Alex Salmond: SNP should help fund the Scottish Independence Convention

During an interview with Elaine C. Smith during his show at the Edinburgh Fringe, Salmond suggested the SNP should help fund the non-party body

THE SNP should consider making a significant financial contribution to the Scottish Independence Convention (SIC), Alex Salmond has suggested onstage at the Edinburgh Fringe.

During Monday’s performance of his sold-out Fringe show ‘Alex Salmond… Unleashed’, at which the actress, activist and co-convenor of the SIC Elaine C. Smith was his guest, the former leader of the SNP argued that, with no elections to fight in the immediate future, the SNP should focus on helping the wider independence movement by means of the SIC.

The SIC is a stakeholder organisation and umbrella group for the Scottish independence movement. Included under its auspices are the SNP, the Scottish Greens and the SSP/RISE, as well as non-party organisations such as Common Weal, the Radical Independence Campaign, Women for Independence, and a variety of local groups and grassroots campaigns.

“The campaign must continue, and the SIC would be a good vehicle to embody that.” Elaine C. Smith, co-convenor of the Scottish Independence Convention

Along with Smith, the writer and activist Pat Kane is also co-convenor, while its vice-convenors are the journalists Richard Walker and Lesley Riddoch. In February of this year, the SIC agreed upon a new constitution, confirming its non-partisan nature and its dedication to independence above any political party.

Smith confirmed Salmond’s remarks to CommonSpace when approached: “He did indeed say that in the summing up,” she said, “On the basis that, with no elections coming up, the campaign must continue, and the SIC would be a good vehicle to embody that”.

“He said that, obviously when you have an election campaign, that has to take priority over the wider campaign, but at this stage, since none are pending, this would be the time for that money to be put to really good use.” Elaine C. Smith, co-convenor of the Scottish Independence Convention

“He said that, obviously when you have an election campaign, that has to take priority over the wider campaign, but at this stage, since none are pending – or we don’t think there is – this would be the time for that money to be put to really good use.

“Also, what was fantastic to hear was that Alex reiterated that joining up of the political party and the movement was essential going forward. That was a very positive statement.”

However, given that Salmond lost his parliamentary seat in the snap General Election in June, it’s unclear whether his views are shared among the senior ranks of the party: “He’s got no elected office. As the show says, he’s unleashed. So he’s saying what he wants, really,” said Smith.

“The main task is obviously we have to get some money together in order to underpin those groups out there who are already doing great work.” Elaine C. Smith, co-convenor of the Scottish Independence Convention

Smith continued: “The main task is obviously we have to get some money together in order to underpin those groups out there who are already doing great work.

“We might be seen as an umbrella group, but actually what we want to do is make sure the great work – through the Yes groups, through the SNP, through the Greens, through Labour for Indy, Women for Indy – are all supported in some way by us. That will be the way we move forward. We have to do as much as we can over the next few months to build the movement.”

CommonSpace approached Salmond for a formal comment but was unable to reach him at time of publication.

Picture courtesy of Ewan McIntosh

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