Annabel Goldie MSP

Welcome to Annabel Goldie MSP's biography pages

Annabel Goldie MSP

Here you can find out about your MSPs' political activities and how to get in touch with them.

Parliamentary Activities

Search for other Speeches made by Annabel Goldie

Meeting of the Parliament 05 March 2015 Business until 16:03 : Thursday, March 05, 2015
Annabel Goldie (West Scotland) (Con)

I am delighted to speak in this debate and I, too, thank George Adam for lodging the motion.

Fair trade is unusual in that it works both in theory and in practice. It pledges fair prices for producers in developing countries and gives back power to producers and consumers. Often, many of the farmers and workers who supply necessities such as food and clothing—the things that we take for granted—are left without those self-same necessities. Those producers—the farmers and workers—repeatedly work for poor wages, can be badly treated and can be fired for daring to complain, and fair trade offers vital protection and support. Indeed, some producers have said that it would be impossible to continue farming without it. Fair trade is what it says on the tin; it is about making trade fair and ensuring decent wages and working conditions for producers and workers. In fact, it is a win-win situation for producers and workers, because it means that they can control their futures and lead a life with the dignity and respect to which everyone is entitled.

Consumers have a vital role to play in this. After all, fair trade consumers have the power to change and influence communities around the world every day, and I am delighted that our own Parliament shop stocks some fair trade products. I have with me a bar of Scottish Parliament fair trade chocolate that, to save me from myself, I shall donate to Mr Adam in a gesture of fair trade solidarity.

How many of us know where the fair trade products in our stores are, and do we always remember to buy them? I could do a lot better—and I suspect I am not alone. George Adam made some very interesting suggestions for expanding awareness of fair trade through sport and the involvement of young people. Indeed, young people are important in all this, and I am delighted to welcome to the gallery pupils from St Patrick’s primary school in Coatbridge. It is lovely to have them here, and I hope that they are enjoying the debate and are finding the subject interesting.

In my area, Renfrewshire achieved fair trade zone status in February 2009 after a campaign led by Renfrewshire Council, local fair trade groups, schools, churches and businesses. Renfrewshire also has a fair trade steering group, which was set up to increase awareness of fair trade across Renfrewshire. I should at this point mention Rainbow Turtle, which is an important retailer of fair trade products.

Even before that, in May 2007, my home village of Bishopton become the first village in Renfrewshire to be awarded fair trade village status. Not even Mr Adam can eclipse that local achievement, which recognised the hard work and commitment of local people in doing what they could to help. Now Paisley, Renfrew, Johnstone, Lochwinnoch and Kilbarchan, all of which are in Renfrewshire, have achieved fair trade status. That is a very useful indicator and should act as a very useful encouragement to other communities with regard to what can be achieved when there is a will and desire to support this tremendous initiative. Indeed, as Patricia Ferguson and others have pointed out, Scotland became a fair trade nation in February 2013.

We are all consumers, which means that everyone can do something to support fair trade, and Fairtrade fortnight provides an ideal opportunity to show our support to producers and workers around the world. We can all play a part and get involved in Fairtrade fortnight by buying or consuming fair trade products, safe in the knowledge that every fair trade product purchased goes towards helping farmers and workers in some of the poorest parts of the world. It gives them real support, real encouragement and real guidance and help for a more positive and sustainable future.

12:53  

Meeting of the Parliament 04 March 2015 : Wednesday, March 04, 2015
Annabel Goldie (West Scotland) (Con)

This section 30 order is historic and represents the first legislative change to be brought about following the Smith commission’s report. The order is the forerunner of a major package of powers being brought forward by the UK Government that will make this Parliament one of the most powerful devolved legislatures in the world.

In itself, the order powerfully refutes the proposition peddled by the yes campaign in last year’s referendum that no new powers would flow to the Parliament in the event of a no vote. Today, that bogus assertion has been laid bare; the new powers, which are based on cross-party consensus, have indeed begun to flow. The draft provisions for a new Scotland bill have been published, and the UK Government is focused on final revisions to them and on launching various strands of public engagement.

However, the order is more than a mere taster. Today, we have a devolved and developed proposal for a new power that is substantial in itself. The order proposes a significant change to the franchise in Scotland and it represents an important development for 16 and 17-year-olds that reflects the impressively high levels of interest, engagement and awareness that we witnessed from that age group during the referendum.

In 1928, women were given suffrage on an equal status to men; in 1969, the franchise was lowered from 21 to 18; and today we see a further exciting development. We in the Conservative Party welcome this first piece of post-Smith agreement UK legislation. It is a significant step in the process of delivering to the Parliament the new powers to which all the parties in the chamber have agreed. I support the motion.

17:13  

Meeting of the Parliament 04 March 2015 : Wednesday, March 04, 2015
Annabel Goldie

The new facility is iconic and is a beacon for Scotland in the delivery of healthcare, but serious concerns have emerged about the inadequacy of both public transport and car parking provision. Much of what the cabinet secretary refers to is still to happen, yet by June there are expected to be 10,000 staff on the site and unquantifiable numbers of visitors. Frankly, all that the Scottish Government has offered us is rosy procrastination. Why has it allowed the crisis to develop and what is it doing about it now?



