Neil Findlay MSP

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Parliamentary Activities

Search for other Speeches made by Neil Findlay (Lothian) (Lab)

Meeting of the Parliament 30 October 2014 : Thursday, October 30, 2014
8. Neil Findlay (Lothian) (Lab)

To ask the Scottish Government whether it has suspended the use of transvaginal mesh implants. (S4O-03628)



Meeting of the Parliament 30 October 2014 : Thursday, October 30, 2014
Neil Findlay

Since 17 June, when indeed that letter was sent and mesh was supposed to be suspended, one health board alone, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, has implanted a further 29 women with these tainted products, and we know that the deputy chief medical officer wrote to health boards asking them to “encourage” women to take part in clinical trials. Was the cabinet secretary’s call to suspend mesh genuine or is he being undermined by his senior officials and some within the medical profession who have a vested interest in continuing to implant mesh?



Meeting of the Parliament 28 October 2014 : Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Neil Findlay (Lothian) (Lab)

The cabinet secretary mentioned recruitment problems in remote and rural areas. There are recruitment problems across every region in Scotland.

Audit Scotland has highlighted the financial problems that face NHS Highland and NHS Orkney. As a result of a freedom of information request we have learned that NHS Highland’s use of agency staff has increased by 100 per cent and that bank staff posts have gone up by 400 in the past year. On top of that, the Scottish Ambulance Service is ready to go on strike for the first time in 25 years. All that is happening before winter pressures kick in. Does the cabinet secretary have any plan for the NHS in Scotland?



Meeting of the Parliament 28 October 2014 : Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Neil Findlay

Zero-hours contracts.



Meeting of the Parliament 28 October 2014 : Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Neil Findlay (Lothian) (Lab)

I thank the cabinet secretary for his comprehensive statement and his response to my earlier letter appealing for MSPs to be kept updated on Ebola and any impact on Scotland or Scots. I pay tribute to the 50 NHS professionals working in the affected region and the non-governmental organisations and their volunteers who are there doing tremendous work in a very difficult situation.

I want to ask the cabinet secretary about the level of training being provided to staff on dealing with the disease prior to leaving for and then entering the affected area. What support will be provided to them when they are there and on their return? What support and co-operation is being given to Scottish-African charities working here and with people in Sierra Leone to help prevent the spread of the disease and deal with the consequences of it?

Today, I met representatives of some of the Scottish-African charities, and they asked me whether I could put forward a request to the minister for him to meet them so that they could discuss ways in which they could work together with the Scottish Government in order to help deal with the situation on the ground and some of the consequences of that, including things like education. I would really appreciate it if the minister could take me up on that offer.



Meeting of the Parliament 09 October 2014 : Thursday, October 09, 2014
Neil Findlay (Lothian) (Lab)

Will the minister take an intervention?



Meeting of the Parliament 09 October 2014 : Thursday, October 09, 2014
Neil Findlay (Lothian) (Lab)

The referendum campaign that we have just had has developed in people a new and healthy interest in all things political, which has to be warmly welcomed. However, with that comes increased scrutiny of politicians, political institutions, the decision-making process and those who make decisions on behalf of the people. The public have every right to know what is going on in their name and to hold institutions and people to account for their actions.

This particular institution, which claims to be open and accessible and transparent in all that it does and to operate with the values of accountability, openness, power sharing and equal opportunities, has a long way to go until it and the society and institutions that we legislate over can claim to live up to those values. According to the mace in the well of the chamber, we are supposed to operate with wisdom, justice, compassion and integrity, and the proposal that we are discussing is part of a wide range of changes that we need to make if we are to live up to those supportable aims.

I fully support the proposal for a register of interests for members of the judiciary. After all, we have the right to know whether those who are involved in determining whether a man or woman loses their freedom have any financial, business, social, political or other relationship that could influence any decision they might make. Currently there is no compulsion to declare such an interest and we rely on what is known as the fair-minded observer test. That, to me, is wholly inadequate. Through history, we have heard allegations of religious, class, financial and political bias or of members of certain organisations being helpful to each other during trials. I can think of many industrial and other disputes that have gone to court where claims of bias and collusion have been made—and, I believe, with justification.

That situation has to end, and we should have a register with clear rules that leave no one in any doubt about who and what should be registered. Is it really a surprise to people that the legal establishment does not want such a register, and is it not an outrage that Lord Gill had such contempt for this Parliament that he refused to attend a particular meeting? Does that not make people even more suspicious of his motives?

