Today we had the sad news that the SNP candidate for the constituency I live in has been suspended.
“I have this afternoon suspended Neale Hanvey from membership of the party. He is no longer a candidate for the Scottish National Party, and we have removed all support for his campaign.
Antisemitism has no place in Scotland, and no place in the SNP. All political parties have a duty to show leadership, and to take tough action.”
While this is obviously the correct thing to do in the circumstances it does leave me, at least, with a bit of a quandary over who to vote for?
There are 5 other candidates: Kathleen Leslie (Conservative), Gill Cole Hamilton (Liberal Democrats), Lesley Laird (Labour), Mitch William (Brexit Party) and Scott Rutherford (Green Party).
There are two, maybe (definitely) three, candidates that I can rule out but let’s keep them all in for the moment and see how they answered two important national questions.
Brexit: In one sentence sum up your stance.
Kathleen Leslie: Get Brexit done.
Gill Cole-Hamilton: I’m utterly against Brexit.
Lesley Laird: Let the people decide – negotiate a deal which protects jobs and the economy and put that, and a remain option, back to the people.
Mitch William: A clean break Brexit is the only Brexit. Anything less and the whole exercise was a pointless pantomime.
Scott Rutherford: Boris Johnson’s dream of a deregulated, isolated Britain would be a bonfire of workers rights, food standards and international climate obligations that will drive down living standards for us all and it must not be forced on us.
Scottish Independence: In one sentence sum up your stance.
Kathleen Leslie: We said no, we meant no.
Gill Cole-Hamilton: I’m completely against independence.
Lesley Laird: I’m against independence because I fail to see how anyone claiming to stand up for Scotland would be happy to consign a whole generation of its people to austerity-max – the SNP’s Growth Commission admitted that.
Mitch William: We decided in 2014, I’m a unionist.
Scott Rutherford: Independence is an opportunity for Scotland to decentralise power across the nation: it can give local councils and communities the fiscal powers to prosper and, through its own central bank, fund the Green infrastructure projects needed to meet our 2030 target of net-zero emissions.
Well that’s the major questions that were posed by the Fife Free Press and answered by the prospective candidates. There were other local questions but for me these were the big two and so my vote will probably go to the Green candidate, Scott Rutherford. I’ll admit I’m no fan of the Green’s co-convener Partick Harvey, a man I’ve never warmed to, but one man does not a party make.
What would happen if those who were going to vote for the SNP were still to vote for the suspended SNP candidate (he’ll still be on the ballot paper) and voting goes as polls suggest and he gets the majority of votes?
What would happen if SNP voters switched to other parties and somehow the Tories get in? This won’t happen I’m sure. But….
Or just about as bad the Lib Dems get in? This I can see happening and it scares me a little.
So what to do? I’ll wait and hopefully by the time polling day comes some advice from those who are better informed will come down the line.