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The Working Life of Christina McKelvie MSP
26th June

The first days of summer

I've spent the past few days locked in a committee room with the rest of the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee considering a complaint report.  I'm not allowed to tell you anything about the proceedings, quite rightly, so all I would be able to tell you would be the stuff that's already in the public domain.  I won't waste your time repeating all of it - there's plenty of other stuff to discuss instead.

We’re about to break for the summer – today was the last plenary day before summer recess – a chance to catch up on all the constituency work that’s backed up and a chance to do a bit of reading and have a think about policy development.  I’m also sneaking off on holiday at some point to recharge the batteries a bit.

Keith BrownThere was a service in the Garden Lobby this evening – my SNP colleague, Keith Brown MSP (who's convener of the Standards Committee), hosted an event for service veterans on Veterans Awareness Day – five of whom were presented with their veteran’s lapel badges by the Presiding Officer.  It follows on from the Lancastria ceremony a wee while ago, and it's good to see our Parliament being used to honour those who have served and protected us.  It's fitting that Keith hosted the event as well - he doesn't boast about it in any way and tends not to remind people, but Keith Brown is a veteran himself, he was a Marine in 45 Commando who saw active service in the Falklands.

The Education Committee yesterday had the Children's Commissioner in to talk about her annual report which was recently published.  She's quite an impressive performer with an excellent and readily-accessed knowledge of her subject matter and I've been impressed with the way she's carried out her duties, and I lodged a motion to acknowledge that:

S3M-02230 Christina McKelvie (Central Scotland) (Scottish National Party): The Work of Scotland's Commissioner for Children and Young People

That the Parliament welcomes the publication of the 2007-08 annual report of the Commissioner for Children and Young People in Scotland; is encouraged by the effort and imagination put in by the commissioner and her staff; congratulates the commissioner on the production of her report in a format specially tailored to reading and understanding by children; thanks her and her staff for the work that they are doing, and looks forward to them continuing to undertake those tasks without fear or favour and in the best interests of children and young people in Scotland.

She was followed by our Cabinet Secretary for Education, Fiona Hyslop, who was just as in command of her topic, delivering a cracking performance and answering questions easily.  We've got a good team in Government and they keep delivering, keep showing just how good Scottish politicians can be if we only have the courage to believe in ourselves.  I then had to dash off to the Standards Committee, so I missed the delights of considering the pieces of secondary legislation that were before the committee.

I've had some real fun stuff to do this week, though; I was invited to the reception at Edinburgh Castle on Monday night for the launch of the new film about the Stone of Destiny based on the exploits of Ian Hamilton and friends when they liberated it from Westminster when Ian was a few weeks younger than he is today.  He was a wee delight to listen to at the reception and the only disappointment was that some politicians who had been invited who decided not to come, apparently not liking the political overtones of the event.

I was also a guest at the Scottish Political Journalists Association annual dinner on the Sunday Post table last night - a lovely event in charming company at Dynamic Earth and the journalists had obviously been listening to Kenny MacAskill's entreaty not to drink too much, they were all fine examples of decorum and restraint and were all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at work this morning.

At the weekend I was at the Diamond Anniversary Family Fun Day for NHS Lanarkshire in Strathclyde Park on Sunday and at the Bannockburn march on Saturday, and on Friday night I was at the Scottish Black Minority Ethnic Achievement Awards in Glasgow.

All in all, a funny week, plenty glamour mixed with some serious hard work.  I need a cup of tea!

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