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The Working Life of Christina McKelvie MSP
19th March 2009

That was the week that was

I haven’t done anything this week.  Well, except a few things…

Friday I was back to my old stamping ground in Easterhouse where I grew up to discuss a project which is aiming to help take youngsters away from the gang culture and towards becoming productive members of society.  It seems like it might actually be quite effective.  Coming under the banner of BARTARA (Blairtummock And Rogerfield Tenants’ And Residents’ Association) the project has the backing of the community who aim to rejuvenate the area and the spirit of the place.

Richard McShane, the chair of the Association, is behind the drive to regenerate the Easterhouse Project that was started by Frankie Vaughan in the 1960s.  It’s an excellent idea and I hope they get results – and it might be a model that can be used in other parts of the country.

Talking of Frankie Vaughan – SNP councillor Grant Thoms and I were victims of Frankie Vaughan’s son on Sunday – I was hirpling about for days afterwards.  Nothing to tell the police about, though, we took part in a yoga class run by David Sye – you can see the kind of things we were doing on the gallery on his website (I was able to make all of those positions, honest)

The strange sensation of having been stretched in every possible direction didn’t stop me taking up the invitation of the Irish Consul, Cliona Manahan, to celebrate St Patrick’s Day at the George Hotel in Edinburgh on Monday, though, and that gave me the opportunity to enjoy the excellent musical skills of St Patrick’s Ceilidh Band from the High School in Coatbridge. 

Tuesday was a fun day too – I’m part of the panel selecting the new Children’s Commissioner and we had the final five applicants through to Parliament for a day.  We brought in a group of children from various parts of the country and had the applicants interact with them.  I can tell you that the children were harder interviewers than I could be and they gave the five a right good grilling – lightly toasted on one side, well burnt on the other.

I’m looking forward to the final decision on the Commissioner too.

The list of SNP candidates for the European election has been decided as well – we’ve got five cracking candidates, each of whom would be a great Scottish representative in Europe:

Ian Hudghton MEP
Alyn Smith MEP
Dr Aileen McLeod
Drew Hendry
Dr Duncan Ross

I’m glad to see Aileen coming in at number 3, I’m delighted that she got there through hard work and determination as well.  She’s an excellent choice to join the two MEPs we currently have with an excellent knowledge of European politics and institutions (she’s currently Alyn’s head of policy in Brussels and her PhD was in European stuff).  We have a right good chance of winning three of the six seats in Europe with a bit of hard work and I’ll be out doing what I can to send Aileen back to the European Parliament as a Member.

Public Gallery

Parliament Chamber

Garden Lobby

Hands up for Trad Awards, Linda Fabiani and Aileen

I’ve also got a bit of work to do helping to get Graeme Horne elected to Westminster for Rutherglen and Hamilton West and Claire Adamson elected as the MP for Lanark and Hamilton East.  Should be easy – they’re streets ahead of the incumbents!

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