Gransnet forums


Live webchat with Scotland's First Minister, Alex Salmond, Tuesday 12 Feb 10.45-11.45am

(106 Posts)
Carigransnet (GNHQ) Tue 29-Jan-13 10:01:54

We are absolutely delighted that Alex Salmond, First Minister for Scotland will be coming in to GNHQ <tidies desk> to answer gransnetters' questions on everything from Scotland's future and its role in the world, the 2014 referendum to Andy Murray (and taking in education, employment and health, transport, energy, sport and the Oscar-prospects of Disney animation Brave along the way)

Alex Salmond was born in Linlithgow in 1954 and studied at St Andrews University. He was first elected as MP for Banff and Buchan in 1987 and was elected as National Convener for the Scottish National Party in 1990. He served as leader of the opposition in the Scottish Parliament when he was elected MSP for Banff and Buchan Constituency in 1999. He stood down as SNP National Convener in 2000 and left the Scottish Parliament in 2001.

He was re-elected as Leader of the SNP in 2004 and elected as MSP for the Gordon constituency in May 2007. He became the first ever SNP First Minister of Scotland on May 16, 2007. He won the Aberdeenshire East constituency at the May 5, 2011, election when the SNP won a majority of seats of in the Scottish Parliament and MSPs re-elected him unopposed for a second term as FM on May 18.

GrannyE Fri 01-Feb-13 17:55:42

Norway is not a member of the EU

Gally Fri 01-Feb-13 18:14:28

I think that's the point lizzie was making!

nainnainnain Sat 02-Feb-13 15:23:59

Is Scotland too small to be independent?

If I've counted right, there are 85 member countries of the United Nations with populations less than 5 million!

wendylou Sun 03-Feb-13 16:04:30

I'd like to ask Alex this – since your Government recognizes that "obesity poses a real risk to the health of the population in Scotland" (Government NHS HEAT), how do you, as First Minister, set an example to the people of Scotland in respect of diet and exercise?

Bennan Mon 04-Feb-13 16:57:59

Why are Scots living out of the country not being allowed to voice an opinion on this matter? Although I am married to an Englishman and have lived away for a number of years I am a Scot first, foremost and always. Where you live does not change your identity!!

POGS Mon 04-Feb-13 22:06:51

If Scotland leaves the UK and you find you do have to apply to join the EU, as has been declared by Brussels, are you happy to have to join the Shengan [sorry about spelling] agreement. Would that mean Border Controls into the UK?. What if Scotland are Independant and the UK leaves the EU what would happen then with regard to the Border Line.

I hope never to have to find out by the way.

DavidH22 Wed 06-Feb-13 12:21:27

As far as I understand SNP policy you want Scotland to be an independent country separate from the UK but Scotland to be a member of the European Union. Is this not getting rid of one set of rules only to then have to live by another set? It could also take several years for Scotland to be granted full membership of the EU and in the meantime would that mean anyone English living and working in an independent Scotland having to seek refugee status? Finally if Scotland does gain independence any chance of anexing Northumberland to join you?

libra10 Sat 09-Feb-13 09:01:48

I assume that if Scotland vote for independence in the referendum, all Scottish MPs will no longer be allowed to attend Westminster?

Also, I understand that Scotland would no longer be allowed to use the pound as currency, how do Scottish people feel at being forced to use the euro instead?

dodiegale1 Sun 10-Feb-13 15:48:25

I am a newcomer to Gransnet so think I might have been a bit naive here. I notice other contributors to this forum have managed to ask two or three questions to Alex in just one comment. As I have asked only one question so far, I am hoping I might be allowed a second...

