Tavish Scott MSP

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Trustee of the Scottish Parliamentary Contributory Pension Fund

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Public Audit Committee 01 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 01, 2014
Tavish Scott (Shetland Islands) (LD)

Thank you for being so commendably open. It is incredibly helpful to have people coming along to the committee who are open about what is happening.

How do you think we can best tackle the recruitment challenges? Are you arguing that the NHS across Scotland needs to be able to reward in different ways? We now provide golden hellos for general practitioners in particular areas of deprivation and in areas of rurality. Do you think that other incentives need to be built in?

You may also be aware that MSPs and health ministers face some pressure around public perception, given the pay rates in that area. We are under that pressure at the same time that you are faced with pretty ghastly choices and recruitment challenges.



Public Audit Committee 01 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 01, 2014
Tavish Scott

What does that mean?



Public Audit Committee 01 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 01, 2014
Tavish Scott

Why does that happen?



Public Audit Committee 01 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 01, 2014
Tavish Scott

If you wanted to change the system, is that the part that you would target?



Public Audit Committee 01 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 01, 2014
Tavish Scott

In your different health board areas, are you all being asked to make these observations—and indeed suggestions—to the NHS at the centre? In fairness, the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing has made observations at question time on many occasions about how difficult recruitment is. I just wonder who is driving the process of recognising the challenges that you have all—very fairly—identified. How, therefore, do we tackle them?



Meeting of the Parliament 01 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 01, 2014
Tavish Scott (Shetland Islands) (LD)

Four Shetland friends will play the centenary course tomorrow. Of course, I wish them well. I hope that none of them ends up in the loch at the side of the 16th, in the bunker beside the first or in any other horrible hazard that will cause them to lose their favourite Titleist Pro.

By any standards, it has been one heck of a week for golf in Scotland. I very much agree with the general tone of the cabinet secretary’s remarks.

Patricia Ferguson and I might both reflect that some of us who were part of the Government when the Ryder cup was awarded and when Jack McConnell rightly got clubgolf going might have hoped at some stage for an “access all areas” pass on the back of that, but life moves on.

Liz Smith made an interesting comparison between Augusta and Gleneagles. I suppose that one difference is that there is usually 80 degrees of heat at Augusta. Having walked round the course at the masters, I know that that makes a substantial difference.

The point that really struck me as I watched the golf on television was how powerful the images were, and the fact that they were beamed round the world does nothing but good for Scottish golf.

I am glad that the cabinet secretary also mentioned the junior Ryder cup at Blairgowrie. I think that the Blairgowrie courses are the best inland golf courses in Scotland, and the fact that the junior Ryder cup was such a success there has to bode well for the development of junior golf.

As for the event itself, Kaymer’s chip-in at the 16th has to be my best moment. Having walked round the back of that green, I think that, for level of difficulty, that had to be the toughest imaginable shot, given the pressure. The other side to it was the look in Rory McIlroy’s eyes as he beat Rickie Fowler. I could find any number of adjectives to describe what he did to him, but the intensity of his eyes were those of a sportsman on his game.

At 10-6 overnight on the Saturday, I personally thought that there was no way we were going to lose, given the line-up that we put out, with G-Mac leading them out.

I will make two or three other points. First, I agree with Chic Brodie that dissing Tom Watson was not the cleverest thing to do. The Americans just did not play very well. A two-times masters champion got zero points during the course of the weekend. Instead of dissing their captain, they might all have looked at themselves. I suspect that half of their team did look at themselves. They can go on about Zinger and his pods from some years past, but I think the Americans need to do that.

McGinley was clearly an inspirational and incredibly intelligent leader of his team and he deserves all the plaudits that will come to him.

There are some bigger issues for golf that need to be addressed. In some ways, they are not about governance but about the game and what it needs to do for the future. Let us be clear that golf is a money-making enterprise. I think that the cabinet secretary mentioned this, but I understand that the European tour will make £70 million out of Gleneagles. How much of that will go back into junior golf, not just in Scotland, of course, but right across Europe? Let us be clear that these men are all multimillionaires—they are very well paid to do what they do. I am a passionate golfer, but I think that it is fair to look very hard at the game itself and at where the money is.

In our country, we have 230,000 people playing golf. France already has 430,000, and when the French host the next Ryder cup they hope to increase that, reaching 700,000 by 2018. Victor Dubuisson may not be the only Frenchman in the team by that time if they get that number playing golf.

That is why clubgolf is so important and why Shona Robison’s Government is absolutely right to keep it going. I also support the other initiatives that she announced today. However, there are some hard questions that we need to ask. How many girls and women are in golf?



Meeting of the Parliament 01 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 01, 2014
Tavish Scott

The R&A seems to have dragged itself into the 21st century, and about time too. However, there is much to do, because I certainly hope that Stephen Gallacher is not the last Scot to play. I hope that he plays next time too, but I rather hope that there are a few more Scots in the team with him.

15:19  

Meeting of the Parliament 01 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 01, 2014
Tavish Scott (Shetland Islands) (LD)

I was concerned to hear about the assassination attempt on Mr Stevenson, and that he survived. In a more serious vein, I remind him that, when he was more recently an environment minister, the then environment secretary in the UK Government took him to international conferences as very much part of the delegation. Chris Huhne was mindful of taking the Scottish minister, who happened at that time to be Mr Stevenson. That is the right approach.

It is disappointing that the Government lodged a motion that was always going to divide the chamber. As a number of members have said, surely most of us can reach broad agreement on the issue. In fairness to Mr Wheelhouse, his remarks did not follow his motion. They were entirely reasonable, as one would expect but, sadly, that was not the case for the motion.

