I am one of the new SNP members and I joined because I think that party offers me the best pragmatic fit if I want to keep campaigning in an organised way. I’ve always voted SNP because I wanted independence but I also like and respect the party’s record in government. The part of the campaign I worked on in Aberdeen was linked very closely to the local SNP MSPs and Councillors and I grew to know, like and respect them. I also met some very good people who were members of the SNP but what has really swung it for me is that the independent campaigners, such as myself, that I grew to know and like most of all have pretty much all joined the SNP so if I want to spend time in their circle I kind of had to myself.
That said, I did not join without trepidation. I am more naturally inclined to join the Greens and have a lot of sympathy for the SSP and I have misgivings about becoming part of the very efficient SNP machine. I am used to dancing to my own tune and don’t want to have to support the party for party’s sake. But I am convinced that I have made the right choice because I can always leave the party at any time.
My motivation for joining this party – or any party – is not for the fortunes of the SNP. Nor is it to deliver independence at any cost. Once I might have thought that but now my primary motivator is the restoration of social justice to the large numbers of Scots who are falling off the bottom of society. I believe that independence is the best way to achieve that and, for me, I believe that the SNP is the best place for me to be to help achieve that result.
But I strongly urge that everyone does not join the SNP but also considers the Greens and SSP. Ideally I would like to see a right of centre – LibDem equivalent – pro-indy party form as well because I think we will need that to gain independence any time soon. But whichever party you join, please ensure that your party members agree to cooperation between all the indy parties and put aside party fortunes in favour of delivering the ultimate prize, complete sovereignty for our people.
In today’s much-anticipated statement to the Scottish Parliament, Alex Salmond hailed a new democratic Enlightenment:
“When Donald Dewar spoke at the opening of this Parliament in 1999, he reflected at one point on the discourse of the Scottish Enlightenment, as an echo from the past which helped to shape modern Scotland. What we have seen in the last two years is a new discourse of democratic enlightenment. Scotland now has the most politically engaged population in Western Europe, and one of the most engaged of any country anywhere in the world.”
The question is, what do we do with our new-found passion? I’m not alone in feeling determined to keep my eyes wide open, and refuse to slip back into the darkness of apathy.
A number of Yessers have united under the badge ’45’, which of course is referenced in the title of this blog. It’s attracted excitement and criticism in almost equal measure, so…
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