June 2012 Archives
ACTING in a mature, grown up fashion doesn't always come naturally to politicians and I'll be the first to put my hand up and say I don't always get the tone right.
There is a time and a place for robust discussion but frankly none of us will get anywhere if all we do is focus on political point scoring and snappy sound bites instead of engaging in debate and finding solutions.
I have an enormous amount of respect for my colleagues across the parliament chamber-we disagree on plenty but I never doubt their commitment and reason for doing the job they do.
Every single one of us wants to see a better Scotland and a brighter future for those we have the privilege of representing.
YESTERDAY at a crowded hall in Napier University, the campaign to keep Scotland in the United Kingdom- Better Together - was launched.
The campaign's message is clear, simple and positive - Scotland is stronger now and will be stronger in the future; economically, politically and socially as a partner in the United Kingdom.
The campaign will be a coming together of millions of Scots from every social and political background who believe that it would be an irreversible mistake to break up the most successful political and economic union the world has seen.
A union that has given us over 300 years of shared history, prosperity and security.
FOR a number of years I have campaigned for local communities to be given more power over the areas around them.
For too long now communities have been side-lined when it came to the decisions which affected their local communities or watched in dismay as a local asset has been left to go to ruin, without any real voice to change this.
Well I'm glad to say that the SNP have fulfilled their manifesto pledge to introduce a Community empowerment and Renewal Bill, which aims to supporting communities to take their own decision about what matters to them.
IN the 11 years since becoming an MP I have met thousands of constituents who come to me for help with various problems affecting themselves and their families.
Some are easy to resolve, some take a bit of time and some unfortunately I find my hands are completely tied and there is very little I can do to help them.
The worst part of this is when new laws are introduced, the goalposts are changed and ordinary hard working families find their lives turned upside down. Many of these new laws relate to immigration cases which include some truly heartbreaking tales.
I DON'T know who's going to win Euro 2012 and I'm not going to reveal who I'm supporting, but I might be making a small bet.
But more can be lost at this tournament than won as the reputation of football is at stake.
I know that everyone here in Glasgow will have been shocked that the families of English players Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott have said they are not going to travel to Poland and Ukraine just as all would have been horrified that some Dutch players were targeted by the Krakow crowd in training.
If I hear the vile chants on my telly this will be the first major tournament I will turn my back on.
THEY say a week is a long time in politics.
Well, it's been a whole month since the local government elections in May and time has really flown by!
I want to start by thanking all of the many people who took the time to vote in Garscadden and Scotstounhill on May 3rd. It is an honour and a privilege to have been chosen to be your representative for the next five years and I will work to the best of my ability to represent everyone in the ward.
IT'S been a busy few weeks since my last blog for the Glaswegian, with the local council elections, the passing of the Alcohol Minimum Pricing Bill in the Scottish Parliament and the launch of the Yes Scotland campaign last Friday.
It's also been pretty hectic locally with the fantastic Southside Festival last weekend (I think the West End Festival should be seriously worried about the competition), and both the Govan Fair and Gorbals Fair this weekend.
THEY say crime is down in Glasgow.
The people I represent would beg to differ.
Given the amount of cases that come through my surgeries and the contact that is made by telephone I would have to agree with my constituents' views.
The police in my view have failed over the last three decades to tackle the serious problem of drugs coming to our communities that started in the early eighties.