Attack at Westminster

Monday March 27th 2017

Christine Grahame MSP in Parliament Main

Christine Grahame MSP, Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale

Events in London

It is so sad that in this day and age one man, armed with knives and a hired car, can become a lethal weapon against everyday life. With the internet unfortunately the disease of terrorism can spread undetected. Copycat actions become a matter of time.

There is of course a substantial impact on security at Westminster and the Scottish Parliament. When I first came here some 18 years ago, in the old Parly offices at the top of the High Street (now an hotel) you waved at reception and wandered in. Visitors simply gave their name and went up to our offices.

In the debating chamber (The Church of Scotland General Assembly Hall) MSPs just went in a side door with one security chap there. This was before 9/11.

Now when in the public area they all wear stab vests and there is a special security check, as at airports, on visitors well away from the public areas of the Parliament. There are bollards surrounding the building and no waste bins. All a necessary sign of the times.

None of this however will prevent completely some wicked cruel indiscriminate action of the kind just witnessed on Westminster Bridge. It was right however that the Scottish Parliament suspended business in a demonstration of solidarity with Westminster but also right that it was back to business the very next day. Democracy demonstrating that it will not and cannot defer to terrorism.

Recess

The week beginning the 2nd April till the 16th Parliament has its Easter recess. While I won’t be doing my Friday surgeries in Gorebridge and Newtongrange I will be around for e-mails and meetings. The offices in Gala and in Edinburgh will be functioning as per usual so if there are matters requiring our attention then feel free to do so.

In the meantime, let’s hope the grand weather we are having these past few days continues. I heard the first grass mower yesterday and my magnolia tree and the sparrows have both decided to give spring a go and who can blame them! Best time of the year in my book.

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