Motion of Thanks

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament at 12:50 pm on 29th March 2007.

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Photo of Rosie Kane Rosie Kane SSP 12:50 pm, 29th March 2007

Are you nervous, George? [ Laughter. ]

The Scottish Socialist Party echoes much of what has been said about the MSPs who are retiring—I am not one of them—and about the Presiding Officer. We acknowledge that during the past four years you have been fair and—yes—firm, too. The SSP saw a fair bit of that firmness. My colleague Carolyn Leckie was chucked out of the chamber when she stuck up for the nursery nurses and Colin Fox, Carolyn Leckie, Frances Curran and I got a very big row when we protested on the floor of Parliament in favour of democracy and against the G8. I promise that we will not do anything like that today.

You have been fair in giving the SSP time to speak in debates and at First Minister's question time and we are grateful to you for that. We wish you well as you embark on your new life outside the Scottish Parliament. If you need a reference for anything in the future, we will be happy to oblige.

I hear that you will receive the freedom of Clackmannanshire. Congratulations—I know that you are very proud of that. I point out that Cornton Vale women's prison lies within the boundaries of Clackmannanshire. The next time any of us finds ourselves inside, will you ensure our freedom? A file inside a cake will do nicely. I have a wee bone to pick with you, though. The last time I was in Cornton Vale you promised me that you would pop in to visit me, but you never showed up. You shouldna gie a lassie a dizzy like that. If it had not been for the fact that you rescued me just a couple of weeks ago from a gang of Vikings in the garden lobby—you remember them—I would bear a grudge. However, you are off the hook because you stepped to my aid—and made me blush, which is not easy.

Carolyn, Frances, Colin and I wish you all the best. We thank you for being fair and for retaining your sense of humour, which is not an easy task in politics. You are often described as a statesman, but to me you are just a nice bloke in a sharp suit, with a ciggie hanging out of his mouth, in the naughty corner outside Queensberry House.

We thank you for everything. It has been very nice knowing you and I am sure we will see you around in the future. I feel I should leave Parliament as I entered it, with a message written on the palm of my hand—it reads, "Bye, George."