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Alex Salmond

Its not to pretend you can do everything, but if people like you – in the sense of admiring or having respect for what you are trying to do – then they will understand the odd blemish. If people dont like you, and lack confidence in what you are trying to do, they wont forgive you anything.
Alex Salmond people
Come on, this is big stuff. These are all tackling underlying issues – its not just a question of striking and populist announcements.
Alex Salmond men
We have the political engine behind us. We have a public that is willing to listen to the arguments we are putting forward, and we will gain converts to those arguments. We believe people will come to the right conclusion. We trust them.
Alex Salmond war
My favourite is a hung parliament with 20 SNP MPs. I want to be calling the shots, organising the tune.
Alex Salmond men
I do have a strong faith and always have had, I’m not a regular churchgoer now but I’m in church a lot – to do readings, to attend events and so on. I had a strong church upbringing which I think has been invaluable to me in terms of a moral compass – of some idea of what’s acceptable and what is not acceptable. I have a Presbyterian nature in that I like its ideas of individual responsibility and democracy. I’m naturally suspicious of people who wear religion heavily on their sleeves – that’s just not me and my style.
Alex Salmond faith
The campaign was disgusting. It split on religious lines. It was one of those moments when you thought that ‘if politics is going to be like this, I’d like to go and do something else’.
Alex Salmond politics
The Church was the anchor, the rock of the independence movement in the days of Wallace and Bruce, it was the only institutional force that could be relied upon – it certainly wasn’t the nobles.
Alex Salmond men
You are able to have disagreements as long as you’re straight talking – you say honestly what can and can’t be done.
Alex Salmond men
Let’s not pretend we’re in a worse position than we were half a century ago. That’s just not true. Then, sectarianism was inculcated into life, politics, business – into all sorts of institutions where prejudice should have no part whatsoever. That has largely gone. That Monklands byelection was one of the last redoubts of religion dividing politics.
Alex Salmond life
For me as leader my time is nearly over, but for Scotland the campaign continues and the dream shall never die.
Alex Salmond time
The real guardians of progress are not the politicians at Westminster, or even at Holyrood, but the energised activism of tens of thousands of people who I predict will refuse meekly to go back into the political shadows.
Alex Salmond people
We now have the opportunity to hold Westminster’s feet to the fire on the “vow” that they have made to devolve further meaningful power to Scotland. This places Scotland in a very strong position.
Alex Salmond power
We lost the referendum vote but can still carry the political initiative. More importantly Scotland can still emerge as the real winner.
Alex Salmond lost
I have believed in Scottish independence all my political life, I continue to believe in Scottish independence, I shall do everything I possibly can to contribute to that cause.
Alex Salmond life
When the European roof is falling in on one Prime Minister it is difficult to concentrate on just how a previous one destabilised the planet.
Alex Salmond fall
It would be a mistake to believe that Chilcot and current events are entirely unconnected. The link is through the Labour Party.
Alex Salmond art
The coup was timed to avoid Corbyn calling for Blair’s head next Wednesday from the Despatch Box. Indeed many would say that when Corbyn stated that he would be prepared to see a former Labour Prime Minister tried for War Crimes then he sealed his fate as leader of the Parliamentary Labour Party.
Alex Salmond war
Chilcot will not be a verdict, that much is clear. However, it could still supply the damning evidence for the jury to bring a conviction in. In a triumph of hope over experience my political sense tells me to expect fireworks.
Alex Salmond hope
It is time to get down to business. Scotlands new politics starts now.Lets start as we mean to continue - with respect for diversity of opinion.
Alex Salmond politics
I do not favour the mushy ground of false consensus. The public interest is not served by parties incapable of defining their driving principles and standing their ground. Politics is either about the competition of ideas or it is about nothing. But just as the public interest is served by that competition, so it is ultimately better served by thoughtful reflection rather just than knee-jerk reaction.
Alex Salmond politics
About my approach to law making. Despite waiting a long time - a very, very long time - to govern, it is not my position that legislative change is always or often the best way to effect change.
Alex Salmond time
The future of the western economies in the coming decades will rest on their capacity to fuel economic growth whilst reducing our impact on the planet. Scotland is not just part of that - in truth we are well placed to be a leader. Scotland sits at the heart of one of the wealthiest parts of our planet.
