Last night, Labour’s final party political broadcast went out, highlighting in its negative tone why they have themselves to blame if lose they this election. It seems they realised too late that dragging the tattered Thatcher hate doll out to scare the punters is bankrupt thinking. Even their more positive ‘fighting for what really matters’ gains no traction because they offer no clue whence youth jobs or infinite apprenticeships are to appear. Beyond fear or blind loyalty, they offered no reason to vote for them.
You want good reasons to vote? Dave Berry, fourth generation local, knows the county well from 12 years as a councillor and three years as Council Leader. His administration is building 1,000 affordable homes, calming crime with extra police and wardens, targeting P1-P3 with more teachers to boost literacy/numeracy while keeping your council tax frozen, services intact and staff morale high. His civic actions include getting the SSC, NB Highland Games and Fringe by the Sea off the ground. From his local knowledge, he has given talks on mining in Tranent, on Stevenson lighthouses to the Probus Club and another featured in the Fred Marr memorial tribute last August.
You want more reasons? As a businessman who ran a database consultancy for twenty years, he understands what SMEs need. As a product planning manager, he spent eighteen years in California’s Silicon Valley, learning management and marketing in the US’s intensely competitive environment. Both mean he knows we need small businesses, based in town centres, quality local produce and marine activities to give the county a prosperous 21st © future that is less dependent on elsewhere for jobs. As an environmentalist, he served eight years on SEPA’s East Board. As an SNP member since 1976 (home in Scotland since 1993) he rose to chair its 360-strong councillor organisation and, since 2005, to be one of four members elected annually to its NEC. These last make party mechanisms and decision makers well known to him.
You want ‘human’ reasons? In his spare time, he’ll be found skippering tour boats or acting as a local guide or playing rock & roll with a band that dates from the sixties. In quieter/darker times he enjoys reading history and creative writing or catching up with friends over a decent coffee. Always approachable, never off-duty, he knows fine his loyalties must lie with the people he represents. And, if the people of East Lothian choose him to represent them, East Lothian will be put on the Scottish Government’s map for as long as that is the case.
Excellent Dave, no doubt in my mind you have all the credentials that will provide the community of East Lothian the representation, involvement, knowledge and committment we expect from our elected member in Government.
For the sake of this community I wish you every success this Thursday and in your future endeavours on our behalf.