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MichelleThomsonSNP

@MichelleThomson

MichelleThomson

@Michelle.Thomson.indy

 

 

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.
 
THANK YOU BOTH!

INEOS

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.

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.

Boness fair
I am really humbled to be given the endorsement below.  Susan Grant is in the Bo'ness branch of the SNP. 
 
"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".
 
 
Thank you Susan! 

iScotiScot Oct 2020

I was delighted to have an article in the October 2020 edition of iScot magazine entitled 'A vision for Scotland'. You can read the entire article here: A vision for Scotland 

Here is a short section from it:

"The future is uncertain.

Even before the global pandemic, geo-political shifts, rapid developments in technology, the climate change emergency, labour market shifts and closer to home, Brexit were all threats that conspire to make leaders look for comfort in short term horizons.  Our political system actively encourages short term thinking.

The question asked by J. Peter Scoblic in his paper ‘Learning from the future’ is, “how can we formulate strategy in the face of uncertainty?” He makes particular reference to what he calls “the tyranny of the present” where leadership must focus on survival in the face of threats yet may neglect strategic foresight particularly where the future lacks antecedents.

The Independence referendum of 2014 saw many discussions of what kind of Scotland people would like to see; the ‘what’. However, it also saw much debate about the ‘how’ in terms of economic resources and financial systems such as banking and currency.  The debate since that point has remained mired in the ‘how’, or to put it another way, has been focused more on inputs (such as finance) and processes (such as government policies) than on outcomes (vision).  As a result, in my view we have given insufficient focus to untapping our collective imagination.

People are too often passive observers and commentators rather than actors in creating a future that will serve their children and their grandchildren. Too often there is a failure to tap into the insights and imagination of our fellow citizens as we seek to change society for the better – and I believe every citizen of Scotland should have the opportunity to help shape our future in the development of a shared vision on the future of Scotland.

This is why I, and my business partner Roger Mullin of Momentous Change, are now developing a project to develop a shared vision of Scotland.  

It will not be our vision – it will be the vision of many Scots whom we hope will be willing and able to participate.

The potential scope of the project is vast - yet the threats we face in society contain some repeating themes. I list just a few below:

  • What are our shared values?
  • How shall we live in, give to and shape our society? How can we make our voices heard in that society?
  • How shall we nurture our young, support our elderly and build an equal society?
  • What is the role of business?

Thank you to iScot for giving me permission to reproduce it.

Braes branch

Delighted to upload another endorsdement - this time from Irene Fotheringham of Braes branch:

“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”.

 

Thank you Irene!

 

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