Thursday, 23 October 2008

We support Painful Mergers!

Of PQs that are clearly the same broad topic, and sub topic, it really isn't to hard to just ask the one question, or if you are George Foulkes, don't ask any questions at all!

George Foulkes (Lothians) (Lab): To ask the Scottish Executive which Scottish ministers and junior Scottish ministers have received security clearance.

George Foulkes (Lothians) (Lab): To ask the Scottish Executive which of its officials have received security clearance.

George Foulkes (Lothians) (Lab): To ask the Scottish Executive what mechanisms exist for official complaints by ministers to the broadcasting authorities in Scotland and what representations have been made since May 2007 on behalf of which ministers.

George Foulkes (Lothians) (Lab): To ask the Scottish Executive what representations the First Minister has made to BBC Scotland since May 2007.

Irene Oldfather (Cunninghame South) (Lab): To ask the Scottish Executive whether care home staff qualify for free flu vaccinations in 2008.

Irene Oldfather (Cunninghame South) (Lab): To ask the Scottish Executive what the uptake was of the flu vaccination by care home staff in 2007.

Irene Oldfather (Cunninghame South) (Lab): To ask the Scottish Executive what guidance has been issued in 2008 in relation to flu vaccinations for care home staff.

Pensioner's Parliament

S3M-02744 Sandra White (Glasgow) (Scottish National Party): Pensioners Take Their Place at Holyrood— That the Parliament welcomes the ringing endorsement for the establishment of a pensioners’ parliament, unanimously agreed at the recent SNP conference in Perth; notes that a clear objective of one of the longest-standing cross-party groups (CPG) in the Scottish Parliament, the CPG on Older People, Age and Ageing, has been for the establishment of this forum, and looks forward to working with all relevant parties in making this commitment a reality.

A pensioner's parliament? Are you actually having a laugh?

"In response to my honourable colleague Betty, yes I am going to the bingo tonight and, aye, the nights are indeed fair drawin' in"

Don't see it myself....

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Cathy Peattie: Ehhh

You can't argue with the motion really, but firing something as contraversial a statement as is contained in this, without a factual or statistical representations, just makes you look like a ranting lunatic who makes sweeping generalisations. I'll highlight it, if it doesn't stand out as much as it did for me.

S3M-2725 Cathy Peattie: This is Not an Invitation to Rape Me—That the Parliament welcomes Rape Crisis Scotland’s new campaign, This is Not an Invitation to Rape Me, which aims to tackle women-blaming attitudes towards rape in a nationwide advertising campaign; notes that many Scots still believe that women are in some way responsible for being raped if they are dressed in revealing clothing, are drunk, are flirting, or are known to have had many sexual partners; further notes that although rape within marriage was made a crime in Scotland from 1989, the myth persists that women are only raped by strangers and not their partners; believes that social attitudes continue to play a significant role in limiting justice for women who have experienced rape, with a Scottish conviction rate of only 2.9%, and in central Scotland as low as one conviction from seven prosecutions and 45 allegations, with an estimated 40% of rapes unreported, and congratulates the campaign for its use of distinctive images featuring women in everyday settings, challenging people’s attitudes towards rape and tackling the myths and prejudices that undermine women’s right to say no.

Kenny G... Record Breaker

Well, a good day for Kenny Gibson. With this post, hes weeks ahead as most labelled MSP, and now he has given us what I believe is the longest, and possibly most boring motion ever.

Enjoy(if you can)

*S3M-2731 Kenneth Gibson: Universal Service Obligation—That the Parliament commends the Communication Workers Union for its ongoing campaign to save the universal service obligation (USO) for the benefit of Royal Mail, its customers and its employees; looks forward to the final report from the review of the UK postal services sector, an independent panel headed by Richard Hooper, formerly Deputy Chairman of the Office of Communications (Ofcom), to be published in the autumn; notes that the review team’s initial response in May 2008 stated that competition within the sector had "brought no significant benefits" to either the public or small businesses and went on to express its view that "there is now a substantial threat to Royal Mail’s financial stability and therefore, the universal service obligation…the status quo is not tenable. It will not deliver our shared vision for the postal sector and there is a strong case for action"; considers that the UK Government rushed into market liberalisation too quickly – some five years earlier than required by European Union legislation and some way ahead of the rest of the continent; believes that the decision to advance liberalisation together with the pro-competition brief given to industry regulator Postcomm and the operating restrictions that it has imposed on Royal Mail have combined to create a fundamentally skewed UK postal market, which unfairly advantages new competitor companies at the expense of the incumbent; is concerned that, while Royal Mail is obliged by law to provide a universal service and is subject to crippling price and product innovation restrictions, new market entrants are allowed, even encouraged, to cherry-pick business from the more profitable parts of the industry therefore eating into Royal Mail’s traditional revenues while adding zero value to the service as a whole; is alarmed that the universal service recorded a loss of the first time in 2007-08 of around £100 million compared to a profit of £2 million the previous year, that Royal Mail’s regulated business, which includes the USO, made a loss of over £200 million in 2007-08 compared to a loss of £69 million the previous year and that the Royal Mail’s overall letter business also made a loss last year of £3 million, down from a profit of £136 million the previous year; understands that the USO is vital for Scotland, particularly with regard to the many rural and remote areas where communities are dependent on reliable postal services; concurs with the view that it is absolutely crucial that the Royal Mail remains a wholly publicly-owned, integrated company and that any moves towards privatisation, share flotation or joint venture with private capital or any separation of Post Office Limited from the Royal Mail Group by the UK Government must be resisted, and calls for Postcomm and its remit to be fundamentally reformed to refocus on defending the UK’s postal services to the public, for USO to be supported, ensuring that it is funded by all who use the service so that it can then be protected and extended to cover small to medium-sized businesses and to preserve our post office network, and for the Royal Mail to be able to exercise more freedom over pricing and new product and service innovation in order to operate successfully and, in particular, to take advantage of the expanding parcels and packages market while understanding that modernisation must not become a code word for cuts and terminal decline.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Kenny G - Wrong Party

At a time when many are saying that there is a need for greater and more varied parties in Parliament, as there was in 2003, it is refreshing to see that Kenny Gibson is considering switching his political allegiance to the Scottish Senior Citizens Unity Party. I'm sure this policy was on their manifesto.

