I NOTICE that there are some unpleasant remarks regarding Alba and its situation following the council elections appearing in The National. I don’t refer to the articles by some of your writers, which have all been fair and measured in their comments, but there seems to be a great deal of upset in the SNP members’ camp because some “has been politician” has the nerve to set up in direct opposition to them.

Not so! Anyone who has joined Alba and has attended their many meetings, initially by Zoom but now in person both locally and nationally – and on a pretty regular basis – will be able to tell you that Alba wants to co-operate with all independence groups and parties to help forward its cause. Most criticism levelled at leaders of other parties is based on fact and not just criticism for the sake of it.

I’ll give you a couple of examples in a moment but for now I want to offer my opinion of why Alba did pretty poorly in the council election results. Until now, the only alternative to the Unionist parties of Westminster has been the SNP. Therefore, when Alba put forward its 111 candidates for local council election, people were naturally wary about giving them 1st preference votes. Most voters would believe that a vote for Alba would be a vote less for the SNP and that might just let either Tories or Labour back into power. So SNP got the first vote but in some constituencies Alba got as much as 20% of 2nd choice votes. That would be enough to gain seats in a normal Holyrood election.

Archie Drummond of Tillicoultry can rest assured that the party is not over. And the reasons why it’s not over are as follows.

Firstly, the SNP membership voted for an alternative to the Growth Report but the SNP are asking the same authors of that report to prepare a new plan for growth. Using the same people means you are likely to get the same result and that’s something the membership voted against.

Secondly, back about 2016 or 2017, the SNP stood for election on the basis that they would revise the council tax. They were duly elected but has anyone seen any changes in council tax? I don’t think so! Yet Common Weal carried out a review at that time of the sort of changes that might be effective. They came up with a plan for a Land Value Tax that would have shifted the burden from the lower-income earners onto the higher-income earners. Not only that but it would have given the Scottish Government some 25% increase in their income. The SNP rejected it.

Thirdly, as reported by George Kerevan last week, the SNP membership voted for a National Energy Company but Nicola Sturgeon rejected it and removed the discussion of it from the conference agenda the following year. This may well have been instigated by the Greens, who are now in government with them. But it is not a sensible policy. Recently “Just Stop Oil” demonstrated outside one of our oil distribution centres and stopped all traffic in and out. A shipment of thousands of tons of oil from Norway was unable to be unloaded from the tanker and delivered to the depot because of that demonstration.

Just think about that for a moment. Westminster contracted out the right to extract oil in the Moray Firth to the Norwegian State Oil Company. They transport that crude oil back to Norway, where they refine it and then – sell the refined oil to us. Is that not the height of stupidity? It is now part of Alba’s agenda that after independence we should have a state oil company and take charge of our own oil extractions instead of allowing other countries to profit from our assets.

SNP are reneging on too many promises. It will catch up on them and then Alba will benefit.

Charlie Kerr