Christine Grahame MSP

Welcome to Christine Grahame MSP's biography pages

Christine Grahame MSP

Here you can find out about your MSPs' political activities and how to get in touch with them.

  • Member for: Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale
  • Region: South Scotland
  • Party: Scottish National Party

Christine is a member of the following Committees:

Christine is a member of the following Cross-Party Groups:

Parliamentary Activities

Member of the Conveners Group

Search for other Speeches made by The Convener

Meeting of the Parliament 18 November 2014 : Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Christine Grahame (Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale) (SNP)

I will address both amendments. The first one—Graeme Pearson’s—is absolutely fine and dandy. In fact, a great deal of the committee conversation and interrogation of witnesses a week or so ago was about the morning-after effects of alcohol. It was mostly concerned with people being unsure about whether they would be caught the next day—quite innocently, having been at a wedding perhaps.

I do not understand Margaret Mitchell’s amendment so perhaps she can clarify in her closing speech. I will read out the motion as it would be amended:

“That the Parliament supports the reduction of the drink drive limit, which will help to save lives and make Scotland’s roads safer; considers that the application and penalties imposed should be proportionate”.

Does it mean that the 50mg limit should not be applied to some people who are stopped and are over it? Does it also mean that, if it is applied to them, they should not have a mandatory ban for the year? We cannot do that; there is mandatory banning. The 50mg limit is just being substituted for the 80mg one.

Margaret Mitchell rose—



Meeting of the Parliament 18 November 2014 : Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Christine Grahame

No, I have only four minutes. I want to support Margaret Mitchell’s amendment but she will need to clarify what it means, for goodness’ sake.

The committee wholly supported the reduction to 50mg in 100ml. We were concerned not about people having a drink in the pub and then taking to their car, which they should not do, but about what happens the morning after. As my colleague has stolen my line about the Scottish breakfast, I return to my own line, which is that Irn-Bru and a bacon roll and just having a cold shower and taking a walk with the dog will not do; people will still be over the limit.

The medical evidence was that the liver functions like goods going through the supermarket checkout: things can only go through one at a time, and each drink has to go through at a certain rate; it cannot go through more quickly in any way. I hope that members can follow the metaphor—I did at the time.

However, for me, the most important thing is information, and not only over Christmas. When we move into the summer and spring, people are out in the sun having wine and so on. We need cross-border information. That is particularly important in the Scottish Borders.

I know that there are going to be electronic signs on gantries on the motorways, but I suggest that there should also be signs at motorway service stations—I see the cabinet secretary nodding, so he is obviously ahead of me on that. I am glad that the adverts are on ITV Border, to give it a wee plug. We do not get STV in the Scottish Borders, so it was important that ITV Border was encapsulated in the advertising.

Unlike my usual style, I am going to be a bit controversial. I know that this issue is not devolved, but I am slightly concerned about random testing, not because I in any way support people drinking and driving but because random testing for me strays into the area of civil liberties. We have been there with stop and search. The police said that most stop and searches are consensual, but if a policeman asks to search someone, the person will think that they will be on shaky ground if they say no, so they will probably just say yes, because they have nothing to hide. The public say that they do not mind random testing, but I do not know whether every motorist who is pulled over for no reason whatever and who then rolls down their window and has a policeman lean in to see whether they can smell any alcohol on their breath will be that happy. There is a balance between taking the public with us and saying that people can just be stopped in any event.

We all know about when the police stop someone, who then rolls down their window and is told, “Hen, your brake light’s not functioning”—we all know fine what that is about. However, the police said in evidence to the Justice Committee that they can stop people anyway, without having any cause for concern about how they are driving or the condition of their vehicle. I did not know that that was the case, and I would like the situation to be clarified. I leave that with the cabinet secretary. Everybody says that they are in favour of random testing, but if we had the power and we started to do it on a large scale, the public might get a little bit worried. I can see that Monsieur Allard does not agree—I said that I would be controversial—but I think that the issue is worth considering.

16:21  

Meeting of the Parliament 18 November 2014 : Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Christine Grahame

Will Alex Johnstone take an intervention?



