Now I would never have expected our ex First Minister to have published with Birlinn Ltd. My own political views are too well known and to expect an ecumenical perspective is perhaps too much to expect of that most tribal of politicians. But there are of course many other smaller Scottish publishers who have supported the Nationalist cause. Many others in this country whose lives and businesses might have been transformed by a gesture from a man who claims a life dedicated to Scotland.
What must they feel like today? To know that the leader of the cause they supported at the first whiff of a big cheque appointed a London agent and scuttled off onto that well known high road south. Nor is it simply any London publisher. It is Harper Collins (proprietor: R Murdoch) who gets these pearls of wisdom. No doubt it will be claimed that Harper Collins (proprietor R Murdoch) remains a Scottish publisher (for the avoidance of doubt its sole presence in Scotland is a warehouse in Bishopbriggs). It is to Scottishness as Vladimir Putin is to sanctity.
How sad it is that a man who trumpets what Scots can be and do sells out at the first opportunity. And how ironic that it is people like myself who voted No, who silently and daily invest in Scotland, its culture and its future unlike their ex-First Minister. Ironic too that so many of my colleagues who do not share my political beliefs are kicked in the teeth by the man who they thought fought for them.
Somehow even the word ‘hypocrite’ seems inadequate to the feelings that need expressed by myself, by my colleagues in the Scottish book trade, by all those who actually have fought for Scotland and its future.