Be mindful of helping people as well, Nicola
Many challenges ahead for new SNP leader
In the coming days Nicola Sturgeon will be installed as leader of the SNP and First Minister of Scotland, being elected unopposed in both positions.
I have shadowed her for as Infrastructure Secretary for the past year and she is without doubt a capable and talented politician.
I also will not overlook the powerful message of Scotland gaining its first female First Minister.
I am hopeful that Ms Sturgeon’s elevation provides Scotland with an opportunity.
The soon to be First Minister was quick to pitch to Labour voters during the referendum. That she was the handpicked, or indeed volunteered, SNP voice for such a job was hardly surprising. Long seen as on the left of her party, there was a common joke that the only thing that kept Nicola Sturgeon and Fergus Ewing in the same party was the prospect of independence. How she keeps that coalition together is a matter for her. But I hope she puts people before politics.
As I said, I have shadowed the Deputy First Minister in the Infrastructure portfolio for over a year.
In that time I have seen her instruct her MSPs to vote against measures which would make a real difference in the lives of working people in Rutherglen, Cambuslang and across Scotland.
Earlier this year the SNP voted against extending the living wage to workers on public contracts, which would have delivered a pay boost of over £2000 to some of our lowest paid workers in cleaning, catering and retail.
Nicola Sturgeon also instructed her party to vote against Scottish Labour proposals for a fair rent cap, which would have limited how much rent could increase in the private rented sector year to year.
Today, one in four Scots living in poverty live in the private rented sector and our proposals would have offered some respite and security to the families which make up nearly half of the sector.
The debate around the constitution will continue and the Smith Commission will see more powers devolved to the Scottish Parliament, but this debate should not be at the expense of making a difference to peoples lives now.
I hope Nicola Sturgeon keeps that in mind.
I was delighted last week to lodge a motion in the Scottish Parliament recognising the fundraising attempts of the Rutherglen Reformer staff for Movember.
I read in the Reformer that the staff will be joined in their efforts by Chris, the son of the late Brian Logue.
I got to know Brian Logue very well during my time as MSP. It is not a cliché or an understatement to say he was a much loved and much respected figure in the community, as well as a hugely talented photographer.
I hope that everyone involved in Movember is successful in raising funds and awareness around issues such as prostate cancer.
When it comes to growing a moustache however, I suspect some may be more successful than others!
Support James Kelly MSP has backed the Reformer staff in the Scottish Parliament, who are taking part in Movember