Please enjoy reading my blogs about areas of interest.
Please see below on how to contact me with your questions.
My commitment as your SNP candidate
You can follow this link here to see a pdf version:
Candidates tend to make promises to SNP members when they are seeking selection.
I am no different in that I shall also make promises to you as the local Falkirk East SNP members – but where I am different is that I am putting them in in the public domain. You can therefore measure me against them if I am selected.
You can expect me to give up significant amounts of time to be your candidate. I will be available when required – winning Falkirk East for the SNP will be my focus.
It is now 9 days until voting opens in the selection process for Falkirk East.
My short video of 10 days/10 points brought a great deal of comment, especially on twitter. One person said “passion and commitment are all very well but…” - and they are correct.
So, let’s talk about some economics, and in particular the chemical sciences sector. Some stats:
Brexit represents a risk to these figures.
If there is a no-deal Brexit this will have a significant impact on trade between the UK and the EU.
Even with a deal, divergence from regulatory standards could make it harder to trade with Europe and tariffs could see profit margins squeezed. Our Scottish universities such as Edinburgh outperform their UK counterparts in chemical science research and Brexit also presents a risk to them in attracting the best brains.
These economic figures are all well and good I hear you say - but I live in Grangemouth and I don’t get any benefit.
And this is where it is important to start to make the links between independence and the status quo.
Independence is not an end in of itself but a beginning of how we can do things differently.
For a start it is the UK Government that controls the vast majority of taxes. The amount of tax that is not collected in the UK was estimated to be £35bn in 2019. That EXCLUDES what they call ‘profit shifting’ with the type of tax avoidance used by the likes of Google, Starbucks etc.
Scotland’s share of that minimum figure would be £2.8 billion. I will say that again – that is £2.8 BILLION POUNDS THAT COULD BE USED ON PUBLIC SERVICES.
Furthermore, an independent Scottish government could ensure some of the profits of INEOS were re-invested in the town - either from the general tax take or by a specific levy.
We could introduce a system of skills off-setting – where INEOS is required to employ a number of people from within Grangemouth – and where they do not, to give the equivalent money to create jobs in other sectors in the town.
We could ensure INEOS sponsors Grangemouth-based employees through university where they do not yet have the skills required.
Scotland has been able to set ambitious climate change targets because the issue was not given serious consideration when the devolved parliament was set up - but could that now be at risk with the Internal Market Bill?
With independence we can make the link between our climate change ambitions and proper development in industries such as hydrogen.
Much is made of Scotland’s excellent record in so-called Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) - but that has limited value if the jobs are simply assembly rather than manufacturing and developing and retaining the intellectual capital.
The economic debate thus far has centred around the data that is collected as part of what is called the Government Expenditure Revenue Scotland or GERS - but we know that is how Scotland performs as part of the UK and without the critical economic levers that make the difference.
The GERS debate is a sterile and tedious debate – we have to be making the case of what we will do differently and what that means for you.
I want to be at Holyrood to contribute to the policy making as we move forward to independence. Help me do that by voting Michelle Thomson #1.
10 sleeps till voting opens - 10 reasons to vote for me, Michelle Thomson #1
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.
"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".
“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”.
"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.