Alex Salmond truth
This Government believes that it would be economically advantageous for Scotland to be an independent country. Other parties disagree. But as we continue that debate, let us at least agree that this country - our country - has the capacity to become one of the most successful economies on the planet.
Alex Salmond success
The prevailing mood in my country is one of optimism and opportunity. Scotland is restless for change and keen to expand its influence and to reach out beyond our shores.
Alex Salmond change
I dont stand before you as the First Minister of an independent Scotland - that must wait for another day perhaps.
Alex Salmond you
When this assembly reconvened, the worlds media descended - doubtless seeking signs of strife and discord. What struck me then and indeed strikes me today was the ability of members to understand and respect their differences - however fundamental - whilst committing to providing better government for the people of Northern Ireland.
Alex Salmond people
Differences of opinions, contrasting objectives are not just fundamental - they are necessary in a democratic society. What matters is that they are pursued within the context of the rule of law and mutual respect for the legitimacy of all strands of opinion.
Alex Salmond society
In 21st century government - as with 21st century business - there is no excuse for a poor flow of information, for failing to be aware of what similar organisations are doing, for lagging behind the times in terms of innovation and best practice.
Alex Salmond war
Scotland is a country which has at its core an internationalism which has been much affected by centuries both of migration and also of welcoming those from other countries.
Alex Salmond country
Many American presidents believe they are Irish by descent. Some believe themselves to be Scottish by descent. Actually, most of them are Scots-Irish by descent - certainly the good ones!
Alex Salmond man
This Parliament exists - and always will - to serve the people and to provide national leadership which reflects their hopes, addresses their fears and raises their aspirations. It is a Parliament which the people demanded. It is also a Parliament of which the people make demands.
Alex Salmond hope
We are a country weighing the options for our future. We do so positively, and with the highest ideals.
Alex Salmond future
I believe in the restoration of an independent Scotland. Others in this chamber take a different view. I welcome that debate and the national conversation to follow. The challenge for all of us is to have that conversation with dignity, with respect and with substance.
Alex Salmond believe
In Europe we see different visions of government in an interdependent world. Across the world we see a new order struggling to be born, one based on the rule of law and addressing the planetary imperatives of tackling mass poverty and global warming. These changes in governance are not to be feared but rather to be embraced. It is, after all, the essence of democracy that what has always been so, need not always be so.
Alex Salmond fear
This Parliament is led by Scotlands first minority Government. That innovation was unintended - very un intended - but it is one which has breathed new life into our political debate.
Alex Salmond life
Our national story has its full share of grief and pain as well as triumph and expectation. But through it all, hope remains and dreams do not die.
Alex Salmond hope
In this Parliamentary Chamber, above the clash of debate and the arm wrestling over amendments and motions, these enduring themes prevail - our responsibilities to the people we serve, our responsibility to our country and Scotlands responsibility to the world.
Alex Salmond people
We must never forget that, at its core, the European Union is an expression of commonality - a desire for unity to prevent conflict and to encourage mutual benefit.
Alex Salmond courage
In the European Union of today, the obligation to provide international leadership rests on all nations - large and small.
Alex Salmond leadership
Is the time for Scotland to assume our obligations and responsibilities to help mould the world around us. This must be an era of renewed Scottish internationalism - both as a tribute to the past and a statement of who we are today. It is not just that we are a nation interested in Europe, but rather that it is fundamentally in our national interest that we understand what it is to be European.
Alex Salmond time
They say the art of government - rather than the substance - is all about communication, but as far as this country is concerned I would go even further than that. I would say that Scotland is all about communication. This is a nation that loves to express itself, to retell old stories and share new ideas, to pass on information, to hear whats happening. We communicate passionately with each other as friends, as citizens, as family. Its a very deep human need and we feel it particularly strongly in ScotlandIts perhaps not surprising that we couldnt wait for somebody else to invent the telephone or television.
Alex Salmond love
While we might always have enjoyed self-expression, we have perhaps at times lacked a little bit of self-belief.
