Teen's anger at Salmond
Published 18 Jul 2012 09:20 23 Comments
ON Friday 6th July I was delighted to be joined on my show for West Fife's brilliant and brand new community radio show, Radio West Fife, by the BBC's political editor, Nick Robinson.
Indeed, it was very kind of him to speak with me and he was, just like he is on the television, a very pleasant man.
The following Friday I was equally delighted to be joined on my radio show by the Rt Hon Dr Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.
Out of many, Vince Cable was one of the few members of Cabinet who accepted my request for an interview and I must say my opinions of him, which were already reasonably high, have rocketed.
Furthermore, the next day the winner of The Apprentice 2011, Tom Pellereau, joined me on the telephone for a chat about his experience which saw him win a quarter of a million pounds investment from Lord Sugar.
I must say, I hugely appreciate it when such senior and important figures agree to speak with me and these experiences I will not forget.
Taking this into consideration, you can imagine my disappointment when, having sent a very polite request for a five-minute telephone interview, Alex Salmond declined.
Indeed, two Scottish Party leaders; Ruth Davidson and Willie Rennie, as reported, are going to be joining me for an hour on my show and will be joining me in the studio.
Thus I thought to ask Mr Salmond to take five minutes out of his day for a five-minute telephone interview about non-political issues would not be too much to ask.
I can't help but think that an interview with a 15-year old is somewhat beneath Mr Salmond and only the top journalists will be worthy of his time.
Indeed, looking in the papers last week I saw Mr Salmond take to the first tee for a pre- Scottish Open match at Castle Stuart with golf's world number one, Luke Donald. I'm sure you can guess who looked happiest to be there.
Let's not kid ourselves; a blind man could see that Mr Salmond is running his own agenda.
I watched the Wimbledon final (and am still recovering from what was a fantastic match) and was somewhat unsurprised to see Mr Salmond take up a pew alongside prestigious guests in Wimbledon's notorious 'Royal Box'.
Indeed, Mr Salmond is trying to boost his own public profile to get in with the big boys and so therefore an interview with me, a 15-year old, is simply not a good enough opportunity to be in the limelight.
I have concluded that Mr Salmond would go to the opening of an envelope if there was a photographer there. An exaggeration? Maybe so, but I find it somewhat pathetic that senior British figures will spare five minutes of their day to speak to the younger generation and yet Mr Salmond won't.
Indeed, interviewing senior figures is something that certainly gets the adrenaline pumping. Having to call these people and then to keep them talking for five to 10 minutes is no easy task.
I must also mention that despite there being emails declining my invitation to an interview, everyone whether they be from a top politician's office or an A-list celebrity, is very encouraging.
The same cannot be said for the SNP's office. It may sound like I am being purposely biased but as a Scottish citizen, I felt somewhat let down by the poor service I received from the SNP.
However, deep down, I wasn't surprised.
I wish to conclude by saying that Mr Salmond must not complain about youths participating in 'anti-social' behaviour because he has clearly shown that he doesn't have time for us.
If Mr Salmond can spare five minutes of his so very precious time then my invitation still stands.
Have your say. Post a comment on this article.
Jul 18, 11:08
Oh dear, yet another anti-SNP article by the 'Press.
This paper is beginning to act like BBC Scotland, with it's constant pro-Liebour/anti-SNP stance.
Robert, have you considered that Mr Salmond might actually be busy running the Scottish Government, and maybe that Wullie Rennie & Ruth Davidson et al will do absolutely anything/appear anywhere to have a dig at the SNP? Thought not.
Obviously the school holidays are too long?????
Recommend? Yes 67 No 38
Jul 18, 11:35
Quite frankly this is typical of the arrogance displayed by "El Presidente"
If it's not an opportunity to grandstand and further the separatist agenda then he's unlikely to be interested.
He's a driven power made wee megalomaniac who will stop at absolutely nothing to push Scotland towards separation; even if the vast majority of Scots do not support his silly agenda.
I'm in no way surprised that he wasn't courteous enough to give you an interview when so many other political leaders and prominent individuals did.
Recommend? Yes 32 No 45
Jul 18, 13:07
Salmond is an eejit, too busy trying to become the king of scotland. I love Scotland and I love being Scottish but lets face it, they cant build a tram system so what hope do we have if they are in control of the country...
Recommend? Yes 27 No 44
Jul 18, 13:57
Benefithater - if you took the time to do some basic research you would soon discover that the SNP were against the edinburgh tram scheme, and that it was forced upon us by the Unionist parties in Holyrood.
Recommend? Yes 43 No 6
Jul 18, 14:14
I think GrantStevenson is being a wee bit harsh. Robert is trying to something productive with his school holidays and the media are quick enough to berate youngsters for causing trouble on their school holidays.
Pretty sure the point Robert was trying to make is that everyone is busy - pretty sure Vince Cable has a packed schedule yet he and others made the effort to speak for 5 minutes on his show and that because there would be no cameras or gold medals, Alex Salmond didn't see this opportunity to engage with todays's youth as valuable.
