The First Minister’s New Year message to Scotland

‘Wha’s like us?’ Absolutely no-one, replies ALEX SALMOND in this transcript of the first draft of his Ne’erday broadcast


Now, as everyone makes their final preparations for the bells, and get ready to be with their family and friends, I want to extend my best wishes to all of you.

As well as being a time of celebration, Christmas is a time when it is particularly important to think about those who may be facing hardship or loneliness.

We in Scotland are unique in having a shared sense of what I like to call the “common weal”, that is, of our collective responsibility to each other. In every other country this is an unknown quality. It’s well known, to pluck a random example from thin air, that in England, nobody cares about anybody else because they spend all their time worshipping Margaret Thatcher and practising the politics of hate.

But not in Scotland, where we spend all our time being what I like to call “empathic”, which is only one of the many qualities that Scots have and no-one else does because everyone else is rubbish. We have what I like to call “a spirit of community”. That’s because no-one else in the UK believes in community (and we want to put up the cost of buying spirits – that is what I like to call “a joke”).

While we’re on the subject, did you know that Scotland is also one of the few nations in the world where we don’t devour our young? That’s true, that is.

So, where was I? Oh, yes, our community spirit, which is an asset to Scots and to no-one else. And it is very important in these times of economic uncertainty – uncertainty caused by a lack of community spirit and a lack of shared sense of what, you will recall from earlier in this broadcast, I like to call the “common weal” – that we capitalise on that community spirit which, unlike in every other nation (and I’m not singling out England here) is a national asset. After all, no other nation has it.

I know that many of you will be spending time over the festive period to help people in need and I thank all of you who are helping to bring Christmas cheer where it is most needed. England mostly, I should think.

I also want to pay a particular tribute to the many people, especially in our emergency services and our armed forces, for whom Christmas is not a holiday at all. Your commitment and dedication is appreciated by your fellow Scots but not by citizens of another certain nation I could mention, which wants to privatise you and use the proceeds to buy bombs. Probably.

So whether you are working or partying, so long as you are Scottish, then on behalf of the Scottish Government I wish each and every one of you a very merry New Year, or what I like to call “Ne’erday”.

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28 thoughts on “The First Minister’s New Year message to Scotland

  1. It is a complete lie that the SNP want to raise the price of spirits. Admittedly they do say that on one page of their manifesto but on another page they pledge to bring the price down. (that’s not made up)

  2. Oh dear.

    Not really much more you can say in response to this (ahem) ‘article’.

    Happy New Year to all.

  3. Scottish Skier, I think its best on this occaision simply to wish everyone a Happy peaceful and healthy New Year.
    Duncan, to you a special greeting, my thanks to you for engaging and lifting the moderation policy on occaision so that genuine debate can take place.

    All the very best to you all 🙂

  4. Fortunately the British Prime Minister would never say anything praising British people, in a way that could, if one wanted to be picky, indicate that he thinks that French people or the Batswana or Japanese or Greenlanders don’t have the qualities of “fair play and decency” wasn’t it, that Cameron said we all had?

    And no, I know a lot of English people who, if they could only get their hands on Mrs Thatcher, would string her up, and I know no one, not a single person from any nation who likes her, even a tiny little bit.

  5. Yes, and A Guid New Year to all my old friends in the Scottish Labour Party and good luck!

  6. And i got ‘moderated’ AGAIN…..! Just because i didnt find your ‘article’ hilarious!
    Bah humbug to you too!

  7. Happy New Year to everybody here at Labour Hame, and don’t ever let us humourless Cybernats dissuade you from posting comedy articles from time to time, especially those Swiftian satirical pieces by John McTernan. He pure cracks me up, so he dis.

    Slainte Mhor!

  8. If I understand the message behind the humour, it is that labour believes Scottish people are unique in not being able to run their own affairs. Indeed, we should be grateful that we are governed from London because if we tried to run our own affairs like any other nation, we would be an international embarassment.

    If that is the argument, bring on the referendum!

