Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015
It’s been an interesting week, with a trip to Skye for a Greens meeting organised by their newly formed local group and some canvassing in Uig and Portree. I stayed in a member’s summer house with stunning sea views. The comment from the member’s daughter “all you did was join the Green Party and now you’ve got an MP in your summer house!” Not quite true but amusing nevertheless. Probably not many candidates would be canvassing in so beautiful an area. The weather was absolutely perfect, which probably didn’t help attendance at the meeting but John Finnie, MSP and I spoke and we had a really lively discussion. Some people had only heard about it during our canvassing in the morning but came full of questions particularly some challenging ones around sustainable fishing and the problems with fish farms. I travelled back with John Finnie though more stunning scenery. However I was reminded of a saying of one of the teachers I used to work with; “you can’t eat a view”. The stunning beauty contrasts with the struggle many residents of this constituency have to make a reasonable living, particularly once the tourist season is over. I came back and did some more work on my article on food banks. I’ve just had a further report from the Trussell Trust. This reports a 65% rise in their use across Scotland last year. This is surely the tip of the iceberg of the effects the outgoing government has had on the vulnerable and those at the bottom of an increasingly top heavy society.
Strathpeffer Guides did a fantastic job of organising the hustings there on Monday and also asking some penetrating questions and had a packed hall. The one about the 5p plastic bag levy was easy, but giving a short answer to some of the others not so easy. Then the adults were allowed to ask their questions. Trying to give a foreign policy summary in 30 seconds as we were asked to at the end was a particular challenge, but I was grateful to a Green activist for a good question on Nuclear waste transport. They are having another meeting in the same venue at 7.30 next Monday.