My latest with Press TV, abridged comments (with audio) at the link HERE, and my full written reply below...
Press TV: "Well, yesterday the SNP chose its new leader Nicola Sturgeon. She also vowed to continue the fight for her nation’s independence from the UK. Given the fact that Alex Salmond is quitting as the SNP leader and Scotland First Minister, do you think Britain will take Salmond’s warning seriously?" ----
James Stuart: The British political establishment have learnt to take Salmond very seriously. And, unlike Westminster politicians, he is known to follow through on his promises.
When SNP leader and Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond resigned on September 19th, the day after the referendum, there was some gloating that he was a beaten man. But the weeks since have proven the contrary, the Scottish National Party is soaring in the polls. By resigning his position and handing over to his very capable and equally politically formidable political partner, Nicola Sturgeon, Salmond is now unfettered by the responsibilities of leadership, and the gloves are off in his fight for independence.
It is seen as very likely that Alex Salmond with stand for election to the British parliament in May 2015, probably targeting a seat of a senior Liberal Democrat politician, the coalition partners of the ruling Conservatives, and then lead a substantial block of SNP MP's into Westminster, where it looks probable they could hold the balance of power in a hung parliament, leaving Salmond essentially calling the shots over who is able to form a government. Salmond has promised to hold the British establishment's "feet to the fire" over their pre-referendum promises of extra powers for the Scottish parliament, and he looks well placed to see his promise through.
So Salmond is actually left looking stronger, and more of a threat to the British political establishment than at any time in his career. They should certainly take his warning very seriously indeed.
Press TV: "-Salmond says the Scots could take the matters into their own QUOTE democratic hands, what exactly do you think he meant? Or, put better, when in her inauguration speech at the SNP conference yesterday, Sturgeon said she hoped she could see Scotland independent under her watch. Why didn’t SHE warn London about her next move as Scotland’s First Minister in waiting? I mean how significant is Salmond’s threat?" ----
James Stuart: If the UK establishment parties fail to deliver in their promises for more develed powers to Scotland, then they have essentially broken their covenant with the Scottish people. And if the SNP has a majority of Scottish seats to Westminister in May 2015, as the polls suggest, and the SNP is able to form another majority government in Scotland in 2016, then the SNP has a democratic mandate for rule from the people of Scotland that the UK parties do not. The UK government would have no political legitimacy left in Scotland.
New SNP leader, and First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon has already said she expects to see independence for Scotland well within her lifetime, that the 1.6 million votes for independence were the base camp from which we will reach the summit and that the goal is an independent Scotland. Far from the independence issue having being settled by the referendum, it would appear the real fight is only just beginning.