I will gently pick Mr Wheelhouse up on one point. If I noted him correctly, he said that the Scottish Parliament has a proud record of supporting action. We have a proud record of supporting targets, but we surely know from environmental organisations—and not least Stop Climate Chaos Scotland’s briefing—that we are some way from dealing in concrete actions. Members on all sides have made that point in relation to the targets, which have yet to be achieved. I hope that we can achieve the targets. When we do so, perhaps Scotland can be a little more assertive about its position, and it will not be just rhetoric.

My real difficulty with the motion relates not to all the political stuff but to the suggestion that the New York summit was a success. My reading of New York is that, as usual, we got a huge amount of rhetoric from Obama and everyone else, but not much action. It worries me most that the Chinese made it abundantly clear that they have no plans whatever to comply with international emission standards reductions, because they consider China to be a developing country and not a developed country. In China’s view, its arguments about the number of its people who fall within the UN definition of being in poverty completely outweigh the emissions from its coal industry and other such challenges.

The New York summit might have done some things, but it was long on rhetoric and short on action. We have a long way to go globally before differences are made. In New York, the French gave poor countries a $1 billion guarantee, which was definitely progress, as was the commitment from pension funds and the bank and insurance industry to low-carbon ventures, which is meant to be worth about $200 billion. Those aspects are concrete. However, the main commitment of the US, which is still the world’s biggest economy, was to take climate change into account in overseas aid spending. That can hardly be construed as an enormous step forward.

What chance Paris 2015? The minister was right to highlight the importance of that conference. We are a considerable way from extolling the virtues of a guaranteed agreement in Paris next December—that is a long way from happening—but I hope that the minister will support Ed Davey’s work in the European Union. On his initiative as the UK environment secretary, he created the green growth group, which is being driven forward by 15 EU nations. I hope that the minister will find time to support that and the measures that are being taken to put in place at the October European Council meeting, which will happen shortly, an agreed European climate change policy towards 2030. Poland opposes the proposal, because of its coal industry, so this is not yet a done deal even in Europe. Until such a policy is in place, we will be a considerable way from having the solution that we want in Europe and around the globe.

16:29  

Education and Culture Committee 30 September 2014 : Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Tavish Scott (Shetland Islands) (LD)

Thank you, convener. First, I apologise for being late. I do not have any interests to declare, other than that I have children at school, which seems somewhat relevant to this subject.

I have a supplementary to Jayne Baxter’s question. The Royal Society of Edinburgh’s briefing, which I read on the plane from home this morning, states that

“the Management Board’s short-life working group ... proposes many actions”

but

“there is little discernible priority among the long list of actions.”

Do the panel members think that that matters moving forward?



Education and Culture Committee 30 September 2014 : Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Tavish Scott

I take Mr Muir’s and Mr Flanagan’s points. I presume that you would concede that 36 actions are quite a lot of actions. Someone in some bit of the system must make a judgment about which of those 36 actions will be implemented first, second, third and all the way down. You cannot expect a head of faculty or a headteacher to judge all 36 of them equally important. I want to gauge how you expect the system to cope with so many recommendations.

Vote DetailMSP VoteResult

S4M-11123 Joe FitzPatrick on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau: Business Motion—That the Parliament
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Not VotedCarried

S4M-11114.2 Kenny MacAskill: Policing—As an amendment to motion S4M-11114 in the name of Graeme Pear
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Not VotedCarried

S4M-11114 Graeme Pearson: Policing—That the Parliament acknowledges that policing in Scotland contin
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Not VotedCarried

S4M-11116.1.1 Patrick Harvie: Scotland’s Future—As an amendment to amendment S4M-11116.1 in the name
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Not VotedCarried

S4M-11116.1 Nicola Sturgeon: Scotland’s Future—As an amendment to motion S4M-11116 in the name of Jo
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Not VotedCarried

S4M-11116 Johann Lamont: Scotland’s Future—That the Parliament recognises the result of the independ
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Not VotedCarried

Amendment 61 moved by Elaine Murray on motion S4M-11101 Kenny MacAskill: Courts Reform (Scotland) Bi
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Not VotedDefeated

Amendment 62 moved by Margaret Mitchell on motion S4M-11101 Kenny MacAskill: Courts Reform (Scotland
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Not VotedDefeated

Amendment 63 moved by Margaret Mitchell on motion S4M-11101 Kenny MacAskill: Courts Reform (Scotland
>> Show more
Not VotedDefeated

Amendment 64 moved by Margaret Mitchell on motion S4M-11101 Kenny MacAskill: Courts Reform (Scotland
>> Show more
Not VotedDefeated

Search for other Motions lodged by Tavish Scott
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-11215: Tavish Scott, Shetland Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 16/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11042: Tavish Scott, Shetland Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 30/09/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11029.3: Tavish Scott, Shetland Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 30/09/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10732: Tavish Scott, Shetland Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 05/08/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10666: Tavish Scott, Shetland Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 28/07/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10536: Tavish Scott, Shetland Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 02/07/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10364: Tavish Scott, Shetland Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 17/06/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10317: Tavish Scott, Shetland Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 12/06/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10262.1: Tavish Scott, Shetland Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 10/06/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10267: Tavish Scott, Shetland Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 10/06/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Search for other Questions asked by Tavish Scott
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S4W-22846: Tavish Scott, Shetland Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 13/10/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22289: Tavish Scott, Shetland Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 07/08/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22290: Tavish Scott, Shetland Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 07/08/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22245: Tavish Scott, Shetland Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 05/08/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22202: Tavish Scott, Shetland Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 28/07/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22166: Tavish Scott, Shetland Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 17/07/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22111: Tavish Scott, Shetland Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 11/07/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22112: Tavish Scott, Shetland Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 11/07/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22113: Tavish Scott, Shetland Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 11/07/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22114: Tavish Scott, Shetland Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 11/07/2014 Show Full Question >>

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