I SPOKE in last week’s Holyrood debate marking international Human Rights Day, with 2022’s theme of dignity, freedom and justice for all.

The removal to the USA of a suspect in the Lockerbie bombing brings into focus Scotland’s obligations, and reputation, in the international arena. Scotland will never forget the horrific events in 1988, nor will it abandon the search for truth and justice, absolute values which matter to our country.

I’d like also like to pay tribute to Ian Blackford, leader of the SNP at Westminster for five years, who consistently stood up for Scotland’s distinctive laws and principles. Ian rose above Tory MPs’ partisan and rowdy heckling – including the shout from Sir Nicholas Soames to “go back to Skye” – to hold to account four successive Prime Ministers.

New SNP Commons leader Stephen Flynn took the fight to Rishi Sunak, asking what he considered was the Tories’ greatest achievement since 2019, listing policies Scotland rejects: leaving the single market and the customs union; ending freedom of movement; denying Scotland’s democracy; or the Tories getting Labour to back all of that.

Recent polling by Professor Sir John Curtice reveals one interesting statistic that reflects directly on East Lothian: 65 per cent in the UK now think that Brexit is going badly or very badly, a nearly identical percentage to the 64.56 percent in East Lothian who knew Brexit was an impending disaster and voted to remain in the EU in 2016, with one of the highest turnouts in Scotland. As East Lothian’s MSP I’m proud that the great majority of constituents got it right then; unfortunately, it’s taken six years for UK voters to acknowledge the unfolding catastrophe, while the Tories and Labour continue in denial.

Stephen Flynn’s deputy leader, Mhairi Black MP, aged 28, already has eight years in Parliament behind her and debates eloquently for her constituents, with the vision of an independent country that’s now winning 56 per cent support across all Scotland’s regions. In response, Labour offers Gordon Brown with policies which don’t reflect Scotland’s journey since 2007.

Mhairi’s generation will build a more equal Scotland with the politics of the future, not the failures of Labour’s past.