Alex Salmond time
I dont think its a good idea for politicians to design television programmes, but what we can do is design policies - and by implementing those policies we help to create an environment in which talented people can do great things, and significant and dynamic creative companies can be built for this generation and the next generation. That means having the infrastructure, the skills, and the education. We need a clear vision. We need to identify the opportunities and provide the resources.
Alex Salmond education
While individuals must take responsibility for their spending, they are entitled to protections from outrageous credit charges.
Alex Salmond age
I believe it is through independence that we can do most to help our nation to flourish, to improve our quality of life.
Alex Salmond life
Whatever our constitutional arrangements and no matter how well off we are, there will always be a need for Scotlands citizens to talk about their problems. Therefore, we will always need independent, reliable and accurate advice to help guide them at certain points in their lives.
Alex Salmond men
Politicians often like to believe that we exist to make law - and that only through constantly changing the law we achieve our policy objectives. That view of political leadership is mistaken.
Alex Salmond leadership
In truth, most people already believe there is too much legislation and yearn for a more considered and more restricted approach. I embrace that sense of legislative restraint.
Alex Salmond truth
It is not the purpose of Government to legislate - rather it is for Government and Parliament to legislate with a purpose.
Alex Salmond purpose
To win and retain the trust of the people requires an administration willing to focus on showing competence and direction in the day to day business of government.
Alex Salmond people
The people of Scotland want a Government based on principle but able to move with mainstream opinion to build consensus in the public interest.
Alex Salmond people
Government must always be about vision. Restoring belief in the power of democratically elected Government to effect change - something which remains one of the great challenges for any modern Government - is about focusing on the possible rather than merely accepting the status quo.
Alex Salmond change
Those are the objectives - competence, consensus and vision - against which we should be judged. Of course that judgement could come earlier if the opposition parties wished to force an election!
Alex Salmond art
I would welcome a Westminster election next month - just as long as it is not organised by the Scotland Office under electronic voting!
Alex Salmond
It is the very stuff of politics that parties like to have a go at each other - a vibrant democracy demands no less.
Alex Salmond politics
David Mundell MP said it would take a miracle to save Glasgow University participation in the Crichton campus. It is now official - miracles happen in an SNP run Scotland!
Alex Salmond art
All that this country can achieve depends on developing our nation as a high growth, vibrant economy. In the modern global economy, even the greatest political ambition is doomed to failure without an economy driving employment, investment, research and development and rewarding success.
Alex Salmond success
If we are to compete as a nation in the global economy, we need to upskill Scotland. That means more Scots in the workforce with higher vocational skills - and it means many more with graduate skills too.
Alex Salmond work
A skilled people, an economy with a competitive edge. These are the ways to transform economic performance.
Alex Salmond people
We must never forget that the NHS is a public service. It is a service used by the public and it is a service paid for by the public.We must therefore never forget that is the duty of health boards - and of responsive government - to take full account of particular local views and circumstances.
Alex Salmond art
It is unacceptable that eight of the ten areas in the UK with the lowest life expectancy are in Glasgow. And it is surely a matter of national scandal that life expectancy in war torn Iraq remains higher than in some areas of the largest city in Scotland.
Alex Salmond life
A visible police presence on the streets is the best means we have of reassuring communities throughout Scotland. We know too that high visibility policing deters criminals.
Alex Salmond best
Scotland has a unique opportunity to develop one of the strongest renewable and green energy industries in Europe - and, a world centre for excellence.
Alex Salmond world
It is about much more than the constitution. It is about how we create the vibrant economy, the healthy society and the socially and environmentally just society in which we - all of us - believe.
Alex Salmond society
This Government believes in an independent Scotland precisely because it is our view that the transformation of our country in each and every of those policy areas can best be achieved through that normal, independent status.Others have a different view. I respect that.
Alex Salmond men
A study only last year by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation showed that young people from white families placed less importance on their Scottishness than young people from Indian, Pakistani and Chinese families. These new and newer Scots see much more clearly and appreciate the values and qualities that make this nation great. And it is right that, as we consider the future of Scotland, as a people we also look at ourselves afresh and take pride in who we are.
Alex Salmond people
I respect the view of every Scot and every person living in Scotland. And I do so with a clear sense of my own responsibility to lead change and to argue for what I believe is in the Scottish national interest.
