The Government’s appalling attack on refugees continued in the house of commons when they forced through their Immigration Bill. If the Bill becomes law it will mean refugees including children fleeing war in the own country will be arrested, detained without trial and deported unless they have arrived by what the Government describes as “safe and legal routes”. The Government have been forced to admit that for the vast majority of refugees there’s no such thing as a “safe and legal route”. This means that Britain will refuse to help refugees fleeing the war in Sudan for example, a flagrant breach of international law. I’m still getting a lot of emails from constituents expressing their disgust at what the Government is doing and I’ll continue to oppose it every inch of the way.
The latest investigation into the UK Government’s shambolic “High Speed 2” railway has revealed that the cost of a single station at its London end has rocketed to nearly £5 billion. That’s about 40 times as much as the entire Levenmouth Rail Link for a single station. All work on the station has now been stopped while the UK Government tries to sort out the mess. There are now growing calls for the whole HS2 project to be scrapped. Although the railway was never going to come anywhere near Scotland the UK Government are likely to find a way of setting a share of the cost against Scotland’s public spending.
When the UK Government rushed through its “Public Order Bill” many of us warned that it would lead to people being arrested just for exercising their right to peaceful protest. Sadly it looks very much as though that’s what happened during the coronation at the weekend. One person was arrested for carrying a megaphone because the police said it would frighten the horses (but presumably cheering crowds and military bands wouldn’t). Some protest groups had been in discussion with the police for months and had confirmation that what they were planning was legal but still ended up being arrested. Whatever you think about the monarchy and the coronation people have the right to protest and it’s part of the duty of the police to allow protests to take place safely.
It was a real delight to be invited into St Ninian’s Primary School in Cardenden to meet Primary 6 and 7 pupils. They asked some really perceptive questions about my job as an MP, why I decided to stand for election and the things I like and don’t like about it. They were also very keen to talk about things like climate change and the cost of living crisis. We often hear that “young folk aren’t interested in politics” but somebody forgot to tell these young folk! They’re an absolute credit to themselves, their school and their families.