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