This weekend, I have a guest blogger – Richard Lucas of the Scottish Family Party. Inspired by his recent visits to Lewis, and the ongoing attempts to secure an interconnector, he offers an intriguing vision of these islands as suppliers, not of electricity, but of social morality to the nation.
Over to Richard . . .
The Western Isles are not short of wind.
In the 21st Century, wind means energy. It’s a natural resource that can be harnessed to generate electrical power – much more than is needed locally.
So, what’s to be done? Leave much of the resource untapped, or make the most of it by exporting energy to the rest of Scotland? When faced with the challenges of exporting electricity, it might be tempting to just keep the energy business local. How can energy to passed to the main land? Trucks with giant batteries on the back carried by the ferry?
Thankfully, there is a way of transmitting electricity across stretches of sea and that’s via an undersea cable – an interconnector. Discussions and negotiations are ongoing on installing such an interconnector between Lewis and the mainland. The opportunities are being explored. Time will tell whether this comes to fruition and succeeds.
The Western Isles are not just rich in this natural resource, though. They are rich in wisdom. It’s no secret that the prevalent strong moral values are rooted in Christianity, but a degree of isolation hasalso insulated from the worst excesses of recent cultural shifts, and it’s not just Christians who appreciate the wisdom of the ages.
There are people all over Scotland who understand that the social institution of marriage is a vital foundation for stable family life, for example, but they are not concentrated in they way they are here. Equally, there are Outer Hebrideans who have been swept along by the “progressive” tide. But not as many as elsewhere.
The wind blows in Edinburgh, but not as much. Solid moral values are found throughout Scotland, but not as much. The Western Isles represent a unique reservoir of traditional morality within Scotland. There are many who see this as backwardness or worse – a bondage from which the poor benighted folk must be liberated. But there are also those who would love to be able to bottle the culture and values embodied here and import it into their own communities.
So, should this resource just benefit the WesternIsles, or be shared more widely? Can it even be exported? There are articulate expositors and expositions of these positive values already, but they are largely marginalised or ignored. Their influence is minimal. Is there a way that this abundance can benefit the whole nation?
Is there such a thing as a values interconnector? An undersea moral transmission cable? A wisdom pipe line?
There is. It’s the democratic system and it’s already in place waiting to be used. The strong values that the Scottish nation is in such desperate need of can be injected into the heart of political debate, directly into the debating chamber of the Scottish Parliament.
Sending a representative to the Scottish Parliament willing and able to argue boldly for a better vision for Scottish society would be nothing less than revolutionary. The main parties would learn that they can’t contradict the core beliefs of substantial sections of the population with impunity. The novelty and freshness of common sense would be attractive, drawing more people towards more conservative views on moral issues. The histrionics of other MSPs as they fall over themselves to condemn the eminently reasonable and charitable newcomer would only draw attention to the truth. Media debate would shift in Scotland. Issues that barely break the surface now would become the talking points of the nation.
At future elections, those who’ve appreciated the radical new voice in Scottish politics would vote for a candidate of the same party in their constituency or region. A new force would emerge onto the stage ofScottish politics. That’s the vision of the Scottish Family Party.
There are always important local issues to be addressed and interests to be defended, and any MSP must represent his or her constituency in all matters. But the people of the Western Isles can also lift their eyes to a higher vision, a vision of steering the whole nation away from the rocks and onwards to flourish and prosper. It’s hard to imagine a more inspiring and exiting project that can be advanced by casting votes at elections!
There would be hundreds of thousands of people across Scotland thanking the Western Isles for delivering one MSP who articulates their deepest convictions. There could be tens of thousands appreciating the wisdom of traditional values for the first time. There could be thousands emboldened to speak out themselves when the trail has been blazed. Hundreds could be saved from persecution at work: it’s hard to fire someone for saying what an MSP has just said in parliament! Dozens could be inspired to follow in their footsteps into politics.
Western Islanders find themselves in a unique position, with a unique opportunity. What is the future to be? Electing someone to represent the values of the Scottish Parliament in the localcommunity, or electing someone to represent the values of the local community in the Parliament and the nation?
Truth is power. Let’s deliver it to where it’s so desperately needed, by putting a prophet into parliament.