International Youth Day
Throughout the centuries, the golden thread of Scottish sovereignty has passed from one generation to the next. Through radical thought and deed, young Scots have always been at the cutting edge of the national movement.
William Wallace was 27 when he first raised his sword in defence of the Scottish nation. Robert the Bruce was 22 when he joined the resistance against the English occupation of Scotland. Thomas Muir was 26 when he organised the Scottish Society of the Friends of the People, for which he was charged, convicted, and transported for the crime of sedition. It was a group of Scottish students aged in their mid-twenties who liberated the Stone of Destiny from Westminster Abbey in 1950.
Inspiring figures from Scotland’s past have played an integral part in defining the character of the Scottish nation through their own heroic examples, and while the struggle for independence continues, inspirational figures are needed once more.
The defining political struggle for previous generations of Scottish activists was the noble and just pursuit of a devolved parliament for Scotland. However, several generations have passed since this was achieved, and it is certain that post-2014, independence is the issue which defines Scottish politics more than any other.
It is no coincidence that younger demographics of Scottish voters are the most in favour of independence, for even though independence would improve the lives of every resident of Scotland, the young stand to gain the most from it.
All of us alive today who have been born and raised in Scotland, were born into a society without the ability to determine its own future, under the rule of Westminster. The youngest of us have experienced our formative years in a United Kingdom still inebriated by Thatcherite ideology, where the threats associated with war, poverty and disease have loomed large.
ALBA recognises the importance of the engagement of young people within the national movement. The ALBA Youth was founded in the summer of 2021, and since then has gone from strength to strength, having made numerous contributions to party policy and with a growing membership.
ALBA proposes a bold and courageous vision for a new and fair Scotland, with the health and well-being of the nation as an utmost priority.
As well as ALBA’s 5 Point Plan to alleviate poverty, we support a 50% reduction in household energy bills, further financial support for Scottish students, a complete overhaul of welfare and social security aimed at providing a more compassionate service, increasing the rate of the Carers Allowance, and the provision of a package of services aimed at effectively tackling the scourge of addiction, as well as a Scotland free of nuclear weapons.
Affordable homes, good jobs, and a wage on which you can live well are components of life which are essential, however, for many in Scotland, these are things which remain aspirational. In the Scotland that ALBA seeks to create, every resident of Scotland will be entitled to these things as a right.
Independence must usher in a golden age of prosperity, learning, as well as cultural and artistic expression. A society where talents are nurtured and made to flourish, allowing all to reach the limits of their human potential in the hope that they will use their skills and abilities to make a positive contribution towards shaping what will be our burgeoning young country reborn.
Never again will Scots face the burden associated with another global crisis being thrust upon us without the unfettered ability to govern ourselves, and to tailor policy specifically to suit the needs of the Scottish people.
We must create a society where the ordinary Scot is politically in the driver’s seat, with an independent government which is accountable to the electorate of this nation and where the people directly benefit from Scotland’s enormous natural wealth.
The final chapter of the story of Scotland’s journey to self-determination is yet to be written, and in it new characters will emerge whose names will become synonymous with the national cause which they helped to bring to a successful conclusion, and with the nation itself which they fought to save.
In making our vision for the Scotland that we seek a reality, it is imperative that we harness the human potential, vigour, and enthusiasm of our youth.
Yours for Scotland,
ALBA Youth, Secretary