Weekend 3 -Member Diary - Martin McGill
I am Martin McGill, I’m 48 and I live in North Ayrshire. I work as a learning and development specialist in central government and public sector, with an occasional sojourn into charitable work for the amazing service that is Crisis Counselling in Erskine. I have a particular and enduring interest in mental health.
Wow! This has to be my opening comment on weekend 3. The 3rd weekend witnessed a real change in pace. For me personally, it was a welcome escalation of our deliverables. It’s easy to overlook the fact that the combined skills and experiences of the many in the room are more than a match for the best of politicians and academics. I’m proud we demonstrated that fact to those we pay to represent us.
The topics included sustainability, something very close to my heart, and legal frameworks. Those briefing us regarding the environment, specifically Katherine Trebeck and Andy Kerr, were a revelation to me. They presented as caring and compassionate and with a real concern for humanity and our planet. I could have listened to them for hours and it was my experience that they were hugely well received by assembly members. I was thrilled to hear them describe so many practical, logical, reasonable ideas that I and other members had discussed previously. I found myself energised by their contributions and reinvigorated to indulge my quest to challenge our elected representatives about their environmental intentions.In the end I thought this weekend was just fantastic. I got to chat with a very pleasant reporter from The Economist, sharing my passion for the assembly and my belief in its goals and I was also persuaded to take part in a video diary with two other members.
So, where does this leave us after all this weekend? The assembly has traction for just a few more months and I pray that its tenure will continue far beyond that stage. I truly believe that others should enjoy the privilege of this experience. It’s amazing, and I’m so grateful to be part of it. I’m really worried that this endeavour will be allowed to wither and perish. I beg all parties in the parliament to get behind this programme and support it. Our politicians must learn to trust the will of their citizens, to trust their passions, trust their hopes. We can and will find a way to live sustainably, but it requires bold action, now. Right now. Our history can change with our next move, but we don’t have the luxury to keep speculating on what that might be. There is only the bigger picture now. Nothing else. Selfish, partisan, shaming, bullying, greedy politics have had their time. We need a new reality. We demand better.
It’s my very personal hope that our assembly agrees a framework of common principles, like a constitution, for our expectations, standards and values that any governing party must work within. It would behove any governing party to meet the legally agreed citizens’ principles through their manifesto commitments, always working for the betterment of the many. Call it a citizen's franchise if you will. Martin x