Jackson Carlaw MSP

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Meeting of the Parliament 25 November 2014 : Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Jackson Carlaw

Nicola has said yes.

Annabelle Ewing and Aileen McLeod have—how shall I put this?—worked very hard for their appointments, and I congratulate them.

There are two masterstrokes of political diplomacy in the reshuffle, on which I congratulate the First Minister. The first is her disinterring of the former minister Maureen Watt. That sends a signal to all those ex-ministers on the back benches that they can live in hope, that there is a chance and that, if they stay loyal, the First Minister might be kind next time around.

In addition, of course, slim, trim new health guru Jamie Hepburn gives hope to that back-bench group known as the lost causes—they know who they are—who can also now see that there is still a chance that their time might come.

Nearly every woman in the SNP has been given a chance in Government. Over the weekend, I wondered what Christine Grahame, Joan McAlpine, Christina McKelvie and Sandra White might have said or done. I was quite bewildered until the First Minister’s official spokesman issued a qualifying release that told us why Sandra was not in the Government. I will not repeat the language, Presiding Officer—you and I are demure, shy and retiring. Mr Macintosh and I have never heard language like it, although it might be appropriate in Bute house, in Whitecraigs or in Newton Mearns.

Nor has there been any place for Jim Eadie, Mark McDonald or Dennis Robertson. I am especially sorry that no place has been found for Dennis Robertson, as when Nicola Sturgeon pursues her dog-whistle policies, she would at least have got one bark of approval.

I hope that Marco Biagi, who is sincere and thoughtful as an MSP, will be sincere and thoughtful as a minister.

The last time I made such a speech, the First Minister—the then Deputy First Minister—was kind enough to say that I had made no substantive points whatever, which I freely admit is my remit today. Tomorrow, I think, is when we will see the Government’s programme and be able to respond to the substance of it. However, I note that, in 2007, there were five cabinet secretaries and 10 junior ministers, whereas now there are nine and 13. As Jackie Baillie said, we want to see whether they are worth it, and the next few months will prove whether that is the case.

Finally, I offer our unreserved congratulations to Mr Swinney, as Deputy First Minister. He is an SNP loyalist to his boots, but across all parties and, I think, wider Scotland he is regarded as a decent, committed and understated man. His personal efforts on behalf of multiple sclerosis, which I and others have been happy to support, are testament to that, and we certainly wish him well.

I conclude with a final observation about gender balance, which has been mentioned several times this afternoon. In a back-handed compliment to that huge Hollywood blockbuster “Three Men and a Little Lady”, this Parliament is now fronted by three ladies and a little Willie Rennie. [Laughter.] On that note, I wish the new ministerial team well in their endeavours.



Meeting of the Parliament 25 November 2014 : Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Jackson Carlaw (West Scotland) (Con)

I read at the weekend that yes-ism is now a new, emerging religion. That gives a whole new context to ministerial appointments, does it not?

Some have referred to our First Minister as Margaret without the humour, which I do not think is altogether the compliment that it may at first sound like. The previous most senior woman in politics in Scotland was Helen Liddell, who was known as Stalin’s granny. Perhaps Stalin’s niece is a soubriquet that the First Minister will look to. I hope, though, that she will hope for slightly more than the Beyoncé of Scottish politics, which a gushing acolyte described her as at the weekend.

In discussing Nicola Sturgeon’s first Cabinet, I want to acknowledge immediately the service of Kenny MacAskill and Mike Russell. At times, we have fundamentally disagreed with them but, in the case of Mr MacAskill in particular, I have always believed that the views and decisions that he came to were motivated by sincerity on his part that they were correct. I respect that, even though I disagreed with his decisions at the time.

More surprising, perhaps, is the fact that Mr Neil finds himself still in the Cabinet. After all, he must have realised that there would be consequences, given that he had briefed the media continually for the past two years that he had been tremendously successful in clearing up the mess left by his predecessor. Nonetheless, he is still in the Cabinet.

I congratulate Shona Robison and Angela Constance. I have shadowed Shona Robison previously, and I know that she comes to the health portfolio with a tremendous amount of experience. I hope that she will take forward the agenda that Alex Neil was pursuing of seeking to find a cross-party consensus on the enormously difficult challenges that we have debated many times in the chamber. She and Angela Constance will be allowed to bring joined-up government to bear: I hope that we see the emergence of a new curriculum subject of the dangers to public health of wearing totally inappropriate footwear; we must wait and see.

I am delighted by Keith Brown’s appointment. I have found him to be very courteous and willing to assist and listen carefully. I am tremendously impressed that he has managed not to be put off by Looney Tune commands whispered off stage, if I can put it that way. Mr Brown and Ms Constance stood in the deputy leadership election and reaped the rewards. Therefore, Mr Brown can look Mr Mackay and Mr Yousaf in the face and say, “Who dares wins, boys.” After all, those two had their famous canteen, Granita-like pact, whereby they thought that they would sit this election out in the expectation that the rewards would be theirs. My advice to them is: “Start plotting now, boys; it is only 18 months till your next chance comes around.”

Michael Matheson has been a very diligent and straightforward politician, and I am delighted that he has been promoted.

Roseanna Cunningham has had the answer—in the nick of time—to the question that has been put by the Beatles so many times. She now knows the answer to the question, “Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m 64?”

Members: Oh!