Let me give the chamber some more examples of how our politics maintains its secrecy. When I recently asked a cabinet minister a question about who had advised him on certain key areas of policy, I was told that that information could not be revealed because information about a third party would be provided. We cannot find out, for example, whether people with links to the fracking industry advise the Government on energy or whether people with financial interests in the drugs industry advise the Government on new treatments. Those are very important issues. I am not saying those people are advising the Government but we simply do not know and cannot find out, and I believe that that is fundamentally wrong.

What about when the Government appoints people to conduct inquiries or to write reports that are paid for by the public purse? Why are those people picked? Is it because they are experts or particularly knowledgeable in their field, or are there other influencing factors? How are contracts secured and why are they won? Who influences changes in Government policy, and why? The public should, if they wish, have the right to know what is being done in their name.

What about the workings of this Parliament? Why do our committees discuss so many issues in private session when there is no reason to? For example, why can we not find out why the Health and Sport Committee refused to invite the former Auditor General for Scotland to give evidence on the budget? Who stopped him coming? Why can we not find out these things? Surely the public have a right to know.

As Anne McTaggart pointed out in her speech, 16 months ago the Government said that it was minded to legislate on my proposed lobbying transparency bill. To date, however, no legislation has come forward. Why not? I say to the Government that if that legislation is not in the legislative programme, I will bring my bill back to Parliament and then we will see this Parliament’s commitment to openness and accountability.

We need to do much more to make our society less secretive and less closed, and I think that the register that we are discussing is just one step towards that end. I, for one, give it my full support and urge other MSPs to do the same.

16:19  

Meeting of the Parliament 09 October 2014 : Thursday, October 09, 2014
Neil Findlay

Will the member take an intervention?



Meeting of the Parliament 09 October 2014 : Thursday, October 09, 2014
Neil Findlay

I wonder if Lord Gill has reflected on his non-appearance and on how he feels when someone does not turn up to his court.



Meeting of the Parliament 08 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Neil Findlay (Lothian) (Lab)

Will the cabinet secretary give way?

Vote DetailMSP VoteResult

S4M-11332.2 Jenny Marra: Supported Business—As an amendment to motion S4M-11332 in the name of Fergu
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YesDefeated

S4M-11332.1 Gavin Brown: Supported Business—As an amendment to motion S4M-11332 in the name of Fergu
>> Show more
NoDefeated

S4M-11332 Fergus Ewing: Supported Business—That the Parliament recognises the economic and social va
>> Show more
YesCarried

S4M-11304.3 Michael Russell: Addressing the Attainment Gap in Scottish Schools—As an amendment to mo
>> Show more
YesCarried

S4M-11304 Liz Smith: Addressing the Attainment Gap in Scottish Schools—That the Parliament believes
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YesCarried

S4M-11123 Joe FitzPatrick on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau: Business Motion—That the Parliament
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NoCarried

S4M-11114.2 Kenny MacAskill: Policing—As an amendment to motion S4M-11114 in the name of Graeme Pear
>> Show more
NoCarried

S4M-11114 Graeme Pearson: Policing—That the Parliament acknowledges that policing in Scotland contin
>> Show more
NoCarried

S4M-11116.1.1 Patrick Harvie: Scotland’s Future—As an amendment to amendment S4M-11116.1 in the name
>> Show more
NoCarried

S4M-11116.1 Nicola Sturgeon: Scotland’s Future—As an amendment to motion S4M-11116 in the name of Jo
>> Show more
NoCarried

Search for other Motions lodged by Neil Findlay
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-11303: Neil Findlay, Lothian, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 27/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11300: Neil Findlay, Lothian, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 24/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11229: Neil Findlay, Lothian, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 16/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11228: Neil Findlay, Lothian, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 16/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11227: Neil Findlay, Lothian, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 16/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11226: Neil Findlay, Lothian, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 16/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11222: Neil Findlay, Lothian, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 16/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11197: Neil Findlay, Lothian, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 13/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11196: Neil Findlay, Lothian, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 13/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11149: Neil Findlay, Lothian, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 08/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Search for other Questions asked by Neil Findlay
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S4O-03628: Neil Findlay, Lothian, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 20/10/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22842: Neil Findlay, Lothian, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 13/10/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22798: Neil Findlay, Lothian, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 07/10/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22695: Neil Findlay, Lothian, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 02/10/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22723: Neil Findlay, Lothian, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 02/10/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22694: Neil Findlay, Lothian, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 02/10/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22690: Neil Findlay, Lothian, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 02/10/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22689: Neil Findlay, Lothian, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 02/10/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22691: Neil Findlay, Lothian, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 02/10/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22693: Neil Findlay, Lothian, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 02/10/2014 Show Full Question >>

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