SNP MP Amy Callaghan’s return to work is inspiration for others hit by ill-health – Record View


Three cheers for Amy Callaghan, the East Dunbartonshire SNP MP who has been able to return to work almost two years after a potentially fatal brain haemorrhage.

Her incredible recovery and determination to get back are an inspiration for others who have been hit sideways by ill-health.

But her pathway back wasn’t helped by the House of Commons whose rigid Victorian era rules still mean that MPs who are ill cannot take part in the proceedings or represent their constituents without physically being there.

Callaghan made good use of her trip, as she used her first appearance on the green benches to demand a better deal for stroke victims on benefits who find it almost impossible to get by on the limited support they do receive.

Her doctors would prefer her not to undertake the 400-mile round trip but she feels she has no choice but to turn up.

There is no provision for MPs who are ill to participate either by proxy or remotely.

Such systems were in place and worked in a limited way in lockdown but they were swept away once restrictions eased.

The real reason proxy voting for ill MPs is not being brought in is personified in the double-breasted, Eton-educated, self-aggrandizing Leader of the Commons.

Jacob Rees-Mogg is the blockage. He is against it, as it means modernity,

So Callaghan, and other MPs of all stripes, have to haul themselves to the chamber regardless of their state of health because of him.

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But fear not, we hear that if it is suggested that if MPs could get their nanny to vote on their behalf, Rees-Mogg might be persuadable.

Curler to pioneer

In an ideal world sportsmen and women would be totally relaxed about revealing their sexuality.

The fact that many top athletes agonize before telling teammates and fans they are gay tells us we still have a lot of progress to make as a society.

So Scottish curler Bruce Mouat coming out in public is a huge leap.

He thought long and hard before making the step but now says it was the “best thing” he has ever done.

And speaking at the Winter Olympics Bruce says he has been overwhelmed by support from people within the sport.

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A separate story today reveals a third of all hate crime on our railways is directed at people from the LGBT+ community.

These shocking figures show us we still have a problem with homophobia in wider society – and sport is no different.

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Football, in particular. has a culture of fans abusing players by making reference to sexuality as an insult.

And so there have been very few footballers who feel secure enough to come out. We hope Bruce’s decision will give others the confidence to follow his lead from him.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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