As you can see from the photograph above, Argyll and Bute MP, Brendan O’Hara from Helensburgh, is literally taking to the road and the ferries] on his first summer tour of the islands of Argyll.
For the next two weeks local MP Brendan O’Hara will be doing an island hop tour around his constituency in a campervan.
This will provide him with his own travelling sanctuary and supply a guaranteed and visible place to meet not only individuals but groups of constituents in small rural and island places and in circumstances where he can offer them a cup of coffee.
In touring the islands this way he will also gather all sorts of instructive insights into Argyll and the Isles as experienced by holidaying campervanners. And who can think of a better way than this to go exploring the spectacular remotenesses of his enviably glorious constituency?
This is an inspired and practical approach to the tour. He will find it a total blast
Over the duration of the fortnight Mr O’Hara will visit 9 islands in total – Bute, Coll, Tiree, Colonsay, Islay, Jura, Mull, Iona and Gigha.
So far he has ticked Bute of the list, attending the Bute Highland Games on Saturday, followed by a day in Oban where he met up with his MSP colleague, Michael Russell.
The O’Hara tour will include surgeries where islanders will have the opportunity to deliver their concerns to Brendan face to face, as well as meeting with local business owners and organisations – making himself as as accessible to constituents as he can.
The MSP says: ‘I’m in no doubt that this is the most beautiful constituency in these islands and representing the people who live and work here is a huge privilege.
‘I was determined to use this time to get around as much of the place as I can to meet folk, hear their concerns and ideas and help them with the issues they face.
‘Being an MP means putting your constituency first and this is one of the many opportunities I’ll take to do just that. I am looking forward to the next two weeks immensely.’
Another way of looking at this is that the summer tour is a way also to put yourself first – and we hope the MP sees it as the unrivalled opportunity it is to have a good reason to travel the Argyll islands and get to talk to the people who live there.
Mr O’Hara’s itinerary is as follows:
- Sat 22nd August: Bute Highland Games [done]
- Mon 24th August: Oban Day including cabinet meeting [done]
- Tues 25th August: Oban to Coll
- Wed 26th August: Day in Coll
- Thu 27th August: Coll to Tiree
- Fri 28th August: Tiree to Oban, Oban to Mull, evening in Mull
- Sat 29th August: Iona day – Oban evening
- Sun 30th August: Colonsay
- Mon 31st August: Colonsay
- Tues 1st September: Islay Evening
- Wed 2nd September: Jura
- Thu 3rd September: Tayinloan
- Fri 4th September: Gigha
This will also be an odd time for Mr O’Hara’s predecessor, Argyll and Bute’s long time Liberal Democrat MP, Alan Reid.
A political realist, Mr Reid never felt he would survive the SNP storm tide this year – but a time when he would normally have been on this tour himself and is not, will be a poignant and empty reminder of what he has lost.