The Alba Party’s manifesto is the only one “taking Scottish independence seriously”, Alex Salmond has said.
At the launch of his party’s proposals, the former first minister took a swipe at the SNP and the Scottish Greens – the latter of whom he has previously accused of being “as weak as dishwater” on independence.
During a five-minute manifesto launch speech which was mostly about independence, and after which he did not take questions, Salmond said Alba has a “proper plan” for Scotland to leave the union.
He said: “Without doubt, it’s the one manifesto which is taking Scottish independence seriously, with urgency, with a proper plan on how to deliver independence for Scotland through a referendum or another agreed democratic test.
“But also how to be properly prepared to build Scotland and the Scottish people the case they deserve to hear to reach the determination and a successful independence process.”
Earlier in the address, Salmond said his party had been set up to “bring urgency into the timetable” for delivering independence, and he vowed there would be “no more backsliding on timetables” if Alba is part of the “supermajority” of MSPs elected in support of independence.
With Alba’s highest return in opinion polls giving them six seats after May 6, Mr Salmond said: “Alba aren’t standing to be a government, we’re standing to be in a position to push the government further than it would otherwise go.”
He added that Alba MSPs would show “courage, not caution”.
Despite the party’s clear desire for independence, Salmond insisted it is not a “single-issue party”.
He added: “We offer a vision of the Scotland we seek, a Scotland where all citizens are equal before the law and a written constitution.
“A Scotland where the search for equality is reconciled with hard-won women’s sex-based rights.
“The programme is social democratic – promoting prosperity with social equality and environmental responsibility.”
Other policies put forward by the party include the creation of a national renewable energy corporation, funding infrastructure projects through the Scottish National Investment Bank, and the establishment of a “citizens’ chamber”, which would see Scots picked at random to serve in a second house scrutinising Holyrood decision making.
A spokesman for the SNP said: “In a fortnight’s time, the people of Scotland will have a choice whether to put Scotland’s future into the hands of Boris Johnson or putting Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands by re-electing Nicola Sturgeon as first minister with both votes SNP.”