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The Working Life of Christina McKelvie MSP
25th September
2008


In the middle of a global economic crisis and a Scottish banking crisis last week, we thought we had a degree of consensus across the political spectrum Ė a common platform to fight for jobs in Scotland as well as a campaign to retain the HQ decision-making functions of the Bank of Scotland.

 

It didnít last long Ė Labour MSPs have decided to ignore the common cause for the sake of some petty party political point-scoring.  Andy Kerr and Iain Gray have both been less than helpful, Labour leader Iain Gray in particular.  Today Gray accused Alex Salmond of standing idly by while Scottish jobs were lost and then, quite astonishingly, sought to blame Local Income Tax for the loss of business headquarters from Scotland.  Thatíll be the Local Income Tax that isnít actually in place yet.

 

Itís sad that Labour members cannot bring themselves to decency even when there is an important national issue to be considered and fought for.  At least we can be certain that the SNP Government will continue to work hard for the people of Scotland and will continue to look for solutions to Scotlandís problems.  There may be trouble ahead but, with the SNP on the side of the Scottish people, someone is facing the music and seeking a better Scotland.

 

There was some good news during the week.  The UK Government has finally agreed to sign the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child Ė 17 years after it should have been signed, but at least it is being done.  I submitted a motion to Parliament to welcome the news:

S3M-02576 Christina McKelvie (Central Scotland) (Scottish National Party): Dungavel and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Childó That the Parliament welcomes the UK Governmentís opting-in to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the fact that this will mean the end of the practice of incarcerating asylum seeker children and child migrants without judicial scrutiny; further welcomes the fact that Dungavel Immigration Removal Centre will no longer hold children in close proximity to potentially dangerous adults; encourages the UK Government and the National Asylum Support Service to implement the convention now instead of waiting until domestic legislation is aligned with the convention, and congratulates all those who have campaigned to end child detention at Dungavel on the success of their campaign at last.

Supported by: Bob Doris, Rob Gibson, Dr Alasdair Allan, Robin Harper, Bill Kidd, Mike Pringle, Stuart McMillan, Keith Brown, Patrick Harvie, Hugh O'Donnell, Dr Bill Wilson, Kenneth Gibson, Angela Constance, Sandra White, Dr Christopher Harvie, Robert Brown, Liam McArthur, Alex Neil, Aileen Campbell, Joe FitzPatrick, Shirley-Anne Somerville, Jamie Hepburn, Dr Ian McKee

Lodged on Friday, September 19, 2008; Current

 

Itís interesting to note that not one Labour MSP has supported this motion so far.  That almost leads me to think that perhaps Gordon Brownís Government is not about to sign up to the whole of the Convention and that some children will remain outwith the protections that should be afforded to all children wherever they are and whoever they are.

 

Iíll carry on driving this issue, though, I think itís vitally important to make sure that asylum seeker children are treated with some dignity and some respect.  I think these children have suffered enough and our welcome should represent a safe haven rather than another nightmare for them.

 

In the week that a new Gaelic TV station was launched (BBC Alba), we took evidence from the chair of Scotlandís Broadcasting Commission, Blair Jenkins.  He was reporting back on the findings of the Commission which moved in the right direction in terms of calling for more powers (although it isnít there yet) but under questioning from me he assured us that we were heading towards the place where control tips in favour of Scotland.  It canít come soon enough.

 

What Scotland gets back in terms of programming and development work is miniscule compared to what we pay out for television licences.  Further expenditure from Scotland on TV is Linda Fabianiís department spending £12 million on the new Gaelic Channel but control remains in London Ė for now.

 

All of it will be changing soon Ė I hope.

 

We won the Baillieston election, by the way, and hereís a picture of me with new councillor David Turner.

 


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