Growth Commission, Hunter Lad & Lass, The Call

Wednesday May 30th 2018

Christine Grahame MSP in Parliament

Christine Graham MSP writes her monthly column for Midlothian View.

The Sustainable Growth Commission

This is a bit of a mouthful and is entitled “Scotland – the new case for optimism: a strategy for inter-generational economic renaissance” Put simply for you and me it compares the prospects for an Independent Scotland with 12 other comparable small nations such as Denmark, Finland & New Zealand.

There are three “P”s: population –which we need to grow (so we need control of immigration policy), participation ( helping folk who are excluded from contributing to society through discrimination or social background for example to becoming part of it ) and productivity which can be economic, or contributing in other ways to the nation’s wellbeing, In other words it’s to do with levelling the playing field of opportunity to what we all want, a fairer Scotland.

You can access the full report and a summary on my Facebook page HERE. If you want to give me your views, please e-mail me. What it is Not about is a Referendum. Mind you who has ever seen the Sustainable Growth Report on Brexit-apart for the £350 million per week on the side of a bus which Boris claimed was a bonus for the NHS from Brexit.

Hunter Lad & Lass

You can’t get away from politics or at least I can’t-hey it’s my job. I was pleased again to be invited to the Installation of the Hunter Lad & Lass at Penicuik last week.

The sun shone which was grand but being Penicuik there was a snell wind which made itself felt despite me wearing a vest. Councillor Debbi McCall scoffed at me for the vest wearing but she wasn’t so clever by the end of the evening as the sun set and the North Sea breeze came into its own.

Anyhoo the Hunter is Pipe Major Stuart Gillies of the Royal Highland Fusiliers and has been at Glencorse Barracks for 12 years. His selection makes it plain that Penicuik values the serving soldiers and the barracks which is very much part of the community. Alisha Hall, the Lass comes too from a military family. I said at the Installation Stuart’s appointment very much underlines why the MOD must not close the barracks.

The Call

Speaking of military I attended a ceremony in my role as Deputy Presiding Officer of the Parliament commemorating the Scottish soldiers who died in the 2014 -18 war.

There is a statue in Prices Street Gardens of a seated kilted soldier on a low plinth with a rifle across his knees gazes across to the castle, behind him is a bronze bas-relief on a Craigleith sandstone wall, which has two intertwined wreaths with shields bearing the Stars and Stripes and St. Andrew’s cross.

This was erected by Americans of Scottish descent in 1927. The commemoration is attended by Scots and American soldiers and is very moving.

The plinth is inscribed “The Call 1914” and you have probably walked by it many times without a glance. Take a wee moment next time it tells a sad and moving story of war.

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