Fiona Hyslop MSP

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Fiona Hyslop MSP

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  • Member for: Linlithgow
  • Region: Lothian
  • Party: Scottish National Party

Fiona is a member of the following Committees:

Fiona is a member of the following Cross-Party Groups:

Parliamentary Activities

Search for other Speeches made by The Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs (Fiona Hyslop)

Meeting of the Parliament 26 November 2014 : Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Fiona Hyslop

The Wemyss caves are quite remarkable. After the member led a members’ business debate on the subject, he invited me to visit them. I saw at first hand the remarkable artwork in the caves, and I got a real sense of the caves’ vulnerability.

The management group that was brought together included local partners such as the Save Wemyss Ancient Caves Society, Fife Council, the Fife Coast and Countryside Trust and the Wemyss estate, which is the owner of the site, and is advised and supported by Historic Scotland and by Scottish Coastal Archaeology and the Problem of Erosion—SCAPE.

The group is taking forward the five recommendations of a report that was put together last year: jointly to resource a management plan, to provide support for a feasibility study for a cultural centre, to develop better integration between local and national bodies for long-term coastal management between East Wemyss and Buckhaven, to complete the scanning project for the caves, and for the main government partners to work together to empower local groups to deliver key management aims.

I know that David Torrance is passionate about the Wemyss caves. I share his anxiety about the immediate threats from some of the coastal work that is taking place around Fife and about the potential implications of that over the next few months and into spring next year, so I have asked Government agencies to identify some immediate issues as well as driving forward the management plan.

I think that more people should be aware of the Wemyss caves, and I thank the member for drawing the matter to the Parliament’s attention.



Meeting of the Parliament 26 November 2014 : Wednesday, November 26, 2014
The Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs (Fiona Hyslop)

The Scottish Government protects and supports the historic environment in many ways. We have worked collaboratively to develop “Our Place in Time”, the first ever historic environment strategy for Scotland, which sets out a common vision and ambition for how we will protect and support our historic environment over the next 10 years. I have convened a strategic forum to oversee and drive the delivery of the strategy and its aims.

Through Historic Scotland, the Scottish ministers work closely with local authorities, landowners and communities to protect and enhance our country’s historic environment. Historic Scotland also administers grants for historic environment projects on behalf of the Scottish ministers. That amounts to about £14.5 million a year, which is available to help enhance and promote the historic environment for the benefit of our communities.



Meeting of the Parliament 26 November 2014 : Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Fiona Hyslop

The member is right to identify that this is not just about the availability of a film studio. We have the development in Cumbernauld where “Outlander” is being filmed, but we are also talking about production, development and the promotion of our fantastic scenery. A number of productions have been made in the south of Scotland, but we have to promote all Scotland. The wonderful light in the member’s constituency is attractive not only to artists and has been used in a number of productions, such as “Two Thousand Acres of Sky”, which was filmed in the member’s area. I am conscious of that and of the wonderful scenery that is available in Scotland, and I reflect on the wonderful talent and skills that we want to be able to deploy in Scotland. When we have the opportunity to develop our proposals further, I will announce them to Parliament.



Meeting of the Parliament 26 November 2014 : Wednesday, November 26, 2014
The Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs (Fiona Hyslop)

We are committed, together with our partners Scottish Enterprise and Creative Scotland, to securing a permanent film studio for Scotland, and we will make an announcement as soon as possible.



Meeting of the Parliament 26 November 2014 : Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Fiona Hyslop

Indeed. As part of the homecoming celebrations throughout the year, events are taking place all over Scotland. That is also the case in relation to the St Andrew’s weekend and the winter festivals.

The member makes a good point about showcasing particular music in different areas. I hope that the regular funding that has been announced of £600,000 for three years for the Beacon arts centre in Greenock—from 2015 to 2018—will also provide opportunities for music, theatre and arts in the member’s region.



Meeting of the Parliament 26 November 2014 : Wednesday, November 26, 2014
The Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs (Fiona Hyslop)

The Scottish Government is not directly planning arts and culture events in the West Scotland parliamentary region. Indirect support for arts and culture events, however, is provided through public bodies such as Creative Scotland and VisitScotland’s event directorate, EventScotland, which are supporting arts organisations and venues that hold events in the region.



Meeting of the Parliament 26 November 2014 : Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Fiona Hyslop

—along with the Belladrum tartan heart festival and the Hebridean celtic festival. The member might want to reflect not only on his cultural experience but on his geography.



Meeting of the Parliament 26 November 2014 : Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Fiona Hyslop

I point out that Woodend Arts, one of the organisations behind the Sound festival, became regularly funded for the first time to the tune of £400,000. The Sound festival is funded to March 2015 and has £52,000 of transitional funding, and it is eligible for the £150,000 per project funding that is available.