Meeting of the Parliament 13 November 2014 : Thursday, November 13, 2014
6. Christine Grahame (Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale) (SNP)

To ask the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body what consideration it has given to commemorating and celebrating the contribution of Margo MacDonald to the Parliament. (S4O-03694)



Meeting of the Parliament 13 November 2014 : Thursday, November 13, 2014
Christine Grahame

I think that there is a rationale behind saying that it would be invidious to single out one MSP, no matter how individualistic and significant her contribution had been to Scottish politics at large. In the 15 years that I have been here, seven sitting MSPs have died in service, and I suggest that in its coming meetings the corporate body give some thought to putting in place a discreet plaque or memorial that would list the MSPs—from all parts of the chamber—who have died in service, starting with Donald Dewar, ending with Margo MacDonald and the other MSPs in between.



Justice Committee 11 November 2014 : Tuesday, November 11, 2014
The Convener (Christine Grahame)

Good morning and welcome to the Justice Committee’s 28th meeting of 2014. I ask everyone to switch off mobile phones and other electronic devices because they interfere with broadcasting, even when switched to silent. Apologies have been received from Margaret Mitchell.

Under agenda item 1, the committee is invited to agree to take in private item 4, which is consideration of a report on the Scottish statutory instrument on the drink-driving limit that we considered in previous weeks. Do members agree to that?

Members indicated agreement.



Justice Committee 11 November 2014 : Tuesday, November 11, 2014
The Convener

Item 2 is an evidence session on the Scottish Government’s draft budget for 2015-16. This is the second day of scrutiny of the police budget and we will hear from two panels of witnesses.

I welcome to the meeting Calum Steele, general secretary of the Scottish Police Federation. Calum, you are a panel—there you are. Members will recall that we arranged this extra session because the SPF was unable to attend last week. We have your written submission, for which I thank you, so I will go straight to questions from members.



Justice Committee 11 November 2014 : Tuesday, November 11, 2014
The Convener

John, there is a long list of people, but I will let you ask one last question.



Justice Committee 11 November 2014 : Tuesday, November 11, 2014
The Convener

I am going to move on.



Justice Committee 11 November 2014 : Tuesday, November 11, 2014
The Convener

Before I let John Finnie ask his supplementary question, I ask Calum Steele to develop his suggestion that local authorities

“dedicate funding to specialist support staff roles in their communities”.

Will you give an example of what you mean? What would they be doing?

Vote DetailMSP VoteResult

Selection of the Parliament's Nominee for First Minister
Not VotedCarried

Selection of the Parliament's Nominee for First Minister
YesCarried

Selection of the Parliament's Nominee for First Minister
Not VotedCarried

S4M-11567.2 Margaret Mitchell: Lowering the Drink Drive Limit—As an amendment to motion S4M-11567 in
>> Show more
AbstainCarried

S4M-11507.1 Cameron Buchanan: Progressive Workplace Policies to Boost Productivity, Growth and Jobs—
>> Show more
Not VotedDefeated

S4M-11507 Angela Constance: Progressive Workplace Policies to Boost Productivity, Growth and Jobs—Th
>> Show more
Not VotedCarried

S4M-11494.3 Jackie Baillie: Welfare Benefits for People Living with Disabilities—As an amendment to
>> Show more
NoDefeated

S4M-11494.2 Alex Johnstone: Welfare Benefits for People Living with Disabilities—As an amendment to
>> Show more
NoDefeated

S4M-11494 Margaret Burgess: Welfare Benefits for People Living with Disabilities—That the Parliament
>> Show more
YesCarried

S4M-11484.1 Jackson Carlaw: Human Rights—As an amendment to motion S4M-11484 in the name of Roseanna
>> Show more
NoDefeated

Search for other Motions lodged by Christine Grahame
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-11431: Christine Grahame, Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 05/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11416: Christine Grahame, Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 04/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11415: Christine Grahame, Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 04/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11049: Christine Grahame, Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 01/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11039: Christine Grahame, Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 30/09/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10896: Christine Grahame, Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 29/08/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10028: Christine Grahame, Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 12/05/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-09812: Christine Grahame, Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 24/04/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-09590: Christine Grahame, Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 02/04/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-09576: Christine Grahame, Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 01/04/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Search for other Questions asked by Christine Grahame
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S4W-23126: Christine Grahame, Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 12/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23128: Christine Grahame, Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 12/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23127: Christine Grahame, Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 12/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22992: Christine Grahame, Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 04/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03694: Christine Grahame, Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 04/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22977: Christine Grahame, Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 03/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4F-02343: Christine Grahame, Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 27/10/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22841: Christine Grahame, Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 13/10/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4F-02321: Christine Grahame, Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 06/10/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22696: Christine Grahame, Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 02/10/2014 Show Full Question >>

Further information

Email our Public Information Service for more information.