ALEX Salmond was found not guilty of 13 charges of criminality by a jury last year. He has never been convicted of any criminal behaviour and is not a criminal.

That is a statement of fact.The behaviour that was admitted to, by his legal team in court, however, is another matter.

Stroking a woman’s face while she slept, tugging at her hair, a “sleepy cuddle”.
It was inappropriate behaviour towards women who considered him their senior, while they were out trying to earn a living.

Yes, he was, as he predicted he would be, found not guilty of criminal behaviour but that is not the only standard that applies to those in who we place our trust to represent us and to lead our governments.

READ MORE: Alba Party: Alex Salmond sets up new party to stand in Holyrood election

Now Alex Salmond is looking to be elected to public office once again. He said he wants to move on from the court cases and inquiries.

Glasgow Times:
Inquiries that have all come about as a result of concerns about his behaviour.
The Scottish Government made a complete mess of the investigation into the allegations against him by two women.

Allegations which Nicola Sturgeon said were recognised by the former First Minister and she said he told her he had apologised to one of the women for his behaviour.

The Scottish Government made a costly error in the investigation.
The investigation however didn’t come out of nothing. It came about as a result of complaints about the behaviour of Alex Salmond towards women.

The inquiry at Holyrood into the handling of those complaints found that the current First Minister fell short of their expectations in her evidence to it.

The evidence centred around meetings she had with Alex Salmond and his former chief of staff regarding the complaints made by two women.

READ MORE: Election 2021: Anas Sarwar's Labour election bus takes to the Glasgow streets
The meetings took place and the inquiries came about as a result of the complaints about the behaviour of Alex Salmond towards two women who were at their work.

For the last two years this has dominated Scottish politics and now that Alex Salmond has entered the Scottish Parliament election, the campaign over the next six weeks will be dominated by the Salmond-Sturgeon saga.

It is the wrong way to characterise this episode. It is the Alex Salmond saga.

The kernel of this entire episode was the behaviour of Alex Salmond, while in the position as First Minister of Scotland, behaving inappropriately towards female members of staff who were left alone with him.

None of what followed, none of the errors which were made by the Scottish Government, Nicola Sturgeon and anyone else in the Scottish Government or the SNP would have come about had it not been for the concerns over the behaviour of Alex Salmond.

Glasgow Times:  
The allegations and investigations led to Alex Salmond leaving the SNP.
Alex Salmond is not the first politician to start or join a new party after leaving another following an acrimonious split.

George Galloway has stood for election, sometimes successfully, in various guises since he left the Labour Party many years ago.

Tommy Sheridan has stood for and set up different parties since he led the Scottish Socialist Party.

Nigel Farage set up the Brexit Party after he took Ukip from virtually nothing to a political force that manipulated the Tories into calling a referendum on the EU.

All three have something in common. They were all successful in their day, carried in no small way by the charisma that attracted attention to their parties and their causes.
Each of them though, ultimately thought they were bigger than they were. 

Then when it all went wrong for them, they tried to forge a solo career and found out that they had lost the spark that set them apart when they were at their height.

Alex Salmond, when challenged at his press conference yesterday about his past behaviour and asked if he was a “reformed character” said that “character matters” adding “that’s exactly what this election is about”.

There is nothing to prevent Alex Salmond standing for Parliament again. He is as entitled to lead a party as Nicola Sturgeon is.

There is nothing to prevent people joining his party and standing as candidates hoping that they will be carried into Parliament by being associated with his name, just as many in the SNP have been before.

At his press conference, on the forthcoming election, he also said: “It will be the people who judge the outcome.”

Alex Salmond is correct. It will be the people who will judge at the ballot box. 
It is the people who will judge whether the Alba Party is a party that is fit to have representation in Parliament. 

It is the people who will judge whether those who stand for it alongside Alex Salmond are fit and proper people to hold elected office.

It will be the people who will judge whether Alex Salmond is of a fit and proper character to hold elected office again.