Today I received an endorsement from the MSP for Clydebank & Milngavie, Gil Paterson. It said:
“I recall Michelle campaigning for me as a young student. She is someone I trust as a committed and dedicated campaigner for independence. I really hope she is selected to represent Falkirk East as she would be a real asset to the Scottish Parliament”
It is lovely to get these endorsements and I will be posting up multiple ones, most importantly from branch members as we progress through the campaign.
The most important word used by Gil was ‘trust’. Trust is the single most important commodity we have. Learning to trust develops early in human beings and it is extremely difficult to replace if it is lost. I was delighted that Gil said he trusted me and further qualified it by noting he has known about me campaigning for the SNP since I was a student which was around 38 years ago.
It is not enough to claim to be trustworthy: this must be demonstrated by consistent behaviour over time.
The role of an elected member is extremely complex. Always juggling multiple priorities, there are no circumstances where all of the people will be happy all of the time. An elected member must be a leader and communicate as such.
Where there is a lack of trust is often where there has been a lack of communication. Communication is tiring and time-consuming – but absolutely essential to bring people with you. It requires honesty and mutual respect. We all understand that difficult decisions must be made – but the rationale for them should be set out, ideally on a personal basis. For SNP members this must mean attendance at branch meetings.
I have had considerable experience in communicating changes and issues throughout my business life. The last change programme I ran in a corporate setting impacted 86,000 staff. I always bore in mind that change is delivered ‘through’ people and not ‘to’ people.
I cannot be clear as to what exactly Gil meant in using the word ‘trust’ in his endorsement – but the use of this word, rather than the fact he is one of Scotland’s longest serving parliamentarians is worth its weight in gold.