Remembrance in Falkirk and Denny

I’m privileged to be laying wreaths at remembrance day ceremonies in my constituency tomorrow – in Falkirk and Denny.  All politicians of all parties will be doing the same thing. It’s the only profound thing we do.  I’m looking at the wreaths now and just thinking about how this week serves as a reminder of how decent people are.   As the ‘big’ wars of Harry Patch, then my Dad (he was in the Black Watch, then became a Para), Les, and my lovely step-Dad, Arthur (also Black Watch), recede, folk seem to be more and more aware of the sacrifice ordinary people have made, and make daily, to give us the stuff we’ve got today.  I’m a pretty fair target of people who hate the Iraq thing and I’ve come to understand the hard way (as ever) how people separate, quite perfectly, their worries about any one conflict and their far deeper sense of thanks for those who risk everything for us every day. This week seems like the time folk express their decency and humanity in the loveliest and most authentic way.

I’m no more qualified than anyone else to say any more than that. And it’s a side issue, really, but what increasingly seems like a reducto absurdum of the daily politics of hate seems gossamer thin, transient.  Who f****** cares?, as I would have said as a Black Watch jock.  Yet today, in the grander scheme, the reality is that everyone does.  Tomorrow, and on 11/11, I will, as always, ‘manfully’ fight back tears at thoughts of the dead; the living wounded.  And so will everyone else.

I love this place.


FKUK: Local and Global

Globe International

I’m a member of the UK board of Globe International. We’re essentially an international group of legislators who seek to ensure that our governments aim as high as possible on the green agenda.  Most recently, we met in Copenhagen in the run-up to COP15 where Prime Minister Rassmussen of Denmark stressed his determination to keep pressing ahead despite the scale of the challenge as reported elsewhere in the media.  Right wing blogs are often quoted as saying that global warming is nothing to do with us.

When I look around my constituency, Falkirk there are plenty of green shoots. There are lots of businesses and other organisations who see the business sense of helping improve the environment, and Im meeting more and more of them these days.  Here are three great small projects which aim to make a difference locally. I was privileged to open  Johnsons Cleaners GreenEarth Branch in Tesco Grahamestone Retail Park this week.  They have a new process which eschews the old chemicals and is proving really popular with customers.  Softexpand Miniframe computer has one of three new contracts given out in Scotland so far. Ross Mcphaden of local ICT support business is  hoping to put Falkirk  ahead in Scotland for responsible ecofriendly approach to office  and educational computing and is offering training to young people in the field too.  Then, as ever, there’s Falkirk’s branch of Friends of the Earth and the 10:10 campaign. I’ve signed up to this,  with the aim of cutting my carbon footprint by (at least) 10% during 2010.

I’m looking forward to supporting these practical green ideas and many more in my constituency now and in 2010.  If there’s anything you want to draw my attention to, I’d be only too pleased to help.

My New Office in Denny

Thanks to  all who’ve written over the last couple of years to suggest that I establish an office in the Western part of my Falkirk Constituency. While quite a few Scottish MPs have two offices (and one has three), I’ve always thought it would be too expensive to do this. My main office is in Falkirk town centre but, since Denny Town Centre is awaiting development and the rents are now much lower I’ve rented in a well known location, at Denny Cross.

Here is a picture of my new office at Denny Cross. It’s staffed daily and if you need me for any reason at all, don’t hesitate to  ring 01324823200.

Denny Office 10/09