12 Nov A week of “Trains, Boats and Peace” as MP puts Dunfermline on the map
As the party conference season was in full flow and Westminster was in recess, I made the most of that time with a three day trip to the Netherlands and Belgium.
Kicking off on Monday with the Carnegie Peace Building Conference at the Peace Palace in The Hague, I joined a few well kent faces from Dunfermline and a wide ranging European and Americas audience to consider the contribution of Dunfermline son, Andrew Carnegie, had made to the modern peace- building agenda.
Due to our Andrew Carnegie links, the opportunities for Dunfermline to be at the heart of peace-building across the world are huge and this Conference, which was well supported by members of the Dunfermline based Carnegie Trusts, helped put us on the map.
As our party spokesperson on Peace and Disarmament, as part of my Defence Team responsibilities at Westminster, it was great to able to talk to like minded people across the world whose peace-making and peace-building experience and expertise was second to none. For example, imagine being in the company of someone who has served in the US State Department from the time of John F Kennedy right through to Barack Obama. Whatever you think of US foreign policy during this time the breadth and depth of experience of the speakers of this calibre was simply amazing, and good on the world-wide Carnegie Organisations, the Peace Palace and Angus Hogg for bringing it all together.
Later in the week I met with the EU Representative Office of Malta in Brussels who have just completed their 6 month “tour of duty” managing the EU Presidency. Again, for Scotland, some fabulous insights into issues affecting the smallest nation in the EU ( Malta’s population is not that much larger than Fife ! ) and how they deal with defence, security and the prospect of a hard Brexit deal.”
Before flying home, I visited the Port of Zeebrugge’s management team to discuss how we best progress re-establishing a passenger and freight ferry service from Rosyth. There were lots of ideas put on the table and they appear keen to help. We have a team of people here at home who I think can push the project forward and talks with them will continue into the coming weeks and months. What is clear is that there are lots of people out there who would love to see a ferry service re-established and our hard work to deliver for them has already begun.
Challenge Poverty Week
Last week was Challenge Poverty Week and I started the week by visiting the Dunfermline foodbank. There I spoke with John Thompson, one of the many volunteers that help the foodbank function and he showed me how the foodbank works and what a typical food parcel looks like and what it contains. John also said that he is there, not to give handouts but to give a hand up to those who need it.
If you can, please buy something extra when you go shopping this week and drop it off at your nearest foodbank drop off point. For more details visit www.dunfermline.foodbank.org.uk