What an interesting few weeks it has been in Scottish politics. As I write this newsletter, I feel that it’s quite possible that anything I type about the immediate situation could be rendered out of date by tomorrow.
We appear to be entering a new phase of our campaign to keep Scotland secure in the UK, but those of us who want Scotland to remain in the UK should not be complacent – there is plenty to do before we can truly put the matter to bed for a generation at least. To that end, I would like to share with you, our supporters, some thoughts on the future and on our approach to this next phase. Despite the nationalists’ current issues, it’s not over yet.
I am cautiously optimistic that the next few years could see three mutually reinforcing conditions come to pass. The first and most important is that support for the UK continues to increase in Scotland. In the same timeframe, I hope that we will also see the SNP lose seats at Westminster, and the nationalists out of power in Holyrood. If enough people and the right organisations work towards creating these three conditions, they will happen, and at that point we may at last be able to relax somewhat.
We all need to play our parts in making this happen. Scotland in Union will help, through political activity and through making a positive case for the UK, sharing information with people so that they can share it further. We had a good example of this sharing the other day, when one of our supporters asked for some facts and figures to help with asking questions of a nationalist, and we were able to send them something quickly to help. I have included a link that document here, to share it with all of you as well.
We want to work on taking this kind of information and distilling it and simplifying it into certain key points, so that it can be shared more widely. We’ll also update it when new information becomes available, and we’ll share that information in the media and on social media. This will help to build support for the UK, in the longer term.
We will also be active when elections come around, so that we can help to reduce the number of nationalist politicians in Scotland, whether that is in Holyrood or at Westminster. Replacing nationalist obsessives with politicians who want to focus on areas which matter to people every day will improve lives in Scotland, as well as strengthening the union. To that end, we expect to support people who want to vote tactically, as we have done previously. It’s worth noting that in every UK Parliament constituency in Scotland, at present the SNP are first or second – testament to their previous influence, but also evidence that people who want to see the back of the nationalists can vote tactically with reasonable confidence that they’re not depriving their ‘usual’ party of a seat at Westminster.
We are making progress with the work aligned to our ’20 for 20’ campaign, doing the groundwork for a future election, thanks to the kind donations of so many of you. Of course, it is possible that we will see a Holyrood election before a UK general election if Humza Yousaf and the SNP carry on as they have in the last few weeks. If that happens, we will be ready for it as well. We will also be ready for the moment when Margaret Ferrier either finally does the right thing (don’t hold your breath) or is forced to resign, triggering a by-election in Rutherglen. There are many paths and many possibilities at the moment, and Scotland in Union stands ready, however things pan out.
That said, we do still need more resources for polling, media work, graphic design, social media advertisements and traditional leafleting and street stalls. Please help us to do more, if you can. I have included a link our latest ‘prospectus’, which highlights some of our work and explains how we could use more resources. Please take a look – and please pass it on to others!
Also on the subject of key constituencies, congratulations to our Chief Executive, Pamela Nash, on being selected as the Labour candidate for the UK Parliament constituency of Motherwell and Wishaw. The Scotland in Union Board are fully supportive, and echo my congratulations. Pamela will be a fantastic candidate in a key target constituency which is a contest between the SNP and Labour. At the same time, we will make sure that Scotland in Union remains non-aligned as an organisation, and that we can continue to work with all the political parties, and people with no party affiliation. You can expect to hear more from us in this vein in due course. In the meanwhile, I hope you will join me in congratulating Pamela, and in looking forward to her winning the seat from the nationalists when the time comes.
As we move into the new phase of politics which I referred to above, now is the time to redouble our efforts, not to sit back complacently. We need to help people to turn away from narrow nationalism and to support parties, politicians and organisations which promote working together across the UK rather than constantly stirring up confrontation and trying to divide us. We are optimistic for the future, but there is a lot of work still to do. Thank you for your support to our campaign so far, and please maintain that support so that we can play our part in keeping Scotland secure in the UK, and building that security for the longer term.
If you can support our work, please do so at https://www.scotlandinunion.co.uk/donate, or click the button below. And please spread the word – tell others about SIU and our campaign!
With many thanks for your continued support.
Director, Scotland in Union