My contribution to the Dumfries and Galloway Hustings for the 2016 Scottish Elections.
The channel also has links to the videos of the other candidates there on the night. Each candidate was given (just!) two minutes to make their pitch.
It was a fun night and I look forward to the next one in Biggar tomorrow in front of Lanarkshire Branch.
A rough transcript of my speech (somewhat played with on the night) is below the fold:
Prior to the independence referendum I considered myself more politically aware than most in that I was one of those rare few who actually read the political manifestos before election day.
Seeing the most important political decision of my life so far looming I felt that I had to get involved. I spent two years campaigning in the Clydesdale area and have shared a stage during public hustings and town hall meetings with a great range of experienced politicians and experts including current cabinet ministers. With that chapter in that debate concluded and having spent two years immersed in learning more about politics about economics and about how our country is run I, like thousands of others, burned with the need to keep going and to do more. I became part of what is now known as The Surge and joined the Greens.
Three quarters of the party are now made up of us, the new recruits. We represent an entirely new way of doing politics in this country and I would like to see us be a part of where-ever that new politics takes us.
The Scottish Greens are now almost certainly the second largest in Scotland by number of members. If the current polls are accurate this far out we may soon be the third largest in Scotland by number of seats in Holyrood. It is not a stretch to see us becoming the main opposition party by 2020 or even to be the party of government soon after. And that’s without a “Syriza” moment.
We need to be able to rise to the challenge of being a party capable of weathering more scrutiny of our policies than we’ve ever had to face and to be capable of making promises that we may be called upon to actually deliver.
As a nation, as members and as a party, we’re now far more politically aware than we ever have been. I believe that we are up to that challenge. And I hope, through the Q&A, that I can convince you that I am too.
As a Green MSP my immediate aim is to harness the new political energy of Scotland and to get our members and activists involved at every level of government from the local community level, through the regional councils up to the national parliament. I want to push to give each of those levels, particularly the local communities, the ability to make the decisions and to ensure that higher levels of government are responsible only for the powers that they absolutely need to have. I want to help local communities set up the networks and groups that they may need to help run their own affairs and to make their voices heard.
Decisions made by the people affected by them are usually made better than by those who are not.