Member of Scottish Parliament
Scottish Parliament

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David W

00:00:02 My name’s David W I’m the Labour MSP for Strathkelvin and Bearsden and I’m also Labour’s Deputy Shadow Spokesman for Finance and Local Government.

00:00:12 Well I’m a constituency member so my job involves very much representing the area of Strathkelvin and Bearsden which is just north of Glasgow, bound, bounds on the Glasgow boundary and basically it involves me representing the people of that area in the parliament, taking up their issues and problems with the Scottish government, and anybody else they have problems with. And also on the political side, speaking on behalf of the Labour party in the parliament here on financial and local government matters and I’m also a member of their finance committee.

00:00:47 I mean you don’t actually realise how much of a privilege it is until you’re doing the job and you’re helping people and they’re coming into your office, they’ve got a problem, you’re trying to help them and you get a real sense of achievement when you’ve helped somebody who’s got a really serious problem but you’re able to help them to overcome that problem.

00:01:04 In my final years at school I mean I was quite good at English and I liked history and those kinds of subjects and where I stayed, my next door neighbour had a brother yeah it was a brother in law who was a leading sports journalist, and I was quite keen on sport as well. So I thought, well, what a great idea, I can combine English and sport and become a sports journalist like him, and as I lived in Dundee at that time, I went to school in Dundee.

00:01:34 Dundee has a big tradition of journalism with DC Thomson’s and they tended to recruit from the school that I attended, so applied for a place with DC Thomson’s and was lucky enough to get a job with them in a local newspapers and it kind of took off from there.

00:01:51 So my first job was very much subbing copy from all our correspondents across the Highlands, so I mean these were you know the local post mistress, the local teacher and so on, who would send you down little snippets of news from their villages across the Highlands which I then had to just sort of rewrite and sub onto the page. And the paper went out every week.

00:02:13 It was a great experience, a great bunch of lads that I worked with, you know coming straight from school, you kind of have to move from being you know a school boy into working journalist as it were, and the guys I worked with were very good at doing that. (laughs) They showed me a few things that perhaps my mother might not have been too pleased about but anyway, journalism is a real team effort you know OK you’re the journalist out there, getting the stories or subbing them all but I mean, to make up a newspaper comes from all, all different parts and there are different parts of a paper as well. So for me it was a great learning curve which I guess stood me in good stead right throughout my working life.

00:02:56 There’s so many opportunities within university education now, you go to the likes of Glasgow University they’ve got their own television studio, they produce their own newspaper, they have their own radio station, so you can go and get your degree and work in journalism as well, and some really good journalists have come out of that university system.

00:03:16 When television the televising of parliament first arrived and STV decided that they needed somebody down there would could more or a news background to turn things round for the news programmes and I did that for two years, but while I was there it was also the time of the first Gulf War and I was also accredited as the defence correspondent, so I got to go to all these lobby briefings which are the ones that are held at 10 Downing Street, I went to briefings at the Ministry of Defence so you really got in behind what was going on in government and I guess that really turned my interest then to seeing politics as you know the real way for me to go in that sense.

00:03:55 So and I suppose I did sort of kind of start thinking at that time, you know I, maybe I could do this, you know I’ve spoken to politicians all the time, I was interviewing them all the time, some good, some bad, and thinking, well you know, at some point you never know I might, I might get into that.

00:04:13 END

David W is Labour MSP for Strathkelvin and Bearsden. He says “it’s a real sense of achievement when you’ve helped somebody who’s got a really serious problem”. He started as a journalist. He left school in Dundee to work for local firm D.C. Thomson. He worked in the Parliament as a TV journalist before becoming an MSP.

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? Elected representatives in national government formulate and ratify legislation and government policy, act as elected representatives in Parliament, European Parliament, Regional Parliaments or Assemblies, and as representatives of the government and its executive. Elected officers in local government act as representatives in the local authority and participate in the formulation, ratification and implementation of local government policies.
Entry is by election.
  • Represents constituency within the legislature and advises and assists constituents on a variety of issues;
  • Acts as a Party representative within the constituency;
  • Participates in debates and votes on legislative and other matters;
  • Holds positions on parliamentary or local government committees;
  • Tables questions to ministers and introduces proposals for government action;
  • Recommends or reviews potential policy or legislative change, and offers advice and opinions on current policy;
  • Advises on the interpretation and implementation of policy decisions, acts and regulations;
  • Studies and acts upon any legislation that may affect the local authority.
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