I support Nicola Sturgeon. I support her because even if I lie in bed at night worried about that lump in my breast, that twinge of pain in my leg, or that constant urge to pee, I don’t have to worry that if there is something wrong and my most serious health issue is not hypochondria and I do need medical treatment, then I will not have to face financial ruin as well as the trauma of illness. I support Nicola Sturgeon because I know that I can rely on her to fight until the last breath in her body for the right of the NHS in Scotland to remain free from privatisation and safe from the rapacious depredations of American health corporations. I support Nicola Sturgeon.
I support Nicola Sturgeon because I know that she will never cease in her efforts to ensure that prescriptions remain free. I support a party that works to make sure that no one in Scotland will ever know the stress of my American relatives, who constantly have to worry whether they can afford their medications. I support Nicola Sturgeon because she will strive ceaselessly to prevent medicine poverty, where people have to choose whether they eat or warm their homes, or whether they buy the medications that they depend upon to remain well or to get better. I support Nicola Sturgeon.
I support Nicola Sturgeon because she campaigns to prevent us all losing our European citizenship. That burgundy passport gave me the right to settle and work in Spain, to love and live in another language and another culture, to learn that we are all the same under the skin, to reach out and make connections. It’s thanks to that European citizenship that I have an honorary nephew and niece who won’t speak to me in English because they know that I speak Spanish too. It’s thanks to that European citizenship that I met a couple who became and remain amongst my closest friends, who count as family. I support Nicola Sturgeon because she too sees the value in that. Porque reconoce el valor de un pasaporte europeo, apoyo a Nicola Sturgeon.
I support Nicola Sturgeon because she wants a Scotland that is open to the world. She seeks a Scotland of tolerance, of kindness, a Scotland that welcomes people from Europe and the rest of the world and tells them that they’ve come home. I support Nicola Sturgeon because she campaigns to support our EU citizen friends, relatives, neighbours and colleagues. I support Nicola Sturgeon because she fights against an oppressive Home Office that demonises and criminalises our neighbours, our workmates, our friends, our family, and rips them away from their Scottish home to cart them off to detention centres before deporting them to far off lands. I support Nicola Sturgeon because she stands in solidarity with migrants, with asylum seekers, with the vulnerable. I support Nicola Sturgeon because she understands that the best thing, the only thing, that we should tell someone fleeing war or oppression is “Welcome to Scotland. Welcome home.” I support Nicola Sturgeon because she supports those values which mark the best of us.
I support Nicola Sturgeon because she fights for our human and civil rights against an uncaring Conservative government that demonises the poor and blames the sick and disabled for their own poverty. I support Nicola Sturgeon because she shares our disgust and horror at a Westminster that casually tosses our young onto the streets. I support Nicola Sturgeon because she understands that a society can only function as a cohesive whole when it looks after those who are least able to look after themselves, that it treats them with compassion and love. Walk past that young woman begging on the street and remember, there but for the grace of a pay cheque go I. I support Nicola Sturgeon because she knows that if we do not support those who are unable to support themselves, there will be no one to look after us when we suffer the same problems. I support Nicola Sturgeon because she opposes and condemns austerity.
I support Nicola Sturgeon because she will fight tooth and nail to defend my human and employment rights. The Tories seek to remove us from the EU in order to trash those rights, to make the UK a paradise for corporations offering zero hours contracts, with no workers’ rights, no holiday or sick pay. I support Nicola Sturgeon because she stands against that and resists it with every fibre of her being.
I support Nicola Sturgeon because she opposes the obscenity of weapons of mass destruction on the Clyde. She seeks the removal of this horror show which sits a few miles away from the largest city in Scotland. I support Nicola Sturgeon because she has no truck with the nuclear viagra of a faded empire, because she supports a Scotland that walks in peace.
I support Nicola Sturgeon because she defends the right of the people of Scotland to have a strong parliament which cannot be diminished or reduced at the whim of Westminster. I support Nicola Sturgeon because she calls out the hypocrisy of anti-independence parties which claim that Scotland is a partner in a union but which treat Scotland as a possession and refuse to allow the people of this land the right to determine their own future. I support Nicola Sturgeon.
I support Nicola Sturgeon because she is determined to navigate a path towards independence, a path that builds consensus, a path that builds a majority. I support Nicola Sturgeon because she understands that Scotland will never break free from Westminster unless a majority of the people of this country are in agreement, and that means that they agree to alternative strategies in the event that a Section 30 order is refused. I support Nicola Sturgeon because she knows that Scottish independence will not be won on social media, it will be won in hearts and minds, in conversations between friends, relatives, and colleagues. I support Nicola Sturgeon because she believes in the power of persuasive argument, of passionate debate, and because she is the most articulate and compelling public speaker out of any politician in these islands.
I support Nicola Sturgeon because all paths to an independence referendum must cross the bridge of next week’s General Election, and it is vital to our movement, to the hope of this nation, that the SNP do well in that vote. Because if they don’t, we won’t be hearing from the British press that people in Scotland haven’t voted SNP because of disagreements about self-ID, because of disputes about internal party handling of accusations of anti-semitism, because of arguments on Twitter about the best way to get another referendum. All we will hear is that Scotland doesn’t want another referendum, and the independence cause will be lost. I support Nicola Sturgeon because I want to keep the flame of hope alive. I support Nicola Sturgeon because it’s the only way that we can bring about that better Scotland of our dreams.
I’ll be voting SNP next week. If you want a better Scotland, a Scotland that determines its own path, a Scotland that walks towards compassion and kindness, you will vote SNP too. I support Nicola Sturgeon.
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My new book has just been published by Vagabond Voices. Containing the best articles from The National from 2016 to date. Weighing in at over 350 pages, this is the biggest and best anthology of Wee Gingerisms yet. This collection of pieces covers the increasingly demented Brexit years, and the continuing presence and strength of Scotland’s independence movement.
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