Deputy Presiding Officer’s monthly column

Tuesday May 31st 2016

Christine Grahame MSP in Parliament

The recently re-elected MSP and newly elected Deputy Presiding Officer, Christine Grahame, writes her first monthly column for Midlothian View since the election.

“Well it’s been a busy few weeks. I was re-elected to the parliament as MSP for Midlothian South Tweeddale & Lauderdale and with an increased majority and I thank all who voted for me.

The next five years I will work hard to represent your interests whether you voted for me or not, or indeed even if you didn’t vote at all.

Shortly after that election I was elected to be a Deputy Presiding Officer at Parliament. This means I share chairing meetings of the Parliament among other duties.

This weekend for example I represented the Parliament at “The Calling” This is a service held in front of a Scottish American War Memorial in Princes Street Gardens and commemorates the Scottish soldiers who died during the First World War or the “War to End all Wars”. There is a statue there of a kilted soldier looking towards the Castle ramparts and behind him if a frieze depicting young men from a variety of backgrounds answering the “Call” to arms. These occasions are immensely sad and laying a wreath brings back to you the complete and utter waste of lives in war after war.

But being DPO will not affect my job as your MSP. However because of all the Festivals and Ridings I will not be starting up my Tesco surgeries till after the summer.

Speaking of Ridings I attended the installation of the Hunter Lad and Lass and typical for Penicuik it was chilly with mizzle so we were all indoors. But they’re a hardy lot Penicuikians and the whole event was great fun.

By Saturday the sun was out and Penicuik in the Park went full swing. I was there with my elder son and granddaughter aged (nearly) five. Remind me next time to take a portable seat with me! She gallivanted here there and everywhere while her dad and me tried to keep tabs on her. It was an exhausting process and I am hoping apart from the pound or two I shed at the shows, I lost another pound or two about my person.

Now I am back at my desk covered in scratches, bruises and bites, and not on account of my granddaughter. No it was due to a wild and early foray into the garden at the weekend. Trees were pruned, bushes cut back and grass trimmed, all of which activity left marks all over and of course all the wee beasties I had roused from the greenery took revenge. Note to self, do not scratch in public and in particular when sitting in front of the entire Parliament!”

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