I have observed,heard,noted, and read many people giving their opinion of Alex Salmond.
None of what I have heard or seen, has in any way,actually come close to describing the man, or even what he thinks or stands for.
Yet at the same time, it is amazing how many people think they know him.
I have heard ordinary people being influenced by his demeanour and how he comes across to them. With the help of course of political commentators in the media. They follow the likes of people who do not know him at all. Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph is a prime example, but by no means alone! The likes of he, calls Alex a Dictator, Smug, A mini Hitler etc. It Is all of course nonsense, it is all a reaction to the fear they have of him. Alex and the SNP threaten their very lifestyle. Where would the likes of Cochrane be, working for an English paper, if Alex and the SNP ever achieved their goal of Independence for Scotland? Out of a job,that’s where!
Speaking to ordinary people influenced by the likes of him, both for English and Scottish papers, I hear comments which are derogatory of him. I also note the same from their reactions to reports on BBC Scotland.He is a sort of Anti Christ!!
None of the above is True! He Is not that at all. But you try persuading people differently if that is what they are led to Believe! It is not an easy matter to convince them otherwise.
When people do see Alex get a fair crack of the whip, they are Impressed, and rightly so.
Many English people seeing him on the One Show, or other UK National programmes are left with a feeling of common sense, and a longing that He was their Prime Minister.Why? Because he knows what he is talking about, and he speaks with a knowledge of where the people are coming from.
Irrespective of how much common sense Alex speaks,many people at home in Scotland only see the Smug face, corresponding with the attitude of ‘I know better than You’
His wide smile is plastered everywhere!
Anyone that knows Scots people, also knows, how we as a people will gladly knock someone who thinks they they are above themselves down a peg or two! Hence this impression of Smart Alex, or Smart Alec!
It is here that Alex’s public persona actually plays against itself in the Scots Psyche.
But In reality, the mistake is misconstruing confidence for smugness! Alex is supremely confident, but not Smug!
If I were to dare give Alex advice on how he should present himself, it would be the advice of learning to cut down on smiling so much!
Whilst many commentators and people make their own deluded judgements of the man, based on the above impressions.Other commentators and journalists make hay with the fact that they do not know him at all. They comment on the fact that he is a very private individual who does not speak about his private life. They note that his wife Moira is so much Older than him, and that they have no children. All as if this was some sort of sin!
In a World of Media and Celebrity, this privacy does not do! He must therefore be hiding something, Right? Wrong!
If I were Alex,and I am not! I would keep my own personal life as far away from the media as I could manage. Personally I have been there to a degree, and It is not a nice place to be!
We All have a right to privacy, irrespective of what position we hold, and we should not be accountable for that privacy in our private lives, no matter what position we hold. Public is Public, Private is Private.
From a Media perspective, they do not like Alex’s privacy one bit! They expect to know every last little detail of your life. Alex thinks otherwise,and quite rightly too!
Without going into much detail,let me tell you something about Alex Salmond the Man.
He is confident, and so he should be! He has learned through trial and error to be the Master of his craft.
None of us achieve any manner of success in whatever field we might be in, without a confidence in our abilities. We only learn to be confident through practice,success and failure. It is thus that we learn.
I once was a rookie minister. I shook at the thought of speaking to a mass of people, I had no confidence that I could deliver a talk in public. To begin with, I shook to by toes, I needed notes, I didn’t want to face people!
Now, I no longer fear. I am no longer a minister either, but that is besides the point! If asked, I could stand in front of thousands of people today. I could deliver a speech without notes, I could perform how I felt. You try that! Many think they can, but when they actually try it? It is trying!
Such is Alex’s Art, he has needed to learn to be more than just a thinker, he has had to be a performer too. Not just an occasional performer in Question Time, but forever on Stage.
So where is Alex Salmond the Man? He is amongst us all the time.
Ok, his speeches are written for him sometimes, that is politics!
Ok,he puts on a persona. That too is politics!
The thing is, Alex actually Believes in what he says!
A politician Believing in what they say? How Extraordinary!
But Alex Does!! Hence the difference between him and other lesser models.
I actually worked in the same area as Alex in the North East of Scotland for a few years. In that time I actually got to know Alex reasonably well.
Yes he is confident, is that a sin?
No he is not Smug!
I like Moira,she is lovely, and helps keep Alex on the right track,quietly!
I am fairly sure that without Moira in his life, Alex would be a scruffy sod like me! She also keeps him in check! In effect, pulls him down a peg or two when he needs it.
Alex himself is one of the most caring Individuals I have ever met.
He is naturally friendly, naturally cheerful, naturally humorous.
What is more, I can say with certainty that he does his absolute very best for everyone,without caring where they come from,or how they have got there.
I know, and he wont appreciate me divulging it, that he has given many many thousands of pounds for good causes from his own money.
I also know that whenever the poorest or sickest have needed him, he has done all he could and asked no publicity. There lies the measure of the Man!
A Politician shunning publicity for his Good Deeds, Surely Not?!
Imagine a 14 year old boy dying of cancer. His parents shell out thousands of pounds to take him to Disney World. He falls too Ill to go. They cant get their money back!!
I ask Alex for help…He shames the company into giving the money back!
A Charity going down the tubes? I ask Alex for help…He helps…He gives thousands of pounds paid by a magazine for an interview with him..The Total Sum he received!!! He saves the Charity!
The Man should be judged by his Worth, not by how others misjudge his personae.
Alex, if you read this article, Happy Birthday!
P.s I don’t need paid! You are a very lovely person, and Thank You!!