My sleeves are rolled up and I’m ready to go
A week is a long time in politics. My election three weeks past feels like a lifetime ago.
There’s been little time for celebration. My duties started almost immediately after the returning officer made the declaration. I’ve wasted no time and have been working hard to organise surgeries, staffing and my constituency office.
Like any new job there’s been training to complete, and my time spent in London has been a whirlwind of workshops, inductions and meetings to get up to speed. Whilst I’ve already been working hard at home helping constituents and attending local events, things in London are set to step up a gear.
The state opening of Parliament is never a modest affair and like many of the other traditions at Westminster it has been observed for hundreds of years, largely unchanged.
This elaborate ceremony will see Queen Elizabeth deliver a speech outlining the legislative plans for the parliamentary session ahead. Across the UK people will be waiting with baited breath to see exactly what this Tory Government, buoyed by their slim majority, has in store for us.
One thing’s for sure - Tory policies will continue to hit the most vulnerable in society.
I visited Cambuslang Food Bank recently and spoke to some of their fantastic volunteers.
They relayed stories of real hardship, of people struggling to make ends meet despite working full-time, and of decent folk pushed to choose between heating their home and feeding their family.
I worry about how many more families will be pushed below the breadline by a government so out of touch.
Whilst our MPs continue to fight austerity, there’s something even more sinister expected to be lurking in the lines of the Queen’s Speech.
The Tories have committed themselves to scrapping the Human Rights Act. We need only take a look at a few of the articles to understand not only why, but why we must do everything in our power to stop the repeal.
Earlier this month I visited the Cambuslang Heritage Group’s event at Cambuslang Institute.
It was fascinating to see photographs of the area over the decades. The pictures told a tale of change, and of much progress.
The quality of life we now enjoy mustn’t be taken for granted.
For me, the exhibition underlined the importance of protecting advancements in social justice made over the years.
I look forward to holding the Tories to account in my new role as SNP Spokesperson on the Scotland Office, and scrutinising the content contained within the new Scotland Bill.
During my election campaign I promised to be a strong local voice, and to speak up for Scotland. I intend to do exactly that over the coming weeks and months.
To those who placed their trust in me at the ballot box, I promise not to let you down. To those who didn’t, I hope I can earn your trust.
There’s much hard work to be done over the next five years, but my sleeves are rolled up and I’m ready to go.