In the Spring of 2011, I stood for election in the Scottish Parliament’s Lothian region. Here’s what I said at the time about why I was standing.
Who am I?
My name is Ken O’Neill. I am a middle-aged father of two who’s livedin Scotland for almost twenty years. I first became involved in politics during my teens and have carried on since. I’ve served as a union representative and helped various colleagues with their difficulties. Now I want to combine these two and give something back to my home and serve the people across the Lothians.
I’ve spent the last twelve years following MSPs in their work, both for my own interest
and also for my job. The Scottish Parliament was supposed to usher in a new age of informed, considered and less hostile politics. Instead we have politicians who refuse
to vote for proposed legislation simply based on the colour of the party proposing. We
have parties calling for financial support for apprenticeships and funding for energy
efficiency measures and then voting against the plans. I do not believe that this is
what the Scots voted for in 1997 when they backed a new Parliament.
I believe in individual liberty, especially freedom of expression and action, while taking
responsibility for your actions. How you act affects other people, society and the
environment. Scotland needs to take responsibility for its actions and do its best to
protect all, not just the wealthy and privileged few. We need to create a country that is
proud of what it has achieved and can defend its actions – whether that be planning
consent for a golf course or the way we look after our own.
Why am I standing?
I want to live in a Scotland that stands proud and faces the future, taking responsibility for its actions. To do that, we need to protect what we have and decide what type of society we live in. Scotland needs a properly financed, well supported public sector. We need to ensure that those who look after our elderly, collect our rubbish, nurse our sick, protect the vulnerable and teach our children are supported. They’re not the ones who gambled with other people’s money and lost. They’re not to blame for the ills of the whole society.
Scotland needs to stand up and fight the cuts to the services we all use or else we will become a country where only those who can afford health care are looked after. Where only those who can afford to pay for education have the chance to see their children reach their full potential. I want to move Scotland into the 21st Century and establish a just society, where howthe weakest member is treated is a measure of our worth. I want to help the country have a bright future where my children are proud of what we have achieved.
I want a Scottish Parliament that is transparent and explains how its actions are benefiting the population. A Parliament that allows the people to engage with their politicians. A Parliament that involves people in how the country is governed and decisions are made.
Why should you vote for me?
In my manifesto I set out what I hope the Parliament will achieve over the next five years. I will add an interesting and useful voice to the political conversation. I’m not backed by any individual or interested party but stand for what I think is right – respect for one another, consideration of other people and wanting the best for all. Hopefully that reflects what you think your MSP should stand for – independent thinking and the needs of the many, not the few.
So when it comes to casting your regional vote, vote for LOTHIANS’ KEN.