The referendum shows we can have a new politics; a politics that is participatory, a politics committed to equality and sustainability – a Green politics. We must use this exciting chance to change our country and our world.
I am a long-standing Green activist and am well known as Rector of Edinburgh University. My day job is as Director of Policy for Common Weal. I have 8 years experience in the voluntary sector, including as Chair of Transition Scotland, as a Policy Officer for the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations. I am currently working hard in Edinburgh East.as the Scottish Greens national target candidate for Westminster.
We can elect a second (and maybe even third) MSP in Lothian, and I’m seeking nomination for the second place on the list.
If elected as an MSP I will:
- Oppose austerity and cuts and make the case for social investment, not privatisation like TTIP;
- Use participatory methods like £eith Decides to ensure party members decide my actions;
- Campaign on climate change, pollution and species-loss;
- Fight fracking and support green jobs in renewables;
- Work to combat inequality, using new powers coming to Scotland to increase social justice.
Having moved from Belfast to Edinburgh in 1998 I’ve always worked for political change as a community activist in East Edinburgh, as a student and as Rector of Edinburgh University, as well as through the Scottish Green Party:
- Co-founder and board member – PEDAL-Portobello Transition Town;
- Community Councillor in Portobello;
- Vice President of Edinburgh University Students’ Association
- Campaigner to save Castlebrae High School.
I was Rector of Edinburgh University between 2012 and 2015. In this role I :
- Campaigned for divestment of University funds from fossil fuels and the arms trade;
- Won a campaign to fix international student fees across the course of a degree;
- Worked with students to create a 106-unit student housing cooperative;
- Campaigned to close the gender pay gap;
- Ensured the University commit to ending zero-hour contracts;
- Fought against £9000 fees.
The exciting referendum campaign attracted support and I will ensure our Holyrood campaign repeats this, learning from my experience as Convener of the Edinburgh Green Party, Chair of the European Campaign Group in 2009 and 2014 and as a candidate in the 2007 and 2011 Holyrood elections.