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ALBA NEC Election 2023

At ViveEcosse we always support our contributors in their electoral bids.

This time round it’s the ALBA NEC elections. If you’re struggling on who to vote for, consider supporting fellow ViveEcosse contributors.

Rob Thompson for Organisation Convener

Craig Berry for Ordinary Member

Daniel Jack for Member Support Convener

As always though, with any election, it’s your choice. Good luck to all candidates.


Labour concede election

Question Time in Fort William presented a small glimpse of what may come to be the next chapter of the Scottish Independence partnering, but first we need to look back a bit.

The Scottish Greens found themselves with a lot of power without much real preparation for being saddled with it, sadly this manifested in some of the oddest and widely unpopular legislation the Scottish Parliament has enacted.

Nicola Sturgeon found herself evicted from office in the severely damaging defence and promotion of ideas that found no traction with the electorate. It’ll now come to pass that Sturgeon may also have led the most ineffective and support losing Parliament due in part to the stranglehold the Greens exerted. 

However it’s largely pointless to dwell on what has gone past us and instead focus on the future. 

Humza at some point will have to jettison the old guard – still battering on as though the whole saga was just a bad dream – or be jettisoned himself, there are only really two options available to the SNP just now. 

However what was striking was that Mairi McAllan, who in the past has been a very effective friend and repeater of Nicola Sturgeon has decided to refocus on being more conciliatory and focussing on echoing what people actually say to her. It was amusing to see the change. 

Likewise Alex Salmond, seemed to have risen above any real fight with the SNP, and instead went back to pronouncing the benefits Scotland already has. Watch closely – and if he hadn’t mentioned ALBA, you could be forgiven for thinking he was still in the SNP, the stats and arguments he was making were straight from his former playbook. Indeed they might even be. 

Alex has obviously concluded Humza will sooner or later be forced to exorcise bad omens from the SNP cog-works and has moved a little ahead into the phase where we have one movement, albeit with distinct voices. 

Diverse voices with varying tones and messages is what the movement needed last time round but lacked in the political arena – but enjoyed on the community level. This time round it does seem at least we will enjoy that improvement. 

The standout though – is exactly what will end with the Labour Party (in disbelief), presented in a neat little package by Jackie Baillie. 

You see Jackie went on the attack about how she campaigned in 2019 for remaining within the EU. However thats not Labours current position, it does not seek to solve the European problem, instead as Jackie said, much the same as currently dished up will be delivered by Labour, but with friendlier smiles. 

While the independence movement bolsters on, debating the merits or demerits of full membership, EFTA and single market access – the Labour Party won’t actually have anything with any substance to add. This isn’t going to delivery any fruit to the Labour Party, in part because they can’t help secure the future of fruit workers. 

The electorate will maybe vote Labour in some places as a kick to the Tories but theres no resounding message the Labour Party have found to share. Bereft of talent or substance – it’s the same old folks making the same old noise and Scotland has moved on from it. 

Outrage from Ian Murray followed the day after – he was upset the SNP’s condition of support will be for a referendum on Scottish Independence. 

Amusingly in being aggrieved – Ian Murray had already conceded Labour won’t win the next general election without the SNP’s help. How pathetic. They can’t even pretend they’ll succeed because it’s that unlikely. 

If the only choices of Conservative Party Policy are whether you want the red or blue set – is it any wonder why Labour can’t beat the SNP when it should be at its weakest? Furthermore not expecting to beat a terribly weak Tory performance?

In the next few weeks and months, the SNP will learn some lessons, as will ALBA, they’ll tune and hone.

The SNP have worked out behind the scenes that the Greens are an anchor rather than a propeller. Despite knowing folks like Mairi and Alex share no desire to work together – they’ll find an equitable platform to stand on to push the cause – while Labour languish in the polls. 


A New Hope

A New Hope – Onwards to the next First Minister – ViveEcosse Podcast – Episode 7

Join Allison and Graeme on a tour of todays political news of Nicola Sturgeons resignation and the sequence of events that will follow. We delve into some of the key aspects behind the decision and the potential players and values for the coming weeks.

Podcast available at:


You should follow that through

Despite the SNP suddenly tanking in the polls due to another absolute fumble of legislation.

Today we’ve popped into the odd world where we’re back to attacking and de-selecting our own side in advance of future elections (the ones we’re apparently required to get over 50% of the vote on).

Keeping in mind, apparently all the ‘bad eggs’ had went over to ALBA already – we’ve managed to find another round of them. Which will happen on repeat until eventually the SNP lose an election and Sturgeon is removed as leader.

Stand up against Sturgeon in public or at conference – and – the ministers of government are dispatched to see you out it seems. Question it in private? To who? Her husband?

The 1922 committee may actually be laughable, in the Tory party, but at least it’s effective in removing prime ministers and party leaders when the moment demands it. The SNP have effectively nothing.

Let us be honest also, the legislation thats currently being defended, will be removed much like the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act, whether the ScotGov like it or not. Parliament can remove it quite easily.

However in that article, there is this hilarious line, as some sort of ‘smack down’.

If you’re standing as an SNP candidate at an election on a manifesto, you should stand on that manifesto and you should follow that through.

Shirley-Anne Somerville, February 5th 2023

So I wonder why there isn’t as much heat around another, more concrete manifesto promise? One that the SNP seem to have forgotten, or the First Minister has regulated to second fiddle.

