Pro-independence politicians have parked furore after saying it was impossible to understand why a Christian would support a right-wing political party
-By RYAN MCDOUGALL
As part of the SNP conference, Christians for Independence hosted a fringe event in the Crowne Plaza hotel on October 8 where Alison Dickie, SNP councillor for Edinburgh Southside Newington, told attendees: “I have not an ounce of understanding, how anyone, never mind Christians, could vote for a right-wing political party.”
The remarks have been criticised by Scottish Conservative MSP Donald Cameron. “The real shame here is two politicians using their faith to score petty and utterly inaccurate political points,” he said.
Mrs Dickie, a teacher and the wife of a Baptist minister, said her local community was threatened by ‘a growing politics that’s very much right-wing.’
“It’s people without the understanding that life isn’t always that straightforward, people who believe that poverty is a choice that people make, and those that believe that the market and wealth still drips down equally to everyone,” she said. “And these are people who don’t know, or don’t want to know, the stories that I know from the classroom. The jacket that never comes out of the wash, the look of hunger across tired eyes, the school trip that would always be even just a pound out of reach. So around our doors and around our schools, I’m increasingly horrified by these right-wing voices.”
Her views were echoed by Green Party MSP and Church of Scotland member Ross Greer, who said he could not understand ‘how a Christian could get involved with the kind of politics that sees [a government] sanction people with disabilities.’
“What kind of Christian could get involved with the sort of politics that advocates we should pay people so little that they have to live below the poverty line?” he asked. “That always kind of confused me.”
Mr Cameron, the Scottish Conservative representative for the Highlands and Islands region, dismissed the comments.
“The very many Christians, and other people of faith, who voted Scottish Conservative at the last elections will be furious at these remarks,” he said. “Nationalists have to realise they don’t have a monopoly on Christianity. As a practicing Catholic, I find these remarks both wrong and insulting.”
Christians for Independence is a cross-party, multi-denominational group that formed in 2009.