The Brexit Bourach continues!
The Tory Brexiteers were huffing and puffing and looking pretty glum as they suffered a bit of a blow this week! They didn't want parliament to have a legal right to scrutinise and vote on the final Brexit deal, but they lost the vote on 'Amendment 7' - which was backed by the SNP - by 309 to 305.
It was a ridiculous position to hold, that every other EU country gets a chance to ratify the final deal, while the UK parliament has no say. The Daily Mail was particularly upset at the result which must mean you're doing something right!
I spoke in the debate about the threat of a 'very Tory coup' - here are some clips below.
This is a coup, a very Tory coup, that is seizing power from this place—the power to create and amend legislation—and centralising it in the hands of a few who would have nothing to do with these protections and who would claim that we did well enough without them before.Deidre Brock MP
You couldn't make it up!
I ask a lot of questions at Westminster, the answers can be illuminating although not often in the way you'd expect. Here's a couple of my recent favourites.
Here you'd think the Prime Minister Theresa May could've said yes, no, it's a private matter or such like - instead she answers a completely different question to the one I asked.
Or here, I learned that the Home Office doesn't know or won't say how often it loses people's personal data such as passports (from my office's experience, it's a lot). http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2017-12-12/118906/
And the Brexit department doesn't keep details of what its staff members are supposed to be doing in their jobs! http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2017-11-15/113280/
You can follow all my parliamentary questions here: http://www.parliament.uk/biographies/commons/deidre-brock/4417
Devolve control of immigration
Vintage Vibes - tackling social isolation
Met a few of the folk behind the city's brilliant Vintage Vibes project today (Friday) - Dom, Caitlin and the lovely mutt Molly! (see pic below). They're a partnership between Lifecare Edinburgh and the Broomhouse Centre who work tackle isolation in people over 60 - building one to one friendships and bringing people together with all sorts of interesting activities like the 'Vintage Vocals' group.
I'm told Edinburgh is the loneliest city in the world for older people, with two in five over 60 year olds having the telly as their main company this Christmas. They're working away to connect people better with a whole team of volunteers doing a fantastic job.
If you want to get involved you can find out more here: http://vintagevibes.org.uk/get-involved/
They're also seeking support with their Cosy Christmas campaign: http://events.lifecare-edinburgh.org.uk/event/VVCosyChristmas
The Raeburn Place Foundation
I went along to Raeburn Place Foundation to hear more about plans to improve access to sporting facilities for the wider community of north Edinburgh. Currently the grounds at Raeburn Place are in pretty poor condition with bad drainage and a few portacabins for changing rooms. Manager of the Foundation, Louise Hodgson discussed their project which will preserve Raeburn Place as somewhere the public can participate in sport and to promote sport in local schools and across the area. They're also creating a Museum of International Rugby to mark the important heritage of the place. https://www.raeburnplacefoundation.org
Before my Friday surgery I was thrilled to make it along to Victoria Primary for their play "Whoopsadaisy Angel" with my colleague Ben Macpherson MSP. What a cracker of a show! Well done to all the kids and staff and everyone involved!