Tele column 28th September 2018

Tomorrow, SNP activists shall be hosting street stalls and door knocking to gauge the opinion of Inverclyde residents on matters concerning the U.K.’s withdrawal from Europe, the Growth Commission and more. We do this on a regular basis but the reason I mention it is we are in conference season. That strange three week period when the political parties take it in turns to get together and blow their own trumpets. While the Conservative Party are singing different songs from different song sheets the Labour Party are marching to the beat of different drums. I feel sorry for activists when their leadership squabble and elected members bicker. Members and candidates jump on and off campaign causes and deliver deliberately vague messages while desperately seeking to identify the populace vote. Of course people can disagree but I get the feeling these manufactured conflicts are more about self-promotion than political idealism. At least when the SNP blow our own trumpets we are all playing the same tune. The SNP was founded to pursue Scotland’s independence and that has not changed. It always has been and always will be our raisin d’etre. But as sections of the media tried to create civil wars within the party, while ignoring the two obvious ones in the Tories and Labour, our resolve hardened. We are the custodians of our nation’s independence and nothing will be allowed to distract from that. Tomorrow’s conversations are part of a continual conversation between the SNP and the people of Scotland. And they are conversations, we are not just talking we are listening too. It’s a methodology we use because we believe it helps politicians engage with citizens. It’s taken us to ten years of government in Scotland and the giddy heights of MSP, MP and a councillor in each ward of the Inverclyde Council. Representation that once upon a time we could only have dreamed. That’s why tomorrow’s conversations are so important, from them we get a glimpse of the Scotland people want and don’t fall into the trap of forcing on them a political menagerie that only serves to support an outdated, crumbling and corrupt union.