RIP Chic Brodie, ex SNP MSP

Former South of Scotland MSP Chic Brodie passed away yesterday. He was a member of the Scottish National Party and an advocate for Scottish independence. Belonging to the liberal wing of the party, he left after the Brexit referendum and stood as an independent candidate in South Ayrshire. In 2020, he founded an Eurosceptic Scottish nationalist party, called Scotia Future, in order to contest the 2021 elections to the Scottish Parliament. I had the opportunity to meet him during the pandemic, as I was researching on Scottish independence and needed to cover all the perspectives to analyse the SNP's plans. I reached out to him, due to his experience as an MSP and his time in the party, and he explained the reasons why he believed an independent Scotland shouldn't join the European Union. Thanks to him and many other politicians, my Master's degree final dissertation was awarded with a fantastic grade and I learned a lot about Scotland and its independence movement. I will always be grateful to him.

I am very sad to hear about his passing, my thoughts are with his family and friends. May he rest in peace.


Interview with Dominic Atlas, Yorkshire Party candidate for Keighley West, Bradford

 Interview with Dominic Atlas, Yorkshire Party candidate for Keighley West, Bradford

  • Why a Yorkshire Party candidate in Keighley West?

The Yorkshire Party is the only party that makes sense to me. It’s easier to stand for a party instead of being an independent candidate, so that’s the main reason.

  • What are the main issues you want to prioritise?

I have a bit of a different outlook than most councillors and most of my competitors. My main area is to focus on the school system and bringing up the standards to something that has not been seen for a very long time. The councillors are focused on little things while I think it’s very important to ensure the safety of our children going to and from school, their safety during school. Obviously, I don’t know what it’s like where you are but over here bullying inside schools can be a real problem. We are seeing at the moment the biggest shortage of teachers in years, specially with high school teachers, there’s very little of them, which is making the standards drop even more. The central government just taking money away from them, and at the end of the day they are our next generation.

  • Why is the Yorkshire Party the best alternative to the rest of the parties in the area?

One of the main reasons I’m standing is because the councils that we have don’t care, be it Labour or Conservative, none of them care. British politics has all become about money, and it’s very little to do with the constituents. I aim to change that, I want to make a genuine difference in my community. I’m a bus driver, and transport here is quite a big problem as well. I’ve got people who are very close to me saying that “Politicians and councillors are all the same”. They promise stuff, but as soon as they get in they don’t care anymore. People think that will happen to me, but it won’t because I want to make a difference, and that’s why I’m standing for the Yorkshire Party, because the Yorkshire Party is local and is right there with us. In Keighley, which is part of the Bradford district we have a Labour-run administration, and then there’s a Conservative national government, so they’re always fighting and that becomes a problem for the people who they represent, because while they’re busy fighting each other, they’re not solving the actual problems that people care about. The Yorkshire Party, being very local, cares about local problems and ultimately while the other parties have a party whip, there’s none of that in the YP. When I become a councillor, my decisions will be my own: the stuff of what I think my constituents want. It doesn’t matter if people in my party disagree with me, because they’re not representing my constituents, I will be. That’s what we want, local people who want to make a difference. There’s too many councillors and MPs for that matter that just get brought in from some random place to serve the community and they know nothing about it.

Interview with James Tibbitts, Labour candidate in Bradshaw, Bolton

Interview with James Tibbitts, Labour candidate in Bradshaw, Bolton

  • Why a Labour candidate in Bradshaw?

I’ve lived in Bradshaw all my life, I went to school there, so I have a strong connection with it and I don’t believe the Conservative Party will get that. In an area like Bradshaw, and generally speaking in Bolton, people are struggling so it’s very different if you were going to speak with a candidate from down south. Bradshaw is one of the more social economically prosperous areas, but even an area like that needs money spent on the pavement, the roads; it needs a sense of community that it used to have when I was a child but definitely not now, it needs money being spent on the green spaces and also a bit of police presence (because some of the residents say there isn’t enough and there’s still crime so the neighbours are keeping an eye on one another in a way they shouldn’t have to). We have a Conservative council in Bolton, and a Conservative government, so Bradshaw needed someone to stand for them and the Labour Party is going to stand for them. If I’m completely honest, I do care about Bradshaw, that is just a seat in my town but I care of all the seats; so that’s why I’m the candidate for Bradshaw. I’m running to try to stop the Conservative cuts.

