ALBA Party independence and election strategy response to Believe in Scotland
The Believe in Scotland campaign group have asked Alba Party to set out independence and election strategy.
Party Chair Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh has provided the following response.
ALBA has co-operated with every genuine cross-party and non-party move to independence and will continue to do so. We have spoken at every pro-independence rally and demonstration to which we have been invited and we will continue to do so. We will continue to offer the prospect of a single independence candidate in each constituency at the General Election, although neither the SNP (or the Greens) have chosen to reply to our letters over the last six months. Obviously rallies and demonstrations to which we were not invited, such as the Believe in Scotland’s Edinburgh event, we have not been able to speak at.
The answers to your questions are as follows and ALBA policy has been publicly discussed, passed democratically and is easily available;
1. There is no prospect of any Westminster Government agreeing to an independence referendum under current circumstances. Therefore to base a Westminster election strategy, as the SNP are currently planning to do, on asking the same question again, is futile.
ALBA propose instead that all pro-independence parties stand on a platform at each and every election of seeking a mandate to negotiate independence. If a majority of votes is gained by all parties combined seeking such a mandate, and Westminster does not cede to do so, the Scottish Government should mobilise popular and international pressure to force them to the negotiating table. That campaign should be centred on an Independence Convention based on elected representatives and encompassing civic Scotland.
2. It is a credible route which has been followed successfully by other countries seeking independence
3. If the people have demonstrated the popular and sovereign will to be independent, the politicians should be able to find the mechanisms to enforce that will. At present, there is no seriousness of intent on independence among the politicians in the Scottish government.
4. Currently the SNP have decided not to campaign seeking an independence mandate at the coming election while the Green Party’s co-leader has openly stated that independence is “not a red line” preventing a coalition with the unionist Labour Party. All ALBA candidates at the coming Westminster election will stand on an unambiguous independence mandate.
In terms of the next Scottish election in 2026, ALBA will provide every elector in Scotland the opportunity to vote for a clear mandate to negotiate independence. The SNP have left open the possibility of campaigning on such an independence mandate while the Green Party have left open the possibility of a post election coalition with Labour.
Finally, as you will be aware, Neale Hanvey MP has a Scottish Sovereignty Bill before the UK Parliament at present. We will be making further initiatives shortly to advance the cause of independence.