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23 Mar, 2020 18:31

Murdering his own baby: After staring down SNP accusers in court, acquitted Alex Salmond may take revenge on Scottish nationalists

Murdering his own baby: After staring down SNP accusers in court, acquitted Alex Salmond may take revenge on Scottish nationalists

A jury has cleared Alex Salmond, the former first minister of Scotland, in a high profile trial, but what now for the country he used to lead?

Alex Salmond may have been cleared of all charges against him, but it's far from the end of the matter. The problem is that he's the figurehead of Scottish independence.

When he returned as leader of the Scottish National Party in 2004 for the second time, they were a bunch of also-rans who most of the population didn't take seriously.

It was him who spearheaded a surge that saw him crowned First Minister of the devolved parliament in Edinburgh, easily beating the established Labour party, and then in 2014, he came within five percent of taking his nation triumphantly out of the United Kingdom.

Also on rt.com Former first minister of Scotland Alex Salmond cleared of sex assault charges

He subsequently resigned, but his sterling work paved the way for his successor Nicola Sturgeon to become First Minister, a post she still currently occupies. But because of his larger than life presence and sharp speaking skills, Salmond didn't fade away.

He has always been, and will continue to be, associated with Scottish independence — which is actually going through a renaissance, as the country is very pro-EU and against Brexit.

So the effects of Salmond's trial are twofold. 

Firstly, any report or analysis that looks at the debate over independence in future will always qualify him as being accused of sexual assaults, 13 in total.

So to the layperson, this whole trial regardless of the verdict will put a dent in the concept of Scotland becoming an independent European nation, as its godfather has ethical question marks alongside his name.

During testimony one of his accusers said, "I have this image in my memory which will probably last for life" — referring to Salmond standing in front of her naked apart from his socks.

That is the sort of thing that will never be erased from the public consciousness. But the second effect is the more damaging one.

Upon being cleared and standing outside the High Court — Salmond announced: "As many of you will know, there is certain evidence I would have liked to have seen led in this trial but for a variety of reasons we were not able to do so. At some point, that information, that facts and that evidence will see the light of day."

This is a clear reference to feelings that have mainly been voiced so far on Twitter and in shadowy forums, due to legal complications.

The theory is that some high ranking members of the SNP and the independence movement wanted to oust Salmond from his position of authority — even though it's purely symbolic, as he no longer has a political position.

Insinuations have spread like wildfire that certain moves were made behind the scenes to set Salmond up and make sure things were twisted, so he would be left to rot in a jail cell.

For some, Salmond was too powerful and had to be removed at all costs.

That way he would be permanently sidelined, and others could operate without his shadow casting over them.

It remains to be seen if the former First Minister will be able to lift the lid on the information he is talking about.

While it will be intriguing to see what it is, it will no doubt tear the SNP and independence movement apart.

Forget about washing their dirty laundry in public, it will be more like incinerating it with napalm. This verdict should have marked a triumphant victory and a shot in the arm for nationalists.

They were supposed to be able to say that a group of his peers had cleared their former leader — and to suggest anything else was salacious innuendo.

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But anyone who knows Salmond is aware that he is a determined and savvy politician. He won't take this on the chin and march off into the sunset, leaving some to form their own opinions about his actions.

The irony is, the steely fortitude that saw him virtually single-handedly propel Scottish independence into a serious force is likely to be the same thing that prevents it from happening anytime soon.

As if Salmond opts to do what he normally does and faces a crisis head on, then some serious sparks are set to fly. His logic is simple to understand — who wouldn't rather die on their feet, than live on their knees? He won't opt to endure dubious comments about his character to keep everything cosy inside the SNP and independence movement.

The Godfather is going to murder his own baby. And who can blame him?

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.