In the last few months there has been plenty of time for reflection and I decided it was time to set the record straight. My 2 years serving as the MP for Ayr Carrick and Cumnock was the biggest privilege of my life and opened my eyes even more so to the wonderful bit of Scottish west coast we call home and the amazing people and communities we have live here.
I am a firm believer that as an elected member you have to be open, transparent and accountable to your constituents which I feel I did to the best of my abilities on a daily basis, the one dark cloud that hungover me however was the negative smear campaign in the media both, in one local and national newspapers which in turn played into their national narrative of the constant SNP bad. Sadly even some of our own independence supporters bought into this narrative and ‘helped’ perpetuate these false claims. I could be angry at them but I’m not, I actually pity them, they were duped by the very machine that they so despise and claim to fight against. They didn’t have the capacity or even the willingness to investigate if in fact there was any truth in these stories. They took it on face value, like so many do with the main stream media.
And whilst in the last 3 years have meant I’ve met some amazing people who will be lifelong friends – sadly I have encountered some of thee most vile human beings I could ever have imaged. The Council campaign where Chris, and consequently me, were dragged through the mud on a story that was perpetuated, initially by a few individuals, for reasons known only to themselves – the lengths they went to was quite astounding and quite frankly sick. And those who knew it was going on and stood by and said nothing are just as culpable – you know who you are. Ask yourself this – how did your witch hunt help our independence cause? How human beings can set out to destroy others for nothing more than their own gratification shows they are no different from the British Nationalists who do the same thing – boy is politics a dirty game – I stood because I thought, we wanted to do things differently. Thankfully this was a tiny minority. However, their behaviour did lead to concerns re mine and my family’s safety with online threats; people prowling around my house and in my garden; hate filled posters appearing near my home; and pictures of my family’s homes put on the internet on posts designed to insight hatred and encourage action. For some it was a game but for us it was very real life.
Let that sink in for a moment………now put yourself in my shoes………
The Ayrshire Post – owned by Trinity Mirror [the establishment machine – did you know only 5 people own the majority of ALL the newspapers in the UK?] even before being elected in 2015, they started their negative campaign, then they failed to print the majority of press releases I sent to them, but went onto report I was ‘invisible’. They then continued to stoop even lower by printing negative, personal – not even political – comments throughout the entire 2 years. Thankfully not all the local press were the same.
Not many people understand how wiki works. Wikipedia “the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit”. Let me emphasis the word ‘anyone’. So here we have a sight that anyone can write anything about another person – oh but they have to reference the material, right? – oh well that’s easy – there’s plenty of articles out there you could use. So there you have it – my wiki page is full of negative, lies supported by deceitful media stories. As you can imagine this is extremely helpful when, now, potential employers are googling me!
To be fair 2 years in any office is not a long time to ‘make your mark’ and I believe I was hindered further by the fact that the parliament took well over a year to put my disability assistance in place. Anyone who is dyslexic knows, for you to be able to work at the same level as others, you have to put in much more time and effort than they do. This was particularly challenging with all the reading that was involved in parliament not to mention the ridiculous rituals and observances. Once the support was in place [3 months before the election] it made a massive difference but unfortunately too little too late.
The saddest thing of all, is mine and my team’s hard work remains buried under all this negativity. The 2 things I am most proud of are: in the last year alone, I got £350,000 of benefits reinstated – that was money back in constituent’s pockets, alleviating poverty and ultimately back in the local economy. During the 2 years I worked on more than 7000 case enquiries – that is way more than any other MP or MSP for that matter has ever reported. I always stated, from day one, that I was doing this for the people – the people’s politician – and I believe I delivered that commitment.
I would like to thank those who supported and encouraged me throughout this time – your support means more than you’ll ever know. The old saying of what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger is very true – I’m still here, stronger than ever. The British Nationalist and the haters have not and will not succeed. I will continue to do everything in my power to work towards independence for Scotland as I believe that is the only way we will ever get a fair and just society.
So would I do it all over again? Absolutely! The reason I did it in the first place is still there – to help people that live in the beautiful Ayr Carrick & Cumnock and to advance the cause of independence. Next time I would be going into it with a deeper understanding and a much more savvy approach.. .. .. .. ..