Tele Column – 18th March 2016

The last two weeks have been packed with a variety of events including the SNP conference, in which I spoke on the citizen’s income. Also, my select committee met on Sunday evening, in Edinburgh and then Monday to take evidence from the Deputy First Minister John Swinney MSP. But that wasn’t two weeks that was just two days.

This week we shall be propelled into another budget statement and I have a Prime Minister question before that. I am pressing the Exchequer to free up the money held in dormant betting accounts to help gambling charities. My days are increasingly busy and demanding and sometimes it is hard to come up for air. We are up against a government with a majority and a government I oppose on almost everything they do. It can be draining to come back time and time again to fight their austerity ideology.

But if my life is busy and I am being pulled from pillar to post, last night’s adjournment debate was a sobering experience and left me feeling grounded. We debated the Clydebank blitz of March 13th and 14th 1941. Those are dates that many locals will recognise as Inverclyde suffered on those nights too. As I listened to Martin Docherty MP read out the names of all those that died in Clydebank I was minded of my Mum telling me she watched the bombers from her house in Paisley with her Grandad as he refused to go to the shelter and I remembered the suffering of Mary Bruce. Marys mum, Mary McCartney, died that night and Mary was pulled from the rubble 5 hours later. Both my Mum and Mary grew to be strong independent minded woman and are a credit to all that have shown such resilience and fortitude to become responsible and inspiring members of their communities. So my days are not too busy, too demanding or too despairing but filled with hopes and dreams and aspiration for Inverclyde. The past is written the future is ours to write.