I recently had to take some time out of Parliament after my dad passed away. I’m very grateful to parliamentary colleagues who covered several debates and committee meetings for me, and to the wonderful team in my constituency office for their support. Thanks also to the many constituents and others for their kind messages. There’s a lot being said just now about how toxic some social media platforms are becoming but the responses to the messages I posted about my dad have shown that there’s also an awful lot of good people out there.
I spent an enjoyable couple of hours at the Open Day at Glenrothes Men’s Shed last weekend. It was good to catch up with the members and to admire some of their handiwork. The Men’s Shed is a welcoming place for men (and women) to get together and try their hand at activities such as wood turning, pottering about in the polytunnel, using their computer facilities or just having a blether and a cup of tea. As well as Glenrothes there are also Men’s Sheds in Methil and Kennoway. I highly recommend them for anyone with a bit of time on their hands or who just wants to get out of the house for a couple of hours.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be spending a lot of time scrutinising a UK Government Bill on “Retained EU Law”. It’s an innocuous sounding title but it threatens to give Government Ministers powers to do things such as undermining workers’ rights and signing us up for damaging trade deals without proper Parliamentary accountability. We’ll do our best in committee to take out the most damaging parts of the Bill but it’s unlikely that anyone other than the Tories and their allies will be prepared to vote for it when it comes back to the full House of Commons later.
This weekend we will remember all those who have given their lives in time of war, as well as those who will forever bear the physical or mental scars of their experiences. As I’ve done every year since I was elected, I’ve arranged to have wreaths laid on my behalf at all sixteen war memorials serving my constituency. I’m very grateful to everyone who will be representing me at these services.