SNP Conference 2018: the roundup | DMA

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SNP Conference 2018: the roundup

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Before starting party conference season, I decided to create a few barometers by which I could measure the success of each conference in an objective manner. There were some political measures, for example, party cohesion, number of policy ideas and public reception. There were also a number of practical measures, such as number of freebies, access to coffee and, above all, quality of free canapes.

In these measures, the SNP fared well. Unsurprisingly, Scotland’s governing party were easily the most cohesive, not only because of their common commitment to independence, but because of the feuding sects in the Conservative and Labour parties.

While some new policy initiatives were announced, Brexit dominated the agenda. There was a feeling of resignation about the fact they could do little about it, with MEP Alyn Smith saying: ‘We are doing all we can do. There’s not much more other than being able to sit back and let the madness unfold. It’s pretty depressing.’

Other than Brexit, the discussions revolved around future-proofing the Scottish economy for oncoming constitutional challenges – be it Brexit or the potential for Scottish independence.

In this regard, DMA Scotland made good progress in advancing the interests of the data and marketing industry. I had a meeting with Kate Forbes MSP, minister for finance and digital about the future of data-driven industries in Scotland and the issues surrounding Brexit. While the conference was happening, we also had an article in the Scotsman on making data a cornerstone of the Scottish economy. This was received well with several MSPs and MPs citing it on social media.

The most impressive win for the SNP conference came in the canape category. At the Labour and Conservative conferences, there were granola and yoghurt pots and fruit in the morning, mini burgers, chicken bites and tartlets aplenty. With an unorthodox approach, I turned up to a 9am to see the glorious sight of bacon rolls waiting to be devoured. A clear winner in any sane person’s books.

On the final day, in front of a colossal flashing SNP logo, Nicola Sturgeon’s delivered a damming inditement on Brexit, arguing that this was the archetypal example of why Scotland needed to decide its own future, but that they should be patient in calling another referendum. Scotland should see how Brexit plays out before deciding if it wants to remain with the UK or not.

DMA Scotland serves the Scottish data and marketing sector in recognition of the fact that it is deeply innovative and impressive but, ultimately, different from the rest of the UK. It also sits in a different political environment with different considerations. As such, we work in Holyrood as well as Westminster and Brussels to serve the interests of the data and marketing industries in Scotland. Whatever happens constitutionally, DMA Scotland will keep you informed and prepared for everything on the horizon. If you want to find out more about DMA Scotland’s initiatives or indeed to join our ranks, email Scotland coordinator, Lisa McLauchlan.

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