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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  1. I found the unexpected appearance of Gareth Wardell at the podium to be particularly moving
    and so shall place a link here which others may wish to view.

    beginning around 2 hours 41 minutes 58 seconds


    Liked by 16 people

      1. What an inspiring conference. Like you Iain, I was watching on in Greece, not through choice, as I’d rather have been at the conference. But ,due to Brexit I am unable to return to my homeland as, my wife is European and not welcome in Johnson/Patel’s UK.
        Independence can’t come soon enough and I think with Alex at the helm of Alba and all these other passionate wonderful folk I heard speaking I can start to feel optimistic about Scotland again.

        Liked by 15 people

      1. Yes, like others, I did feel that is is inspiring and gives you a lift. But, for me, even better than that, it gives me hope once more. Just when we thought all might be lost because of the SNP. up pops ALBA, and thank goodness for it. It made me realise that I am not a wee lone voice crying in the wilderness. There appears tae be thoosans o’ us. I know it takes time to build a party up again, but man, we’re off to a flyer.

        I see the dear leaderine is to address her troops today and tell them she will ASK, ask mind you, Boris for a referendum. That, as they say, is tune the auld coo died tae. But, aye there’s ay a but, we huv tae wait tae the pandemic is under control and the numbers seem tae suit her. AYE RICHT.

        Nae hope, nae integrity and nae members gon by the nummers at the “conference”. Ah well, hell mend ye.

        Oh aye, I nearly forgot, well done Gareth and Moira the first ;ifetime members of ALBA.

        Liked by 14 people

    1. You got that spot on Iain. Alex Salmond’s speech was like taking us back to 2013/14 in the SNP. Not once did he bad mouth the current Scottish Government, but merely pointed out the facts, on what they should be doing.

      Liked by 10 people

  2. I hope you are enjoying you much deserved holiday Iain, but what a shame you weren’t with us in person this weekend.. It was truly wonderful. It had a very positive atmosphere and all around were people of the same mind for a better Scotland. When we were returning from lunch a Greenock gentleman stopped us and asked if we were from Alba. He then went on to say to please ask Alex Salmond to bring back some hope to Greenock, as their town was desperately struggling. I tried to encourage him to join the Party. He trusts Alex Salmond and so do we. I now feel confident that we are back on the road to an independent Scotland.
    Alba has some truly strong members who will bring others with us. The speeches were incredibly uplifting. We just need the chance for these people to be heard. Eva Comrie, in particular, spoke with such passion about poverty .She wants to make a difference, as do we all. I am now convinced that WE WILL DO IT.

    Liked by 18 people

  3. I cannot fully articulate how uplifting it was to attend the ALBA conference and to see so many old friends from the SNP. It has been difficult to keep going in the drive for Independence these last few years but at last the light at the end of the tunnel is in sight!

    Child Poverty, Independence, unilateral disarmament, A Republic, Women’s Rights, the attack on Civil Liberties, the link between the Crown Office and the Government, The jailing of a journalist, Drugs, Prostitution etc etc

    A road to improving the lives of Scots via the power of Independence being discussed.

    The contrast with Sturgeon’s iron grip on debate could not have been clearer.

    Her latest calls for respectful debate is another insult. Has she forgotten the manner in which London treated the Irish delegation during the talks on Irish Independence?

    I have seen a vision of a better future for the People of Scotland and it did not emerge from Sturgeon’s Cult charade.

    Liked by 18 people

  4. Like the old SNP before it became the Scottish Middle Class and Pseudo Woke Representation Party. Alec Salmond on top form. You can see and hear why they’d want him oot o the road. Nicola still saying that Westminster can’t stand in our way. They’re not. She and her leadership coterie are standing in their own way – and ours.

    Liked by 20 people

  5. I could not attend the conference either for personal reasons but I did catch so,e of the debates and speeches on the live stream. Very open, respectful and inspiring.

    As regards Alex Salmond there is no doubt the Unionists and British Nationalists fear him.The SNP leadership do too. And with good reason.

    For he is an insurgent who puts Scotland’s Cause above all else.

    As you say Iain, once the truth comes out – and there are at least 3 pending cases as far as I am aware – things will change and people will finally see what has actually happened.

    At that point I expect that the SNP leadership will have to pay hell, never mind the MSM, to get out of that bind.

    Liked by 17 people

  6. Watched online but in arrears so numbers may have even been higher than at first appears.
    I also believe that Alba numbers will grow and grow.

    Liked by 10 people

  7. Iain, I hope you are having a great hol in Greece as far as I am concerned it is well deserved.

    The Alba conference was excellent. What a contrast to the SNP. Every time I tuned in it showed a clock – then I statrted to think it was a clock counting down the time Sturgeon and her gang will be in power. Can’t come quick enough for me.

    Liked by 12 people

  8. It was just wonderful to be there. The beaming faces, the sore hands from clapping, the tears in many people’s eyes, the standing ovations, the respectful and polite debates (Neil Hanvey excelled here), the buzz around the hall as people chatted like old friends with weel kent faces and strangers alike; all served to rekindle the enthusiasm, the determination to restore independence to our country.

