Thursday 7 October 2010


First Minister’s Questions started with Alex Salmond paying tribute to the memory of Donald Dewar on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of his death.

And so to business:

Well, after the drubbing that Iain Gray took after last week’s performance, a concoction of confusion and mixed up facts that caused disquiet in Eire, you might have expected him to have done some double checking for this week’s session. But no, in typical Elmer Fudd style he started, and continued for the entire time to insist that nurses in Grampian have been asked to work for nothing. This despite the First Minister pointing out on four occasions that this simply was not true. However, it gave the First Minister the chance to point out that patient satisfaction was at an all time high, and waiting times at an all time low. The English government has guaranteed that health spending will be maintained and the SNP has said that the “consequential” will be protected in the same way. The FM was able to point out that Iain Gray had not been able to make the same commitment.

Annabel Goldie’s questions focussed on the serious drugs problems in the country and in particular the number of methadone scripts being issued. Alex replied that that he was pleased that politicians had achieved a cross party co-operation on drugs strategy which was centred on recovery. £26.8 million was being spent on frontline recovery programmes. He was, however, happy to look at any proposals to increase effectiveness of translating the strategy into successful practice.

Tavish’s question about Cabinet meetings prompted the First Minister to pay tribute to Eilish Angolini, Scotland’s Lord Advocate, who has been in post for 10 years. The Liberal leader went on to question the FM on the possibility of a single police force for Scotland, which he said would be unpopular in the North, South and East of the country. This gave Alex a chance to point out that current statistics show a 36% reduction in crime and a record clear-up rate. He refused to rule in or out changes to the structure of policing, but he pointed out that 25% of the total police budget is spent on head office functions, over eight forces, and that that was far too much.

Backbench questions included a discussion (based on various questions across the chamber) on the problems of children of alcoholic parents, which give the first minister the opportunity to demand support from the chamber on minimum pricing, a policy which, he said was widely supported by health professionals, and to point out to a Conservative member that it was rather inconsistent to call for more heath visitors whist calling for less public spending. Business rates’ appeals was another question which gave Alex the opportunity to show the improvements in the situation which had occurred since the SNP took power.

Once again sensible questions were dealt with in a serious manner, but where the questioner attempted to make political points the FM demolished their arguments.

A rather dull question time all in all.....


  1. yeah! shame Alex will be out of power and the leadership of the snp in a few more months

    Whilst Elmer Fudd will be be new First Minister although opposed by Nicola still cant have it all Eh!

    on second thoughts yeah! Iain will have it all

  2. Tris,

    Sacrilege - how can any FMQ be rather boring when Iain Gray is there to astonish, amuse and amaze?

  3. PS: catch you up in a few weeks. Duty and debts calling!

  4. How can the third rate opposition provide a match in the premier league club especially when their funny farm managers are all over the place in picking a winning team. I see mixed pickles is still suffering his alcholic hangover minimum pricing might help.

  5. Oh that should be a laugh Niko. Old Iain Gray v Alex and Annabel ho ho ho.

    Of course he’ll be in coalition with Tavish the Tories’ Friend... so really he’ll be a tiny little part of the coalition.

    Who’d have thunk it?

  6. Och aye brownlie, I forgot...yawn... about how interesting...yawn... Iain Gray...yawn...was...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    OK mate. A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do. Hurry back, we'll miss you

  7. CH... You can always trust our Niko to be living in cloud cuckoo land when it comes to his friend Iain Gray.

  8. Spud will save usOctober 08, 2010 4:54 pm

    Spud Murphy - Shadow Defence Secretary.
    Sadiq Khan - Shadow Justice
    Postman Pat - Shadow Chancellor

    At least Red Ed has a sense of humour I suppose.

  9. I dunno about a sense of humour... I think it's scary. But at least they are only shadows.

    Sadiq has, at least, experience of the justice system...

  10. Spud will save usOctober 08, 2010 9:35 pm


    Yes Sadiq has a lot of personal knowledge of criminal investigations and inquiries ;)

  11. Go on Nico, say your name backwards and return to the 5th dimension, where your opinionated wind up belongs!

    You are such a tease but I suppose you are our private special tease.

  12. Yep Bugger, he's all ours....