Hey everyone I suppose it had to happen. There are some things in life which are just unavoidable no matter what else may occur.
These things are usually significant events such as Birth without which none of us would actually be here, marriage to cement a loving relationship hopefully this will soon be applied to all citizens of these islands regardless of biology, gender, whether ascribed or acquired or sexual orientation and Death by which time we all hope to have left a legacy for humanity. However there a few events which though they may go unnoticed at the time will be regarded as game changers in years to come and I was informed of one such event on Monday evening by Moray Labour councillor Sean Morton when he sent a request to me to like a facebook page.
The page request he sent me was one in support our mutual friend Pam Duncan who has decided to throw her hat in the ring to become the perspective Labour MP for Falkirk at the 2015 UK general election that is of course providing Scotland votes as I hope it does not vote namely to remain in the United Kingdom.
However constitutional differences aside Pam Duncan is a personal friend of mine and has been since our first meeting when we became colleagues whilst both working at Glasgow Centre for Inclusive Living where I was a Disability Diversity/Etiquette Trainer and Pam worked as an Inclusive Living Advisor.
Despite being on different sides of the political debate I’m a card carrying member of the SNP our friendship was not as unlikely as some who are not as directly involved in party politics have may have thought, built as it was not only on a shared passion for politics but also a commitment to a fairer more equal society. This is a society in which rights to access assistance and inclusion would be exactly that rights not requests.
In many ways Pam is exactly the kind of woman her party needs particularly in an area like Falkirk where they have in recent years had a troubled and turbulent history.
On her facebook page Pam says she offers a fresh voice for Labour and a fresh start for Falkirk and you had better believe that she means it. Trust me on this I speak from direct experience. I know what it’s like to have Pam in my corner and she is someone who will never shirk a challenge. I was lucky to have her support when as my union representative she gave me her full support during my gender identity transition at work.
It is during the dark days you realise who your friends are and who will never be more than colleagues or acquaintances. I am proud to say I call Pam Duncan a friend and a valued friend at that.
Knowing better than most what I was like Pam asked the tough questions and she asked them for a reason to make my life easier. Pam has also encouraged me in other areas of my life particularly political campaigning and activism. The clearest indication of this came at a Scottish Election hustings in 2007 when she could see how angry and frustrated I was at the poor performance of the SNP candidate on the issues.
Rather than gloating as some less charitable opponents may have done, Pam and two other colleagues one of whom was also a Labour Party Member and the other who I suspect may identify on my side of the debate, came over to me and told me to get more involved by joining the party of my choice. They were also joined in this quest by the man who represented Labour on the panel that day, my former MSP and now a councillor for the Glasgow Shettleston ward Frank McAveety.
This was a step I was eventually to take and did so as soon as the gun was fired for the start of the 2010 General Election campaign and after campaigning for the party since the 1988 Govan By-Election I was now a fully paid up party member. I wonder what may have happened had Pam thought on self interest or party interest rather than putting equality first and telling me how much my party needed me and how much of asset I could be as a campaigner for equality within the SNP
However on that early spring Monday afternoon Pam showed loyalty to a friend and fired me up to shut up the more smug and shall we say less intellectually able Labour supporters at my work. You see Pam is a socialist and like me she has never believed that Mr Blair was a real Labour man. To her the Labour Party should be about promoting and achieving the values, views, and visions of a better Scotland within a Britain with the principles of fairness and equality at the heart of all they do.
If they are wise enough to select her the Falkirk Labour Party will have made a very astute decision and made the constituency so much harder for my party to gain than may be otherwise be the case. Well they would have a real red radical with values views and visions and in that is someone worth having. Believe me I know Pam Duncan well and I know she would be an excellent MP she will also be a fighter for fairness and a better more equal society.
I suppose it had to happen Pam standing for selection to become a Member of Parliament she cares too much for people for it not to be the case.
Love And Best Wishes