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08 December 2006

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Scottish Political News

Great post!

The actual votes for the Bill are slightly confusing, but I will place the two main ones below.

However, first of all, I was just having a look through the official report and was particularly pleased to read Lord James Douglas Hamilton's comments on Roseanna Cunningham's homophobic amendment. James said: "Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: What I will say is exactly what I said when I took the Children (Scotland) Bill through the House of Commons: the child's interests must be paramount. Roseanna Cunningham's amendments are far too discriminatory. I will give just one example. In a close-knit family, if the father and mother were killed in a tragedy or a car smash, would it be right or appropriate to discriminate against the devoted uncle who happened to have a gay partner? It would not be, because the uncle and his partner might be the best people to act in place of the parents.

"A blanket discriminatory ban is not in keeping with the spirit of the 21st century. No legislative bar should prevent social work professionals on the ground and experts in court from allowing the best and most suitable adoptions to proceed. I personally oppose the amendments."

If an old-fashioned Tory like James can say this there is hope yet!!! Shame he is going at the election.

However, shame on the following who voted with Roseanna for her amendment:

Adam, Brian (Aberdeen North) (SNP)
Aitken, Bill (Glasgow) (Con)
Cunningham, Roseanna (Perth) (SNP)
Fraser, Murdo (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Con)
Gallie, Phil (South of Scotland) (Con)
Matheson, Michael (Central Scotland) (SNP)
Morrison, Mr Alasdair (Western Isles) (Lab)
Munro, John Farquhar (Ross, Skye and Inverness West) (LD)

None of these are a surprise given their past religious prejudices. Just when will people stop taking religion into politics?

Importantly for the Tories is to look at Murdo Fraser's vote. Do they really want someone like him leading the party after Annabel.

On the whole Bill those who voted against or abstained were:

AGAINST

Davidson, Mr David (North East Scotland) (Con)
Fraser, Murdo (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Con)
Gallie, Phil (South of Scotland) (Con)
Gillon, Karen (Clydesdale) (Lab)
Mitchell, Margaret (Central Scotland) (Con)
Munro, John Farquhar (Ross, Skye and Inverness West) (LD)

ABSTENTIONS

Adam, Brian (Aberdeen North) (SNP)
Cunningham, Roseanna (Perth) (SNP)
Matheson, Michael (Central Scotland) (SNP)
Milne, Mrs Nanette (North East Scotland) (Con)
Morrison, Mr Alasdair (Western Isles) (Lab)
Petrie, Dave (Highlands and Islands) (Con)

Grant Thoms

Liam, I couldn't agree more with your posting. I thought Lord James's contribution was invaluable. There are so many exceptions from the 'norm' of how most people live their lives that its ridiculous to legislate out a section of society. The assessment for adoptive parenting is far more important than narrowing the band of people who are prepared to take on this type of responsibility.

Bill (Scotland)

I am tremendously pleased that these amendments have been defeated, but intrigued to note that Ms Cunningham herself abstained - bizarre.

Will_B

would all the ten MSP's above Roman Catholic by any chance?

Will_B

Well after further inspection it seems as if the majority very well may be. Can't be sure with some of them. Would someone care to share their knowledge? Please?

Mr Eugenides

I agree with the Bill. Mad right-wing nutter I may be, but not on social issues.

It's not going to put an extra spring in my step this week, as I'm neither gay nor interested in adopting, but if I were an MSP I'd have supported the bill; it's not an issue on which I have a very strong view but as J D-H said it is all about the best interests of the child.

As for the 10 anti's, my initial instinct is that actually most of them aren't RC, but I have no evidence for that. However, that should not be taken to suggest that there is no religious element to their decision.

But I will say this in limited defence of such as Alistair Morrison, who represents the Western Isles; whatever you may think of their views, there can be no doubt that a significant proportion of his constituents would have expected him to vote against this amendment, and he would have to take this into account.

Mr Eugenides

That last bit should of course read "would have expected him to vote against this *Bill*", not "amendment".

Too much German beer, methinks...

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