I’ve always been politically aware. But until recently I would have said I was politically cynical rather than politically active. I was convinced that voting was important, but I was equally convinced that it was a lesser of two evils scenario.
But recently, I’m less cynical. I’m more inspired. I genuinely believe that there are some politicians who are legitimately trying to make things better, to give the electorate a voice and who are willing to listen. Nicola Sturgeon is one of those politicians.
Her oratory skill, her charisma and her sincerity are inspiring. Her intelligence, wit and charm are seemingly almost boundless. Well…at least in comparison with her political opponents. She is a truly remarkable women, a shining example of what hard work and opportunities can achieve.
Scotland’s enlightened approach to further education allowed her to go on and study at The University of Glasgow, become a lawyer and eventually become the First Minister of Scotland. Her parents were an electrician and a dental nurse. It’s safe to assume that Eaton was never on the cards. Her current position isn’t born of privilege and who-knows-who, its born of talent and hard work.
Isn’t that what we’re meant to admire? Isn’t that how we’re meant to achieve? Trading is for tapes, not names.
You want an example of Sturgeon’s commitment and integrity? She joined the campaign for nuclear disarmament in the 1980s and remains committed to that through the SNP’s red line policy on Trident. On the other hand, Labour’s John Prescott campaigned to abolish The House of Lords in his early political career. He now sits there. As a baron.
Though to be honest, the single most compelling thing about Sturgeon is something I observed today. During her visit to my home town of Greenock today, a visit defined by warm feelings and a real sense of hope, she was accosted by a gentleman wanting to understand the SNP policy on an increased minimum wage. He seemed sceptical to say the least.
Sturgeon then stopped and talked to the gentleman. A genuine interaction and explained her position and tried to answer his questions.
Is it any wonder that crowds like this are forming at her SNP rally when there is no sickening and slick PR spin and prepared speeches? Instead there is a politician meeting and interacting with her electorate. Whether that interaction is posing for selfies or engaging in personal debate is irrelevant. What matters is that it is totally genuine and sincere. Even the Spectator are commenting on this ground breaking approach.
This why Labour have lost the fight for hearts and minds in Scotland. Because they think they can reach them better from a soap box or through a lens than they can face to face.
In brief moments, like this, it’s all too apparent that the campaign is taking a toll on Sturgeon. But it should be. She, and her party, are fighting for what they believe in and a chance to influence genuine change. That should feel like a terrible weight on anyone’s shoulders. Her public resilience under that pressure is incredible and speaks volumes. I hope I can embody that kind of strength throughout my life.
If my local SNP candidate, Ronnie Cowan, embodies even a fraction of that sincerity and passion, which I believe he does, Inverclyde will be a much better place with his voice representing us in Westminster.
Clearly a lot of other folk think so too.
Except these three. But fair play to them for protesting the event and sharing their own views in a totally peaceful and good-natured manner.
Politician’s like Nicola Sturgeon have turned from a political cynic into a political activist. That’s maybe not the kind of change the country is hoping for, but for me, its an immeasurable change. Today, I got the feeling I wasn’t the only one who felt that way.