Independence activist

Meet Kelly Given, the Scottish independence campaigner from Make Me Prime Minister

A SCOTTISH independence An activist on a new Channel 4 political show said she wanted to give the movement the mainstream spotlight it doesn’t get on a regular basis.

Kelly given25, will appear for the first time on Make Me Prime Minister on Tuesday night as she competes against 11 other candidates to see who has what it takes to be Britain’s next head of government.

The group – which will face the judgment of Alastair Campbell and Baroness Sayeeda Warsi – will be slowly whittled down over the next six weeks in a series of apprentice-style challenges, involving policy making and launching, debates and public speaking.

How Given got involved

An independence campaigner since the age of 16, Given – who has worked for MSPs and MPs and for the Scottish Government – was approached by a casting director in April who had discovered her work as a board member. administration of SNPYSI’s youth wing, social media content and online campaign for the Yes movement.

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The irony of appearing on a show about becoming an alternative prime minister when you support Scottish independence didn’t escape Given, but she said she saw it as a chance to promote a case positive of self-determination via a mainstream broadcaster.

“It crossed my mind [the irony] and I address it on the show,” she said.

“Bringing independence to the mainstream”

Given continued: “But for me it was about bringing independence to a mainstream platform like Channel 4 because we’ve never really settled there, and the fact that I’ve had that opportunity as someone who is a strong supporter of independence was brilliant. .

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“I had the opportunity to talk about it [independence] in a bit of depth so hopefully that does the editing.

“I spoke a lot about the different reasons why I support independence and what it would look like. For me it was about giving independence to this platform and showcasing the positive case on Channel 4 where it is very rarely mentioned.

Given, who works as equality, diversity and inclusion manager for NHS Lothian, said she wanted to make the case that independence makes democratic sense – since Scotland has no not voted for one Conservative government since the 1950s – and how it would help Scotland realize its full potential.

The National: Photography: Gordon TerrisPhoto: Gordon Terris (Image: Photography: Gordon Terris)

But as well as lashing out as the impassioned Yesser on Channel 4 in prime time, Given said she likes to dabble in politics.

And she warned viewers to expect some fire between her and the other contestants as the series progresses.

“I am a lover of radical politics”

When asked what kind of politics she could be expected to talk about, she replied, “I’m a lover of radical politics and you’ll see that on the show.

“I’m the one with the big, massive ideas that everyone tells me to chill on.

“I’m a big fan of nationalization, nationalization of energy companies, of rail service. I am a big proponent of bringing utilities back into public ownership.

The National: Photography: Gordon TerrisPhoto: Gordon Terris (Image: Photography: Gordon Terris)

“I like big politics, things that are going to bring about change. We’re stuck in a rut in Britain right now where politics are terrible and nothing the government comes up with is actually helping people. We we need decisive action and that’s what I’m on this show, and I’m challenged a lot.

“There were definitely times when I found it very intense. I faced other candidates on some occasions, there was certainly tension.

“You can expect a lot of fire.”

Two former prime ministers, Tony Blair and David Cameron, both appear in the six-part series to offer personal advice as the candidates aim to show they have the charisma, vision and political savvy to lead.

“I enjoyed every minute”

How Given will fare in the coming weeks remains to be seen, but she knows the experience has rekindled her love for politics, which she lost at one point amid an autism diagnosis ago. a few years.

And she has even revealed that she may be considering getting into frontline politics in the coming years.

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She added: “I really enjoyed every minute.

“I always wanted to be in westminster When I was young. I however lost my passion for it when I was about 21 years old. I had had a bad political experience and hadn’t yet been diagnosed with autism, so I was a little upset myself, and I feel like that reignited my passion for frontline politics.

“I think I deterred myself because you never see young women with autism in politics, but the show made me realize I could do it.

“I plan to present myself as a deputy candidate in the next elections.”

The show will air on Channel 4 every Tuesday evening at 9.15pm.

Teresa R. Cabrera

The author Teresa R. Cabrera