ALBA Party National Women’s Convener Yvonne Ridley

Dear Alba women,

I’ve just switched off the news in disgust at the latest antics of the Westminster government where compassion, goodness, integrity, transparency, commitment, trust, fairness, and justice are absent. These are all qualities I hope to see flourish in an independent Scotland when you and I, as ALBA members, will have the chance to paint the political landscape of a future Independent Scotland.

To heavily edit the opening chapter of A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, we are currently living in the worst of times, an age of foolishness and an epoch of incredulity, one where we are entering a season of darkness.

Scotland's oil wealth is being looted for all its worth with the Tory Government flogging off our energy-rich lands and trousering the profits. I have no desire to see Tory values heading north or our young generation of Scots heading south, echoing the exodus of the Highland Clearances.

This prophesy may seem a wee bit dramatic but if I had told you ten years ago that our First Minister, his predecessor, and most of his current politicians can not tell you what a woman is, you’d have said I was insane.

However, the progressive female-friendly Scotland we once knew is now resembling Gilead from the dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale.

If we women don’t stand up for ourselves and take control of our own destiny then the London-based parties of Conservatives, Labour, Lib Dems and Greens will ... not even their branch offices here have a say on the future.

This Sunday we meet online again to discuss our proposals and I’m looking for some really progressive, out-of-the-box thinking to write up an Alba Women’s Charter.  You can RSVP HERE 

Only the Alba Party puts independence and women first. Only by listening to you will we create a country where we can have a safe place to call home and safe public spaces to walk freely without fear.

On top of all of this, we are struggling with a cost of living crisis unprecedented in the 21st century. Many of our families are on the breadline and the crippling deficits challenging us today were spoken about movingly and with passion at Eva Comrie’s ALBA Equality Roadshows.

It is increasingly clear from these poverty roadshows that there’s a lack of decent, affordable housing, health and education available.

With little to no social housing to go around, more and more of us are living in the private rented sector paying record-high rents which are eating up meagre household incomes. 

We learned from the roadshows that, coupled with rising costs of household bills and basic necessities, these factors increase the haunting spectre of homelessness.

No Scot living in our energy-rich country should have to endure this sort of life. Who will save us from this poverty trap? Well, since Scotland has laid claim to some of the most inspirational and strong women in history, I say you can.

Women are the glue between the bricks of every household in this great nation and with inflation hitting a 40-year high and energy prices due to rise in the Autumn, we must stand united together to make sure this next wave of misery leaves no one homeless.

Last month was a sad month as we lost one of our greatest members of the sisterhood - the redoubtable Winnie Ewing. Winnie is best known for saying: "Stop the world, Scotland wants to get on.” 

But she also said: “Time after time, on matters great and small, we are still standing on the sidelines, mutely accepting what is decided elsewhere instead of raising our voices and making our own choices.”

Let us all stand strong and be Winnie. Of course, Scotland can become independent but we can’t endure the shenanigans of another Westminster Government whether it be Labour or Tory or even a combination of both!

See you all on Sunday, August 20 at 5pm - don’t forget to register for our women-only meeting BEFORE noon on the same day to get your exclusive link.

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