I have worked with most of the candidates in the Scottish Labour Party leadership contest and I like them all, so fence sitting would seem a wise option. But as my Gran used to say; "if you spend to long on the fence you get splinters in your bottom" so here goes...
Every so often you come across a politician who has something different about them, something that makes you pay more attention. In Iain Gray's case it's often not high volume or a floor show, though he is very capable of both. It's that sense that he sees things other miss, important things like not who's shouting but what is behind the issues that others are playing politics with.
And then you read his cv and you realise why that might be. This is a guy who hasn't just read about Rwanda during the genocide. This is a guy who doesn't just know about the destructive force of HIV on developing countries. He's seen both first hand with Oxfam. This is a guy who doesn't just talk about the challenges of education in Scotland. He's been there as high school teacher.
Its these kinds of experiences and the political decisions that helped cause or fail to help them that have fed his passion for real and lasting change, not just in Scotland but across the world. He gets the idea that the suffering stranger is our neighbour and we have a moral duty to reach out and help.
I want real change in Scottish Labour and Iain Gray offers that fresh start, a new voice shaped by real experiences that people like me are looking for. There, I've said it. My apologies to the others in the race but my Gran, as ever, was right about the dangers of fence sitting and our Party is in enough trouble as it is....
Keith Simpson's Summer 2019 Reading List
1 week ago