A year on from the referendum and I had hoped by now we could have left the debate about the constitution to one side and instead be focused on things like education, housing, and the NHS.
Especially, as we were promised by Nicola Sturgeon that the referendum was a once in a generation event.
Why then has this First Minister and her government prioritised the constitution over action to transform the lives of young Scots?
After eight years of SNP Government in Edinburgh the odds remain stacked against thousands of children in Scotland.
The gap between the richest and the rest in our schools is a source of national shame.
With more than 6,000 children in Scotland finishing primary school unable to read properly, and private school pupils twice as likely to get an A in their Highers than state school pupils, I say quite clearly to the First Minister – make improving the life chances of young Scots a priority rather than trying to find triggers for another referendum.
When a young person from a rich background is twice as likely to go on to higher education than someone from a poorer background I say the time has come to start governing for a better Scotland.
I want a Scotland where the ability of young people to get on in life is determined by their potential, work rate and ambition, not by how much money their parents have.
Achieving that should be the priority of everybody in Scottish politics. People in Scotland need Nicola Sturgeon to stop campaigning for another referendum and start governing for all of Scotland.
Last week I was very happy to see the 50th anniversary of Scottish Catholic International Aid (SCIAF) marked with a reception in the Scottish Parliament, hosted by the presiding officer.
As the local MSP I was very proud to see the work of SCIAF recognized in this way, as in 1965 the charity launched in St Columbkilles, and since then has changed and saved so many thousands of lives by tackling poverty and inequality across the world.
SCIAF work in over 16 countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America to support some of the world’s poorest people, and have made a massive difference across the globe in helping tackle the underlying causes of poverty and lack of health care facilities in some regions of the world.
I am proud to be a supporter of SCIAF and enjoyed meeting with some of the staff at the reception, who updated me on their recent campaigns on development work helping people overcome hunger.
From humble beginnings in a small room in Rutherglen in the 60’s to supporting 100 projects worldwide improving the life chances of thousands, that is a remarkable story and one of which everyone involved with SCIAF can be rightly proud.
I had hoped to have left the debate about the constitution to one side
Support James Kelly congratulates SCIAF on 50 years of work