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The Working Life of Christina McKelvie MSP
1st November 2010

Army of Salvation.

Last week I took part in the STUC better way march in Edinburgh, 20 thousand people joined the march to express their concern about the impact of the cuts from Westminster. That combined with the cuts to Scotland's block grant means a very difficult time ahead for us all. At equal opportunities committee this week we had some written evidence from Fawcett that explained the disproportionate effect of benefit and welfare reforms on women. Women who are usually the main care giver and typically in low paid jobs. Proposals to cut income support will result in people being evicted from their homes and in the long term will cost the devolved service much more money because of the health and social care requirements.

So I'm thinking it looks like people in the lower earnings bracket will pay to sort the problems caused by labours mis-management of the economy and their failure to regulate the banks. I think all profits made by banks should be taken by the government until the whole situation is fixed.

I do believe that there is a better was as STUC says, I think that better way is for Scotland to have all the powers of an independent nation to enable us to grow our way out of recession. With new oil and gas discoveries being found recently it is imperative that Scotland asserts her independence to stop the revenue from these discoveries disappearing down the Westminster plughole. One of the most laughable things I heard this week was some bloke on newnicht suggesting that Norway was going to run out of money and that they needed to diversify. I think I will continue to be in awe of the very sensible control Norway has of its oil money meaning that the impact of this will result in that money working for Norway and her people for evermore.

Here s some additional info just to get you thinking about what is possible and ho our unionist opponents try to do us and other countries down.

The better way campaign can be found here;   check out the video of the march part two and you may see someone you know.


As Scotland waits to hear what spending cuts will be imposed on the nation by the UK Tory/LibDem government various news reports have strengthened the case for Scotland to control its own finances.

· In the Scotsman leading Irish economist demolishes Labour’s attack on Ireland’s economy and points out some uncomfortable facts for Iain Gray about Labour’s economic record and those “politicians [who] love their Westminster careers more than their country”;

· In the Holyrood Magazine Savvas Savouri, the Chief Economist with Toscafund Asset Management, says that in an economic crisis fiscal responsibility is essential for Scotland; and

· Norway's central bank has announced that their oil-fuelled state pension fund has grown to a massive 3 trillion Norwegian kroner (£324bn or $513bn).

Commenting on these latest developments SNP MSP, Christina McKelvie - said:

“On the day we discover the fate of the Scottish economy from a London government determined to cut too far and too fast it is ironic that we also see new information on the success of the Norwegian oil fund in cushioning it’s economy and protecting public pensions, Labour’s attack on Ireland turn to dust, and new voices supporting real financial responsibility for Scotland.

“With full responsibility for our finances we could avoid the worst impact of the cuts coming from London that threaten Scotland’s economic recovery. Financial powers will not magic the cuts away but they would make a difference and allow Scotland to grow our way out of recession instead of being stuck with the Conservative and LibDems economic ideology.

“As Alex Salmond said at our party conference our belief in independence is about creating jobs and growing Scotland’s economy. In contrast our opponents prefer party advantage instead of economic advantage for Scotland.

“A North Sea oil fund could provide greater stability, protect the economy, create jobs and support the creation of a low carbon economy.

“Scotland can learn from our neighbours and experience the benefits of investing a share of energy revenues into a fund that provides a permanent source of wealth for our nation.

“With Cameron and Clegg’s cuts now starting to hit hard working people in Scotland, more powers and independence are an essential part of making Scotland the better country we all want it to be.

1. Marc Coleman’s article in the Scotsman taking Labour to task for its attacks on Ireland can be accessed here:
In his article Marc Coleman wrote that Labour would “do better to look at their own record in Scotland” and pointed out that:

“Ireland's GDP per capita is 30% above the European Union average, while Scotland's, sadly, is well below it. Labour has ruled Scotland for 13 years, and it's been a very unlucky 13 indeed with Scotland's population and relative living standards falling far behind…

"And, according to forecasts of the International Monetary Fund, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the European Commission, once the correction of the last two years is past, the Irish economy will resume its record of growing faster than both Britain and the eurozone...

"The nation that invented the phone, television, penicillin, the Enlightenment, modern economics (I could go on), is just as capable as Ireland, if not more so, of rapid growth. But not if its politicians love their Westminster careers more than their country. And not if a one-size-fits-all economic policy – ideal for the south-east of England but devastating for Scotland – draws economic activity and talent away from the north and towards an already over-congested south-east."

Mr Coleman is economics editor of Dublin-based Newstalk 106-108fm and a contributor to the Sunday Independent.

2. Savvas Savouri’s article in the Holyrood Magazine on how allowing Scotland to take control of its own finances makes sense can be read here:
In his article Savvas Savouri wrote:

“Fiscal responsibility for Scotland is not only practical but desirable if the UK economy is to move to a more solid budgetary footing.

“From the perspective of Whitehall, devolving tax policy to Holyrood is sensible, both economically and politically, as it will finally end the disconnect of a Scottish Parliament that is charged with spending money without the responsibility of generating revenues.

“What’s more, I am convinced it would serve interests on both sides of the border for Holyrood to be granted economic powers well beyond those being offered in the Calman report.”

Savvas Savouri is Chief Economist with Toscafund Asset Management.

3. A report on how Norway’s oil fund has grown to 3 trillion Norwegian kroner can be read here:

Looking forward to the pitiful attempt at a conference for labour this weekend in Oban made me reflect back on our own conference. Our conference was full of hope and togetherness whereas Oban for labour will be a litany of grudge and gripe full of recrimination and negative scheming. Ian Gray is a joke and labour have nothing to offer the people of Scotland. You don’t need to look any further than not so red Ed when he said he would work with the ConDem government to bring though the very welfare and benefit reports I talked about at the start of my diary this week.  Labour are not interested in the ordinary man or woman they are only interested in power and the trappings of power. Keep them out of government in Scotland and elect a party who is concerned with ordinary Scots and has ideas that will bring some hope to us all.

And thinking about polls you should read the blog update from Calum Cashley where he explains how the recent poll was weighted against us.  very interesting indeed.

Fiona and me

John Swinney and me

Winnie and me

Following on from my march in Edinburgh I was very honoured to be invited to Hamilton Town House to hear the Salvation Army International Staff Songsters. This was the first time they had got back to Scotland for 3 years and what a treat they where. Wonderful music and wonderful singing certainly had everyone clapping and singing along. It was a very uplifting event and Glad and Sven are a wonderful asset to the Army and the people of Hamilton.  Keep up to date with the events in the Hamilton Army through Sven's blog;

Last night I got along to the Herald Society awards it was a lovely event with lots of inspirational winners. You can see the details in next weeks Herald.

It has been another very busy week in the parliament b between committees and emergency legislation. It does take it out of you but it is also a very fulfilling experience.

I'm off to see Hamilton Accies play Motherwell tomorrow to show my support for Show Racism the Red card.

Have a smashing weekend see you next week.

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