I MUST thank Mhairi Black for bringing the proposed Electoral Integrity Bill to my attention. The bill is to be introduced before the summer and is designed to prevent electoral fraud by introducing a mandatory photo ID scheme in order to vote.

Most fair-minded people agree UK electoral reform is well overdue. It’s been talked about for decades but has consistently been sidelined by Westminster governments. We all realise parliamentary legislation time is limited so there is a need to prioritise. With this in mind, the Tories choose this innocuous piece of legislation as a priority for electoral reform! Unbelievable! What about the first-past-the-post system, what about privileged private members’ club the House of Lords, what about the practice of filibustering (Jacob Rees-Mogg is an expert!)?

READ MORE: Mhairi Black: Why Tories’ voter ID plans remind me of bedroom tax

There is so much needing to be changed to improve UK’s democracy, way ahead of a photo ID scheme. “Get on with your day job,” they say. If only they would!

However, there is the slightest glimmer of hope with regard proper electoral reform. The penny is beginning to drop within the Labour party. A coalition between Labour and pro-reform organisations aim to secure backing for electoral reform prior to Labour’s September conference. The call is to scrap the first-past-the-post system and replace it with a fairer voting system. A quarter of Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs) have signed up for this.

So the pressure is now beginning, at least within the Labour party. Maybe I’m wrong, but my instinct tells me, the past tells me, that if real democratic change within the UK will happen, it will take decades to materialise, whereas in Scotland real change is tangible, it’s clearly within our grasp.

Let’s make it happen sooner than later. Vote for Scottish self-determination. Vote SNP and Green in May’s elections.

Robin MacLean
Fort Augustus