Today, the day before the General Election, is #SNPBecause day. I’m looking forward to reading and watching the reasons that many people will give why they are members of the SNP. I have been a member for over twenty years and I joined because I held then, as I hold now, the firm and unwavering belief that my country of Scotland is the equal of every other country in the world. There is a common misconception, often assisted by the media, that the SNP falsely aggrandise Scotland, that we claim Scotland is better than it actually is, for political gain.
We don’t, we see the problems in their native hue in the cold light of day because to look at Scotland is to look in the mirror. The SNP membership is of such magnitude, spans such a socio-economic range and cuts across all ages, genders and ethinicities that we cannot but see our country as it truly is and mark the areas needing improvement. “Could do with losing a few pounds, giving up the cigarettes and cutting back on the alcohol” is an assessment a lot of people make when they look in a mirror and so it is in our National life.
Ruth Davidson’s chauvinistic “Making Britain great again” rhetoric is anathema to most SNP members. Not because it is Britain she wants to make great, or the quibble about the word “again”, wondering to which century and decade specifically she refers, but because fundamentally we don’t seek to be “better” than other countries, we seek to have the same opportunities to chart our own course. In short, to be a normal, medium-sized, well-adjusted member of the global community with no designs on a former empire on which the sun has long since set.
Being “normal” on the international stage seems like such a small thing to aspire to, but it is what we are denied by those who decry the very idea of popular sovereignty at the same time they are contesting elections, and yet they seem to detect no hypocrisy in that conflict, Being “normal” means electing the government we vote for every single time. For more than two-thirds of my life we have had a Conservative government that Scotland actively voted against in numbers. I don’t think that having my country’s choice of government is anything but normal and is far from revolutionary as concepts go, and yet it is derided as “divisive” by the SNP’s opponents.
I’m #SNPBecause I don’t believe that Scotland is uniquely incapable, amongst all the countries of the world, of governing ourselves in our own interests. I believe that being misrepresented to the world by a United Kingdom with rapidly diverging interests and ambitions is both unhealthy and abnormal. I believe that Scotland can be a success story, like other countries in a similar size and GDP bracket and I would like to see us take the path that leads to becoming a normal, vibrant country on the Scandinavian / European nexus.