I think Nicola Sturgeon gave one of the best speeches I've ever heard her make at SNP conference on Sunday. It was the presentation, the sincerity but above all else it was, let's face it, the actual facts about what this SNP government is doing in power.
You get so used to knowing about the changes and the achievements of the last few years that you become accepting, forget about them and move on. So it was really good to listen and be reminded that next week prescription charges will be reduced to £3.00 and in a year they'll be free. And I don't think I ever really took it in before that we'd employed a further 2000 dentists since coming to power. Two thousand? That's a brilliant result. And let's not forget the extra 1000 police out on the beat.
The SNP Government is pretty damn good I reckon!
When Nicola announced free healthcare checks for everyone over 40, (apart from being jealous because I'm going to have to wait for YEARS!) I nearly leapt out of my seat with excitement. It's exactly the kind of thing our health service SHOULD be doing - working with people to prevent health conditions worsening or developing in the first place. It's only measures like this, like the smoking bill and like the minimum pricing of alcohol that will start to get to the nitty gritty of what causes the incredible health problems we have in Scotland and primarily in Glasgow.
But the best bit of the speech for me was when she talked of the need to "shine a very bright light into the murky corridors of Labour-controlled Glasgow City Council".
Nicola is a fighter. She fights for the people of Govan, Glasgow and Scotland. She's fiercesome. She's not afraid to speak out when it's needed. She's immune to the shenanigans and party politicking of the opposition parties and doggedly presses on with what she believes to be right rather than what they try to lampoon her into. She's never ever been afraid to roll her sleeves up and do a hard day's graft. And she will continue to chip away at Labour until they learn the meaning of the word "transparency".
She's by no means perfect I have to tell you. I mean, she forgot my birthday a couple of weeks ago but somehow managed to remember it the month before when telling everyone how old I was going to be and when! That said, she's not scared to admit when she's wrong as we saw her do recently in a statement to parliament that was brilliant because of its straightforward honesty and sincerity - sadly something that's so surprising in politics these days. I only didn't blog about it at the time because she's my friend and I was too upset about the way she'd been treated to say anything rational.
So I can forgive her for forgetting my birthday (although I'll be getting my own back in July!) because every day she makes me proud to know her and proud to be a member of the same party. She did it that day in parliament and she did it in Sunday's conference speech.