S3M-02651 Kenneth Gibson (Cunninghame North) (Scottish National Party): Scottish Pensioners' Parliament— That the Parliament notes the importance of considering the perspectives of older people through the establishment of a Scottish Pensioners’ Parliament, similar to the Scottish Youth Parliament; recognises that pensioners need to be able to express more fully their concerns about current issues and suggest solutions for their problems, and welcomes the effort of older people to come together to debate issues of importance to them, their families and Scotland.

Maybe Kenny is angling for a post 65 post, but with the childish nature of some of his motions, he might be better suited in the Youth Parliament.

Friday, 10 October 2008


The SNP could accept that some motions are going to have sly dig at them, and Labour accepted that not all motions need to have a sly dig as a pre-requisite, we would have a lot less of the damn things!

*S3M-2699 Claire Baker: Congratulations on Scottish University World Rankings—That the Parliament notes the publication of the 2008 Times Higher Education QS World University Rankings; congratulates the University of Edinburgh, University of Glasgow and University of St Andrews for being ranked in the top 100; further congratulates the University of Aberdeen for being ranked in the top 200 universities in the world; recognises that Scottish universities make up four of the 29 UK universities in the top 200; notes the improved ranking of the University of Glasgow and the drop in ranking for the University of St Andrews and University of Aberdeen; notes the drop in ranking of the University of Dundee out of the top 200 world universities; further notes the delay in publishing the final report of the Joint Future Thinking Taskforce on Universities; highlights the serious financial concerns expressed by many leaders across the university sector in Scotland over the last few weeks, and calls on the Scottish Government to come forward with concrete and substantive proposals to ensure Scotland’s universities maintain and build on their current international position over the coming years.

We at Crap Holyrood Chat have been reliably informed that the office of Joe Fitzpatrick have urged colleagues not to sign this motion, and that his own stunning riposte, and alternative motion congratulating these institutions will be "circulated shortly".

Baited Breath Anyone?

A Motion Cubed

Can someone please comment and shed some light on this?

Correct me if I'm wrong: this is a motion, on a motion, on a motion?

Indulging in party politics by explicity slagging off someone else for indulging in party politics? There are too many repititions here, my head hurts. Read for yourselves:

Short Title: Working Together on Child Poverty and the Minimum Wage

S3M-02659 Bob Doris (Glasgow) (SNP): That the Parliament
expresses its disappointment that Labour MSP Mary Mulligan should engage in party politics on the issue of child poverty by laying down her amendment, S3M-2621.1, to motion S3M-2621 (Ending the Shame of Child Poverty); condemns the amendment on the basis that it seeks to break the unity that exists across a broad spectrum of political parties on the important issue of the national minimum wage by implying that this important development in the fight against poverty was not supported by SNP MPs; notes that SNP MPs voted in favour of the national minimum wage more often than Tony Blair and as often as Gordon Brown MP but would not use this information to imply a lack of commitment to the national minimum wage from either of the aforementioned MPs; acknowledges that SNP MPs not only supported the Bill but took part in the committee which oversaw its progress; looks forward to the continuation of a cross-party approach to tackling child poverty, and hopes that Mary Mulligan MSP will once again be part of that cross-party approach.

Kenny G and Lord George Again... Surely Not?

Quite possibly the first direct and very personal attack on another MSP this Parliamentary session comes from the man who seems to be sustaining this very blog. Take it away George(read: Kezia) and Kenny. Seconds out!

S3M-02668 George Foulkes (Lothians) (Lab): That the Parliament
recognises the need to examine the current school meals crisis in Edinburgh and across the country as a result of severely cash-strapped local authorities; questions the SNP government’s success in fulfilling its ambitions set out in the historic concordat and single outcome agreements to tackle childhood obesity and promote healthy eating at a time when school kitchens are closing and hot healthy school meals are being replaced with imported, pre-packed, often processed food; feels that these actions undermine the good reputation that the Parliament has achieved in securing free healthy school meals and promoting healthy living through initiatives like Hungry for Success, and further recognises the need to give every child the best possible start in life.

S3M-02668.1 Kenneth Gibson (Cunninghame North) (Scottish National Party): School Meals— As an amendment to motion S3M-2668 in the name of George Foulkes (School Meals), leave out from first "recognises" to end and insert "considers that George Foulkes MSP would be better lobbying his Westminster colleagues for the additional resources that Scotland needs and deserves than complaining about how existing resources are being spent; is aware that UK Government significantly underestimated the level of inflation for this year, impacting on the ability of the Scottish Government and the areas over which it has responsibility to deliver services as effectively as would otherwise be the case, and believes that the UK Government should make good the financial shortfall caused by the tightness of this year’s settlement in order that the Scottish Government can pass on those resources proportionately to local government, the NHS and all other departments."