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The Working Life of Christina McKelvie MSP
7th October 2011


My life in pictures…

A few weeks ago I was honoured to be hosting the nation ‘Wear it Pink Day’ in Parliament and this year we managed to get the largest number of MSPs ever to come along and show their support for Breast Cancer Awareness day.

Here’s what I said on the day and remember on the 28th of October get your best pink outfit on and raise awareness.

Hamilton’s MSP has donned pink accessories to raise money for Breast Cancer Care.

Christina McKelvie was the host of the charity’s annual ‘Wear it Pink’ Scottish Parliament reception for breast cancer research.

The Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse MSP organised the fundraiser ahead of the official ‘Wear it Pink’ day on October 28.

First Minister Alex Salmond was just one of the politicians to support Christina’s charity day.

Christina said: “I was delighted to host this year’s ‘Wear it Pink’ day, which has become something of an institution in the Scottish Parliament.

“I seldom need an excuse to wear pink, but it’s great to be able to do it for such a good cause and always a treat to see MSPs from across the chamber – including even the First Minister – willing to make themselves look daft to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer research.

“Behind the fun is a very serious purpose. It is estimated that there are over 41,000 women and 150 men alive in Scotland who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and there are few of us who have not been touched by this disease, whether through becoming sufferers ourselves or indirectly through a friend or family member."

She added: “The need to fund cutting edge research into treating and preventing breast cancer is as vital as ever, and I would like to encourage everyone in Hamilton and throughout the country to support the official Wear it Pink day on October 28, to raise valuable funds to help people living with breast cancer."

Modern day clearances

Another event in Parliament highlighted the scandal of the modern day 'clearances' being carried out in the developing world by creating a crop of Scotland silhouettes outside the Scottish Parliament.

Supporters display 29 'Scotland' cut outs to highlight the amount of land sold, leased or licensed in developing countries since 2001. A huge amount of developing world land that has exchanged hands since then, often to the serious detriment of the communities who live on it.

The event marked the publication of the major new report 'Land and Power', which reveals 227 million hectares of land has changed hands - an area equivalent to twenty nine times the land mass of Scotland. (1) Publication of the paper is part of Oxfam's GROW campaign, which aims to create a world in which everyone has enough to eat.

Joe Fitzpatrick MSP (Dundee West) laid down a motion in support of the Oxfam paper, echoing the charity's call for investors, governments and international organisations to prioritise putting a stop to land grabbing by fixing the current policies and regulations, so that local people are consulted and treated fairly, and that all relevant international standards are respected. Oxfam urges all MSPs to back the motion. The charity is also calling on Scots to support the Grow campaign by signing up at www.oxfam.org/grow

This is an issue that us Scots know well and forms part of our history that was why I was happy to support this campaign and I even got my photo taken with a cross party group to prove it.

SCIAF Event

I was at a SCIAF event in parliament hosted by my friend and colleague Clare Adamson MSP and supported by our former colleague Patrick Grady who we wish well in new role with SCIAF. I met Sheila Kambobe who made a call for action by governments around the world featured in a forthcoming report by SCIAF, which was presented to MSPs at a special event in the Scottish Parliament on Thursday 22nd September. I heard from Sheila Kambobe, Deputy Director of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) in Lusaka, Zambia, who outlined the severe effects a changing climate is having on people in her country. SCIAF is calling for increased funding for ‘climate adaptation’ programmes by the Scottish and UK Governments and for delivery of existing commitments made at the United Nations.

I am delighted to inform you that the Scottish Government’s dedicated International Aid budget was maintained at current levels for the next year. This is great news for all of our partner organisations but it is also the right thing to do even when we are experiencing difficult times in our own nation it is vitally important not to lose sight of the support we can offer the rest of the world. I am particularly proud of John Swinney for many many reasons but this is one I am especially proud of. Well done John! That’s a Photo of me with Sheila.

MacMillan, cupcakes and coffee

It was back to the constituency last Friday for the big MacMillan coffee morning and we joined the staff at the Holiday Inn Hamilton where we happily handed over our cash for some lovely cupcakes and coffee but seriously this is another organisation that does wonderful work and I was more than happy to join Manager Mark Calpin and Jan Forrest from MacMillan to support the ‘world’s biggest coffee morning’

Luigi

Just to finish the week off Linda Fabiani MSP hosted a lovely event with Luigi Corvi who sang us Burns songs opera style as you can see Linda and Clare could not help getting their picture with Luigi and not to be outdone I did too.

Thanks to Luigi for some lovely and moving renditions of Ae Fond Kiss and the Skye Boat song.

Christina McKelvie MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall & Stonehouse


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