Longest-serving first minister Salmond will not 'go on and on'


Alex Salmond: "I wake up every morning and look forward to the day ahead."

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SNP leader Alex Salmond said he was proud to be Scotland's longest-serving first minister but he had no intention of going "on and on" in the post.

In interviews with the BBC, the politician added he had no immediate plans to "depart the scene" with the independence referendum due in 2014.

Mr Salmond is Scotland's fourth first minister and to date the only non-Labour politician to take the post.

Donald Dewar, Henry McLeish and Jack McConnell went before him.

Mr Salmond conceded that his darkest days were around the time of the release of the Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi.

He said his political high point was his election victory in May 2011 when he delivered a historic majority of MSPs to Holyrood.

Mr Salmond told BBC Scotland's Raymond Buchanan: "I wake up every morning and look forward to the day ahead."

Previous first ministers

Donald Dewar, Henry McLeish and Jack McConnell

1. Donald Dewar: First minister from 13 May 1999 to 11 October 2000

2. Henry McLeish: First minister from 26 October 2000 to 8 November 2001

3. Jack McConnell: First minister from 22 November 2001 to 16 May 2007

He insisted he would not go "on and on", but added: "I want to see Scotland win the referendum, I want to see the opening of the door of opportunity in that referendum and I have no immediate plans to depart the scene."

In an earlier interview with BBC Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme, Mr Salmond said he was proud of his achievements during his 2002 days in the post.

He told presenter Hayley Millar: "I think the most substantial thing that I am proud of, and the administration should be, is the establishment of a social contract between the Scottish government and the people of Scotland in extraordinarily tough times.

"In these difficult times we have managed to both preserve and indeed extend social objectives like the removal of tuition fees, the protection of free care for the elderly, the importance of having a national health service which is free at the point of need to everyone.

"These are big social protections and advances and that is what I would describe as a social contract between the government and the people."

Start Quote

It was Margaret Thatcher who said in a BBC interview in 1987, after winning her third election victory, that she intended to go "on and on". Her colleagues duly precluded that option by preventing her from contesting a fourth election.”

End Quote

Following devolution and the first elections to the new Scottish Parliament, Labour grandee Mr Dewar became the first minister on 13 May 1999.

He held the post until his death in October 2000.

Mr McLeish was Scotland's next first minister, taking on the role from 26 October, 2000, to 8 November, 2001.

By the end of November that year Mr McConnell was in the hot seat. He lasted until May 2007 when the SNP, under the leadership of Mr Salmond, won minority government.

On Wednesday, 7 November, Mr Salmond overtook Mr McConnell's time in the post.

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon congratulated the SNP leader on reaching the political milestone.

She said: "The people of Scotland overwhelmingly trust the Scottish government headed by Alex Salmond - 71% trust the Scottish government to act in Scotland's interests, up from 51% under the previous Lab/Lib Executive in 2006, and compared to just 18% who trust the UK government.

"In 2011, people in Scotland gave a remarkable vote of confidence in Alex Salmond's leadership and the team, record and vision of the SNP - delivering an overall majority at Holyrood, and becoming the only first minister to win two elections.

"It is this record of success that will help win a yes vote in the referendum for an independent Scotland in autumn 2014."


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  • rate this

    Comment number 236.

    Salmond is head and shoulders above the other major political leaders in Scotland.

    Lamont is a strident obnoxious abusive attack dog.

    Davidson who is arrogant & out of touch says 80% of us who worked and and paid taxes and NI for 40+ years and who, as pensioners, continue to pay taxes both National and the Local 'rip off' Council tax are scroungers who contribute/d nothing to the economy.

  • Comment number 235.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 234.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 233.

    Perhaps Mr Salmond should give some consideration to the advice Cromwell gave to politicians some time back - "I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken." with respect to Mr S's entrenched views and "You have sat too long for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!” with respect to potential damage.

  • rate this

    Comment number 232.

