Interview with John Nicolson (SNP MP for East Dunbartonshire)

My blog wouldn’t be fairly representing all major parties if it didn’t include the SNP (Scottish National Party) who became the third largest party in the House of Commons at the last election, winning 56 of the 59 seats in Scotland. This shocked many people, including Nicola Sturgeon herself! I was lucky when newly elected SNP MP for East Dunbartonshire, John Nicolson, agreed to answer some questions for my blog. Mr Nicolson has also been a TV presenter for BBC and ITV.

  • How important is it that young people take an interest in politics?

“It’s vitally important. Politicians shape the country in which we grow up. They make decisions about education and housing, war and peace. You will inherit the world which today’s politicians are creating. If you want to change it you have to make your voice heard, as tens of thousands of young Scots did when they got involved and campaigned for a Yes vote in the referendum.”

  • Why did you decide to join the SNP aged 16?

“I never understood why we were ruled from London. I wanted us to make our own decisions on issues like nuclear weapons and the monarchy. Also I’d been inspired listening to Margo speak at our school. She seemed so much more colourful than the drab politicians on TV, and was saying the things I wanted to hear from a politician.”

  • Why did you decide to swap being a TV presenter for becoming a Member of Parliament?

“I got involved in the Referendum. It was thrilling to feel that change was in our hands. When the result came in I was very sad. But I decided we couldn’t go back to our old passive ways. I was asked to chair Nicola Sturgeon’s tour of Scotland including the amazing Glasgow Hydro event and I decided to run.”

  • Do you prefer Alex Salmond or Nicola Sturgeon as leader of the SNP?

“I like them both! I think history will record Alex Salmond’s extraordinary achievement in making the SNP Scotland’s natural party of government and delivering the Referendum. It has changed Scotland forever.

Under Nicola the SNP has risen to 60% in the polls. She inspires trust and admiration even amongst her political opponents. “

  • Do you have any funny stories from your time in politics?

 “I loved arriving in the Commons and looking across at some of the Tory MPs’ faces when they realised that although we came from scary Scotland we were quite fluent in English.”

John Nicolson