Today was our SNP MP candidate Phil Boswell’s candidate adoption afternoon, and it was great to see so many people give up their Sunday afternoon to come along and support him and the campaign in Coatbridge, Chryston, and Bellshill.
I was asked to say a few words at the event, so I thought I would share my speech here. Well, this is the speech I was supposed to deliver, but I forgot a wee bit at the end as I was delivering from memory…
I left the east-end of Glasgow to come and live in Coatbridge a little over 4 years ago, and I can honestly say it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Like all of you, I have a vested interest in this area because this is our home. My two sons are growing up here, they attend school here, and my eldest particularly is very involved in many local activities like playing percussion for the North Lanarkshire Symphony Orchestra, and also the Prep band.
So it’s important to me and my family that we see this area, and our communities go from strength to strength and improve. I believe the best way to ensure that happens is by voting for Phil and the SNP in May.
I haven’t always been an SNP voter; like many of our ever-growing membership I was once a supporter of Labour. I come from a long line of Labour supporters; in fact you could say that my family were the epitome of everything that Labour once stood for. You didn’t get much more working class than my family – my Granda was a plasterer for the Glasgow Corporation, and my Granny was a rat catcher working for the council’s environmental services department. They were staunch believers in Labour, the supposed good guys who would see Scotland protected from the social-economic destruction of Thatcherism, the supposed good guys who would turn Things around. What we got instead was dragged into an illegal war, and we saw our economy crash and burn – seven years on and we are still trying to recover from that financial crash.
I look around this area, and Glasgow where I grew up, and I see some of the poorest people, not only in Scotland, but in the whole of the UK. People who live each day hand to mouth, people relying on the charity and kindness of strangers in order to feed their families, and I think: someone has failed these people, someone hasn’t done their job properly. The system has failed, the UK governments of Tories, Labour and now the Coalition have failed, and it’s these people who are paying the price for that failure.
I then look at the SNP in the Scottish government, and I see them trying to protect the vulnerable by delivering free school meals for the youngest primary school children, a rise in childcare hours, the mitigation of the disgraceful bedroom tax, record investment in our NHS. I see them trying to create a fair and equal society with universal benefits such as free prescriptions and free personal care for the elderly; and of course the fundamental belief that education is a right, not a privilege.
So, needless to say I’m no longer a Labour supporter, my family are no longer Labour supporters – we’re all voting SNP this May.
It was said many times during the referendum that Scotland has only changed the outcome of a general election twice in 67 years, well I believe that we’re about to make that three times in just a few short weeks.
By voting for Phil Boswell, by voting for the SNP, and sending down a strong team of MPs, we can make sure that Scotland’s voice is heard, and my goodness are they going to hear us and hear us clear when we tell them that we want change. We want those powers that they promised us, that they vowed to us. Because it’s only by ensuring that Scotland receives more powers that we can start to look at communities across Scotland, our communities here in Coatbridge, Chryston, and Bellshill and finally begin that journey of change.
If like me you want to see strong representatives in Westminster who will really put Scotland first, then I urge everyone who is able, member or not, to come out and help us ensure that it happens. Even if all you have is a spare 30 minutes, it will be 30 minutes well spent helping to ensure that change for our nation . Let’s not wake up on May 8th asking ourselves if we could have done more, let’s get out there and win. Let’s wake up and see those beautiful words scrolling along the bottom of BBC news – Coatbridge, Chryston & Bellshill: SNP GAIN!