Monday, 25 May 2009

An open letter to the SNP

Dear SNP,

I have just read your manifesto in the run- up to the European elections. Unfortunately, your European manifesto is just a nine-point statement, which strikes me as a bit lazy- I want details, not random and unclarified promises. Furthermore, of the 9 statements, 5 are about the economy, 1 the environment (and indirectly the economy), 1 is about education (and indirectly the economy); and 2 are statement's about Scotland's place in Europe. Is there not more to your politics than the economy? As a result, I went to your 2007 Scottish Parliament manifesto and found that you have no gender equality statement. You do have a broader equality statement, although rather worryingly it is this:

Prior to independence the SNP will not promote or support legislation or policies which discriminate on the grounds of race, disability, age, gender, faith or religion, social background or sexual orientation.

And after independence?

You then highlight your commitment to the Disability Equality Duty and the Race Equality Duty, which is good- but what about gender? Where is your support for the equal pay act, which study after study is showing to not be implemented? What is your stance on the low level of rape convictions? On the fact, that women are more likely to be jailed for lesser and non-violent crimes? What's your stance, and for that matter, what are you doing about increasing the representation of women in politics at all levels? Why is only one out of six of your candidates on the European election list a woman? And don't get me started on why Nicola Sturgeon isn't First Minister. Why are you ignoring 52% of your population?

What's worse is that I know that the SNP have made an effort to address certain gender equality issues- so why aren't you highlighting them?

This voter is feeling a bit disillusioned.


Feminist Avatar.


Depresso said...

Haven't looked into it very far, but the Scottish Greens are looking a bit more positive on the gender equality bit. Having previously voted SNP, I feel somewhat short-changed, given that they have actively worked with Rape Crisis and the like on gender issues.

Feminist Avatar said...

I know I think the Greens looked like quite a good choice this time round, but my SNP loyalty makes me want MY party to get their ass in gear before I change teams. And, I do think there are benefits to having Scottish representation in Europe, rather than just UK rep.

I also know that new rape legislation which has been written with a clear feminist intent is on the cards, and I think SNP have a lot to do with that- so why aren't they flagging up the things they are doing well.

I think it's ultimately because there are good feminists in the party- Nicola S for one- so they are shaping party policy, but they are failing to recognise that their feminists are a selling point and should be used to appeal to voters.