Results 561–580 of 692 for speaker:Mike Watson

Scottish Parliament: Committee Restructuring (14 Dec 2000)

Mike Watson: On Bill Aitken's last point, I do not know whether the SNP started this business; however, I very much regret that the SNP is the reason why we have division today. I take members back to the conveners committee meeting five weeks ago—attended, I think, by Kenny MacAskill—at which the SNP said that it would support the proposed plan for the revised committee structure only if there were...

Scottish Parliament: Committee Restructuring (14 Dec 2000)

Mike Watson: I have very little time. It is a fact that the SNP position has changed and Mr MacAskill can address that in his summing-up. I understand that the SNP has had internal difficulties. However, the irony is that the SNP is causing division when everyone else has sought to avoid it. It is self-evident to anyone who has been involved in or given evidence to a committee—or who has simply observed...

Scottish Parliament: Health Care (14 Dec 2000)

Mike Watson: On a point of order. We must draw a line between what is a statement and what is a non-specific comment. Anyone who heard the minister on "Good Morning Scotland" and then on Radio 5 this morning will agree that she gave away no details of the statement and spoke only in general terms. The statement will be made in the chamber.

Scottish Parliament: Budget Process 2001-02: Stage 2 (13 Dec 2000)

Mike Watson: I find it impossible to accept what has just been said. The budget bill underpins everything that the Parliament does. The idea that it is excessive to have a debate lasting two and a half hours is perverse. The most important bill that is passed every year in the Parliament is the budget bill.

Scottish Parliament: Budget Process 2001-02: Stage 2 (13 Dec 2000)

Mike Watson: I welcome the opportunity to open this debate on the Finance Committee stage 2 report on the 2001-02 budget process. I cower slightly in the face of the information that I have 20 minutes for the opening statement. [MEMBERS: "Oh dear."] Twenty minutes is quite enough for me. I may not use it all and so I wonder whether I might prevail on you, Sir David, to bank any unused time for me to use...

Scottish Parliament: Budget Process 2001-02: Stage 2 (13 Dec 2000)

Mike Watson: Thank you. This may not be startlingly original—indeed, I made similar comments when I introduced the stage 1 debate in the chamber on 28 June—but we are, in this process and in today's debate, indulging in what might loosely be termed groundbreaking stuff. We are two thirds of the way through the first year of the Parliament's budget process and two thirds of the way through the time...

Scottish Parliament: Budget Process 2001-02: Stage 2 (13 Dec 2000)

Mike Watson: I accept that point; I will come on to address it. We must find a means of ensuring that the difficulties that emerged this year do not recur. Of course we are aware that every two years—or possibly every three years—similar problems will arise, and we must find a way out of those problems. Just to show that Mr Raffan intervened at precisely the right point in my speech, I will continue...

Scottish Parliament: Budget Process 2001-02: Stage 2 (13 Dec 2000)

Mike Watson: I very much agree with what Andrew Wilson has said, which reflects the view of the committee. There was no division or difference of opinion on that matter among committee members. I cannot speak for the minister, but he will have an opportunity in due course to respond to those points. The committee's stage 1 report highlighted some of the shortcomings of the presentation of figures in...

Scottish Parliament written answers — Drug Misuse: Drug Misuse (23 Nov 2000)

Mike Watson: To ask the Scottish Executive what support is being given to voluntary groups working with the families of drug users.

Scottish Parliament: Social Justice (15 Nov 2000)

Mike Watson: On a point of order. Is it in order for the member to have spoken for four minutes and 30 seconds without referring once to the report that is central to this debate?

Scottish Parliament written answers — Statistics: Statistics (15 Nov 2000)

Mike Watson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it plans to introduce any changes to the arrangements for the dissemination of statistics.

Scottish Parliament written answers — Health: Health (9 Nov 2000)

Mike Watson: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps are being taken to ensure that adequate health care is provided for rough sleepers.

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...

Scottish Parliament: Equality Strategy (8 Nov 2000)

Mike Watson: Answer the question.

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: 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...


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