Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Margaret Curran brings "Paradise" to the Commons

I could only keep half an eye, and half my one good ear on the debate in the Commons yesterday as Nick Clegg outlined his plans for Lords reform and electoral changes.

I tweeted the main points for a while(look for me on twitter as Torcuil) as Jack Straw highlighted the dangers of arithmetically-sized constituencies and the joined with the SNP's Angus Robertson to reject "spurious" claims that the Scottish parliament set a precedent for the proposed 55% dissolution rule.

It all made for very good reading in theHansardaccount of proceedings which had a distinctively Scottish flavour.

There were speeches by Robertson, John Thurso, Mark Lazarowicz and others. Maiden speeches too by Eilidh Whiteford (Banff and Buchan), Gemma Doyle (West Dumbartonshire) and Margaret Curran, Glasgow East.

Curran, an experienced politician, started by saying she found the green benches intimidating. But it wasn't long before she turned managed to turn to other matters green, to much hilarity.

She said: "There is much to celebrate in the east end of Glasgow. We have some of the highest-performing state schools, in brand-new buildings. In 2014 we will host the Commonwealth games; and, of course, we are home to one of the world's best football teams, Glasgow Celtic.

"I know that my speech is meant to be uncontroversial, but I must challenge a Member who spoke previously who claimed paradise was in his constituency. Paradise is, in fact, in the east end of Glasgow."

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