Hi, I’m James. I live in Aberdeen with my wife and my daughter, having moved here from Orkney 16 years ago. I have been working for oil related companies for the past 11 years and offshore for the past 8.
I have always had an interest in politics and have enjoyed the debates that political engagement brings, something my parents encouraged myself and my sisters to do as we grew up and took a more interested view as to how our country was run. Never more so than leading up to September 2014. This country came alive with the referendum, politics was everywhere you turned and engagement across the generations was like nothing seen before.
To say I was heartbroken at the result after September 18th would be an understatement, but if anything personally came out of it for me it was a hunger to do more and to become more involved with the politics of this country.
I had been a supporter of the SNP most of my adult life as their policy’s fitted with my own views and after the result I joined the party as did so many others. Myself and a few other like minded people started ‘Aberdeen Unite’, a pro Indy group where the new engaged public could come together and share stories and support and debate for the continuation of independence but to also provide an information platform for political news. We organised our first rally soon after and raised money for ‘McMillan cancer’ and over a tonne of food for the ‘Trussell Trust’ and the ‘Salvation Army’. This also gave me my first experience of speaking to a large crowd. Two months after that we held our second rally and invited Tommy to come along as guest speaker. Although missing it as I was offshore I did have many conversations with him on the phone leading up to it and on the night we held the rally. Thankfully a few months later I had the chance to listen to him speak in person and this is where my political stance and beliefs changed.
I campaigned with the SNP leading up to the general election and enjoyed the engagement with the public. It was good to be out discussing the changes we needed and it was clear that a stronger voice in Westminster was required. Sending that many pro Indy politicians to Westminster was a dream come true for Scotland but no one was prepared for what happened after with a conservative government.
I decided not long after the GE that my views where changing, it seemed to be that the SNP where not as left wing as I had thought, more middle of the road, and that my views where more socialist. As I listened to Tommy talk about how Tory cuts where affecting Scotland, and how many of those who where already struggling where set to struggle more I knew that it was time I put my money where my mouth was and took a stand.
I am standing for those in the north east who need a voice to stand up for them. Who would like someone to work with them to put their requests and stories to the Scottish government. To fight on their behalf for a more just Scotland, free from Tory cuts, free from the austerity that is ripping this country into pieces.
I stand against fracking and UGC, there is no place for an industry that is hell bent on destroying our lands and water. I stand for a second referendum as I believe Scotland should be completely free of Westminster rule to stand on its own on the world stage.
I am against the renewal of trident, an illegal and immoral solution to apparent protection and at a cost that could have helped prevent the austerity cuts and food bank use this country now endures. And I stand for a public owned pharmaceutical company, why should our NHS be supplied by organisations that are for profit and huge bonuses and not for helping the sick and infirm. Why should we pay insurmountable costs to save lives where instead that cost could be spent training more doctors and nurses so that the world class care our NHS already supplies can continue without financial restriction.
Now is the time to work together and ensure that the unionist parties no longer have a voice in Holyrood and tackling austerity should be top of our list and something I will fight against.
I am asking to work with you to ensure that your voices will be heard, to be as accessible to you as I can be, a politician that works with you from ground level right to the top.
I believe that honesty is the way forward, that bluff and bluster answers have no place in modern politics and I will do my best to ensure that however hard it may be, if I don’t have a direct answer to your questions, I will make sure that you will have that answer within a short period of time.
It is time to show the north east that there is a place for solidarity and socialism in Holyrood, and I am honoured to stand for you and represent solidarity in Mays elections.
Vote SNP on the white ballot to return a majority pro Indy government.
Vote Solidarity on the peach ballot to return as many pro Indy MSPs to Holyrood in 2016.