Thursday, 11 February 2010

FMQs 11 February 2010




The main opposition questions concentrated on the MSP for Glasgow Govan, Nicola Sturgeon. Ms Sturgeon wrote to a court on behalf of a constituent. The details are here.

For those who don't live in Scotland, or for that matter Scots who live in the east like me, read the west coast dweller Ian MacQuarrie's 'on-the-spot' post to gain an insight into the politics of the area and the reasons why labour are calling for her resignation.

The First Minister strongly supported Ms Sturgeon and reiterated, several times, the Parliament's Code of Conduct for MSPs. It is well within an MSP's remit to write to a court on behalf of a constituent as long as there are no conflicts of interest.

Before today's FMQs I was of the opinion Ms Sturgeon had made an error of judgement. Iain Gray's question to the chamber: 'Hands up any member who has ever written to a court on behalf of a constituent,' receiving not one response made me realise that perhaps it's me who made an error of judgement.

Surely people charged with criminal offences approach their MSPs for advice or help on occasion, yet not one admits to writing to courts on their behalf. Are many of our MSPs being judge and jury instead of undertaking their duties without prejudice and leaving the judiciary to their duties? Iain Gray has exposed a possible flaw in the attitudes of many MSPs.

Nicola Sturgeon broke no rule by writing to the court and it's heartening to know that she is prepared to act for all her constituents. What is concerning is other MSPs don't appear to have ever supported a constituent in this manner. It says far more about them than it does about Ms Sturgeon.

Next week Holyrood is closed for parliamentary business so no FMQs.

You can watch this week's episode at HolyroodTV and it will also shortly be available on the BBC iPlayer.

11 comments:

Sandy said...

I have to agree with you SR.

The fact that some brave MSPs are willing to act on behalf of their constituents sent shock waves through the opposition benches.

Mr. Mxyzptlk said...

On one day Alex is asking for clarification on the Parliament's Code of Conduct for MSPs



The next is quoting chapter and verse on the Parliament's Code of Conduct for MSPs

stand up the real Alex Salmond!

The wheels have come of the snp leadership big time.

subrosa said...

It did Sandy and I hope it doesn't discourage the few others who do.

It certainly shows the ones who don't though.

subrosa said...

Tosh Niko!

Mr. Mxyzptlk said...

Lots of evidence to support my Tosh
just look around!

People deserting the snp in droves

Alex up on (another) charge

Nicola up on two charges

Referendum(snp flag ship promise) binned

The list of snp calamitys gets bigger everyday..you wonder what will be the next disaster to befall them?

Munguin said...

I also agree SR; is there nothing that Labour and the Unionists will not do to forward the cause of party and nothing else? Do we really want to see Scotland run for the sake of the game of party politicking and not for the sake of the people? Well done Nicola I say and shame on all the rest.

wisnaeme said...

Nicola has come out of this stramash with her honour and integrity intact.

I wish she and the oh so few others of her calibre were around fourteen years ago or so, when the Skye bridge toll protesters were up against apparently insurmountable odds when battling with the courts, the establishment, the system and the bastions of Westmidden's remittance to govern as they saw fit. I would have had heart felt gratitude to have her represent myself then and I would have confidence in her representing myself if my circumstances were appropiate and warranted seeking her representation in the future.

She has done herself no great mischief with her conduct and fair mindedness in the carrying out of her parliamentary duties on behalf of her constituent and doing right by that representation.

Is it not a pity that there aren't many more like her. Aye and there's precious little evidence of that sort of humane judgement or exemplary conduct being present amongst Westmidden's elite either by way of representation in recent decades. That's for sure.
.

subrosa said...

Oh dear Niko, at least the SNP have managed to keep a leader for more than a year.

subrosa said...

The very fact a QC made the letter public let's us see the type of individual he is - even though he likes singing sectarian songs and inciting catholics.

subrosa said...

And she's the best Health secretary Scotland's had for 50 years wisnaeme.

joe90 kane said...

Surely people charged with criminal offences approach their MSPs for advice or help on occasion, yet not one admits to writing to courts on their behalf. Are many of our MSPs being judge and jury instead of undertaking their duties without prejudice and leaving the judiciary to their duties? Iain Gray has exposed a possible flaw in the attitudes of many MSPs.
- With regards to this excellent observation, subrosa, on Iain Gray asking MSPs at First Minister's Questions to put up their hands if they'd made represenations to courts on behalf of their constituents - it puts me in mind of Bertolt Brecht's criticisms of the East German government, when he said,
"Wouldn't it be simpler...for the government to dissolve the people and elect another one?'

Iain Gray thinks he should be allowed to vet his constituents so he can decide if they're pure enough for him to represent them.

Iain has obviously got our liberal democracy confused with how the defunct single-party states of former Eastern Europe used to be run.

The Scottish electorate, like the East German electorate, doesn't seem to be good enough for the Labour Party and the British party of government - I couldn't agree more.

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