19th June 2018
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Posts tagged with Letter from Westminster

Letter from Westminster

Letter from Westminster

01/12/2011, by in Features

For the first nine years that I was in Parliament autumn statement and budget days were routinely an excuse for me and my colleagues from different parts of the Highlands and Islands to get to our feet and to demand a lower rate of duty paid on petrol and diesel to take some account of the higher pr... Read more...

Letter from Westminster

Letter from Westminster

17/11/2011, by in Features

When the House of Commons is sitting it has been the practice in recent years to mark the two minutes silence on 11th November by standing in silence in the chamber and I have always been part of that. (more…) Read more...

Letter from Westminster

Letter from Westminster

04/11/2011, by in Features

One of the best things about being an MP is that after ten-and-a-half years it can still produce fresh chal­lenges. As I settled into my seat around the Question Time table in Glasgow next to David Dimbleby I did find myself wondering whether this was a challenge that I had been wise to undertake. ... Read more...

Letter from Westminster

Letter from Westminster

20/10/2011, by in Features

One of the changes that this government has made to parliament which does not get a great deal of attention outside of Westminster has been to hand over control of a chunk of parliamentary time to a committee of backbenchers. Up until the last election the subject for debate was controlled entirely ... Read more...

Letter from Westminster

Letter from Westminster

06/10/2011, by in Features

Early last week Jonathan Wills posed the question (in a fair and measured way) of how I could remain a minister in the coalition government while it was going to remove the emergency towing ves­sels (tugs) which have been stationed here and in the Western Isles since the Donaldson report into the g... Read more...

Letter from Westminster

Letter from Westminster

22/09/2011, by in Features

Every year around this time MPs find themselves in the busy and slightly surreal environment that is the party conference.In years gone by this would mean a trip to the seaside – Brighton or Blackpoool, perhaps. This year we have been in Birmingham, a city that is the birthplace of Duran Duran... Read more...

Letter from Westminster

Letter from Westminster

08/09/2011, by in Features

The presentation of the SNP’s prog­ramme for government makes me think that Scottish politics is going to be many things for the next few years, but dull is not one of them. Both in the bills it is bringing for­ward and in the way it does its business there are plenty of things that should have ... Read more...

Letter from Westminster

Letter from Westminster

25/08/2011, by in Features

There can be few places in the world like Shetland in the sunshine. That was the thought that lodged itself in my mind as I walked along the beach towards my lunch on Tuesday in Papa Stour. To say it was peaceful would have been an understatement – I felt like I could have been the last person ali... Read more...

Letter from Westminster

Letter from Westminster

12/08/2011, by in Features

It is not yet fully three weeks since parliament broke for the summer recess. I remember speculating with a colleague as I cleared my desk for the break away from Westminster about how long it would be until there was a demand for us to be recalled, if not actually a recall. I was thinking then that... Read more...

Letter from Westminster

Letter from Westminster

15/07/2011, by in Features

It is difficult to find the right word to describe life in Westminster this week. The journalists and broad­casters have all been working over­time with their thesauruses out. In fact, every time we thought that the story about the Murdochs, News International and the extent of their phone hacking... Read more...

Letter from Westminster

Letter from Westminster

17/06/2011, by in Features

Last week saw the 10th anniversary of my election to parliament. It passed without much fanfare but it did prompt some of my friends and family to reflect that in 10 years I have never managed to get control of my own diary.As a result I still (despite all the best efforts of my long-suffering s... Read more...

Letter from Westminster

Letter from Westminster

03/06/2011, by in Features

The Palace of Westminster went into lockdown last week in honour of the visit of President Obama who was to address both Houses of Parliament in Westminster Hall.My office, which is quite close to Westminster Hall, had to be vacated and locked two hours before the address.I confess that I ... Read more...

Letter from Westminster

Letter from Westminster

20/05/2011, by in Features

Returning to Westminster after the Scottish Parliament I was stopped by an English Labour MP who enquired mischievously of me why I was in London. “I thought,” he said, “that you had just voted to be independent.” It was, of course, a flippant com­ment but one which highlights in many ways ... Read more...

Letter from Westminster

Letter from Westminster

29/04/2011, by in Features

I am not sure that I would yet make the claim that the Scottish Parliament election campaign has set the heather ablaze but there is no denying that it has certainly captured the public imagination more forcefully than the other vote which we will be offered with our ballot papers next week, namely ... Read more...

Letter from Westminster

Letter from Westminster

22/04/2011, by in Features

Sad news reached me last week from the other side of the Atlantic when I learned of the death of my friend Virginia Davis.Virginia was the mother of Troy Davis, a man who is currently on death row in Georgia, USA, having been convicted of killing a police officer in 1989. (more…) Read more...

Letter from Westminster

Letter from Westminster

15/04/2011, by in Features

Knocking on doors for the Scottish election, the subject of the coalition at Westminster is one which crops up quite a bit. Despite what you read in the national papers (and even some local ones) the comment was mostly balanced – a few enthusiastic and a few negative. (more…) Read more...

Letter from Westminster

Letter from Westminster

08/04/2011, by in Features

I am by nature an optimist. I tend to believe that if the will exists then all things are possible.Even I, however, am forced to concede that the editor of this paper will never accept that the decisions taken by the coalition government to reduce public spending were correct. (more…) Read more...