As we start to move through the process of selection, I was delighted that the first of a number of endorsements were given to me.
Firstly, from Craig MacInnes of Grangemouth who said:
“We are fortunate to have such a dedicated, experienced and hard-working campaigner as Michelle Thomson putting herself forward for selection as the SNP candidate for Falkirk East for next May’s Holyrood elections”
And then from Michael Hance of Bo’ness who said:
“In deciding who to back in the selection process for Falkirk East I have been more and more impressed with how active Michelle Thomson has been in outlining her priorities and with the efforts she has made to meet and talk to local members.
It has become clear to me that Michelle has the qualities that we need in this area to lead the campaign locally to win the next independence referendum. Her commitment to the independence movement was demonstrated clearly in 2014 and it will be a huge advantage to our campaign to have her here next time.
It’s also important to me that we have someone in Holyrood who will put Bo’ness, Grangemouth and the other constituencies of our community on the map.
Michelle is a figure of national importance. She is undoubtably the right person to win Falkirk East for the SNP and to take us forward to independence.
Thank you to both for these – and watch out for more endorsements this week.
I wrote an article why I thought wringing our hands and writing to the TSB was only a limited strategy to support our communities. Scotland is very badly served in banking and I suggested that we could set up a new mutual retail bank. This is the sort of policy I would want to progress in Holyrood – as politicians we must be in the business of change not acceptance. You can read the article here:
I also wrote an article about why I think the Yes campaign should be re-starting NOW. The key messages of independence transcend those of local policies. The Scottish people are sovereign – and part of that means that we have to take responsibility. As Kenyon Wright said “…we say yes – and we are the people”. You can read this article on my dedicated Facebook page MichelleThomsonSNP or on my website using the same link as above.
Some research published this week noted that 95 percent of business leaders questioned suggested they were confident their company would adapt if Scotland were to become independent. All good – but 72 per cent of the respondents thought it would not open up significant new opportunities. Again, I think it is too simple to celebrate the former point and ignore the later. What specific opportunities does independence bring for business in Scotland and elsewhere? With the critical economic levers that come with independence we can do so much more to support business growth in Scotland – not just in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) but in our manufacturing base. We can also attract more entrepreneurs. I personally would like to see much more being done to support our Small, Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Watch this space for more!
Next steps in selection process
We will know by the end of this week (09 October 2020) whether there are any other candidates for Falkirk East. Between 09/10/2020 and the formal CA hustings (earliest date is 27/10/2020) we can then arrange ‘meet the candidate events’ – but you don’t need to wait till then.
I am looking forward to my scheduled meetings across the constituency. You will note that I keep the content of these confidential and I am not yet posting up the standard politician photograph of ‘me and a.n. other’ – this is usually because this type of meeting is for the benefit of the politician (and so very useful in an election campaign) – but in a selection contest I regard it as extremely important that I build trust and respect in the way I meet and engage with people.
Local v national – that is the question. If you were really driving for independence (rather than simply perpetuating the status quo) and were going to recruit the best person to provide leadership, strategic vision to lead to an independent Scotland, what key criteria would you list. What priority would you give those criteria? I am going to be writing about that tomorrow - so get ready for another article that I hope will make people think.
PS – credit to Michael Hance for this lovely photograph of a wildflower meadow in Bo’ness.