Forecast update: 5 May 2015


Nepal Earthquake Appeals

Same Difference

I have spent the weekend watching news of Saturday’s earthquake in Nepal. Countless lives have been lost and countless others changed forever. I am thinking, in particular, of all those who have been left disabled by the disaster.

Several charities have set up fundraising appeals. The Independent published this list of links yesterday:

Here are some of the ways you can help with those affected by the devastation:

The easiest thing to do is donate £5 to Unicef by texting ‘DONATE’ to 70123 or visiting

If you are outside of the UK you can donate $10 to Unicef by texting ‘Nepal’ to 864233.

You can also follow the links below and donate to any of the following agencies:


Oxfam is an international organisation dedicated to fighting poverty. Donate to Oxfam’s relief efforts in Nepal, here.


Actionaid supports women and children in extreme poverty. To donate to…

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Conversation With Patrick Grady (SNP National Secretary)

Mairi and I went along to discuss the General Election with SNP National Secretary Patrick Grady. He is the SNP candidate for North Glasgow. We went to discuss the results of our Survey. We also hope to talk to Ann Mckechin soon to get answers to the same questions from a Labour perspective. We discuss many things including the NHS, Trident, Benefits, Tax Avoidance and Constitutional change.

The MP3 of this recording can be downloaded by right clicking here and selecting save link as.

You can listen to the recording on podcast form by searching for Autonomy Scotland on your podcast player.

Music: One  by Sanxion7.

Be part of the CommonFest artistic project!

We’ve got a really exciting project happening for CommonFest for which we need your help.

Glasgow artist Megan Cecilia Coyle will be created a photo-collage of those attending the event, eventually producing a large interpretation of the Common Weal’s ‘balance’ logo.

To make this happen we need you (or, more specifically, your photo)! If you are attending CommonFest, please send photo of yourself (preferably a head shot) to: and you could become part of an All of Us First artistic project!

RM Hubbert, Alasdair Gray and Loki joining us for #Commonfest

We’ve been working hard over the last few weeks to finalise the lineup for CommonFest and are very happy to announce that the bill is now complete!

The night will be opened by wordsmith Alan Bissett.

Our speakers are Common Weal founder Robin McAlpine, the wonderful Elaine C. Smith (a Common Weal Board Member) and the author, artist and all-round great-Scot Alasdair Gray.

Comic relief will be provided by the cutting wit of Vladimir McTavish and Lady Alba’s melodic satire.

On musical duties for the evening we have up-and-coming Glasgow rockers Suspire, David MacGregor from indie-favourites Kid Canaveral, leading Glasgow rapper Loki and 2013 Scottish Album of the Year winner RM Hubbert.

Local artists Katy Christopher, Janie Nicoll, Megan Coyle and Pearl Kinnear will also be there to either display or create work inspired by the ‘All of Us First’ philosophy of Common Weal.

But that’s not all!

We’ll be joined on the night by organisations such as Scottish CND, the Living Rent Campaign and the Scottish Unemployed Workers Network who’ll be manning a number of information and engagement stalls. Common Weal staff will also be manning a booth to provide further information about who we are and what we do (and they might even have some goodies for sale).

Tickets are selling fast and you can get yours here:

The General Election survey results are in

At Common Weal North Glasgow, we believe that the most important role of a politician is to serve his or her constituents. We came up with the idea of talking to each candidate for the North Glasgow constituency in order to find out how they would address our concerns if elected. We hope to do this in the next few weeks and publish our conversations on this site. In order to find out what issues to discuss with them we created a survey which has been completed by 898 people.The survey is now closed but you can see the template here. In this blog we will detail our main results but you can view the raw data using the links below.

We should point out that the survey was open to everyone. So of the 898 people, 101 could be North Glasgow constituents. I say “could” because we asked for the first part of postcodes in order to minimise the amount of personal data collected . After we started collecting data we realised that this is insufficient information to accurately place a person in North Glasgow. This is an error we will learn from for the next time.This withstanding, when we compared the group likely to be from North Glasgow (G11,G12,G20) with the group as a whole, levels of concern and issues raised were broadly similar.

In the main part of the survey, respondents rated their levels of concern in relation to eight key national issues, on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 = not concerned at all; to 5 = very concerned). The results are summarised in the following graph and you can access the raw data here.

As you’ll see from the chart above, NHS privatisation was the most concerning issue for both North Glasgow and the whole group. In contrast, Immigration was generally reported as “slightly” or “not at all” concerning.

We also asked if there were any other issues that were of concern. As you can see from the raw data sheet here, we had a very broad range of responses. It was not possible to show 57 issues in a meaningful chart (many were only mentioned several times). However, it may be interesting to see the 15 most frequently raised issues in the chart below. You can scroll over the bars for more detail.

As you can see from the chart, the most frequently reported other issue was Constitutional Change. This issue encompassed a range of specific responses including “more local government”, “abolishing the House of Lords”, and “electoral reform”.

Robin McAlpine on the Future of Common Weal

Robin McAlpine on the future of the Common Weal.

Please read, share, and consider contributing.

Robin McAlpine proposes ten changes of mindset to set us on our way

Only by altering the way we see things in general terms can we begin to deliver a fairer society. Robin McAlpine proposes ten changes of  mindset  to set us on our way


For decades politics has been presented as a managerial process in which technocrats run society for the greater good and citizens award them points for success every five years. In 2014 Scotland broke that mould and there are signs of the political system breaking down right across the UK and beyond. We need to redesign politics as something people can understand, care about and be involved in. It isn’t difficult if you want to do it, but it does require that we abandon the corporate-fest that politics has become and talk about our future in a new language.

Read the rest of the article here.

Elaine C. Smith joins the bill for CommonFest!

We have some very exciting news tonight – the absolutely wonderful Elaine C. Smith will be joining the bill for CommonFest! The first batch of tickets are available NOW for £5 (waged) or £2 (unwaged) – more batches will become available over the coming weeks but to avoid disappointment we recommend that you get in there early. The lineup so far (which we’re very, very pleased about) is shown on the new event poster below. A finalised lineup will be confirmed in the coming weeks.

CommonFest poster (2)

The Latest ‘Cash-for-Access’ Scandal Reinforces Just How Broken Britain Really Is

This Little Earth

So now we know: it is “quite unrealistic” to expect MPs – the people elected to represent each one of us – to survive on a meagre £67000 salary. Consequently, we have no business questioning an arrangement where individuals can use the benefits of their public position in order rake in literally thousands of pounds a day in what amounts to yet another ‘cash-for-access’ scandal. Jack Straw is very sorry (that he got caught) and Malcolm Rifkind is simply outraged that members of the public (you know, the people he works for) would have the temerity to suggest that he has done anything wrong. Both have been suspended by their parliamentary parties and will not seek re-election in May, whilst Rifkind has resigned as Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee. Despite all of this, there is no sense that anybody in the corrupt corridors of power really thinks that…

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