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4sq photo

Delighted to add another endorsement today - this time from JANE & WILLIAM ROSE of 4 Square Engineering:
"We're backing Michelle Thomson as the candidate for Falkirk East because of her track record in business and her approach to working for the community through her previous political and non-political roles. Michelle is actively engaging with members of the constituency and has the drive to put Falkirk East on the map: both as a constituency and in working for the needs of the individual towns within it. Scottish business needs to be heard and supported more than ever as a result of the UK's destructive policies and Michelle has a grip on what's needed to fight for their needs and local and national levels".
4sq photo 2
Thank you Jane & William!
Ivan McKee
Just in case people hadn't seen the previous endorsement from Ivan McKee, the Minister in the Scottish Government for Trade, Investment and Innovation:
"To win our nation's independence we will need to be determined in the face of adversity and resilient to overcome the forces ranged against us. Michelle has demonstrated these qualities in spades. We need her on our Holyrood team".
Whilst I regard my local endorsements as the most important it is lovely to have this from a Scottish Government Minister. I suspect part of the reason is that Ivan and I go way back to speaking together during #indyref1 days and I have dealt with him in my work with Momentous Change where we gave policy recommendations on the Scottish Global diaspora.
Thanks Ivan!

Commitment 3

My commitment as your SNP candidate

You can follow this link here to see a pdf version:

My public commitment to you


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.

I promise to…

Build my Team SNP

  • Start as I mean to go on with Team SNP – this means that I will meet with all of the elected constituency association branch officers, branch members (via local meetings), councillors, constituency-bordering MPs and MSPs, the sitting MSP and his staff
  • Thereafter I will attend branch/CA meetings regularly
  • I will agree how regular communication will take place with bordering MPs/MSP/current MSP

Immediately be highly visible as the candidate

  • Start to build up the vital relationships with key stakeholders across the constituency. Firstly, I will create the list of these key relationships then start working my way through them by organising visits/calls etc
  • Contact the local press and issue a press release about my candidature and ask for an initial meeting
  • Maintain regular dialogue and issue press releases

Start the campaign planning immediately

  • Establish a local policy group made up of interested parties
  • Appoint a campaign organiser, election agent and organising committee including other key roles
  • Develop a campaign strategy to need to take account of on-going pandemic restrictions- there will be a lot of detail in here such as an assessment of the other political party candidates, key messages, supporting materials etc
  • Obtain professional versions of various platforms such as Zoom to ensure planning meetings can take place during the continuing pandemic
  • Build a presence online as the SNP candidate for Falkirk East
  • Create a budget for the election campaign and set out how that budget will be met
  • Undertake other activities as suggested by CA/branch

Start campaign

  • Formal campaigning should start as soon as possible but no later than January 2021

Parliamentarian readiness

  • Agree the process for handover from current MSP
  • Consider office locations and budget costs

Time commitment

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.


My public commitment to you

Irene Margaret

Another endorsement from Margaret Higgins of Braes branch today (15/10/2020)
“I am voting for Michelle Thomson because I have looked at each of the candidates - they are all very good people - but Michelle is quite SIMPLY THE STRONGEST CANDIDATE BY FAR. I think she will be an asset to the area because of the experience she has in business and elsewhere. We need someone in this area to fight for us; we need someone who can bring jobs to the area and we need someone who can tackle the need for less pollution.
All of this is on top of her spending her lifetime fighting for independence”.
The photograph is of both Margaret and Irene Fotheringham who kindly gave me an endorsement a few days ago.


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:

  • Scotland’s chemical sciences sector has a turnover of around £8.7bn of which £3.9bn is exported. It is Scotland’s 3rd biggest exporting sector. 
  • The sector has the highest GVA per employee of any industry in Scotland. 
  • INEOS in Grangemouth contributes around 4% to Scotland’s GDP. 

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.

Stronger for Scotland

10 sleeps till voting opens - 10 reasons to vote for me, Michelle Thomson #1

  1. You want INDEPENDENCE- I want independence - it’s my #1 priority 
  2. My COMMITMENT to our cause cannot be questioned. I have been through more than most and stood firm where others would have given up
  3. I already have political experience as a Westminster MP
  4. I have extensive media experience 
  5. I have huge business experience - that means I can get access to and represent your needs with big business such as Inneos 
  6. I have primary research experience in strategic NATIONAL projects. I know what we need to do to transition 
  7. I understand where you are coming from - why was it that I am the 1st person to note that your places are NOT Falkirk and only some are east of Falkirk!
  8. I am a wee grafter - and I will graft for you 
  9. THIS IS A PASSION - this is not a career promotion 
  10. You are worth it - all the areas that have felt left behind, the members that have felt ignored, the people who need help - root for me and I promise I will root for you. 

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.


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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