Hey everyone Whilst the Labour Party get ready to elect a new Scottish leader you will I hope forgive me if I leave any commenting on that issue to good friends who are members of that particular party such as Jim Monaghan and Pam Duncan who can should either wish to do so write a guest post for tartan tights after official nominations have closed in support of their preferred candidate.
That however is for them to decide on another day. On this one I as a member of the Scottish National Party have an important decision of my own to make. You see whilst Nicola Sturgeon was elected unopposed as a party leader there is a rather intriguing battle for her current job between three very able candidates as Angela Constance, Keith Brown,and Stewart Hosie have all declared their intentions to be Depute Leader of the SNP.
All three candidates are highly respected within the party and known for their commitment to their constituencies and our country, and our cause. All three candidates work tirelessly for the advancement of our country’s interests and all three would make excellent depute leaders of our party whom I would be proud to serve.
By their willingness to put themselves forward for this demanding role each of them has demonstrated they have a commitment to ensuring that not only are Scotland’s interests advanced but a belief that they are the candidate best suited to work with Nicola Sturgeon to build a winning team for Scotland and by doing so ensure both independence movement and especially the Scottish National Party maximise our chances of success the UK General Election in May 2015 and that the Scottish Elections in May 2016 will see the return of a third term SNP Government.
In Keith Brown we have a man who believes in getting things done. The current Transport Minister who was former Housing Minister is MSP for Clackmannan and Dunblane also serves as Veterans Minister. This I know is a post close to the heart of a former Marine who served in 45 commando. Indeed on his appointment to the post of transport minister during that terrible winter of 2010 it is rumoured that the certain political opponents having called for the head of his predecessor Stewart Stevenson openly admitted they wished they hadn’t bothered as Keith a man they secretly respect wouldn’t take the same nonsense. It is this no nonsense approach which some people may feel would be an asset to Nicola in her new role and he would if called upon be a great asset at First Minister where I believe he would give a more than capable account of himself.
In Stewart Hosie we have a man of stature who was an excellent asset to the Yes campaign in the televised panel debates in the run up to the Independence referendum. MP for Dundee East since 2005 when he gained the seat from a very popular Labour MP in John McAillion, Stewart the party’s finance spokesman at Westminster has added a considerable and powerful voice to the party in the so-called Mother of Parliaments and it is for that very reason he will be needed more than ever in Westminster where Scotland is so often ignored.
I say this because his experience will be invaluable to the new SNP members of parliament I fully expect to send to Westminster as a result of the 2015 General Election when I believe we will send between 12 and 18 MP’s to make sure our voice is heard and our interests respected not abandoned and neglected as has happened so often in the past.
As we double or potentially treble our number of MP’s we are going to need to someone like Stewart to provide support and practical assistance to the new members as Westminster can be a very daunting and some would say hostile environment for newcomers of any party.
With regards to this particular role it is one for which Stewart is ideally suited as in former roles of national secretary and national organiser Stewart helped build the grassroots campaigning side of the party and I believe this demonstrates a man who has all the skills required to be an excellent Depute Leader of the party if selected.
Having given both Keith and Stewart the respect they deserve I now have to declare my intention and say I voted for the only woman candidate in the contest Angela Constance.
The MSP for Amber Valley from 2007 my mind was made up from the moment I first saw her campaign video in which she pledged to work for independence with her head, heart, and soul.
Being someone who has always believed in an independent Scotland this emotional appeal really tugged at the heartstrings and from that moment on I was a signed up member of Team Constance. The reasons why I am in Angela’s camp are very simple This talented young minister for Education Skills And Lifelong Learning has vowed not to be distracted from our main goal of achieving independence for our country and the fact Angela has promised to protect the voices of the rank and file party members saying that ‘we must never become like Labour where older or disabled members are asked to make way for the bright young things’ This she says has never been the way of the SNP nor will ever be if she is elected as the party’s Depute Leader. Angela Constance believes in the grassroots of the SNP because she knows as I do that a good party values its membership and takes pride in the fact that it has grown strong through its roots in the community.
Another reason for my support for Angela is the fact that she favours reaching out to those voters who voted no in the referendum but who want to see to more powers for our parliament for Scotland and who especially after recent events may not be persuaded that the unionist parties have either the appetite or political will to deliver them. This group of voters are in my opinion are an important demographic whom the SNP cannot afford to ignore if we want to gain influence at Westminster next year or and in my view more importantly retain power at Hollyrood in 2016. It is I believe all very well to talk about yes alliances but it is perhaps even more important to consider those voters who were not convinced enough to vote yes on this occasion and have the conversation that however uncomfortable it may be could well be the difference between winning independence next time the chance comes round or losing it for decades or may be even centuries to come.
I issue this note of caution because though I believe we will eventually get a second chance to win our independence I can tell you now we will not get a third in fact I would go as far as to say that if we were to reject our independence for a second time it would result in the gradual decline and eventual death of our parliament with full sovereignty handed back to Westminster until they decided to give us our independence whether we wanted it or not.
Yes I know these are heady days for the SNP with membership at the highest level I can remember but it is best to plan for the future from a position of strength and I believe electing Angela Constance as Depute Leader of the SNP is the best way of doing that.
My support for my candidate is based on the fact that she is a Woman who will fight for Scotland with her head, heart and soul. That and that alone is why I voted for Angela Constance as Depute Leader of the SNP as I believe she is the candidate best able to advance the cause of independence. This makes her the candidate whose views are closest to my own. It also makes her the candidate who best understands the value of our activists, the candidate who says that ‘politics is not about parties or policies it’s about people’. You see Angela Constance understands that to win an election you need to be able to appeal to many different sections of society and I believe that her wish to see her son grow up in an independent Scotland will come true because his mum knows how to do exactly that.
Love And Best Wishes