Westminster diary w/b 10th October


6am and off to the airport. My first meeting is with the National Federation of Sub-postmasters. The roles and demands put upon those that staff our post offices has changed over the years and issues of funding need to be addressed. The humanitarian crisis in the refugee camp in Calais is the subject of an urgent question in the house and that is followed by a ministerial statement interestingly entitled ‘the next steps in leaving the EU’. It was no more than a gaggle of anti EU MPs desperately pretending that the UK government actually knows what it is doing. There are no ‘next steps’, Brexit has not even started yet and will not unto article fifty is served next March. In the evening I attend a reception where I hear testimony from Palestinian refugees from Jordan.


The entire morning is taken up by my select committee. We were taking evidence pertaining to the people in public office taking jobs in the private sector. It’s known as the revolving door as it’s a very common and frequently used path. The Advisory Committee on Business Appointments should control this but they never advise against anyone taking up the position in the private sector. Amongst those giving evidence was Ian Hislop, the editor of Private Eye magazine. In the afternoon there is an emergency debate on the humanitarian catastrophe in Aleppo and Syria. It’s another example of military might and macho posturing with little cognisance of the humanitarian side. After internal meetings I went to the house to present the Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) petition on behalf of the woman of Inverclyde who have been negatively affected by the changes in state pension.


My first meeting was with the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND). The discussion was around the transportation of nuclear warheads from Aldermaston to Faslane. These convoys frequently experience technical problems and always pass close to highly populated areas. Oral questions to the Secretary of State for Scotland revealed the UK government’s continued obsession with Scotland’s independence. During the exchange the seven SNP MPs asked about the EU and jobs while the occupants of the conservative benches mentioned independence seven times.

Prime Ministers Questions (PMQ) was the usual knock about. The plan was for a late vote but that changed when it became apparent that the government would not lose. So I grabbed the 19:30 home.


I spent the morning at Clyde Conversations (Inverclyde’s young people’s conference) in Port Glasgow town hall. It was a terrific event and the young adults acquitted themselves extremely well. I got involved in a workshop that dealt with self-harming and suicide. The knowledge and awareness of those involved was evident. In the afternoon I attended the SNP conference at the SECC in Glasgow and in the evening I spoke in the Science Centre, as part of the ‘Idea Space’ event, on the subject of a universal basic income.


Was an extremely early start and I spent all day at the SECC. I attended events on renewable energy and state pensions for woman. I am looking forward to attending the Greenock police station open day and the Scottish boat show at Inverkip on Sunday.