Tory candidate Alix supports Brexit and keeping 10,000 nuclear weapons-related jobs at Faslane
Tory candidate Alix Mathieson pictured with the Maid of the Loch at Balloch Pier.
By Bill Heaney
Alix Mathieson is probably too nice a person to be a politician.
And apart from that, she is too shy to give much away about her personal life.
The 28-year-old would rather you didn’t know where she lives with her husband and two children, although we could reveal that it’s not too far from here. But we won’t.
Keeping her family safe is Alix’s number one priority and that can be a problem for politicians who usually crave a high profile to get them known amongst the electorate.
How can anyone vote for you if they don’t know who you are?
And how wise is it staying out of the media when one story in a newspaper or a digital platform such as The Democrat can be worth thousands of dropped off election leaflets or door knocks?
As I have reported above, Alix really wants to be a politician, but she is unlikely to realise her ambition here in West Dunbartonshire, where she is standing for the Conservative Party.
She has about as much chance of winning in this working class constituency as Jo Swinson, the Lib Dem leader, has of becoming prime minister.
So, what about this reticence of hers about having a high profile?
After all, her leader, Boris Johnston, is no shrinking violet when it comes to publicity.
Quite the opposite in fact.
And First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is not shy about coming forward when anyone suggests a selfie.
Alix told me: “While it may be unusual not to disclose names of my family that is the decision I have taken not to involve them in public life.
“Again, I hope you will respect this. I am happy to disclose that I have two children. I took the decision not to place any names or photos of my children on-line or for local news and clubs when they were born, and I will not be changing that decision.”
We can gather from that then that Alix’s political ambitions go back to before her children were born.
She added: “I have never stood for election before at any level. I was a council clerk [and] worked in the Governance department.
“I currently work for Scottish Conservative West Scotland Region MSPs as a Senior Caseworker, which means I deal with constituent issues throughout West Dunbartonshire on a daily basis.”
Why stand in West Dunbartonshire when you don’t live here?
Alix said: “If elected, I have a number of things I would like to see happen in West Dunbartonshire.
“I have been heavily involved in the Conservative initiative to see the Vale of Leven have a centre of excellence for mental health.
“This project is near completion and if elected I would ensure that this happens. This would both protect and increase services at the Vale.
“I would like to see more social housing built in West Dunbartonshire, increasing on the great initiative the Council has started and that our councillors [of all parties] have supported, ensuring that any new houses have proper infrastructure, school spaces and so on.
“I would be a strong voice for our armed forces and veterans in Westminster and ensure that we keep our nuclear deterrent at Faslane, which will protect over 10,000 jobs as well as local businesses who profit from the custom that the Base brings. Both Labour and the SNP want to scrap Trident.”
And what about Brexit and Scottish independence?
Where does Alix, who grew up in social housing and graduated with an MA in politics from the University of Glasgow, stand on those two vexatious questions, which must inevitably be on every voter’s mind.
She said: “I am the only candidate who is standing to respect the results of both referendums, and so during this parliamentary term I would ensure that this [Brexit] was done.”
On a second Scottish Referendum, she said, her aim would be “that we deliver a good deal for Scotland and the UK in leaving the EU and move on from constitutional issues.
Alix added: “I would also like to work with the Council to encourage more shops, especially independent small businesses opening in our main shopping centres.
“Between work and having children I do not have a great deal of spare time however, any spare time I do have I spend with my children on days out or doing crafts and baking with them indoors.”
Alix is not too busy however to take on the energy sapping, time consuming business of campaigning for her election to Westminster.
She said: “I have a fantastic team and I have had a great response on the doors so far.
“Most people want to move on from the divisions of the past.”