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The Working Life of Christina McKelvie MSP
1st October 2009


Wearing it pink

I was invited to join forces with Breast Cancer Campaign to raise awareness of its award winning fundraising event, wear it pink, on Friday 30 October 2009.

People in schools, colleges and businesses throughout the country will be wearing something pink and each will donate 2 to help fund innovative world-class breast cancer research. I'm glad to have a chance to make a difference.

One in nine women will experience breast cancer during their lifetime and looking for ways to improve treatments and ways to improve survival rates seems to me to be a good thing to support.

More than 4,000 women in Scotland are diagnosed with breast cancer every year and the Breast Cancer Campaign funds research - 106 projects worth 15 million - to look for treatments for the most common cancer in the UK. Visit www.wearitpink.co.uk or www.breastcancercampaign.org if you want to know more.

There was sad news this week with the death of Bill Speirs, former General Secretary of the STUC. He spent 27 years working for the Trade Union umbrella body, retiring as a result of health problems in 2006. During Bill's time at the helm, like Campbell Christie before him, the STUC made a serious and substantial contribution to Scottish political life. It was in large part due to the influence of these two men that union pressure in favour of a Scottish Parliament was maintained.

It was ironic, I suppose, that Bill went to work at the STUC in the same year that Margaret Thatcher came to power - it would be difficult to find two people with a greater distance between their political ideologies. He was the STUC front man on the campaign against the poll tax and he was right at the forefront of Scotland United - both policy areas where he disagreed with the Labour party but held true to his convictions and argued his position.

What would we give now for another man like Bill? His funeral was on Thursday and it was fitting that so many people made the effort to get there. It was particularly fitting that so many MSPs made the journey there - if Bill hadn't done what he'd done we might not be in Parliament


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