we have the season of manifesto launches and its even more confusing to
see who actually stands for what. My reading is that none of the
unionist London parties stand for Scotland. We have labour's manifesto
or should that be manifesto's because they have one for England and one
for Scotland. The Scottish manifesto is on issues devolved to the
Scottish Parliament that just could not be delivered or even influenced
by labour MP's at Westminster. Itís a manifesto of confusion and double
standards - ranting about
mandatory sentences for knife crime in Scotland but insisting elsewhere
that it isn't needed, for example. I
think they are being totally disingenuous and should be honest with the
people of Scotland just for once.
Then we have to Tories who say they
will protect the NHS but again at Westminster they have no locus to
protect Scotland's NHS. With lower then free prescriptions, shorter
waiting times and super bugs at an all time low I think I will be
depending on Nicola Sturgeon and the Scottish Government protecting the NHS
in Scotland and not some remote Tory government at Westminster to do
that. So onto the Lib Dems who
are promising us the world because they canÖ.that's because they donít
ever have to deliver so its easy to have a wish list without the
responsibility of ever having to realise their commitments
- they have neither dignity nor decency these days and I keep asking
myself "what's the point of the Lib Dems?"
The real issue for me is that they
all promise cuts to Scotland's budget and they are all vying for the top
place for who is going to cut the deepest, most savage or even deeper
than Thatcher. Thatís what we have to look forward to in the next few
years thatís why Scotland needs champions. People who will go to
Westminster and stand up for Scotland's interests people who will know
what is needed locally and people will not shrink from the other parties
when they need reminding that Scotland deserves her fair share. It
bothered me deeply that all the parties are still committed to wasting
100 billion on trident missiles. These are the people who are telling us
we all have to tighten our belts, make do or endure cuts to services.
These are the people who are still committed to spending all that money
on an immoral nuclear deterrent we donít want or actually need. I say
dump the bombs and give us jobs, dump ID cards and give us public
services and dump the rhetoric and give us honesty.
I hail from the great city of
Glasgow and it turns my stomach at the drip drip allegations about the
people we trust to run that city. Itís a city where people die too early
from poverty, alcohol and drugs abuse. Itís a city where our school kids
can expect the least amount spent on their education and itís a city
where too many of our children live in poverty. The First Minister was
correct yesterday when he said its time to clean up Glasgow for the sake
of Glasgow's citizens this really has to happen. Glasgow has so much to
give the world and it should not be blighted by politicians who should
stand up for Glasgow instead of standing up for themselves. Glasgow as
does Lanarkshire and all parts of Scotland deserve champions, champions
like John Mason who will work for the people who elected him and do a
damned good job too.
As you all know I have a particular
interest in highlighting and hopefully in some small way stop the
trafficking of people for sex or labour. I was horrified to hear about
men being trafficked into Scotland for this very purpose here is what I
said in the motion I lodged about it.
S3M-06144 Christina McKelvie (Central
Scotland) (Scottish National Party): Sexual Trafficking of Men to
Scotlandó That the Parliament is
deeply concerned at evidence from the NHS Open Road project that men are
now being trafficked into Scotland for sexual purposes; notes that staff
from the Open Road project report having been called on to assist in two
separate cases in the past year where men had been trafficked from
Africa to Scotland and forced into the sex trade; is concerned that this
is evidence of sex traffickers expanding their activities in Scotland;
calls on the Scottish and UK governments to take account of this
development in the next update of their joint Action Plan on Tackling
Human Trafficking, and pledges support for efforts to bring an end
to the forced trafficking of human beings worldwide.
Also it was good news again for hard up families when
we agreed another council tax freeze. I cant believe that Labour and
some trade unions are calling for the freeze to be lifted donít they
realise that this will hit the very families they claim to be
representing or is it that they are just playing party politics because
again the SNP government is supporting families during Labour's
recession. Heaven forbid they would play politics with peoples lives in
So for your delight and delectation here is the
press release I have put out on this very subject.
SOUTH LANARKSHIRE COUNCIL TAX
FROZEN FOR THIRD YEAR IN A ROW
Householders across South Lanarkshire have once again been spared a hike
in their council tax, after MSPs endorsed the Scottish Governmentís £70
million funding package to compensate local authorities for freezing the
This is the third year in a row
that Finance Secretary John Swinney has secured agreement from all 32 of
Scotlandís local authorities to freeze council tax. This yearís freeze
means that South Lanarkshire households have saved an average of £237 in
council tax payments since the SNP came to power.
Christina McKelvie MSP has welcomed
the latest freeze. The SNP MSP for Central Scotland said:
ďI am delighted that South
Lanarkshire householders will once again have the peace of mind of
knowing that they will not be faced with a hike in their council tax
bills. Freezing council tax for the third year in a row will ease the
stress for households struggling with their finances just now.
ďThe partnership that the SNP
government has forged with Scotlandís local authorities, including South
Lanarkshire Council, to keep council tax rates down is helping people in
a very real way. The £237 that the average South Lanarkshire household
is saving as a result of the council tax freeze is money going back into
pockets at a time when it has been badly needed.
ďIt has the additional benefit of
boosting spending power within the South Lanarkshire economy, helping to
support jobs and businesses.
ďLabour in South Lanarkshire
opposed this freeze - they would prefer to land South Lanarkshire
households with a substantial hike in their council tax bills, wile they
are still suffering from the effects of Gordon Brown's recession. In
contrast, the SNP is investing to help South Lanarkshire folk through
this recession and strengthen the economic recovery of communities
The other week I got to visit my
friends the Strathleven artizans who realised their dream and opened the
Robert the Bruce Heritage centre in Renton
My colleague Gil Patterson commended them in a parliamentary motion too.
Here is the link I would recommend a visit it is a fantastic place and
makes you think about the types of Champions Scotland has had in her
history and the type of champion she needs today.
Here are some photo's from the day.
Christina McKelvie MSP