There are not that many people in the world that I admire to be honest other than my family and a couple of close friends. It goes without saying I admire my Mum and Dad, during the 80’s my Mum and Dad kept food on the table and clothes on our backs, we always had a birthday gift, we always had a nice Christmas when Thatcher and the Tories had destroyed the livelihoods of millions, like they are doing now, but I was thinking are there any politicians I admire and there are some so I thought I would mention them.
The first politician I took a real interest in in the 1980’s was Alex Salmond. He was just an MP at that time and not the statesman he was to become but he stood out. You didn’t get much news or footage of Scottish Politicians on TV but I remember seeing him regarding the budget and council tax and how his focus was Scotland and holding Thatcher to account, he didn’t mess about and he wasn’t afraid. He talked Scotland up all the time and just didn’t accept for one second that we were inferior to anyone and I admire him to this day and hope that he chooses to return to politics in some form.
Kofi Annan Secretary General of the United Nations and just exuded dignity and patience. He reformed the United Nations to a large degree and was probably the only Secretary General of the UN I have ever really taken any notice of, he came across as a man of peace and was genuinely trying to bring people together to make the world a better place. Sadly gone now but he certainly opened my eyes on a lot of subjects.
Baillie Fraser MacPherson Scottish Liberal Democrats. In my opinion one of the best local councillors Dundee has ever had. While Fraser and myself would never agree on the constitutional issue I can’t think of a more hard working or honest politician in Dundee who will represent any constituent of any political persuasion as if they were his closet ally. Fraser has helped myself on a few occasions, especially with housing issues, but he is also the kind of politician we could do with more of, the Scottish Liberal Democrats are lucky to have him.
Annabel Goldie Scottish Conservatives. This one will surprise a lot of people but I actually listened when she talked, I never agreed with any of her policies but I liked that she was respectful, she debated on the facts as she saw them and never seemed to make things personal in the Scottish Parliament. She was willing to try to find common ground and work with even the SNP if she thought it was in Scotland’s best interests and while a unionist to the core I do think she was genuinely trying to represent Scotland. The Tories would do better to find more politicians like her rather than the hate fest they have had most of my lifetime.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortex Democratic Senator for New York. The youngest Senator in US history and only elected I think in 2019 but this woman is someone who speaks their mind and holds people to account. I have seen her on tv and politics shows a few times and she just stands out, a supporter of Bernie Sanders and definitely one of the few American Politicians worth listening to. I really think she could be a President one day I really do.
John Letford, former Lord Provost of Dundee. I had the pleasure to work with John as part of my job and I found him to be very old school but a great champion for Dundee and for young people. He was maybe not the most politically correct politician there has ever been but he was honest and my admiration really comes from his work in promoting men’s health, something he never got credit for but had an interest in. Very supportive of the idea of youth councils and the Scottish Youth Parliament John really did believe that young people had a voice and opinions worth listening to, not many politicians can honestly say that.
Charles Kennedy SDP and Scottish Liberal Democrats. Another sadly not with us but a politician I had a lot of time for. I didn’t agree with a lot of his politics, especially later in his career when he was moving to the right, but his stance on the Iraq War I admired and I felt sorry when certain individuals in the Liberal Democrats used his battle with alcohol as a way to tear him down and replace him. He was the most successful leader of the Liberal Democrats, but like Alex Salmond, some at the top of his party wanted the power for them it would seem but he was a man of integrity and I believe we are worse for not having him around in the political sphere.
So a few of the politicians that have stood out for me for more the right reasons than the wrong ones. A mixed bag in many ways and I assume most people would not agree but people influence us in different ways.
Actually, I have some sympathy with your choices, and can see why you have made them. Do you feel that anyone currently measured up?
I like Angus MacNeil, Joanna Cherry and Philipa Whitford. I have time for Tommy Shepherd and Kate Forbes a little. Mike Russell and Alex Neil are not too bad but there are not many to be honest, too many wokies in parliament now. Too many who see it as a career.
Thanks for commenting and please stay safe. Bruce