  • What are the main issues you want to prioritise in this campaign?

The main one to me is the 70 million pounds that are going to be taken by the Conservative government from Bolton. That is the main issue because all the other issues will be affected by that. You studied Politics so I’m sure you know that as much as it would be great that money wasn’t the antithesis of everything that’s going on, without money, what can we do? Lots of these issues that we have need investment, and we want to create long-term socioeconomic benefits. The town of Bolton is socioeconomically struggling, and they’re going to take more money away from it, so that is by far the biggest issue. 

I’m very proud of being from Bolton, so I made lots of friends in the area by meeting with people my age, and they weren’t as much privileged as I was in terms of their socioeconomic background. The idea that their communities are also going to be affected by cuts the government wants to implement, that’s where I have a big issue.

Money being taken out of the council means less opportunities for the council to fix issues that are in the community, that’s the main thing I want to run on, but then you would have lots of another things that are more targetted towards the specific area I’m running in that would also be affected by money being taken away. 

  • Why is Labour the best alternative to the Conservatives in Bolton?

I think Labour’s the best alternative to the Conservatives anywhere, not just in Bolton, and that is because we live in a country that has a FPTP system that only really allows a choice of two parties. Our ideology is based on caring and sharing opportunity with people. You have to look at what the two parties are offering, as much as it would be lovely for people to have the option of more parties (there is the Greens and the LibDems), you have to go with the Conservatives who operate on a conservationist right-wing approach, or you go to Labour that it was founded on a philosophy of caring for those around you. I as an individual care about those around me because that’s how I was raised, and generally speaking, what life shows is that the sharing of opportunity and resources for caring for one another benefits everyone in the long term. Those principles, those values directed towards the party that I think is most fitting to accomodate my philosophy and influence me as well. The Conservative Party doesn’t have an interest in doing that for me.That’s why Labour is the only alternative in Bolton and elsewhere. 


Interview with Tom Morton, Labour candidate for Hayes & Coney Hill, Bromley

 Interview with Tom Morton, Labour candidate for Hayes & Coney Hill, Bromley

  • Why a Labour candidate in Hayes and Coney Hill?

I’ve been a member of the Labour Party for 8 years, I joined as soon as I could when I turned 16. My family has a rich history of being members of the Labour Party, my dad was a Labour councillor twice before I was born. I’ve always been Labour, it’s part of my life. I decided to run as a candidate mainly because of the age of the average councillor in the UK, only the 10% of councillors are under the age of 40, and that means that young adults and students aren’t represented in most councils and I think that needs to change. I think we as a party, specially in Bromley, we’re definitely trying to do that with a 10% of our candidates in this local election being under the age of 25, and several more being under the age of 30. The other reason is that, for all my life, the Bromley council has always been Conservative and my local representation has always been Tory as well. How can we have a healthy democracy without accountability? It’s always been like this, the Tories haven’t had any accountability in our local council and I think that should change. 

  • What are the main issues you want to prioritise in your campaign?

In my opinion it’s quite plain and simple, everyone’s priority right now should be the climate emergency. My experience on this subject comes from my final degree project in my Physics undergraduate at the University of York, I’m currently researching whether fusion can help to solve the climate emergency, and that means that a lot of my research is based around the climate crisis and all of its components on a political and public policy level. It’s not looking good at all, so that’s my number one priority and it should be yours and everyone’s undoubtedly.

Other priority that I’m quite passionate about is social housing, I think that currently it’s a big problem in the UK and I don’t believe there’s any chance that any Conservative leadership will ever try to tackle this, Labour’s the only party that has good coherent policy on this issue.

  • Why is Labour the best alternative to the other parties in Bromley?

I believe that Labour at a local and a national level is by far the best alternative in my borough of Bromley. The Conservatives are taking us as a joke, they don’t care and we need to start showing people and get them to understand that they don’t care about them. With COVID and the current cost of living crisis the Tories refuse to spend money on the people they represent. As Labour, we would invest in the people that we represent and try to help them in the current crisis that’s come out of Brexit and the pandemic.