AC May rises to the Midlothian View Holyrood Challenge

Tuesday April 6th 2021

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Midlothian View Holyrood Challenge: This View has been written by AC May, the Scottish Liberal Democrats's candidate in the Midlothian South, Tweeddale & Lauderdale constituency for the Scottish Elections on Thursday May 6th 2021

Midlothian View has kindly invited each of us, as candidates, to submit a ‘View’ each week leading up to the election.

This means four weeks, four views. I have four chances to convince you that I might just be worth a little cross on a piece of paper. So here goes…

I’m just an ordinary person, who has decided to step-up and get involved, principally because I don’t think we’re being governed well enough. I’m not some long-time party hack, I don’t see this as an entitlement or career progression from the council, and I don’t work on any other politician’s staff.

No political party is perfect, and there’s no party with which I’ll agree with every position, past, present or future. I simply find the Scottish Liberal Democrats align most closely with my values, and since becoming involved, I’ve been hugely impressed by the compassion, dedication and intellect of those I’ve encountered. As the national campaign progresses, each week Willie Rennie and the team announce another policy, and spend the rest of the week promoting it. This culminates in the publishing of the manifesto – by each party – then it’s truly ‘game on’.

As a member of any organisation – whether voluntary, charitable or paid work – but especially with a political party, each time someone prominent gives an interview, writes an article, or announces something new, there is that anxious moment of, “What now? Where’s this going?”. As a candidate, it’s like double-jeopardy, because you have a stake in it, and may be called-upon to explain or defend it. Keeping up with the detail can be challenging – we can’t all be experts in every policy area – but I can honestly say that each time there’s been an announcement, it’s been great, I’ve been fully in favour, and it gives me more to work with, to talk about, to build-out our proposition here in this constituency.

I’ve decided that each week I’m going to highlight a different stage of life, and the relevant position of the Scottish Liberal Democrats. This week, it’s about Early Years.

(Don’t worry, I’ll keep it brief…)

We would introduce free childcare from 9 months. This has benefits for the child, in terms of socialisation, early recognition of health and development needs, and for the parent in terms of work equality, support and mental health.

We want play-based development for the under-7s, kindergarten style. This has proven benefits in levelling-up at an early age before more formalised schooling begins. Empathy, numeracy and literacy have all been shown to improve in the following years, as children are better prepared to embrace classroom learning.

Next week, I’ll move onto a different stage in life.

I want to present a genuine choice in the May elections. I feel we need fresh thinking, and in many ways a fresh start. I’m simply presenting that choice. It’s not about who you voted for in the past, or why. That’s the amazing thing about democracy – we’re allowed to change our minds. It’s also the problem with any referendum – no matter what the topic or what your position may be – it’s only ever a snapshot in time.

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