I thought it would be good to make a post to say what I wanted to say that couldn’t be constrained to 140 characters. This is the first solely political post I’ve put here and I’m pretty sure Joff will forgive me hogging his blog.
It’s been a strange few months and have kept it largely secret, especially online – but now I can let you know that on the 14th February it is my intention to put myself forward for nomination to stand as a councillor for the SNP in the ward of Dunfermline North.
Just let that sink in… me, a potential councillor.
Whodda thunk it? I couldn’t even have predicted it myself.
The process began back in August when I filled in the form to apply to be an approved candidate. Three people close to me in terms of their politics, their values and their hard work to secure an Independent Scotland approached me over the period of a few months beforehand and asked me if I would consider applying to be a councillor. The first two I laughed out loud at – why the hell would someone like me be considered suitable? I thanked them for being very flattering, but it wasn’t for me. 20+ years of unpaid caring has equipped me with many skills, but confidence in my “business” sense isn’t one of them.
The third person, however, gave me pause. What were these folks seeing in me that I didn’t see myself? So I had a very long chat with them about what was involved and slowly I could see me thinking, well, aye, I could do that.
Most of all what I was thinking was, the political landscape of Scotland has changed so much to the extent that if someone perfectly ordinary like me can seriously consider standing for public office, that can only be a Good Thing, personally and collectively, as more ordinary folks like myself stand up and put themselves forward too. No more shall we leave the important decisions that affect our lives to remote control. But more of us can stand up and oppose those who blithely spend £17m on testing Trident yet grudge folks like Joff the resources and support to live a good life.
So the form went in and my decision was – if the SNP assessors think that’s good enough to go forward then I shall trust their decisions and processes. ( I fully expected a “thanks, but no thanks”) And then I was duly called for face to face assessment.
Boy oh boy, that was a tough day. It was very enjoyable to mix with other like minded people but the tasks that were set were no walk in the park. I was convinced that was me out. I wasn’t downhearted though, it taught me a lot too and I had, at the very least, given it a go. And I was interviewed at the end of my day by a panel of three containing no less than the amazing Joanna Cherry QC MP, who I must say was hard, but fair and very supportive.
And then, frabjous day! I was on the approved list!
I am so thrilled, humbled and ever so slightly bricking it. I want to do a good job if I get there. “I dare to be honest and I fear no hard labour”. My mantra is now becoming “every day is a school day.”
At the outset of applying I made the commitment that if I got where I am now, that I would bin the @galluseffie account. It has been 1% a pain and 99% pleasure at the laughs and knowledge and meeting (sometimes IRL) such a bunch of “magnificent bastards” over the past 7 years – however, I was fully aware that the passion and coarse language I used there was not suitable for a potential holder of public office. If you cast your mind back to the stramash over Mhairi Black’s “maths is shite” tweet, consider the field day some people could have trawling over the many sweary posts I put up. I stand by them, but I don’t have to hand them over as weapons either. I felt very sad letting the @galluseffie account go, but its time has passed. “Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Learn from it; tomorrow is a new day”
And thus @FionaFisherSNP was born.
If you would be so kind to make a tweet to your followers to let people know that @galluseffie is now found at @FionaFisherSNP and I can hopefully regain contact with all you “magnificent bastards” again – I would very much appreciate it. Ditto FB friends.
And then let the activism begin…all the way to making Fife Council an SNP Council.
May the Fourth be with you!