  9. Lewis Buchan,
    I think you have the gist of it. My synopsis of the Labour position is:

    a) Scotland is better served by alternating Tory / Labour administrations in Westminster than by governments of our own choosing within Scotland.

    b) Scotland is better served by sending all of the revenues raised to London, to have a portion deducted and a portion granted back to Scotland, than raising revenues in Scotland, and spending them as we see fit.

    To my knowledge, no-one from Labour is denying that this is their view of the good governance of Scotland.

  10. I’m shocked, nae mightily suprised, or even fair gubbed, that such an article should appear in this august publication, website, blog, whatever.

    There’s me thinking it was only such illuminaries such as thon Duncan chap, or that very angry young Mr Harris who was allowed to post parodies on here.

    Looking at the fine collection of contributors on the right hand side of the page, I see such notable giants of Scottish politics as Baker, Joyce and even the blessed Johann looking afy like Norway in the Eurovision Song Contest, with only one post each. Whilst our common enemy, that tone-deaf sleekit Salmond has two. This obviously gives the impression that we are not generating enough new ideas. After all we are supposed to be ‘discussing the way forward’

    So may you all have a joyous New Year whatever your favourite causes may be.

    Thank you barman, I’ll have a large one.

  11. I’m hearing that 2014 is to be the year of the referendum. Is there any truth in that, does anybody know?

    1. One rumour is that the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn is being considered for the independence referendum – June 24th, 2014, If my memory serves me correctly.

      Labour should approve of such a date – after all, Labour selected the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Stirling Bridge for the devolution referendum.

  12. A HNY to one and all !
    P.S. Does anybody actually believe that was a real article ?

  13. Well said Indy. Sadly ,our society seems to be moving ever rightwards. As we get poorer as a country, then it would appear that the poorest and least able to protect themselves are to be the scapegoats, not the City Slickers. But its OK. We can have a good old larf at the stuff printed here and not bother ourselves about the real political enemies.

    1. It’s not completely black and white because the welfare state certainly wasn’t created so that generations of people could never work and it is a dysfunctional outcome if that happens. I think everybody agrees on that. And also the purpose of housing benefit should not be to put ever increasing amounts of money into the hands of private landlords, some of whom are bad landlords and don’t deserve the rent they charge. But you know that’s what happens when you decide to subsidise housing through the market rather than investing in actual bricks and mortar, it was always going to happen.

      There are huge glaring problems with the way the benefits system works, everyone knows that, but the approach of the Coalition is simply about cost cutting, and they are using the dysfunctional aspects as an excuse trying to mask what the real motivation is.

      What is going to be really interesting is to see how this plays out for Labour north and south of the border because I don’t think there can be any doubt that Labour MSPs would have some very real problems with the kind of approach that has been trailed in the Daily Mail (of all papers!). But I still haven’t quite got my head round how Labour’s new constitutonal arrangements are going to work. I am not sure to what extent they can take a different line on reserved issues but suspect we are about to find out.

  14. I haven’t read the article.

    But, that it appeared on Auld year’s day gives me the opportunity to say thanks to Labourhame for providing a platform for discussion in which comments have been, by and large, well above the standard of those in the MSM, North and South of the border – and, in particular, for allowing pro-independence arguments to be made.

    A guid New Year tae ane and a’.

  15. I note my last several posts have been moderated out. Sad. Must be hitting the mark.
    It would be useful if the parameters of this blog are established.
    Removal is justified if the piece is abusive, defamatory or obscene.
    However is fair comment on the issue allowed only if it agrees with the article?
    Surely if you are confident of the validity of the arguement or the razor sharp wit it includes you can take criticism and answer it?
    If you only want Labour people to particiate don’t put up a public blog.
    If you put up a public blog don’t moderate out perfectly reasonable views just because (a) they don’t coincide with your views or (b)they include valid criticism.

  16. To any one with a serious and honest interest in the Scottish constitutional question I would recommend Robin Downie’s piece in Kenneth Roy’s Scottish Review today

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