After the latest block by the Scottish Government to allowing any of Alex Salmond’s evidence to be presented to the Inquiry, in absolute horror at the dishonesty and injustice of it I resolved that I could no longer vote SNP in May, after 35 years of doing so at every election.
Over the weekend I have had time to reconsider as I recognised this would make it impossible to support George Adam in that contest and that would be hugely unfair on George because he deserves that vote. Why? Because he is a fine MSP, hardworking and he represents our town very well. He has also been a friend for decades as is his wife Stacey who always supports George to her fullest ability. It is a good deal for Paisley, a two for one offer as they both love this town, and our football team and devote their lives to making both better. St Mirren in 6th place suggests its working!
So I will vote SNP with my constituency vote. I will not vote SNP with my list vote because I have no wish to throw it away needlessly. I don’t know yet what I will do with it but I do know that at the last election the SNP did not get a single list seat in this region and with the polls being better this time round the chances of winning one with SNP list votes is as close to nil as possible. I would rather use it to reduce the chances of a unionist MSP getting elected unnecessarily.
I find the debate over list voting quite simple to understand. Both votes SNP is undoubtedly the best tactic for the SNP. They don’t want voters to think they can advance Independence by voting for anyone else other than the SNP. They think they have a monopoly on Independence. To be fair they have had, until now! This election has the potential to be very different. Both votes SNP is good for the SNP but not so much for Independence is a growing realisation amongst the electorate.
Now on the constituency vote the SNP are safe, there is no time to build a pro Independence alternative this time round. If there was I would think it could happen. The SNP under Nicola Sturgeon has lost its way, promoting dangerous policies above the issue that was the driving force of the .Party, Independence. People have lost trust. Nicola has also lost the plot sacking or not utilising her most effective MP’s and replacing them with people of much lesser ability. She seems concerned only in defending and promoting a motley crew of biology deniers while ignoring their destructive and divisive effect on the rest of the Party. Then there is the missing money? Where is it? Weeks pass, if there was a genuine explanation I would have thought we would have heard it by now. We haven’t, so it is increasingly likely that both the ring fence and the almost 600k is gone. It is going to be difficult to convince people to donate again, in advance of the May election if this “mystery” has not been resolved in advance.
There are some pro Indy alternatives available on the list although none as yet seem viable, lacking both the credible leadership and finances to compete effectively to become the recognised opposition. A potential goal for a serious list Party with the right leadership and finances could make that happen.
The fact that we are discussing the prospects of other pro Independence parties developing would have been unheard of in all the post WW2 years of the SNP’s history until now. It is a measure of the SNP failure to drive on with Independence that there are already several pro Indy parties emerging. Fans of the Nicola can do no wrong faction might like to consider why this development of new pro Indy parties emerging has only happened under her leadership, when all previous SNP leaders, going back decades, never once ever faced this type of problem. Why is it happening now? What has gone wrong are good questions to ask?
Folk are realising that being handed the leadership when the SNP were riding a wave, with membership over 100k plus, the unionist opposition in tatters, the Independence Movement has been moving backwards ever since. It has been a strategy free period, devoid of any effective tactics, all energies devoted to staying in power in a risk free environment where the repackaging of the discredited S30 option into a new, more fancy 11 point presentation, cannot disguise the rotting carcass of the original proposal inside. It has no chance of ever being delivered but the pretense goes on. It has to, she has nothing else. Her focus is based on gender politics, that is her priority, alongside introducing major centralizing powers that kick ordinary members and branches into the sidelines, stuffing the NEC with her range of minority interests who have no interest in Independence but have a very determined alternative policy platform of issues that are anathema to the bulk of the membership.
Nobody, including me denies that her communication skills are excellent, her management is confident and effective, all important as a First Minister but as the head of a radical movement seeking Independence she has major weaknesses. Firstly she is far too busy, she has far too much on her plate to devote the time and energy required to fill that role. It is far too important a role than to have it in the hands of a part timer, even if I could be persuaded to believe it was her abiding ambition to deliver Independence.
Meantime her husband has failed to make the improvements in party organisation that have been required to handle the huge influx of new members. Now, as the membership is rapidly reducing in the face of a major reaction from the membership over increasing concerns about corruption and dishonesty, considerable anger over how Alex Salmond has been treated, the NEC VOTE to take control of the number one spot in every region of the country reserving the places for Bame/ Disabled candidates and the Self ID MOVES on gender and disablement, accompanied by the sacking of Joanna Cherry and now Neale Hanvey, that level of dissatisfaction amongst members is increasingly apparent and growing.
Nicola the infallible has lost control and is displaying serious bad judgement, making a panicky video over a handful of youngsters crying over their cereal while ignoring the tens of thousands, many of them long term members and funders of the Party that have left, unnoticed by the leader.
I got a phone call from a MSP when I was in the middle of writing this article. He/she had read me saying I was not going to vote SNP with my first vote. He/she was phoning to remind me Nicola Sturgeon was not the SNP and I should not let her actions stop me voting for the Party that I had supported for decades. His/her exact words were “the SNP will be here long after Nicola Sturgeon has been and gone”.
He/she was right, opposition against the actions of the leader should not stop me supporting a Party that includes so many good people but let me be clear my support for the SNP in May is because of those other people and the cause of Scottish Independence. It is not for Nicola Sturgeon and her gender based agenda, nor her Hate Crime Bill or her centralizing agenda at the expense of the ordinary membership. The fact that I need to keep that MSP contact secret tells you everything you need to know about Nicola’s siege mentality and her fondness for sacking people who do not fawn at her every word. By the way George Adam had no knowledge I was writing this article either before his neck is on the chopping block as well.
Things are very difficult for Nicola Sturgeon at the moment but they are as nothing to winning in May then continuing the do nothing strategy on Independence. If she tries that then her end will have become very close indeed. We deserve better.
I am, as always
Yours for Independence.
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