Monday, 22 September 2008

Kenny G... yet again

He's already been blasted for slating the Lib Dems. Now he has a go at the democratic process.

Col 4985

Kenneth Gibson (Cunninghame North) (SNP): We are so alike—it is easy to be confused.
Many members have talked about how important it is for the Parliament to take decisions on the running of Holyrood and local authority elections, which would be eminently sensible. After all, as I suggested to Mr Gould, who is a Canadian, during a meeting of the Local Government and Communities Committee, it would be preposterous if the United States of America presided over the running of Canadian elections. It is daft for the Scottish ministers and the Scotland Office to have their oars in the water; we must conclude that the process should be devolved to Scotland.

The ballot paper design clearly caused confusion and difficulty. I am sure that lessons will be learned. I anticipate that whoever designs the next ballot paper will acknowledge that having two, separate, Holyrood ballot papers is essential.

More thought should be given to which parties are permitted to put their name on the regional ballot paper. Voters are confused by the plethora of minuscule three-men-and-a-dog parties—often recently formed and with as few as three members—that are allowed on the regional list. I am aware of no other legislature that allows such nonsense. It is clear that some voters are confused when they are confronted by ballot papers that include such parties. That does nothing to advance the democratic process.

Margo MacDonald: I am curious to know what the member thinks about one woman without a dog.

Kenneth Gibson: Not a lot, if the truth must be told......... .....In my constituency, an obscure fringe party called the Scottish Liberal Democrats was able to take advantage of the free mailing, despite having no campaign whatever.

Oh dear.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

George Foulkes - Credit Crunch Crap Chat

There isn't much about the HBOS takeover from Lloyds that isn't crap but it seems George Foulkes felt necessary to add some crap chat into the mix, presumably to try cheering us all up:

Short Title: HBOS and Lloyds S3M-02559

George Foulkes (Lothians) (Lab): That the Parliament recognises the personal intervention of the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown MP, in negotiations between HBOS and Lloyds to save Halifax Bank of Scotland; believes that the Prime Minister’s strength of leadership and decisive action will preserve the jobs of thousands of people not only in Scotland but across the United Kingdom and overseas while also securing the finances of tens of thousands more, and further believes that there is no one better equipped to steer the United Kingdom through these difficult economic times than Gordon Brown.

(NB: Thanks to ScottishToryBoy)

Tuesday, 16 September 2008


Each year, MacMillan Cancer Support organises the World's Biggest Coffee Morning. I know one MSP who runs one every year without fail. I was interested to see this motion from Sandra White, which as you read it, seems eminently supportable. Get to the end though and we have "yet again, Glasgow Region SNP MSP's, in conjunction with Stelmain, will hold their own event." Why mention any political party in a motion on such an important issue that affects so many people?

S3M-02547 Sandra White (Glasgow) (Scottish National Party): Wake Up and Smell the Coffee— That the Parliament notes that the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning will be held this year on Friday 26 September; recognises that this event is promoted by MacMillan Cancer Support, which encourages all individuals and organisations to hold their own coffee mornings; notes that last year saw over 50,000 such events raise an incredible £7.5 million; encourages everybody to get involved in this worthwhile cause in the hope that this year’s £8.5 million target is met, and advertises the fact that, yet again, Glasgow Region SNP MSPs, in conjunction with Stelmain, will hold their own event on 22 September at 10.30 am in the Baltic Chambers in Glasgow.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Helen Eadie - Traffic Lights

Was this a serious question?

S3W-15532 Helen Eadie: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans it has to change traffic lights from the current system of red, amber and green lights to red and green only, with a countdown in seconds for each colour.

I suspect the answer will be quite interesting but remember kids, always look left and right before you cross the road, whether the man is green, red or, ahem, amber...

Monday, 8 September 2008

Do your research Mrs Baker...

I guess there's nothing wrong with the subject of this motion - other than the blatant politicisation of sporting success which has received a bit of a kicking on here before. But there's more to this than meets the eye.

Short Title: Good Luck to Andy Murray

S3M-02509 Claire Baker (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab): That the Parliament congratulates Andy Murray on his victory in the US Open semi-final, over Rafael Nadal, to reach his first grand slam final; notes that he is the first Scottish, and only the second British, tennis player to reach a grand slam final in modern day tennis; wishes him all the best in the final against Roger Federer, and hopes that he becomes the first British tennis player to win a grand slam for 72 years, since Fred Perry won the 1936 US Open.

Erm... almost. Except

1) He's not the second British player to reach a Grand Slam final in modern tennis - he's the second male. Virginia Wade won one in 1977, as well as in 1968 and 1972. Kinda difficult to win a Grand Slam without making it to a final - how did she do that?

2) He wouldn't be the first British player to win a grand slam for 72 years: Virginia Wade, Sue Barker both won singles titles, while his brother Jamie won a Grand Slam (doubles title) last year.

Plus, your grasp of punctuation is pretty appalling. Other than that though, great stuff...

