Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Public Services Reform (Scotland) Bill

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament at 4:35 pm on 25th March 2010.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Andy Kerr Andy Kerr Labour 4:35 pm, 25th March 2010

This has been a day of retrograde steps and missed opportunities. Good arguments were made in the debate on Waterwatch Scotland, but they were not responded to effectively. The same can be said for the debate on the loss of powers to the Parliament and its parliamentarians. Concern was expressed about the measures on child protection but, again, no real response was given, as happened in relation to David Whitton's arguments on the need to streamline the negotiating machinery in Scotland.

I say with regret that the bill has been badly handled, badly managed and badly delivered. We should not be surprised to find ourselves in such a situation; the Government's approach echoed its previous attempt to establish creative Scotland. I advise the Government that if the bill did not contain provision to establish creative Scotland we would vote against it. It is a shambles, but we will reluctantly vote for it, because we do not want there to be further delay at the hands of the Government in the establishment of creative Scotland.

In many areas, the cabinet secretary has been unconvincing. The mood has been ugly at times, particularly when we consider the handmaidens of the Scottish Government, Mr Brownlee and his friends. A man who wants to ensure that £25,000 of expenditure by the Scottish Government is scrutinised is more than happy to divest the Parliament of its responsibilities and abilities to hold the Government to account. We should not be surprised. Did not David McLetchie say that the next best thing to a Tory Government is an SNP Government that does Tory things? A centralisation agenda is before us. Mr Purvis prosecuted the case against the Scottish Tories effectively when he commented on the different reaction of Tories in London to what has been called the abolition of Parliament bill. The irony is not lost on many members of the Scottish Parliament.