Thursday, 12 March 2009

Debate by Motion

Parliamentary motions are an excellent way of highlighting good work by organisations in an MSP's constituency. They might raises awareness of a particularly succesful campaign on important subjects that can lead to more developments in that field. At the other end of the spectrum, an MSP might use a motion to congratulate his own eleven year old daughter for doing well at school.

Somewhere in between of course we have the motion below espousing one view on a subject, which is amended by someone else whose position is a polar opposite.

This one is a particularly good example:


S3M-3625 Jamie Hepburn: 25th Anniversary of the Miners’ Strike—That the Parliament notes that March 2009 marks the 25th anniversary of the beginning of the 1984-85 miners’ strike, with the announcement of the closure of 20 pits across the United Kingdom being made on 6 March 1984 and the strike in Scotland starting on 12 March 1984; believes that the strike represented a defining moment in the history of industrial relations across the UK; regrets the damage inflicted upon the trade union movement by Margaret Thatcher’s government at the time; recognises the devastating immediate effect and lasting damage caused to communities across Scotland by pit closures; notes that at the peak of the strike over 90% of Scottish miners had walked out, demonstrating the massive solidarity in Scotland for the miners’ cause, and hopes that no government ever again shows the contempt to organised workers shown to the miners by the Conservative government of the day.

*S3M-3625.1 Jackson Carlaw: 25th Anniversary of the Miners’ Strike—As an amendment to motion (S3M-3625) in the name of Jamie Hepburn, leave out from "; regrets" to end and insert "with the eventual outcome ensuring that the country would thereafter be governed by the Government as opposed to a collection of militant trade union barons and left wing rabble-rousers; considers that the ballot-less and illegal strikes were rightly opposed at the time by the Labour party under the leadership of Neil Kinnock and urges everyone to reflect on this fact before attempting to rewrite history for political advantage; fully acknowledges the suffering experienced by local communities during this period but also considers that the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) busied itself concealing millions of pounds that could have been used to ameliorate this suffering in order to avoid potential sequestration as a consequence of its illegal actions; believes that Arthur Scargill was directly and personally responsible for the demise of the NUM and therefore finds it deeply ironic that he remains Life President of the NUM to this day; welcomes the fact that this period of economic restructuring transformed the country into a fully fledged, modern, free market economy subsequently used as a blueprint for success the world over, and therefore pays tribute to the Thatcher government for having had the determination, resolve and foresight to make these reforms when it did and for the period of unprecedented economic expansion, wealth creation and personal and economic liberty that followed."

Motion as amended
That the Parliament notes that March 2009 marks the 25th anniversary of the beginning of the 1984-85 miners’ strike, with the announcement of the closure of 20 pits across the United Kingdom being made on 6 March 1984 and the strike in Scotland starting on 12 March 1984; believes that the strike represented a defining moment in the history of industrial relations across the UK with the eventual outcome ensuring that the country would thereafter be governed by the Government as opposed to a collection of militant trade union barons and left wing rabble-rousers; considers that the ballot-less and illegal strikes were rightly opposed at the time by the Labour party under the leadership of Neil Kinnock and urges everyone to reflect on this fact before attempting to rewrite history for political advantage; fully acknowledges the suffering experienced by local communities during this period but also considers that the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) busied itself concealing millions of pounds that could have been used to ameliorate this suffering in order to avoid potential sequestration as a consequence of its illegal actions; believes that Arthur Scargill was directly and personally responsible for the demise of the NUM and therefore finds it deeply ironic that he remains Life President of the NUM to this day; welcomes the fact that this period of economic restructuring transformed the country into a fully fledged, modern, free market economy subsequently used as a blueprint for success the world over, and therefore pays tribute to the Thatcher government for having had the determination, resolve and foresight to make these reforms when it did and for the period of unprecedented economic expansion, wealth creation and personal and economic liberty that followed

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