Public Petitions Committee 11 November 2014 : Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Jackson Carlaw

I echo that. When we took evidence, we were largely assuaged by the cabinet secretary’s assurance that he had instructed that a moratorium be put in place. He explained the limitations on him, but I thought that the response to the question that was put in the chamber was somewhat cavalier in its generality. I think that we had expected something a little more absolute, based on the assurances that had been given to us.

We should acknowledge the public recognition that the petitioners have been given for the work that they have done. I believe that, as a consequence of what they have done, Westminster’s Department of Health has also taken an interest in the issue. As we continue to review the petition, it will be interesting to note what that department’s conclusions have been and to consider whether that might affect the position that we adopt and pursue in Scotland.



Public Petitions Committee 11 November 2014 : Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Jackson Carlaw

Since we previously discussed the petition, we have written again to the Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities, Nicola Sturgeon—very soon to be she who must be obeyed—and she replied saying:

“We have considered very carefully the suggestion that the airport be renamed Robert Burns International. On balance we have decided that there are strong commercial reasons to retain the Glasgow Prestwick name but the importance of recognising the rich legacy of Burns is accepted.”

The Government, which now owns the airport, has said that it will not change the name, and the management committee that it has appointed to run the airport has concluded that it will not change the name. I therefore cannot see what the committee believes is yet to be achieved and so, whatever the strength of opinion is that underpins the petition, it is clear that it will proceed no further. On that basis, although individuals will pursue the matter, we could not have stronger or clearer grounds on which to close the petition.



Public Petitions Committee 11 November 2014 : Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Jackson Carlaw

I am content at this stage.



Public Petitions Committee 11 November 2014 : Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Jackson Carlaw

How are you funded?



Public Petitions Committee 11 November 2014 : Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Jackson Carlaw

Can you help me with a deficiency in my knowledge? Who are Planning Democracy? How are you constituted, how are you funded and whom do you formally represent?



Public Petitions Committee 11 November 2014 : Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Jackson Carlaw

In the letter that we send to the Scottish Government, can we draw a distinction between deferring the charging system to COSLA and abdicating all further responsibility for seeking to motivate it towards some sort of a conclusion? Rather than just being told that the committee exists, which might happen, I would like to know what the Scottish Government’s view is on the lack of progress and what consideration it has given to achieving some progress. It could always decide that it needed to take a slightly more direct, interventionist view on what it deferred to drive the group to a conclusion. I would be interested to know why it has chosen not to do that and how long it thinks that not doing so would be acceptable.



Public Petitions Committee 11 November 2014 : Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Jackson Carlaw

Thank you. That answers my questions.



Public Petitions Committee 11 November 2014 : Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Jackson Carlaw

Thank you for this important and quite excellently presented petition, which has a clear issue of concern at its heart. I have noted your comments about the variable charges, and I would like to run a few questions together on that issue.

First, you said that the Scottish Government had asked COSLA to harmonise the system a long time ago. To your knowledge, what action has the Scottish Government taken, given that nothing further has been done on the matter? Moreover, is the situation a direct consequence of a permanent council tax freeze? That measure might have been sustainable for a period of time, but councils now seem to be left with no option but to seek to raise charges, whatever their variable nature, from various groups. That is now compounding the effect on families, and charging for care services is an area where we now see that not everything is a bed of roses as a result of the council tax freeze.

Finally, I imagine that at one time the level at which charging cuts in bore some relation to the threshold for income tax, which has now significantly increased. The threshold is now way beyond £6,000, or even £8,000; it is now £10,000, and it is set to rise further. Given that the income tax threshold is now much higher, it seems to be a clear injustice that charges are being levelled on people with an income that is substantially less than the level at which we would deem it appropriate to charge income tax.

Vote DetailMSP VoteResult

Selection of the Parliament's Nominee for First Minister
YesCarried

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

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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Not VotedCarried

S4M-11507.1 Cameron Buchanan: Progressive Workplace Policies to Boost Productivity, Growth and Jobs—
>> Show more
YesDefeated

S4M-11507 Angela Constance: Progressive Workplace Policies to Boost Productivity, Growth and Jobs—Th
>> Show more
NoCarried

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
>> Show more
YesDefeated

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

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

Search for other Motions lodged by Jackson Carlaw
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-11601: Jackson Carlaw, West Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 19/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11484.1: Jackson Carlaw, West Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 10/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11451: Jackson Carlaw, West Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 06/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11358: Jackson Carlaw, West Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 29/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11251: Jackson Carlaw, West Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 20/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10939: Jackson Carlaw, West Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 08/09/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10938: Jackson Carlaw, West Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 08/09/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10898: Jackson Carlaw, West Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 01/09/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10894.1: Jackson Carlaw, West Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 01/09/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10854: Jackson Carlaw, West Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 20/08/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Search for other Questions asked by Jackson Carlaw
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S4O-03656: Jackson Carlaw, West Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 27/10/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22765: Jackson Carlaw, West Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 07/10/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22764: Jackson Carlaw, West Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 07/10/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22767: Jackson Carlaw, West Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 07/10/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22766: Jackson Carlaw, West Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 07/10/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22757: Jackson Carlaw, West Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 06/10/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03589: Jackson Carlaw, West Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 30/09/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22404: Jackson Carlaw, West Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 19/08/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22350: Jackson Carlaw, West Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 12/08/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03492: Jackson Carlaw, West Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 11/08/2014 Show Full Question >>