SO, here we go again. The UK Parliament has now dissolved and the third General Election in just over four years is upon us. Merry Christmas to you all!

It’s an election which probably comes as quite a relief to some, as it presents an opportunity to bring an end to the impasse that has haunted Westminster in recent times.

To others, it may come as a huge frustration that, after choosing a government in 2015, ballot papers have twice been screwed up and tossed in the bin, with everyone being told we have to start all over again.

But, however we feel about yet another trip to the polls, just remember what a glorious gift it is that, after all this wrangling over Brexit for the past three years, the people are being asked what WE want to do about it all.

You see, living in a democracy really is a gift. You might not think so when the House of Commons starts to sound a bit like a cow shed at noon on a Wednesday but, trust me, it is.

With that in mind, I would urge you to make sure you have your say on December 12.

After you’ve crawled out of bed and scoffed the latest chocolate from your advent calendar, head along to your polling station and mark your X on that ballot sheet.

If you’re not registered to vote, make sure you do so at It only takes a few minutes.

This is not only a time to let our politicians know how we feel about Brexit and everything surrounding it – because, funnily enough, it’s not the only issue we care about. This is also a time to vote for who you think is going to do what is best for our NHS, schools, families, infrastructure, businesses and all the things which matter most to you.

I’ve always found that doing a bit of a research is a wise move during an election campaign. Don’t just cast your vote based on the party political broadcasts you see or the election round-up on the news bulletin every night. Politicians are prepared and have rehearsed for these moments.

As a journalist, I believe it’s important to dig a bit deeper into finding out exactly what they stand for.

You might not get a chance to grill them like Jeremy Paxman but, if you get a knock at the door from someone who wants to be your MP, ask them a few questions and, if their answer isn’t clear or is simply not good enough, demand more from them and their party.

This is your time, not theirs.They will get their time if they get your vote, so you should make sure you know whether or not they are the right person to represent you.

Also, if you can, try to enjoy this opportunity we have been given.

This is going to be one of the most crucial elections of our time and it is the first one at this time of year for nearly a century.

It is an election which could be life-changing for all of us, especially in Scotland, where not only our relationship with Europe is being debated but also our relationship with the rest of the UK.
So, after you’ve voted, get the drinks in, bring out the popcorn, sit back and watch the drama unfold.

And, please, don’t be despondent. Don’t think casting your vote is a waste of time.

Your vote does matter, now more than ever. If you don’t believe me, just ask Stephen Gethins in North East Fife, who won his seat in 2017 by just two votes.

You and your family can make a difference.

Power to the people...