TWO Green candidates inspired to stand for election by their children have insisted other parties are not talking enough about protecting and empowering future generations.

Niall Christie and Gordon Miller are both running for Westminster seats for the first time in Glasgow South, and Motherwell, Wishaw and Carluke respectively.

When speaking to the Sunday National for Father’s Day, both reflected profoundly on the extent to which their children had transformed their perspective on life and spurred them on to fight for a healthier and fairer planet on which they could grow up.

Christie - who recently became father to 12-week-old Noah - has been a member of the Scottish Greens for many years but until now had not felt compelled to throw his hat in the election ring.

“I was looking at the potential ballot in Glasgow South and thinking that there is no one on there who represents what I think or offers a future for my kids and family,” he said.

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The 31-year-old added his frustration was sparked by an apparent lack of talk about building a better world for generations to come.

“I’ve always been a progressive socialist but since we found out we were having Noah, I think I’ve possibly been more radicalised in feeling there needs to be action rather than just words,” Christie went on.

“We are seeing in this election a real struggle for the climate to break through, for example. When it comes to the future, there’s not a big conversation being had at the moment.

“Being a new dad, if I didn’t feel strongly about it, I wouldn’t run. I wouldn’t spend a fair chunk of the formative months of my son’s life on the campaign trail if I didn’t think it was essential we were trying to make sure we have a liveable planet for him.

“Everyone knows someone in that [next] generation and we need to be thinking about that first and foremost rather than just the disgrace of the last 14 years of the Tories. Other parties are not doing that at the moment.”

Miller – who previously stood in the local election in North Lanarkshire –  similarly said his two-year-old twins Blair and Hamish had dramatically changed the way he viewed the world, with ambitions of going into politics now being fuelled by making a difference to their future.

He said: “When you don’t have kids, you’ve got the privilege of not having to consider what a future looks like in 40 years.

“You can be quite singularly focused on what matters for you, your direct family and friends, but you don’t have to think about how we build a basis for our children to reach their potential in whatever they choose.

Gordon Miller (left) with his twins Blair and Hamish, and Niall Christie (right) with his son NoahGordon Miller (left) with his twins Blair and Hamish, and Niall Christie (right) with his son Noah (Image: NQ)

“For me now it’s about what the next 80 years hold for Blair and Hamish and then for their kids after that and their kids after that.”

Christie and Miller insist the Tories and Labour have taken and will continue to take a “disgusting” approach towards supporting young people, with the Tories seemingly continuing to believe Universal Credit is enough for families to live on, while Labour have shown no signs of wanting to get rid of their rivals’ two-child cap and attached “rape clause”.

At the same time, while a lot can be said for progressive policies like the baby box and Scottish Child Payment, the candidates believe these do not go far enough to protect children's futures and politicians should be constantly looking at how they can be more radical to ensure families’ needs are met.

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Miller, 40, said: “When we’re looking at the future basis of what policymaking in Scotland looks like, it’s got to be more progressive, it’s got to be more than what we’re seeing at the moment.

“The Scottish Greens in government managed to get some phenomenal budgetary positions like the free bus travel for young people. That’s the real challenge for me now, how do you push that further?

“When we’re talking about the cost of living crisis and global crises around the world, we need to be clear about whether we are meeting the needs of families now. Is this the most progressive we can go or can we push that even further?”

There are a number of policies the pair want to fight for in a bid to create a more level playing field for all and Christie believes that can start with the Greens fighting for more progressive policies at Westminster, such as a Universal Basic Income.

“Labour have been banging on for the past few weeks that all roads lead to Westminster, and the block payment we get in Scotland is massively affected by what happens at Westminster,” he said.

“Policy at Westminster can dramatically change how Scotland is funded for the better and that can mean better schools or more secure housing for people.

“I think there are ways of doing that, like a Universal Basic Income. That isn’t just a case of reducing inequality - which it will - but it also means that people who are on maternity or paternity leave have a basic income when they’re off.

“I think things like a wealth tax; a greater progressive taxation at Westminster would complement the already progressive taxation we have at Holyrood which we could go further on and that will mean local services like councils that are being cut can thrive in the next few years. Otherwise, they will wither.”

Greater support for new parents is an absolute priority for Miller too, whose children were born premature.

He and his wife Fiona had to spent four to five months with them in hospital which could have easily left the mum with next to no maternity leave left.

The generosity of his wife’s employer resetting her maternity leave meant that did not come to pass but Miller is all too aware most others are not so lucky.

“There is a disproportionate number of people who are impacted by poor regulations that don’t provide them with the same level of time with their children that others get,” Miller said.

“We have a manifesto commitment that there will be statutory maternity and paternity leave to cover 52 weeks full pay. That commitment to the value of having a child with parents through that first year without having the stress of financial burdens is critical.”

Christie added: “Increasing shared parental leave makes a big difference.

“You can be faced with either leaving yourself penniless or spending time with your family. We shouldn’t tolerate those kinds of choices in society.”