Empowered and mobilised by the supportive community created through the 100 for the 100th events of June 2018, Kairin Van Sweeden has gone on to take serious steps towards standing for political office, expanding on her role as Leith SNP Women & Equalities Officer.
Kairin van Sweeden - Leith SNP Women and Equalities Officer
It was actually due to some bad luck with work in June 2017 that my working timetable changed and I was finally able to get along the branch meetings of Leith SNP. I immediately enjoyed being in the company of political, independence-seeking people. Coming from a political family, I immediately felt comfortable and mentally stimulated - with a sense of purpose, which I hadn't felt since leaving university in 2015.
I am horrified by the injustices visited upon people by 10 years of austerity and this is on top of many others including the blatant tax evasion of the wealthy, the war in Iraq and the poll tax. There are way too many injustices in the UK actually. In January 2018, I also became involved in the 'Save Leith Walk' campaign and have been aghast at some of the injustices within our planning system. For example, how can several small, local businesses be destroyed at the whim of one larger business? How can a attractive and functional building be destroyed for no good reason apart from profit? There is so much that needs to change here.
After some meetings and campaigning, a few of my co-campaigners suggested that I should think about becoming a councillor but it wasn't until I attended the '100 for a 100' event that I started to think more seriously about standing for political office.
I know that many of my fears are the same as many other women, that is; "I am smart enough?", "Will I let the side down?" However, I realise now that politics is a Geekdom that many people don't inhabit and more women are needed to at least represent our society as it is. So, it is fundamentally for this reason that I think I should put my head above the parapet although I do so with a fair degree of trepidation.