It’s always good to see Scottish parties better represented on the ballot. Eventually, it will be gratifying to have more Scottish Greens and others representing communities on Scotland’s Councils. But we must not lose sight of the fact that these local elections are extraordinary. This is not a normal council election.
The British parties, and particularly the Tories, were always going to treat the local elections as a vote of confidence in Nicola Sturgeon and a ‘stealth’ plebiscite on whether there should be a new independence referendum. Anything that could be spun as a ‘blow’ to the SNP would be presented as ‘proof’ that the independence movement was finally evaporating – as it was supposed to do after the 2014 No vote.
All that has changed is that it is no longer so ‘stealthy’. Theresa May has come right and declared that British nationalist should use the local elections to ‘send a message’ to Nicola Sturgeon.
Let’s do that!
Let’s send a message to our First Minister. But not the message that the British establishment wants. Let’s tell Nicola Sturgeon that we are totally behind her as she fights to defend our right of self-determination. Let’s give her a big stick to wield as she goes up against the Tories.
Use your votes wisely. It is essential first of all to maximise the SNP vote. As far as the British parties and the British media is concerned, it will only be SNP votes that count as a slap-down to Theresa May. But we know better. We know that votes for other pro-independence parties (OPIP) are also important. Not least because placing them after the SNP serves to push the British parties down the rankings – where they belong.
The great thing is that we can do this, we can give Nicola the vote of confidence she needs and deliver a stinging rebuke to Theresa May, without compromising local government. Those SNP and Green candidates are at least as capable as anyone representing the British parties. And the priority of those SNP and Green candidates is to serve the community, while the British nationalists are intent on hijacking the local elections for their anti-independence campaign.
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