Friday, January 03, 2014

What's good to read today? 3 January 2014

The number of things I read and want to blog about greatly exceeds the amount of time I have to blog. Therefore, I have decided to do a quick round up links post every day. I don't know if Blogger has the sort of automatic thingummyjig that Jennie and Stephen use for theirs on Dreamwidth and Wordpress respectively, but if you know different, please let me know cos it would make my life a whole load easier. 

First up today, a reminder of how dire the working conditions are for midwives. This anonymous NHS midwife, writing in the Independent, says that she rarely gets a break in her 13 hour shifts and that safety of women and babies is being compromised. What's also very important from a public health point of view is that breastfeeding support is threatened because midwives don't have the time to do it. 

I meant to get round to writing about Holyrood Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick's proposals for the Scottish Parliament, but Tavish Scott got there first and pretty much said everything I wanted to - eg Marwick just seems to want to hand over all power to the SNP whips. 

Christine Jardine reminds us of how the EU has kept the peace, invests heavily in Scotland and how millions of jobs in the UK depend on it. 

Tessa Munt, writing in the Mirror, asks what we want from our MPs. Personally, I think that it's up for each MP to build their own relationship with their constituents. I'd hate to see an official job description with targets for responding to correspondence or for the maximum number of rings before the phone was answered. Tessa has more patience than I have, though. She took a call from a drunken constituent at 3am on New Year's Day...

John Knox, in a well argued piece, with which I disagree almost entirely, says the Lib Dems should stay out of government. Surely the first priority is whether we can do some good. Also minority government may have worked after a fashion in Scotland, but then we get closer to the Parliament we ask for up there and that's relevant. We're used to at least trying to be a bit more grown up some of the time. I'm not sure a minority government would last for very long at Westminster. 

Roger Roberts, as ever a wise and compassionate advocate for the most vulnerable, tells us that he has secured a parliamentary debate next Thursday on Syrian refugees and why we should allow some of them into the UK.

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