Tom Wills Interview with BBC Radio Shetland - 8th April
Hello, I’m Tom Wills – your SNP candidate for Shetland’s next MSP in the 2021 Scottish Parliament election on Thursday, 6th of May.
I was born and raised on Shetland, and I’m committed to stand up for our local community in order help build a fairer, more prosperous and sustainable future for our islands.
TRUST TOM TO WORK FOR YOU – VOTE FOR TOM
- Whatever your politics, I will listen and take your case to the heart of government.
- You can trust me to speak my mind and put our community first.
Why I’m standing as your Shetland MSP candidate
Published and promoted by Patrick Ross-Smith on behalf of Tom Wills, both of Moars Park, Weisdale, Shetland, ZE2 9LN.
I grew up in Bressay and now live in Hoswick with my wife Andrea and our young son. It’s impossible to live in Shetland and not be aware of the abundant natural resources around us: the amazing riches of our inshore waters; the oil and gas fields still working offshore and our abundant wind and tidal power.
In the midst of such abundance, it’s hard to see fellow islanders suffer at the hands of successive Tory governments we didn’t vote for. Westminster is responsible for the scandal that despite all the UK’s natural wealth, so many citizens – even in Shetland – still have to choose between heating their homes and putting a meal on the table.
I want to tackle inequality, protect our environment and help Shetland reach our full potential – that’s why I’m asking to be your Member of the Scottish Parliament, where I can help build a fairer society where everyone has the chance to thrive.
I know how fortunate I am to have grown up here in Shetland and to be raising my family here. From a young age I helped out on our small family croft and those of friends in Bressay and crewed on my Dad’s tourist boat, getting my skipper’s ticket. In time off from studying engineering at Glasgow, I also worked in Lerwick’s fish factories, bars and restaurants. I once met some visiting businessmen over a conveyor belt at Shetland Catch, before serving them dinner in Monty’s and later a pint in the Lounge!
Like many Shetlanders before me, I wanted to explore the world. After working at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney, I spent five years on wave and tidal power projects in South America and South-East Asia and completed a degree in marine and coastal engineering in Norway. For the last three years I’ve been working with the tidal turbines generating electricity in Bluemull Sound.
My work and study abroad taught me two things that drive my politics:
Firstly, I realised how much we have to be grateful for, here in Shetland: unlike so many places around the world, we have our wonderful NHS, free education from nursery to university, and a welfare system that still provides at least a basic safety net. These are things we hold dear and we must do everything we can to protect them from the Tories. Now that we’ve left the EU, Scotland is being dragged in an increasingly right-wing direction. I believe we can stop this alarming trend if we vote to run our own affairs, while remaining good friends with our families and neighbours south of the Border.
Secondly, I realised how much better things could be if we create a society that puts human wellbeing first, protects our environment and treats the national resources of this country as if they belong to the citizens. Norway has a trillion-dollar sovereign wealth fund: the UK has a web of tax havens instead. Shetland is surrounded by small independent countries that have protected their fishing industries: the UK has repeatedly sold ours out.
We are at a crossroads. This election on the 6th of May is about democracy and the future we want to build for ourselves, our loved ones and the generations to follow. Scotland always votes for a fairer society, but time after time we end up with Westminster Tory governments that cause needless suffering by trying to strip our public services down to the bare minimum. Time is up. It’s time to decide our own future, chart our own course and build a fairer, greener and more equal society for everyone.
After 12 years working in renewable energy, the 2019 by-election spurred me into political action. I found it fascinating and exciting to travel all around Shetland and talk to folk about their hopes for the future. I’m asking people in Shetland to lend me their votes. I promise to represent everyone in our islands and take Shetland’s case to the heart of government.
I’m asking for your trust, which is a precious thing. I will never take it for granted. I will work with everyone, whatever their political views, to achieve the goals we hold in common.
Yours for Shetland,