Independence Movement Must Focus on Issues That Matter to the People of Scotland
SALMOND: Independence movement must focus on issues that matter to the people of Scotland
“The independence movement should be focusing on issues such as fuel poor Scots living in a land of energy plenty and our right to self determination as opposed to the Scottish Government’s fixation on Gender politics. ”
Former First Minister and ALBA Party Leader Alex Salmond has said that there will be no turning back for Nicola Sturgeon if she continues to press ahead with her dogmatic support of Gender “Self-ID”.
Salmond says that his successor is “standing at the Rubicon and if the First Minister continued to wade her way across by initiating legal action in pursuit of her gender self ID policy then there will be no turning back from the damage this will inflict on the independence movement”.
In a speech today (Saturday) at National Council meeting of his party in Ayr Salmond urged the independence movement to get back on track by focusing on “issues of the real lived experience of Scots such as the obscenity that Scotland is an energy rich nation but our people are living in fuel poverty”.
Salmond’s party have been vocal critics of the Scottish Government’s Gender Reform Bill that, following the Haldane court ruling in December, would have allowed anyone to change their legal sex through a process of self identification. Recent opinion polling shows that a majority of Scots are opposed to the Scottish Government’s policy.
ALBA Party say it is time for the Scottish Government to ditch the most controversial proposals of their Bill, take on board the sensible amendments that were previously rejected by the Scottish Government, abandon the threatened legal action against the UK Government and to move the independence debate back onto the ground of issues that rally support across Scotland.
Speaking today to ALBA Party members, former First Minister and ALBA Party Leader Alex Salmond said;
“ Of all the issues to pitch a tent for a constitutional battle with Westminster, Gender Self-Identification should not be one of them. Our inalienable right to Self-Determination and the absurd situation that people across Scotland are struggling to pay their electricity and gas bills when we live in a land of energy plenty are the issues to fight that battle on.
“ The job of those trusted with the leadership of the independence movement is to build a coalition of people from across Scotland, from all backgrounds, that leads to a majority of people in favour of Scottish independence.
“ This strategy served us well for many years. However, the recent obsession with the issue of self-identification risks completely losing the trust of a large section women’s rights campaigners when it comes to the constitutional issue.
There are many issues where Scotland should be directly challenging Westminster. This debate is not one of them.
“ The Scottish Government have a choice. They can accept the damage that this policy is causing, they can reflect on the valid concerns that were raised and adopt the sensible safeguarding proposals that were put forward by the nine SNP rebel MSPs and then move the independence debate back onto high ground or they can choose to make this issue the Rubicon that they cross by ploughing ahead with legal action to challenge Westminster.
Such a legal action would be costly in scarce public funds and politically punitive in throwing away support for independence. Given that they are now in headlong retreat from the implications of their own policy as regards the prison estate, it would be nonsensical to base a legal and constitutional challenge upon it.
The First Minister must by now be aware that if her Government continues to progress a policy that is rejected by an overwhelming majority of people in Scotland, then there will be no turning back from the damage this will do to the cause of Scottish independence.
“ Right now we have a situation that millions of people are struggling to pay their electricity and gas bills in Scotland when they know we are a land that is many times self sufficient in oil and gas, and where we already generate enough electricity through clean, green and affordable renewables to power every home and much more. This is the ground on which we should challenge Westminster rule and this is the sort of argument that increases support for Scottish independence.
“ It’s time for the Scottish Government to reflect, take on board the concerns of the country and get back to the job of building support for independence- and providing the political strategy to deliver it.”