Wednesday, May 02, 2012

About: Robert Brown

Regular readers will know that this blog is a huge fan of former Liberal Democrat MSP Robert Brown. In fact, there's few people I'm bigger fans of. Matt Smith, maybe and Paul McCartney and Michael Schumacher and Shirley Wiliams, but not many more. I've known him since I came back to Scotland in 2000 and worked with him as a party office bearer between 2005 and 2007. He was Policy Convener while I was Campaigns and Candidates Convener. There are few wiser, or fairer people on the planet than Robert Brown.

He was the one who stood up against the SNP when they casually quadrupled pre-charge detention time in an afternoon. He was the one who picked up on the high rates of self harm amongst women prisoners before the appalling scandal of conditions at Cornton Vale was unearthed by the Inspector.

I was distraught when didn't make it back to Holyrood last year but he's since decided to stand for the Rutherglen South ward of South Lanarkshire Council. Before Robert was an MSP, he was a Councillor for Rutherglen for a long time. He is absolutely loving his campaign. I saw him at the end of March at the 30th anniversary of the Hillhead by-election dinner and he was on very good form. He's been campaigning against cuts in bus services, for improvements to housing and against a planned mobile phone mast and he's loving getting out there and talking to people. 

In the last year, he's really got into social networking, both on Facebook and Twitter. I was, shall we say, less than sympathetic one night when he reported having been bitten by a dog on the campaign trail. I mean, it is an occupational hazard of putting bits of paper through letterboxes. Heartless, he called me. I felt really guilty when I saw the said injured finger, weeks later because it looked like the animal had taken quite a chunk out of him. 

The people of Rutherglen South will have a fabulous councillor if they elect Robert tomorrow - if you live there, give him your first preference.

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