Christine Grahame is SNP MSP for Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale


Well there it is, a whole new word I never thought we would have to contemplate but we are where we are. Westminster like a wee dug has been chasing its Brexit tail for three years. Fortunately we didn’t depend on it for our domestic policies and legislation though the impact on our health service is already happening. One consultant radiologist speaking at an event I chaired as Deputy Presiding Officer confirmed that she has lost staff at all levels in her radiology department (not the BGH by the way). They have either already returned home to Europe or are simply not applying for placements. It’s just the start, whatever happens on December 12. Ah well you might see me at your door as campaigning kicks in and my apologies in advance, even if I am sporting Xmas earrings. No doubt you would have preferred carol singers. Me too.

Deputy Presiding Officer Visits and meetings

As part of the job I frequently welcome foreign dignitaries to the Scottish Parliament. This week for example the first was the Ambassador from Tajikistan. We discussed similarities between our Parliament and theirs but also the issues facing his nation. It is landlocked and is bordered by Afghanistan, China, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. You can immediately see how different its foreign policy priorities are to ours. Issues with Brexit pale into insignificance by comparison. Now pursuing 100 per cent domestic energy provision (through hydro power, remember that?) it is also suffering from global warming affecting the snow melt on its mountains. I met too this week the High Commissioner for Namibia, a country which hasn’t had rain for three years, again attributable they believe to global warming and there are recent images of Zambia suffering its worst drought since the 1980s. Think how this throws our problems into perspective and how this persistent rain is not all bad news.


Thinking of Global Warming brings me to Donald Trump. Privileged to be leader of the 'Free World' his destructive pronouncements, indeed the fact that he was elected at all to office should remind us all how precious our vote is. Whatever your political persuasion, that should never be taken for granted. Make sure you are on the electoral roll and if necessary, apply for that postal vote. After all we don’t want to get the governments or politicians we don’t deserve because we sat out the election. Remember Trump.