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
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
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
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
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
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.
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’
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
McKelvie MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall & Stonehouse