“When the hurly-burly’s done. When the battle’s lost and won.”
Read Part 10 here
Immediately after the Holyrood election Salmond announces two things, that the ALBA Party will be contesting the local authority elections the following year and that the ALBA Party will have their first conference within months. The conference will be in-person. This reassures ALBA members that Salmond is sticking around and that ALBA will try and try again.
The ALBA members have no time to waste, and they rise to the challenge. They build a party from scratch in a matter of months, they put in place the democratic structures and start to get that party fighting fit for the election battles ahead.
First in place is the party units; these are based on local authority areas and known as Local Authority Campaign Unit (LACU). There are 32 local authorities, so 32 Annual General Meetings (AGMs) are held and over a hundred LACU office bearers are elected.
The first ALBA National Executive Committee (NEC) is elected unsurprisingly Alex Salmond is unopposed as leader, Kenny McAskill MP is elected as Deputy and Cllr Caroline McAllister becomes ALBA Women’s Convener. Former MP Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh is ALBA Party Chair.
The first words of the first resolution at the first ALBA Party conference are:
“ALBA believes that Scottish independence is an overwhelming and immediate priority for the people of Scotland”
Resolutions are passed into ALBA party policy; an independent Scotland joining the European Free Trade Alliance (EFTA); a written Constitution to protect the rights of all citizens; the end of the monarchy in Scotland; and a five-point plan to reduce poverty:
A £500 annual payment to every low-income household in Scotland
Universal free lunches and breakfasts to all nursery, primary and secondary pupils in Scotland, provided on an all-year-round basis.
A doubling of the Educational Maintenance Allowance to assist 30,000 of school and college students from poorer families to continue in education.
Universal free access to sports facilities for the under 18s benefiting 1 million children.
Increase the Scottish Child Payment to £40 per week for 400,000 children in quarter of a million households.
And of course, a Women’s and Equalities resolution that protects women’s sex-based rights, currently under threat from the Scottish government is passed unanimously.
ALBA hold a National Assembly on the economics of an independent Scotland, with SNP guests Dr Tim Rideout and Alex Neil, the economist Richard Murphy and ALBA members Ailsa Grey and Dr Jim Walker. They discuss a Scottish currency, pensions, oil and gas, the green economy. ALBA members learn so they can make informed decisions on policy and can develop fully thought-out practical plans for independence.
The ALBA Party start recruiting and vetting candidates for next years council elections and soon candidates will be in place in every local authority area.
The new party is built and this coming weekend 27th November 2021 ALBA is holding their first National Council with delegates from each LACU in attendance. Members have achieved this - every member that turned up to a meeting, that went for Nation Builder training, that voted for their office bearers or their NEC, that fed into a resolution or fed back to their LACU. It is a party built by its’ members.
The ALBA politicians freed from the constraints of the SNP are reborn.
McAskill makes an important speech on the lack of separation of powers between the executive and judiciary in Scotland. And the effect this has on our human rights.
ALBA MPs speak out in defence of Craig Murray, currently unjustly incarcerated in Saughton prison and raise his case at Westminster.
They speak up for the right to demonstrate outside Holyrood. Hanvey presents an Early Day Motion at Westminster but despite this right to demonstrate being SNP Party policy only two SNP MPs sign the motion - Joanna Cherry and Douglas Chapman.
ALBA MPs call for a public inquiry into Fergusson Marine and condemn the awarding of the ferry contracts to overseas suppliers.
ALBA politicians hold the SNP government to account on their domestic failures and their lack of progress on independence.
McAllister leads the fight back against the erosion of women’s rights in Scotland and the threat gender ideology poses to school children. McAllister works with women of all parties and none to campaign against the Scottish government’s threat to women and children.
Salmond takes issue with Sturgeon’s position on the Cambo oil field. He describes the move as comparable to Margaret Thatcher’s abandonment of coal mining communities in the 1980s. Salmond’s plan is to have Cambo field fund carbon capture projects in Scotland.
ALBA politicians join independence marches and speak at independence rallies.
ALBA hold their first day of action and ALBA leaflets are produced and start to be distributed throughout Scotland.
The ALBA Party is ready for battle the prize is independence.
"The present Scottish Government does not just have independence on a back burner – it is nowhere near the oven. The evidence suggests an independence campaign which can only generously be described as below the radar, and it is not at all encouraging for those of us who believe that there shall never be a better strategic political opportunity to reclaim national freedom than now." - Tasmina Ahmed Sheikh (ALBA Party Chair)
“This current Prime Minister doesn’t care about the democratic will of the Scottish people. In Dickensian manner he is set to cut Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit, driving hundreds of thousands of families further into poverty. It is time for the First Minister to stop asking ‘Please Sir can I have some more’ and it is time to start campaigning for independence as the immediate priority it is."
“Nicola’s assertion that ‘Democracy must and will prevail’ has been true since the day and the hour the SNP achieved a clear mandate in 2016. Implementing that mandate and asserting the will of the people of Scotland is not only true it is now urgent and overwhelming in the face of the most right wing tax and cut Tory Government since Thatcher.”-Neale Hanvey (ALBA Party Westminster Group Leader)
“We are in danger of missing a very historic opportunity for independence, but at the same time the threat and challenges Scotland is facing from Westminster are increasing."
“The burden being faced by those in our country least able to sustain it is going to worsen, and the threats to our Scottish Parliament that we fought so hard to obtain and establish are increasing."
“This is the time that we should be acting but sadly no movement is going to come from within Holyrood so it is going to have to come from outwith, from all the independence movement groups that are out there and are frustrated by the Scottish Government’s lack of action in progressing the mandate Scotland has for an independence referendum. Those are the groups and organisations that will keep the flame of Scottish independence alive. We cannot allow this moment to pass.” – Kenny McAskill (ALBA Party Deputy Leader)
"What wins converts to the independence cause is the arming of the people with information - not the policies of any individual party, however good they may be, but the facts and figures illustrating the fundamental case for freedom.”
"Our core belief is independence for our country. Not as an aspiration for the future but something to be delivered with urgency - not for the hereafter but the here and now" - Alex Salmond ALBA Party Leader
Scotland is in danger the Internal Market Bill and recently passed Health and Social Care Bill put all our public services in danger including our NHS. The powers of devolution will be taken back by Westminster bit by bit and the SNP will let them do it, the SNP are simply not up for the fight. Just as we were taken out of the EU against our will, the powers of our parliament will be repatriated to Westminster and the SNP will do nothing. The SNP have let us down, they have let Scotland down.
Sturgeon is not willing nor able to lead the battle for independence. ALBA is.
ALBA knows the forces ranged against it, the power of; the mainstream media, the SNP establishment, the British state.
Some fear this power, they fear the personal consequences of standing against it. Others do not want to believe that Sturgeon and the SNP leaders have lied to them and are using them, it would mean facing up to the true nature of the Sturgeon regime and that is hard and depressing.
But the British State has never been weaker, riven by the idiocy of Brexit, led by a bumbling fool. We cannot do nothing, while the tide ebbs and Scotland is left forever in the shallows.
Now is the time. We need you Scotland needs you. This is the fight of our lives; we are fighting for all our futures. We are fighting for Scotland.
Please join us - Join the ALBA Party here.
Archive version - https://archive.md/zPkpT#selection-1489.12-1503.151
Archive version - https://archive.md/ZtdzN#selection-1661.32-1661.267
Archive version - https://archive.md/wip/4TAmB
Archive version - https://archive.md/2yZJn
Kenny McAskill speech - https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2021-07-20b.931.0