On the member’s point about music festivals between Edinburgh and Lerwick, I point out that there is a wide range of music festivals between those places, from large-scale commercial events such as T in the Park to free events such as the Dundee blues bonanza. Creative Scotland funds the Orkney festival, the St Magnus international festival, the Niel Gow fiddle festival, Mendelssohn on Mull, the Stonehaven folk festival, which the member will be familiar with—



Meeting of the Parliament 26 November 2014 : Wednesday, November 26, 2014
The Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs (Fiona Hyslop)

Creative Scotland’s funding decisions are a matter for the Creative Scotland board. The recent decisions that were made on regular funding followed a robust assessment process and the Scottish Government accepts them. Difficult decisions had to be made as there were applications worth £212 million for an available budget of £100 million. More organisations than ever before have received funding for three years. It is that stable funding that allows organisations to plan and deliver with a greater deal of security. Some 20 organisations are new to three-year funding, 26 move from two-year funding to three-year funding and 31 move from annual funding to three-year funding.

I am pleased that Aberdeen Performing Arts, Citymoves dance agency, Deveron Arts, Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee Repertory Theatre, Hospitalfield arts, North East Arts Touring, Peacock Visual Arts, Scottish dance theatre, the Scottish Sculpture Workshop and Woodend Arts in the member’s parliamentary region have been funded. As part of the assessment process, Creative Scotland looked to achieve the best possible geographical coverage.



Meeting of the Parliament 25 November 2014 : Tuesday, November 25, 2014
The Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs (Fiona Hyslop)

I thank Marco Biagi for lodging the motion and congratulate him on his recent appointment. I look forward to working with him in the Scottish Government. I also thank Kenneth Gibson for leading the debate and both members for securing this evening’s debate. I am in no doubt that by securing the debate they have promoted greater understanding of the Holodomor and the magnitude of its impact in Ukraine and on the Ukrainian people.

I want to reflect on Kenneth Gibson’s words and how we all have a duty to face man’s capacity to be inhuman on such a horrendous scale. Robert Burns captured that capacity when he wrote

“Man’s inhumanity to man
Makes countless thousands mourn!”

We also have an international obligation to recognise the horror that that brings with it.

The Holodomor was a horrific man-made tragedy on an unimaginable scale. It serves as an important reminder of the inhumanity and cruelty that can exist in this world. The pain and suffering of the Ukrainian people must never be forgotten.

The famine, which took place between 1932 and 1933, was the culmination of events which began in 1929 when the Soviets imposed fatal deportation orders on Ukraine’s prospering farmers, as well as the deportation and execution of academic, religious and cultural leaders. The famine was directly caused by the policies of the Soviet Government. The authorities mercilessly seized grain from the Soviet Union’s agricultural regions in order to feed the country’s rapidly expanding urban workforce. Jamie McGrigor talked about Gareth Jones and contemporary observation in reflecting the sheer cruelty of what that meant.

At the height of the famine, 25,000 Ukrainians were dying every day. That the Soviets chose not to put an end to such horror when they had the ability to do so is inexplicable and a gross violation of human rights. It is estimated that between 3 million and 10 million people died. The majority of the deaths were in Ukraine.

For years, the tragedy was overlooked by the western world. It has also been inexplicably denied by others. However, the memory of this horrific event was kept alive by Ukrainians inside the country and their diaspora around the world. The efforts of those people, as well as many historians, have allowed the world to remember those who lost their lives and reflect on the lesson from history that the Holodomor provides for us.

I am proud that Parliament is debating this event here today. In doing so, we are raising awareness of a horrific and regrettable event in history that must not be forgotten. There is no doubt that the famine occurred and was brought about by Stalin and his Government’s actions. It is completely unfathomable to me that a leader who was responsible for the people who were living under the Soviet regime could proceed with policies that would clearly have such devastating effects on the people of Ukraine.

The main goal of the famine was to break the resistance of the Ukrainian peasants and force them to collectivise. I do not think that any reasonable man or woman, with any shred of humanity, would say that the end justified the means. It is clear that the Soviet regime was deeply resentful of any form of Ukrainian nationalism. There are numerous examples of how Stalin’s policies were disproportionately hostile towards Ukraine. The fact that, during the famine, Stalin closed the eastern border of Ukraine to prevent starving peasants from entering Russia in search of food is a clear illustration of that.

On the substance of one element of the motion, members will be aware that foreign affairs are, of course, a matter reserved to the United Kingdom Government. The UK Government’s policy is that the recognition of genocides is a matter for judicial decision under the terms of the 1948 United Nations genocide convention. The Holodomor predates the establishment of the concept of genocide in international law, and the convention was not drafted to apply retrospectively.

