Alex Salmond: 'Alba the alternative to the SNP's independence Groundhog Day'

The Alba Party will be the alternative to the SNP’s independence ‘Groundhog Day’, Alex Salmond told party delegates.

Alex Salmond delivers his leaders speech during the first annual conference for the Alba Party at Greenock Town Hall, Greenock, Inverclyde.
Alex Salmond delivers his leaders speech during the first annual conference for the Alba Party at Greenock Town Hall, Greenock, Inverclyde.

The former first minister also announced controversial blogger Wings Over Scotland, Stuart Campbell, and former director of the pro-independence think tank Common Weal, Robin McAlpine will write and edit a new case for independence.

Taking inspiration from the pro-independence ‘Wee Blue Book’ circulated prior to the 2014 referendum, the former SNP leader announced the book would be circulated to 100,000 households before the council elections next year.

Speaking to delegates at Alba’s inaugural party conference in Greenock, Mr Salmond also hit out at the new SNP/Green coalition, describing its record as “at its very kindest mediocre”.

Referencing front pages from the pro-independence newspaper, The National, and the Bill Murray film, Groundhog Day, the Alba leader criticised the SNP’s lack of progress around indyref2.

He told delegates: “Our core belief is independence for our country. Not as an aspiration for the future but something to be delivered with urgency - not for the hereafter but the here and now.

“There have been five national elections in Scotland since the referendum of 2014. In each of them the parties of independence have won a majority of seats.

"In this year’s Scottish election it was both a majority of seats and, thanks to Alba’s small contribution, a majority of votes as well.

“And yet despite that clearly expressed mandate from the people to at least urgently re-open the decision on independence no progress has been made.

“Bill Murray was only trapped in his time for a few months. Scotland’s Referendum Groundhog Day has lasted six years.”

Mr Salmond also said it was his aim for Alba to replace the SNP as the dominant force in Scottish politics and would be part of a government once Scotland is independent.

He said: “I had an idea a while back when leading another political party. I thought that if the SNP could present as a coherent left of centre political party it could replace the Labour Party as the dominant force in Scottish politics.

“As it was for the SNP and Labour so is it now for Alba and the SNP. In the long term Alba wish to be a part of the Government of an independent Scotland.”

Announcing plans to re-release the Wee Blue Book as the ‘Wee Alba Book’, Mr Salmond said the book would help make the case for independence.

The book will be an alternative case for independence and has been announced the week after Nicola Sturgeon told MSPs work had restarted on the Scottish Government’s White Paper.

Work had stopped during the pandemic, but the First Minister said civil service officials would restart work as part of her programme for government.

Claiming the ‘Wee Alba Book’ would not be a “throwaway leaflet”, Mr Salmond told members it would convert No voters to the independence cause.

He said: “What wins converts to the independence cause is the arming of the people with information - not the policies of any individual party, however good they may be, but the facts and figures illustrating the fundamental case for freedom."

The Alba leader added that this would be sent to 100,000 households in Scotland before the council elections.

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