FM Nicola Sturgeon is stepping up the SNP election campaign tomorrow. Her message is clear: the more SNP MPs we take to Westminster, the more powers we can secure for Scotland.
These powers are crucial to ensure we can build a fairer, more equal and prosperous Scotland. We need SNP candidates that come with that agenda, a focus on equality and social justice, an understanding of business and the economy, and a set of values and life experiences that shape and guide opinion on what is the right thing to do.
I believe that candidate, in Paisley and Renfrewshire North, is me. I look forward to meeting with and speaking to as many of you as possible during January and at the hustings that are being organised across the constituency.
In the meantime, please take time to read the FM’s message below, and do take up her calls to action at the end. Get involved, start campaigning and donating (if you can) and let’s take the conversation to social media and beyond:
Today, the SNP’s General Election campaign steps up a gear.
The image above showing the green benches of Westminster turned tartan will appear in national newspapers tomorrow and I am writing today to set out the message that the SNP will take to the people of Scotland in the weeks leading up to polling day on May 7th.
The referendum campaign of 2014 was energising and empowering – but because it was a debate within Scotland, it inevitably put us into Yes and No camps.
The general election of 2015 is different. It provides an opportunity for us to unite as a country.
In this campaign, we can all be on the same side – the side of making Scotland’s voice heard at Westminster like never before.
If Scotland votes for Westminster parties in May, these parties will think they are off the hook.
They will go back to taking Scotland for granted and the vow we got during the referendum of “extensive new powers” for our parliament will be watered down.
On the other hand, if Scotland votes SNP, there will be no going back to business as usual.
Westminster will not be able to ignore Scotland and the promise of a powerhouse parliament that can create more jobs and protect our public service will have to be delivered.
So our message in this election reaches beyond those who normally vote SNP and those who voted Yes last year.
If you voted No but support a home rule Scottish Parliament – a vote for the SNP is the only way to deliver it.
Even if you don’t normally vote SNP at Westminster, lend us your vote this time so that we can hold Westminster to account and make Scotland’s voice heard.
An empowered and assertive Scotland threatens the vested interests of the Westminster parties.
Labour have taken Scotland for granted for too long – so it stands to reason that they will try to do so again.
They will trot out the same old mantra about voting Labour to keep the Tories out.
That argument is an insult to the intelligence of the Scottish people.
Scotland voted Labour at the last General Election and we still ended up with the Tories – just as happened for four elections in a row in the 1970s, 80s and 90s.
And instead of standing up to the Tories, Labour went into partnership with them in the referendum campaign.
The fact is that if enough people in England vote Tory again in May, a Tory government is what we’ll get. Or worse, a Tory/UKIP government.
If that happens, what Scotland will need are strong SNPs MPs who will stand up to the Tories and fight Scotland’s corner.
Of course, perhaps this time Scotland’s votes will count. A hung parliament is a real possibility.
Scotland could well hold the balance of power in a Westminster parliament with no overall majority.
If that happens, you won’t need to have voted Labour to keep the Tories out, because that’s what the SNP will do. The SNP will never put the Tories into government.
But a strong team of SNP MPs will also mean that Labour can’t take Scotland for granted anymore.
We’d force them to deliver the powers for our parliament Scotland needs and rethink the austerity that is impoverishing our children.
And we would make them think again about putting a new generation of Trident nuclear weapons on the River Clyde.
Whatever the outcome of the General Election, we know one thing for certain.
Scotland only wins when the SNP wins.
The stronger we are, the louder Scotland’s voice will be and the greater influence this nation will have.
What you can do to help right now…
Use the #GE15 and #voteSNP hashtags online