Alba Manifesto : The only difference between Sturgeon and Salmond is in accent.
Before every big election when parties tend to generously offer mouthwatering ticket items like cheaper housing, better NHS services, and more efficient education, it’s always the details that give away the main differences.
Yet, the brand new Alba Party manifesto makes not a single grand promise. The manifesto puts forward very few details on how to create “the Scotland we seek” as the small print has it.
I mean yes, they tried to have a say on education and health, but it all lacks detail and finesse and is somewhat of a copy of what other parties are saying about recovering from the pandemic, but with some added incentives for more economic powers to Holyrood.
On the matter of tax, they have lashed out at the SNP and “virtue signaling” through “puttering” with the current system. They have also vowed to “push for what makes a difference and not what makes us look upright”.
The Alba Party’s manifesto promises to run a campaign for bringing in more capital investment in what the party describes as its “investment opportunities”, including new housing projects, new home care facilities, and more green energy.
Likewise, Salmond is not so much in favour of Nicola Sturgeon’s request for a four-nation approach to a public inquiry into Boris Johnson’s management of the Covid-19 pandemic, nor does he think putting an end to NHS dentist charges is the answer to a dental health crisis; rather, it’s the accessibility of supply.
But Salmond’s stated goal is not to be able to form a new government but to be a pain for the first minister when it comes to the issue of Scottish independence.
The former SNP heavyweight and first minister, Alex Salmond, has criticised his former apprentice on several occasions during the past few weeks as lacking courage and pushing her to forcefully secure another referendum. The question Mr Salmond put forward is how can it be that with a pro-independence majority of MSPs in Holyrood for the last five years, nothing palpable has happened?
Alba says it intends to inject a feeling of urgency into the election debate – not letting the SNP “procrastinate what must be done sooner” any longer.
For those Scottish voters who have been looking for an alternative on independence, should the Westminster Government continue to refuse a section 30 order, all of this will be like Bob Marley’s music to Jamaicans.
For those unionist voters who’d rather not see another referendum in less than a decade, let alone independence, it will be another reason to completely rule out any pro-independence parties in the 6 May elections, no matter if they lean on the left side.
But does the Alba manifesto act according to its promises? And how distinguishable is it in its attitude to the constitutional question than that of Nicola Sturgeon’s government?
Reading the excerpt, there are barely any differences between the two parties in terms of policies – the real difference is in the implementation of those policies.
Nicola Sturgeon’s mentor who once had a similarly moderate approach to Scottish independence as her, now calls for more “bold moves” from the SNP government. It’s not a word that trips easily from Salmond’s east coast accent – his pronunciation of Alba wasn’t spot on at first either – but it’s an approach he has mastered in all these years.
The former first minister’s party manifesto is filled with adjectives like “grave, dire, and critical”, while the SNP’s language tone is more solemn on democracy and morality, but both are clear on the end goal – Scottish independence. In the real world, there’s very little difference between the two parties aside from the huffs and puffs.