Wear it Pink
I was clad in my most electric pink last week when
MSPs joined the fight against breast cancer by taking part in Breast
Cancer Campaign’s biggest (and pinkest) fundraiser, wear it pink day.
Over the last 10 years wear it pink has raised a
staggering £23 million and on Friday 25 October 2013 people will come
together in schools, colleges and businesses across Scotland to raise
vital funds for Breast Cancer Campaign’s lifesaving research.
Every year in Scotland around 4,400 people are
diagnosed with breast cancer, including around 25 men. Sadly, around
1,000 people die from the disease each year. This is why we need to
support Breast Cancer Campaign’s fundraising efforts so they can
continue to fund research which will one day lead to a cure.
Breast Cancer Campaign vitally needs the money raised
from wear it pink for its researchers to have the best possible chance
to find the cure.
So, taking it to heart, myself and the First Minister
Visit of the Lithuanian ambassador
In Scotland, we’re always interested to find out more
about how the smaller European Union countries such as Latvia, Estonia
and Lithuania are getting on in Europe.
So it was interesting and exciting to find out more
about Lithuania. The ambassador, her Excellency Asta Skaisgiryte
Liauskiene, came on a visit to the Scottish Parliament on Thursday past.
She was giving evidence about the EU presidency which her country
She filled us in on some of the background since they
joined in 2004. Lithuania is the most digitally advanced nation in the
world, with full 4G coverage. They have an amazing growth rate and are
net contributors to the EU
It’s tremendously exciting to see how this small
nation of just three million people can do! That is great encouragement
and reinforcement to Scotland with its 5.5 million people.
We, too, have the resources and the power and skills
to be at the forefront of these smaller European nations after a Yes
vote next year.
Christina with Her
Excellency Asta Skaisgiryte Liauskiene, Ambassador of Lithuania, at the
(Picture courtesy of the Scottish Parliament)
The Scottish chill factor
One of the costs we pay for living in such a fabulous
and spectacular country is, well, the weather isn’t always glorious! To
be fair, we’ve had a fantastic summer and perhaps it’s precisely because
of those balmy days that we’re now all feeling just a little bit chilly!
Viruses love spring and autumn and now is the time
for flu vaccinations. The Scottish Government has just introduced a free
vaccine for every two or three year old in the country.
That’s important to Mums and Dads as well as their
children because toddlers have little or no immunity to what can be a
deadly virus. The little ones get their immunisations via a nasal spray
which only takes a few moments and means they don’t even need an
“We have more than 16,000 children in South
Lanarkshire under the age of five and I know that their parents and
carers want to protect them from avoidable illness. A quick trip to a
local GP flu clinic during October will mean those little children are
safe from this potentially dangerous virus.
Already, around a fifth of the Scottish population
receive the vaccination each year. Anyone over 65 or with particular
health problems such as asthma, diabetes, heart, liver or lung problems,
reduced immunity or kidney and liver issues is automatically entitled to
the vaccine, as are their families, all carers and health workers.
“In Scotland, we are seeing the positive results of
our comprehensive flu vaccination programme. As it stands, we have seen
2,000 fewer hospitalisations and 25,000 fewer GP consultations.
As you will know, if you were reading a week or two
back, my Parliamentary and Constituency Assistant, Josh Wilson, is
standing as the SNP candidate in the forthcoming Hamilton South
I’ve been out with him around the town, talking to
people, asking about their priorities and finding out how they’re likely
We hear lots about the great heritage of our old
friend, the late Bobby Lawson, whose footsteps Josh hopes to follow in.
Josh’s youth and enthusiasm is going down a storm
around South Hamilton, with people of every age saying they’ll
definitely vote for him and for the SNP agenda.
I’ll keep you up to date. The by-election is on 24
October, just after the SNP Annual Conference in Perth. More about that
Josh Wilson, SNP
candidate in the Hamilton South council by-election
More about young people
Josh is a little bit over 16 – or so he claims – we in the Scottish
Government recognise just how important the forthcoming Referendum is
for the younger folk in Scotland.
they who will be growing into the positions of power that can shape our
country’s future and who will be the both the ears and the voices in
this up and coming generation, their children, grandchildren and all
those following who, with a Yes vote, will hold the levers of power to
build a fairer, more prosperous and compassionate society.
recognition in mind, we put through legislation to bring the right to
vote to those who will be 16 (rather than the current 18) by 18
isn’t a new idea. Some of the other parties also support the concept but
it took this Scottish Government to push it to reality.
people can now register to make their vote in the Referendum which can
change their lives, increase their opportunities for achievement and
fulfilment, see them shaking off the restraints brought by a London
government neither they nor most of their parents ever voted for, and
give each person a real stake in their own future.
people of 16 and 17 can get married, join the armed forces and pay
taxes. It makes sense that they also have the right to vote.