Results 481–500 of 692 for speaker:Mike Watson

Scottish Parliament: Asylum Seekers and Refugees (31 Oct 2001)

Mike Watson: I hope that that is not the case. I freely admit that I am not a regular reader of the Edinburgh Evening News , but if it stated that, I hope that it is misinformed. I understand that the UK Government remains committed to dispersing asylum seeker families and that that system will not come to an end. I think that that is a very good thing. It is wrong for everyone to be concentrated in...

Scottish Parliament: Asylum Seekers and Refugees (31 Oct 2001)

Mike Watson: On a point of order, Presiding Officer. Will you consider asking Kenny Gibson to withdraw his disgraceful remark about the yellow star? We all know what that symbol stands for and the reference is inappropriate in the circumstances. I know Kenny well and I think that he might want to withdraw that shocking comment.

Scottish Parliament: Question Time — Scottish Executive: Broadcasting (25 Oct 2001)

Mike Watson: I am sure that the minister and many members will join me in welcoming the standard of the political and current affairs coverage that has developed on all channels since the Parliament was established two years ago. Does the minister agree that the regular attacks on "Newsnight Scotland" are wide of the mark? That programme provides a useful service on the Parliament's activities. Will the...

Scottish Parliament: Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Bill: Financial Resolution (4 Oct 2001)

Mike Watson: That is not the response from Murray Tosh that I had anticipated. Those questions were asked at an early stage of the bill—the drafting stage. Assurances were given that such an amendment would not be necessary. I cannot give assurances, nor can the minister I suspect, about whether amendments to the bill will be accepted, because that is a matter for the convener of the Rural Development...

Scottish Parliament: Public Resources (27 Sep 2001)

Mike Watson: On a point of order.

Scottish Parliament: Public Resources (27 Sep 2001)

Mike Watson: It is not just the allegation that is important—where the allegation came from is important, too. The allegation is refuted on the Labour benches and Andrew Wilson should justify such statements.

Scottish Parliament: Public Resources (27 Sep 2001)

Mike Watson: A lot of moral indignation is emerging from the SNP, not for the first time. It is not well-founded on this occasion. I was especially taken by Kenny Gibson's comment that we should bring back the previous finance minister; I am not sure if he said that all is forgiven, but that was the thrust of his argument. Let us take that literally and consider the figures under the previous finance...

Scottish Parliament: Public Resources (27 Sep 2001)

Mike Watson: If he was not saying that, I am not sure what he was saying. What is the SNP saying is an acceptable percentage? Is it an overall percentage of the budget? Is it a specific figure? Does the SNP approve of the concept of end-year flexibility? It has not given EYF a warm welcome, despite the fact that when Mr Swinney was a member of the Finance Committee, before he became leader of the party,...

Scottish Parliament: Public Resources (27 Sep 2001)

Mike Watson: My point is, what is the SNP's position on an acceptable figure? I cannot speak for the minister. Does the SNP have a figure in mind? I do not think it has. It is all very well asking questions, but we get this time and time again with the SNP. It always asks questions; it never gives any answers about its own spending priorities.

Scottish Parliament: Public Resources (27 Sep 2001)

Mike Watson: I do not have a figure for the acceptable percentage of EYF. I do not know whether Alasdair Morgan does. The Minister for Finance and Local Government has made this point at least twice this morning, but I will make it clear again as Mr Gibson went on to repeat the nonsense about £86 million, as he put it, "sloshing around" in the education budget. I say to Mr Gibson that that is not the...

Scottish Parliament: Public Resources (27 Sep 2001)

Mike Watson: I was aware when Mike Russell asked the question last week that that was not the actual figure. He should have been aware of that as well when he prepared for First Minister's questions. That is the point that I am making.

Scottish Parliament: Public Resources (27 Sep 2001)

Mike Watson: I am sorry. My time is restricted. I have a serious point to make about my role as convener of the Finance Committee. This week the committee discussed the draft budget, which was published on the same day as the end-year flexibility figures were put out. It was not easy for the committee. We had an informal meeting with finance division officials and made that point to them. We will make the...

Scottish Parliament: Public Resources (27 Sep 2001)

Mike Watson: I am sorry. I do not have time to take an intervention. It is difficult for us to grasp the figures and make something meaningful of them. When figures for end-year flexibility come along on the same day as the draft budget is announced, we are considering the draft budget and do not have the ability to put the two in context. I make that point on behalf of the committee and ask the minister...

Scottish Parliament written answers — Schools: Schools (27 Sep 2001)

Mike Watson: To ask the Scottish Executive what financial support is currently available for repairs to, and replacement of, school buildings.

Scottish Parliament: Sighthill (Community Issues) (20 Sep 2001)

Mike Watson: I will do no more than echo Bill Aitken's comments on Paul Martin and what he has done in recent weeks. The debate is important in the light of recent events in Glasgow. I do not know whether I am the only person in the chamber this afternoon to have seen the film "Gas Attack". It was meant to be fiction, although it carried a health warning. By the time it was released there had, tragically,...

Scottish Parliament: Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 (19 Sep 2001)

Mike Watson: If it is helpful to the debate, I will clarify that, in January of this year, I made a written submission to the committee that qualified what I said in response to the points that were raised on 14 November. The clerks to the Rural Development Committee will have a record of that.

Scottish Parliament: Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 (19 Sep 2001)

Mike Watson: I preface my remarks by saying that the words of Rev Simpson and the events to which she referred put everything that we will do this afternoon, tomorrow and for the rest of the term into context. On 4 August 1999, I stated my intention to introduce a member's bill—the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Bill. On 1 September 1999, I lodged a motion, which attracted sufficient signatures....

Scottish Parliament: Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 (19 Sep 2001)

Mike Watson: I have quoted the words that I used in the meeting of the committee on 14 November last year. I am happy to clarify that now, should that be necessary. On gamekeepers and landowners, it is my understanding that if the bill reaches stage 2, an amendment carefully prepared by my colleague Rhoda Grant would have the effect of achieving that aim. No doubt she will elaborate on that when she has...

Scottish Parliament: Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 (19 Sep 2001)

Mike Watson: No. That said, it seems that Mr Johnstone has learned the error of his ways. When he appeared with me before the Parliament's Procedures Committee on 29 May to discuss the precise question of how a convener should use his or her casting vote, he said: "The suggestion ... that a simple majority in the initial vote was always required to effect change—that is a firm guideline that we should...

Scottish Parliament: Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 (19 Sep 2001)

Mike Watson: I will give way in a moment. If Mr Johnstone had adhered to those firm guidelines three weeks earlier, we would not be seeking today to overturn a committee recommendation. But hard politics came into play. Mr Johnstone made a hard political decision to ignore the impartiality expected of conveners in order to drive through a decision which he knew did not reflect his committee's decision.


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