At our AGM last Thursday, we elected Elaine C Smith, Scottish actor and comedian, as the first President of the Convention. We created the position of President to allow the widening of the scope for the appointees to the position of Convener of the Convention.
Elaine’s election to the role is in recognition of the significant work she has done for the Convention, and for the wider independence movement. She has been a pivotal figure in the work of the independence campaign since the Convention’s formation 14 years ago. Maggie Chapman, former Co-convener of the Scottish Greens, was elected to take over from Elaine as Convener, and Iain Black, member of Yes Edinburgh North and Leith, replaces outgoing Vice-convener David Thompson.
On her election, Elaine said:
“I am absolutely thrilled to be elected as the Convention’s President. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as Convener, but it is the right time for me to take a step back from the day to day activities of the organisation and let other people take over. I would like to pay tribute and say a massive thank you to Dave Thompson who has steered the Convention with a steady hand over the last few months. Our successors have a lot of hard work to do. The issue of Scottish independence is more important now than ever given the utter chaos we find ourselves in, but I know that Maggie and Iain are equal to the challenge, and I congratulate them on their elections, and wish them every success.”
Maggie, our new Convener, said:
“I am delighted and honoured to have been elected as SIC’s new Convener. I am very aware that I have huge shoes to fill, but I won’t pretend that I can replace Elaine. I would like to thank her for all the energy and enthusiasm she has brought to the Convention over many years. The is an absolutely vital time for the Scottish independence movement. More and more people are seeing the potential opportunities that independence offers, and there is an increasing acceptance that Scotland should have a say about its future. I am committed to working with others in the Convention, and with wider independence supporters to galvanise and support the dynamic movement we need to win the next referendum.”
Iain, who was returned unopposed, said:
“SIC has done an incredible amount of work over the last few years, much of which culminated in the launch of Voices for Scotland earlier this year. Now we need to focus on supporting the wider independence movement to campaign as effectively as it can and to drive the development of a clear plan for what our country could look like in the future. We know that what we’ve got at the moment is not good enough. Scotland is being prevented from achieving its potential by a distant, remote and disconnected Westminster and a government that cannot and will not hear our voices. I look forward to being part of the campaign that finally achieves independence for Scotland.
At the AGM we also elected four people to work with Maggie, Iain and Rosemary Hunter (who continues as Treasurer) on the SIC Executive: Ann Ballinger, Mary McCabe, Greg McCarra and Colette Walker. The Executive will drive the ongoing work of the Convention.