    #199 : 99% of people in England either couldn't care less or would frankly welcome Scotland's exit from the UK. I'm a Scot and have lived in England for the last 25 years and the English are sick of whineing Scots believe me. If Scotland vote 'YES' there won't be any tears shed south of the border - in fact you might just hear the cheers and laughter!

  • rate this

    Comment number 231.

    It worries me that so many genuine Scots have been effectively disenfanchised by Salmond. He speaks for Scottish people yet many live in other parts of the UK and the wider world. I am sure they would like a say on the future of their heritage, but they will have no voice. This will leave them feeling their views have been neglected and undermine the legitimacy of the outcome, causing resentments.

  • rate this

    Comment number 230.

    Alex Salmond will be killing the golden goose. It currently enjoys more benefits than England within the constraints on the union. Scotland is over represented in Parliament per constitution population . The Scottish MP's are allowed to vote on all issues even when it does not affect Scotland. When Labour are in power a high percentage of ministers tend to be Scottish.

  • rate this

    Comment number 229.

    I'm easy with what I perceive to be Mr. Salmond's smug arrogance & hostility towards the English. Without that we may never have landed the present contract to refit the UK's SSBN nuclear submarines at Devonport. I look forward to Faslane's closure following Scotland's independence because we need those jobs down in Plymouth. Cheers Alex.

  • Comment number 228.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 227.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 226.

    If Scotland wants to become independent, this is fine, but it should accept full independence ie border control form England, have its own armed forces and be prepared for no assistance whatsover from the rest of GB. You can't have your cake and eat it too!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 225.

    Alex Salmond and the SNP under his leadership have done more for the people of Scotland in his time as FM than all the previous English governments put together in the last 300 years.
    The only sensible vote is yes for Independence

  • rate this

    Comment number 224.

    Alex Salmond has brought Scotland to the edge an historic referendum on the countries future. A decision which will be made by the people for the people, something that was denied in 1707. He has breached the political apathy which has dominated this country for far too long. The unionists have been kicked out of their comfort zone and are sweating buckets - depicted by the hysterical posts here.

  • rate this

    Comment number 223.

    Just because HE wants independance, don't generalise that ALL scottish people want it.

    The Views of the few should not outweigh the views of the many.

  • rate this

    Comment number 222.

    149. alex "We will not remain as long as a 100 Scots still live!"

    And in 2014 I expect Salmond will be desperately quoting Braveheart too as he attempts to stir up misplaced patriotism in support of his ambitions!

    Thankfully democracy has moved on since the 14th century and most Scots are happy to be part of a united kingdom.

  • rate this

    Comment number 221.

    London can't even give Scotland fiscal Independence within the Union because so much flows out and so much less flows back

    London can't even put a Fiscal Independence option on the table

    It's all or nothing folks, in or out

    Do you want to be a Tenant Farmer or a Freeholder?

    Vote now please

  • rate this

    Comment number 220.

    I have never voted SNP & never will, I would rather vote any other party, I am very interested in politics & Scotlands future, I have always voted & will continue to do so but every time I hear the words Alex Salmond and Scottish independance I get nervous, I am not a happy Scottish resident

  • rate this

    Comment number 219.

    He needs to stay on until his dream, his life's work, is accomplished. Secure Scotland's future as an independent country. It will give this whole island ths shake up it needs, not just Scotland.

  • rate this

    Comment number 218.

    Salmond is a cunning political operator who has successfully "winged it" for some time but he has been found out. He does not represent and never has represented the views of the majority of Scots so far as breaking up the United Kingdom is concerned and this isn't going to change.

  • rate this

    Comment number 217.

    I worry about the referendum as there is a huge amount of patriotism in Scotland and that could drive a yes vote. The huge danger though is that such a vote will destroy the country. Scotland spends far more that it earns these days - there have been comments about 'great wealth' - this is fiction. And all the logistics of no army, no BBC etc etc - a yes vote will result in chaos.


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