Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Thursday 15 July 2010

Her Majesty the Queen grants First Minister Salmond an audience

I noticed in yesterday's Telegraph, in the 'Court Circular' there, that Her Majesty the Queen received in audience The Rt Hon Alex Salmond MP (First Minister of the Scottish Executive) on 13th July, during Her visit to Scotland. The audience took place at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, Her official residence in Scotland.

I thought it was very revealing that Mr Salmond, MP, MSP, was referred to by his correct legal title (that is - First Minister of the Scottish Executive), not by the fantasy title of "First Minister of the Scottish Government" that he has assumed for himself since taking office in 2007, without any statutory justification whatsoever.

Her Majesty is after all the person who signed the Scotland Act 1998 and nowhere in that document is the style and title of "First Minister of the Scottish Government" provided for. Maybe one day, if the Scottish people vote in sufficient numbers for the separation of Scotland from the rest of the United Kingdom and for the creation of a separate State (whether monarchical or republican), we will have a "Scottish Government", but that day is not yet here and Mr Salmond has no right to use that term until one is created. Frankly Mr Samond's use of this term makes me think of some other jumped-up nobodies who have given themselves ridiculous titles over the years (such as Idi Amin who styled himself as "His Excellency, President for Life, Field Marshal Al Hadji Doctor[B] Idi Amin Dada, VC,[C] DSO, MC, Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General and Uganda in Particular" or Jean-Bédel Bokassa of who styled himself "Emperor of the Central African Empire", not to mention Muammar Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi of Libya who has variously styled himself "Guide of the First of September Great Revolution of the Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya" and "Brotherly Leader and Guide of the Revolution".

I am being exceedingly pedantic, I know, but Salmond's unsubtle assumption of a title he has no legal entitlement to use is not the only instance (nor the most serious) where the terms of the Scotland Act 1998 has been ignored and glossed over. I refer to the more serious issue of the number of MSPs which remains at 129, despite the provision in the Statute requiring a reduction in the number of MSPs in proportion to the reduction in Scottish representation at Westminsiter from 73 MPs to 59, which would imply that the number of MSPs should in fact now be 108 instead of 129. The political fudge a few years back in the Scottish Parliament which allowed this to happen is totally disgraceful and reflects simply that 'jobs for the boys [and girls]' is seen by MSPs as more important than adherence to law. The apparatus of the Scottish Parliament costs us a great deal of money and continuing to pay for 21 MSPs without any basis in law is just another example of how the Scottish people's interests are regarded as secondary to the naked greed of our political representatives.


  1. You have no love for Our Alex?

  2. What can possibly have given you that idea? ;)

  3. Bill,

    With regards the discussion on my blog and this post.

    In Wales the post was titled "First Secretary" for the period of time that Alun Michael held it. When he resigned (and Rhodri Morgan took over) the post was renamed "First Minister" and, though there was no formal division between it and the legislature, the executive became known as the "Welsh Assembly Government". That de facto arrangement was despite the Government of Wales Act (1998)'s terminology, and was subsequently adopted in the 2006 Act.

    Who knows, maybe Salmond is hoping for a new Scotland Act which formalises the new nomenclature here!

  4. Well, perhaps he does, but who cares? I prefer to stick with the currently-valid legislation, just as (I'm glad to say) does Her Majesty. If, and when, the Scottish people ever vote in sufficient numbers for what Salmond and his SNP cronies want, then that will be the time to change the nomenclature - not before.


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