein later in his speech. Because he noted how earlier main party leaders had shared the same attributes. This was less convincing. Not least as the policy differences 15 years ago were genuinely starker.
But, challenging the regular orthodoxy was the order of this Alex Salmond conference speech.
He began his speech with a tribute to the late SNP stalwart Billy Wolfe. So, this allowed Salmond to re-work an Isaac Newton metaphor, “we are building on the shoulders of giants like Billy Wolfe.” A firm confirmation that incremental progress is being made by the SNP.
Salmond went for a conclusion of phrase reversals and contrasts between the Westminster elite and the anti-establishment SNP.
“To protect the people, not the perks.
“Not to settle down in London but to settle up for Scotland.”
This was genuinely a barnstorming Alex Salmond speech with hints of what the voters can expect in the next few weeks.
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