Julia Laurie, convenor of Edinburgh & Lothians P4Indy group, writes:
In our recent online meeting, Colette Walker, co-founder and leader of the ISP, joined us to talk about the new party. There are a number of new Independence parties, standing solely on the List, who aim to increase the number of Independence supporting MSPs in the Scottish Parliament. One new party, Scotia Future, believes in an independent Scotland remaining out of the EU, and it may stand candidates on the constituency and list seats.
It has to be said that many independent supporters are unhappy with these ‘pop up’ parties, so having read a fair amount of information about the parties, and many comments and opinions, I was very much looking forward to talking to Colette.
Colette has been registered blind since birth, but does have some partial sight. However, sadly, her son, now 19, was born with the same condition, and is completely blind. Colette has cared for him single handedly since he was 3. So she has first hand knowledge of the struggle of being a single parent, and also of fighting constantly for the rights of disabled people.
Discrimination is a huge issue for Colette, who wishes to see more diversity of representation in the Scottish Parliament. At the moment, out of 129 MSP’s only 1 is registered disabled. Colette joined the SNP after the 2014 referendum, and has also served on the executive of Women for Independence, but felt no party offered the vision of the Scotland she wanted, so decided to start her own party. An incredibly huge and brave step to take!
You can listen to her here. For most of the meeting Colette answered our questions. See below for more details of those.
Our Questions to Colette
We had many good questions from our members, many of which may well resonate with your own concerns:
- Where does your funding come from?
- Will a number of new parties split the vote?
- Why should we not simply vote for the Green Party?
- Are you not simply simply the grassroots policies of SSP, Rise and Greens?
- New parties have a poor record of success, is this the most appropriate time to launch one?
I felt Colette answered them all the questions well, and I hope you have enjoyed listening to this recording. I enjoyed listening and speaking to Colette, and admire her hugely for what she has achieved in her life with great struggle, and for what she has now undertaken. I also found her passion and drive very refreshing to listen to, when the current situation prevailing in the UK is so very oppressive and bleak. I wish her well in the future, and look forward to seeing what happens next May.
We’re Non Party Political
Pensioners for Independence works for Scottish independence. We do not support any one political party. However we do invite speakers from parties to come to our meetings so that we’re as well-informed as possible about current political activism in Scotland.
Our Glasgow Group asked Dave Thompson of the Alliance for Independence Party to speak to them:
And this link will take you to a discussion of how our Holyrood Parliamentary voting system works. It’s not one of our podcasts. It was organised by Yes Kirriemuir and th speaker is Craig Dalzell of Commonweal.