Margo MacDonald: I endorse what Dr Simpson has just said. I suggest to the health secretary that a prior step that could be taken to ensure the comfort and safety of such people in old people’s homes is the training and registration of people who will work with them.
Margo MacDonald: In seeking to avoid a postcode lottery and to ensure a much more level playing field of policy among the health boards, has the cabinet secretary considered that we may have too many health boards in Scotland and that we could do with fewer?
Margo MacDonald: This might be a completely ridiculous question, but I want an answer to it. Given that in Scots law different kinds of cases require different standards of proof, is there any reason why the crime—or an accusation—of rape should not be in a category of its own and not need corroborative evidence while everything else remains?
Margo MacDonald: On the point about no one size fitting all, I am intrigued by why we are going for an end to corroborative evidence. Is it because we think that there will be a purer justice at the end of it? Is it to save money? Or is it more convenient in pursuing a case?
Margo MacDonald: I apologise for not having read the same resources that the member has, but did the professor say what would constitute a sufficiency of evidence? Is there any way to define that?
Margo MacDonald: I thank the cabinet secretary for prior sight of the statement and his billet-doux of yesterday. I will be at him later, though, to suggest some spending for very good community sports projects. I want to ask about the inflation rate in the NHS, which has been consistently two to three times more than that in the retail prices index and the consumer prices index, thus eating deep into NHS...
Margo MacDonald: For the member’s information, I think that there are already volunteers available to take people through walking football. They are called Rangers.
Margo MacDonald: Does the member agree that it would be a good idea to have some sort of national training scheme for officials, which clubs that do not have a lot of money could buy into?
Margo MacDonald: I, too, regret that time is tight. However, thank you for the two minutes, Presiding Officer. I have brought with me a great gust of information from a recent seminar on this very topic at the cross-party group on sport. Obviously, I will share it with the convener of the Health and Sport Committee. The business of a tennis academy surfaced this afternoon. Instead of taking a decision on that...
Margo MacDonald: Will the member give way?
Margo MacDonald: Will the member give way?
Margo MacDonald: I would like to get this right. Does the Government allege that it is spending £800 million or so more on the health service than was spent on the health service in the last Labour budget? By how much does Labour allege that the SNP has reduced the spending? I do not know that yet, so I cannot make up my mind about who is crying the crocodile tears.
Margo MacDonald: Rather than going into the records, because we will never agree on that, could we try to find agreement on why there should be a shortfall on the wards? I spent three months in an NHS hospital this year. I know what the shortfalls are and I will tell the member if he asks me.
Margo MacDonald: I have the greatest respect for Kevin Stewart and he has fairly boned up on his figures, but the reality for me was being in hospital during a night shift when there should have been four nurses under a sister but, instead, there were two nurses, one needing a hip replacement and the other needing a knee replacement. I was better able to lift the patients than they were. That was the reality.
Margo MacDonald: Is the member implying that the fuel poverty that families in Scotland are experiencing is not in any way the fault of the energy supply companies?
Margo MacDonald: I have forgotten what the Schleswig-Holstein question is.
Margo MacDonald: Let me cut to the chase—does Annabelle Ewing think that community councils should have bigger budgets?
Margo MacDonald: Anne McTaggart said that those projects will succeed only if the Government is willing to put money in. Is it not true that the projects will not succeed unless they correctly identify the right local people, in the right place, at the right time, who have enough confidence in themselves to go ahead?
Margo MacDonald: Where did the people at Inchgarth come from? Were they already there on the ground? Did they have previous experience? How was the team put together?
Margo MacDonald: I was impressed to hear that in Paisley they are playing tennis these days. It used to be tig with aixes, as they said. However, I would like to know who looks after the tennis facilities. Is there a council watchman? Is it the people themselves who look after them?