27 May 2007

The Sunday Whip

There was only one vote taken this week, and as it was Thursday's vote for the Corporate Body, on whihc four places were available for which there were only four candidates, the whole thing had an air of a foregone conclusion and passed 103 votes to 0 with no abstentions. Basically, Members were going through the motions of having a vote, probably because the Standing Orders demanded it.

So with the week's only vote (and so, this post) being basically pointless, here is a rundown of those members who had better things to do:

45 of the SNP's 47 members voted. Gil Paterson (West of Scotland) and Shona Robison (the Public Health Minister) did not cast a vote.

33 Labour MSP's were present. Wendy Alexander (the Shadow Finance Secretary) was busy preparing her Very Hungry Caterpillar Speech, Claire Baker (Mid Scotland & Fife) didn't cast a vote (though her husband Richard did - are they going to cast one vote between the pair of them for the length of their time at Holyrood?), and like Rhona Brankin (the Shadow Rural Affairs Secretary) was probably busy preparing her notes on ship-to-ship oil transfer, while Cathie Craigie (Cumbernauld & Kilsyth) did not cast a vote. Helen Eadie (Dunfermline East) did not cast a vote this week, so the only division so far in which she has registered a vote is the First Ministerial Election. The same applies to George Foulkes, who may or may not have been at Westminster again. Charlie Gordon (Glasgow Cathcart) wasn't involved. Iain Gray (East Lothian) didn't cast a vote and was, I assume, either preparing his question on ship-to-ship oil transfer or putting the finishing touches on his second(!) maiden speech, which he delivered in the afternoon. Ken Macintosh (Eastwood) and Frank McAveety (Glasgow Shettleston) cast no vote, and neither did Michael McMahon (Hamilton North & Bellshill), which is a bit naughty as he's Labour's Chief Whip. Richard Simpson (Mid Scotland & Fife) didn't cast a vote and David Whitton (Strathkelvin & Bearsden) was the last of Labour's absentees.

For the Tories, only Nanette Milne did not cast a vote, thus playing no part in getting her fellow North East Scotland Tory Alex Johnstone elected to the Corporate Body.

The LibDems had six absentees. Ross Finnie (Shadow Health Secretary) was one of them, as was Jim Hume (South of Scotland). His absence is particularly amusing as he's been accused of neglecting his duties as a Scottish Borders Councillor, and his dual mandate is being cited as a reason for this: turns out he's missing both Council and Holyrood meetings - tut tut, indeed. Anyway, John Farquhar Munro (Ross, Skye & Inverness West) didn't vote (was he absent. or just asleep at his desk?), and Nicol Stephen was the only one of the Big 4 Leaders not to take part. Jamie Stone (Caithness, Sutherland & Easter Ross) didn't vote, and neither did Jim Tolson (Dunfermline West).

Neither of the two Greens made it to the vote, though I don't suppose that they were enthralled with either supporting this vote or looking like they were shattering the consensus, and Robin Harper spoke on ship-to-ship oil transfers, while Patrick Harvie was involved in the afternoon's proceedings. Margo MacDonald gave the vote a miss but spoke in the afternoon.

Maybe next week will bring us some meat.

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