Scottish Parliamentary Candidates May 2021
The following candidates have been selected by the Independence for Scotland Party (ISP) Membership to contest the upcoming Scottish Parliamentary election on the 6th May 2021.
Julie originally trained to be a professional musician, but her life changed when her mother became ill and she became her full time carer.
She was a prominent campaigner for Monklands Hospital when its A&E was under threat of closure. The hospital was saved and she got involved in health politics as part of the Scottish Health Campaigns Network, later joining the SNP in 2010.
She became a councillor for North Lanarkshire in 2012 and was noted for bringing attention to the situation surrounding the Mears housing property contract in 2015. The leader of the council subsequently resigned and a full investigation of the council’s procurement practice was launched.
She left the SNP in 2017 and joined ISP in January 2020. She splits her time between teaching, playing and fighting for Scottish independence.
I am 59 years old and have lived in beautiful Stirlingshire since 1997. I was brought up in Shetland and lived in the islands of Yell, Whalsay and Mainland until my mid 30s.
Growing in a crofting community gave me an appreciation of the power of community and the depth of Scottish history and culture. I drove lorries and excavators, clipped sheep, did the peats and shouted at disobedient collie dogs. In 1988 I joined Shetland SNP, when that was a hopeless cause, but the right thing to do.
In 1995 I went back to uni, did a housing course, and have been working in housing ever since, initially doing research and consultancy. For most of the last 20 years I have done new build affordable development project management for housing associations and local authorities. It’s a job I love, productive, challenging, difficult, ever changing and always rewarding. It’s a real kick, to take a piece of land, spend two years on design, a year on site, and finally see people move in, and make bare houses into homes. I would only consider giving it up for a cause I really believe in.
I have worked on a croft in Yell. I have lived in Whalsay and Stirling, Glenartney and Menstrie. I have worked in Yell, Unst, Lerwick, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Bridgeton, Calton, Chapelhall, Dumbarton, Doune. My wee big country fills my heart and I want to serve her people.
“Scotland small? Our multiform, our infinite Scotland small?” (Hugh McDairmid)
I joined ISP in 2020, after 32 years in the SNP, because I strongly believe that the Independence movement needs a broader spread of political parties, both in the lead up to independence and once Scotland regains her freedom. The tens, perhaps hundreds, of thousands, of independence supporters who cannot support existing parties deserve an option to vote for; deserve a voice in the Scottish Parliament.
ISP aspire to be that voice. I aspire to be part of that voice.
Hello, I am Cris Thacker, and I am a dad, husband and committed campaigner for independence. I was a candidate for the Greens in the 2017 Council Elections, I am the Co-Chair of my local Yes Group and I’ve been a member of the ISP since the summer of 2020.
I enjoy a varied and fulfilling career, I am currently working as project lead for Glasgow based community development charity. I have travelled extensively, and my academic discipline is International Relations (obtained as a mature student while also working full time).
I am standing as a candidate for parliament as it is important to me that I back up my principles with meaningful actions. It is self-evident that the D'Hondt system – imposed on us by Westminster - can only get us so far. Our movement needs a political party that can add weight to independence cause. As a former Green, I can attest that only the ISP will do this.
As a parliamentarian, at every possible opportunity, I will use every single democratic instrument possible to progress Scotland toward being a normal independent nation state. This is the only promise I make.
Highlands and Islands
My name is Ross Weir and I would like to be your list Candidate for the Highlands and Islands.
I was born in Canada to Scottish parents and returned to Clydebank Scotland in 1981. After living in Glasgow for many years I relocated to Ardrishaig in Argyll in 2005 where I have lived ever since with my wife and two children.
After leaving school I completed an apprenticeship as a Machinist/Fitter, however in 1995 I decided like many Scots I would see the world and joined the Merchant Navy. I have reached the rank of Chief Engineer and have been working as a Merchant Navy Officer for 25 Years. In recent years I have also setup a small engineering company in Ardrishaig, Argyll called Lock 3 Engineering.
I have always believed in Scotland being an independent country and really started to get involved with the Independence movement several years before the 2014 referendum by joining and helping the SNP. I am currently the Convener of ISP Highlands and Islands and also a long-time member of the YES group AYE Fyne. As the movement has progressed, I have increasingly felt the need to get more and more involved and in recent years the lack of progress on Indy by the SNP and their pursuit of unrelated agendas has confirmed that.
