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.

Alex Salmond: "In these difficult times we have managed to both preserve and indeed extend social objectives."

"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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  • Comment number 336.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 335.

    I don't care one way or another whether Scotland remain part of GB. But I do want to see Scotland take 1/3 of GBs national debt with them. You can then holiday in Greece and having something in common to discuss.

  • rate this

    Comment number 334.

    I am so fed up hearing how Scotland is "Energy rich, resource rich". No it is not. Saudi Arabia is energy rich. Australia is resource rich. At very best, 40 years of oil left, no mineral resources whatsoever, some fish, some rain, wind and waves. I laugh at Salmond and his renewable Holy Grail rhetoric. Renewables can not generate Scotland's energy needs. Analyse the numbers.

  • rate this

    Comment number 333.

    23 Minutes ago
    I wish I could share with you the Salmond jokes that are currently circulating in Glasgow, but I fear the post would be banned. However, I can tell you that Scotland's largest city does not take Salmond seriously

    ..... No the joke is Glasgow takes Lamont seriously!!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 332.

    zippy "We don't hate him, we just wish he'd get on with it..... Scotland's Independence is a foregone conclusion

    but just remember...youll get everything you deserve!..you elected him"

    We did, nice to remind us that westminster wont forgive us uppity jocks.

  • rate this

    Comment number 331.

    Mud-slinging and personal attacks are getting in the way of the real issues here. - 71% trust him to act in Scotland's interests is a very different question to how well does he do it or would you vote for him! Its been said a couple of times but its hidden - there is propoganda but we need the FACTS for both options and to love the emotion so informed decisions can be made.

  • rate this

    Comment number 330.

    The sooner he goes the better. He is putting up so many barriers between England and Scotland. The Scottish people are not stupid, the vast majority can see right through him. I hope this whole independence thing falls flat on it's face.

  • rate this

    Comment number 329.

    @297 - Healthcare and Education are already devolved to the Scottish Parliament and therefore the provision of these services is current funded out of a budget restricted by Westminster, such services which in Scotland are still public at the moment would only benefit from an independent country being able to funnel more resources in their direction instead of paying for things such as Trident.

  • rate this

    Comment number 328.


    "Salmond is outstanding politician by any standards"

    Is calling somebody an outstanding politician a compliment or an insult ?

  • rate this

    Comment number 327.

    where am I @293 That's all politicians for you. Why do you suppose that the Tories simultaeously oppose independence for Scotland (because they say the UK is stronger together) whilst arguing the exact opposite about the EU (where they opose any meaningful integration as a violation of the sovereignty of individual nations?) Westminster will not willingly cede power to anyone

  • rate this

    Comment number 326.

    Perhaps if Salmond doesn't want to go 'on and on' he should get the referendum out of the way sooner rather than later. I doubt many will change their mind between now and 2014.

    Get an independent body to lay out the economic facts for and against, let the opposing camps do their sales pitch and then get on with it.

    I'm tired of reading anti-English & Scots comments when we're one people.

  • Comment number 325.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 324.

    He will go down as one oif the great Scottish Politicians .... along with Tony Blair and Gordon Brown .... One took us into an Illegal War , One took us into the worst recession ever and if Alex ever gets his wish he will be crowned Emporer of Scotland ... and keep fiddling while it burns

  • rate this

    Comment number 323.

    Maybe he should stop going on and on and on right now - sick of the sight and the sound of him! And no, he doesn't speak for most Scots, thankfully.

  • rate this

    Comment number 322.

    It's odd, having replied to a poster who claimed that Thatcher had "closed down Scottish manufacturing", with the widely held and respectable thesis about North Sea Oil turning Sterling into a petro-currency that made UK manufacturing uncompetitive...I find myself bounced by the BBC.

    There's nothing like letting the facts get in the way of a good grievance. As Alex Salmond demonstrates every day!

  • rate this

    Comment number 321.

    Salmond is an egotist, obsessed with the past. This great island of ours is irrevocably intertwined. Devo-max - asbolutely! Indpendence - why? We should pull together as one great nation to overcome the same social & economic difficulties we all share. A divided UK makes all host UK nations a weaker voice against the EU puppetmaster. Nobody wants that!

  • Comment number 320.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 319.

    Recent study by CEBR think tank, based on official tax & spending figures, concludes that Scotland's North Sea oil and gas revenues, with other taxes, means it gets no net subsidy from the rest of the UK. And this is based upon shonky Westminster figures, which allocate a notional share of "UK national expenditure" to Scotland even though the money is actually spent in the South East of England

  • rate this

    Comment number 318.

    no publication of lamont and the labour party backing trident and nuclear! is that not a story? or do we jocks not need to know?

  • rate this

    Comment number 317.

    Cut Scotland loose now - see how they fare.


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