Like many of you, I’m a new member of the SNP. I joined on September 19 after realising that it wasn’t all over, that the desire for independence wasn’t stamped out, if anything, it was growing stronger.
We can’t afford to lose that momentum, the passion and enthusiasm that was stirred amongst young and old alike. The engagement, particularly from the young, is something we need to capture and continue to encourage. A new kind of politics and political engagement was born during the referendum, and we need to see that reflected at Westminster.
Choosing a strong, committed, enthusiastic and diverse group of MPs to represent our needs and wants at Westminster is the next step on our journey and, if the polls are to be believed, we have a real chance of winning dozens of seats.
We could hold the balance of power and use that influence to the betterment of Scotland. And it’s the only way we can influence matters not currently devolved, in particular, welfare and the removal of Trident from the Clyde.
So it’s up to you to make sure the right candidates are selected. Women and men who are not career politicians, but who have life learnings and experiences that truly reflect their constituents.
We need MPs who have the passion and compassion to fight for the vulnerable in our society and make sure their voices are heard and their needs are met.
We need MPs who understand what it takes to build a prosperous economy and who not only understand the needs of industry and business, but can relate to them.
We need MPs who will work hard to earn your trust and respect, who will be honest, fair and hardworking, and always put their constituents first.
We need MPs who will spend time in their constituency, getting to know local people and working together to resolve local issues.
I will be that kind of MP. I would like the opportunity to work with you, to make a difference for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, and to make a difference for Scotland.
I hope to meet and speak to as many of you as possible over the next few weeks, whether at hustings or in person. Please get in touch if you’d like to know more about me, or indeed if there are issues you have that you’d like to work on with me if I’m selected.