"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

Friday, 15 January 2010

Scottish Parliament, First Minister's Questions 14 January 2010

Prior to FMQs today, Alex Salmond expressed the Parliament's condolences for the people of Haiti who have suffered the most appalling devastation and loss of life in the past days. He asked the Scottish people to contribute to the Disasters Emergency Committee which will launch the Scottish appeal in Glasgow tomorrow.

The labour leader's questions this week revolved round literacy. A report from the Literacy Commission had concluded 1 in 5 of the Scottish population cannot read or write. His first question was to as the FM what the Scottish government intended to do about it. The FM thanked Iain Gray for his constructive question (yes he did) and, in his usual elaborate fashion, replied the problem had to be resolved as a joint venture between local councils and central government, utilising the concordat. Mr Gray's second and third questions were also about literacy but the FM patiently rephrased his original response to both. Not a raised voice from either leader although the thought passed my mind that Iain Gray had slightly overdone the self hypnosis this week. He seemed slightly trance-like to me.

Poor Annabelle Goldie. It's not often we have the privilege or disadvantage (your choice) of seeing Ms Goldie blush with embarrassment but today her rosy cheeks were plain for all to see. She was intent on pushing the labour cut tory mantra and she did so successfully, but not without being admonished by the Presiding Officer and also by Alex Salmond.

Tavish Scott, looking charming in a cerise tie today and with his usual cardboard cuffs, brought the matter of the border textile industry to the attention of the FM. Due to the present economic climate another business was closing and he requested help from the government. As many of us know the textile industry is vital to the borders and further redundancies lie heavily on local economies. The textile business has changed radically in the past 50 years but some do survive by continually changing to suit their market and searching for new markets. The FM promised all the help the government could provide.

Today was quite a change from last week with agreement being most evident. Of course the first Budget vote is next week and I suspect that was in many minds during today's cordial exchanges.

If you wish to see the recorded programme visit HolyroodLive TV or BBC iPlayer. It is not yet available on either site but ought to be shortly.


  1. :-) Check the name - this is SubRosa's handiwork, Bugger. Neat, eh!

  2. Can't see Subrosa's name anywhere GV.

    I knew she had written it as it was lifted from her blog.

    You published it so, my comment stands!

    As the Japanese say

    MODOKI or really should be, in this case "IKODOM"



  3. Take off your sunglasses Panda and check the bit at the bottom of the post which says "Posted by SubRosa". My Dundonian friend has been contributing to the blog for a while now :-)

  4. Yer having me on.

    You just stuck that up after I told you that it wasn't there.

  5. :-) I don't know, there's just no pleasing some pandas.

  6. If you think really hard I am sure you could up with something.


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