At times of national tragedies – and 30 UK nationals including Scots murdered on a Tunisian beach is certainly that – all mainstream politicians know they should put aside political allegiances and ambitions in the search for a proper and effective response, hopefully agreed on a cross-party basis.
Yet apparently the normal rules do not apply to Alex Salmond. While it is perfectly reasonable for politicians to look to their conscience when asked to contemplate taking military action following an attack on our citizens, sadly that was not the impression coming from Alex Salmond’s disappointing performance when interviewed on this subject on BBC Radio Scotland on Friday morning.
Just a week after the slaughter in Tunisia, the bodies just returned home, the erstwhile first minister, now SNP foreign affairs spokesman, seemed focused on thumbing his nose at the UK Government.
He came over as someone who once again at a pivotal moment in international relations, is seeking to make an insular point on behalf of his party.
Apparently anything the UK Government contemplates is to be considered unacceptable as a matter of principle.
While most politicians take the view that a government’s first priority is to defend its people, Alex Salmond in this interview chose to put his party’s divisive ambitions first.
He also chose to berate the BBC interviewer for the language the BBC use in describing the “so-called Islamic State”.
Apparently Alex Salmond knows best about this too. I suspect the BBC cannot expect to be treated with proper respect by Mr Salmond until it is renamed the SBC, when it will undoubtedly suddenly be able to do no wrong.
How long before the SNP realise that Mr Salmond is more likely to embarrass their party than enable them to play a proper role in the politics of the real world?