Standard – 11th November 2019
Standing as a political candidate is not something I sought out. A few months ago I was, like many people, watching the political game playing in Westminster with concerned interest, but with absolutely no vested interest.
I was nominated for candidacy by local people who valued my knowledge of the rural economy, of community development and of digital and transport infrastructure. They thought I had something to contribute. To say my nomination was a surprise is an understatement, but it is representative of a change that is happening in politics across the UK.
Each candidate is so much more than their party. Those who are standing in this election bring a lifetime of experiences, professional knowledge and acquired skill to the job of representing their constituency. I think this has always been understood in the south of Scotland. The individual values of politicians are being scrutinised like never before. In this time of unprecedented political change, that scrutiny can only be a good thing.
The constituency of Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale will be one of the constituencies hardest hit by Brexit. The Brexit Vulnerabilities Index Map published by RESAS (Rural and Environmental Science and Analytical Services) last month shows that most of this constituency is rated ‘Most at Risk from Brexit’. Indeed most of Dumfries & Galloway is. This region and its people simply cannot afford the economic shock that Brexit will deliver.
This constituency, like the rest of Scotland, voted to remain. Yet the MP who has been representing this constituency has u-turned and pivoted time and again behind party lines, apparently regardless of his own personal views.
What I offer the people of Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale is a promise of personal integrity and that I will always put my constituency first, no matter what.