I happen to read in the ‘long letter’ to The National on March 25th 2021 John Edgar (Kilmaurs) said he is genuinely perplexed, and asked ‘can someone explain what is driving him (Alex Salmond) to continue his attacks and criticisms of our First Minister when we are only weeks away from important Holyrood elections?’
Well John, have you ever heard of a woman called Annie Oakley,
Annie, was a sharpshooter in the days of the travelling shows around America and later Europe. Her eyesight, her eye to hand coordination and timing set her apart from most of her fellow sharpshooters at the time, she was just that good. When 1900 came along, the legions and myths that had grown up around the Old West, were now depicted in the cinema and not the wild west shows, Annie career was nearing its end she would by now be a middle-aged woman.
In 1904 newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst published in bold, large typeface the headlines “Annie Oakley, arrested for stealing to support her drugs habit”. The story was ‘fake news. The girl that had been arrested was not Annie Oakley, but a burlesque performer (not the type of performer that Annie would wish her name to be associated with in the 1900s normally looked upon as a girl of loose morals) it would seem she told the Chicago police that her name was Annie Oakley. What the newspapers had failed to do it point this out to their readers.
Most of the newspapers that printed the store had done so on the Hearst article, they had not checked their facts. Most were quick to retract the libellous error, Hearst had not. He tried to avoid paying court judgments of $20,000 (around $570,000 in today money), by sending an investigator to Darke County, Ohio, with the intent of collecting reputation-smearing gossip from Oakley’s past. The investigator found nothing.
Annie spent the next six years of her life travelling around the courtrooms of America suing each and every one of the newspapers for doing a hatchet job on her good name and winning all but one of the cases she perused. In the end, her bill for legal expenses outweighed the money she received from the courts. You see for Annie (as it is for Alex Salmond) their good name means everything to them. Get the picture, John?
Annie Oakley, made herself a legion in her own lifetime, what of Alex Salmond?
The Fiery Cross has been firmly set ablaze with the new Alba Party, led by Alex Salmond, a grenade into the upcoming Holyrood Elections. How many will flock to his banner? Well, I marched with 200 thousand of my fellow countrymen in the ‘AUOB’ march in Edinburgh and I don’t believe they were marching for baby boxes and controversial legislation, all were marching for total control over our own affairs, independence from Westminster control. So you ask how many will flock to the Alba banner, I would say pretty much all that marched that day, and a million or so added to their numbers.
Could Alex Salmond, become a legion in his own time?