The ISP needs to be a strong and credible alternative Independence party. Firstly, to force the SNP to pursue independence as a priority and secondly to ensure that any separation deal done with Westminster is done in the best interest of Scotland. For this latter point we need MSPs from a wide range of backgrounds to fully negotiate Scotland’s needs. As someone with a professional understanding of shipping and the sea I know I would be a useful asset in these negotiations. Additionally, my merchant navy career has given me experience in project management, control of multi-million-pound budgets and finances.
During independence negotiations, the Highlands and Islands will need a strong group of local MSP’s to secure existing and new business and infrastructure. This would make it possible for a fair share of industries and services - such as the Scottish DVLA or Passport Office - to get placed in the Highlands region. The COVID crisis has shown that working remotely from home is now a viable possibility. This should be used to develop a flexible approach to working in a Digital Scotland, enabling the migration of jobs from the central belt to the other areas of Scotland.
Current investment in science and industry within our region must be increased to develop the research capabilities and progression we have made in renewable energies to further benefit the economy and environment. The Highlands and Islands are excellently located for environmental marine research and for renewable power development and these should be a major area of investment in an independent Scotland.
My focus and commitment to you will be to always fight the case for an Independent Scotland and for investment in the Highlands and Islands to improve employment opportunities, helping us build our communities for our children to love, live and prosper in the Highlands and Islands.
I have always believed that Scotland should be an Independent country and this was my main reason for joining the Independence for Scotland Party (ISP). My entry into politics was at the Community Council level, which was my grounding in local politics and the needs of the people. I was able to build on this foundation when elected as an SNP councillor for Argyll & Bute in 2007 and 2012. In 2017, I stood as an independent councillor with an increased first preference vote. Now I am an ISP councillor.
In my 14 year tenure I have held many senior positions within the council and have been elected Leader of Argyll & Bute Council twice. At present, I serve as the Deputy Provost for Argyll & Bute Council. I am also the Chairperson of Argyll Community Housing Association (ACHA), with over 1600 houses in Oban & Lorn and 5,200 across Argyll and Bute. I have a keen interest in sport and I am a director of the Camanachd Association, the governing body of shinty which is based in Inverness and in addition I also serve as a Director of BID for Oban, set up by the Scottish Government to help local businesses. This knowledge of local and regional life puts me in the best place to answer the needs of both the ISP and the people I would represent if elected as an MSP.
This is, of course only a very brief note of who I am, and I am more than happy to take any questions at any time if anything needs clarified.You can, though, rest assured that, if you vote for me on the Regional List, you will get a committed and hard working candidate promoting Independence and serving the Highlands & Islands.
Scottish independence will allow all the people of Scotland to realise their full potential.
Working as a teacher, I have seen the difference that education can make to a child or young person’s life. Scotland needs its young people and its young people need an education that will make them proud, confident and fully equipped for a fast-changing world.
I have been active in politics for nearly thirty years and it has taught me that it is important to be clear and honest about policies. I want Scottish independence and the ISP can help add the pressure to deliver it. A Scottish currency is a requirement for meaningful independence, which is why I support it. A Scottish Public Bank can accelerate our rebuilding of infrastructure, our re-industrialisation and our re-population of the countryside as we make it a more attractive place to live. A Basic Income will start to eradicate the scourge of poverty that blights so many lives.
Policy, though, is a manifestation of values. Achieving an independent Scotland needs some courage, some boldness. However, its development has to be guided by aspiration and compassion. I believe that with myself as a candidate and ISP as a party, we can help bring the change we want to see – Scotland as a proud, upstanding nation and a model of social progress.
A lifelong independence supporter, I joined the ISP shortly after its inception and became the Lothian Branch Treasurer. I was attracted to the ISP’s focus on independence and social justice. The ability to eradicate poverty is a crucial for me. I believe that real change for Scotland, including the opportunity for complete control of policy change, comes only from gaining independence.
Scotland should implement meaningful land reform and a programme of environmentally sustainable food production. As a member of Scottish CND, I totally support the removal of nuclear weapons from Scotland.
