St Andrew’s Day

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 27th November 2012.

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Photo of Fiona Hyslop Fiona Hyslop Scottish National Party

We are now cooking with gas, in terms of the creativity here.

I want to make two additional points. One is about the importance, which is reflected in the Labour amendment, of recognising that Scotland is an inclusive country that does not tolerate racism of any kind. That has been demonstrated for many years by the STUC St Andrew’s day anti-racism march. I have taken part in that march and my colleague Humza Yousaf did so on Saturday. I encourage more of our MSPs to do so in the future.

It is a testament to this debate that we recognise the importance of what we do internally. As Hanzala Malik pointed out, it is important to involve people from our ethnic minorities in the celebration. I assure members that the Scottish Book Trust is involving the Scottish Refugee Council in the book week Scotland celebrations. That is movement, but more can be done.

I will close by paying tribute to Dennis Canavan, as Margo MacDonald did in her speech. He introduced the St Andrew’s day holiday bill to try to make sure that within the confines of the powers of this Parliament we took some steps to celebrate the holiday. I am glad that there was cross-party agreement to do that.

We want to do more. We know that our young people will be celebrating, and we are trying to encourage more schools to celebrate—[Interruption.]