Dear FM candidate,
It’s been a bad time for Scotland since 2014; a sair fecht as some might say. Conversely it’s been a purple patch for the SNP. From the famous victory in 2015 where 56 SNP MPs were put into Westminster, to election win after election win; 2014 – 2023 has truly been the high water mark of the SNP’s history.
And yet. It has also been a missed opportunity. It’s hard to think of a more ruinous policy to the UK than Brexit. We have not seen hardship like this since the 30’s, between falling trade and energy prices crippling the poor and the ordinary working class alike. People in Scotland are united in wanting change and they put their trust in your party to deliver. It’s time to do that.
We are a small party. We understand that independence is not going to happen without you, and yet, you are not sufficient on your own either. We would like to humbly present a few suggestions for your consideration as you campaign for the leadership of the SNP.
Firstly, there is strength in numbers. Numbers of indy parties that is. Our voting system is a multi party system. It favours diversity and discriminates against single party systems. That is something the unionist parties have understood and have used it to persist in Holyrood. You have to reach out to us, and other indy parties if we are going to get independence. We don’t agree on everything; however, we do all agree on indy. Use it.
While we’re on that subject, stop cancelling people who disagree with you. It’s not a good look to whip people of faith into voting against their conscience, or attack them for their beliefs. It’s not the vote winner you think it is. The Labour party and other socialist parties draw much of their tradition and backbone from people of Christian faith and their teachings on the poor; it is also a feature of Islam, Sikhism, Judaism, Hinduism and other world religions.
In many communities, people of faith are picking up the pieces of the current all- out assault on the poor and providing relief and companionship to the afflicted. Attacking them makes you look boorish and ignorant. Yes, you don’t agree with them on marriage or sex. Have free votes on such topics, like we used to, and don’t sweat it.
Secondly, it’s time to draw a line under some policies and resurrect others. GRR has been a disaster. Chalk it up to experience and move on. Conversely, you need to move on independence. We don’t mean just talking about it. We mean putting in place the necessary structure to achieve that. You need to big up Social Security Scotland and also bring back proposals for a National Energy Company. If you can, reverse the disastrous sell off of the Scottish seabed. And you need a proper plan for a plebiscite and start to put in place people who know about these things and the constitution. Your enemies have already been working on that. You have natural allies in Salvo and Common Weal – accept their considered and expert help.
Finally, a warning. Time is running out. The SNP became successful by stealing Labour’s clothes; by adopting a centre left approach and being a broad church. Labour are now poised to steal those clothes back. They are confident, ebullient and are only three points behind you in the polls. If you don’t start to implement the promises the SNP made to people – on independence, on poverty and jobs – then people will turn away from you.
Do you remember the march of shame of the Labour MPS up Buchanan St in 2014, when they were accompanied by a chap on a bike playing the Imperial March? There were 41 of them then. Where are they now?
We wish you well. May the best person win. And as a fellow indy supporting party, we offer you our friendship and help in our common goal.
Yours aye for independence,
The Independence for Scotland Party.