I am an experienced business analyst and have held lead and senior analyst roles within the global Financial Services and Insurance industries. This has included extensive business change experience - something needed in the successful transformation of Scotland to an independent nation.
Mid Scotland and Fife
I am in the ISP for independence. Nothing less.
When my nephew and niece were born, independence seemed inevitable but now that I’ve seen these babies become adults, I’m angry that people in Scotland are hearing the same reheated excuses, obfuscation and lies. Three mandates is two more than was needed after England voted for Brexit. At the last general election, I saw Neale Hanvey attacked by a minority element in his own party for supporting women’s rights, so was relieved when ISP was founded: pro-independence and pro-equal rights.
As the creative one on the executive, I’m responsible for the multi-media messaging of the ISP. I’m also very proud to be the Branch Organiser for Mid-Scotland and Fife.
Most folk list degrees or sporting achievements among their successes, but while I enjoyed both rugby and martial arts, simply getting to university felt like a dream. My parents sacrificed a lot for their children, and getting that offer was not only the best day of my life but probably theirs too. I’d be kidding no-one if I tried to claim that finally being made manager of a huge bookshop after ten years of working my way up from the stockroom wasn’t also a thrill. My proudest moment was when Kinghorn Library was renewed and finally received the keys to it after months of effort to save this valuable resource for the community.
After twenty-four years in retail and direct marketing, I decided to change career, returning to college to study furniture-making which is what I wanted to do when at school – and it’s from working with Scottish hardwoods that I’ve really engaged with the environment.
I’ve been married to Patricia for 42 years, we have three grown up children, and two grandchildren.
I worked in heavy engineering for over forty years, but in 2014, I decided to retire early so I could spend more time at home. Up to that point in my life, I hadn’t been at all interested in politics. Having grandchildren made me think about things differently, especially what their futures would be like. I didn’t like what I saw. That inspired me to get involved in the independence referendum in 2014, and I joined my first political party, the SNP, at the age of 56.
I threw myself into that campaign, and to be honest, I’ve never really stopped since. I stood as an independent in the local council elections in 2017, coming fifth out of ten candidates. I’m currently Chair of the Yes2 Kirkcaldy Hub, which I helped set up in 2018. I’m also a Yes Biker for Scottish Independence. I’ve served on the Royal Burgh of Kinghorn Community Council for seven years, and am currently the Deputy Provost.
Fairly recently, after becoming increasingly disillusioned with the SNP, I decided to join ISP. I feel that, with them, I have more chance of making real, positive changes in Scottish politics. I am 100% committed to fighting for, and delivering, Scottish independence.
North East Scotland
My involvement in the ISP started in July 2020, prompted by disillusionment with the direction (or lack of it) of the SNP on independence and policy. After stalling on independence on a number of occasions, it became clear that other priorities were taking over the SNP, priorities which I felt had potentially disastrous consequences for women’s rights and free speech, including over-hasty promotion of gender reform and hate crime measures which were and still are ill-thought out.
The ISP policies towards the EU and matters of conscience were also what attracted me, as well as the fact that the party whip would not apply on matters of conscience.
I am originally from Swansea in Wales and arrived in Scotland 33 years ago. I campaigned from then on for a number of years for the local SNP (Arbroath), leafleting, canvassing, working on elections and so on. I am married and have 4 grown-up children and live in Friockheim in Angus. I have worked in many roles over the years, first as a civil servant, then later administrator, language tutor, and for over 21 years I have been a civilian police staff member in Dundee.
I took up the position of Secretary of the NE ISP Branch, and felt I should not ask others to put their head above the parapet and stand for election if I was not prepared to do it myself. I believe the ISP are the successors in the fight for independence which the SNP seem to have given up. But they also have detailed policies on land reform, Universal Basic Income, and policies on disabled rights, transport, housing and so on which match my thinking, as well as of course the primary focus on independence, without will enable us to fulfil our policies completely.
My focus in representing the North East in Holyrood will be independence (and keeping the SNP to their referendum promise), Brexit and its effects, and the Internal Market Act. These things are and will hugely affect the North East and Scotland as a whole. I hope to see the establishment of a Sovereign Wealth Fund for Scotland.
