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The Working Life of Christina McKelvie MSP
15th April 2010


Election Fever

So we have the season of manifesto launches and its even more confusing to see who actually stands for what. My reading is that none of the unionist London parties stand for Scotland. We have labour's manifesto or should that be manifesto's because they have one for England and one for Scotland. The Scottish manifesto is on issues devolved to the Scottish Parliament that just could not be delivered or even influenced by labour MP's at Westminster. Itís a manifesto of confusion and double standards -  ranting about mandatory sentences for knife crime in Scotland but insisting elsewhere that it isn't needed, for example. I think they are being totally disingenuous and should be honest with the people of Scotland just for once.

Then we have to Tories who say they will protect the NHS but again at Westminster they have no locus to protect Scotland's NHS. With lower then free prescriptions, shorter waiting times and super bugs at an all time low I think I will be depending on Nicola Sturgeon and the Scottish Government protecting  the NHS in Scotland and not some remote Tory government at Westminster to do that. So onto the Lib Dems who are promising us the world because they canÖ.that's because they donít ever have to deliver so its easy to have a wish list without the responsibility of ever having to realise their commitments  - they have neither dignity nor decency these days and I keep asking myself "what's the point of the Lib Dems?"  

The real issue for me is that they all promise cuts to Scotland's budget and they are all vying for the top place for who is going to cut the deepest, most savage or even deeper than Thatcher. Thatís what we have to look forward to in the next few years thatís why Scotland needs champions. People who will go to Westminster and stand up for Scotland's interests people who will know what is needed locally and people will not shrink from the other parties when they need reminding that Scotland deserves her fair share. It bothered me deeply that all the parties are still committed to wasting 100 billion on trident missiles. These are the people who are telling us we all have to tighten our belts, make do or endure cuts to services. These are the people who are still committed to spending all that money on an immoral nuclear deterrent we donít want or actually need. I say dump the bombs and give us jobs, dump ID cards and give us public services and dump the rhetoric and give us honesty.

I hail from the great city of Glasgow and it turns my stomach at the drip drip allegations about the people we trust to run that city. Itís a city where people die too early from poverty, alcohol and drugs abuse. Itís a city where our school kids can expect the least amount spent on their education and itís a city where too many of our children live in poverty. The First Minister was correct yesterday when he said its time to clean up Glasgow for the sake of Glasgow's citizens this really has to happen. Glasgow has so much to give the world and it should not be blighted by politicians who should stand up for Glasgow instead of standing up for themselves. Glasgow as does Lanarkshire and all parts of Scotland deserve champions, champions like John Mason who will work for the people who elected him and do a damned good job too.

As you all know I have a particular interest in highlighting and hopefully in some small way stop the trafficking of people for sex or labour. I was horrified to hear about men being trafficked into Scotland for this very purpose here is what I said in the motion I lodged about it.

S3M-06144 Christina McKelvie (Central Scotland) (Scottish National Party): Sexual Trafficking of Men to Scotlandó That the Parliament is deeply concerned at evidence from the NHS Open Road project that men are now being trafficked into Scotland for sexual purposes; notes that staff from the Open Road project report having been called on to assist in two separate cases in the past year where men had been trafficked from Africa to Scotland and forced into the sex trade; is concerned that this is evidence of sex traffickers expanding their activities in Scotland; calls on the Scottish and UK governments to take account of this development in the next update of their joint Action Plan on Tackling Human Trafficking, and pledges support for efforts to bring an end to the forced trafficking of human beings worldwide.

Also it was good news again for hard up families when we agreed another council tax freeze. I cant believe that Labour and some trade unions are calling for the freeze to be lifted donít they realise that this will hit the very families they claim to be representing or is it that they are just playing party politics because again the SNP government is supporting families during Labour's recession. Heaven forbid they would play politics with peoples lives in that manner!

So for your delight and delectation here is the press release I have put out on this very subject.

SOUTH LANARKSHIRE COUNCIL TAX FROZEN FOR THIRD YEAR IN A ROW
Householders across South Lanarkshire have once again been spared a hike in their council tax, after MSPs endorsed the Scottish Governmentís £70 million funding package to compensate local authorities for freezing the tax.

This is the third year in a row that Finance Secretary John Swinney has secured agreement from all 32 of Scotlandís local authorities to freeze council tax. This yearís freeze means that South Lanarkshire households have saved an average of £237 in council tax payments since the SNP came to power.

Christina McKelvie MSP has welcomed the latest freeze. The SNP MSP for Central Scotland said:

 ďI am delighted that South Lanarkshire householders will once again have the peace of mind of knowing that they will not be faced with a hike in their council tax bills. Freezing council tax for the third year in a row will ease the stress for households struggling with their finances just now.

ďThe partnership that the SNP government has forged with Scotlandís local authorities, including South Lanarkshire Council, to keep council tax rates down is helping people in a very real way. The £237 that the average South Lanarkshire household is saving as a result of the council tax freeze is money going back into pockets at a time when it has been badly needed.

ďIt has the additional benefit of boosting spending power within the South Lanarkshire economy, helping to support jobs and businesses.

ďLabour in South Lanarkshire opposed this freeze - they would prefer to land South Lanarkshire households with a substantial hike in their council tax bills, wile they are still suffering from the effects of Gordon Brown's recession. In contrast, the SNP is investing to help South Lanarkshire folk through this recession and strengthen the economic recovery of communities across Scotland.Ē

The other week I got to visit my friends the Strathleven artizans who realised their dream and opened the Robert the Bruce Heritage centre in Renton http://www.strathlevenartizans.com/heritagec.htm. My colleague Gil Patterson commended them in a parliamentary motion too. Here is the link I would recommend a visit it is a fantastic place and makes you think about the types of Champions Scotland has had in her history and the type of champion she needs today.

Here are some photo's from the day.

Brave Knights of the Realm Me and the Royal Party

Lord Elgin The Bruce

Benedict Bruce

Our future young knights

Christina McKelvie MSP
Central Scotland


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