Steve Cardownie: Ex-councillor is now on the buses

One of the pitfalls that beset many politicians seeking re-election to office is that if unsuccessful in their bid they are effectively out of work once the results are announced.
Mike Bridgman lost his seat on the council in 2017. Picture: Greg MacveanMike Bridgman lost his seat on the council in 2017. Picture: Greg Macvean
Mike Bridgman lost his seat on the council in 2017. Picture: Greg Macvean

Being unemployed is by no means confined to ex-politicians but the electoral process is particularly harsh in these circumstances (as it is in a redundancy scenario) as they cannot plan ahead in seeking alternative employment because they have to await the outcome of the ballot.

It can, and often is, a huge jolt to the system and although they know what they are getting into when becoming involved in council elections, it does not make it any easier. One who was particularly wounded in May 2017 was former SNP councillor Mike Bridgman. Mike was tipped to be re-elected but was extremely cautious when it came to predicting the outcome. It turned out he had every right to be as he was one of the casualties at the count at Meadowbank Stadium.

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Mike was devastated and uncertain of his future. Without a job, he immediately signed on and went looking for work. What a nice surprise then to see him last week behind the wheel of a bus as a driver with Lothian Buses.

Driving public transport through the streets of Edinburgh and beyond will not pose the same challenges that he faced as a councillor but it comes with a different kind of responsibility. Transporting passengers safely to and from their destination cannot be taken lightly and I am delighted to see that he has risen to the challenge.

Other councillors suffered the same fate as Mike that night and I hope that they have all prospered in finding employment but at least the blow was softened for the Bridgman family at the count when Claire, Mike’s wife, was elected as an SNP councillor in the Drum Brae/Gyle Ward.

I wish them both well for the future.