Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Committed to Equality

When I first heard that the SNP had received a donation of £500,000 I was ecstatic. For the first time ever, the SNP would have the cash to rival the campaigns of the London-funded parties. When I heard it was from Brian Souter, I admit, the source of the donation initially left me feeling more than a little uncomfortable. Here was a man who personally funded a campaign to retain Section 28 - something which I and the SNP totally opposed. How could the Party accept this donation?

But, I paused and pondered and a few things occurred to me.

First of all, the donation is entirely unconditional and the SNP can spend the money however we like. So, this money will mean no penetration of prejudice into the SNP, and certainly no endorsement of Brian Souter's stated views on homosexuality.

Secondly, the SNP's commitment to equality is one of our core values. Indeed, this is a right we would entrench in a written constitution. Souter knew this when he made his donation. Should we not give him the benefit of the doubt? He may have become more enlightened in recent years.

However, regardless of the views of the donor himself on this issue, his cash will nonetheless be used to campaign FOR EQUALITY.

Like most of my friends in the SNP, my route into the Party started with an initial sense of injustice. We looked at Scotland, at the inequality between our citizens and between our country and other nations. We seek independence as a means of securing not just equality for our nation, but for all of Scotland's citizens.

This is in no way diluted by the SNP's latest donation. Indeed, this donation makes it even easier for the SNP to campaign for the equal rights that we seek.

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