Stuart McMillan MSP from David Newbigging on Vimeo.
There are plenty of great reasons to vote for Stuart McMillan that are applicable to any other SNP candidate. Support Scottish independence? Vote for Stuart McMillan! Support the Council Tax Freeze, abolition of the Bedroom Tax, and the removal of nuclear weapons from Scotland? Vote for Stuart McMillan! Want to keep further education tuition, prescriptions, school meals for young primary children, care for the elderly, and concessionary bus passes free? Vote for Stuart McMillan!
But let’s look at things from a more intimate perspective – to look at the constituency of Greenock & Inverclyde itself. Any SNP MSP can claim credit for SNP policies – but what about Stuart himself? What has he brought to the people of Greenock, Gourock, Port Glasgow, Inverkip, & Wemyss Bay?
In other words…
Why should I vote for Stuart McMillan?
I didn’t really want to do a personal blog about Stuart McMillan, the candidate for my area. I figure his record speaks for itself, the polls are good, response on the doorstep has been greatly welcomed. In any case, a personal endorsement seems somewhat redundant, since I’ve included his name and picture on every blog post I’ve done for the past month.
Yet sometimes I remember things. Things from the referendum campaign; the General Election campaign; this campaign. One of these stories occurred to me tonight, as the campaign team met for polling day preparations.
A while back, much fun was had over revelations that the former First Minister booking a flight under a rather famous pseudonym. Given he’s a lifelong Trekkie, I wonder if it wasn’t just a little bit of wish fulfilment on his part – I know I’ve often dallied in daydreams imagining I was the captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise when I was a wee guy!
Yet for me, my Mam, and the rest of us in Greenock & Inverclyde SNP, Alex Salmond coming to Inverclyde to give our candidate Stuart McMillan his support was just like Admiral Kirk beaming down to promote your ship’s Captain – a really amazing, humbling experience.
Something had been niggling in the back of my head regarding recent allegations of supposed health service closures in Inverclyde: why did NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) include such devastating measures in a draft document, yet not include even a mention of those measures in the final document – even if it was to say those plans were no longer taking place?
It seems ludicrous. A draft document considers closing several vital services in Greenock & Inverclyde, with suggestions that the plans were already underway, yet there is zero reference to them in the final publication for public consultation & review. The very act of leaking the document is a direct contravention of the NHSGGC’s Board Member’s Code of Conduct:
3.11 There may be times when you will be required to treat discussions, documents or other information relating to the work of the body in a confidential manner. You will often receive information of a private nature which is not yet public, or which perhaps would not be intended to be public. You must always respect the confidential nature of such information and comply with the requirement to keep such information private.
3.12 It is unacceptable to disclose any information to which you have privileged access, for example derived from a confidential document, either orally or in writing. In the case of other documents and information, you are requested to exercise your judgement as to what should or should not be made available to outside bodies or individuals. In any event, such information should never be used for the purposes of personal or financial gain, or for political purposes or used in such a way as to bring the public body into disrepute.
What is going on here?
Sometimes you have to wonder at a campaign which is so bereft of genuine, positive qualities that they are reduced to rummaging about in the policy bin to find something to talk about. So it is today, where it was alleged from certain parties that the SNP had “secret plans” to close vital services in the Greater Glasgow and Inverclyde Area.
I have to say I’m loving today’s front page of The Sun:
Star Trek Beyond, a new Star Trek film, will be released in 2016 – the year of the Scottish General Election. I’m sure it’s just a coincidence.
Issues with the paper itself – not to mention the very serious matter of the wrong Enterprise in the lower left corner – aside, it’s a nice sequel to last year’s edition, as well as a little nod to how Star Trek, Scotland, and the SNP coincide a couple of times.
Going through the scotexec Youtube channel is most interesting.
Here is the election and speech of First Minister Alex Salmond.
It’s poignant to note that several of the people present for the 2007 election are no longer at Holyrood, and will not be contesting next week. None of the people who led the four main parties in 2007 will lead them to the election on the 5th of May. The leaders of the three main Unionist parties – Jack McConnell, Nicol Stephen, & Annabel Goldie – all left, two in 2011, the third this year. They are all now members of the House of Lords. The former First Minister Alex Salmond will not be a feature of the next Scottish Parliament’s chambers either – but rather than retire to a comfortable future in the House of Lords like his three counterparts, he went south with 55 other champions of Scottish independence to the House of Commons.
Inverclyde’s politicians are saying goodbye, too. Duncan MacNeil, who has represented Greenock & Inverclyde since 1999, has retired. Ross Finnie, a party leadership candidate who contested Greenock & Inverclyde but was elected to the West Scotland list, failed to be elected in 2011 after 12 years as a member of the Scottish Executive cabinet. Only one elected MSP, who has contested Greenock & Inverclyde twice before, is contesting this year. He has already represented this constituency in his capacity as a West Scotland MSP. He lives here. He loves this place.
One week left.
Stuart’s Facebook page and profile
Stuart McMillan talking support for people dealing with alcohol problems.
While there are still 8 days to go until the polls open, most of the 5th of May will be spent getting the vote out and ensuring everything goes smoothly. That means we really only have 7 more days to actually campaign – canvass, deliver leaflets and newspapers, man the stalls, hold the shop, and so on. As I’ve said before, I’m concentrating on our campaign, not those of other parties, but discussions about some SNP policies have been occurring on social media. Stuart himself has seen fit to respond, and I have reposted them here (some party names changed to protect the innocent).
That was the vote yesterday for an amendment to the Immigration Bill.
A high-profile campaign for the UK to accept 3,000 child refugees stranded in Europe has failed after the government narrowly won a vote in the House of Commons rejecting the plan.
MPs voted against the proposals by 294 to 276 on Monday after the Home Office persuaded most potential (UK government party) rebels that it was doing enough to help child refugees in Syria and neighbouring countries.
The amendment to the immigration bill would have forced the government to accept 3,000 unaccompanied refugee minors, mostly from Syria, who have made their way to mainland Europe.
You’d think there’d come a point where you finally become jaded. Acclimatised. Used to it. This is what that party does – it washes its hands of its own humanity, when it isn’t trampling its own people into the dust. It’s never a shock. Never a surprise. But that never quells the emotions – the anguish, the fury, the resolve. It stings, it aches, it burns away at your guts and your soul. Every. Single. Time.
The aims of the Party shall be:
(a) Independence for Scotland; that is the restoration of Scottish national sovereignty by restoration of full powers to the Scottish Parliament, so that its authority is limited only by the sovereign power of the Scottish People to bind it with a written constitution and by such agreements as it may freely enter into with other nations or states or international organisations for the purpose of furthering international cooperation, world peace and the protection of the environment.
(b) the furtherance of all Scottish interests.
– Constitution of the Scottish National Party
Sometimes it’s nice to know that I agree with Unionists on some things. For all the whispers about the SNP “backtracking” on independence, that they “never really wanted a majority/referendum/independence at all,” that it’s all about money and power and influence, it’s good to know that our most determined ideological opponents are fully aware that independence is always foremost to the SNP. Scotland in Union, Unite Against Separation, and all those other organisations who view independence as a profound existential challenge are all too aware that presenting the SNP as “soft” on independence is more dangerous to their cause than to ours – for after 80 years campaigning, no one can seriously claim the SNP are not truly dedicated to Scottish independence. Especially not now, where we are so very close to tipping the balance.