Wings Over Scotland blogger considering new political party
Wings Over Scotland blogger Stuart Campbell has confirmed he is considering establishing a political party to compete at the 2021 election.
Describing the idea as part of a plan to maximise the number of pro-independence MSPs in the Scottish Parliament through the party list system, the controversial blogger told Holyrood he is planning to conduct polling to gauge possible levels of public support.
In a Good Morning Scotland interview Campbell said sections of the pro-independence support were uncomfortable with the “radical policies” of the Scottish Greens, as well as RISE and the SSP, saying: “I think they’d be prepared to vote for a pro-independence party that was a little more mainstream and one that they’ve known for years.”
He added: “I imagine we’d have positions on most things but it’s far too early in the day to know what those would be now. The party is just a thought at the moment, we haven’t actually formed it.”
Campbell told Holyrood: "I've been seriously thinking about it for a while now and have sounded a few people out, with mostly a very encouraging response.
“It's no more advanced than that yet - we need to do a lot more work figuring out if the numbers would add up, but with the next Holyrood election still the best part of two years away there's plenty of time for that."
The Scottish Greens responded to Campbell’s comments. A spokesperson said: “It was uncharacteristically generous of Stuart Campbell to describe the Scottish Greens as ‘too radical’ for his fans. After all, this is the blogger who thinks Scotland is too wee and too poor to lead on climate change.
“The Scottish Greens have reformed Scotland’s income tax system, reversed the decline in local government spending, won new powers for councils and challenged the SNP’s backing for fossil fuels and the arms trade.
“While Campbell is discussing with his readers what to call his tepid single-issue party, the Greens will be proposing a Scottish Green New Deal which protects jobs and moves us to a zero-carbon economy. We’re independence supporters who understand that the climate emergency cannot and must not wait for independence.
“Stuart Campbell may be too conservative for radicalism, but that doesn’t mean voters are. We believe independence is inherently a radical idea, and our Scottish Green New Deal represents the alternative that’s needed to the SNP’s Growth Commission proposals for continued austerity. If independence is about anything, it’s about a bold new vision for Scotland.”