That said, the events of the Holodomor are a tragic example of man’s inhumanity and act as a reminder that Scotland’s strong and enduring commitment to human rights cannot be taken for granted. That places a responsibility on us, as a nation, to ensure that other countries develop and maintain a similar commitment. The Scottish Government uses our international engagement as an opportunity to help to increase respect for and understanding of human rights worldwide.

I want to reflect on the contribution that the Ukrainian community has made to Scotland. I recently had the pleasure of visiting the Ukrainian community centre in Edinburgh where I learnt about the rich culture and traditions that the community brought with them to Scotland. The community centre has a wonderful collection of materials that relate to the community’s history in Scotland, and the Scottish Government is working closely with the centre so that those resources can be displayed to the public and used to promote wider awareness of the Ukrainian community’s contribution to this nation.

I add my voice and the voice of the Scottish Government to those welcoming the Ukrainian community to our and their Parliament. Humanity knows no boundaries, national or otherwise, and we should be together in recognising our sense of history, just and unjust. There is no question in my mind but that the people of Ukraine were the victims of the most unspeakable offences, perpetrated by a vicious regime that had no hesitation in committing crimes against humanity, all for the sake of an ideology.

The debate is about remembering those who were subjected to such inhumanity and indignity through no fault of their own. The Holodomor is a tragedy of epic proportions. A ruthless dictatorship with a heartless ideology caused the deaths of many millions of innocent people.

Presiding Officer, I have been invited by the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain to attend the event to remember the Holodomor this Saturday in Edinburgh. In attending on behalf of the Scottish Government, I will speak for the people of Scotland when I say that we must remember and we must never forget.

Meeting closed at 17:20.  
Vote DetailMSP VoteResult

Selection of the Parliament's Nominee for First Minister
Not VotedCarried

Selection of the Parliament's Nominee for First Minister
YesCarried

Selection of the Parliament's Nominee for First Minister
Not VotedCarried

S4M-11567.2 Margaret Mitchell: Lowering the Drink Drive Limit—As an amendment to motion S4M-11567 in
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YesCarried

S4M-11507.1 Cameron Buchanan: Progressive Workplace Policies to Boost Productivity, Growth and Jobs—
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NoDefeated

S4M-11507 Angela Constance: Progressive Workplace Policies to Boost Productivity, Growth and Jobs—Th
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YesCarried

S4M-11494.3 Jackie Baillie: Welfare Benefits for People Living with Disabilities—As an amendment to
>> Show more
NoDefeated

S4M-11494.2 Alex Johnstone: Welfare Benefits for People Living with Disabilities—As an amendment to
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NoDefeated

S4M-11494 Margaret Burgess: Welfare Benefits for People Living with Disabilities—That the Parliament
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YesCarried

S4M-11484.1 Jackson Carlaw: Human Rights—As an amendment to motion S4M-11484 in the name of Roseanna
>> Show more
NoDefeated

Search for other Motions lodged by Fiona Hyslop
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-11378: Fiona Hyslop, Linlithgow, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 31/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10784: Fiona Hyslop, Linlithgow, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 12/08/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10644: Fiona Hyslop, Linlithgow, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 23/07/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10371: Fiona Hyslop, Linlithgow, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 17/06/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10033: Fiona Hyslop, Linlithgow, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 12/05/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-09748: Fiona Hyslop, Linlithgow, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 16/04/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-08461: Fiona Hyslop, Linlithgow, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 02/12/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-08254: Fiona Hyslop, Linlithgow, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 11/11/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-07622: Fiona Hyslop, Linlithgow, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 09/09/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-06388: Fiona Hyslop, Linlithgow, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 29/04/2013 Show Full Motion >>
This Member currently holds a ministerial post. First Minister and Ministers cannot ask the Government questions which is why no recent questions are displaying here. Please use the full search to find details of previous questions by this Member.
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S2W-32214: Fiona Hyslop, Lothians, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 05/03/2007 Show Full Question >>
Question S2W-31614: Fiona Hyslop, Lothians, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 01/02/2007 Show Full Question >>
Question S2W-31458: Fiona Hyslop, Lothians, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 26/01/2007 Show Full Question >>
Question S2W-31322: Fiona Hyslop, Lothians, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 23/01/2007 Show Full Question >>
Question S2W-31323: Fiona Hyslop, Lothians, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 23/01/2007 Show Full Question >>
Question S2O-11714: Fiona Hyslop, Lothians, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 10/01/2007 Show Full Question >>
Question S2W-30689: Fiona Hyslop, Lothians, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 19/12/2006 Show Full Question >>
Question S2W-30688: Fiona Hyslop, Lothians, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 19/12/2006 Show Full Question >>
Question S2W-30171: Fiona Hyslop, Lothians, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 24/11/2006 Show Full Question >>
Question S2W-30170: Fiona Hyslop, Lothians, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 24/11/2006 Show Full Question >>

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