If you're an Alba member and have registered for the inaugural annual conference, which takes place tomorrow and Sunday, you'll be able to vote online in the ballots for the female and male ordinary members of the National Executive Committee. I'll be a candidate on the male ballot, along with fifteen other excellent candidates, so welcome along to my little pitch for you to give me, James Kelly, your first preference vote. (The ballot is being conducted by Single Transferable Vote, which means you'll be ranking the candidates in order of preference. If for some inexplicable reason you decide not to give me your first preference, I'd be equally grateful for your second preference, or your third preference, or any preference at all, really.)
I've been writing Scot Goes Pop since 2008, and by 2013 it had become one of Scotland's most popular pro-independence blogs. In 2012 I became a columnist for the International Business Times, and in the run-up to the independence referendum many of my columns were syndicated on Yahoo, reaching a huge audience - meaning that I may well have been, almost by accident, the most-read pro-indy blogger during the indyref period. Later on, I was for a time a columnist on the TalkRadio website, and since 2017 I've been a regular columnist for iScot magazine. I've also provided occasional election and poll analysis for The National since early 2015.
I've made numerous appearances on TV and radio, including BBC Breakfast, BBC Radio Five Live, the Bauer radio network, Al Jazeera, Radio Sputnik and most recently the Alex Salmond Show on RT. I've also taken part in a huge number of New Media podcasts, films and live-streams. Perhaps most significantly, though, I've commissioned no fewer than five full-scale Scottish opinion polls - something that is usually the preserve of the mainstream media. Some of the polls have been genuine landmarks - for example, the poll in June 2020 that marked the start of the long unbroken series of Yes-majority polls was a Scot Goes Pop / Panelbase poll.
I'm not, however, a political insider. I've never been particularly active within a political party, and that, I think, may mean I'd bring a different sort of perspective to the NEC than someone who is steeped in SNP internal politics. (Don't get me wrong, though - there's also plenty of room for that kind of experience on the NEC.)
I'd suggest a possible advantage of electing me is that there aren't going to be any surprises about my political views. Over the years, I must have blogged about practically every political topic under the sun, so my opinions are all out there. Most of you know me well and you know exactly what you'd be getting. I'm also easy to reach - I'm very active on social media. (That mostly means Twitter rather than Facebook, for the avoidance of doubt - it's not unusual for me not to check my Facebook account for weeks, which has led now and again to sheepish apologies to people who have messaged me in the interim.)
If any or all of this strikes a chord, and if you're eligible to vote, please do consider giving your first preference vote to James Kelly (that's me!) on the male ballot for ordinary members of the Alba Party NEC. The voting hours will, as far as I know, be between 12pm on Saturday and 5pm on Sunday. Thank you.
VIDEO: Vote James Kelly #1 for the Alba NEC. (Or #2. Or #3. It's up to you, really.)https://t.co/bWnThdHQ9i— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) September 11, 2021