Mhairi Black is soon-becoming a household name. She is not only a woman who is an MP- a title worthy of celebrating- but she is also the youngest MP since 1667, back when 13-year-old boys were allowed to become MPs. She is precisely 25 days older than me, and Mhairi Black is an SNP Member of Parliament at the grand old age of 21.
Now if that wasn’t a reason enough to be celebrating, not only did she become elected as she was finishing her final year of Politics at the University of Glasgow (which she earned a first in), but she has become a spokesperson for your average working person in the UK. She’s not a born-with-a-silver-spoon-in-her-mouth MP, but an average gal; a season-ticket holder of Partick Thistle who went to your standard secondary school.
Since becoming an MP she has made a maiden speech which thrashed the government’s approach to unemployment in her constituency, criticised the government over the cuts to housing benefit, and pretty much pointed out everything stupid with our current government.
And gee do I love her.
I had the most wonderful opportunity in my life to meet her in the 2015 election debates when BBC Newsbeat got a good selection of students to batter MPs with questions. Naturally the concerns over tuition rose up and the hot topic was thrown around like a hot potato on live TV. I remember distinctively the Conservative MP saying about how we need degrees, how important they are to our career, and that he understood our concerns over tuition, but not to worry as it’ll all ‘work out’. That’s when Mhairi Black full on laughed. She took the stand and said that it was funny when these older guys said they ‘understood’- they didn’t and they couldn’t. She said ‘you know how I understand? Because I’m still a student’.
Not only did I did I get the feeling that we students finally had a voice in the midst of these out-of-touch MPs, but there was a voice with one hell of a spark. She was confident, proud, and actually there because she cared about her job. Never in my life have I wanted an MP to be my best friend until then.
This woman who is the same age of at least a third of us students had a motive, a desire, and needed to do something that would make a change – and she went straight ahead and did it. Not only can you admire her for her down-to-earth persona, but her sense of humour and sense of drive is so awe-inspiring that I feel like if she could do it, then any of us could. And that’s what she told me. After crushing over how much in awe I was of her, she told me after the debate that we could do anything; if we want to do something, just go and effing do it. Thanks to her, I believe I can.
[Image: Andrew Neil]