Jim Eadie MSP

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Meeting of the Parliament 29 January 2015 : Thursday, January 29, 2015
Jim Eadie (Edinburgh Southern) (SNP)

The debate goes to the heart of one of the greatest issues to have faced the United Kingdom in modern times, for there can be no graver decision than that of whether to go to war—whether to place our young men and women in harm’s way.

The purpose of the Iraq inquiry was to shine a light on all the circumstances leading up to the Iraq invasion; to understand what lay behind the decisions that were taken; to assign responsibility for the mistakes that were made; to hold those who made them to account; and to learn the lessons for the future.

The First Minister quoted the then Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, who said:

“The inquiry is essential because it will ensure that, by learning lessons, we strengthen the health of our democracy, our diplomacy and our military.”—[Official Report, House of Commons, 15 June 2009; Vol 494, c 23.]

Who today in the chamber or in the country can doubt that the UK’s democracy, diplomacy and military have been damaged by the decisions that were taken? Who now doubts that the trust between the UK Government and the people has been broken and that that trust has yet to be restored? Who can deny that the UK’s standing in the world has been diminished by the actions of its Government?

Weapons of mass destruction were the basis on which the case for war was predicated. Tony Blair told the House of Commons that Saddam’s

“weapons of mass destruction programme is active, detailed and growing ... it is up and running now.”—[Official Report, House of Commons, 24 September 2002; Vol 21, c 3.]

That claim was not true. The UN weapons inspector Hans Blix referred to “weapons of mass disappearance”. He said:

“it was like surgery intended to remove something malignant finding that the malignancy was not there.”

The dossier, which was based on the findings of the Joint Intelligence Committee, contained a number of allegations, none of which have—to this day—been proven or substantiated. Among those allegations were claims that Iraq had an on-going nuclear programme; that WMD programmes were concealed and well funded; and that chemical and biological weapons could be deployed within 45 minutes. Those claims were echoed in the tabloids, which sensationalised the information and framed Iraq as a direct threat to the people of the United Kingdom. For example, The Sun had a headline proclaiming “Brits 45mins from Doom”. Yet, in his evidence to Chilcot, Major General Michael Laurie said:

“We knew at the time that the purpose of the dossier was precisely to make a case for war, rather than setting out the available intelligence”,

which was

“sparse and inconclusive.”

The motion in the name of the First Minister quite rightly refers to the human casualties of the war, but it is now clear that a major casualty of the conflict was the truth itself.

Many believe—as Joan McAlpine mentioned earlier—that Blair was intent on war in order to bring about regime change, which is illegal under international law but which he and the neoconservative Administration in the White House wished—indeed, were determined—to bring about. Clare Short, who left the Blair Government over Iraq, said that Blair’s actions were an “honourable deception”, but millions of people throughout the world now believe that those actions were a deliberate deception, and a dishonourable one at that.

Only the publication of the Chilcot report will allow us to know the truth about what took place. The inquiry should publish its findings at the earliest opportunity; the families of the fallen and the people of this country expect and deserve no less.

14:44  

Meeting of the Parliament 22 January 2015 : Thursday, January 22, 2015
3. Jim Eadie (Edinburgh Southern) (SNP)

To ask the Scottish Government what steps it is taking to promote training and skills development in the road haulage industry. (S4O-03933)



Meeting of the Parliament 22 January 2015 : Thursday, January 22, 2015
Jim Eadie

I thank the cabinet secretary for that answer, but is she aware that there is currently a shortage of drivers for heavy goods vehicles? There are companies that want to recruit young people but which do not have the funds and support to train them, and there are young people who would relish the opportunity to work in the sector. Therefore, what more can the Scottish Government do to ensure that its modern apprenticeship scheme is properly aligned with the needs of the logistics sector, and that schools and careers guidance are fully engaged in making young people aware of the opportunities that exist? Will she meet me and other interested MSPs to discuss a skills academy to bring together education and training providers and the industry to address the needs of the sector?



Meeting of the Parliament 22 January 2015 : Thursday, January 22, 2015
4. Jim Eadie (Edinburgh Southern) (SNP)

To ask the First Minister what steps the Scottish Government is taking to reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes among children and adolescents. (S4F-02538)



Meeting of the Parliament 22 January 2015 : Thursday, January 22, 2015
Jim Eadie

Given that one in seven children in Scotland are now classed as either obese or overweight, I welcome the priority that is being placed on measures to prevent more children from being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. What more can be done to encourage school pupils to become healthy and more active by promoting cycle lessons, walking to and from school and putting greater emphasis in the curriculum on physical education and healthy eating? What more can be done to provide a determined and concerted focus in our most deprived areas?



