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.

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”.

The Common Weal General Election Survey

Part of our goal at the Common Weal is to encourage enhanced voter engagement, bringing politics to the local level and to normal people. Too often election campaigns are dominated by fear (vote for us because the others are worse), spin, and a procession of politicians telling us what we care most about. In the aftermath of the independence referendum, where people felt more engaged and empowered than ever before, this simply won’t do, so we’ve set out to do things differently.

We’ve produced a survey allowing you to tell us what you really care about, and we’ll be using the information your provide to guide material such as leaflets, articles and questions to representatives. You don’t have to be a Common Weal supporter or a Yes voter to participate – in reality, we want as broad a range of response as possible. After a few weeks we’ll collate the information and publish it, in full and for free, allowing the people of Scotland – and the political parties – to see what matters to local communities across the country.

We’re asking for your help to make this project a success – please complete and survey and share it as widely as possible with as broad a range of people as you can. With information like this we can end the ‘business-as-usual’ approach to politics and put the focus back on people like you, which is precisely where it should be.

Headlines and actions from group meeting 27/11/2014

General Election 2015 Subgroup

The group reiterated the position decided on previously that we are not a political party, and therefore would not endorse any specific individual candidate or political parties at the forthcoming UK General Election.

The group will instead focus on trying to engage and inform voters on the issues that we believe most effect those living within constituencies deemed to be in the North Glasgow area.

The issues chosen should help voters be able to differentiate between candidates that favour an “all of us first” approach from a “me first”.

Due to the majoritarian nature of the First Past the Post system used for UK General Elections and the high concentration of “safe seats” in the North Glasgow area, it was decided the group should focus on their current Member of Parliament and the most likely alternative.

The group agreed that encouraging voter registration and participation should be a priority due to low turnout previously in constituencies in the North Glasgow area at General Elections. We will seek to capitalise on the higher level of engagement and participation seen during the recent Scottish Independence referendum.


Establish an e-mail mailing list that allows everyone in the group to share relevant information.

Research and share information on the incumbent Member of Parliament of their constituency and the most likely alternative.


Common Cafe group

Engagement with other local CW groups: The group acknowledged the need to co-ordinate efforts with other ‘commons place’ groups in local CW groups in wider Glasgow, and recognized the potential to, if agreed, to pool contacts, information and resources in order to best achieve the goals and ambitions of CW within the city.

Analysis of local business precedents: The group discussed the relevance of similar social/creative business enterprises that could be found locally to forming or realising our own vision.

The Common ‘place’ evolution line: The groups reiterates a need to consider a wide variety of alternative business models, and recognizes the potential of implementing several types, towards changing needs and goals, in the course of realizing a longer-term and eventual goal.


Make contact with other Glasgow CWs: Spear-head cross-group sharing and collaboration amongst wider city CW groups. Invite representatives to a cross group meeting dedicated to Common ‘place’ ventures. Perhaps initiate ‘shared volunteer database’, ‘Glasgow collaborators list’, fundraising strategies etc.

Investigate business precedents: Specific precedents discussed include, The Project Cafe, The Referendum Cafe, Papercup, The Spoon, and Area C/Commons North Edinburgh & Leith. Make contact, gain insight, and gauge potential for future collaboration.

Devise a Common’place’ evolution line: Start to formulate a strategy of phased development for the Common ‘place’ enterprises. One that takes into place the potential for diversity and changing needs and plots a logical/realistic pathway from temporary/dynamic to permanent, eg. from pop-up to short-lease, to permanent Common ‘place’.


Launch Event Group

The main issue established by the Launch Event group was the need to identify potential venues in Glasgow, with a view to costing the event and setting a date, most likely in April 2015.

When this has been investigated and a potential date secured then the event team will liaise with central CW and groups around the country with regard to synchronised launch events across the country.


Make contact with suitable venues across Glasgow to ascertain availability and likely cost.


Online Group

Blog content: The group agreed that it would be worthwhile to blog at least twice a week, more if there is enough material and this is sustainable. This would involve participation from the wider CW North Glasgow groups, with members raising issues that matter in their community (this also for input to Common Space news website), questions they would like to see put to their representatives, and welcoming blog posts from members of the group.

Video project: It was previously raised on Facebook that a video project could involve the group, speaking to voluntary participants about why commons is important to them and what they hope to achieve. There is the potential for initial filming to be carried out at the next meeting.

