A Week in Parliament

PMQ Result 

Yet again I used a PMQ to highlight a constituent issue. William Cree has epilepsy and suffers considerable ailments as a result. Somehow in the benefits assessments he had been turned down for independence payment support which he only got through appeal. He has also been turned down for the limited work element of universal credit which was astounding. He was at appeal stage for this and the DWP didn’t even file their paperwork in time with the court leading to his hearing being postponed. So I raised this matter with the Prime Minister. For once, she did listen to the question and said she would look into the matter. By the afternoon the DWP were making enquiries and I was delighted to get confirmation by the next morning his benefit had been awarded without having to continue the appeal process. So in less than 24 hours we had secured some of the support that William should rightly have been receiving.  

It is rewarding when my office can make such an impact. However, this case again confirms what is wrong with the system – clearly the assessments had been inadequate. Somehow at first appeal stage, known as a mandatory reconsideration, then the original decision was upheld which is another failing. The DWP not getting paperwork to the courts in time is another. And finally, while I am glad to have the matter resolved, it shouldn’t take me raising a matter at PMQs for that to happen. How many people give up and don’t go to their MP for help? They simply fall through the cracks. So that reflection always puts these matters in context.  

 National UK Polling 

Yet another poll has 4 national parties spread between a percentage span of just six points. What is more incredible is Labour polling at 18%. Imagine, we are going into the tenth year of a Tory Government. A Government completely split and inept and Labour is in 4th place in the polls?! Yet again it blows holes in the argument that Scotland should not be independent as we should have solidarity with people in Liverpool and Cardiff etc. This is a complete false argument. What good does it do for Scotland to suffer Tory policies we didn’t vote for, purely for “solidarity”? Why should we continually get a government we did not vote for, in “solidarity”? Also, the people in Liverpool are getting the Government that England voted for, so that’s a matter for the English electorate. Meanwhile, we are told devolution at least allows us to mitigate Tory cuts. It is a fallacy that the Scottish Government can keep doing this, given that the UN Special Rapporteur has said this is not sustainable in the long term. And of course Scotland is to be taken out of the EU, because the voters in Liverpool and most areas of England outside London voted to leave. Where’s our share of the “solidarity”?  No wonder more and more people are coming round to the idea of an Independent Scotland.  

These views were first expressed in the Kilmarnock Standard.