A Week in Parliament

Windrush Generation

It has correctly been highlighted as a scandal that people who came to the UK legally as British citizens are now being faced with deportation. It is a direct consequence of Teresa May’s stated desire to create a “hostile environment” for illegal immigrants. Of course their zeal is such is that it is always the innocent penalised. This has constituents in Kilmarnock and Loudoun, including a case I brought up in Parliament previously – a Falklands war veteran who was born in South Africa, when they were still part of the Commonwealth, had been refused a passport because he had insufficient documentation. Sufficient documentation to put his life on the line, but not enough for a passport. Says it all really.

As a footnote, the problematic legislation from 2014 was supported by the Labour party except for six rebels. So their fightback is a bit late.

Whose Fight is it?

Bill Grant MP at Scottish questions suggested that more can be achieved in co-operation rather “than picking a fight with one another”. He has a logic there except his inference is that the SNP are picking the fight. The reality is that it is the UK Government who are taking the SNP Government to court to challenge the Continuity Bill. Additionally the UK Government have redrafted legislation that states they will have consent to legislate in certain matters of the Scottish Parliament’s jurisdiction if

  1. The Scottish Parliament gives formal consent

  2. The Scottish Parliament does not debate a consent motion

  3. The Scottish Parliament REFUSES consent.

So yes means yes. Silence means yes. No means yes. It will be interesting to see what self-respecting Scottish MPs and subsequently MSPs are willing to vote for such legislation. It must also be remembered that we are fighting to preserve the powers of the Scottish Parliament as a constitution rather than the SNP Government in the here and now.

Robert Brown

I was saddened to hear the death of Robert Brown, the former councillor for the Crosshouse, Knockentiber and Kilmaurs Ward of Kilmarnock and Loudoun District Council. Along with another councillor, they were the first SNP politicians elected in the district. He was elected in 1977, with a great vote. Unfortunately he lost his seat in 1980, when there was a general swing against the SNP who struggled in the early 1980s. Even then he got 49.2% of the vote share. He was then re-elected in 1984 with a whopping 65% of the vote which really was a measure of the man.

I only met Robert in later years, and he was as enthusiastic as ever. You couldn’t get by his street without being invited in for a chat! Personable, and always ready with cards to give out with Burns quotes he was one of those larger than life characters. My condolences to his family. It was hard work by the likes of Robert all those years ago that was to pave the way for the likes of myself to have any chance of being elected.

These thoughts were first published in the Kilmarnock Standard.