One year – two elections

This day last year I arrived at Westminster for my ‘first day at school’. All those unfamiliar places and faces!

I was able to ‘celebrate’ my anniversary today by being ‘drawn’ in the ballot for PMQs. See page 12 here:

The Work Programme is the Government’s plan to provide training and help to move people from unemployment into jobs. Cameron promised that the voluntary sector and social enterprise would play a big part in this programme. The tendering process in Scotland has resulted in two large private companies (with little track record of work in this field) with only 8% of the programme made up of voluntary sector or social enterprise partners. Cameron’s answer on this was simply wrong!

Today was ‘first day’ for the new MSPs at Holyrood. Particular congratulations to Kezia Dugdale on being elected as a list MSP. Kezia was my election agent last year and it’s good to see her succeed. However I can’t pretend that the outcome was anything but a huge disappointment for my party. My colleague Ewan Aitken worked unstintingly for nearly a year, and put the Labour vote up on 2007. But in the event that wasn’t enough to win in an election which seems to have returned to two party politics.

There is much debate to be had on what went wrong, but it undoubtedly makes this a bitter-sweet anniversary.