I am writing to advise you of a decision I have taken and provide you with my reasoning. I believe that this is the best way to achieve our goal of independence.
This coming election’s vital for our Nation. Brexit has happened with all the social and economic harm predicted. Worse is to come as trade deals are struck, harming our economy and threatening the NHS. Further austerity beckons as the economic costs of the pandemic are loaded on to those least able to afford it.
Finally, the ability to mitigate the hardship and protect our communities is threatened by Westminsters attack on Holyrood powers.The need for Independence has never been greater, yet the opportunity to achieve it is has never been more favourable.
A Prime Minister who is rightly loathed leading an incompetent Government, acting as a kleptocracy. The risks said to apply to independence have been exposed, as EU membership has been lost, the strength of sterling has plummeted and the supposed benefits of global British prestige shown to be false.
Instead the risk is now in remaining in the UK as a nuclear arsenal is increased, a low wage economy pursued, all as part of the delusion of a New Age of Empire. That’s why not only winning the election but winning it well’s essential. Boris Johnson must not be able to reject Scotlands democratic rights, Scottish democracy must prevail over a Westminster veto.
To ensure that it’s essential to not only return an SNP Government but to deliver a supermajority for Independence. Thus ensuring that Scotland not London decides. At the moment the electoral system works against that. The regional list system sees SNP votes stack up votes but very few list SNP MSPs returned. Almost a million votes were cast for the SNP in 2016 but only 4 SNP list MSPs were returned, and in just 2 out of 8 regional constituencies. Instead 24 Tory and 21 Labour unionists took the seats.
In 6 Regional list areas no SNP MSP was elected. In Lothian which includes Midlothian and Musselburgh, 118,546 votes cast for the SNP returned no MSP, other regional constituencies were even starker. Even in South of Scotland which includes the rest of East Lothian 3 MSPs were succesful but a victory in the constituency this time, will see likely the loss of a list seat.
It’s why I believe that support for an Independence List Party is essential that can deliver the super majority for independence which will allow Holyrood to overide Londons dictat, removing Unionist MSP and replacing them with those committed to Independence. Currently SNP rules don’t allow that and the HQ strategy opposes it. I think that’s a mistake and harms our cause. So, it is for that reason that after considerable thought, and after over 40 years, I am relinquishing my SNP membership, to support this final push for our nation’s independence.
I will be joining the newly formed Alba Party to deliver that supermajority for independence through the list vote and which I believe’s essential to achieving our nations independence. Some members are doing likewise but it’s a personal decision for us all and I hope you’ll understand my reasoning.
My office will continue operating for constituents and I will continue serving as MP. Along with other colleagues in Alba I will work with the SNP Group in Westminster in opposing the harm that’s being done to our land by the UK Government. I will likewise continue to work for Paul McLennans election as the constituency MSP at the coming election in May.
Whether in the SNP, Alba Party or Yes Movement, independence is our shared goal. Let us go forward and deliver it.
Kenny MacAskill MP
NOTE: TV news interview: https://twitter.com/i/status/1375863114827247616