Meeting of the Parliament 04 March 2015 : Wednesday, March 04, 2015
1. Annabel Goldie (West Scotland) (Con)

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking in response to the petition signed by over 7,000 staff, patients and members of the public demanding adequate parking and public transport at the new south Glasgow hospitals. (S4O-04062)



Meeting of the Parliament 03 March 2015 : Tuesday, March 03, 2015
Annabel Goldie

In short, the Scottish Government’s response explains why all the information is there, but the question remaining is why not put that into a report?

This is a good bill. It is important; it is welcome. It will make a difference and my party supports it.

16:46  

Meeting of the Parliament 03 March 2015 : Tuesday, March 03, 2015
Annabel Goldie (West Scotland) (Con)

The debate has been genuinely interesting. There have been moments of exchange and passion, and it represents the conclusion of an important and interesting process for a number of reasons.

The bill’s scrutiny, which was embarked on by the Welfare Reform Committee, followed the operation of an interim scheme that was the implement of devolution of the social fund. That background is important for both local authorities and the Scottish Government, as it informed them about what works and what does not work. That practical information has informed both the bill and the scrutiny process, and I hope that this legislative process will provide a template for how the Parliament approaches the new and important welfare powers that are being delivered on the back of the Smith agreement.

The bill does something else, too. It rightly recognises the relevance and the importance of using local authorities, with their geographical spread, for the delivery of a key welfare provision. It also recognises that the local authorities have gleaned experience and have built up expertise that forms a solid base for the current system and holds out well for the future. I foresee further opportunities for local authorities when the new powers are introduced.

It is clear that the bill, with the amendments that were passed today, provides a vital local link to people in sudden and perhaps unpredicted need, with the swift provision of help to meet that need. There is also a welcome recognition of the importance of conferring on local authorities flexibility in how to meet that need. We are all agreed that, when extreme difficulty is encountered, help should be at hand that is quick and appropriate. I think that the bill achieves that objective.

However, I was less than impressed by the Scottish Government’s opposition to Mr Macintosh’s amendment 4, which would have enabled qualifying individuals to include those who are part of a family facing exceptional pressure. Mr Macintosh argued his point well and identified a need to clarify the definition of qualifying individuals. The Scottish Government said that the amendment would place the bill beyond the scope of the section 30 order and that the whole bill would then become ultra vires. That may be an opinion, but the minister failed to clarify what legal advice had been sought, from whom and what it said. During the passage of the bill, she also failed to clarify whether she had consulted the UK Government on its attitude to such a provision. In short, the Scottish Government’s response was unsatisfactory and unconvincing.

Interestingly, section 2(1) as unamended—this may offer unexpected succour to Ken Macintosh and the minister—seems to refer to “individuals”, so presumably a family, which comprises individuals, could all present themselves, as individuals, and be addressed under the section. How the clarifying amendment creates an ultra vires status is bizarre.

It is equally important to understand that when people find themselves in such distressing situations they might find it difficult to think clearly or to describe what their circumstances are, so providing for a local authority review of decisions and a referral to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman are important safeguards. They also provide reassurance to the claimant. That is an important aspect of the legislation.

If claimants are entitled to reassurance—and they are—this Parliament and the taxpayer are entitled to be reassured that the system is working effectively and transparently. My party supported Margaret McDougall’s amendment 8 to provide for reports to be laid before the Parliament by the Scottish Government. That seemed to be an entirely reasonable requirement.



Meeting of the Parliament 25 February 2015 : Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Annabel Goldie

With a threat so serious as that posed by new psychoactive substances, it is deeply disappointing that the information that I have requested is not available from the Scottish Government. How does it know what is going on and, in such ignorance, how can it respond to the threat?

Will the Solicitor General endeavour to find out the information and will she and the Lord Advocate liaise with the chief constable about issuing guidance to police officers to clarify what circumstances justify a charge of culpable and reckless conduct being brought against those who supply these dangerous substances?



Meeting of the Parliament 25 February 2015 : Wednesday, February 25, 2015
8. Annabel Goldie (West Scotland) (Con)

To ask the Scottish Government how many people supplying new psychoactive substances have been charged under common law with reckless and culpable conduct, and how many convictions have resulted. (S4O-04048)



Meeting of the Parliament 24 February 2015 : Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Annabel Goldie

I accept that, and I think that most practitioners or people signing such contracts will be absolutely clear that they want to know what the document is and what they are signing. The bill makes clear a mechanism for ensuring that that can be done. However, the point is that people can in good faith negotiate a contract and reach an agreed position that they distil into the final version of the contract document, then get a signing copy of the document and a page to execute, and then return the executed page, only to find that, through mere error, that page has been appended to an earlier version of the contract. That mistake could happen simply because we are departing from physically attaching the signature to the thing.

I am not disagreeing for a moment with the proposition that we need to modernise procedure and, as I have said, I welcome the bill. However, I point out that this is a fairly major departure from what has happened in the past, and there is a potential for difficulty. All that I want to be sure about is that we try to minimise that. The Law Society has a role to play in that mitigation, as does the Scottish Parliament.

