If you only read one article about Alex Salmond’s trial and the dark side of the Scottish independence movement, you should read this exceptional piece by Dani Garavelli.
The trial effectively found that Alex Salmond was – in the words of his own lawyer, overheard on a train while the trial was ongoing – “inappropriate”, “stupid” and an “arsehole”. The defence admitted that Salmond had acted inappropriately towards multiple women, but the prosecution persuaded the jury that his actions were inappropriate rather than criminal. The issue wasn’t whether Salmond abused his power. He clearly did.
That’s not how some independence supporters see it. To them, Salmond is the blameless victim of a conspiracy, a hero brought low by sinister forces within and without the SNP. They have demonised Salmond’s victims and vowed revenge on them – something Salmond has fuelled – and they believe that Nicola Sturgeon is part of the conspiracy and should resign.
It is clear Salmond is on the warpath. The question is how far will he go? Is he willing to set fire to the house he built, just to watch his enemies burn?
…Though his supporters would relish it, it is hard to see how he could shrug off the reputational damage the trial has done. More likely he will wield his power from the shadows, manipulating, undermining, bringing his influence to bear. And trying to destroy his former ally. There seems no doubt if he can bring Sturgeon down he will, and to hell with what that does to the cause.