17th February 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

SNP determined to capitalise on ‘buoyant’ mood

The three Shetland delegates to the SNP Conference Neil Sutherland (left), Louise Giblin (centre) and Charlie Gallagher (right) with Leeanne Wood, leader of Plaid Cymru (centre left) and the SNP's new leader and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

The three Shetland delegates to the SNP Conference Neil Sutherland (left), Louise Giblin (centre) and Charlie Gallagher (right) with Leeanne Wood, leader of Plaid Cymru (centre left) and the SNP’s new leader and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

The resurgent Shetland brach of the SNP had a good representation at the party’s national conference in Perth last weekend which saw Nicola Sturgeon officially take over the party leadership from Alex Salmond.

And in the aftermath of the event, the local branch is determined to capitalise on the “buoyant” atmosphere that was associated with the yes campaign.

The Shetland SNP also welcomed the decision taken at the conference to open the door to candidates  in next year’s general election who were involved in the yes movement, without necessarily being SNP members.

Local vice-convener Danus Skene said: “The yes campaign in the recent independence referendum generated a new and buoyant atmosphere of political participation in Scotland, with the involvement of many people beyond the SNP itself.

“Meanwhile the massive increase in SNP membership since the referendum has changed the nature of the SNP itself. The party is now an ever larger comprehensive vehicle for change.

“In the forthcoming UK general election, the focus must be on ensuring that the ‘vow’ is delivered by the unionist parties to deliver a fuller devolution for Scotland, including the tax-raising powers essential to true self-responsibility.

“We must send to Westminster the maximum number of Scottish MPs committed to ensuring the delivery of what has been promised.

“Shetland SNP welcomes the decision of the recent SNP conference to open the party’s door to the adoption of candidates who may not now be members but who contributed to the broader yes movement. We encourage anybody interested in the SNP’s endorsement as candidate for Orkney and Shetland next May to make their interest known.”

The resolution passed by the SNP National Conference stated that:  “Conference welcomes the positive contribution to the Yes campaign of a range of groups and individuals throughout the country.

“Conference recognises the desire among many of those involved in the campaign to
harness the strength and diversity of the yes movement in the 2015 general election, in
order to secure the strongest possible voice for Scotland.

“Conference therefore mandates the National Executive Committee to explore options that would allow individuals who were part of the Yes campaign, but who do not satisfy the current membership criteria for candidacy, to be considered for inclusion on the approved list of candidates. Decisions about selection would continue to rest with members of individual constituencies.

“Any changes to the candidate and selection rules that arise from the NEC’s consideration of these options would require the approval of  National Council.”

3 comments

  1. Alan Skinner

    Until the recent fiasco surrounding school closures, I had fondly imagined that there was an inherent benefit in having 22 independent councillors, with no affiliations to political parties. However, it is now clear to me that Shetland needs very close links to the Scottish government and that we suffer from our distance, our independence and, arguably, our arrogance.
    The local political parties should start organising themselves now, in plenty of time before the next council elections.

    Alan Skinner
    New House
    Cullivoe
    Yell

    Reply
  2. Harry Dent

    I tend to agree with Mr Skinner.

    Although we all know parties’ pledges are to be treated with suspicion, when someone declares an afiliation, you have a rough idea where they stand on all the major issues, such as whether they’re likely to vote for or against school closures. At the very least it’s a guide to their general outlook.

    When everyone asserts their “independence” from ideology or party discipline, all too often elections become personal popularity contests which is no way to decide who’s going to administer a budget of millions.

    I’d be more inclined to vote in local elections if there was a clear and genuine choice.

    I’m well aware it’s unlikely my choice would ever get elected in Shetland, but nevertheless I’d always welcome the opportunity to cast a completely unambiguous vote.

    Reply
  3. C.L. Gallagher

    Just to correct your caption above, Shetland Branch, SNP had in fact eight Delegates at Conference and what was abundantly clear just how easy it is for our Branch to speak to the highest Representatives of the Scottish Government. Shetland delegates used their time well and working in conjunction with our colleagues in Orkney, Western Isles, Highlands and Islands and many other Branches had meaningful discussion with not only our new First Minister but also Mike Russell, Keith Brown, Richard Lochead and many more.

    Reply

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