What matters to me

Grant Ford, Edinburgh

I grew up in a high rise flat on a “scheme” on the edge of Edinburgh in the 70s. My Dad was a bricklayer and my Mum is still working as a Home Help. 

My parents split up and our safety net was our extended family and Social Security…things were tough and we went through that working class ambivalence towards State assistance: free school dinners (which we gladly ate), second hand shoes from the police station in the Royal Mile ( a step too far for my brother and I, we both refused them). 

What saved me, apart from my family, was State education, amazing teachers and a caring society…..I ended up at Glasgow University only because of a brilliant English teacher who asked me, “When are you going to university?”

I watched on as Scotland was denied fair representation. Election after election, we voted for Labour and the Tories with their divisive policies, such as the poll tax, were returned. It was too much to tolerate. 

I am passionate about politics for these reasons. I believe in proportional representation as our current system is obsolete. Our public realm is being taken apart because of a failed ideology (smash it up so it can’t be put back together) and the NHS in England is being disorganised. We don’t need to be an offshore tax haven in the “global race to the bottom”.

We can have a society that works for all, with time for families, innovation at work and pooled social services for all, especially those not lucky in life. I am sure these issues matter to you too.

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