I've only read the First Minister's speech to the opening of the Scottish parliament, not heard the delivery yet, but it strikes like a very well crafted piece of work.
It is quite subversive to use her Majesty's own words as an argument to dismantle her kingdom. Salmond is getting very comfortable in taking in the historical and cultural sweep of the nation (though perhaps a little less would be more) and parceling it around the core message - optimism and equality. Or separatism cosseted in fine words, if you disagree with him.
Who writes the scripts for Mr Salmond these days, I asked out of curiosity? "Team Salmond," came the first evasive reply from SNP central. I'm told it is the First Minister's own draft tweaked by advisers. I think the individuals behind the message ought to get some credit.
Conversely, isn't time SNP HQ relaxed the discipline on candidates to make "gracious" acceptance speeches from election platforms.
I can't be alone in finding it a little creepy that every SNP candidate in every constituency at the Scottish election carried near-identical copies of win, lose or draw tributes to their opponents, many of whom they quite publicly despise.
There is being on message and there's being on autopilot. Such cod "graciousness" only reinforces the perception that some candidates couldn't be trusted to behave nicely if left to their own devices.
That said, no, I didn't find Iain McKenzie's victory speech for Labour at the Greenock by-election last night very gracious either.
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