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UK Parliament Week around the constituency

Parliament has had an additional “mini recess” while they were making arrangements for the King’s speech this week. I’ve used the time to get out and about in the constituency.

We had a very happy occasion with the opening of Jessops Jewellers’ new shop in Glenrothes. At a time when small independent retailers are really struggling it’s hugely encouraging to see such a highly regarded company, now run by the third generation of the same family, making such a commitment to the town.

On a much sadder note we said goodbye to Serendipi-tea café in Thornton. Fiona and Lloyd have won a steady stream of local, regional and national awards since they first opened their wee café nine years ago and it had become a great favourite in the village. Sadly they have found it impossible to keep going in the face of relentless increases in energy and other costs.

Ahead of UK Parliament Week I’ve been delighted to accept invitations to meet pupils at Coaltown of Balgonie Primary School and St Ninian’s RC Primary in Cardenden. At Coaltown they’ve been having their own election with different groups of pupils putting forward their ideas to make their village better. They even opened the “polling station” (also known as the teacher’s desk drawer) to let me cast the first vote before the official polling day. I wanted to vote for “all of the above” but sadly this wasn’t an option.

I also had an invite to meet the Beavers from the 58th Fife Scout Group and I was given the honour of presenting badges to several of the boys and girls. Although I was definitely upstaged by Liaraidh (hope I got the Gaelic spelling right) the nine week old puppy who came in to help them with their Animal Friend badgework.

The UK Covid Inquiry has been hearing shocking evidence of the absolute chaos that surrounded the Government’s response to the pandemic in the early months of 2020. It’s obvious that Boris Johnson was completely unfit for the job of being prime minister. He presided over a government where decisions were taken almost entirely by white men from privileged backgrounds and where the toxic “macho” culture meant senior female members of staff were just ignored. Witnesses have said the prime minister would have been happy just to let covid run riot, knowing it would kill tens of thousands of people, because most of them would be elderly or frail people who “were going to die anyway”.

This heartless lack of humanity shouldn’t really surprise anyone. Everyone knew what Boris Johnson was like long before they made him Prime Minister. The present UK Government will be desperate to distance themselves from his disastrous time in charge but they should never be allowed to forget that they all campaigned for him in 2019 and many of them were vociferous in their support for his blundering and arrogant incompetence all the way through the crisis.

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