    Liked by 15 people

  9. With regard to the conference dates, the petty, paranoid, narcissistic spite of NS, was displayed yet again.
    I am of the confirmed opinion, that a great many SNP folk are in denial. Seriously !
    They must know that the evidence is stacking-up against NS, but this is so distressing, that they cannot bring themselves to acknowledge the stark reality.
    It nearly broke my heart, to leave the SNP, after 42 years as an activist member.
    The SNP, has become the NSP (Nicola Sturgeon Cult).
    How many SNP members can rhyme-off the names of the government ministers ?
    Damned few.
    It’s all The NICOLA show.
    And she has the sheer, damn gall, to whine about Eck’s “ego” !
    She has set us back at least two decades.

    Liked by 16 people

    1. Have to agree but please not two decades I surely don’t have that much time left – though i may surprise myself and God!

      Liked by 9 people

      1. Hi All.

        Because of disability I
        was unable to attend but what I saw and heard filled me with hope that my grandchildren at least, will are an Independent Scotland even if I don’t.

        I sincerely wish Scotland every good wish that they achieve what is theirs by right and that the truth will out, to the detriment of Nikolai and Pyotr.

        Liked by 11 people

  10. Scotland’s democracy and culture are in serious jeopardy from English fascism (Brexit), and the FM is doing all she can to keep Scots law aligned with the neo-liberal neo-conservatism of ‘our’ new and improved British constitutionalism. So either she’s a right wrong un, or she’s not got much of skooby about how to support open and sustainable democracy.

    The intersectional body – an embodiment perspective on differentiated experiences

    Liked by 2 people

  11. So Nikla asked for a spirit of cooperation for indy ref 2. Guess what according to the Guardian –

    “Downing Street dismissed Nicola Sturgeon’s request for Boris Johnson to let Scotland hold a second independence referendum in a “spirit of cooperation”. (See 11.08am.) Asked how Boris Johnson would respond to her request, the prime minister’s spokesman said:

    We’ve said this many times before – ministers and officials across all the UK government departments are focusing on tackling the Covid-19 pandemic and supporting the economic recovery. Scottish people have been clear they want to see the UK government and the devolved Scottish government working together to defeat this pandemic, That’s our priority.”

    It’s a pantomime between the pair of them. I’ll ask; you’ll say naw; I’ll do nothing but the sheeple will be happy cos I’ve mentioned a referendum. No thanks. I prefer real action towards indy not performance politics

    Liked by 16 people

  12. Highly anticipated with nobody let down; the-mother-of-all inaugural party, political conferences in Scotland in my lifetime, I would say. A real achievement!

    Liked by 14 people

  13. I too was so impressed by the speeches, such compassion true commpassion. I was in tears a lot over the pride I feel for Scotland and the determination of the Alba party and its members. Alex as usual so laid back but, what a man . I feel so much more positive there is hope for Scotland. We will overcome. YES Alba YES Scotland. Saor Alba.

    Liked by 13 people

  14. I LOVED the display of National front pages, that was a classic Alex Salmond touch but I enjoyed all the sections I managed to tune into online – other highlights being Craig’s wife and son who were dignity personified, Moira and Gareth accepting their honoray memberships and Eva who is just a hero of mine (I used to work in children’s services)

    We were supposed to be going to the Conference, but something else cropped up, which then was cancelled but by then it was too late to get tickets – however the online stream was so well done I felt I didn’t miss anything including the atmosphere of hope and joy. I loved the cheer which went up when it was announced that Stu Campbell would be editing the Wee Alba Book

    So, onwards, onwards to Independence – without a backwards glance to the “party of independence” I was a member of for years

    Liked by 12 people

  15. Watching some of the Alba conference it brought me a sense of hope that independence can still be on the cards, it was so refreshing to listen to Alex Salmond speak and say we must have indy without the, we have this or that first or kowtow to Johnson that we need his permission first.

    Salmond is a statesman next to Sturgeon’s journeyman, and how it shows.

    Liked by 12 people

  16. Sorry you couldn’t make it Iain – I was going to say say you missed a cracker – but the online coverage from what you and other folks have written above seems to have conveyed the great atmosphere and sense of hope – a feeling sadly lacking until the arrival of ALBA

    I was fortunate enough to attend in person – my first ever party conference at the tender age of 68! and despite my 36+ years of SNP membership!

    It was a wonderful uplifting event with inspiring speeches and a clearly well-informed and politically switched-on set of delegates – young and old, new and seasoned, men and WOMEN!!!

    And what a set of foundation policies to get us going.

    As others have stated – no wonder they tried (and thankfully failed) to bring down Alex Salmond – formidable is an understatement.

    He is clearly head and shoulders above any politician in these Islands -although the conference revealed an array of talent – young, and-not-so-young, that bodes well for the future. People with real insight, and real-world knowledge and expertise – and above all: A TOTAL UNSWERVING DEDICATION TO INDEPENDENCE, FIRST AND LAST.

