Mary delivered her first leaflets while still at school and canvassed her first households (alone!) while still in her teens. Since then her political activism has included:
- Organising and participating in door-to-door canvassing, telephone canvassing and leafleting drives
- Setting up street stalls
- Coordinating the YES campaign for Provan constituency at the 2014 independence referendum
- Being interviewed by journalists for various European papers
- Speaking several times at SNP Conferences in front of up to 1000 people as well as TV cameras
- Successfully initiating changes of policy at SNP Conferences (trail-blazing!) Main changes introduced:
- referendum on the monarchy (1997)
- taxation of undeveloped/unproductive land (2017)
- wage ratio legislation: linking the salary of the CEO directly to the salary of the lowest paid employee in the same organisation. (2018)
- Attending umpteen demonstrations and rallies in Scotland (Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dumfries, Stirling, Perth, Faslane) and abroad Mary at the 3rd Netherlands for Scottish Independence Rally 2019 The Hague
- Election Agent four times – for different candidates in different constituencies.
- Decades of experience within the SNP in executive posts at Branch level (Organiser, Secretary, Treasurer)
- Nine years as a NALGO/UNISON shop steward during which she successfully lobbied (often against the hierarchy of her trade union) for eradication of payscale anomalies and for changes such as flexible working patterns. Was personally influential at an industrial tribunal which resulted in introduction of job-sharing to Careers Service staff across Strathclyde Region.
- Lifelong campaign of letters to the Press. (Unlike blogs, newspapers are read by those not yet committed. Mary sends letters disclosing suppressed reports or counteracting fake news to the Herald; to the National she sends letters about the strategy of achieving independence).
Women for Independence
Pensioners for Independence
At the 2018 inaugural meeting of Pensioners for Indy Mary was elected Co-Convenor.
The main role of Pensioners For Independence is to reach out to other senior citizens and address their concerns about independence. To help bond with them Mary formed a seven-strong musical group “Pensioners for Indy Warblers” to go round senior citizen lunch clubs, sheltered housing complexes and residential homes. Primarily as entertainers – wandering minstrels who share their own years and memories. If members of the audience initiate a political discussion the Warblers will play their part in it.
Scottish National Party
SNP Spring Conference 2017 -arguing for the taxation of undeveloped land
Scottish Independence Convention
Mary was elected on to the Executive Committee of the Scottish Independence Convention (Umbrella Yes body for most of the pro-independence bodies agitating for the right to a second independence referendum. She is currently Membership Secretary.
On Doors Open Day Mary is the guide at the Sighthill Cemetery memorial to the 1820 Martyrs, telling the story of the Radical Wars of the early 19th century. In 2020, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, she replaced her in-person talk with a video:
Eilean Mor McCormick
In the 1990s Mary helped to build a Visitors’ Centre for this historical SNP-owned island.