Margo MacDonald: I am concerned that, although the minister and I would agree on the general approach that is needed continuously to modernise education and teaching methods, not one of the manifesto points that he mentioned will make life easier for teachers. It appears to teachers that the offer that they have been made simply adds salt to the wounds that have been inflicted by the innovations that the...
Margo MacDonald: Will the minister think again about what should be reserved information? I have it on the best possible authority that the three independent reports to which he referred all recommended Edinburgh royal. We do not question the clinical assessment that there is a need for only one centre of excellence, but we question the minister's refusal to make the reports public. There is no issue of...
Margo MacDonald: Will the First Minister give way?
Margo MacDonald: Will Mr Lyon give way?
Margo MacDonald: Interceptions? [Laughter.]
Margo MacDonald: I very much agree with the notion of mutual respect in concordats—it is essential. Does the member agree with Alex Neil's suggestion of a rotating chairmanship of the ministerial council, with different lead ministers from the different Administrations within the British Isles?
Margo MacDonald: I will take Mr McAllion's advice and keep cool. I want to address the part of the memorandum of understanding that covers international and EU relations. The First Minister should not get too worried, as I will not make independence the sole template for judging the memorandum. However, I will take advice from Des McNulty and take note of the fact that underlying the memorandum and the...
Margo MacDonald: On a point of order.
Margo MacDonald: Is it in order for a minister or any member of the Parliament to cast aspersions on the democratic legitimacy of any of the members here? Twice in the past three weeks, the Deputy Minister for Rural Affairs has questioned the status of members elected from the lists rather than the constituencies.
Margo MacDonald: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it intends to publish an annual self-assessment of its administrative record and, if so, how such a report would be distributed.
Margo MacDonald: To ask the Scottish Executive how many entrants there are in the current academic year for the Scottish Universities’ Speech and Language Therapy degree courses.
Margo MacDonald: To ask the Scottish Executive what measures have been taken since January 1997 to pre-empt and alleviate the "difficulties" at Babcock’s yard, Rosyth referred to by its spokesperson as quoted in The Herald on 3 September.
Margo MacDonald: To ask the Scottish Executive to specify, in terms of the expected job losses, the "difficulties" at Babcock’s yard, Rosyth referred to by its spokesperson as quoted in The Herald on 3 September.
Margo MacDonald: Some of us still love him! [Laughter.]
Margo MacDonald: Speaking on behalf of my husband and I— [Laughter.]
Margo MacDonald: My memory goes back even further than the First Minister's. I campaigned alongside my husband—although we were not then married—and Teddy Taylor. We campaigned as Scotland United, because we were opposed, for our different reasons, to entry to the EEC. I cannot remember what Jim wrote in a pamphlet, although if the First Minister sends me a copy, I will verify whether he has got it right.
Margo MacDonald: However, I remember campaigning with the slogan "No voice, no entry", which is very similar to the position of the SNP today.
Margo MacDonald: In supporting the amendment in the name of my friend Mr Salmond, I am not—as some might think—breaking the habit of a lifetime. Rather, I am giving voice to an opinion that I formed almost 40 years ago, when I listened to the voices of the British establishment—the members on the front benches of the House of Commons—debating their duty to join the then Common Market, to see it...
Margo MacDonald: Will Mr Raffan give way?
Margo MacDonald: Will the First Minister tell us whether, in his most recent—or indeed any—meeting with the Secretary of State for Scotland, John Reid told him why he will remove from the First Minister's powers and functions the ability to intercept telephone or mail communications? Instead of that ability residing with the First Minister, it has gone to the Home Secretary.