Results 161–180 of 2876 for speaker:Alex Johnstone

Scottish Parliament: Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (30 Sep 2015)

Alex Johnstone: In recent weeks, I have had talks with members of the North Kincardine community council and with landowners in the Stonehaven area about the liaison between the contractors and those who live along the route of the AWPR. Given that the reports that I have received from those people are not as positive as the ones that the minister has laid out, will he undertake to look at the way in which...

Scottish Parliament: Refugee Crisis (30 Sep 2015)

Alex Johnstone: Since we previously experienced a comparable refugee crisis, the structure of public housing in Scotland has changed significantly. Will the minister undertake to ensure that, when the decisions are made about where refugees will be housed, we will avoid two key errors—first, housing too many people all in the same place and, secondly, creating a situation in which local authorities are...

Scottish Parliament: New Psychoactive Substances (29 Sep 2015)

Alex Johnstone: I rise to support the motion in the name of the minister, Paul Wheelhouse, and to commend the way in which in his ministerial responsibilities he has taken this matter forward. It is essential that we acknowledge that, as the acronym NPS indicates, we are dealing with something new that we have much to learn about. As a father and grandfather, it breaks my heart to watch each generation that...

Scottish Parliament: Private Parking Charges (22 Sep 2015)

Alex Johnstone: I hope that the member set it against her tax.

Scottish Parliament: Renewable Energy (17 Sep 2015)

Alex Johnstone: This has been an interesting but, I suspect, predictable debate. We have heard from the minister something that we have become used to in recent weeks. Once again, he has wheeled out the begging-bowl mentality and complained that the United Kingdom Government has, by the withdrawal of subsidy, somehow undermined what he claims repeatedly to be a highly efficient form of energy production, and...

Scottish Parliament: Renewable Energy (17 Sep 2015)

Alex Johnstone: No, thank you. None of Michael Fallon’s political opponents expected him to be the energy minister after the general election. That surprise has cut many members involved in today’s debate to the quick.

Scottish Parliament: Renewable Energy (17 Sep 2015)

Alex Johnstone: No, thank you. The truth is that Scotland has a huge number of wind turbines and that such a high-cost form of energy has resulted in energy prices across Scotland being pushed up. At a time when we should have sought ways of increasing diversity in the energy market, we have chosen an expensive option and we have, in many respects, pushed fuel poverty upwards. I say that onshore wind is an...

Scottish Parliament: Scotland’s Future, Democracy and Devolution (16 Sep 2015)

Alex Johnstone: The cabinet secretary has been speaking for nearly four minutes, and I interpret his argument as being that he signed up to the Smith commission reluctantly and that he would still like to hark back to the discussions that took place at the end of the referendum campaign. Is his ambition that the Smith commission’s proposals be fully implemented, or does he wish to centre his argument on a...

Scottish Parliament: Scotland’s Future, Democracy and Devolution (16 Sep 2015)

Alex Johnstone: Will the member give way?

Scottish Parliament: Scotland’s Future, Democracy and Devolution (16 Sep 2015)

Alex Johnstone: Is there not at least an equal and opposite requirement for the Scottish Government to acknowledge the outcome of last year’s referendum and understand that the process is not a means by which to continue to campaign endlessly for the independence that the Scottish people rejected?

Scottish Parliament: Scotland’s Future, Democracy and Devolution (16 Sep 2015)

Alex Johnstone: Does the member agree that there is a certain irony in the use of the issue of welfare, particularly by the Government and the Government’s back benchers, who demand additional expenditure while apparently ignoring the taxation responsibilities that that would bring with it?

Scottish Parliament: Scotland’s Future, Democracy and Devolution (16 Sep 2015)

Alex Johnstone: Will the member take an intervention?

Scottish Parliament: Scotland’s Future, Democracy and Devolution (16 Sep 2015)

Alex Johnstone: I have listened to what the Deputy First Minister has had to say over the last few minutes. Could he tell me clearly whether what he is trying to do today is set out a negotiating position or close that position down?

Scottish Parliament: Freight Transport (10 Sep 2015)

Alex Johnstone: The committee’s inquiry was timely and this is a timely report. The issue of freight transport involves a lot of interests. The committee discussed looking specifically at freight transport for some time and getting to the point of having a report to debate is probably long overdue. The message is positive in many ways. Most of those who are involved in freight transport in Scotland are...

Scottish Parliament: Freight Transport (10 Sep 2015)

Alex Johnstone: There is a great deal still to be said on this matter, but I believe that our report highlights the current issues. Indeed, having heard the minister’s opening speech, I think that we might be pushing at an open door.

Scottish Parliament: Freight Transport (10 Sep 2015)

Alex Johnstone: It has been a consensual debate and one that I hope will take us forward in this difficult process. A couple of things that come from the report are worthy of mention, specifically on the models of the ports that we have in Scotland. As has been mentioned, there was some concern about a lack of investment at Grangemouth. We heard evidence that that is perhaps the result of trying to make...

Scottish Parliament: Freight Transport (10 Sep 2015)

Alex Johnstone: Indeed. It is horses for courses, but the experiment on the A9 will give us vital information. The results and feedback so far seem to be positive. It would be remiss of me not to support Nigel Don’s call for the minister to consider the issues surrounding the junction of the A90 with the A937 at Laurencekirk, where many people whom I know personally play Russian roulette with the traffic...

Scottish Parliament: Housing and Wellbeing ( 9 Sep 2015)

Alex Johnstone: It is always good to have Ken Mackintosh speaking to a motion in Parliament. He is an experienced politician who manages to mix traditional good common sense with some good old-fashioned left-wing prejudices when it comes to policies such as housing. In fact, what he did in his speech earlier was, in my view, an attempt to redefine the crisis in order to fit existing Labour policy. For that...

Scottish Parliament: Housing and Wellbeing ( 9 Sep 2015)

Alex Johnstone: Excuse me, but I will not. I will come to a conclusion very soon. We must search for ambitious solutions to Scotland’s housing needs, and we must find ways to increase capacity and construction across the board. We will achieve that by building confidence. Confidence in the market gave us the growth in all sectors that we had prior to the recession, and a return to that confidence will...

Scottish Parliament: Housing and Wellbeing ( 9 Sep 2015)

Alex Johnstone: A number of speakers, particularly on the Labour benches, have suggested—or given the impression—that rents in the private rented sector are rocketing. However, there seems to be evidence that, although surveys of advertised rents for property coming to the market may show rents to be rising, in reality the rents that are being paid in the private sector in many areas of Scotland are...


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