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The Working Life of Christina McKelvie MSP
20th March

The Creative Scotland Bill came in front of the committee this week – the Education, Lifelong Learning and Culture Committee will examine the Bill, consult with people from all over the country, and prepare a report for Parliament to consider. If Parliament agrees to let the Bill go forward it will come back to us for detailed consideration.

This Bill’s really quite interesting because it’s a fairly small piece of legislation – only 10 sections – but the range is immense, it will change the entire make-up of the cultural landscape in Scotland. The Scottish Arts Council and Scottish screen will disappear and be replaced by Creative Scotland – a body which will be asked to promote understanding, appreciating and enjoying the arts as well as identifying, developing and supporting talent and excellence.

It’s going to be quite an experience taking this Bill through the process. No doubt we’ll be seeing our Culture Minister – Linda Fabiani – coming in front of the committee during that. She’s been off to the Isle of Man this week, doing the external relations bit of her portfolio. She works extremely hard like every member of the SNP Scottish Government, and we’re lucky to have her working for us.

The Irish Consul held her St Patrick’s Day celebration last Friday and invited me to the bash. A lovely event, and an excellent celebration of Irishness. Ireland’s national day is celebrated with some panache, they carry the confidence they’ve built as an independent nation, comfortable with who they are. Hopefully it won’t be too long before Scotland has a similar confidence and a similar freedom – our culture already has a global reach but we could learn from Ireland about how to make the most of our fame and the goodwill of other nations. At least now we’ve got a Government that’s pushing the celebration of the uniquely Scottish events from St Andrew’s Day till Burns night.

That connection with the wider world was what made so many Scots come back out on the streets of Glasgow on Saturday. Back out because it was the fifth anniversary of the beginning of hostilities in Iraq. I was glad to see that the people of Scotland kept their principles and continued to speak out against the war.

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