21 Jan 2013

Paisley Daily Express - 21 January 2013

What a cheek!

It looks like Alex Salmond and his SNP colleagues have spent the New Year holiday polishing up their collective brass neck.

In a breath-taking piece of cheek, Nicola Sturgeon has asked the UK Government to engage in discussions BEFORE the referendum on separation takes place. She wants the UK Government to start negotiating on how the UK could be broken up, even though the UK Government is opposed to this, and even though the Scottish people have still to vote. Why should the UK Government play Alex Salmond's game and start to plan for the break up of Britain? She says that it is in the interests of Scotland and the rest of the UK for this to happen. How absurd! The latest opinion poll, published just days ago, has shown that support for separation has stalled with the public mood against a break up of the country. And in another piece of political cheek, the SNP is refusing to give an assurance that it will accept the advice of the independent Electoral Commission on the referendum question. It looks like Alex Salmond is prepared to rig the question while expecting the UK Government to help them plan for separation before the referundum. The brass neck is truly on very public display for everyone to see.

Join the silver celebrations at hospice

There’s not many of us who have not been affected by cancer in some way and it is good to know there’s the best help and support around if you need it. St Vincent’s Hospice has just launched a campaign to raise £1million by the end of 2013 – their Silver Anniversary year. It won’t be easy in these hard times but I have every confidence that the people of Renfrewshire will, as they always do in spite of their own troubles, rally to back this huge effort.
The hospice with its caring team of staff and volunteers provides a lifeline for families trying to cope at a very difficult time and I know that every pound raised will make a difference. If you have any cash to spare, a fund raising idea or goods to donate to one of the hospice shops you could help the charity reach its target. If you are having a clear out the shop on High Street, Johnstone would love your old furniture. Give them a ring on 0843 259 3914.

Good to meet you

Renfrewshire South MSP Hugh Henry and his Westminster
colleague Jim Murphy MP at a hugely successful
joint pensioners surgery in Barrhead
 I enjoy getting out and about in my Constituency and when I’m back from Parliament it’s always a pleasure to meet some of the people I represent and chat to them about the issues which may be causing concern. I had the chance to do just that when my Westminster colleague Jim Murphy, MP and I held a joint pensioners surgery in Barrhead. We had a busy night and I would like to thank all the agencies who came along and gave their support which was much appreciated by everyone who joined us and got advice on a number of problems like how to handle cold callers.

Listen to the kids

Our grandchildren are often wiser than we think and can have a huge influence on our lives. It was great to read in the Paisley Daily Express how granddad Bill Cartwright, a smoker for 55 years, was scolded so often over the years by his 10-year-old granddaughter Sara he has managed to give up the habit. Bill, who lives in Barrhead, said he felt just one foot tall when the Paisley schoolgirl told him off.  Well done Bill and special congratulations to Sara and our local daily for launching their Stop Smoking Campaign.  I believe new groups to help locals stub out the habit are soon to be set up at Johnstone and Linwood health centres which is good news. In the meantime if you need help from an expert just ring 01505 821316.