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The Working Life of Christina McKelvie MSP
First Entry 14th December 2007


I’m delighted to be taking over this diary of a working MSP from Linda Fabiani.  Linda is quite an inspirational character – she worked hard through all the years of opposition, as detailed in the dairy she wrote for you, and that effort has been continued in the way that she and the other Ministers have put Scotland first and striven to deliver a better country for all who live here.

I was elected in May as an MSP for Central Scotland, and I’ve been settling into my new role, learning quickly and trying not to put my feet in the wrong place.  The pace is hectic – I’m told it’s actually a lot faster with us in government than it ever was under the previous coalition, there’s a sense of excitement around Parliament, a feeling that things are improving, that we’re heading in the right direction as a country.

We’re going through the budget process just now – line by line examination of the work that John Swinney has done to make the money we’ve got stretch across the whole of Scotland.  It was the tightest ever settlement for Scotland, and John’s achievement in bringing the budget to something which can deliver for Scotland is quite impressive.

I’m also on the Education Committee.  You’ll have seen the news about the Committee rejecting the Abolition of the Graduate Endowment on the casting vote of the Labour convener, and that was an act which left me quite angry.  Last week the Labour party organised students to come to Parliament and demand extra money – this week Labour MSPs voted to drive students further into debt.

Every time you think you’ve seen the depths of cynicism to which Labour will stoop, they astound you by going lower.  At least on this particular issue the decision about whether to remove that burden of debt from students’ shoulders will be coming back to Parliament for the whole Parliament to vote on it.

We carry on trying to make Scotland a better place, though, and we’ll continue to bring forward the measures that are needed to do that.  Our opposition have a choice – they can get on board and help or they can continue to be the stumbling block that we have to get over to make Scotland a better place.


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