Before the pandemic, we loved travel, especially round Scotland, and visiting family in Edinburgh, and we hope to get back to that sooner rather than later. Politics takes up a lot of our time now. In between work and politics, I confess to being a football fan, and my husband and I love watching my home town team online, although we have not visited for some time.
I am an ex Biomedical scientist with degrees in Physiology and research publications in Developmental Biology. I am also a science tutor and a TSO (science technician) at a Dundee secondary school. I can be seen behind the counter at the Broughty Ferry British Heart Foundation Shop as a volunteer. Though no politics in the shop, please.
I was born in Ayrshire and emigrated to New Zealand aged 6, but I have never forgotten that I am Scots. Returning to the UK in the early ‘90s as a scientist starting with 5 years in London I have lived in Dundee since 1998.
I want Scotland to be free and independent, not sometime in the future but NOW. I want it be a country which recognises the rights of all as they are born with them. I want more economic equality, not trickle-down but a real shove up and a proper contribution from those doing more than well enough.
I feel passionately that the Scottish education system, especially in science, is not good enough for the modern world. I will argue hard to bring change about.
All this is possible, achievable if only the political will is there. The ISP has that political will and we will argue to bring independence and tangible improvement about.
When not wrestling ideas or running, I potter in my wood workshop, cook, and brew wine and beer.
I am one of those people who have, from a very early age, believed in Independence for Scotland so it can rise to its true potential through finally shaking off the shackles of Westminster. This, amongst other factors, is the reason why I joined the ISP.
I was an SNP member for many years, but have, like many others, become disillusioned because of the lack of progress towards Independence since the 2014 Referendum. Indeed they appear to have back-pedalled a lot, demanding a Section 30 order, when under the Treaty of 1706 they could, quite literally, have walked away from the Union many, many times due to treaty breaches.
My belief is that this Election must be of a plebiscite nature as I believe in the rights of the Scottish people to decide their own future.
I have been employed in many fields of work over the years: finance; driver; currency exchange; and purchasing. I now feel that the need and the time was now right for me to join the ISP and seek the list candidacy in the South Scotland region, to ensure that Independence can happen sooner, rather than later. I hope that from this Election, on 6th May, we can move forward and become a truly socially just, fair and outward looking country once more.
On the local level, I am in total agreement with the need for a public discussion over the proposed development at Eskdalemuir Valley for 2 high velocity rifle ranges and would ask the simple question “Why are they needed”?
Scottish independence has been a passion of mine for many years and I feel that an independent Scotland would be a country that would look after the most vulnerable in society better than we do currently.
I became more actively involved in politics after the birth of my son who is disabled, having to be his voice to deal with the inequality that still exists in society.
As leader of the ISP, it’s been a lot of hard work building the party up to where it is now, and I am so proud of all the hard work the members continue to provide to win Scottish independence.
I was a member of SNP for three years, where I was branch womens' /equality officer. I had a resolution passed at conference in 2018, supporting ‘Scotland the brand‘ looking into food sustainability options.
I have been on the executive committees of Women for Independence (WFI) & Scottish Independence Committee (SIC). I am also involved with many cross-party groups within the Scottish Parliament.
The one main thing in my life I am most proud of is my son. Through all his challenges, he continues to thrive with a smile on his face and it’s for his future I want Independence.
Outside politics I like to go for long walks with my guide dog, meeting up with friends for a meal. I love travelling and look forward to going back to New York.
We have encountered so many changes recently , between Brexit and COVID19, so let's make the next change Independence for Scotland.
Hi, I am Iain Forsyth, and have been for all my adult life a committed campaigner for independence,
I am married with two children, both of whom graduated from university last year.
I have a degree in business and trained as a Chartered Accountant doing audit, accounting, insolvency and tax work in Edinburgh and Glasgow. I have also worked in industry as a management and company accountant. Latterly I ran my own accounting practice.
The overriding ISP policy is independence. An ISP presence in the Scottish parliament would provide the super majority to push for independence and hold the SNP to account. The Scottish people are sovereign in their own land and any democratic means must be taken to bring about self government.
Scotland’s people and businesses have been badly affected by the effects of covid virus. I would work hard to produce a recovery plan for Scotland. This would be best achieved through independence.