Kirsty McNeill Scottish Labour

Tuesday June 4th 2024


This View has been written by Kirsty McNeill, Scottish Labour & Co-operative Candidate in the Midlothian Constituency.

The first and most important thing I want to say to Midlothian View readers is thank you. Thank you for every single conversation – in the rain, in the wind, in the snow and even sometimes in the sun! I’ve been chapping doors in all weathers. All year round. All over Midlothian.

When I’m speaking to people on the doorstep or at community events the thing I hear again and again is that you’re not asking for the earth. I’m not promising it either. We’ve all had enough of politicians who are full of hot air. So here’s my first pledge to you. I won’t make promises I can’t keep. If I’m lucky enough to become your MP I won’t be able to deliver everything you want. But I can promise you this: nobody will work harder for you and I’ll always fight for your family as if it’s my own.

One thing I hope you know about me by now is that I’m a practical person. I’ve had to be: my current job is leading a team of 160 staff, with a multi-million pound budget, at one of the world’s leading children’s charities. I’m not interested in abstract fights: I just get stuff done. So here’s my second pledge to you. I’ll always root my parliamentary work in what matters to Midlothian. Whether you’ve worked hard all your life and are now a pensioner, a busy parent wanting the best for your kids or a young person thinking about how to get a decent job or a place of your own. I’ll always have your back.

Some of you have asked about how we get a better deal for Midlothian. If you want to maximise Scotland’s influence, Midlothian’s influence, your influence – then this election gives you the chance to elect a Labour MP at the heart of a Labour government. No more shouting from the sidelines. This is a chance to pick progress over protest.

Here is a flavour of the kind of progressive change we are offering. We will set up Great British energy, a publicly-owned clean power company, headquartered in Scotland. We will make work pay with a New Deal for Working People, banning exploitative zero-hours contracts, ending fire and rehire and delivering a genuine living wage. And, perhaps closest to my heart, we will create jobs and opportunities for young people by improving access to apprenticeships, supporting first-time buyers and creating 69,000 Scottish jobs.

Policy is important but I also think tone and competence matters too. Politics has become so negative and both the Tories down there and the SNP up here seem to be lumbering from one mistake to the next. So many of you have told me how you’re longing for a fresh start – a chance to put the chaos and division of the last few years behind us.

So here’s a final pledge from me. I’ll always focus on bringing us together and navigating our differences well. Even when we disagree. Especially when we disagree. I get why people are scunnered with politics. All these stories about iPad bills and Downing Street parties during lockdown make my blood boil. So let’s bring a bit of respect, decency and stability back to the way we live together. All of that is on the ballot on July the 4th and I hope you’ll consider casting a vote for change and for Scottish Labour.

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