Speaking the truth to power

Honouring a special legacy Evelyn Gillan

I'm in the middle of a campaign to get selected to stand for Holyrood in Edinburgh just now. It's hugely competitive and so it's really important that people do get a sense of who you are and why you want to stand. For me it's about bringing a lifetime of experience anda real passion to use that experience to improve people's lives and ensure everyone gets the opportunities I have had. To bring more humanity in to our decisions not only in government but in our public services and private sector organisations too. To make love a driver for policy and not let a discredited system of economics dominate. I also want people to know that all that has affected me in life has shaped me, including living with two diagnoses of cancer in the past.
So today I posted a short video of why public services and the third sector matter to everyone but especially to me. In an email to the members who have a vote I described how my working class background and life experience including living with breast cancer had shaped who I am and why I want to represent them. And then I read this posthumous article by Evelyn Gillan .
I had met Evelyn a few years ago at a third sector leader event and really warmed to her. I knew she was ill and heard with great sadness of her death this week. But when I read her article I was stunned. Not only did I understand and relate to so much of what she said, it also seemed like she was describing my life too. But of course I was luckier, I have survived my cancer. She spoke my truth, in the words of the song she "sang my life with her words".
I urge you to read her article, penned with the clarity of approaching the end of life and the absolute truth of having nothing to lose. Her words describe so well why I too am driven to create a different future for our  people. Like Evelyn I believe they deserve so much better than the neoliberal experiment that has caused so much damage.
As I read it I felt tearful as it moved me on so many levels. The importance of love and family is a key theme. Thanks for writing so eloquently, Evelyn, may you rest in peace but also know that you are not alone in seeking the change you hoped for and I for one will do my best to do my bit for a different future for our wonderful country and our people.
" It is the hardest thing to leave your loved ones, especially your children, but I take my leave of you with hope that we are rediscovering those things that matter most."
My deep sympathy goes to Evelyn and her family, the world is poorer since she has gone. Her article is a powerful legacy.


  1. Your approach to this topic is unique and informative. I am writing an article for our school paper and this post has helped me. Thanks.

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