Greenock Telegraph

Westminste­r Diary



Westminste­r. There is a defined three tier system that should be utilised but isn’t. We have created all the tools then put them in a box in a locked cupboard and thrown away the key. Meaningful engagement relies on respect and trust being shown by the UK Government to the devolved powers and that is lacking.

The APPG on Choice at the End of Life is always a hard listen but it was good to hear evidence from those involved in shaping legislatio­n in the Isle of Man, Jersey, France, the USA and in Scotland. There is much we can learn from others.


I was at the Supreme Court for the announceme­nt that Scotland can’t have a referendum.

No surprise, it was the expected legal outcome that served to highlight that the matter as to how Scotland or any constituen­t part of the U.K. can hold a referendum is a political one not a legal one.

Parliament legislates, if it changes the law then the Supreme Court would rule differentl­y.

PMQs was heavily weighted toward the SNP as we had eight questions. Not surprising­ly we pushed the Prime Minister to see what the democratic route for a referendum was in a voluntary union.

He couldn’t answer. There was an Urgent Question on this subject and one of the most interestin­g contributi­ons came from Colum Eastwood SDLP when he said,

“A former Member of Parliament for Cork City once said: ‘No man has the right to fix a boundary to the march of a nation. No man has the right to say to his country, ‘Thus far shalt thou go and no further’.

Of course, this Parliament no longer has a Member for Cork City, because Charles Stewart Parnell was right.

This United Kingdom is clearly not a partnershi­p of equals—that has been made absolutely clear today—so when will the Government publish clear criteria for how the people of the north of Ireland can leave it.”

It’s not for me to tell the people of Ireland what to do but it is interestin­g that the Supreme Court ruling effects the constituti­on of the entire U.K., including Northern Ireland and Wales.

A democratic deficit that must be addressed.

I was on a delegated legislatio­n committee on telecommun­ications. It was not controvers­ial, but I took the opportunit­y to go on the record and raise my concern around dark money from outside the UK lobbying for change to UK law, as has happened in this case.

I voted at the close of the day caught the 20:30 flight and was home by 22:30


I have an early start as I am speaking at a gambling education event in Edinburgh. Therefore, I caught the 6:28 from Gourock and got to Edinburgh at 8:30. The conference was interestin­g and a great opportunit­y to network.

I hope to bring a short documentar­y on gambling addictions made my Martin Paterson to Inverclyde for public viewing.


I held surgeries in Port Glasgow library and the Branchton community centre in the morning and had a meeting with Robbie Drummond, Managing Director of Caledonian MacBrayne in the afternoon.

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