General election: We’ve got three amazing SNP MPs in Edinburgh, let’s make it five
This general election presents voters with a stark choice about the direction our country should take, writes Adam McVey.
Election time is upon us (again). It’s been a privilege to work with our three fantastic SNP MPs since they were elected in 2015. Deidre Brock, Tommy Sheppard and Joanna Cherry have served our city with enormous dedication and commitment and it’s really encouraging hearing the stories of people who they’ve helped in their communities when I’ve been out campaigning.
It’s not only the help they give individuals but the support they’ve given our city as we grapple with the big issues. Deidre’s help on issues like short term lets, Tommy’s support for the council’s tourist tax and Joanna’s support for the rights of our city’s 40,000 EU nationals have all made a real difference.
This election has become a stark choice for all of us. A choice about who represents us at Westminster, a choice about the direction of the country but a choice too about whether we remain a democracy as we know it.
Will of the country and parliament ignored
We’ve seen the Tories’ attempt to tear up the rule book. We’ve seen the Supreme Court rule against the Tory Government’s attempted abuse of power. What’s clear is that the Tories have no regard for the Scottish Parliament and little regard for Scotland itself.
We’ve seen time after time the will of the country and parliament ignored in day-to-day policy decisions, like the introduction of the two-child benefits cap with its disgraceful rape clause. It therefore didn’t come as a great surprise when the Tories treated our parliament with utter contempt when it came to the mess they’ve made of Brexit in completely ignoring the parliament’s input.
I know not everyone reading this will support independence. But I know that almost everyone reading this will support the existence of the Scottish Parliament. I also know that almost everyone reading this supports Edinburgh’s place as the capital city of a nation within the EU.
This election is our chance to escape the chaos that is Brexit and make sure Scotland’s future in your hands, not in the hands of the Tories. Boris Johnson is unfit to be Prime Minister, even Tory candidates are willing to admit it in private. So do we really want him and his questionable advisors controlling our future? Or do we want a strong team of people arguing our case and fighting our corner?
Sarah Masson and Catriona MacDonald are the SNP candidates in the West and South of the city respectively. I know they’ll be just as fantastic as Deidre, Tommy and Joanna but they’ll do more than be a steadfast champion for you and your community. They’ll ensure your right to decide your future is respected.
When you cut through the posturing, the twists and turns that the election will have in store we need to think about what’s right. We need representatives who are willing to stand up for everyone in our city, not use dog-whistle language to appear “tough” on issues like immigration. We need to think about our next generation and what impact our votes today will have in the coming years on issues like climate change. And we need to think about the fragility of democracy and who can best protect it.
Obviously I think our city would be best served by five outstanding SNP MPs. Whoever you think is worthy of your support, please make sure you make your voice heard and vote. Registration closes on the 26th of November and you can make sure that you’re registered at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.
Adam McVey is the leader of Edinburgh City Council