IT was a case of Ice Cold on Alex. The dirty tricks of politics were washed away yesterday when Alex Salmond rose to the challenge, not to state a plan B for the pound, but to embrace the icy contents of a bucket.
The First Minister has become the latest sodden participant of the charity phenomenon known as the “ice bucket challenge” after being nominated by Scots actor James McAvoy.
The movie star had dared both Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling, leader of the Better Together campaign, to be drenched in freezing water to raise money for the neurodegenerative disease ALS, also known as motor neurone disease. The social media craze has swept the world in the past few weeks, with celebrity participants nominating two or three other people to accept the challenge of having ice cold water poured on their head.
While Mr Darling was the first to rise to McAvoy’s challenge with a public drenching on Friday, the former chancellor elected to restrict the sodden challenge to two members of his own team.
Yesterday the First Minister was far more ambitious and nominated Prime Minister David Cameron, who has previously refused his challenge of a debate
on independence. He also nominated his deputy Nicola Sturgeon and Brian Taylor, political editor of BBC Scotland, who both completed the challenge yesterday.
Dressed in a Black Watch T-shirt as he prepared for a soaking, Mr Salmond said: “I’d like to thank James McAvoy. It is for a great cause, motor neurone disease, and we should all be supporting it. But above all I get to make three other nominations.
“One is my deputy Nicola Sturgeon, because we’re a team.
“Secondly I’d like to nominate every single member of the Scottish press corps, but I’ll nominate [BBC Scotland political editor] Brian Taylor because he’s the most experienced.
“And thirdly I’ll nominate David Cameron, because I saw him in a wetsuit the other day so he’s got the equipment.”
The First Minister added “Here we go – go Scotland” before being drenched and joked “do it again” after the soaking.
Ms Sturgeon passed the challenge on to Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont and Scottish Sports Minister Shona Robison. In his ice bucket video, X-Men star McAvoy said: “As it is the year of the Scottish referendum on independence, I’d like to nominate our political champions Alistair Darling and Alex Salmond to do their very worst. Alex, Alistair, you’ve got 24 hours.”
Mr Salmond earlier said: ‘’I’m always up for any challenge, and I’m game for this one. It will invigorate me for the next month of campaigning.” Former US president George Bush, actress Gwyneth Paltrow and footballer David Beckham are among a host of well-known faces who have already taken the plunge.
However, there have been a number of people nominated who have not taken up the challenge. Barack Obama declined to take part but sent a cheque to the charity while Pope Francis has not yet responsed to his nomination by Shakira, the Brazilian pop star.