Neale Hanvey: time to unite, all under one banner

Pic:  Lisa FergusonPic:  Lisa Ferguson
Pic: Lisa Ferguson
With pandemic restrictions well behind us I’ve enjoyed getting out and about across the constituency.

Sometimes it’s to support a constituent at home, meet business owners, join community groups, attend events, or to congratulate folk for their achievements by presenting then with a framed copy of an Early Day Motion that I’ve moved recognising their contribution to their community.

This past weekend I was at two excellent community events, The Spring Fayre held at Torbain Parish Church and the Kelty Community Cinema’s Wellbeing Festival in the Community Centre. It’s a great part of the job - no suit, normal clothes, and proper engagement with real people giving honest opinions.

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This weekend one of the many chats I had was with a lovely woman who shares my love of animals. We had our wee dog with us and as any dog lover will tell you, that’s an open invitation for other dog lovers to chat. So there we were chatting away about dogs, pet chickens and our favourite animal clips from YouTube when the current political chaos popped up.

“What party are you in now?”, she asked

“Alba Party”, I replied.

She then told me how frustrated she was with the current shenanigans in Scottish politics, and that since she was a wee tot her family have been solid SNP. However, zero progress on independence and multiple unpopular policies has left them all totally disillusioned.

“Folk are realising they’re just not serious and have no plan.” Before chatting further about her personal take on things.

“Aye, maybe folk’ll begin to understand my reasons for leaving.” I said “What you’re seeing now, I saw much earlier.”

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She nodded with an empathetic sigh of resignation and we were back to the joy of animals.

Her dilemma is not unique. With support for independence at 53%, but support for the SNP well below this it has never been more important for the Yes movement to decouple itself from the political parties and unite All Under One Banner and contest all future elections as Scotland United. Such a proposition won’t stroke any party leader’s ego, but it’s the best way forward.

One candidate in each constituency from all parties and none on a mission to start negotiations with Westminster for Scotland’s independence and a new partnership of true equals where Scotland has the power and the presence every other country has on the world stage.

In other words, normality.

> Neale Hanvey is the MP for Kirkcaldy & Cowdenbeath