In case you missed it, I published my manifesto today. In Time for A Different Voice – A Manifesto for the Lothians I explain what I believe in and what I would like to achieve. I’ve also set out what I hope the Scottish Parliament will achieve over the next five years. This way I might influence what happens during Holyrood’s fourth session, either way.
When MSPs return after the election on the 5th of May, the Parliament will reach its twelfth birthday. That means it’s heading towards its teenage years. Having seen the way politicians have behaved there since 1999, you can only hope that they’ll show some maturity during the next five years. Sadly though, I doubt it.
One issue I highlight in the manifesto is the way politics is currently conducted. If you’ve ever followed proceedings at Holyrood, you cannot fail to notice that personal issues are hindering efficient co-operation. MSPs are voting and making decisions based not on what is best for the country, but what is best for their party. Sometimes they’re even voting because of what their UK leadership is telling them. So much for consensual, grown-up politics in the 21st century. Instead of seeing worthwhile projects receiving the necessary backing, they are voting it down because the proposals are the wrong colour. In my manifesto I promise to seek effective co-operation with all parties, regardless of political colour, personality or cuddly factor. This includes the four local authorities in the region, businesses and charities. We all want to see the Lothians doing well and moving forward after all. If that’s the case, why would you not work with someone to achieve that?
During the campaign, I will remain positive and forward looking. This is what I want Scotland to become – a country that’s proud of what it has achieved and can defend its actions. A country where we leave past disappointments and mistakes behind and move forward. When we fall, we get back up, learn from our mistakes and try again – just like Robert the Bruce. A country where we look after everyone, not just a privileged few. As a society, we are only as strong as our weakest link – so lets make the link stronger. I believe that the Lothians can show leadership and set a standard of best practice for the rest of the country. Hopefully you think that I can help achieve this and will vote for me on Thursday 5th May.
This election is likely to return a hung parliament where a single vote matters more at Holyrood. The minority government will look to all corners for support at crucial votes. They will have my support, but only if what they propose is in the Lothians’ best interests.