Better angels of our nature: Salmond’s triumph

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by Mark Irvine

I listened to Alex Salmond’s inaugural speech to the Scottish Parliament earlier today – in his second term as Scotland’s First Minister. And I have to report that it was a very good speech indeed.

It was one that simply could not have been delivered by any of his rivals at the recent Scottish elections – even had the speech been shorn of all its Nationalist sentiments.

The First Minister went out of his way to speak for the nation, eschewing partisan party politics and instead emphasising how much people agreed upon – across the whole chamber.

In effect, the First Minister appealed to the ‘better angels of our nature’ – echoing the voice of Abraham Lincoln from so many years ago. And that – in short – is why the SNP leader ran right over the top of his political opponents and managed to win such a famous victory in last week’s elections.

Scotland made the right decision, of that I have no doubt – and I’m not even an SNP member or supporter.