Westminster diary w/b 5h September


Meeting in the constituency followed by the Texas Instrument task force in Municipal Buildings. Good to hear four companies are interested. Tea time flight to London and late votes on the Finance Bill mean its midnight before I get to my flat.


My Select Committee has in its infinite wisdom decided to have two sessions today. Session one is taking evidence about the UK Government accounts. Its interesting to hear all three expert witnesses say the accounts are not designed to inform the public of how much is being spent on what and when. The second session is to interview the one and only approved candidate for the position of first commissioner to the civil service. Not surprisingly we offered him the job. This is how Westminster works. Dropped in to the British Red Cross event. It was good to catch up with a charity I have supported for over ten years, as I am hosting an event on their behalf in November. The SNP constitution meeting was interesting and of course we discussed Indyref 2 and the U.K. leaving Europe. I was delighted the so many of my SNP colleagues stayed behind after our group meeting to support Glow Gold. Social media was of course utilised to spread the message far and wide.


I did a whistle stop tour of the estate before dropping into the wear it pink event to publicise breast cancer awareness. Prime Ministers questions were pretty uneventful and there is still no sign of Jeremy Corbyn landing a metaphorical glove on the PM. He really does not look comfortable at the despatch box. When I was typing this autocorrect changed despatch to despair, maybe it was correct to do so. Rio Ferdinand and Jake Humphrey were both in Parliament on a promotional visit so I grabbed them for a photo for Glow Good and got a signature for Nathan Mowat. Many celebrities pass through Westminster helping to support good causes. I attended a debate on badger culling. The argument is that culling badgers helps to control tuberculosis in cattle. The evidence is not strong. It was a fairly heated debate. In the evening the League Against Cruel Sports held a reception. The spoken testimony and videos regarding dg fighting were damning to say the least and this barbaric practice must be stopped.


I had a question about Fixed Odd Betting Terminals (FOBTs) on the days business papers. I was question ten and we only got as far as five. After questions I met up with a representative from Newham Borough Council who are leading a campaign to reduce the maximum spin on FOBTs to £2. I was interested to hear what they had to say and interested that a council has a team of three people that deal with public affairs. I ended the day speaking in a debate on the fourth industrial revolution and pleaded the case for Inverclyde to be at the heart of the sustainable renewable energy sector. I got the 19:30 flight home.


I have meetings planned all day including a joint meeting with Stuart McMillan MSP and the DWP as we are putting together a ‘disability confident’ event later this year. Over the weekend I plan to take advantage of the open doors days in Inverclyde. I am definitely going to Quarriers Village and the Wemyss bay station.