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Prevention and Eradication of Hate Crime and Prejudice

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 9th November 2016.

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Photo of James Dornan James Dornan Scottish National Party

I support the campaign for more inclusive education in schools, but it is a wee bit unrealistic to expect a result from a campaign that has been going for only a year and which started from nothing. If I am correct, that campaign is already having close conversations with members of the Government. Plans are afoot, although I am not aware of what is happening.

My next point follows on from the discussion that we just had. If there is one thing that the past year has reinforced for us as politicians, it is the importance of using words carefully. The cabinet secretary talked about the language that the First Minister used the morning after the Brexit vote, when she told people that Scotland is their home and that their contribution is valued. We should compare that with some of the frankly xenophobic and racist language that is being used by politicians down south. Unfortunately, the use of that did not finish after the horrendous yes to Brexit vote in June.

Last month, the hashtag #WeAreScotland swept across social media in response to a xenophobic and divisive suggestion by the Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, that businesses should list any foreign workers and should be encouraged to hire British workers in order to reduce net migration. Those proposals were met with anger not only across Scotland but across the business community.