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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  • rate this

    Comment number 676.

    Today debate reveals unionists have only slurs, misrepresentation and scare stories. This is recycled by public funded national broadcaster, bbc.

    Scotland is a medium sized EU country with abundant natural resources, educated workforce and unique culture that wishes to govern itself.

    The way Scotland is portrayed here by some is as a 3rd world country!

    Shameful some believe this garbage!

    C McK

  • rate this

    Comment number 675.

    640 Parrranger - The trouble with your argument is that you can't tell us what Cameron, Clegg or Milliband will do to make Scotland 'so much better'.

  • rate this

    Comment number 674.

    Alex Salmond a middle class former banker looks like the usual establishment toad to me . The kind of guy who won't meet the Tibetian leader a nation independent as recent as 1950 so much for his belief in the rights of nations to have self determination hypocrit me thinks.

  • rate this

    Comment number 673.

    660 Peakeen. You are joking aren't you. If you seriously think that Alex Salmond has influence over the British establishment mouthpiece that is the BBC then you haven't been paying attention.

  • rate this

    Comment number 672.

    664 sid_ts63 - Excellent site suggestion. The sort of daft, self-deprecating humour that we Scots should be proud of.

  • rate this

    Comment number 671.


    Generally I've noticed that people who have decided to leave Scotland and live elsewhere but complain that they don't have a chance to vote in the referendum are not Seperatists but Sentimentalists who can't handle the prospect of change.

    And why they think they should have a vote in the referendum after leaving the country is completely beyond me.

  • rate this

    Comment number 670.

    People have to stop and think. Yes means yes, there'll be no turning back, no second chance, no changing our minds when things go wrong. The union would be permanently ended. Some may say good, but be careful what you wish for. Salmond hasn't gone into any detail and detail, real detail, is what we need before taking such a binding decision, not just shallow words from a politician.

  • rate this

    Comment number 669.

    Salmond has already gone on and on!
    I'm sick of listening to him!

  • rate this

    Comment number 668.

    661. Sizzy "Is there actually anyone that lives in Scotland, writing these comments"?

    Yes I am.

    But you will find a lot of Separatists living abroad led by their fellow exiles Sean Connery and Jim McColl.

  • rate this

    Comment number 667.

    661.Sizzy - "Is there actually anyone that lives in Scotland, writing these comments?"

    LOL, quite possibly not.

    Then again they might all be SNP activists, including the 'I hate Scotland' English. Its how such campaigns are fought these days - sad but true.

  • rate this

    Comment number 666.

    649. Stamp "Alex Salmond is a wise politician ...We should not have to pay a massive amount at the pumps for fuel, perhaps an independent Scotland would have cheaper fuel".

    Those comments alone should make it ineligible for certain people to vote.

  • rate this

    Comment number 665.

    Every corrupt regime needs their bogey man to distract the people and blame for the ills of their lives. The UK's bogey man is Salmond. Long may he be First Minister (notice the capital letters in the title, BBC). If Lamont ever becomes FM, we are doomed. Someone of such poor intellectual ability should barely be leader of a political party. But hey, she manages to carry out London's orders well.

  • rate this

    Comment number 664.

    probably not as we are not allowed to comment about any "Scottish" blog or story that is produced by pathetic quay these days . every one else in the uk can comment on their part of the BBC network


    there is a spoof site called bbc scotlandshire which is now accepting comments . it is hilarious if you want a laugh Sid

  • rate this

    Comment number 663.

    653.Norman Brooke '...detest the English rightwing press'
    Does that mean anything more than that you are convinced that you have all the answers & don't like anyone with a different opinion or see it as valid? Are the left wing press any better? Or the Scots press? I'm not much keen on any of them.

    As for the rich, you mean like Trump? Do you thinks the the Scots version would be any different?

  • rate this

    Comment number 662.

    655. riff77 - Of course you haven't dear.

  • rate this

    Comment number 661.

    Is there actually anyone that lives in Scotland, writing these comments?

  • rate this

    Comment number 660.

    Why is this discussion pre-moderated while others involving for instance Cameron, Obama and Merkel are not.

    What does the SNP not want to appear in an open forum? And what influence do they have on the BBC ensure this censorship happens?

    Bizarrely 'Editors' Picks' are now being removed. Have Salmond's heavies had a quiet word?

  • rate this

    Comment number 659.

    The pace of this 'pre-moderation' is painful.

    It's slower than a stuffed snake in a government office.

  • rate this

    Comment number 658.

    Well, if politics of envy is how an independent Scotland will be run, they won't go very far. Take away incentives to create wealth via redistribution and people won't. Then you'll realise how wonderful our taxes would've been.

  • rate this

    Comment number 657.

    643. Blumphie "you would realise that your city has some of the worst rates of poverty in Western Europe"

    So what has the SNP does about this aberration since 2007? Just promoted it for their own self worth?

    Why haven't they intervened as they did with the trams? Donald Trumps golf course? Why have they left it to rot? They may be Scottish but not Nationalists Separatist Scots right?


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