Recommend? Yes 28 No 28
Jul 18, 15:31
Very good articulate and balanced article. I did not pick up any party political bias whatsoever. Grant Stevenson clearly has a personal political agenda that distorts his view on the world.
Who could have failed to notice Mr Salmond recently working so hard at Wimbledon and the Scottish Open. Especially after such a hard trip to the premiere of Brave in Hollywood. It's completely understandable that he has no time for a 5 minute phone call. I wonder what events we'll seem him at the Olympics? Never mind where's Wally, more like where's Alex.
Recommend? Yes 26 No 28
Jul 18, 16:12
Jul 18, 16:39
A dreadful article that is so transparent. " I have concluded Alex Salmond would go to the opening of an envelope if there was a photographer there" OMG. The writer picks two places Alex has been to recently and slates him for this, but fails to highlight the visits to the places abroad to bring jobs and businesses to Scotland. About the Royal Box at Wimbledon, how many other people were in that Royal box the day of the final? I think The First Minister was entitled to be there as was David Cameron, considering Andy Murray a Scotsman was the first home grown player to make that final for 74 years. Now I could go on but don't have the time or the inclination. I just think it is unfair the slant on the article.
Recommend? Yes 37 No 14
Jul 18, 16:53
To be fair, Im doing journalism at Uni and its difficult enough at the best of times to get important local figures to give you the light of day, not to mention the First Minister of Scotland.
That said... Ive never liked Alex Samond. He's too busy focusing on his own personal agendas to actually ask the people what THEY want. This just proves that he now thinks his position is so weak, that it cannot stand a mere debate, especially in light of the recent near eurozone collapse, new NATO questions and an increasingly skeptical and inquisitive Scottish people. We all know a DevoMax question should have been put to the nation before any talk of an independence referendum came about. This is an example of a politician who knows he is quickly running out of time and trying to fast-track the process, and force the nation into an 'all or nothing' scenario. Terrible politician. A politician is supposed to be an instrument of the people, not a dictator of terms, which he has now firmly become.
Recommend? Yes 26 No 30
Jul 18, 17:04
Can't help but think a lot of these comments are just a wee bit harsh?
Robert is 15 and has managed to interview some of the most important figures in British politics today - he was after a non-political conversation for five minutes with Mr Salmond over the phone. Minimal effort would have been required by him to take part, but Salmond - as has been shown many times before - views himself as a statesman. Appearing on a small local radio show probably wouldn't fit his PR "image"
All the cybernats can come out with their usual passive-aggressive intimidation tactics, and all the Labour hacks can go and say that it's because he's too busy trying for world domination, and use this as a point scoring exercise if they like, but the fact is Robert's just hacked off. And rightly so. That's not party political bias, just annoyance at the First Minister's rudeness.
I think it's fantastic that Robert's managed to do this - shouldn't we all be supportive of a young person with such fantastic achievements? Sadly, some of you clearly think not.
Recommend? Yes 29 No 26
Jul 18, 17:14
Jul 18, 17:24
Well done Robert, it's an achievement to get any one of these people to speak with you. Alex Salmond has shown time and again that he doesn't listen to anyone, he has his own agenda, take wind power for example, every other country has been there already and stopped it because it doesn't work, he thinks he's discovered it himself and can save the world! Eejit indeed. More young people like Robert will help us to build a better Scotland with a better choice of politicians for the future - independent or not we need better than we have available now to run the country.
Recommend? Yes 23 No 25
Jul 18, 18:28
"I can't help but think that an interview with a 15-year old is somewhat beneath Mr Salmond and only the top journalists will be worthy of his time."
And he thinks Alex Salmond has a big ego, he is almost demanding an interview here even though he isn't exactly well known and seems to think he speaks for all teenagers.
Recommend? Yes 34 No 11
Jul 18, 18:46
@Mark22 - I haven't seen any indication that he wants to speak for all teenagers. Remember, if you're a young person you can go and ask the Press if you can write a Youth Say column too!
Salmond DOES have a big ego. How else could he justify arriving in a fairly accessible part of the Highlands by helicopter whilst one of his MPs spoke about climate change in Westminster?
Recommend? Yes 20 No 24
Jul 18, 21:21
It is a wee bit harsh as Alex Salmond is a busy man. He is spending a lot of time in London as he is having meetings regarding independence-this is as per Faisal Islam on Channel 4 news. I do also feel he is not egotistic-he wants to be seen with big business as this will get more investment in Scotland. My advice is to send him the link and ask him to respond. You are due a proper explanation of why he cannot spare 5 minutes. I would also ask if you could talk to anyone else-Sturgeon or Swinney may be available. I think you should follow this up and go after him Crick style if his office does not give a full response. Finally good on you for getting those at the top to answer questions!
Recommend? Yes 22 No 7
Jul 19, 00:07
Yeh sorry to say its not a great article. you have done great to get interviews with soome big names. You can not however just slate anyone who at the time cant spare five mins. I know myself that I can always make five mins to call my girlfriend if I am away but don't always have time to call my Mother.
