Okay, so you don’t trust or like the SNP. That’s your prerogative, and I’m not going to try tell you that you must.
I am going to ask you something though: do you trust the Tories? Or the Lib Dem’s? How about Labour?
A lot of people in Scotland, and indeed the rest of the UK, simply don’t trust politicians. There are many and varied reasons for us to doubt their honesty and integrity. Why should we have faith in MPs who abused the expenses system for their own personal gain, for example? What words CAN we trust when we are lied to about such major issues as our country being taken into war, as happened in Iraq?
This isn’t about which party to go with in an election though – I’m not a member of any political party myself, and I’m not going to do that job for them.
What it is about is who you trust in the independence referendum.
So, let’s just say that you don’t trust any of the main parties, be that the Tories, Lib Dem’s, Labour or the SNP. Where do you turn to get some advice that you can have some belief in?
What we could do with in this situation is small parties. Parties that have no ambitions of great power or forming the next government. After all, what do they gain if they’re found to be lying? Even fewer votes?
In a Scottish context, this means either the Greens, the SSP (Scottish Socialist Party) or individual Independent MSPs. The Greens currently have two MSPs in Holyrood: Patrick Harvie and Alison Johnstone. The SSP did have four MSPs from 2003 – 2007, hence their inclusion here. Margo MacDonald was the only Independent MSP elected in 2011, although there are now four in total.
None of these parties or individuals have any hope of attaining any meaningful power within the Scottish Parliament. They are there purely to represent their causes and constituents. For example, I dare say you could ask any MSP, from any of the major parties, what they thought of the policies and integrity of the two Green MSPs and get similar responses every time. Something along the lines of ‘I don’t agree with a lot of their policies, but they’re certainly honest’. I’d wager you’d get that response every single time.
And there’s one thing that unites these smaller parties and Independents: they ALL support independence, and are actively involved in the Yes Scotland campaign.
The parties opposed to independence – Labour, Tories and Lib Dem’s – all have vested interests in maintaining the union for their own, or their own party’s, interests.
Having said that, although these three parties are officially determined to maintain the union at all costs, their party members aren’t quite so clear-cut on the issue. An Ipsos/Mori poll conducted in February found that 15% of Labour voters said they supported independence (that’s one in under seven). With Lib Dem’s, that figure rose to 19% (one in five). Even Tories aren’t completely united against independence, with 5% of them stating that they support it (one in twenty).
There’s even a growing Labour for Independence group, campaigning for independence and a chance to reset the Scottish Labour Party back to it’s old ideals and principles.
So you don’t have to trust or even like the SNP to support independence. Apart from anything, there will be another Holyrood election before independence anyway, so you can vote for whoever you want as the first proper Scottish Government.
Trust the small guys who have nothing to personally gain – or at least give it a go. What have you got to lose by listening to them, asking them questions and giving them a chance to tell you their reasons for supporting independence?