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ALBA The New Scottish Political Party

27/03/2021

The former first minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond, made a public announcement on 26 March, 2021 of the launch of Alba Party, a new pro-independence party in Scotland.

This came almost immediately after a Holyrood committee inquiry into Nicola Sturgeon found that she misled the Scottish parliament about what happened in the run up to Salmond’s alleged sexual harassment case, but not “knowingly”. Had it been judged to be “deliberate” she would have had to step down for breaking the ministerial code. A jury found Salmond not guilty of all 12 accusations of sexual harassment in March 2020. However, the inquiry committee was set up after he won a legal challenge to the Scottish government in 2019 for its internal handling of the accusations.

“Get the popcorn in folks – supplies may run out faster than toilet paper. The next six weeks in Scottish politics are going to be interesting at the least… ”

Since then, the growing pro-independence populace in Scotland has been largely divided into the pro-Alex and pro-Nicola teams, with this intensifying during the inquiry. Many in the pro-Alex team have been hoping that he would make a comeback into politics, particularly since trust in the SNP and Sturgeon to lead the country to independence has taken a nose-dive over recent years. The “Hate Crime Bill”, which was recently passed, and other controversial, quite authoritarian decisions made by the SNP-led government have not gone down too well with many people. And many believe that the Salmond case was a “stitch up” by Sturgeon and the SNP.

Mr Salmond hopes that the new party will pick up the voters who do not vote SNP but still want independence and aims to build a “super majority for independence in the Scottish parliament”. Following the launch of Alba with Salmond leading it, the SNP has seen a drop in ordinary party members as they flock to join Alba, within just a few days.

“ To boldly write what is never written”

Mr Salmond stated, “The party’s strategic aims are clear and unambiguous – to achieve a successful, socially just and environmentally responsible, independent country. He added, “We intend to contribute policy ideas to assist Scotland’s economic recovery and to help build an independence platform to face the new political realities”. You can watch his full announcement in the accompanying video to this article.

Alba Party intends to have at least four candidates from every area of Scotland in the upcoming Scottish Parliament elections on 21 May. It seems a smart move to me to have another pro-independence party giving people the option to vote for independence without voting SNP if the SNP does not enthrall them. However, some within the SNP, even at government level, call it “divisive” and are not holding back from continuing to smear both Salmond and Alba, some even suggesting that it is a British establishment tactic to ‘divide and conquer’ and to reduce the chance of independence—or a vote for it--ever happening.

Get the popcorn in folks – supplies may run out faster than toilet paper. The next six weeks in Scottish politics are going to be interesting at the least…

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