    There was real debate, genuine passion and complete respect – disagreement without rancour – dissent without retribution – unrehearsed and no stage-management – true and genuine. Organic.

    Old hands told me it was like being back at SNP conferences of old – before the party was stolen.

    Liked by 9 people

  17. Even just watching some of the Alba conference online felt like a galvanizing experience! Alex Salmond was reliably on point and on fire and the kid gloves are definitely off with regards his past party and its leader. But there were plenty of other passionate and astute speakers too. In short it reminded me of the hope, passion and spirit I once saw when I joined the SNP right after the referendum (having been a voter since coming of voting age in the early 90s). It’s easy to lose hope at times with the current SNP leadership so it’s especially welcome to be reminded that passionate, people with genuine vision are still out there and may the numbers rise!

    Liked by 7 people

  18. The Alba Conference – “Back to the Future” you have Sturgeon on the ropes, now don’t let the opportunity slip, give her that killer blow. The up and coming local elections could be the one, count her out for ten.

    Liked by 10 people

  19. So Boris rejects Sturgeon’s ‘cooperation’ plea? There was me thinking she was colluding, not cooperating. Anyway, now she’s been told to GTF, is she going to use her legal muscle i.e. the Unionist run sham of ‘Scottish Law’ to appeal to whom?..the illegal Supreme Court, with two Scotch placemen on it? Aye ..stroll on…

    Liked by 8 people

    1. It is colluding not cooperating, this is all politics, Sturgeon and her cohort have hijacked the SNP party, and Yes, all they want is to keep themselves in power. Sturgeon has no intention of calling indiref2 she will string it out as long as she can. she is now talking about indiref2 in three years, what is happening in three years in three years? the run into the General Election, “Vote SNP for a strong mandate for independence – when we see the end of coronavirus, when we have the recovery after coronavirus, Then Boris will give us a section 30 order (stop laughing at the back there) when…….get real. If the SNP members really what to take back control of their party they have to send Sturgeon a clear message at the local election by abstaining or voting for “anyone but the above”. There is nothing wrong with the SNP party that can not be fixed once Sturgeon has gone. on Christmas Day in the trenches of the First World War soldiers from both sides came out into No-mans-land and wished each other a Merry Christmas. the SNP membership is like those soldiers they would have been willing to bring those that deserted over to the Alba party into the Holyrood chamber to sit alongside them “Brothers in Arms” Sturgeon did all in her power to stop that from happening – even to the point of “vote SNP- SNP knowing that this would only allow the Tories back in on the list, I ask again colluding of cooperating?

      Liked by 2 people

  20. Very much enjoyed the conference (remotely). I wholeheartedly agree re Eva Comrie. What a difference seeing someone with fire in the belly. A very rousing speech, straight from the heart.

    It is so important as you mentioned to remember that there are a lot of good people in the SNP really trying to push really progressive policies – e.g Job Guarantee, national power company (even though the leadership tried to drop it), and of course there are many completely committed to independence and believe that they can make the SNP deliver it. We must positively encourage these folk every step of the way.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. You are right to say there are a lot of good people in the SNP and Alex was right to point this out in his speech when he said we should not try to run down the SNP but talk up Scotland. for we are all Jock Tampson’s Bairns.

      Liked by 2 people

  21. ”..particularly when it is revealed who and why those who falsely accused him did so and what their selfish motivation was..”. Let it be soon.

    Liked by 6 people

  22. “you would never of known…” have known..? just a wee bug bear of mine.. 🙂 Inspiring stuff form Eva et al, #ALBARISING

    Liked by 3 people

  23. I endorse the praise that everyone is putting forward for Alex , Eva and all at the conference I watched online as others did and it was uplifting to hear so much positivity

    I know there are many ex SNP members now with ALBA and they are distraught at what Sturgeon has done to their party but without being argumentative, reality means that the membership must take responsibility for what has happened , their blind acceptance and failure to expose the rot has led to this situation , this blind acceptance and celebrity worship must be stopped by the membership because it will just replicate and mirror the SNP . There are evil people out there who will manipulate , lie and portray themselves as staunch independenistas and socially responsible and caring people , but the membership will have to see through these actors and weed them out or we will end up fighting a regurgitated GRA and HCB with all the destruction that will entail

    Many say that there are still good people within the SNP , not being facetious WHERE are they , apart from Angus McNeil no one not even Joanna Cherry is opposing Sturgeon , where are the floor crossers willing to show their integrity and honesty , how can they haud their wheesht when Sturgeon is destroying THEIR PARTY AND COUNTRY, I am not the forgiving type so I consider every one of them as despicable cowards and traitors to Scotland and Scots

    Liked by 3 people

  24. Agree with all comments above. Onwards and upwards with ALBA.
    But on the issue of NS asking for permission to hold a referendum. . . Is this not perhaps their plan:
    talk up going for and having a referendum, but not really for Independence.
    Is it not probable that this corrupted party would want to lose another referendum.
    That’s my nagging doubt about them for this last wee while.

    Liked by 2 people

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