15:02  

Meeting of the Parliament 24 February 2015 : Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Annabel Goldie

It is evident from the tenor of today’s debate that the bill has cross-party support, and I restate my party’s support for it. It is fair to say that members have focused largely on the advantages of the reforms in the bill. That is wise, because there has been considerable doubt as to whether documents can be executed in counterpart under Scots law, and the bill provides the necessary clarification for legal practitioners.

I acknowledge the need to adapt and change our centuries-old legal system to meet the exigencies of the modern age. I am pleased that Scottish businesses will no longer be deterred by the impracticalities of the signing ceremony or the round-robin process that has been the hallmark of getting deeds executed to date.

Many members—including Lewis Macdonald, Stewart Stevenson and Margaret McCulloch—recognised that the increased speed of transactions and potential savings in travel and accommodation costs will no doubt benefit the business community, and that is to be welcomed. However, I reiterate that the issue of safeguards remains. In his opening speech in the stage 1 debate last year, the minister emphasised that

“the approach has been to ensure that the legislation is permissive and as flexible as possible.”—[Official Report, 25 November 2014; c 36.]

I fully accept that that is a well-intentioned approach, but I am a little anxious that the new arrangements could facilitate fraud or, more conceivably, error. As I said in my opening speech, I realise that those are both possibilities under existing arrangements and I understand that execution in counterpart is an optional process, but most practitioners and their clients will opt to adopt what is proposed in the bill.

As parliamentarians, we have to guard against even theoretical or notional risks. Although the committee and the stage 1 witnesses were satisfied that such risks were negligible, and I respect their conclusions, I do not fully agree with that assessment.

On the potential for fraud and error, Stewart Stevenson made a characteristically interesting observation about the role of mathematics and electronics. I would comment in more detail on that, but I am not sure that I understood it all. However, I understood Mike MacKenzie’s colourful addendum to Mr Stevenson’s speech about the potentially terminal consequences of overreliance on such techniques.

I again urge the Parliament to seriously consider post-legislative scrutiny of the bill at some appropriate point in the future to ensure that, if any loopholes have emerged, we can deal with them. I also reiterate that the Law Society of Scotland should issue to practitioners practice guidance notes to ensure that signatories know what they are signing and that the agreed signed version or a copy is retained in a physical form, whether that is a PDF file or a paper copy.

Vote DetailMSP VoteResult

S4M-12521.2 Jackie Baillie: Protecting Public Services and Boosting Scotland’s Economy—As an amendme
>> Show more
NoDefeated

S4M-12521.1 Gavin Brown: Protecting Public Services and Boosting Scotland’s Economy—As an amendment
>> Show more
YesDefeated

S4M-12521.3 Willie Rennie: Protecting Public Services and Boosting Scotland’s Economy—As an amendmen
>> Show more
AbstainDefeated

S4M-12521 John Swinney: Protecting Public Services and Boosting Scotland’s Economy—That the Parliame
>> Show more
NoCarried

S4M-12495 Joe FitzPatrick on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau: Business Motion—That the Parliament
>> Show more
NoCarried

S4M-12491.2 John Swinney: Privacy and the State—As an amendment to motion S4M-12491 in the name of W
>> Show more
NoCarried

S4M-12491.1 Richard Simpson: Privacy and the State—As an amendment to motion S4M-12491 in the name o
>> Show more
YesDefeated

S4M-12491 Willie Rennie: Privacy and the State—That the Parliament notes the Scottish Government’s c
>> Show more
NoCarried

S4M-12492.2 Jamie Hepburn: Mental Health—As an amendment to motion S4M-12492 in the name of Jim Hume
>> Show more
YesCarried

S4M-12492 Jim Hume: Mental Health—That the Parliament notes that one in four people will experience
>> Show more
YesCarried

Search for other Motions lodged by Annabel Goldie
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-12443: Annabel Goldie, West Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 25/02/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12250: Annabel Goldie, West Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 04/02/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12143: Annabel Goldie, West Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 22/01/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11843: Annabel Goldie, West Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 09/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10422: Annabel Goldie, West Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 20/06/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10309: Annabel Goldie, West Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 12/06/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-09934: Annabel Goldie, West Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 02/05/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-09844: Annabel Goldie, West Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 28/04/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-09748.2: Annabel Goldie, West Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 17/04/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-09714: Annabel Goldie, West Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 10/04/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Search for other Questions asked by Annabel Goldie
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S4O-04062: Annabel Goldie, West Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 23/02/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-04048: Annabel Goldie, West Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 17/02/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03946: Annabel Goldie, West Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 19/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03938: Annabel Goldie, West Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 12/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03910: Annabel Goldie, West Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 05/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03528: Annabel Goldie, West Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 15/09/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03491: Annabel Goldie, West Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 11/08/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03445: Annabel Goldie, West Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 28/07/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03371: Annabel Goldie, West Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 09/06/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03318: Annabel Goldie, West Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 22/05/2014 Show Full Question >>

Further information

Email our Public Information Service for more information.