Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Poised to govern

As part of my job I have to meet civil servants to discuss Scottish Executive policy. For me, over the last 8 years, the term 'Scottish Executive' has become synonymous with the Labour-Liberal coalition.

It's quite surreal therefore to now be sat in meetings discussing the likely actions of an SNP Scottish Executive, with civil servants referring to the SNP manifesto. Surreal, but very exciting!

The general impression I have from speaking to a number of civil servants is that they are also excited at the prospect of both the SNP breathing fresh life into the governance of Scotland and the challenge of a minority administration.

Like most people I have spoken to since the election, they have a real sense of anticipation about the future and also great expectations of the SNP. Every taxi driver I've spoken to over the last week has asked me what I think about Alex Salmond! After declaring my party affiliations, of course, I explain why I believe Alex Salmond as First Minister and an SNP Scottish Executive will deliver real change for our country - but caution against placing too great expectations on their shoulders. After all, there is only so much we can do within the constraints of devolution, which is why we will continue to strive to persuade people in Scotland of the need for independence. As a first step, we will demonstrate our commitment to Scotland by using the powers of the Scottish Parliament to make our country a better place to live.

If, as expected, Alex Salmond is elected as First Minister of Scotland tomorrow we will have taken a gigantic step forward in delivering a positive future for our nation.

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