Scotlandâ€™s longest-serving political activist has thrown his weight behind Robin Harperâ€™s campaign to be Scotlandâ€™s first Green MP.
Leslie Spoor, who will turn 100 this October, traces his activism back to the 1930s. He was involved in the Cable Street riots of 1936, when communities in Londonâ€™s East End decided to stand up to Oswald Mosleyâ€™s “British Union of Fascists”
In 1978, already three years into his retirement as a teacher, Leslie was the principal founder of the Scottish Green Party (then the Scottish Ecology Party) which went on to contest the general election for the first time in 1979.
Now, over 30 years later, Leslie still maintains a keen interest in politics and public affairs and is lending a helping hand with Robin Harperâ€™s campaign in the Edinburgh East constituency.
“In a long and active life I have seen political fashions come and go. And when you have such a wide perspective, you realize that what matters is long term vision. So much of politics now is obsessed with superficial issues of TV performance but I am backing the Greens because they alone have a sense of urgency about the future of the planet. And I am backing Robinâ€™s campaign in Edinburgh East because he is a refreshing change from the faceless and subservient MPs who fill so many of the Westminster benches.”
Robin welcomed Leslieâ€™s support, adding:
“In a yearâ€™s time I will have served 12 years as a Green MSP, making me the most experienced of the candidates in Edinburgh East. But I had already decided to step down as a MSP next year in order to take up new challenges. The challenge of being Scotlandâ€™s first Green MP was one I could not resist. And Leslieâ€™s long and distinguished career is proof that there is lots of time for a new chapter to be opening!”
The Greens have targeted Edinburgh East as being the best prospect for delivering Scotlandâ€™s first Green MP. In 2009â€™s European elections the Greens came third in Edinburgh East with 17% of the vote and well ahead of the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.