TO celebrate the Year of Young People, every week in 2018 The National is giving a platform to young Scots. This week, 16-year-old Callum Murray from Kirkcaldy.

WHEN I compare this current moment in Scottish politics to when I became involved five years ago, it’s like we’re living in a different world. This insane universe where Theresa “deport all foreigners” May is Prime Minister, and the Tories are crushing Labour in Scotland!

When I joined the Yes campaign, and subsequently the SNP, in 2013, I was 12. Alex Salmond was First Minister with the only Holyrood majority to date, and the Yes campaign launched a year prior was gathering pace.

I remember the way in which I became an activist vividly. The weather was grey and cloudy and I was with my gran on Kirkcaldy High Street when we wandered by the new Yes Kirkcaldy shop. I decided to go inside to enquire about getting involved. After looking slightly unsure, and after asking some fellow activists, the woman who initially approached me provided me with the times and dates of campaign days and I began my journey.

Our society does have this attitude that people at my age don’t have the ability or the mental capacity to understand politics. Yet the truth is that if a 12-year-old is intelligent enough to read about the debate and make an informed choice on what side they support, then there should be no worry in anybody’s minds. I have an awful lot to thank my mum for here. She gave me a lot of freedom as a child to think as I wish and to go where I wanted. She allowed me to attend campaigns and marches. Thanks to this support, I am now more involved than I had ever imagined I would be.

I will always be grateful for the view taken by the older members of our campaign. Most of these stalwarts have always encouraged me to stay involved, and express excitement that we are following in their footsteps. These older members have worked incredibly hard throughout their life. Thanks to them, it is now very likely that we will see independence in our lifetime.

At the SNP’s autumn conference of 2016, I chose to speak on a motion about the taxation of state schools. State schools at the time were taxed, whilst private schools got off with paying little to no tax. This was a proposition to stop taxing state schools, and in the recent Budget the Scottish Government have indeed proposed to level this playing field. After I spoke, it was pointed out to me that I was only 15, which it turns out is against party rules! But it is just as well I did speak as the motion passed by fewer than 10 votes. Due to the controversy I was subsequently interviewed by STV and the BBC.

I love this movement, and no amount of ageism from the less progressive opposition will ever faze me. Regardless of our age, we are all citizens of this nation, and we all deserve the right to make our own observations, to think freely, and to hold any opinion we wish.