Joan McAlpine

  • Cardinal is victim of his own prejudice

    In a week which saw Cardinal Keith O'Brien apologise for his sexual conduct, Joan McAlpine says he will be suffering too.

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  • Scotland's most ambitious street arts programme

    Motion S4M-04118: Joan McAlpine, South Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 13/09/2012
    Congratulating UZ Arts Roofless Project 
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  • Speech to Chamber on Empty Properties Bill

    I spoke in the chamber on the Empty Properties Bill, aimed at regenerating communities.

    Read below for the full text of my speech:

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  • published Economy Energy and Tourism Committee 2012-09-04 13:45:49 +0100

    Economy Energy and Tourism

    I am one of five SNP members of the Parliamentary Committee on Economy Energy and Tourism.

    The remit of the Committee is to consider and report on the Scottish economy, enterprise, energy, tourism and renewables and related matters within the responsibility of the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Constitution and Economy apart from those covered by the remit of the Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee, and matters relating to cities.

    The Committee determines its own subjects for inquiry and also deals with any proposals for legislation, statutory instruments or petitions referred to it.  When the Committee has chosen the subject for an inquiry, it will normally issue a call for evidence and arrange for witnesses to be invited to appear at a committee meeting. Inquiries can typically last for several months although they can be shorter. Most inquiries result in the publication of a final report to the Scottish Parliament.

    The Committee meets on Wednesday mornings. Members of the public are encouraged to attend meetings, which can be booked in advance through Visitor Services.

    At the Scottish Parlaiment website below, you can read more about the Committee's purpose and members, access Committee agendas and official reports, and track current and copleted business. You can also recieve email updates on the Committee's regular progress - just email to be added to the Committee’s email list.

    Follow the progress of the Economy Energy & Tourism here 

  • published Read my column in The Daily Record 2012-08-29 13:28:26 +0100

  • published Upcoming Surgeries in Constituency Work 2012-08-20 11:12:29 +0100

  • published The YES Campaign in Independence 2012-08-16 16:31:36 +0100

    The YES Campaign

    The YES Campaign was launched on 25 May 2012. First Minister Alex Salmond made the announcment in Edinburgh, calling on voters to put "Scotland's future in Scotland's hands".

    The campaign includes many SNP members, as well as members of many other parties, businesses, and communities. Among those on stage supporting the announcement were Scottish Green Party co-leader Patrick Harvie, actor Alan Cumming, former politician Dennis Canavan, poet Liz Lochead and actor Brian Cox.

    At the launch, the campaign announced its pledge to reach 1 million signatures by the referendum date in 2014.


    Join the YES Campaign for an Independent Scotland here:

    Follow the campaign on Twitter:  @yesscotland

    And like the  Yes Scotland Facebook page 



    Watch full coverage of the YES Campaign launch in Edinburgh:



    YES campaigners at the Edinburgh Pride Festival, June 2012

    Image courtesy of Stewart McDonald, via "The Scottish Political Archive" on Flickr



  • published Why Independence? in Independence 2012-08-16 16:29:52 +0100

    Why Independence?

    I have long been an advocate for Scottish Independence, because I believe we can be a fairer and more successful nation if the people who live here have their say on what happens here. 

    Today we have a government in Westminster that most Scots did not vote for, yet which makes the important decisions that most affect our people.

    An Independent Scotland can enjoy greater freedom over our own financial decisions, which will result in more responsible spending and less debt. If Scotland had been allowed to make these decisions for the past 30 years, we would have hypothetically less debt today by a margin of £19 million. If we had the power to lower the corporation tax rate by just 3%, we could generate up to 27,000 new jobs.

    We could generate all of our own energy, and with the renewable sources we believe in. We would be able to reject the UK’s stance on nuclear weapons and divorce from Trident, which will save us £250 million annually.

    An independent Scotland that can create its own policies can better take care of the people living here.

    Scotland is not too small to be independent, and there are many precedents for small nations gaining independence. Scotland is in the middle of the spectrum on state sizes in the world, and bigger than 6 of the 10 countries that joined the European Union in 2004 after recent independence. Our Scandinavian neighbours, similar in size, are able to govern themselves and are as such wealthier than the UK.

    With so much potential for energy revenues, resource investments, and tourism and other industries, Scotland’s economic future is more secure than many countries in Europe.

    Given the chance, we could become a better governed and more prosperous nation. We have the resources, innovation, and ambition to thrive as an independent country. It is simply better for all of us who live here and care the most about Scotland to be given the chance to determine its future.


  • published Save 'Introducing In Scotland' in Music & Arts 2011-12-15 11:47:17 +0000

  • My Maiden Speech

    My maiden speech to the Scottish Parliament, on 26 May 2011

  • published In Parliament 2011-11-30 11:54:17 +0000

    In Parliament

    About the Parliament
    Posted by · June 25, 2015 10:13 AM

    My Maiden Speech
    Posted by · May 27, 2011 12:20 PM · 1 reaction

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  • published About Joan 2011-11-30 11:36:59 +0000

    Joan_at_Eskdale_Agricultural_Show.jpgI am an SNP MSP for the South Scotland region.  My office is based in Dumfries.

    Before being elected to parliament in 2011 I had a long career in journalism, having been deputy editor of the Herald Newspaper and editor of the Sunday Times Scotland.

    I attended university in Glasgow where I received a joint honours in Scottish History and Economic History and followed this up with a post graduate diploma in newspaper journalism from City University, London. Media is important for democracy as it gives ordinary people a platform for their views and talents and should hold the powerful to account.  Since being elected I have campaigned for improved commercial television coverage for the South of Scotland and as a result changes have already happened - including the introduction of current affairs programme 'Representing Border'.  

    I take a keen interest in the arts as a way to boost the economy and make us all feel good.  I support festivals such as the Big Burns Supper in Dumfries which has seen its government funding rise to make it the best publicly funded winter festival event outside Glasgow and Edinburgh. I’m keen to support young people and I was delighted to attract one of the Scottish Government’s first Youth Jobs Forums to Dumfries in 2012 and have tried to work closely with local employers, colleges and universities – especially on the delivery of apprenticeships which I am delighted to say have doubled in the region under the SNP government.  In Parliament I am the Convener of the Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Relations Committee, which is keeping me very busy since the UK voted to leave the EU in June 2016.  I also convene the CPG on Culture, a group that former MSP Jean Urquhart and I set up during the 2011 parliamentary term.

    Another of my interests is supporting people with a learning disability. It is very important that their voice is heard and I regularly speak to Enable, Downs Syndrome Scotland and the Scottish Consortium for Learning Disability.  I have campaigned to ensure that they and their families get the opportunities and support they need, despite the cuts being imposed on Scotland by the Westminster government. 

    Outside of politics, like most people, I am a very focused on my family and love spending time with my daughters Grace and Eleanor.


Joan McAlpine is a Scottish National Party MSP for the South of Scotland. A graduate of the University of Glasgow and City University in London, she has built a career in journalism until contesting South Scotland in May 2011.