Margaret Curran: I absolutely accept the point that Des McNulty is making, but on behalf of people in the east end of Glasgow, I ask him to convey to the people of Clydebank that their suffering is well noted in Glasgow and is very much respected. In my very last intervention in the Scottish Parliament, I say to him that the people of Clydebank are still held in great respect for their suffering by the people...
Margaret Curran: Who is accusing who of hyperbole now? You are claiming that we have all sorts of motivations. Can you not understand the fundamental principle that I tried to articulate: people are deeply offended because the coalition Government started by saying that it would respect Scotland but its first act was to disrespect Scotland? Do you not understand the deep feelings that exist about that?
Margaret Curran: I understand why Robert Brown, as a Liberal, wants to get into the referendum argument on why we should change to a PR system, blah, blah, blah, but, as a member of the Scottish Parliament—that is the institution that he has been elected to—he must address the central point, which is whether he agrees that it is disrespectful for the coalition Government at Westminster to make a decision...
Margaret Curran: This is a welcome debate. As many members know, I am now a member of Parliament at Westminster, and I have followed the debate there with great interest. In one of the many contradictions that I would like to make to what Mike Rumbles has said this afternoon, I have to tell him that the legislation is indeed controversial, and the Government has been challenged on many fronts about how it has...
Margaret Curran: No, and I will make that clear as I go through my arguments. It is vital that the Scottish Parliament takes a view, because I have been trying to articulate the view of Scottish politics when I am down there. I am staggered by the fact that the first engagement between the coalition Government and MSPs about the issue was with MSPs who were elected to the Westminster Parliament. That is...
Margaret Curran: No—I would love to, but I do not have time.
Margaret Curran: Do I? Well, then.
Margaret Curran: That point flies in the face of the issues around the arrangements for the previous election being so wrong. Let us be clear about what we are asking people to do. We are asking people to vote in the Scottish Parliament elections, and there are two parts to that question. We are also asking the voter to determine the voting system for a completely different election and a completely different...
Margaret Curran: As long as I have confirmation that I will get all my time, as I still have other things still to say.
Margaret Curran: That is to argue on the head of a pin. The electorate will go to the ballot box wanting to know what decisions they have to make and how many votes they have. The last time, they went into polling stations with three decisions to make and mistakes took place. This time, they will have three decisions to make. The member's attempt to highlight some subtle difference does not translate into...
Margaret Curran: rose —
Margaret Curran: Will the member give way?
Margaret Curran: I am so grateful to the member for taking my intervention. On the respect agenda, if the member's arguments are so strong, surely he agrees that it was incumbent on the coalition Government to consult the elected Government of Scotland so that it could at least work out the impact of the simultaneous votes. Would that not have been at least respectful?
Margaret Curran: Will the member take an intervention?
Margaret Curran: To ask the Scottish Executive what plans there are to maintain the provision of bus services in isolated urban communities reliant on public transport.
Margaret Curran: To ask the Scottish Executive what consultation process is necessary prior to the alteration of commercial bus services and whether there are plans to enhance this process.
Margaret Curran: Is the First Minister aware of allegations about practices at a care home in my constituency of Ballieston, which the Daily Record has highlighted this week? Will he follow the investigations and make every effort to ensure that residents in care homes in Scotland and their families can be assured of a safe and caring environment?
Margaret Curran: To ask the Scottish Executive what the participation rate in further education was, including provision of HNC and HND level courses for local residents, in Glasgow Baillieston and what the national average was in (a) 2007-08, (b) 2008-09 and (c) 2009-10.
Margaret Curran: To ask the Scottish Executive what the participation rate was in higher education, excluding HNC and HND provision by further education colleges, in Glasgow Baillieston and what the national average was in (a) 2007-08, (b) 2008-09 and (c) 2009-10.
Margaret Curran: To ask the Scottish Executive how many (a) school leavers and (b) adult returners in Glasgow Baillieston enrolled at the University of (a) St Andrews, (b) Edinburgh, (c) Aberdeen and (d) Glasgow and what the total number of enrolled students was in (i) 2007-08, (ii) 2008-09 and (c) 2009-10.