13 June 2010

The Sunday Whip

A broadly consensual week, though with a harbinger of a row to come, and that rare beast, an SNP-Labour link-up.

Anyway. Wednesday saw no votes taken: the Business and Bureau motions were waved through, as were the William Simpson's Home (Transfer of Property etc.) (Scotland) Bill and the Scottish Parliamentary Commissions and Commissioners etc. Bill and its two amendments. And to complete proceedings, MSPs acknowledged the Transport Committee's Report on the Inquiry into Active Travel. Bish, bash, bosh, sorted.

Thursday was a little busier, though there were a handful of absentees: Shadow Further & Higher Education Minister Claire Baker (Mid Scotland & Fife), Margaret Curran (Lab, Glasgow Baillieston), Shadow Rural Development Minister Karen Gillon (Clydesdale), Marlyn Glen (Lab, North East Scotland), Cathy Jamieson (Lab, Carrick, Cumnock & Doon Valley), Stewart Maxwell (SNP, West of Scotland), John Faruhar Munro (LD, Ross, Skye & Inverness West), Irene Oldfather (Lab, Cunninghame North), LibDem Leader Tavish Scott (Shetland), his predecessor Nicol Stephen (Aberdeen South), Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson (Banff & Buchan) and David Stewart (Lab, Highlands & Islands).

The first matter was Stage 1 of the Alcohol etc. (Scotland) Bill. First came a Tory amendment to the motion calling on the Government to drop the section on minimum pricing, which passed by 54 - most of Labour and all the Tories - to 49 - the SNP, the Greens, Margo and Malcolm Chisholm (Lab, Edinburgh North & Leith) with 13 LibDem abstentions. The amended motion then passed by 98 (SNP/Lab/LD/Margo) to 0 with 18 Tory and Green abstentions, and the Financial Resolution passed without dissent.

Then came the Government motion on violence against men. A Labour amendment passed by 85 - most of the SNP group, all of the Labour MSPs present, the Greens and Margo - to 27 - the Tories and most of the LibDems with three abstentions: Christine Grahame (SNP, South of Scotland), LibDem Local Government Spokesperson Alison McInnes (North East Scotland) and Alasdair Morgan (SNP, South of Scotland). Hugh O'Donnell (LD, Central Scotland) missed that vote.

The Tory amendment fell by 42 - most of the Labour group, the Greens, Margo and Gil Paterson (SNP, West of Scotland) - to 28 - the Tories and most of the LibDems - with 46 abstentions - the rest of the SNP plus Shadow Children's Minister Karen Whitefield (Airdrie & Shotts) and Alison McInnes.

The amended motion then passed by 85 - most SNP and Labour MSPs, the Greens and Margo - to 17 - the Tories and Helen Eadie (Lab, Dunfermline East), with 14 abstentions - the LibDems plus Christine Grahame:

That the Parliament recognises that domestic abuse is a very serious and totally unacceptable problem in Scottish society; notes in particular that all victims, whether they be women, men or children, deserve appropriate support; therefore welcomes the Scottish Government's provision of funding for a support helpline for male victims, which will provide the further information about their needs that is required before any future decisions about services are made, and reaffirms that domestic abuse is rooted in gender inequality, that overwhelmingly victims are women and that eradicating domestic abuse will only succeed where that pattern is acknowledged.

So that was it for another week. Next week we have Stage 1 of the Children's Hearings (Scotland) Bill, Labour business and a debate on the Poverty Framework. Stand by for egg-throwing, and lots of it.

No comments: