The First Minister could have indicated that the recommendations of the McIntosh commission would be taken into account in the local government bill, instead of saying only that there would be a code of conduct for councillors-the Labour party has tried that before, but any reasonable assessment would conclude that it had not solved the underlying problem. If the First Minister is now saying that the local government bill may well take into account the McIntosh recommendations, that would mean that there would be a second bill. If that is the case, it seems that the counting of the land legislation as three bills is going to be repeated for local government.
I am concerned also about the education aspects of the proposed legislative programme. People do not object to raising standards in education-no reasonable person could-but merely setting an obligation on local authorities to raise standards does not meet the task in hand. Many of us feel that the change in direction that is needed in Scottish education is a substantial move away from the consistent vilification of the teaching profession that has happened under education ministers in Scotland over the past 10 years.