Hey everyone. This afternoon it was my privilege to attend the launch of the SNP campaign to win Glasgow East as our candidate Natalie McGarry had an official photo call at the Tollcross International Swimming Centre. Amongst those in attendance were MSP’s John Mason who represents the Glasgow Shettleston constituency in the Scottish Parliament and Humza Yousaf and Sandra White. They were joined by our candidate for Glasgow Central Alison Thewliss and Glasgow South West Chris Stephens, Baillieston councillor David Turner and Pollok councillor and birthday boy David McDonald who has strong connections with the east end as he cut his political teeth as councillor for Baillieston which is coincidentally the home turf of yours truly. So after singing happy birthday to David we got started on the serious business of campaigning
It is my belief that in Natalie we have the perfect candidate to win this seat from the Labour Party and after the official photo call Natalie and her dedicated team led by branch organiser Graham Packer and our branch secretary Laura Doherty hit the campaign trail focusing on Carmyle and Easterhouse.
It is I think no coincidence we started our fight for this seat which covers a vast area stretching from the Gallowgate to the eastern most fringes of Easterhouse and Baillieston in two of Labour’s strongest areas in the constituency. It is perhaps fate that my contribution to the this campaign started in Carmyle, as it was at Carmyle school I was on leaflet duty for Yes on referendum day.
I was joined on the campaign trail by well a few kent faces including Colin Haggerty, Fraser Darling and Glasgow MSP Humza Yousaf, and most importantly of all, our candidate whose chatty and engaging style will I am sure will go down with the voters. This certainly seemed to be the case on an afternoon when the weather seemed to be more undecided than many of the Carmyle voters. It was a bizarre combination of sun,showers, and sleet which greeted us as we braved the east end elements in search of support for our candidate.
As most of the jobs had been given out before I caught up with the campaign team, I was given the dual roles of runner and lookout girl. This meant that I had to make sure everyone had the leaflets they needed whilst also keeping up with any team member who may be in danger of getting lost. If I’m totally honest this role had mixed results, as though it helped our candidate meet up with the rest of our team rather than lose her way in an area with which she will become more familiar as the campaign progresses, it wasn’t quite so successful in locating a wandering MSP. I am however pleased to report that Humza Yousaf eventually found his way back to a team to which he was both a welcome addition and a very considerable asset.
As I have already stated the weather was a wee bit on the moody side and it was during one of its ten minute tantrums that I used my initiative and stocked my handbag with as many leaflets as it was possible to carry and kept them nice and dry. As a poet this is something I know the value of, as I have always used poly pockets to keep my poems dry and in order so it is I think only natural that I applied the same logic to politics. Well soggy leaflets are no use to anyone and tend to hit the recycle bin faster than you or your candidate would want them to and are not the way to maximise their chances of electoral success.
From what I could see Natalie was greeted warmly on the doorsteps with many people wanting to chat to her about the issues of importance to them. Though many voters were undecided as to their voting intentions there were a number of others who were either sticking with the SNP or switching from the Labour Party and keen to let us know why.
One voter said it was no use voting Labour as they were just Tories with red ties. Whilst another said she had voted no in the referendum but would be voting SNP as she was disappointed that the promises made to Scotland had not been kept. This I think will despite Labour’s constant pleading to forget the referendum and move on or to put it more in Labour language forget the referendum and shut up, be a major issue on the campaign trail and we will make sure that have to face that issue whether they want to or not. This is something Margaret Curran will not like but you know what I’m not too worried about Ms Curran’s likes and dislikes. I’m far more concerned about improving the quality of life for people in the East End of this city and electing an MP who can help me achieve that.
I want an MP who will put the people first. I want an MP say will say no to foodbanks and the killing machine that is trident. I want an MP who will fight for local communities because she knows the value of social sustainability and I want an MP who sees people as people and not just as economic statistics or a collection of ballot papers which they hope will get them a salaried income for the next five years. I want an MP I can be proud of rather than one who makes me cringe every time I hear her speak in public. That’s why on May 7th I will be casting my vote for Natalie McGarry if you live in the Glasgow East constituency and like me,you want an MP to keep you in the picture it is my hope you will be doing the same.
Love And Best Wishes