It is fair to say that this upcoming election is the most consequential in our nation’s history.
Scotland is at a crossroads, and faces a profound choice.
We can continue to be tied to the insular, broken, Brexit Britain of the Tories – or we can choose to take our place on the world stage as a modern, progressive and outward-looking European nation.
For many, I suspect, the choice will be an easy one.
For decades, the Scottish people have had the callous and destructive policies of the Tories forced upon them, despite rejecting them in every election for the last six decades.
From privatisation to the poll tax to austerity, generations of Scots have suffered at the hands of a party with no mandate to govern us.
This democratic deficit became clearer than ever following 2016’s Brexit vote.
Perthshire North is a diverse and varied constituency, and one which relied heavily upon European immigration and freedom of movement.
From our hospitality sector to our soft fruit farmers, so much of our economy was built with the help of our European friends and neighbours.
It was no surprise, then, that Perthshire voted resoundingly to stay within the European Union.
Despite this vote of confidence in the EU from my constituency and Scotland as a whole, our views have been disregarded as the Tories forced through the single greatest act of cultural and economic vandalism in recent memory.
Brexit has badly damaged many businesses across Perthshire North, and has threatened the future viability of many sectors within the constituency. It has also limited the ability of young people to live, study, work and love abroad.
As if this needless uncertainty was not damaging enough, it has been compounded by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Overnight, this pandemic has turned our lives upside down. It has changed how we work, how we interact and how we think about society.
If it were ever in doubt, we see now that the true value of a worker is not based upon their paycheque. As difficult as the last year has been, it is no exaggeration to say that we would not have made it without the heroic efforts of our NHS staff, care workers, shop assistants and couriers.
As we re-build our economy in the aftermath of this pandemic, it is crucial that we remember this, and build a fairer society that works for all.
Nicola Sturgeon has been a pillar of strength for us all throughout this pandemic. She has led with compassion, humanity and a clarity of thought that has been seriously lacking from the UK Government.
In our darkest hour, she has proven herself to be a formidable leader, and a source of hope. It is now crucial that we give her the opportunity to finish the job, and begin the long, hard task of building back.
I want to help her with this task, and so I am standing once more to be your elected representative in Perthshire North
This constituency is my home. For almost a quarter of a century I have lived here and had the honour to represent the area both in Westminster and at the Scottish Parliament. I know first-hand the challenges we will face going forward, as well as the opportunities waiting to be grasped.
For us to fully realise our potential and take these opportunities, we need the full powers of independence. That’s why it has to be #BothVotesSNP on May 6th.
With independence, we can ensure that our post-Covid recovery works for everyone.
We have already done so much with the limited powers that we have.
From cutting crime by half since we came to power, to running the best health service in the UK, to ensuring free university tuition for all, we have put forward a positive vision for Scotland.
On May 6th, help Scotland to take the next step on our journey. With an SNP majority we can secure a second independence referendum, achieve independence and get to work building a country we can all be proud to call home.
On May 6, we can choose to keep delivering progress, put Scotland’s recovery firmly into Scotland’s hands – not Boris Johnson’s.
To elect a strong Team SNP to take Scotland forward, vote for John Swinney in the Perthshire North constituency, and for the SNP on the Mid Scotland and Fife regional list.
Here’s why Both Votes SNP really matters 👇