Sandra’s soapbox tour

CO-SPOKESPERSONS TOGETHER: Sandra Webster with Colin Fox

by Sandra Webster, SSP national co-spokesperson You may find this unusual but I have never stood for election before. I have been the leafleter and the canvasser the woman who stood at stalls. I always persuaded myself that I was not a politician just someone who wanted to make a difference. Then I became a member of the SSP and with the encouragement of my branch stood as co-spokesperson of the SSP.

The past couple of years have helped me find my voice. I have spoken all over Scotland for the SSP, Women for Independence and the Yes campaign. I have learned so much.

This has lead me to the place where I stand today as a candidate for the General Election in Paisley South and Renfrewshire the seat currently held by Douglas Alexander.

I do feel weight on me and am mindful I am the only female candidate. I feel I have a responsibility to all the women in the party and those who have stood in the past and our future candidates.

I want to make this a positive campaign with no political attacks. Just spreading the message that as a party we can dare to be different and offer an alternative to voters.

I decided to stand when on referendum night, I saw Douglas Alexander shake hands with a Tory who was there representing the No campaign outside my local primary school. I called him out and he looked at me with such disdain. I will never forget that.

The tribal system of two party politics suit Westminster well. They can take turns to be in opposition while churning out the same old policies. It suits them they can continue to draw their wages of sin while gently complaining. Meanwhile we are offered nothing but the same old way. Enough is enough. It is time for a change.

In our election campaign we are going to remain positive. We also intend to visit all or as many as the working class areas in the electoral ward. I say we as I am lucky to have a great team around me who help with press, and offer great support.

We were mindful of the Margo mobile but don’t have the resources to fund a vehicle so we decided to have a Soapbox and encourage local activists and local people to come along and meet me and say what they want from our elected representative. We will have live music and distribute leaflets most of all let them know they have someone who is a neighbour and can represent them.

The soapbox tour started on a wet and windy day in my local area. It was grim weather but people were interested to hear our message especially around zero hour contracts.

As the weather improves we will be having soapbox events throughout the campaign and have local people sharing the mike.

I am the only candidate who stays in the ward. We are standing against the political apparatus of the larger parties. We know though that our policies are second to none and we are proud to share these with the local community.

I’ll mostly be emphasising that I’m a true neighbour who understands the impact of other parties’ policies on individual lives. We will keep this campaign upbeat and not get involved with personal attacks just other party policies.

I see this as an opportunity to “Get Dougie telt” and let my neighbour know what a true socialist alternative can deliver. This will of course build on the elections coming up in 2016 and 2017. We will all learn from this experience. So, a few busy months ahead. Please like our VoteSandra4PaisleySouth our FB page and like me the candidate.

If you can come along to the Soapbox tour we will print dates on the FB page. We would be grateful if you could come and help us with leafleting and canvassing. Looking forward to a few busy months ahead where we remind my community they have a choice of who they vote for and they can dare to be different.

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