Weekly Update

Well last week in Scottish Politics was interesting! I’m not ruling out more of the same this week, yet. 

The All Under One Banner march in Glasgow on Saturday was our first chance to show that the cause of independence can get back on the front foot regardless of the shenanigans at the Scottish Parliament.

Speaking for ALBA, was our Depute Leader Kenny MacAskill MP, whose determined parliamentary campaign to save Grangemouth Refinery has attracted such admiration from the shop stewards and the wider public.

Kenny MacAskill was joined by a strong contingent of Alba Party members, including our leader Alex Salmond behind our  “Save Grangemouth” banner. 

Last week ALBA MSP Ash Regan attempted to save Humza Yousaf’s First Ministership after his dramatic bust up with the Greens. This was in return for the most reasonable of proposals. As Ash told us all last week, these were: Independence restored as a top priority of Government; Protection of the rights of women and girls; and a return to the “people’s agenda” of competent government and a focus on housing, health, education and jobs.

Unfortunately, despite offering Ash a meeting to discuss these in Bute House, Humza was dissuaded from the talks by an old guard in the SNP who would rather sacrifice their own First Minister than accept ALBA’s independence agenda. Thus Humza was forced out by the Greens lining up with the Tories in the Parliament. I’m no longer a member of the SNP but surely I can’t be the only nationalist that thought it was appalling to see certain SNP MSPs holding hands with the Greens,  patting them on the back, as they returned to business as usual after the Greens had removed their SNP leader from the office of First Minister? 

The important point now is that the new First Minister does not change the arithmetic of minority Government and Ash Regan remains in an influential position. She has made it clear that she is always willing to listen to proposals which advance the cause of Scotland and independence. Ash’s positive and steady approach to the parliamentary drama has won ALBA many new members over the last week.

Let’s make sure we give all our new members a great welcome at our Spring Campaign Conference on Saturday. If you’ve get to secure your delegate pass then please do so as soon as possible. 

Our preparations for the General Election continue apace and our candidates are being announced every week. Such has been the enthusiasm of candidates coming forward as shown at the adoption meetings already held in Aberdeen and Kirkcaldy, we will now substantially exceed our target of 12 candidates. 

ALBA as a Party at the behest of the YES movement spent the last year asking the SNP to stand on a Scotland United platform with a single independence candidate in each constituency seeking a direct mandate for independence. 

Despite the overwhelming popularity of that position across the independence movement and substantial support amongst the SNP membership our offer was rebuffed by the SNP leadership. They have opted for a go-it-alone approach and are not standing on an independence platform but on an anti-Tory one. In deserting an independence election strategy they are winding the political clock back some forty years before independence became a serious proposition.

ALBA Party’s route to independence, as backed by a gathering of the independence movement, is to seek an election mandate at each and every election combined with Ash Regan MSP’s proposal to legislate for a referendum to allow people to extend the powers of the Scottish Parliament to include the independence decision. This is the democratic combination which can take Scotland forward and indeed the only coherent independence strategy being presented to the people.

Today we will be announcing ALBA candidates for not one but BOTH seats in the great city of Dundee. In the days and week’s to come we will be taking the ALBA Party case for independence to constituencies the length and breadth of Scotland. 

Let’s get behind our ALBA candidates as the only Party appealing for a direct popular mandate for independence.


Chris McEleny 

General Secretary

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