Miners, Foodbank, Re-Act and Parliament

Wednesday October 2nd 2019

Christine Grahame

Christine Grahame MSP writes her monthly column for Midlothian View.

Gorebridge Miners’ Memorial

It was a lovely sunny breezy day, the Silver Band played and a simple but moving memorial to miners who lost their loves was unveiled. I congratulate all who made this happen. My paternal grandfather who died before I was born, was a Welsh miner injured when a pit prop fell on him. The injury meant a metal plate was inserted in his head and he never fully recovered from that injury, dying in his forties and leaving behind a large family orphaned.

Being at that unveiling has triggered a determination to find out more about him. Mind you the band later played “Singing in the Rain” which was more suited to the monsoons of the day before!

Midlothian Foodbank

I want to thank again all who took time to bring me up to date recently with the activities at the Foodbank located at Gorebridge. It serves over 3000 folk a year. Did you know that apart from donating food you can set up a Standing Order with your bank which gives the team some flexibility when demand is higher ,usually around Christmas.

You can do this by going on this web-site midlothian.foodbank.org.uk and you will be directed to a link to set up that Standing Order. If you have the wherewithal I recommend it.


This year in my schools’ Christmas card (sorry to mention that again) competition, my donation ,which the winning pupil will hand over, is 50 school bags containing pencils, pens, paper and so on. Of the 50 school bags, 25 will go to newly arrived Syrian refugee children in Scotland and 25 to a refugee camp in Erbil capital of Iraqi Kurdistan where many refugee families end up.

Re-Act stands for Refugee Action by the way. Yet another good cause just getting on with things quietly.

Scottish Parliament versus Westminster

You’d have been forgiving for thinking that all politicians do is yell at each other if Westminster was anything to go by. Well as one who chairs with two colleagues the Scottish Parliament I can assure you that I wouldn’t for a minute I wouldn’t allow such a cairry-oan. Yes you can be passionate but there is a world of difference between passion and boorish behaviour.

While Westminster descends further into meltdown, quietly and efficiently both government and committees here go about their day-jobs. The First Minister is held to account on education, health, policing and so on while the Mother of Parliaments is stuck in the Brexit bourach. Where will this all be by October 31st? Who knows? The lottery might be a safer bet.

Notice that Boris who once claimed that leaving would be frankly easy peasy lemon squeezy (my words) now claims it is not easy lemon squeezy. Mind you he used to support the EU and only came out for Leave at the eleventh hour. Give him his due, he would say and has said anything to be Prime Minister and so far it has worked. So far.

Perhaps this week there will be a Vote of No Confidence but that would need the Lib Dems to support it. Their stance under the stewardship of Jo Swinson, who doesn’t half overplay, let alone overestimate, her hand, is simply wrong, and might leave Boris in office right up to the 31st October wire.

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