Gil Paterson: Scotland likes Firemen

From the department of statin' the bleedin' obvious, we have this pearl:

Date of Lodging: 8 September 2008

Short Title: The Fire and Rescue Service S3M-02504

Gil Paterson (West of Scotland) (SNP): That the Parliament notes the important service that the fire and rescue service provides in our communities and thanks all those who dedicate themselves to delivering it; believes that the quicker fire crews respond to incidents the better chance they have of rescuing those who seek assistance, and supports the campaign to reintroduce incident response standards.

Meanwhile doctors, nurses and train drivers etc go up in arms at not being recognised.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

A Classic SNP/Tory Spat............

Is there nothing of greater importance to bicker over?

Short Title: GB’s Own Goal
S3M-02429 Stuart McMillan (West of Scotland) (SNP): That the Parliament notes the Prime Minister’s comments about a British football team competing in the 2012 Olympics and recognises that Gordon Brown continues to prove his incompetence by ignoring the will of Scottish football supporters as well as of the Scottish Football Association, which states that it is opposed to such a team; further acknowledges the failure of Gordon Brown to listen to the individual Welsh, Northern Irish and English football associations, which are all opposed to a British football team, and calls on Gordon Brown to finally take notice of people in Scotland and stop calling for a British football team for future Olympic games, which would threaten the individual identity of each national team.

S3M-02495 Jamie McGrigor (Highlands and Islands) (Con): That the Parliament
notes the recent discussion over plans for a Great Britain football team; believes that it would be regrettable if Britain did not enter a team in the 2012 Olympics; suggests that such a team could be formed from the winners of a play-off between the under-23 teams from Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and England, and further notes previous statements from FIFA that it has no problem with a GB football team and that this would not impact on countries keeping their individual teams at FIFA games.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

A classic Labour/Tory spat.

People, people, this isn't what motions to Parliament should be for.

*S3M-2456.1 Jackson Carlaw: Condemnation of the Comments of Andrew Lansley and Defence of the NHS in Scotland—As an amendment to motion (S3M-2456) in the name of Margaret Curran, leave out from first "calls on" to end and insert "is wearying of the parade of invitations to pay tribute to the former Lib/Lab administration, rejected by the electorate in May 2007; invites the Scottish Government to press on with evidence-based action to assist the people of Scotland to tackle health inequalities and to do so without fear or favour to the record of the Labour party, which having governed the people of Glasgow for decades has singularly failed to improve health inequalities within the city, and calls on members of all parties to measure success less by reference to health spending and more by reference to health outcomes while ensuring that all people in Scotland, of whatever financial means, can access the healthcare they deserve."

Text of original motion:
S3M-02456 Margaret Curran (Glasgow Baillieston) (Scottish Labour): Condemnation of the Comments of Andrew Lansley and Defence of the NHS in Scotland— That the Parliament calls on Conservative UK Shadow Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley MP, to withdraw his comments suggesting that health spending should be reduced in Glasgow and spent elsewhere in the United Kingdom; believes that Mr Lansley’s apparent conclusion that health spending is inverse to health outcomes and should therefore be reduced in areas of poor health is a perverse logic that risks denying people in most need the healthcare that they require and deserve and that this is an alarming indication of the Conservatives’ intention to cut NHS funding; notes with equal concern that Mr Lansley’s wish may already be being granted by the SNP government in light of the recently announced £42 million of cuts to NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and the fact that health spending in the Scottish Government’s budget fails to match the year-on-year increases of both the UK Government for England and those of the previous Scottish administration; further notes that, if this trend continues, Scotland’s historically higher health spending per head of population is at risk of being reversed within the next five years, and calls on members of all parties to defend the NHS in Scotland from further cuts and ensure that all people in Scotland of whatever financial means can access the healthcare that they deserve.

Seriously, no-one listens to this kind of Punch and Judy stuff, no matter how important the actual issues may be. Just leave it out. Actually, I fear we'll get an SNP amendment too, given that Mags named them in her original motion.

It's back!

MSPs return from their summer holidays today so this can only mean one thing - Crap Holyrood Chat is back!

Scotland's cyberspace home of the great and good - sorry, scrap that - the terrible and inane chat that often emanate from our elected representatives kicks off again today too.

The site was set up during the summer so thus far we have only had retrospective inclusions. But now we can get a daily update of the nonsense that we are often subjected to in the name of democracy.

As the site's mission statement says the following is up for inclusion on CHC: "unnecessary partisan rants, intellectually-lacking speeches and/or ignorant waffling from our MSPs". So if you spot anything that fits the bill let us know.

Of course it's always open to MSPs to ensure there's nothing worthy (or rather unworthy) to put on the site. So the challenge has been set - let's see what happens next.

Gil Paterson - Fitba' crazy, fitba' daft

It pains me to have to kick off the post-recess period with an SNP motion but some people have to learn.....

S3M-02458 Gil Paterson (West of Scotland) (Scottish National Party):

Save Scotland's National Team— That the Parliament notes the recent comments by the General Secretary of UEFA who has given the starkest warning so far that a British football team performing at the Olympic Games would jeopardise Scotland’s independent football status, stating that “It is the quickest way for Scotland to disappear off of the international stage”, and calls on all members who wish to see Scotland continue to participate in international football to use their influence to defend Scotland’s footballing legacy and save Scotland’s national team status.

No further questions your honour.