6 Nov 2012

Paisley Daily Express - 5 Novemebr 2012

Symbol of Courage

BRAVE young Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by Taliban militants on her way home from school in north-western Pakistan's Swat Valley for simply promoting education for girls, is making a miraculous recovery. This story not only showed the courage of the 15-year schoolgirl but made me realise how fortunate we are. It is unthinkable that in the 21st century we can still have young girls targeted and assaulted in this brutal way for standing up for something we take for granted. In this country all political parties know the value of education and despite what many people might think about events in Afghanistan and Pakistan it is the case that the Taliban and its supporters are unfortunately united in dragging these countries backwards. I hope that Governments across the world re-double their efforts to make sure that every young person has a future regardless of their nationality.

Best in the West

Ask any Scot who lives away from their home country what they miss most and one of the answers will undoubtedly be – square sausages. So it was great to learn that a butcher in my Constituency - John Marshall & Son in Johnstone - has just lifted the 2012 Championship trophy for producing the best square sliced in the West of Scotland. When I dropped in to congratulate David Marshall, who runs the family business which has been going for more than 100 years, I couldn’t resist buying some of his award winning sausages. And after “forcing” myself to have a roll and sausage all I can say is the judges got it right. Well Done to Marshall’s.

Do you know where your stop valve is?

I’m backing a new campaign which urges families and businesses in my Constituency to take action now to heat, insulate and protect their properties. Scottish Water is offering free advice on how to help prevent a frozen or burst pipe, how to locate a stop valve and what to do in an emergency. Avoid the headache and heartache of coming home or into work to find everything ankle deep in freezing water and your carpets, furniture and equipment ruined because of a burst pipe. For tips visit www.scottishwater.co.uk/winter.