I think it comes down to the skills I have.
As a journalist I gained real communication skills, writing, researching, questioning and persuading people to share things with me, but equally important, listening. I can use those skills to support our election campaign but also at Holyrood to get the message across and push for what we want to achieve. Newspapers were very much a man’s world in the early 90s, as were the football stands I stood in. I’ve been shot at in Albania by bandits trying to steal from our convoy. Politics doesn’t intimidate me. And while it can often be described as toxic, remember, I’ve been to Chernobyl!
As a businesswoman I learned about strategy and how important it is to turn that strategy into action, delivering on plans, hitting targets, leading and working well with teams, developing people and mentoring them. And negotiating skills, which will be key. I also have support from local businesses that are keen to support the SNP election campaign financially.
As an independence and election campaigner – I’ve learned to wear flat shoes when knocking doors and running a stall in Buchanan Street, I’ve learned to engage with people and share differing opinions without shouting or falling out with them, I’ve learned how to get the best out of the media – even when they appear to be biased against you, I’ve learned how to create leaflets and videos that get the right message out, and how to raise the money to pay for them.
And as a mum – I’ve learned what’s important in life. It’s family, and doing what you can for others who need your help. It’s providing for your family, giving them the very best you can and showing them the right way, instilling the right core values in them – I’ll bring that compassion and integrity, to the campaign and to Holyrood.
I would love to be your MSP, I will work hard every day to tackle inequality and austerity, to prioritise policies that will care for and protect the vulnerable in our society at the same time as creating good, well-paid jobs and growing our economy.
But first I have to win your vote in this selection process.
If you select me I’ll do what good journalists do and what good politicians should do – ask questions and then listen to the answers. I’ll speak to people within the branches in this constituency to find out the key issues needing addressed. I’ll speak to local organisations, the local council and community councils, carers groups, action and support groups. And of course young people – the young people’s vote is increasingly important – they recognised during the referendum that there’s a need for change and they became politicized and active in politics in a way we’ve never seen before. We need to keep them engaged and active and I’ll be talking to them to find out how best we can do that.
I’ve already secured the support of a campaign team, a team that campaigned successfully for one of our new SNP MPs, and I’ll be looking for support from the branches throughout this constituency to join what I think will be an amazing team.
Please vote for me now, and then campaign with me to take on Hugh Henry MSP – and win!