I am proud to announce that I have been nominated by Gryffe SNP as a potential SNP candidate for the constituency of Paisley and Renfrewshire North in the 2015 General Election.
I was actively involved in the referendum campaign as part of Business for Scotland and September 19 saw me join a political party for the first time (read more).
There are a number of motivators for me stepping up like this: the rise in food banks (from 5726 in 2011/12 to 71428 in 2012/13 and significantly higher this year), the increase of in-work poverty and the lack of gender equality – we need a vibrant and prosperous Scottish economy to address these social issues.
But the final straw for me was the recently published Smith Commission. Hailed by the mainstream media and Westminster politicians as having “delivered the vow”, I much prefer Business for Scotland’s opinion that it’s just a “constitutional fudge”.
The Smith Commission delivers nothing but recommendations. And the recommendations are lame to say the least – the power to collect some of the tax yet no power to set the policies? No powers to create jobs. No control over employment law, equalities and the minimum wage, which are essential to tackle in-work poverty and gender inequality. If we want an equal society, we need to have a prosperous economy.
The only way these powers, such as they are, will see the light of day is with a powerful group of SNP MPs at Westminster. And it’s the only way we can influence matters not currently devolved, such as welfare, foreign policy, and defence, and in particular, the removal of Trident from the Clyde.
I want to be one of the SNP MPs all fired-up and heading for Westminster next year. I want to make sure the powers that are recommended are delivered – every new power delivered takes us a step closer to independence.