Alex Salmond change
One of my central missions in politics is to encourage the people of Scotland to share a restored belief in themselves. A sense of the possible. A sense of ambition. A restless eye for national advancement.
Alex Salmond politics
The unionist parties are giving ground. The status quo is indefensible, confidence in the nation is rising, the case for consulting the people is unanswerable. That debate on our future is more than conceptual, or philosophical. It must also be about practical steps.
Alex Salmond art
It is essential that we stress the importance of St Andrews Day to our children - to ensure that they grow up with a full appreciation of their rich heritage and what it means to be Scottish - confident and secure in their national identity and their place in the world.
Alex Salmond children
I believe that all of us - whether native Scots or our friends abroad - should strive for a shared understand of our heritage and origins.
Alex Salmond friends
That sense of an inclusive Scottishness - one which does not simply tolerate diversity but rather celebrates it - is at the heart of what I want St Andrews Day to become.
Alex Salmond art
Modern Scotland is about continuing that traditional welcome for those of all faiths or none, of including those from every part of the world and of every belief in our social mix. That diversity is our strength. That ability to welcome and to accommodate those from other nations and to develop an elastic sense of what it is to be Scottish makes us bigger and better as a nation.
Alex Salmond faith
We celebrate the values which define modern Scotland: the values of humanity, compassion, enterprise, ambition, and a determined internationalism.
Alex Salmond humanity
We Scots are proud Europeans. By history Scotland is - and by our ambition Scotland will remain - a European nation, a full member of the European Union. This is the starting point of our engagement with Europe. We will always play our full part and work to advance common European interests.
Alex Salmond art
We Scots derive a strong sense of identity from our nationhood. Scotland has always retained a unique culture and character - not defined in opposition to our neighbours, but by ourselves and our basic values. We Scots have made great contributions in the world of philosophy, economics, science and letters. We were the first country in the world to adopt free education for all. And our legal system is a unique hybrid of the civil and common law traditions.
Alex Salmond philosophy
As Scots our Celtic heritage ties us closely together. It binds us with our cousins in Northern Ireland, the Irish Republic and Wales. And with other Europeans lucky to blessed with good weather. We have Celtic cousins in Brittany, Galicia and Cornwall. Our is a heritage shared in a love of music and song, of poetry - and a special affinity with the sea and with nature.
Alex Salmond love
Scots have also for these past three hundred been part of a political union - the United Kingdom. Some of you may argue this is three hundred years too long. Others may disagree. But Scotland has played its full part in the Union - meeting our obligations and advancing the common good, without ever losing sight of our distinctive identity and values. And our destiny.
Alex Salmond art
Scotland has a global identity. We have always been internationalists, looking beyond our shores for ideas, influences and ways that we can enrich others. Scotland has deep ties of kinship and history with the Commonwealth. And the Scots Diaspora has a prominent place in the history of the United States, Canada and many nations.
Alex Salmond history
Scotland is a nation that has always combined many layers of identity, from the local to the global. Scottishness has always meant far more than a simple identity with nation. It is founded on cosmopolitanism, on decency, on humanity - on advancing ideas and common interests. This is the basis on which we consider our relationship with and our position in Europe. And this is why Scotland is at ease as we consider our future within the European Union.
Alex Salmond humanity
Scotlands long-term prosperity does not depend solely - or even predominantly - on oil and gas. It will also be based on our success in the other industries of the future - sectors such as renewable energy and the life sciences, where we are already a major European player.
Alex Salmond life
Not only would an independent Scotland within Europe be at ease with ourselves and our partners at the table. We would be naturally suited to the aims and values of Europe itself - and with the responsibilities of being modern, compassionate, global Europeans.
Alex Salmond art
No Member State, even the most passionately pro-European, is always fully in agreement with all the policies of the EU. And all make their voice heard on the issues that affect them most. This is how Europe should work. It is how an independent Scotland would act.
Alex Salmond passion
We have pushed hard to ensure that the UK negotiating line takes full account of Scotlands circumstances - and we will continue to do so. But we have no guarantee of success. Nor can we be sure that Scottish interests will not fall victim to trade-offs that the UK Government has to make at the Brussels negotiating table. Independence would remove that uncertainty at a stroke.
