Born in Aberdeen, but brought up in Prestwick in Ayrshire, my first experience of politics was in my first year in secondary school when I took part in a mock election as the SNP candidate. I came third, out of three, perhaps typical of SNP results at the time. Labour won, as they would continue to do for the next 50 years, though there was a significant Tory vote in Prestwick.
Coming from a Labour supporting family, though with a Grandfather who only voted Labour when there was no Communist, I started my voting career following the family tradition, but soon became disillusioned with what I thought of as an unhealthy concentration on London and the South of England. On leaving university, I myself, like many before and since, had to move to London to find work. Somehow it seemed wrong that it was impossible to find a job in the country where I was born, brought up and educated.
After two years in London, I moved back to Scotland and have stayed there ever since, despite my job taking me to several parts of Europe, Middle East and Far East.
Despite voting SNP for many years, my first real involvement in politics came immediately following the 2011 Scottish parliament election, when the prospect of a referendum became real. As a long time supporter of Scottish independence, I decided I had to do my bit, a view I’ve continued to hold since then.