I really hope this article isn't printed in the Press. Online is bad enough, surley your job is to find the news and find people to talk to. I feel it is your failing to find an alternative and partly some dissapointment after it had been going so well. Keep up the good work but dont slag off Tom Cruise next week if he fails to give you even a one liner for your next effort.
Recommend? Yes 29 No 9
Jul 20, 20:27
Jul 20, 23:12
I agree with AngusD. Great to see this young man giving of his time in this way and well done on securing so many interesting interviews - I may listen online myself.
I think, though, that Robert's expectations are possibly unrealistically high. Chortie is probably right, I'm afraid. Any politician, when receiving an invitation like this, will carefully consider what's in it for him or her before deciding whether to accept. They don't do it out of the goodness of their hearts. Vince Cable will probably have been advised to accept because the LibDems have held the Westminster and Holyrood seats in the past and will hope to do so again in future. Equally, the Conservatives will want to win a few list votes in the next Holyrood elections, hence Ruth Davidson's appearance. Mr Salmond has the added complication of being in office, so it is perfectly possible that a request sent to the SNP may even have been diverted to the Scottish Government, in which case various civil servants as well as party apparatchiks will have given advice on whether or not to accept. The decision may not even have been made by Mr Salmond anyway.
So while it's understandable that Robert may feel a bit miffed, he should not take it personally. In any case, now that he has gone into print on this issue - and I don't want to be cynical or anything - I would not be surprised if Robert were by some spooky coincidence to find a late acceptance from the FM's office appearing soon ...
Recommend? Yes 9 No 1
Jul 22, 11:01
Jul 22, 16:46
All Robert has done has reported the truth and voiced his opinion on it.
For all those who argue Alex Salmond doesn't have time to speak to Robert as he's too busy 'running' the country - Vince Cable managed to spare 5 minutes, as did all other leading party members. A five minute phonecall takes literally - five minutes. If Alex Salmond cannot spare that time for a chat with a politically enthusiastic and engaged youngster then not only is that a shame, it is frankly appalling. Particularly when he can manage to take time off 'running' the country to cosy up to other 'celebrities' with absolutely no links to either Scotland nor with Scottish interests at their heart.
After all we hear of youngsters being 'yobs', 'disinterested in political affairs', etc, etc - the list literally goes on, it is remarkably encouraging to see a fifteen year old actually get up and do something about his interests and try and speak to 'experts' in their fields.
Those who have criticised him here should be ashamed - it's all very well to criticise from a backseat but what are YOU doing to stimulate political discussion in a public arena? Nothing most likely. It's not Robert's fault that Salmond declined him when others (arguably more interesting) accepted, nor it is fault that clearly Salmond is interested enough to talk from a pedastool about the youth and yet unwilling to engage in actual discussion... Shame on him. And shame on you for not encouraging those youngsters ACTUALLY making political life in Scotland a little more interesting.
Recommend? Yes 9 No 6
Jul 22, 22:06
Maybe if the writer had stopped when advising Alex Salmond had declined , and not carried on with slating him, his article may have been taken in a different light. BTW. I am 69years old and still working with young people , and have done for over 25 years, and I am active politically, so your comments are a bit off the mark I'm afraid.
Recommend? Yes 3 No 4
Jul 23, 00:24
This article is wildly misjudged. Robert should be greatful that Nick Robinson and Apprentice Tom would feature in his show. Given that Willie Rennie and Ruth Davidson are both reasonably local and are in control of tiny and uninfluential parties I think they are not comparible as guests to Mr Salmond.
I don't understand the sense of entitlement Robert feels to having people feature on his show. As far as I am aware, Radio West Fife is essentially Queen Margaret Hospital radio and I can't imagine there are more than a few hundred listeners or so at any one point (and I feel this is a generous estimate).
I would be unimpressed if Mr Salmond had spent the time on this when there are clearly more important issues to be dealing with. I would be interested to know if Robert had received any response from Mr Salmond at all as it seems that he is still awaiting a response.
I think it was a poor decision to run this article as it discredits the editorial integrity of the press (in my opinion).
Recommend? Yes 6 No 4
Jul 23, 00:37
Robert does not feel a sense of entitlement that people should appear on his show - if anything, he is constantly thanking those that do appear on it for their time. He does appear very grateful.
Moreover - the whole point is that in order to get Radio West Fife on the map it is of great importance and a very wise move to try and pull in big names to get ratings up - that is a very simple and common place strategy when trying to reach a wider audience.
Furthermore, it was made clear in the article that Alex Salmond's office had replied no and indeed that was the whole point - that Salmond can talk about the youth and yet not be willing to spend FIVE minutes and indeed I repeat, FIVE minutes engaging with one asking politely to chat.
To end, it is an opinion column therefore in no way does it discredit the 'editorial integrity of the press' - that is the beauty of not only, living in a democracy, but specifically of freedom of speech and press! I may add that if you read any opinion columns in any of the broadsheets, more often than not they ARE controversial and they do split opinions and actually that is the sign of an excellent columnist. Once again, I think we should be encouraging such youthful enthusiasm and not making frankly, poorly argued critcisms against it.
Recommend? Yes 7 No 5