Mohammed Sarwar MP
Sarwar on this list for his work in helping to bring the three youths involved in the Kriss Donald murder to justice, and for his mediation in the Molly Campbell affair. The old adage is that it's not what you know, but who you know, and this year, Sarwar has used his contacts in Pakistan to help people in two very grim situations.
Angus MacNeil MP
He may only have been in the House of Commons since May last year, but MacNeil's impact has been immense. He's the one who has lifted the lid on the 'cash for Honours' scandal and not only could his actions damage the credibility of both Labour and the Tories, but they could end up leading to a reform of rules on party political funding. A place in history after just 18 months. Impressive.
Willie Rennie MP
During the Dunfermline & West Fife By-Election, the Liberal Democrats were facing meltdown. Charles Kennedy had been hounded out of the LibDem leadership despite his popularity with the public, and the candidates to replace him were hardly setting the heather alight. In fact, the only reason the party got any press at all was because the papers gleefully outed Simon Hughes and uncovered Mark Oaten's rent boy scandal. And in spite of all that, LibDem Rennie won the By-Election.
The Conservative group on South Ayrshire Council
They get a nomination for becoming the first Tory group to gain full control of a local Council in Scotland since the new Councils were elected. A combination of lucky circumstances - the collapse of the Labour leadership - and good timing - making their move to replace both the Council Leader and Provost while they had the clear numerical advantage - shows a political sharpness that seems to have been lacking in the Scottish Tory Party recently.
The Holyrood Public Petitions Committee might have poured cold water on their bid for an independence referendum, but this group seems more organised and prominent than previous pro-independence umbrella organisations. Their march on 30 September shows potential, and the fact that they got speakers from the SNP, SSP, Greens and Solidarity shows that they're being taken seriously. We're going to hear more from them, I suspect.
30 November 2006
Mohammed Sarwar MP