Westminster Diary 12 March

Monday 7th
The morning was taken up by meetings regarding a range of constituency manners. And the afternoon was given over to the Texas Instruments task force. This was held in the council buildings and attended by all participating bodies. It will be a long haul but hopefully we can come to a positive outcome.

Tuesday 8th
The Enterprise Bill encompassed an issue regarding the Magnox pensions and a number of constituents have brought this to my attention. I also attended the Scottish constitution group and a digital briefing for Scottish MPs. The library provide extremely good briefings and there were two this week that I attended. The first was entitled “replacing the UKs nuclear deterrent”. These things are a bit dry but very well informed and always useful to hear a non-political take. If anything, it reinforced my desire to rid our country of weapons of mass destruction.

Wednesday 9th
Breakfast with a few colleagues and a quick discussion around many issues of the day plus flat rental in and around Westminster. These occasions are always good for discussing policy but also the practicalities of a MPs day to day life. The easier the logistics of travel and living the more focused I can be on my job.

Senet, an organisation set up to promote responsible gambling standards, approached me for a meeting as I have been pursuing using the money in dormant bank accounts to fund gambling awareness. Responsible gambling has a place in our society. But when the fun stops, stop.

From a sensible discussion with responsible professionals I moved to Prime Ministers questions. Talk about sublime to ridiculous. Mr Cameron and Mr Corbyn become more like waring neighbours shouting at each other over the garden fence each week.

The afternoon involved the Whisky trade debate in Westminster Hall and my second Library talk of the week. This one was on the Barnett formula. I think a few of the MPs that represent English constituencies were a little surprised by what they heard.

I then witnessed a rare defeat for the government (Sunday trading) which goes to show that party lines are no always adhered to. That brought the business of the day to a close, and a day that includes discussions around gambling and alcohol and their place in our society helps remind me that sometimes life, like politics, is a balancing act.

Thursday 10th March
I got the opportunity to respond to the Minister’s statement on apprenticeships. Business for the afternoon was fluid, so I sat in the chamber listening to a debate on Northern Ireland in anticipation of a debate on recording parliamentary acts on calfskins (vellum) that I was down to speak on. My debate was cancelled. It will come back and I will be ready.

Friday 11th March
A day for casework and catch up with my team. A couple of meetings with constituents and local businesses.

Saturday 12th
First day of SNP conference in Glasgow.