James Kelly, is an MSP for Glasgow. he took a stand against the SNP led government who introduced the “Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications Act” and in doing so became the first opposition MSP to repeal an administrations law. That particular legislation was just pushed through without any cross party support and discredited by many legal experts.
We asked James Kelly, about many things going on in the political landscape in Scotland and the UK right now.
The main issue which covered the newspapers for many days is Alex Salmond’s Scandal, he thinks Salmond hasn’t “conducted himself well”.
He said: “These are very serious allegations against Alex Salmond it is important that they are fully investigated by the police and that the women who brought forward the allegations are allowed the right privacy and protection. I don’t think that Alex Salmond has conducted himself well in this case. I am concerned by his use of a crowdfunding campaign to bring a case against the Scottish government.”
He added: “I think that has been used as a tactic to send a signal not only to the women involved in this case but any other women out there that he will use his power and influence to try and silence any allegations against him and this is deeply concerning. This process needs to run its course and I hope that the police and judiciary are given the freedom to conduct their inquiry appropriately.”
James Kelly is proud to serve his constituents and has never had the “ambition” to lead the party.
“I’ve never had any ambition to lead the party. I’m honoured to be an MSP representing the Glasgow region and have the opportunity to help constituents and argue for important issues on the floor of the Scottish Parliament like to use the budget to support the NHS, improve education and provide better service on the railways. I am proud to do this as a labour shadow cabinet secretary and an MSP for Glasgow.”
This might be what you’re here to read or why he decided to do go ahead with the repeal of Football act, which he deems as a “victory for ordinary” fans.
“I consistently opposed the Football Act as it unfairly discriminated against football fans and treated them like as second class citizens. I’ve held that view going back to 2011 while the original legislation was passed. I pledged at the 2016 election I would bring forward a member’s bill to bring forward a full repeal of the act and initiated the process within weeks of being elected in 2016.”
The MSP added: “That campaign was ultimately successful. The success of this was ultimately down to the fans’ campaign, particularly FAC and the support of the grassroots of a lot of supporters clubs throughout the country which culminated in 20,000 emails to MSPs ahead of the stage one vote. I was absolutely delighted when the full repeal passed on 15 March 2015 and I regard it as a significant victory for ordinary football fans and those who defend civil liberties and oppose over-aggressive policing which was characterised by the implementation of this Act.”
Education was a big topic last month and is something Nicola Sturgeon wants her time as First Minister judged upon, so far she has introduced the P1 testing, which has been opposed by everyone who isn’t the SNP, from teachers and parents to the unions.
He said: ” I totally oppose the SNP imposing tests on primary 1s. This is entirely the wrong approach. When kids are at school at 4 or 5 they should be encouraged and nurtured. The idea that they might have to sit some sort of test has understandably caused some anxiety for children and parents and the SNP should abandon that idea immediately.”
He also added in regards to education in general: “I think that the summer months have shown a real problem for education. At the root of it is a cumulative cut of £400m to education in a recent year. What this means is we’ve got fewer resources in schools, fewer teachers and fewer classroom assistants. Unfortunately what you’re then starting to see is a deterioration in performance. The recent exam results showed that there has been a sharp drop in the number of students taking foreign languages and the performance in our schools on a number of subjects has gone down markedly in recent years. This is not only a problem for kids not being able to pass exams but for employers who are looking for kids to be qualified in appropriate subjects. It’s also a real concern that the allocation of university places are not being allocated to Scottish students in some courses. Meaning Scottish students aren’t being able to enter key subjects like medicine where we do need more doctors because of the GP crisis.”
We couldn’t have done an interview with a politician without asking about Brexit, so here is how he thinks it’ll turn out for the poorest in our country.
“The Brexit situation is clearly something of real concern to people in Scotland. The complexities of Brexit in terms of regulation and trading and the potential impact on the economy are having a really detrimental impact. What has really come out is the shambles that the Tory government has made first of all in negotiating and ultimately in securing a deal on Brexit. Now we’re in a position where some are saying the reality is that we won’t actually get a deal and that will be disastrous for the country both in legal and economic terms.”
He added: “There is an awful lot of uncertainty and what the country needs is a Brexit that delivers as much certainty and security within the customs union and the single market so that businesses, employers and employees are not disrupted. So the current Tory government is making a real mess of the process and unless it gets act together it poses a real challenge for Scotland.”