Ruth Davidson MSP

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Ruth Davidson MSP

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Parliamentary Activities

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Meeting of the Parliament 26 February 2015 : Thursday, February 26, 2015
Ruth Davidson

I am talking about food in our shops: the price of a Scotch beef beefburger. I am talking about family farms being broken up and taxpayers being stung for millions of pounds in compensation. That is really fundamental stuff, and the First Minister should have an answer. I have heard the ideological case for land reform, but I have never heard a practical case for it.

When serious players in the industry are telling the Scottish Government that it is pushing through the changes without giving any thought to food production, then it is clear that the policy is about dogma rather than being about making our countryside work. Let me ask the First Minister this: what actual hard evidence exists—which we have, I presume, not seen yet—that shows that her plans will make farming in Scotland more productive, give us more food security and lead to lower prices in the shops for ordinary families? There is none.



Meeting of the Parliament 26 February 2015 : Thursday, February 26, 2015
Ruth Davidson

The Scottish Government is bringing forward fresh plans for land reform. Some of those plans we support, but family farmers are telling us that we need to look at much of the plans again. They are not the only ones: this morning, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors added its name to the criticism and said that the current plans ignore what should be the primary purpose of agricultural land: namely, to produce food. That echoes the criticism from NFU Scotland and comes on top of the warning from the Scottish Government’s own review group that the taxpayer could be stung for millions of pounds in compensation when farms are broken up.

There is a real risk that less food will be produced in Scotland, which will lead to less food security, and that the taxpayer will be stung for compensation in order to make land reform happen. That is the warning. Why are all those people wrong?



Meeting of the Parliament 26 February 2015 : Thursday, February 26, 2015
2. Ruth Davidson (Glasgow) (Con)

To ask the First Minister when she will next meet the Prime Minister. (S4F-02615)



Meeting of the Parliament 19 February 2015 : Thursday, February 19, 2015
Ruth Davidson

I am pleased with the First Minister’s response, because this is a simple case to understand. What we have got are parents who are energised, enthusiastic and positive about their local community and who have a genuine worked-out plan for improving their children’s schooling. So far, they have been faced with a Government wall that simply tells them, “We know best” when it does not.

There is, as the First Minister has recognised, a massive performance gap between our poorest and richest areas; Scotland is stagnating in international league tables; and parents are watching in horror as this Government and councils fight over the basic task of hiring teachers for local schools. Frankly, it is not good enough. Last week, we welcomed it when the First Minister moved an inch by backing the London challenge, but Scotland needs her to move a mile. We need a parent-power law that allows schools to opt out of local authority control if they so wish. Why can the First Minister not back that today?



Meeting of the Parliament 19 February 2015 : Thursday, February 19, 2015
Ruth Davidson

On 11 December, the First Minister told me in this chamber that, when it came to education, she would always keep “an open mind” about educating our children. She added:

“I will listen to ideas from wherever they come”.—[Official Report, 11 December 2014; c 17.]

An idea has come out this morning. The parents of St Joseph’s primary school in Milngavie are campaigning to keep their school open; they want to take the school out of local authority control and run it as a trust. They insist that education elsewhere in the area will be unaffected. They just want their children to get the education that they believe in, in the town where they live. Given what she said last December, will the First Minister make a commitment today to meet the parents, listen to their concerns and examine their proposal with an open mind?



Meeting of the Parliament 19 February 2015 : Thursday, February 19, 2015
2. Ruth Davidson (Glasgow) (Con)

To ask the First Minister when she will next meet the Secretary of State for Scotland. (S4F-02594)



Meeting of the Parliament 05 February 2015 : Thursday, February 05, 2015
Ruth Davidson

I thank the Presiding Officer for that full answer. [Interruption.] I mean the First Minister. Sorry.

I am not afraid to say that stopping and searching children makes me feel uncomfortable. I believe that the police do a tough job and should be supported, that all prisoners should serve their full sentence and that some should never get out at all, but there is something different about young children being targeted in this way.

It is not just me. Outwith the conversation that the First Minister has just described with the chief constable, in June the assistant chief constable, Wayne Mawson, came to Holyrood and told MSPs that searching children younger than 12 is “indefensible” and that it would be scrapped. It has not been scrapped yet, and hundreds of children have been searched by the police on our streets since that appearance.

How can that happen? How can a senior ranking officer come to Holyrood and tell Parliament that officers are regularly doing something that even the police consider to be “indefensible”, and then walk out of the front door and carry on regardless? Is that acceptable?



