Emma Roddick MSP “Being an SNP member is so core to my life.”

There is no doubt that the SNP leadership campaign, triggered by the decision of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to stand down, has been unsettling for party members. As the end of the contest approaches there have been other changes at the top of the party.

However, with SNP President Mike Russell coming in as interim chief executive I am certain that he will steady the ship alongside the new leader once they are in post.

Uncertainty is part and parcel of any leadership election in political parties, but one thing for that is for certain is that, for as long as I have the privilege of serving Orkney and the rest of the Highlands and Islands as an MSP, I will do everything I can to make lives fairer and more equal for folk across the region and to progress the case for independence for Scotland.

Some have attempted to use the uncertainty caused by the leadership election to further inflame tensions and suggest that those of us on the progressive wing of the SNP will leave the party. 

The SNP is my party. I have been a paid-up and active member since I was a teenager.

Even when I didn’t have an address and, frankly, had objectively bigger issues to deal with, I emailed SNP headquarters to let them know and make sure I could still receive my delegate pass to attend the conference.

Being an SNP member is so core to my life. My mam followed me into this party, and I have a created family here.

There’ll come a time when my job title is no longer “MSP for the Highlands and Islands”, but I’m sure I’ll still be paying my SNP membership fee.

And the reason I do this is that the party’s progressive policies fit with my beliefs.

Alongside the progressive social policies promoting greater equality, there are also environmental policies that are aimed at reducing environmental damage by promoting more sustainable practices.

The growing focus on a circular economy – keeping products in high-value economic use for as long as possible – is one of the policy areas that I am keen to see progress.

For that reason, I was delighted to see that Orkney Library and Archive has been selected as one of the first sites in Scotland to host a ‘Lend and Mend Hub’, as part of a pilot project helping to tackle the cost-of-living crisis.

The creation of this hub at the library and archive will help give the community free access to repair, reuse, rent and upcycle everyday items, to help keep items in use for longer, rather than them being thrown away.

Having visited similar projects in other areas of the Highlands and Islands I have seen how they help break down social, economic, and environmental barriers that can prevent people from getting involved in fun and practical projects.

With that in mind, it is great to see that the Orkney Lend and Mend Hub will also introduce an education programme to support new skills development, helping to reduce inequality through equitable access to resources.

I will follow the progress of the Orkney Library and Archive project with interest and look forward to visiting it once it is up and running.

This is a regular column from SNP MSP Emma Roddick. All Highlands and Islands MSPs have been offered the same space in The Orkney News to share their own personal views.

2 replies »

  1. While I appreciate you are reflecting on local issues as Orkney MSP, it is disappointing that all you could find to say about Independence was “… and to progress the case for independence for Scotland.”

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