"Her [Nicola Sturgeon's] objective was to argue that independence would give Scotland the opportunity to pursue policies more in line with the general instincts of her people.
"Hence, her announcement of an additional £9m for the Social Fund (when it is devolved to Scotland from next spring and becomes the Scottish Welfare Fund providing emergency support to the poorest families.) She contrasted that quite deliberately with tax cuts for the wealthiest which, she said, were the concern of the UK coalition.
On display at this SNP conference, a selection of the strategies and narratives which will help form the Nationalist pitch in the referendum.
Two from Alex Salmond in his thoughtful conference speech. Firstly, he depicted independence as part of a continuum from devolution - a narrative he has already essayed through his use of the formula "Home Rule road."
"On display at this SNP conference, a selection of the strategies and narratives which will help form the Nationalist pitch in the referendum.
"Two from Alex Salmond in his thoughtful conference speech. Firstly, he depicted independence as part of a continuum from devolution - a narrative he has already essayed through his use of the formula "Home Rule road."
Alex Salmond's rather fixed smile said it all - that was close. By a relatively narrow margin, the SNP conference voted to change long-standing party policy and to commit to an independent Scotland retaining membership of Nato.
Mr Salmond sat on the platform throughout, applauding those who backed Nato membership. But he deliberately chose not to intervene in the debate itself. He wanted the conference to take the decision without turning it into an explicit leadership loyalty test.
Party conferences are remarkable affairs. They can be, variously, energetic or enervating. Sometimes they become internalised, dwelling upon the concerns and anxieties of the mustered tribe rather than the outside world.
But from time to time that puzzling external environment intrudes. Here, at the SNP conference in Perth, minds have undoubtedly been focused by an external event - admittedly one that is very firmly in the realm of politics rather than the mundane.
As he briefed the media about today's agreement, Alex Salmond confided that he had been told by his advisers: do not look triumphalist.
Plainly, they know their man. Mr Salmond is occasionally given to displaying a sense of internal satisfaction. And so it was with full mock seriousness that the first minister said he always listened to his advisers.
So deal or no deal? Deal. Definitely deal. But Alex Salmond is quite correct to point out that there remain a few troublesome issues with regard to the agreement over holding a referendum on Scottish independence.
Mr Salmond is a mite irked at what he sees as pre-emptive comments at the Conservative Conference in Birmingham to the effect that an agreement is absolutely and finally concluded.
There is, it would appear, a discernible pattern in the current state of play at Holyrood with regard to the debate over public spending.
The SNP is seizing what it believes is a political opportunity granted by their principal opponents. That is, to characterise Labour as posing a threat to valued services by their questioning of universality - suggesting further that this stance matches that of the Tories.
Much talk both at Holyrood and on the fringe of the Liberal Democrat conference in Brighton anent the emerging deal on an independence referendum.
Nothing, of course, is settled until it is all signed off by both governments, Scottish and UK. But that need not prevent us from having a little fun spotlighting the troublesome issues and the likely outcome.
The self-image, I suppose, is "Honest Johann". At one and the same time, she is setting out to engage with what she would depict as harsh, contemporary reality - but also, intriguingly, to disengage from elements of contemporary debate.
Already Johann Lamont has shown her desire to take charge of her party through senior staff departures, voluntary or otherwise.
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