Weekly update week ending 11/10/2020

I thought I would introduce this short weekly update with a video (view it on Facebook) and a bit of piano playing – for what purpose might you ask? Firstly, as leaders, it is our job to reach people – and we can do that in many different ways. Who says politics should be dull?

I was dismayed at Rishi Sunak’s comments about artists having to retrain in the light of the Covid pandemic. Firstly, he clearly has no idea about what is involved in being a professional musician and secondly, he clearly does not value what the arts and culture bring to us. Quite simply, the arts, and in my case music, help us to expresses who we are in a way far more fundamentally than anything else. Who amongst has not been moved by a piece of music that immediately takes us back to an earlier memory, makes us feel a range of emotions and provides a human value in our world?  We have quite enough Tory politicians and former corporate bankers thank you very much!

I am going to be making daily videos from now on as it is only 11 more sleeps until the voting opens.

ELECTRONIC BALLOTS OPEN ON 23/10/2020 AT MIDDAY – SO YOU ONLY HAVE THIS WEEK AND NEXT WEEK TO DECIDE WHO YOU WILL GIVE YOUR NUMBER 1 VOTE TO. THE BALLOT CLOSES 2 WEEKS LATER ON 06/11/2020.

Firstly, another 3 endorsements for which I am very grateful.

  • From Susan Grant in Bo’ness:

"The 2021 Scottish Parliamentary elections are critical, possibly more so than all the others that have gone before as Scotland stands on the precipice of enormous change.

Who we choose to be our candidate has never been more important. We need someone with a strong voice who can put Falkirk East on the map whilst juggling those dual roles of fighting to improve the lives of constituents as well as having a strong parliamentary and national presence.

Michelle Thomson encapsulates all those things. I've been impressed by how successful she has been at setting out her priorities, how hard she's worked to reach out to party members and local activists and how effective she has been, even at this early stage, of motivating those activists such as myself.

I believe wholeheartedly that Michelle is the best candidate to lead the fight to help us win Falkirk East and take us on our journey towards an independent Scotland".

  • From Irene Fotheringham in Braes:

“I contacted Michelle and we had a long conversation about issues with housebuilding. I was impressed with her breadth of knowledge about business and I doubt any other candidate can match that”.

  • From Graham McCabe of Automotive Bodyshop in Grangemouth:

"I'm backing Michelle Thomson as the candidate for Falkirk East. She's got energy and drive - something we need to put this constituency on the map. When #indyref2 happens I'm confident she'll provide strong leadership to the local campaign".

Last week I had an enjoyable visit to Blackness, Bo’ness and Grangemouth for meetings with SNP members.

I also had an article in iScot magazine. I was writing in my capacity as a Founding Director of Momentous Change. The jist of the article is that the future is very uncertain and yet our political systems encourage short term thinking. In the face of this, the tendency is to put off the difficult in strategic decisions in favour of dealing with the here and now - but that is what we must do. I conclude that Scotland must develop a vision of where it wants to be. You can read the entire article here:  A vision for Scotland 

If you are branch member in Tryst you should by now have received the answers I sent out to you – thanks for some great questions.

You might have caught the video taken from the #indyref of me on CNBC. It’s an example of the sort of live media I have experience in.

We had quite a debate this week about the extent to which being local is the defining characteristic for your MSP. Some believe so and consider it the single most important element: perhaps above commitment to independence for Scotland, strong leadership, strategic thinking, political experience, media skills etc.

I refute that – if the SNP had not gone for the best candidates who did not come originally from the place, they represented we would not have had Winnie Ewing, Alex Salmond, John Swinney, Maggie Bain/Ewing, Gil Paterson etc.

Finally, I now understand that we have 4 confirmed candidates – but I have heard nothing about hustings. Please add your voice to making sure these happen – they are for you, the members to have your say.

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