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

Boris and the Law

By the time you read this we will know if the Supreme Court has upheld the judgement of the Inner House of the Court of Session (our highest civil court) that proroguing the Westminster parliament was unlawful. You couldn’t make it up and would think you were watching some TV drama. Even and I say even if the judgment is overturned we are in the position when major constitutional decisions are being taken with no parliamentary accountability. If it tells us one thing it is that the Westminster system of government is finished. Yet there is hardly a squeak from the Tories in the Scottish Parliament whose loyalty to party has to be admired if only for its resolve in the face of the most disgraceful behaviour of a Tory leader I can recall.


In the Scottish Parliament it's business as usual: debates continue, Minsters and the First Minister take questions, votes are taken, committees sit and hold government to account. In the meantime, schools teach, hospitals treat, houses are built, courts adjudicate, buses and trains run (mostly on time) and Scotland proceeds on its daily business. What does this tell us about the missing Mother of all Parliaments? It’s not sitting and it has not made a wheen of difference to life in Scotland. Time to ditch it. While I am on the topic let me turn my fire on the House of Lords. With some 800 Lordships and Ladyships many shipped in having lost their parliamentary seats at a cost to the taxpayer of £67.9 million. The average 'peer' costs £83,000 with £300 per day of they just turn up? Big fact: the House of Lords is the second largest legislative assembly in the world after the National People’s Congress of China. Why on earth do we let it continue? At least the Scottish National Party refuses to take places on it. Yet the Tories have 234 members, Labour 179 and the Lib Dems 94! Take the Lib Dems for example with only 18 MPs (many of them carpet-baggers from Labour and the Tory ranks) way behind the SNP with 35 MPs – 18 MPs, 94 in the Lords, yes indeedy the Lib Dem upholders of democracy and Labour with 179, truly the opposition to privilege!

The good news

Thankfully locally folk just get on with it. So on Friday I had the great fun and privilege of attending the unveiling of the statue to Robert Coulter former weaver of the parish of Galashiels come confectioner and all-round flamboyant fella. His story was told by Graeme McIver who should write a children’s book now about this man. The sculpture by Angela Hunter of Innerleithen is wonderful, Jimmy McGregor (of Robin Hall and Jimmy McGregor fame) said a few words and local children tied ribbons to it in tribute to the ribbons Coulter wore himself as the arch salesman. Colourful in dress and personality with his catchy salesman’s song the bright sunshine seems just the ticket to complete the day.