Coffee with the First Minister

Published

Mug of Coffee

Credit: Caitlan Mutch

George Marsden
Writer

Towards the end of January, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon attended a coffee morning at Pollokshields Community Centre. The event, run by local Scottish National Party (SNP) members, was an opportunity for Ms Sturgeon to meet the community and has seen success in other areas across Scotland.

As well as serving tea, coffee and cake, the event also ran a number of village-fete style games in a bid to raise money for the party. Stalls were manned by and included merchandise from political groups associated with the SNP such as Women for Independence, a feminist and pro-home rule organisation.

The event centred on speeches given by prominent SNP members, both locally and nationally. First was Ms Sturgeon, who began with a joke about the presidential inauguration and Michelle Obama’s lack of “poker face” during President Trump’s speech. The tone remained light, with Ms Sturgeon sarcastically remarking that Scottish Labour’s Kezia Dugdale had cost Hillary Clinton the election with a botched interference and poked fun at previous First Minister Alex Salmond.

Ms Sturgeon also warned of the consequences of Brexit, echoing past statements regarding Scotland’s future relationship with the European Union (EU) and the single market. Regarding the Brexit vote, Ms Sturgeon said that “many people have legitimate concerns about immigration,” referencing one of the most prominent motivations behind 38% of Scots voting for Britain to leave the EU last summer.

Other speeches were given by MP Alison Thewliss, who castigated the government’s decision to close job centres in Glasgow in light of the city’s level of unemployment, and City Councillor Norman Macleod who disparaged the Gambling Act 2005’s negative impact on the city. The event ended with Ms Sturgeon taking pictures with members of the public, including activists, local residents and students.