Christine Grahame is SNP MSP for Tweeddale and Lauderdale

Too Many Bairns

Under the callous Tory Universal Credit system, benefits will only account for two children, more, then a woman has to prove the child is a result of rape. Yes you heard it here – 2018 and Dickensian Britain is alive and well. Now you would have thought no-one could possibly defend this but step forward Michelle Ballantyne MSP, Tory spokesperson for social security, and, according Ms Ballantyne limit your family according to your means so if you are poor you shouldn’t expect the state to support more than two. This does not take account that to be on benefits is rarely if ever a choice. Folk in work can be on benefits for a whole range of reasons: divorce, death of a partner, job loss, illness such as cancer. Never mind, if you find yourself in that position and you happen to have more than two children, unless you’ve been raped, tough. Ms Ballantyne herself is well-heeled, has six children and has claimed Tax Credits and Child Benefit. Foodbanks are overstretched because of the impact of Universal Credit but never mind she is patron of a Penicuik Foodbank so that’s alright then.


Well as my grannie said: “Ah telt ye so.” Where the self-service swipe cards have been supplanting the librarian it has not been a happy transition. Mild chaos, no educational direction provided. A library is not simply a book supermarket with a self-service counter. Let’s hope, I hope not in vain, that Councillor Shona Haslam has learned at least that one lesson.

Peebles High

I had the opportunity of being questioned by senior pupils at Peebles High on a whole range of issues: Brexit (of course), Donald Trump, Independence (of course), decriminalising cannabis among a wide range. It is always stimulating .Many thanks to all pupils for most enjoyable sessions.

Remembrance Day

I have the privilege of representing the Parliament as your MSP at the service in Peebles this coming Sunday. This year is particularly poignant as it is also 100 years since the end of the War to End All Wars. I recently represented the Parliament at the presentation to us of the statue 'Tommy', a silhouette figure of a soldier. It was as a result of efforts by the Ancre Somme recently that these figures have been distributed throughout the UK for this centenary. It is a haunting fact that over 1 million soldiers were killed or injured in the Battle of the Somme which lasted five months. The majority were just in their twenties.