Thursday, April 12, 2007

SNP Manifesto Launch

I spent this morning at the SNP manifesto launch, held up at the Lindsay Stewart Lecture Theatre on Napier University's Craiglockhart Campus. It's a striking building from the outside, offering an equally striking view over Edinburgh from inside. It's just as well that there's window blinds installed, otherwise I can imagine the attention of students wandering away from their lecturer to the city skyline instead!

There were no such problems today, though, as the media packed in to question the man who looks increasingly as if he will be the next First Minister of Scotland. Grilled by a press corps determined to barbeque him on any number of issues from local tax to the economics of independence, an entirely unscripted Alex Salmond turned in a thoroughly assured performance. There might have been a change in style in recent months commensurate with the SNP's lead position in the polls, but there was still room for a piece of vintage Salmond tail-tweaking, when he remarked about how his relationship with Gordon Brown would probably be better than that which Brown shares with Tony Blair.

After Labour's disastrous manifesto launch and the Lib Dems' hapless efforts yesterday, it was important for the SNP that this passed off without a hitch. That's exactly what happened, and all those involved can give themselves a huge pat on the back. Sure, the Daily Record will carp tomorrow and there'll probably be a bit of bad-tempered harumphing from The Times, but if they were being honest, no-one could have left without at least a grudging respect for how professionally the whole affair, and indeed the whole SNP campaign to date, has been conducted. Just 21 days to go...


Gavin Ayling said...

From a Conservative and not Unionist Councillor: Good luck!

Richard Thomson said...

Thanks Gavin. It should be an interesting couple of weeks!