Photo Oor Eva Comrie whose speech on poverty raised the rafters.
It really was quite remarkable
Last weekend saw the. Inaugural conference of the six month old Alba Party. Maliciously the First Minister of Scotland acted immediately the dates of the Alba Conference was declared to announce that the SNP would convene an SNP ONLINE CONFERENCE over the same dates.
Her intentions were clear. This would swamp the smaller Party’s conference, shut out all media attention and display the SNP’s total domination of the Independence debate.
The yawning gaps in this strategy were numerous and one by one they played out over the weekend. For instance if you wanted to debate Independence strategy and tactics that was only available at one Conference, the Alba one. Secondly as both Conferences got underway it became clear there were more delegates in person at the ALBA conference than were tuned in online to vote at the SNP Conference. What is more Independence Live who were streaming both conferences and were regularly displaying considerably more people streaming the Alba Conference than the SNP one.
I must admit I was genuinely surprised at how few were tuning in to Nicola’s lastest broadcast until it came to me that at least five hundred of the seven hundred at the Alba Conference were ex active SNP members, the ones who had normally attended SNP Conferences of the past but who no longer trusted the Party to even try to deliver what they had promised. It was a very clear warning sign that it was not just thousands of members lost to Alba by the SNP, it was very much the ACTIVE members that were gone!
Now turning to the Alba Conference itself. What a happy and positive event. I could not be there in person but I watched both days online and it brought back so many happy memories of how politics used to be in Scotland. It was polite and quality debate where both sets of arguments were afforded the opportunity to speak at the rostrum. Where speakers offered those speaking for the other side respect and consideration with no malice or ill temper even though some of the issues being discussed were contentious and problematic. There is no doubt Tasmina’s openness and fair handed chairing of the debates played a significant part in that.
The quality of debate and the range of topics covered was impressive, yes there were a lot of first time speakers but often you would never of known if they had not volunteered that information themselves.
The purpose of a Conference is to create and debate policy but it is also there to familiarize members with their fellow members across the country, to build teams and inspire campaigns and common purpose across Scotland. It is very clear to me, watching online that was achieved in spades.
There were some outstanding speeches that will remain memorable Eva Comrie’s speech on child poverty lifted the rafters in its emotion and power. It also brought a tear to this old man’s eye! The sight of Craig Murray’s wife and little boy reading out Craig’s message to the Conference served to highlight the injustice all too evident in Scotland today. The outright condemnation of the attacks on free speech and our rights to freely demonstrate outside Holyrood resulted in a unanimous vote against this scandal. Over at the SNP however a similar motion only passed by a two to one margin ( I wonder how Nicola voted) but it serves to highlight how many in the SNP would be happy to sacrifice our individual liberties just to back the cult.
These are dangerous people, when individual liberty is so easily tossed aside in favour of political interests there are real risks of fascism developing in our country. No loyalty to ANY political party or leader is worthy if the price of doing so inflicts loss of freedom of speech and choice on others. There are many “civilised” countries, like Germany, Italy and most of Eastern Europe found that out to their cost. They then experienced the huge pain and time involved in winning those freedoms back. In my view the current SNP leadership have come in recent times very close, some would argue have already crossed that line. I know there are still a great many decent people in the SNP and I look to them, and the rest of Scotland to pull the SNP leadership back from such a calamitous road.Separating the powers between the various arms of our Justice System and in particular Police, Crown Office and Government, as a matter of urgency is where it must start. Withdrawing both the Hate Crime Bill and GRA must also follow. This is divisive legislation that will greatly divide Scotland, and destroy the SNP, not that they will believe that coming from me! I no longer worry about them anymore but I am concerned about the great damage this destructive legislation could do to our chances of Independence. Self ID is reckless and very dangerous nonsense.
Back to the Alba Conference, I got diverted there, often happens when dangers to freedom of speech and choice become involved. The Conference ended with a fine Alex Salmond speech. It was vintage Alex, strongly worded, punchy, effective and with no shortage of humour. There is no disguise of his intention or his determination to succeed. God knows he has his enemies because he inspires fear in them. They worry about his abilities, are petrified by his very presence, because he restricts and exposes any potential for them to waver off the path to Independence.
With Alex, particularly when it is revealed who and why those who falsely accused him did so and what their selfish motivation was, will transform that path to Independence into a road, a dual carriage way, a multi lane motorway that will carry all Scotland to freedom.
The last two days with 6000 workers and a ever growing workforce started that road building. Let none stand in our way!
I am, as always
Yours for Scotland.
I am still on holiday but could not let the Alba Conference pass without comment. Well done to all involved.
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