Results 101–120 of 692 for speaker:Mike Watson

Scottish Parliament: Spending Strategy (20 Sep 2000)

Mike Watson: I will eventually, Kenny, but not just now. I do not know why David Davidson is incapable of coming to terms with the fact that the partnership is in operation and has been effective in delivering government for Scotland. Why is it such a surprise every time Liberal Democrats agree with a Labour member? This is a partnership, as Jack McConnell stressed at every stage of the process.

Scottish Parliament: Spending Strategy (20 Sep 2000)

Mike Watson: No. The purpose of this debate is not to say whether there should be a coalition. The people of Scotland decided that on 6 May last year, to all intents and purposes. The SNP should be capable of welcoming the news that we have heard today. In every debate in the chamber, we are told that we should spend more on the health service, on local government, on transport and on any other area that...

Scottish Parliament: Spending Strategy (20 Sep 2000)

Mike Watson: Kenny Gibson has encapsulated the SNP's problem. Andrew Wilson cited public spending as a percentage of GDP in 1992. There was a recession in 1992, so the comparison he made was meaningless. Now we are talking about local authority spending 10 years ago. The key is to look forwards, not backwards. There is no point in comparing what we had three, five or 10 years ago, as the debate is about...

Scottish Parliament: Spending Strategy (20 Sep 2000)

Mike Watson: I like the spending plans that have been outlined today, which everybody should recognise are an improvement on the past. Vastly greater resources are becoming available. For example, local government will receive 10.5 per cent above inflation over three years. How is it possible to criticise that? Social justice is at the forefront of all policy delivery.

Scottish Parliament: Spending Strategy (20 Sep 2000)

Mike Watson: No. I have taken two interventions and am running out of time. I will not repeat the figures that we have heard, because the Finance Committee and the subject committees will go into them in considerable detail over the next two months. The strength of our position is that not only is there transparency, we are now on a three-year cycle. The spending statement is good news for the people of...

Scottish Parliament: Housing Stock Transfer (21 Sep 2000)

Mike Watson: I always seem to follow Tommy Sheridan in these debates. I do not criticise him for getting steamed up, because I know where his heart is and I understand that he is doing a job for the people of Glasgow. However, he does go over the top slightly. Words such as blackmail do not serve his argument. Over the years nobody has been more committed to municipal ownership than I have. Tommy Sheridan...

Scottish Parliament: Housing Stock Transfer (21 Sep 2000)

Mike Watson: I am aware of that. I was at the Social Inclusion, Housing and Voluntary Sector Committee when members of Dumfries and Galloway Council gave evidence. That evidence does not suggest that municipal housing would end in those areas. Other forms of housing will be made available to young people. I am sensitive to that need. It is an exaggeration to say that that will be the end of life as people...

Scottish Parliament: Housing Stock Transfer (21 Sep 2000)

Mike Watson: No. I will not take the intervention because I am short of time. Glasgow Citywide Tenants Forum is participating in the process. That is the key. The code of practice for tenant participation, which has now been issued, enshrines many of the demands that were made in the early part of the process and will ensure that if there are other moves towards housing stock transfer in other parts of...

Scottish Parliament written answers — Housing: Housing (5 Oct 2000)

Mike Watson: To ask the Scottish Executive what assessment it has made of the employment implications of the housing stock transfer proposal in Glasgow and other parts of Scotland.

Scottish Parliament: Executive Accountability to Parliament (1 Nov 2000)

Mike Watson: It has now been confirmed that Fergus Ewing has developed hyperbole to an art form; he illustrated that conclusively in his speech. It is unfortunate that the debate has, perhaps not surprisingly, centred on the SQA. The motion in the business bulletin, which is being debated today, concerns the Executive's policy on official information and accountability to Parliament. The debate should not...

Scottish Parliament: Executive Accountability to Parliament (1 Nov 2000)

Mike Watson: It was crystal clear. Mike Russell says that it is not true; we can check the Official Report tomorrow. No one in the chamber, the gallery or the press benches was in any doubt about what John Swinney was saying.

Scottish Parliament: Executive Accountability to Parliament (1 Nov 2000)

Mike Watson: My comments are based on Mr Swinney's remarks. Members saw Mary Mulligan's reaction when she rose; if what Mr Russell says is true, why was she so angry at those remarks? I am not a member of the Education, Culture and Sport Committee; however, her reaction was perfectly clear. As a committee convener, I would have resented such comments if someone had made them about me. Every committee...

Scottish Parliament: Executive Accountability to Parliament (1 Nov 2000)

Mike Watson: Then why was Mary Mulligan—

Scottish Parliament: Executive Accountability to Parliament (1 Nov 2000)

Mike Watson: I will not give way again. We are getting dragged into one issue instead of discussing the substantive matter of the way that accountability—

Scottish Parliament: Executive Accountability to Parliament (1 Nov 2000)

Mike Watson: Nor will I get into playground name calling. The forthcoming freedom of information bill, to which the First Minister referred, will introduce strong and effective legislation on freedom of information, which is something that we have needed for a long time and will shortly have. The cornerstones provided by that bill, the "Code of Practice on Access to Scottish Executive Information" and the...

Scottish Parliament: Equality Strategy (8 Nov 2000)

Mike Watson: I thank the Rev I M Jolly for giving way. Bill Aitken started off by saying that what we have is another glossy document. Perhaps a document printed on brown paper would make him happier—I am sure that that could be achieved. He asked how we could move the debate forward and then denigrated targets and monitoring, which are central to the process. Surely it is precisely through targets...

Scottish Parliament: Equality Strategy (8 Nov 2000)

Mike Watson: Answer the question.

Scottish Parliament: Equality Strategy (8 Nov 2000)

Mike Watson: I welcome the publication of "Equality Strategy: Working together for equality". I pay tribute to the work that Jackie Baillie did in her junior post, which I know she will continue in her new post, ably supported by Margaret Curran. The strategy is evidence that we are moving forward. I find it incredible that members of other parties can quibble about the cover of the document rather than...

Scottish Parliament: Equality Strategy (8 Nov 2000)

Mike Watson: No, I cannot stand any more doom and gloom. There are points in the strategy on which we can build. We must take that opportunity. There is much that the Parliament can do if we do it together. Lloyd Quinan made a useful contribution; I accept that. We are looking for positive suggestions. That is what these debates are supposed to be about. There are a lot of positive suggestions in the...


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