He could have come before them and read the electoral register for Inverness East, Nairn and Lochaber and he would still have got a standing ovation. The Scottish National Party has waited 73 years for this – 79 if you go back to the first stirrings of nationalism in 1928 – and the delegates who packed the conference hall were not going to throw away the opportunity for some well-earned ecstasy.
Alex Salmond strode onto the stage, his classic cheeky grin in place, to be announced by his deputy as the first leader in the history of the SNP who could be introduced as “First Minister of Scotland”. The hall, packed to the rafters, erupted. From ancients in kilts and hairy sporrans who can recite the Declaration of Arbroath in their sleep, to youngsters who scarcely know where Arbroath is, they roared their approval.
I’d feel much better about all this if it weren’t Alex Salmond.
(Alternate title: Is There a Bruce In the House? But I decided against it.)