My name is Henri Van der Stighelen. I consider myself to be a Scot although I am actually Belgian. I came to Scotland in 1951 and grew up on the Clydeside overlooking some of the big shipyards such as Yarrow’s and Barclay Curles. My dad was the General Manager at A & J Inglis shipyard at Pointhouse. I spent a lot of time with my dad in the yard. In 1989 I moved to London and lived there for more than 24 years. I now live in Helensburgh.
My background is communications and technology and my degree is in Maths and Computing. I came very late to education because I hated every day at school. I say ‘if Uni didn’t teach you humility, it hasn’t taught you anything’.
My working life so far has spanned from delivering papers, rolls and milk at 13 to Director of Networks/Delivery at Energis plc (now Cable & Wireless).
My passion is the Scottish Referendum. I wanted the result to be what the people of Scotland want – that’s was a big ask. Some people know what they want, some know what they don’t want. I want to challenge, inform, learn and get involved.
The Edinburgh Agreement determined that the losing side would accept the result of the referendum and work with the winning side to unite and deliver that outcome. I respected the principle of the Edinburgh Agreement. However, my first hand experience of the Better Together campaign confirmed to me that they did not respect the spirit of the Agreement. Therefore, I dismiss the concept of acceptance and fight on …… for as long as it takes or until it is universally shown to be fair.
I am politically aware. I stood in the Ilford North ward at the 2010 general election and I have successfully completed the candidate assessment process giving me eligibility to stand as an MP or MEP.
I feel I have a duty, as so many others have, to bring to the debate my experience of Glasgow, London and Europe over many years in an impartial manner. That is why I have taken to the blog, so please join in.
Some may recognise ‘bighvan’ from comments in the papers. I have had many letters printed in the Metro and other publications under that ‘handle’.