Alas the outcome may be Nicola Sturgeon’s worst nightmare, an exodus of MSPs and MP’s to Alex Salmond’s ALBA.

The larger than usual smile on the former first ministers face in recent campaign pictures tell us that he has an incline his long term bets may be about to land.


Alba, too wee to vote for?

Three weeks ago when down in Castlemilk canvassing for Alba, candidate Kirsty Fraser I had a great conversation with a gentleman whose views I suspect might resonate with a worrying amount of current Scottish voters.

As I introduced myself, while out canvassing for the Alba candidate, he told me that he was an Independence supporter, had voted YES in 2014, had voted for the SNP in every election since but now he thought he would be voting Labour at this by-election.

I had a feeling I knew what reasons were coming but I asked him anyway, why he felt the need to change his vote from the SNP to Labour?

His reply was that he thought Labour were the fastest and only real chance of getting rid of the Tories as the SNP didn’t have the electoral numbers to make real change down in Westminster and crucially, Independence wasn’t something he could see happening in the near future.

The response I gave to his reply was one I’m sure all Independence parties will be using as it’s almost been gifted to us by the Labour party. I asked the gentleman “do you really believe SIR Keir Starmer as Prime Minister would be better than any of the recent Tory PMs or future contenders? Isn’t the clue in the name, SIR Keir of the LABOUR party?

A Labour Party leader who is against his own MPs standing on picket lines, is against the UK joining the EU Single Market and now appears to even be against immigration!

In my view he is also against democracy, as he joins his blue Tory friends in thinking he, who does not live in Scotland, can rule out a democratic referendum for the people here to determine their own future.”

This is where I saw the opportunity to open discussion in Castlemilk on the reason I was there. I asked if he had heard of the Alba Party and if he would consider giving us his vote, rather than Labour. 

I took the chance to explain Alba’s position on Independence, our call for a Constitutional Convention and explained that we believed Independence could happen sooner rather than later with the right strategy and political commitment.

Then came the reply, one I have heard so often and one that prompted me to write this wee blog.

“I agree with what you’re saying but aren’t the Alba Party too small to get enough votes to win or make change?”

I tried to keep my reply short as we’d been chatting a while, I’m a big believer in short sound-bites being better than long essays on the doorstep as they stick in people’s heads when they comes to decide where to place their X at the ballot box.

So the reply I gave was,

“If we’d all thought this way in 1967, the great Winnie Ewing wouldn’t have won her seat in that historic by-election. If we’d thought that way between 2012 and 2014, Independence would still be sitting at 20-30% support.

For real change, not just replacing a blue Tory with a red Tory but removing them all, we need voters to have the courage and confidence shown in 1967 and 2014.

If everyone thinks that there’s no point in voting for Alba because it won’t change anything, then it’s likely nothings will change BUT if enough people find the courage to vote for Alba Party then change will come.

It might not be in this seat but if we increase the vote here we do two things. Firstly we give voter confidence for future votes and secondly, if we keep upping our vote share, we start pressuring other Independence parties to actually take action on Independence because if our vote share goes up they’ll need to be better than us to win these votes back. 

So please don’t buy into ‘a vote for Alba is a wasted vote’ we don’t have to win the seats but if your vote for Alba pushes action and helps the cause of Independence then we are all winners.

In my discussion in Castlemilk it was evident in both what the gentleman was saying and maybe more, in how he was saying it, with a number of sighs in between sentences and a disappointed, exhausted tone in his voice, that he still wanted and believed in Independence but his belief and confidence in it happening soon was lacking.

The two points made in the conversation about Alba Party being too small and Independence not happening, leaving Labour his only options, are opinions that I’ve been hearing more frequently recently.

I would say this to anyone who believes either of these statements,

“Every party is small until it grows.”

“SNP had 6 Mp’s in 2014”

“The summer of Independence campaign grew this to 56 seats, showing that parties can grow and things change very quickly in politics.”

A vote for Alba is by no means a wasted vote, the more support Alba wins, the more pressure is mounted on Scottish and UK Governments to act on Independence.

So to anyone thinking of voting Labour as a better option than the Torys, I say this,

“Labour aren’t the answer. They made their ‘Better Together bed’ in 2014, and shared it with the Tories. They are a British state backed party that will not act in the best interest of the Scottish people.

A Sir Keir Starmer led Labour government would be no different, maybe worse, than the disaster of Blair and Brown.

Going forward I believe the SNP are the main vehicle that can get us our Independence, however their driver (the leadership) seem to have got lost behind the wheel.

If Alba keep raising their share of votes in by-elections and opinion polls it will act as a flashing light on the leaderships dashboard and push for action to be taken.

If action isn’t taken then I am afraid either the driver of the vehicle will need to be changed, or a new vehicle will be needed to complete the journey.

Thankfully Alba are ready to be that new vehicle IF it is required and we even have a roadmap in ‘The Wee Alba Book’.

So if you’re an Independence supporter reading this and you find yourself agreeing, remember you don’t have to be a member of a party to vote for them, campaign for them or discuss them with your friends.

If you believe Alba can bring benefit and progress the cause of Independence then come and join our campaign and find out more.

Our next event is a National Assembly on Independence strategies to plot a way forward.

This is open to members of all parties and none to allow for the necessary wider discussion. 

Feel free to join and have your voice and opinions heard.

To find out more and register your attendance, sign up now.

Strategically, working together we can achieve Independence sooner you might think!