Wednesday, 23 January 2008

My kind of politics

As I may have mentioned before, a council by-election takes place in the Kilsyth ward of North Lanarkshire Council on 31st January. This by-election follows the very sudden death of a Labour councillor for the ward, and the local Labour Party has selected his 22 year old son to contest the by-election.

A Cumbernauld and Kilsyth branch of the Young Scots for Independence (YSI) was established a few months ago. The convener of this branch, Stephen Bowman, issued a press release about the by-election to the local newspaper, which received the following coverage.

In this story, Stephen has broken the 'golden rule' of politics by naming the candidate of another party, and indeed he has gone further and offered words of personal (not political) support for this candidate - who has recently lost his father. And I must say, I am very impressed by Stephen's words and his approach to politics.

Politics is a battle of ideas, not people. It is of constant concern to me that so many people view politics and people involved in it with disdain and even contempt. It is all too easy for the reporting of politics (and political campaigns themselves) to become a war of soundbites, with candidates criticising each other rather than promoting what it is they and their party have to offer.

I am heartened that our party and politics generally has people like Stephen involved - somebody who thinks like a human being first and foremost, and who is not consumed with landing political blows. If only more people thought and acted in this way, then politics would be a lot healthier for it.

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