Thursday, 4 September 2008

They're Back and They're Bad

So, the MSP's have returned to Parliament (I'm quite glad to be back too) and the bunfights have started already.

Check out this corking press release from Labour MSP Frank McAveety:


Labour’s Frank McAveety threw down the gauntlet today to the First Minister Alex Salmond following an exchange in the chamber in which Mr Salmond claimed ‘I am not an expert on pie and beans; I leave that to Mr McAveety’.

Mr McAveety issued a challenge to the First Minister:

“I am prepared as part of our commitment to Sport and to tackling obesity to challenge the First Minister to a 100m sprint in which the winner will donate money to the Rainforest Fund charity.”

Frank McAveety added:

“I’m prepared to wear a Team GB shirt and I am sure we can find a team shirt that Alex Salmond could fill.

“I’m sure if Alex Salmond really doesn’t eat pie, chips and beans, which I very much doubt, then he won’t be hot and bothered by this challenge.

“I know Mr Salmond likes a bet so I am prepared to stake £100 of my own money on the race and I am urging all other MSPs to place a bet on who they think will win.

“I’m issuing that challenge to Mr Salmond today and I expect to hear back from him tomorrow afternoon when I’ll be speaking in the obesity debate in the parliament. I hope Scotland’s First Minister is up for the challenge.”

This was preceded earlier in the day with a more traditional war of attrition through the medium Parliamentary Motions and Amendments between Labours Margaret Curran and Tory Jackson Carlaw:

S3M-02456 Margaret Curran (Glasgow Baillieston) (Scottish Labour): Condemnation of the Comments of Andrew Lansley and Defence of the NHS in Scotland— That the Parliament calls on Conservative UK Shadow Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley MP, to withdraw his comments suggesting that health spending should be reduced in Glasgow and spent elsewhere in the United Kingdom; believes that Mr Lansley’s apparent conclusion that health spending is inverse to health outcomes and should therefore be reduced in areas of poor health is a perverse logic that risks denying people in most need the healthcare that they require and deserve and that this is an alarming indication of the Conservatives’ intention to cut NHS funding; notes with equal concern that Mr Lansley’s wish may already be being granted by the SNP government in light of the recently announced £42 million of cuts to NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and the fact that health spending in the Scottish Government’s budget fails to match the year-on-year increases of both the UK Government for England and those of the previous Scottish administration; further notes that, if this trend continues, Scotland’s historically higher health spending per head of population is at risk of being reversed within the next five years, and calls on members of all parties to defend the NHS in Scotland from further cuts and ensure that all people in Scotland of whatever financial means can access the healthcare that they deserve.

Text of amended motion:

That the Parliament is wearying of the parade of invitations to pay tribute to the former Lib/Lab administration, rejected by the electorate in May 2007; invites the Scottish Government to press on with evidence-based action to assist the people of Scotland to tackle health inequalities and to do so without fear or favour to the record of the Labour party, which having governed the people of Glasgow for decades has singularly failed to improve health inequalities within the city, and calls on members of all parties to measure success less by reference to health spending and more by reference to health outcomes while ensuring that all people in Scotland, of whatever financial means, can access the healthcare they deserve

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