I have to be honest with you up front and say that, before now, I’ve never had a desire to go into politics, although I did have an interest in independence; my family was involved in the nationalist movement back in the ‘50s and I grew up hoping that one day I’d see an independent Scotland.
So when the referendum came along I was always going to be involved somehow. My heart said Yes, but my head was more doubtful. As a journalist I wanted to know the facts. As a business owner, I needed to see how the figures would stack up.
Which is where Business for Scotland came in. When I joined BfS it wasn’t originally with a view to joining the advisory board or running the Glasgow group, which I ended up doing, it was simply to learn more so I could talk knowledgeably to family and friends about why Scotland should be independent.
But my enthusiasm took over and soon I was organising events in Glasgow, running the crowdfunding campaign which raised £31k, helping create videos aimed at women in business, supporting media relations and speaking at dozens of events across the country.
When Scotland voted No on September 19 I was, to use the Scottish vernacular, gutted. It was then I decided my work wasn’t finished, I had more to give, and I joined the SNP with the plan to become an activist and support where I could.
Being asked if I would consider taking a more active role by the Gryffe SNP branch and then being nominated as a potential candidate for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, made me incredibly proud. I wasn’t successful in the selection process, that was Gavin Newlands, now MP, but it did fire me up even more and so that’s why I’m standing for selection as the candidate for Renfrewshire South.
I have no direct experience working in politics, just the life experience and learnings from years in business and journalism. I’m just like many of you, part of the incredible grassroots movement, one of hundreds of thousands of Scots who changed our country forever during the referendum campaign.
I believe I truly represent those who engaged with politics for the first time during the referendum, we share a passion and desire for a change in politics and political behaviour, and I know we can continue to change Scotland for the better.