Alex Salmond success
I will not give you an elegy - words to stir your hearts as our beloved Gaelic slowly fades away. And I will not be prescribing palliative care.
Alex Salmond love
Gaelic is not a regional language - it is a truly nationwide language. And the future success of Gaelic depends on attracting new speakers to the language here as much as its does on fostering Gaelic in its traditional heartland.
Alex Salmond success
There has always been - and always will be - interdependence between the economic prospects of Scotlands Gaelic speaking population and the strength of our Gaelic culture. The language will thrive only once there are real economic opportunities for Gaelic speakers.
Alex Salmond strength
Ten years ago, alongside the return of the Book of Deer, I was arguing strongly for the return of the Lewis chessmen to Scotland. Sadly this campaign is as yet incomplete. Of the ninety-three pieces known to us today, the National Museum of Scotland holds only eleven. The other eighty-two remain in the British Museum in London. I still find it utterly unacceptable that the Lewis chessmen are scattered around Britain in a bizarre parody of the Barnett Formula. And you can be assured that I will continue campaigning for a united set of Lewis chessmen in an independent Scotland!
Alex Salmond men
We cannot take Gaelics future for granted, particularly when the number of speakers continues to diminish. As the stewards of Gaelic in Scotland, we are responsible for ensuring that the language is able to flourish.
Alex Salmond war
We have the assets, skills, knowledge and ideas to match and overtake our closest neighbours. By that I dont just mean the rest of the UK, but also the small, independent countries, Iceland, Norway, Ireland and Denmark, that form an arc of prosperity around our shores.There is every reason to feel confident about our economic future. Every part of Scotland has the potential to take us towards our goal.
Alex Salmond knowledge
The future strength of our rural economies and communities will depend upon the availability of a sufficient and appropriate supply of housing.
Alex Salmond future
As the world becomes increasingly inter-linked and competitive, we know that our future economic success and prosperity will be predicated upon the strength of our human capital, and our ability to forge and to sustain competitive advantage.
Alex Salmond success
As we look to secure our ambitions for this nations future, we must recognise that a vibrant Gaelic language and culture are central to what it means to be Scottish in the modern world.
Alex Salmond future
It is the foundation of my Governments mission to build a modern, compassionate and just society in Scotland. A society where we not only meet our immediate needs, but ensure that all can share in the benefits of prosperity. And a Scotland that is ever conscious of its global responsibilities - promoting peace, supporting international development and protecting our environment. Building this society and instilling these values in our population requires the highest standards of teaching in our education system - and a strong ethical dimension.
Alex Salmond education
I have a particularly happy memory of a BBC programme showing the new Cardinal anxiously listening to commentary of the League Cup Final - Celtic were playing Raith Rovers - and assuring reporters that his appointment could only help Paul McStays ability to score a penalty. I believe I am correct in saying that while papal infallibility is assured, the doctrine of the Church says much less about the infallibility of Cardinals. And even less about the infallibility of Paul McStay!
Alex Salmond art
Cardinal OBrien has told me that his elevation proves that - in one respect at least - Scottish Cardinals are like buses. One has to wait for four hundred years, only to have three arrive in succession!
Alex Salmond success
The Church has long recognised Scotland as a filia specialis, or special daughter. And in turn Scotland has much to be grateful for. It is no exaggeration to say that the nation of Scotland owes its identity and its survival to the recognition and support of the Catholic Church.
Alex Salmond identity
I have long been a supporter of the quality of faith-based education in this country - and a particular admirer of the contribution of Scotlands Catholic schools.
Alex Salmond faith
I believe that here we are in full agreement on the tremendous role that faith schools can play in Scottish society. And they do so by endowing our children with a strong moral foundation. A positive and distinctive identity. A keen sense of personal responsibility and the common good. A strong commitment to charity - the true meaning of which is helping others.
Alex Salmond faith
When I visited St Margarets School in LoanheadI was struck by pride that the children took in their faith, and their identification with the ethos of the school. These children were not just learning to be good students. They were learning to be good people.
Alex Salmond faith

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