Christine Grahame is SNP MSP for Tweeddale and Lauderdale

New Year

First of all I hope you had a good Christmas and have a pleasant 2019. I say that of course against the background of Brexit and all the uncertainty that brings. By the time you read this, there will have been and extension to the March 29 deadline; the resignation of Theresa May or coup; a vote of no confidence; the call for a general election or combinations thereof. We’ll soon know.

In the meantime, as I have said previously, the work of Scotland’s Government goes on. The draft budget is the main business, we have had a statement on animal welfare and immigration among others and indeed a Parliamentary Committee is in Galashiels on Wednesday, January 23, (Rural and Economy) taking evidence.

Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend as I have Parliamentary commitments as deputy presiding officer at that time. On animal welfare there is a commitment as I understand it to end hunts on horseback which, in my book, is long overdue. I cannot support the hunting of an animal for sport.

My Bill

On the same tack, I will shortly be lodging my proposal for a Bill called Responsible Dog Ownership. I need the support of other MSPs across the parties but I am hopeful of this. Really it should require a potential dog owner to follow a check-list to ensure that they are making the right choice at the right time for themselves and the dog.

Questions on lifestyle and dog breed – is it suitable for you – and making it mandatory that you see the dog with its mother are among some of the proposals.

I am hoping that will lead to a decrease in the purchasing of puppies from so-called 'puppy factory farms' and indeed online through, for example, Gumtree. Purchasing a puppy or dog is not like buying a pair of shoes. That way we may cut of demand for this cruel and irresponsible trade and make for happy dogs and happy owners.


Well it's been in the news recently and not for the best of reasons. Quite rightly you have been in touch about failures in the timetables, cancellations and overcrowding particularly when there are rugby matches or during the festive season. If you take out problems due to Networkrail, signal failures and so on, while I have the full response from Scotrail on my Facebook pages, some of the reasons are staff shortages and train failures – though I am advised there are now more carriages for the line. But keep your comments coming in which I send directly to the chief executive. Today as I commuted there was no-one to sell

TESCO surgeries

These are up and running after the break. Gala is the third Friday in the month from 11-12 but of course I can be contacted by email and phone anytime.