When the ALBA Party launched a year ago, we’d high hopes, but the super majority strategy fell mainly upon deaf ears. Now though we’ve proven our worth by growing into a party populated solely by characters driven to seek our country’s independence with urgency and, when we are an independent country, to build that country as one founded on social justice with priorities of social welfare, egalitarianism and equality of opportunity. 

Time has told that Alex Salmond remains the greatest political beast produced by and devoted to Scotland. Therein lies much of the reason for the battles and trials of recent years. 

But, ALBA is far more than one man – albeit that his leadership comprises the reason why so many have joined the party. There is clear blue sky between ALBA and other parties who may have a commitment to independence in their constitution and on their membership cards – but no longer in the DNA of their leadership. 

ALBA has no need of the side of a bus to seek to persuade the electorate of England to alter course  – that can never be. Our English friends are entitled of course to vote however they so choose, but their choices cannot overrule ours. The aims of a governing party of Scotland must be the goals demanded and desired by Scotland’s people – a people who overwhelmingly voted for another chance at Independence. Countless mandates say so, loudly and clearly.

Scotland hasn’t voted Tory since before my birth and this is my bus pass year. Immortal though I am, it’s tedious to twiddle thumbs as broken promises and repeated mandates wither on the vine. A vine entangled with cowardice, fear and lack of a leading spine, but a continued desire from grassroots for freedom.

This weekend as over 100 ALBA candidates gathered, Scotland’s dedication to our country’s Independence, to our nation’s sovereignty, was renewed. For as long as but 100 of us remain alive, we shall not submit to the domination of English rule. I know that many friends in the other independence supporting parties of our country agree.

Norway discovered oil about the same time as Scotland did. You can’t sit on a Norwegian oil rig and spy a food bank ; you can only spot banks brimming over with gold, with oil funds, bars of bullion, people who live in warm homes, with cupboards full of food. Norwegians don’t have shivering bare arses and arms rammed up the sleeves of their duvets.

And so we contend not for glory, nor honour, nor riches, but for freedom alone – which no good woman gives up but with life itself. And this woman contends for freedom, prosperity and a Scotland where every man, woman and child is fed, nurtured, valued and achieves his and her potential. These are the aims of every ALBA candidate, of every supporter of all of Scotland’s independence parties and when we unite, we shall become free.