Ever since switching to Alba, I’ve made a sincere effort to be fair and even-handed to the SNP: it is obvious that the SNP are vital to the cause of independence, and I know my friends are no less dedicated to the cause than I or anyone else. But the question as to why I left does warrant more explanation, and I’m afraid it cannot be bereft of some criticism.
Many of my friends will be voting SNP/SNP (as I did in 2016) or SNP/Green (as many of my friends did in 2016) tomorrow. I voted that way because I thought they would deliver on the single, most important part of their manifesto:
We believe that the Scottish Parliament should have the right to hold another referendum if there is clear and sustained evidence that independence has become the preferred option of a majority of the Scottish people – or if there is a significant and material change in the circumstances that prevailed in 2014, such as Scotland being taken out of the EU against our will.
Some would say the Pandemic is sufficient mitigating circumstances, to which I cannot agree, for what illustrates the pressing need for independence more than being trapped in an insane United Kingdom with a robber baron perfectly happy to “let the bodies pile high” so long as his precious finances are unharmed?
In what universe is keeping Scotland at the mercy of these psychopaths putting Scotland before anything, much less independence? The reality is that for as long as independence is not put first, it is Britain before Scotland – no matter how many people die thanks to a ruinous “four nations” approach which was never going to be respected by the Bullingdon Club.
Some say that we certainly would have lost a referendum held earlier – yet the SNP promised an independence referendum at multiple points over the past five years, long before the Pandemic. Why would the SNP promise an independence referendum in 2018, 2019, 2020, and indeed 2021, if they did not believe they could win one in those years?
The SNP made the explicit promise that Scotland should have an independence referendum in the very circumstances which occurred on the 24th June 2016. Five years later, no referendum. Lots of promises of a referendum – but they never materialise. And soon, people are going to become disillusioned by a party that doesn’t hold to its promises, no matter how difficult they are, no matter how frightened they are of losing. We’ve seen what happens to parties that break their promises.
For seven years, this blog has been an advocate for Scottish Independence. For seven years, that meant voting for parties that support Scottish Independence in any Scottish elections. That has not change, and I do not foresee that changing until Scotland’s independence is restored.
For most of those years – indeed, for most of the last century – there was only one political party with the experience, the drive, and the commitment to see that cause to fruition. In the wake of the first Scottish Independence Referendum, a multitude of parties have emerged – to prove that independence is not a fringe pursuit, but a legitimate constitutional stance that can be spread across multiple parties.
I voted for that party with heart and soul in every election I’ve ever voted in, and in an ideal world, I still would. But as I said directly to one of the candidates on the night of a manifesto launch: “I do not support individuals; I do not support parties; I support the cause. I will vote for whoever aids the cause as I see it.” This election, my vote on the list will be going to Alba, because I believe it is the best way to support the cause of Scottish Independence.
Many of my friends will be voting for other pro-independence parties, and I can only pray that the SNP & Greens find their spines again and make good on their promises, like they said they would for the last Parliament. Until now, my vote is going to the party that puts Independence For Scotland first – not as a lofty ideal to pursue when the circumstances are favourable, but as a necessity to ensure Scotland can put ourselves first.
Tomorrow we decide: will we be brave, or will we let someone else make our decisions for us?