Website: Ways of streamlining and making the website more accessible and user-friendly were discussed, with the option of infographics mooted as a way of presenting information, both about the group and in a general content role.


Gathering news, views and other material: We will email round the larger group for input to the matters relating to blog content above.

Planning an initial filming session: Interested members will discuss what needs to happen to facilitate filming in the near future.


Elected representatives for Glasgow North

Westminster Representatives

Glasgow North: Ann McKechin MP (Labour)
Serving Acre, Cadder, Cleveden, Dowanhill, Firhill, Gairbraid, Hillhead, Hyndland, Kelvindale, Kirklee, Maryhill, Maryhill Park, North Kelvinside, Ruchill, Summerston, Partick, Woodlands, Woodside & Wyndford.

Member for Glasgow North since 2005; previously member for Glasgow Maryhill (2001 – 2005).
Interests include international development, economics, small businesses, higher education.
Previously Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland (2010 – 2011).

Voting record
Expenses 2013/14

154 Raeberry Street, Glasgow, G20 6EA
0141 946 1300


Glasgow North West: John Robertson MP (Labour)
Serving Anniesland, Blairdardie, Claythorn, Drumchapel, Garscadden, Jordanhill, Knightswood, Old Drumchapel, Partick (Meadowside and Thornwood), Peterson Park, Scoutstoun, Temple, Whiteinch, Broomhill and Yoker.

Member for Glasgow North West since 2005; previously member for Glasgow Anniesland (2000-2005).
Interests include international development, defence, work and pensions, Scottish affairs, communications, foreign affairs, music, nuclear energy.
Ordered to pay back £2975 of expenses in 2010 for cleaning costs and petty cash.

Voting record
Expenses 2013/14

131 Dalsetter Avenue, Drumchapel, Glasgow, G15 8TE
0141 944 7298


Glasgow North East: William [Willie] Bain MP (Labour)
Serving Milton, Ashfield, Keppochhill, Royston, Cowlairs, Springburn, Wallacewell, Milnbank, Dennistoun, Carntyne, Robroyston, and Gartcraig.

Member for Glasgow North East since 2009.
Interests include transport, economy, welfare state, climate change, constitutional reform, foreign affairs, human rights.
Previous Shadow Minister for Transport (2010), Shadow Minister for Environment, Food and Rural Affaird (2010-2011) and Shadow Minister for Scotland (2011-2013).

Voting record
Expenses 2013/14

Flemington House, 110 Flemington Street, Glasgow, G21 4BX
0141 557 2513


East Dunbartonshire: Jo Swinson MP (Liberal Democrat)
Serving Milngavie, Bearsden, Torrance, Bishopbriggs, Lenzie and part of Kirkintilloch.

Member for East Dunbartonshire since 2005.
Interests include foreign affairs, political engagement, quality of life and wellbeing, climate change, allergy, body image.
Currently Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Employment Relations, Consumer and Postal Affairs & Women and Equalities.
Previously Deputy Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats (2010-2012)

Voting record
Expenses 2013/14

126 Drymen Road, Bearsden, G61 3RB
0141 943 1568


West Dunbartonshire: Gemma Doyle MP (Labour)
Serving Alexandria, Dunbarton, Bowling, Bonhill, Clydebank, Balloch, Renton and Old Kilpatrick.

Member for West Dunbartonshire since 2010.
Interests include employment, energy, defence, regeneration.
Currently Shadow Minister for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans.

Voting record
Expenses 2013/14

11 Castle Street, Dumbarton, G82 1QS
01389 734214


Scottish Parliament reps and council reps to follow…

General Election Group First Meeting – Agreement and Strategy

Following the first meeting of the General Election Campaigning Group on the 13th of November the following statement has been produced to summarise the group’s planned activity.
We agreed:
  • We agree the the Common Weal North Glasgow should promote tactical voting to ensure Scotland has the strongest possible voice in Westminster.
  • We agree that we should always make the issues we discuss relevant to Glasgow North (for instance land reform is an important national issue but to engage with our local community, other issues may be a higher priority)
  • We agree that some form of campaign is the best way forward in raising the profile of social justice in voters minds
  • We must remember the danger of telling people what they want (we shouldn’t go into any person’s home or community hall and tell them what they want – we should ask what social issues matter to them and help them find the right answer for their situation).

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