First things first - I have an analysis piece on The National's website about the two new Scottish polls (one from Ipsos and one from Redfield & Wilton) - you can read it HERE.
I've heard quite a bit of frustration about the upcoming Alba NEC elections, in which I will be a candidate (depending on whether or not I'm elected as Membership Support Convener). In particular, I've heard dismay that there isn't a publicly available and exhaustive list of who is actually standing. To the best of my knowledge, there has also been precious little engagement between the candidates - the whole thing is a bit atomised. I've been hoping to make a small contribution to changing that by arranging a small series of podcasts/videocasts in which I informally debate and discuss with other candidates - not necessarily just the ones I'll be standing against, but just anyone standing in any of the internal elections. Time is now getting very short if that's going to happen, which is my own fault because I was too tentative about reaching out to too many candidates in case too many said "yes" and I became snowed under. I now realise the danger was firmly in the opposite direction! So I'll now blitz the candidates that I know of and see if I can get two or three to agree - it would have to be over the next couple of days, but we'll see what pans out.
I did have a guest tentatively arranged for tonight, but through no fault of that person it didn't work out - that's the danger of me trying to sort things out too hurriedly. So having already set up the Zoom link, I decided to try something a bit different. I posted the link publicly on Twitter and just invited anyone to join me. It took quite a bit of persistence, but after a while I'm delighted to say I was joined by the renowned blogger and Alba founder member Calton Jock. As you'll see, we didn't recognise each other at first but after the introductions it all became clear. For the first thirty minutes or so, Calton Jock holds forth on a matter he's blogged about extensively and I just allowed him to speak more or less uninterrupted. From thirty minutes on, we started discussing the Alba internal elections, and so that's the point to scroll to if you want to hear more about my pitch - in particular my proposal for the entire NEC to be directly elected by the whole membership, and what I think Alba's general election strategy should be.
It was a magical mystery tour tonight but it worked! It probably wouldn't work a second time, though, so I'll see if I can make some firm arrangements with other candidates.