Meeting of the Parliament 22 January 2015 : Thursday, January 22, 2015
Jim Eadie (Edinburgh Southern) (SNP)

I am delighted to follow that speech by Johann Lamont and I welcome her constructive tone.

The first line of the Government’s motion refers to

“ensuring that Scotland’s NHS remains in public hands and free at the point of need”.

There is broad agreement on the importance of that point, not just in the chamber, but across the whole of Scottish society. I hope that whatever other disagreements we may have this afternoon, we can maintain that all-party consensus on the need for a publicly owned and funded NHS.

The Scottish Government has returned our NHS to its founding principle of providing free healthcare at the point of delivery by abolishing prescription charges—of course that is the point at which the consensus breaks down. That is an achievement of the Government, and I am proud of it. We have also returned the NHS to its founding principle of providing free healthcare at the point of delivery by vastly increasing—by over a million—the number of people who are registered with an NHS dentist.

The Scottish Government has invested in our NHS by increasing the NHS Scotland resource budget in real terms by 4.6 per cent and by pledging to protect the budget in every year of this Parliament and the next. That pledge was reiterated by the First Minister only last week in response to a question that I asked.

This Government has expanded the health service by ensuring that there are more staff working in it than ever before. One illustration of that is the 173 per cent increase in accident and emergency consultants, from 75 in September 2006 to 207 in September 2014.

The Government has also protected our NHS from the privatisation agenda, which characterises the NHS south of the border and is now enshrined in legislation in the Health and Social Care Act 2012. What a contrast our approach makes to that of the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition and the damage that they are inflicting south of the border.

In England, the NHS has moved further away from its founding ethos, and the head of the British Medical Association, Dr Mark Porter, has said of the NHS in England:

“It's no longer a comprehensive service. We can see the effect on people to whom we have to say: I'm sorry, this treatment is no longer available.”

No wonder that when Andrew Lansley left his post as Secretary of State for Health in England, NHS networks tweeted:

“Lansley’s legacy: only Herod’s maternity policy got a worse press”.

The King’s Fund has described the situation facing the NHS in England as “critical”. That is not the case in Scotland, whatever pressures there may be. There is a consensus here, enshrined in the Scottish Government motion, that the NHS will remain in public hands.

I want to put a number of points on record, as we look towards 2020. The cabinet secretary highlighted integration of health and social care. We need to see the policy intentions on integration of health and social care being translated into concrete action. We have had countless reports, including from a royal commission that was chaired by Professor Sir Stewart Sutherland, and from the Parliament’s Health and Sport Committee, we have robust legislation and we have clear NHS guidance. Now we need to get on and make it happen.

We know that challenges remain; I want to highlight one such challenge. The Scottish Government is committed to getting it right for every child, but there are in Lothian children with a range of health conditions that require high-level intervention and support who are currently being failed. Their cases can be deemed to be too complex to qualify for a social care package through the local authority and yet be considered not exceptional enough in terms of their medical conditions to qualify for support through the Lothian exceptional needs service. Those budgets need to be pooled across health and social care boundaries, so that we do indeed get it right for every child. I seek an assurance from the cabinet secretary that she will look at the issue and, if necessary, bang heads together, because the delays that have characterised some individual cases are unacceptable.

The public wants to know that an NHS that is fit for purpose is utilising the clinical skills of the healthcare professionals who work within it, be they in the acute hospital sector or in primary care settings. The public also wishes those healthcare professionals to be able to access and use the most up-to-date healthcare technology and facilities.

I highlight the example of cochlear implants for profoundly deaf children, on which the Government has a good record. The Scottish Government announced last December that over £300 million will be invested in the national roll-out of a programme that will mean that people with cochlear implants will benefit every five years from changes in sound processor technology. That is an example of our implementing what Johann Lamont referred to when she talked about the NHS being rooted in the lived experience of patients and families.

I pay tribute to my constituents Catherine and Andrew Lothian, whose two-and-a-half-year-old daughter Alice—of course, at that age the half makes all the difference—has a cochlear implant. The family brought the issue to my advice surgery. As a result of their representations, the Government listened and made investment to ensure that cochlear implants are replaced every five years. That will make a real difference to Alice’s life. We know that cochlear implants for profoundly deaf children, together with specialist teaching and speech and language support, can allow those children to integrate into mainstream schooling. Of course, the measure will also have a beneficial effect in reducing the experience of social isolation for adults with hearing loss.

I will quote something that Catherine and Andrew Lothian said.



