John Swinney, Scottish National Party MSP, National Convener (Leader)
The Scottish National Party (SNP) is a democratic left-of-centre political party committed to Scottish independence. It aims to create a just, caring and enterprising society by releasing Scotland's full potential as an independent nation in the mainstream of modern Europe.
The SNP was founded in 1934 and has had continuous parliamentary representation since 1967. At the first Scottish Parliament elections, held in 1999, the SNP returned a total number of 35 Members of Scottish Parliment (MSP) and is now the Official Opposition in the Scottish Parliament.
At their conference in Dundee this year, it's foremost leader John Swinney delivered this message:
"We meet for our Conference this year in Dundee, a city that recorded sizeable swings to the SNP in the General Election. We are surrounded by the other Tayside parliamentary seats that are held by the SNP. The General Election may have brought some disappointments for the SNP, but our location is a reminder that we also recorded success. Our challenge at this Conference is to build on that success.
We are Scotland’s second party. In 2003, we have the chance to become Scotland’s first party and to win the case for Scottish Independence.
When I was elected to lead the Party last year, I said I wanted to take Independence out of the mouths of politicians and place it in the hearts of the people. I wanted us to set out the difference Independence would make to the lives of all Scots.
We have started that process by demonstrating on key issues such as health, education, crime and jobs exactly what difference the SNP and Independence would make to the lives of people in Scotland. We must at this Conference continue this process and demonstrate to Scotland the type of country we want to create.
Ours is a vision of a democratic Independent Scotland where we make the wealth of our country work for everyone who lives here. That vision will deliver the social justice we seek, will create the dynamic economy we need and ensure we make Scotland the best country in which to live. That vision must resonate through every community in Scotland as we build the case for Independence.
The General Election demonstrated that the public is increasingly detached from the political process. That is bad for all parties but we must seize the opportunity for the SNP. We are a Party with a difference, a Party with a vision of making Scotland a normal country where every one of us who lives here has a stake in transforming our country. That is the exciting vision of Independence - and we are going to win the case."
John Swinney MSP, National Convener
From "The Flag in the Wind" A weekly online newspaper bringing you information
on the political scene in Scotland: part of the monthly Scots Independent.
Thanks to George Beckett
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