Lav­ish tra­di­tion shows just how de­tached West­min­ster can be from ev­ery­day life

Rutherglen Reformer - - Memory Lane -

What an ex­pe­ri­ence the last fort­night has been. There has been no end of con­stituency en­gage­ments.

My week­ends have been kept busy with sum­mer fairs at Bankhead, Hall­side, Calder­wood and St Mark’s Pri­mary Schools, a very suc­cess­ful Burn­side in Bloom gala day, a tour of the fire ser­vice train­ing fa­cil­ity at Cam­bus­lang and a busy lit­ter pick at Holmhills Park, to name just a few.

Whilst read­ers were learn­ing about my ini­tial few weeks from my first Re­former col­umn, I was in Lon­don wit­ness­ing the very lav­ish tra­di­tion of the Queen’s Speech. It was quite an ex­pe­ri­ence but re­ally brought home how de­tached West­min­ster can be from ev­ery­day life.

Just days pre­vi­ously I had been hav­ing a cup of tea with the won­der­ful vol­un­teers from the Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang Food­bank, be­ing pre­sented with the harsh re­al­i­ties of zero-hours con­tracts abuse and ben­e­fit sanc­tions. Yet there I was, eye level with a crown en­crusted with 2868 di­a­monds.

No amount of gem­stones could dis­tract me from the job in hand, and I wasted no time in scru­ti­n­is­ing the Tory plan for gov­ern­ing the UK over the next year.

David Cameron seems to have fi­nally re­alised just how shaky his slim ma­jor­ity of twelve re­ally is. Plans for leg­is­la­tion on the Hu­man Rights Act have now been kicked into the long grass. Cameron knows that he can­not af­ford back­bench re­bel­lion. My­self and my SNP col­leagues will work across party lines to en­sure that the Prime Min­is­ter fails to res­ur­rect his danger­ous plans.

There was one no­table omis­sion from the speech. In his man­i­festo Cameron had promised a crack­down on tax dodg­ing, promis­ing to gen­er­ate at least £5bn a year from tack­ling tax eva­sion and avoid­ance.

In­stead we’ve now learned that Scot­land is in line for even more cuts with Os­borne slash­ing around £170m from this year’s Scot­tish bud­get. The Tories are on an ide­o­log­i­cal cru­sade, with the speed and depth of th­ese cuts be­ing to­tally un­nec­es­sary. Tax dodgers are backed, on the backs of those strug­gling to make ends meet.

The Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment has mean­while been lead­ing the charge for fair­ness by be­comingi the first to be Living Wage ac­cred­ited. This will make a huge im­pact to many na­tion­wide, and will hope­fully en­cour­age more busi­nesses – and other gov­ern­ments – to fol­low suit.

Over the last cou­ple of weeks SNP MPs have been mak­ing Scot­land’s voice heard from the green benches.

Within days of the State Open­ing there were de­bates held on Tri­dent safety and zero-hours con­tracts. On both oc­ca­sions there were more SNP MPs present thanth th those fromf all ll oth­erth par­ti­esti com­bined. I take my man­date se­ri­ously, and the peo­ple of Ruther­glen and Hamil­ton West can be con­fi­dent that I will con­tinue to do so.

I’m par­tic­u­larly look­ing for­ward to re­turn­ing from West­min­ster this week­end though. Lan­de­mer Day is a real high­light of the lo­cal cal­en­dar, and I’m look­ing for­ward to get­ting a chance to talk to plenty of con­stituents there. Hope­fully I bring some of the re­cent sunny Lon­don weather with me.

Ruther­glen MP Mar­garet Ferrier tries the smoothie bike, on a visit to St Mark’s Pri­mary( pic­tured right)

Bear with me Mar­garet Ferrier MP had fun on a visit to (pic­tured above)

Wheels in mo­tion

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