I am interested to know why Alex has set Autumn 2014 as the date for the independence referendum, rather than a Spring date. After all, the evenings are shorter in the Autumn and the weather is more likely to be inclement. Elections are usually held in May and there is good reason for that. We have longer evenings and there is more chance of good weather. Older people find it easier to vote. I know that a general election was held in October 1974, but that was because we had a hung parliament as a result of the February 1974 General Election. Since then my understanding is that all general elections have been held in the Spring. I believe the Welsh Devolution Referendum of 1997 was held in mid-September, but all the other recent UK referendums have been held in the Spring. Can Alex guarantee that the Scottish independence referendum will be held no later than mid-September 2014, in order to make it as easy as possible for all age groups to be able to register their votes?

wendylou Sun 10-Feb-13 15:58:08

As I understand it, the primary argument you have presented to the people of Scotland in favour of Scottish independence is that they will benefit economically from being members of an independent Scotland. But – and this is my question – do you not believe, along with the founder members of the SNP, such as Hugh McDiarmid, and others, that independence is in itself of supreme value and would be worth having even if it meant that Scottish people gain no economic advantage from independence?

minette Tue 12-Feb-13 09:15:21

I am not Scottish but I spend most of my holidays in Scotland. It is the most beautiful place on earth but I have always found it incongruous that on the one hand it attracts so many people for healthy outdoor pursuits, yet on the other has the worst health record in the UK. People joke about the deep fried Mars Bar etc - but there is truth in the high fat diet and I have been surprised at what's on offer in supermarkets (so many more high fat processed meat products that I see at home) and even more so by adverts on TV and in the papers for the same. What are your thoughts on this - and what are you doing to combat heart disease and obesity caused by poor diet?

fruitloop Tue 12-Feb-13 09:17:27

Scottish football fans are often acknowledged to be among the 'best' (ie the most passionate, vocal, enthusiastic etc) But the Scotland national team isn't very good. I'd love to know what you think about both of these facts?

Mactheknife Tue 12-Feb-13 09:22:30

Hello Mr Salmond. As a Scot it's great to have the opportunity to 'talk' to you like this. There was a story in the news this week where David Cameron said it's in Scotland's best interests to stay within the UK because having two governments looking after its affairs gives it "the best of both worlds".

I am wavering between thinking "he has a point" and "he would say that wouldn't he?" I have never agreed with him in my life before - but perhaps he does have a point.

I was going to ask your thoughts on this (and still will) - but would also like your honest opinion on David Cameron - personally and politically. There will never be a better place to answer this question - we are all lovely grannies grin

frantick Tue 12-Feb-13 09:23:05

If the British government (or what is left of it) held a referendum that decided we should leave the EU, would an independent Scotland stay in?

closetgran Tue 12-Feb-13 09:26:14

There are still quite a lot of Labour MPs in Scotland. If you win, you may be condemning England to permanent Conservative government. Do you feel concerned or responsible about this?

Bonsai Tue 12-Feb-13 09:29:12

Hi Alex. Do you not think it would be a better idea to improve transport links and easy access to and from Scotland to England, rather than splitting us apart? Surely becoming independent would make it a more 'Them and Us' situation than if you were to try and link Scotland to the SE England?

loafer Tue 12-Feb-13 09:29:56

What do you most like about England?

applepie Tue 12-Feb-13 09:31:32

Following on from loafer... What do you least like about England?

iMac Tue 12-Feb-13 09:37:14

Why is it that EU students don't have to pay university tuition fees, along with Scottish home students, but English, Welsh and Irish students have to pay up to £9k?

marika Tue 12-Feb-13 10:35:17

I see that your deputy Nicola Sturgeon has been named today in the top 20 most powerful women in Britain. But Justine Roberts - founder of Mumsnet and Gransnet is no 7! what do you think?!

GeraldineGransnet (GNHQ) Tue 12-Feb-13 10:49:20

We're thrilled that the First Minister has arrived and even more thrilled that he's brought Scotch pancakes. And raspberry jam from Cupar! Delicious!

So here we go....

AlexSalmond Tue 12-Feb-13 10:49:35


Riverwalk Tue 12-Feb-13 10:51:56

Is that pancakes made from Scotch? grin

AlexSalmond Tue 12-Feb-13 10:53:17

Hello gransnetters! We've just finished the pancakes and raspberry jam and are ready for the off. I'm going to do the answers and KatGransnet are going to put them into sentences for me!

fabgran Tue 12-Feb-13 10:53:37

Alex, if you had to choose between total Scotish independence devoid of any association with England in all areas (including defence), or to stick with the current system of devolved government, which one would you go for? Can Scotland be truly independent?