The big question I have been asking myself recently  has been around authenticity. Who is the real David Nicholson? Who is the real me? I think, in the era of social media and celebrity “TV shows”, peer pressure and so on it is a question that many people may well be asking alongside myself.

I think the key to living a happy and successful life is to be true to ones authentic self regardless of what others may think. That is hard and for me personally, I feel like I have been in a washing washing being spun back and forth over the past several years. Social media has been a nightmare in this regard. I have often felt that I need to keep up with people from what I see on facebook. You’ve got to have this haircut to look cool or wear this type of clothing to look sexy. That has been extremely damaging to me.  A result of that has been an insecurity as too who I truly am and has caused mental health challenges. Also the sense of social isolation and loneliness in the community where I come from in Fife has not helped either and has made me question myself and doubt myself. I have hit out at myself with some heavy self-hatred because of the isolation I have felt.   Well, since this year marks my 30th birthday it is time to step up to the plate as it were and be true to my self.  We should be a bit more wary of social media and the damage it cause to people and their mental well-being. 

For me that means taking pride in, and not being ashamed of, being autistic and having Aspergers Syndrome. My condition may make me a complex character, awkward, anxious, and bloody difficult at times but that’s all part of my true self. I’ve tested people and their patience. People have walked away because they don’t truly understand me or my condition but that’s fine. That is their problem. Those who have stayed with me are truly genuine, lifelong friends. Also I can be painfully shy at times despite me being outgoing during certain periods. My shyness can hold me back from saying what I truly think or what I want to say.  Equally I am a reserved and serious young man who has exceptionally high standards, exceptions and is fiercely driven and disciplined. I do not suffer fools gladly. Having said that, when the circumstances are right, I do like to have fun and have a dry sense of humour and wit. I think that that was well on display during the Scottish Fiddle Orchestra tour to Orkney and Shetland last year. 

I am a country boy at heart and I am passionate about the family smallholding, the rural way of life, countryside sports and traditions, vintage tractors, Clydesdale horses, equestrian sports and a soft spot for the country/rural ladies.  The countryside offers me the space to de-stress, get away from it all and think. I will always champion the countryside and will always take pride in eating good quality British red meat. I have also enjoyed getting back and playing the sport of curling over the past few months. That has brought me much joy too. 

I am also a musician with a deep passion for music and the fiddle. I am serious about taking forward my music and to taking it in an exciting direction. I am a firm believer in tradition and in playing the tunes in the way they were meant to be played.  That forms a huge part of my musical philosophy alongside a good beat/good timing etc. Music is where I feel truly accepted and can be true to myself. It is like a home to me, a refuge from all the madness going on in todays world. Music is where I have made friends with some truly wonderful people and talented musicians. 

Politically I am a One Nation Conservative who believes in a compassionate, principled yet pragmatic, respectful and tolerant approach to politics. I am a moderate.  I do not believe in class warfare  or politics which brings about division and hatred. That is not me. I believe in discipline, excellence and in people having a duty and responsibility to look out for and help those in need. I believe in individualism but also that sense of community too. A sense of duty and obligation to help those who need that bit support to get on in life. I believe in the monarchy, in the union, in the armed forces, in the church and in a fair and flexible market economy.

I also value cross party work especially on issues around autism, mental health and music. I also place a huge value in having friends right across the political spectrum.

It saddens me that there’s much anger, division and intolerance in today’s political world. Being autistic all this hatred and anger bewilders me and does, admittedly, make me anxious.  Things need to change so that politics can regain respectability again and be a place where political debate can be done in an atmosphere of tolerance and respect for each others point of view Yes, be passionate but keep it tempered. As Her Majesty the Queen said in a recent speech to the WRI in Sandringham: 

““Of course, every generation faces fresh challenges and opportunities. As we look for new answers in the modern age, I for one prefer the tried and tested recipes, like speaking well of each other and respecting different points of view; coming together to seek out the common ground; and never losing sight of the bigger picture. To me, these approaches are timeless, and I commend them to everyone.”

““Even with the most deeply held differences, treating the other person with respect and as a fellow human being is always a good first step towards greater understanding.”

I certainly agree with these sentiments from our sovereign. I will for one will never ever allow myself to push my politics into ultra-tribalism or into the gutter. 

 I admire the positive energy that the New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern brings to politics. That gets approval from me. Politics needs to be about hope for the future and positivity. Scaremongering and negativity tires a country and its populace and only helps the extreme forces at both ends of the political spectrum. 

On a final point, I’d like to thank my family and  good friends for putting up with me over the course of the years. I’ve been a pain in the backside at times but I am moving forward and I am positive about future. I just need to embrace my authentic self, move on from negative and untrue friends and embrace my family, good friends and what I love in life especially music and the countryside. I also have to perceive myself in a better light too. Instead of viewing myself as an ugly, undateable young man I need to be confident, positive and recognise too that I am an attractive and charming man.