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The Working Life of Christina McKelvie MSP
2nd April 2009


A sombre day

There was a touch of sadness about todays business in the chamber.  A sombre reckoning of mortality, perhaps, as news filtered through of the loss of sixteen lives in a helicopter crash in the North Sea.  Its a reminder, perhaps, that the black gold we take for granted pumping out of that sea comes with a human cost sometimes a very high cost.

With an age range from 24 to 63, these were sons, brothers, and fathers 16 families are grieving their loss.  First Ministers Questions was changed from the usual roaring contest into a reflection on the events of yesterday and Parliament stood together, in the main, to mark this.  There were two voices raised in protest at the decision to change FMQs Lord George Foulkes and Michael McMahon but everyone else appreciated the tenor of the occasion.

The tragedy was, perhaps, made even more poignant by the successful water-landing of another oil rig helicopter recently where everyone survived.  Some of these men came from small, tight-knit communities where their loss will be felt throughout the community.  Its a reminder that what we take for granted, what seems to us to be freely available, isnt always so cheaply bought.


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