Re-elect Alyn!

The Party is currently ranking our candidates for the June 2009 elections. Alyn is standing for re-election and hopes to continue his work in the European Parliament, winning Scotland friends and pushing the case for independence. All Party members have a vote, and will be receiving voting papers through the post shortly. They must be returned by 1 March. The result of the ranking will be announced on 10 March.

There will be eight regional hustings meetings - come along and hear from the candidates themselves and see what they have to say. They will be at:

21 February: The MacLean Room, Eden Court Theatre, Inverness 13h00

22 February: Function Room, Huntly Arms Hotel, Aboyne 12h00

22 February: Green Hotel, Kinross 17h00

28 February: County Hall, County Buildings, Ayr, 11h00

28 February: Town Hall, Johnstone 16h00

28 February: Cornerstone House, South Road, Cumbernauld 19h00

1 March: Arts Centre, Dalkeith 14h00

1 March: Partick Burgh Hall, Glasgow 18h00

Alyn, like the other candidates, has already put a letter to all party members, it sets out why he wants to stand again. Alyn is always keen to hear from party members, get in touch on alyn.smith@snp.org if you have any questions. The statement says:

Before I was first elected I stood before delegates at the candidate ranking in Inverness and said "I really want to do this" and after the most exhilarating, draining, demanding, enjoyable rollercoaster ride as an MEP, I hope I really have! I have had the privilege of working nationwide with other activists and seen the great strides we have made as a movement since I was first elected in 2004. I seek your support to continue that work.

I hope I have played my part in our success. Politics is a team game and to work for the Party anywhere is to work for it everywhere. I have chapped doors from Benbecula to Kircudbright, winning folk over to our cause, but that is the least you can expect. As an MEP, I have done some things I am intensely proud of. I have put together a first class team of hard working full time activists. The Dr Allan Macartney European Internship Programme has seen over 30 bright Scots spend time in the office, gaining real experience of the EU. My annual summer work experience placements have proven that I'll roll my sleeves up to master my brief, gaining experience as well as goodwill. I must be the only MEP to have spent 2 days at sea as a crewman on a trawler out of Mallaig as well as been a policeman in Edinburgh, a care worker in Inverclyde, a vet in Shetland, a postman in Aberdeen not to mention helping get 20 cows pregnant in Dumfriesshire!

The key task of an SNP parliamentarian is to win us friends, because we will win freedom for our country not just by tirelessly advocating independence, but by demonstrating that we are more competent, more capable and more committed than our opponents. My role on the Agriculture Committee has allowed me to do that, so much so that the front page of the Scottish Farmer Magazine described me as "Scottish Farming's man in Brussels" (19 July 2008) and NFU President Jim McLaren said (on 21 March 2008): " We really value the way in which Alyn keeps himself regularly updated on all agricultural issues ... Alyn is a real ally on the Agriculture Committee." The farmers do not give praise lightly! Scotland's farmers come to me because they know I will work with them and for them and get results for Scotland. I was delighted to be made Honorary President of the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group in 2007, and can claim some success in other fields too. I am the only Scots MEP to be nominated twice in the MEP of the Year awards, in 2007 for my work on Regional Development and in 2008 for my work on Energy policy, both areas of huge importance to Scotland. I have persuaded all three of my Committees to come to Scotland to showcase our country.

I have been media savvy, and built up a higher profile than most MEPs, appearing on all manner of TV, radio and print media. The website www.alynsmith.eu and the euronews email network have kept the Party and public up to date. I have sought out issues not just of importance to Scotland, but of interest too, pushing for a Scottish Eurovision Song Contest entry and EU protection for the kilt as well as (successfully) pushing for an end to the "straight banana" rules!

I have not just been busy; I have pushed the case for independence, and won Scotland friends. I think I still have a lot to give, and hope with your support to continue that work.