Meeting of the Parliament 05 February 2015 : Thursday, February 05, 2015
Ruth Davidson

This week, we found out that the police in Scotland have stopped and searched hundreds of children under the age of 12. Of our youngest children, aged nine and under, 159 were stopped. In London, which has millions more people and higher crime, the number was just 19. Everyone in the chamber has nieces, nephews, children or grandchildren. How does the First Minister feel about children as young as five being stopped by the police? Primary school children are being approached by uniformed officers asking to search them, and the children do know whether they are allowed to say no. How does she feel about that?



Meeting of the Parliament 05 February 2015 : Thursday, February 05, 2015
2. Ruth Davidson (Glasgow) (Con)

To ask the First Minister when she will next meet the Prime Minister. (S4F-02576)



Meeting of the Parliament 29 January 2015 : Thursday, January 29, 2015
Ruth Davidson

I asked the First Minister about student numbers. She knows the number that I asked for; she just does not want to say it. Her Government published it this week.

When the SNP came to power, there were more than 86,000 college places in STEM subjects. The most recent figure is just 56,000, which is a cut of 30,000 places in science, technology, engineering and maths. The Government is failing on science and maths. Those are college courses that lead to jobs, and they have been slashed by a third. In schools, less than half of pupils studying science and maths will sit the new exams this year, as we have just heard. In the international tables, on every measurement, Scotland has gone backwards in science and maths since the Government came to power.

Our young people need the skills to compete. Getting a decent job depends on it. Why is the Government failing them?

Vote DetailMSP VoteResult

Amendment 2 moved by X on motion S4M-12485 Margaret Burgess: Welfare Funds (Scotland) Bill—That the
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NoDefeated

Amendment 3 moved by X on motion S4M-12485 Margaret Burgess: Welfare Funds (Scotland) Bill—That the
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NoDefeated

Amendment 4 moved by X on motion S4M-12485 Margaret Burgess: Welfare Funds (Scotland) Bill—That the
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YesDefeated

Amendment 5 moved by X on motion S4M-12485 Margaret Burgess: Welfare Funds (Scotland) Bill—That the
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NoDefeated

Amendment 7 moved by X on motion S4M-12485 Margaret Burgess: Welfare Funds (Scotland) Bill—That the
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NoDefeated

Amendment 8 moved by X on motion S4M-12485 Margaret Burgess: Welfare Funds (Scotland) Bill—That the
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YesDefeated

S4M-12423.1 Alex Rowley: Commission on Local Tax Reform—As an amendment to motion S4M-12423 in the n
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NoCarried

S4M-12423 Marco Biagi: Commission on Local Tax Reform—That the Parliament supports the establishment
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NoCarried

S4M-12385 Liz Smith: STEM Education in Scottish Schools—That the Parliament agrees that a solid grou
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NoCarried

S4M-12395.1 Fergus Ewing: An Energy Strategy for Scotland—As an amendment to motion S4M-12395 in the
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NoCarried

Search for other Motions lodged by Ruth Davidson
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-11863: Ruth Davidson, Glasgow, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 10/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11830: Ruth Davidson, Glasgow, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 08/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10843.1.2: Ruth Davidson, Glasgow, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 20/08/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10154: Ruth Davidson, Glasgow, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 28/05/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-08707.1: Ruth Davidson, Glasgow, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 06/01/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-08501: Ruth Davidson, Glasgow, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 03/12/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-07619: Ruth Davidson, Glasgow, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 06/09/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-07499: Ruth Davidson, Glasgow, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 22/08/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-07133: Ruth Davidson, Glasgow, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 25/06/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-06569: Ruth Davidson, Glasgow, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 14/05/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Search for other Questions asked by Ruth Davidson
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S4F-02631: Ruth Davidson, Glasgow, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 02/03/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4F-02615: Ruth Davidson, Glasgow, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 23/02/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4F-02594: Ruth Davidson, Glasgow, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 16/02/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4F-02576: Ruth Davidson, Glasgow, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 02/02/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4F-02552: Ruth Davidson, Glasgow, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 26/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4F-02532: Ruth Davidson, Glasgow, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 19/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4F-02515: Ruth Davidson, Glasgow, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 12/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4F-02502: Ruth Davidson, Glasgow, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 05/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4F-02481: Ruth Davidson, Glasgow, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 15/12/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4F-02463: Ruth Davidson, Glasgow, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 08/12/2014 Show Full Question >>

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