At this point, the outlook for the Scottish independence cause is bleak. We have had a number of clear opportunities to set political divisions aside and put independence first. But we have failed to take these opportunities. The Scottish National Party has committed itself to the project of becoming a self congratulation society for the polite and mild-mannered, while the rest of the movement has been left to fester and stew in its own juices after getting absolutely nothing of what it wanted.
There can be no denying that the failure of the SNP to secure or even move us closer to independence resulted in the creation of the Alba Party. Before even Mr Salmond announced his return to the political arena, other pro-independence parties had been launched; all of them citing the same frustration. With the SNP able — even mandated — to move on independence but unwilling to, the formation of other pro-independence parties was inevitable. So, when Alba was launched, SNP and pro-independence activists who were sick and tired of the wait began joining.
What we must do now is look to the future, and that is what I hope to think about in this article — the future. At the beginning of this month, persuaded that giving both votes to the National Party would return a near-impossible majority, independence supporters voted for another five years of Ms Sturgeon’s painfully gradualist approach. This approach — a policy or non-policy of acquiescence to the London government — has, in terms of independence, achieved nothing in the last almost seven years.
Luckily, we have a chance to make a change but it is one chance and we have to take it. If we miss this chance I fear Scotland and independence are lost. Our opportunity is the Alba Party. The Alba policy is to treat the election of a large majority of pro-independence MSPs as a mandate to open independence negotiations with Westminster. This is a far stronger position than meekly asking for a Section 30 ‘cap in hand.’ To get a mandate for independence, the Alba position is that this supermajority is a mandate for independence.
It should be obvious that we must use every avenue at our disposal to win independence. One such avenue is the Additional Member System (AMS) used to elect MSPs to the Scottish parliament. There are two ballot papers. The first is to elect a constituency MSP. There are seventy-three constituencies in Scotland. This is a first past the post vote and the SNP are predicted to win nearly all of these constituencies. The second ballot paper is to elect regional list MSPs on this ballot and the vote is for the party. There are eight regions electing seven MSPs each.
The plan is so simple it’s positively brilliant. With the Scottish National Party, with its membership at least screaming for independence, doing so well in the constituencies (with the exception of those in South Scotland and the Highlands and Islands), it is guaranteed to get practically nothing in the regional list. In 2016 independence supporters wasted — yes, wasted — almost a million votes on just four SNP list MSPs. The SNP is still doing exceptionally well in the constituencies and will still be massively penalised in the list...
Speaking from Aberdeenshire at a two o'clock press conference this afternoon, Alex Salmond -- the former leader of the Scottish National Party and First Minister -- announced his immediate return to Scottish politics. He announced the launch of a new pro-independence party, Alba, which will field candidates on the regional list vote in the upcoming Holyrood elections on 6 May.
Whether readers are prepared to accept reality or not, the facts speak for themselves. The First Minister has misled the Scottish parliament, she has acted with other senior members of the SNP in a conspiracy involving the unholy trinity of the British establishment in Scotland — the crown, the British civil service, and the unionist media — in a potentially criminal project designed to imprison Alex Salmond. Irrespective of the dubious legality of this behaviour, the fact that she has colluded with the instruments of the British state...