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A Difference of Opinion

My Political Journey

by Jim Sillars


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ISBN: 9781788853033
Published: 02 Sep 2021
Format: E-Book
Extent: 328
Publisher: Birlinn Ltd
Imprint: Birlinn
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About the Book

Jim Sillars, among the last of his generation’s working-class politicians, has had a prominent role in Scottish public life for more than six decades, during which he moved from being a Unionist Labour MP to becoming deputy leader of the SNP and now a sharp critic of the party’s cult of personality.

In this candid memoir, he records a controversial political life from local councillor to Westminster MP, during which he had dealings with many prominent politicians of the day. But he also reflects on what moulded him in his early years, the added influences of his service in the Royal Navy, his time in Hong Kong, his trade union activity and his non-political business engagements in the Middle East and Asia.

Bringing the book up to date to address contemporary issues, he offers views on Brexit, Russia, the Middle East, climate change, the Alex Salmond trial and the consequences of the 2021 Holyrood election.

He and Margo MacDonald, to whom he was married for thirty-three years, were a formidable political partnership until her death in 2014. He pays a heartfelt tribute to her in this book.

The Author

Jim Sillars

Jim Sillars was born and brought up in Ayr. After a succession of early jobs, he joined the Royal Navy and was drafted to Hong Kong. Leaving the Navy he went into the Fire Brigade, becoming active in trade unionism and the Labour Party. Following years serving as a Labour MP in Westminster he split with Labour Party and formed the Scottish Labour Party before joining the SNP. He was elected the SNP MP for Govan in 1988. In his later career he became Assistant to the Secretary General of the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce and also served six years on the board of Scottish Enterprise. He lives in Edinburgh.