Meeting of the Parliament 22 January 2015 : Thursday, January 22, 2015
Jim Eadie

In that case, I will not quote the family, other than to say that they have said that the implant will make a big difference to their daughter’s life. I thank the cabinet secretary and her predecessor Alex Neil, as well as the national patient organisations representing deaf children, for their work in this area.

The Scottish Government has a clear vision for the future of our national health service and a good record in delivering better and faster treatment for the people of Scotland. Let us unite as a Parliament to ensure that the NHS remains in public hands, and to ensure that it continues to meet the needs and aspirations of the people of Scotland in the years ahead.



Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee 21 January 2015 : Wednesday, January 21, 2015
The Convener (Jim Eadie)

Good morning, everyone, and welcome to the Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee’s second meeting in 2015. I remind everyone present to switch off their mobile phones, as they can affect the broadcasting system. Given that meeting papers are provided in digital format, committee members may use tablets during the meeting.

Agenda item 1 is a decision on taking item 3, which is consideration of the committee’s work programme, in private. Do we agree to take that in private?

Members indicated agreement.



Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee 21 January 2015 : Wednesday, January 21, 2015
The Convener

Agenda item 2 is evidence from the Minister for Housing and Welfare on a range of current and forthcoming housing issues. I welcome Margaret Burgess, the minister, and her officials: Bill Barron, division head, housing services and regeneration; Caroline Dicks, acting unit head, housing supply division; Barry Stalker, team leader, private rented sector; and Stephen Garland, head of the housing sustainability unit. I invite the minister to make an opening statement.



Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee 21 January 2015 : Wednesday, January 21, 2015
The Convener

You mentioned that housing is a priority for the Scottish Government. Will you set out the key housing priorities for the forthcoming year?

Vote DetailMSP VoteResult

S4M-12182.1 Alex Fergusson: The Chilcot Inquiry—As an amendment to motion S4M-12182 in the name of N
>> Show more
NoDefeated

S4M-12182 Nicola Sturgeon: The Chilcot Inquiry—That the Parliament calls for Sir John Chilcot’s offi
>> Show more
YesCarried

S4M-12176 John Swinney: Community Charge Debt (Scotland) Bill—That the Parliament agrees to the gene
>> Show more
YesCarried

S4M-12160.2 Michael Matheson: Women Offenders—As an amendment to motion S4M-12160 in the name of Kez
>> Show more
YesCarried

S4M-12160.3 Margaret Mitchell: Women Offenders—As an amendment to motion S4M-12160 in the name of Ke
>> Show more
NoDefeated

S4M-12160 Kezia Dugdale: Women Offenders—That the Parliament welcomes the decision of the Scottish G
>> Show more
YesCarried

S4M-12154.1 Lewis Macdonald: Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE) – Supporting Indivi
>> Show more
NoDefeated

S4M-12120.1 Jenny Marra: 2020 Vision, the Strategic Forward Direction of the NHS—As an amendment to
>> Show more
NoDefeated

S4M-12101 John Swinney: Budget (Scotland) (No.4) Bill—That the Parliament agrees to the general prin
>> Show more
YesCarried

S4M-12095.4 Ken Macintosh: Tackling Inequalities—As an amendment to motion S4M-12095 in the name of
>> Show more
NoDefeated

Search for other Motions lodged by Jim Eadie
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-12072: Jim Eadie, Edinburgh Southern, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 15/01/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12029: Jim Eadie, Edinburgh Southern, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 09/01/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11761: Jim Eadie, Edinburgh Southern, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 01/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11734: Jim Eadie, Edinburgh Southern, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 27/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11602: Jim Eadie, Edinburgh Southern, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 18/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11477: Jim Eadie, Edinburgh Southern, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 07/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11473: Jim Eadie, Edinburgh Southern, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 06/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11404: Jim Eadie, Edinburgh Southern, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 03/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11308: Jim Eadie, Edinburgh Southern, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 27/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11272: Jim Eadie, Edinburgh Southern, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 22/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Search for other Questions asked by Jim Eadie
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S4O-03980: Jim Eadie, Edinburgh Southern, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 26/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4F-02538: Jim Eadie, Edinburgh Southern, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 19/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03933: Jim Eadie, Edinburgh Southern, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 12/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4F-02522: Jim Eadie, Edinburgh Southern, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 12/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03812: Jim Eadie, Edinburgh Southern, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 01/12/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23348: Jim Eadie, Edinburgh Southern, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 21/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23347: Jim Eadie, Edinburgh Southern, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 21/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23346: Jim Eadie, Edinburgh Southern, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 21/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4F-02404: Jim Eadie, Edinburgh Southern, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 17/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23041: Jim Eadie, Edinburgh Southern, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 06/11/2014 Show Full Question >>

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