By Stefan Bienkowski

The international role of an independent Scotland will be the main topic of discussion this week when First Minister Alex Salmond gives a speech at the inaugural Glasgow Caledonian Lecture in New York on Monday.

At the event, the First Minister is expected to outline the active role an independent Scotland could take in areas such as climate justice, international development, and arbitration and conflict resolution.


As part of his five day trade mission to the United States, Mr Salmond is expected to focus on the possibility of an independent Scotland becoming an affluent country without the necessity for military might.  Stating in Monday’s speech that, “The USA is both. But most nations can’t be. And they reduce their chance to be a great nation, if they pretend to be a great power.”

He will add: “For most countries, greatness can only come from influence, not force; from soft, not hard power; from enlightened self-interest, not self-interest alone. It will come from their people, their  values, their reputation and their ideas.”

Referring to the United Nations’ Human Development Index, which measures a country’s life expectancy and its citizens’ quality of life, Mr Salmond is then expected to push the case for the success of smaller nations in achieving such international goals.

He will tell his audience: “On that index, 11 of the top 20 nations have fewer than 10 million inhabitants. Norway is number one – the UK number 26.”

The First Minister will add: “However it’s clear that many smaller nations are succeeding, using their natural advantages – including flexibility, speed of decision-making, and the ability to define clearly their national interests and their economic strategy.”

Mr Salmond is then expected to take the example of Norway and its success in recent peacekeeping missions across the world, whilst citing other examples of small nations playing a key role in the international community.

Continuing on the same theme, the First Minister will state: “You could also look at Ireland’s role in peacekeeping; Switzerland’s contribution to humanitarian efforts; Finland’s reputation for research and development; or the way in which Singapore is widely studied for its approach to economic development.”

Pressing the point that size is not the only measure of influence, he will say: “The overall point is clear. Countries can exercise influence through the scale of their ambition and the strength of their ideas, rather than the size of their armies, their populations, or their territories.

“In terms of domestic policy, Scotland could be a progressive beacon, setting a positive example as a country which combines fairness and prosperity.”

Concluding his speech, Mr Salmond will add: “To adopt an expression much used by President Clinton, we will use the power of our example, not the example of our power.

“Independence doesn’t guarantee that we will become that Scotland we seek. But it gives us the powers we need, in order to do so. It places decisions about Scotland’s contribution to the world in the hands of the people who live and work in Scotland.”

The First Minister is in the USA as part of a delegation promiting Scottish culture and business.  The trip, which coincides with the annual Scotland Week celebrations in New York, has already resulted in an announcement of 130 new jobs from financial services company, Ceridian.


2014-04-06 05:03

No, I cannot picture the leaders of the Westminster franchises in Holyrood fulfilling this vital role either. Defining a vision of Scotland’s role on the world stage and promoting Scotland’s business potential to the US. In fact picture any of Westminster’s leadership promoting Scotland as a place to do business.

O/T This should leave a mark in the Sunday titles.…/

2014-04-06 08:11

Just to let people know that if Macart’s link isn’t working for them it could be because Wings has been under attack since yesterday afternoon. So should anyone want to get there, long in as you would normally.
2014-04-06 09:44

At time of posting, their website is still down. However, the latest details of their Panelbase poll can be found on Facebook..…/
2014-04-06 09:53

And just in case they can’t, basically the article is the results of the latest Panelbase poll.

Y47 – N53

If there was any doubt in the past couple of months, there’s none now. Its game on.

2014-04-06 08:01

Alex Salmond excels at such events, he can put across the Scottish agenda like no one else.
I am more than happy that he is representing Scottish aspirations to the world.
2014-04-06 08:31


Today’s Marr show.

Darling is being allowed to rabbit on for minutes at a time without any interruption from Marr.

It’s almost as if Marr had gone off for a comfort break.

Compare and contrast with his recent interview with Eck.

As I type he is still rabbiting on with the usual nonsense.
2014-04-06 09:48

Do we need so-called great powers or great nations? No! History teaches us their influence whether “enlightened self interest” or not has been noxious. we Scots know what it has been like to both dish out the imperialist poison and suffer its debilitating effects. We are entering a reflective and self-renewing stage in our history. We should not be too concerned about sucking up to the big boys especially when they have “form”. Let them look after themselves, we have more important things do deal with.
anne galloway
2014-04-06 10:10

Totally agree gus1940. Marr t Alistair Darling re Referendum “Good to hear you’re fired up Alistair”. Sounds like Marr and Alistair are like minded on the Referendum.
2014-04-06 12:51

Indeed. I’m still waiting on a response to my online complaint to our forcibly-funded state propaganda machine, which goes by the intials BBC, (Blatantly Biased Coverage), regarding Marr’s opining on iScotland’s status within the EU. Still nothing from them after over a week, but not holding my breath…

2014-04-06 12:49

This positive article on the FM’s trade mission to the USA, puts into perspective the negative, petty-minded, spiteful attack on this visit by Johann Lamont at FMQs. Although firmly put back in her box by Nicola, the attempt to smear the FM with insinuations of the amount “he spent on himself”, were both personal and disgraceful.
2014-04-07 16:56

What on earth is “enlightened self-interest” – I’d love to hear that one explained.
He goes on a lot about wonderful Norway – presumably he supports that country’s involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan?

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