Official Report

 

  • Plenary, 08 Jun 2005    
      • [The Presiding Officer opened the meeting at 14:30]

      • Time for Reflection
        • The Presiding Officer (Mr George Reid):
          Good afternoon. Our first item of business is time for reflection. Our time for reflection leader today is the Rev Ronnie Johnstone, the minister of Thurso West Church of Scotland.

        • The Rev Ronnie Johnstone (Thurso West Church of Scotland):
          A few weeks ago in Iceland, I was at the site of the oldest European Parliament. Today, I am your guest in one of the newest Parliaments—or an old Parliament re-established; it depends how you see things.

          Behind the altar of Dunkeld cathedral are several memorials. Alexander Stewart, the Wolf of Badenoch, lies there, but it is at another memorial that I pause. Part of the inscription reads as follows:

          "To the memory of Rev John Robb who, on a voyage for the benefit of his health, perished by the wreck of the Forfarshire Steamship off the Fern Islands".

          Robb was just 40 years of age and the minister of Dunkeld for two years. He was ill—if ever a cure was worse than the disease. Seen from the perspective of Dunkeld, as the plaque says, he had the

          "Respect, affection, Gratitude and sorrow of his deeply affected friends and flock."

          Change the scene to Lindisfarne. The Forfarshire was the ship out to which Grace Darling and her father rowed that stormy night to save at least some of the passengers, even if not John Robb. Change the point of view. See the sudden insweep of the tide and the treacherous sandbanks and see not failure and tragedy but life-risking courage and skill.

          Change the scene again to Thurso some 16 years ago: a new lifeboat named the Queen Mother, and she was to launch it. My point of view that day: fear of seasickness. I was humble and proud to dedicate the lifeboat, but delighted to discover that there was no room for me on board for the ceremonial birl round the bay.

          I felt guilty as I watched the Queen Mother stride forward and go aboard, but I was glad as I watched the Queen Mother—the boat, that is, not the Queen Mother herself—do the nautical equivalent of handbrake turns in Thurso bay.

          The guard of honour that day was the new Longhope lifeboat crew, whose predecessors had been lost some years earlier. Grace Darling and the Forfarshire are one of the founding legends of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. Her bravery encouraged others to do as she did and leads many still to support the rescue agencies.

          So, John Robb and the Forfarshire—two different points of view of the story; each one of them valid but part of a greater truth. Bring these differing points of view together and get a fuller, better picture. But you already know that, for the value of any Parliament lies in its bringing together and respecting differing points of view.

          May God bless you in all your efforts for the common good.

      • G8
        • The Presiding Officer (Mr George Reid):
          The next item of business is a debate on motion S2M-2924, in the name of Tom McCabe, on the G8.

        • The Minister for Finance and Public Service Reform (Mr Tom McCabe):
          Over the past months, much has been said about the forthcoming summit of G8 leaders. As we gather in the chamber today, just one month away from the summit, we have a welcome opportunity to debate, in a modern Parliament with high ambitions, how our Government and our people in Scotland can help to build the political momentum for much-needed change in the most challenged parts of the world.

          We have always recognised that the summit is a tremendous economic opportunity for Scotland. It is an opportunity to showcase our country at a time when the eyes of the world will be looking on us. It is also an opportunity for Scots to speak up and express their view and their wishes about how we spread our relative affluence around the world. But the real prize will be if the decisions made by the G8 leaders in July effect lasting change in our world.

          With just four weeks to go, this is a good time to explain what has already been done and what will happen between now and 8 July. In the recent past, I have given evidence to the European and External Relations Committee and I have written to every MSP detailing the Executive's plans. Around an event such as this, the fog of myth and rumour can easily descend, so if our debate today lifts some of that fog, for that reason alone it will have been worth while.

          Some months ago, the Executive set high-level objectives for the summit. We said that we would showcase Scotland to a worldwide audience, that we would maximise the economic benefits to Scotland and its people from the summit and, most important of all, that we would engage the Scottish public in debate on and raise awareness of the main G8 themes of Africa and climate change.

          First and foremost, we must ensure that we have a safe and secure summit that encourages democratic participation without unacceptable behaviour. We know that we have a first-class police service and, because of its members' professionalism, dedication and friendliness in the course of their duties, the rest of the world will come to know that, too.

          No matter how many lurid headlines members may have read, I want to give assurances to the chamber. Our country will not become an armed camp at the beginning of July. There will be no water cannon, there will be no rubber bullets and there will be no stun guns. Here in Scotland we celebrate our democracy, our rights and our freedoms, and we welcome those who come to celebrate those precious gifts with us. Therefore, we want to temper enthusiasm with common sense and urge people, as Midge Ure has done, only to come if they have somewhere to stay and if their aim is to take part in legitimate campaigning activity.

        • Murdo Fraser (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Con):
          The minister may be aware of the concern in Auchterarder about protestors going to that small town, particularly given that protestors in Auchterarder will be no more visible from Gleneagles hotel than protestors in Edinburgh or anywhere else. What assurances can he give me and the people of Auchterarder about the impact that protesters might have on the town? What can the Executive do to encourage protestors not to go to Auchterarder but to gather elsewhere?

        • Carolyn Leckie (Central Scotland) (SSP):
          Open up Gleneagles.

        • The Presiding Officer:
          Order.

        • Mr McCabe:
          There has been a fruitful dialogue with residents of Auchterarder. They appreciate the way in which the police have gone about the task over a long number of months, and I know that the police appreciate the response that they have had from people in that community. Any decisions around who goes where are operational decisions for the chief constable in charge. I have no doubt whatever that he will take those decisions in the best interests of allowing legitimate campaigning activity, but also in the best interests of the legitimate requirements of people who stay in the area and in the wider legitimate interests of people in Scotland who have a democratic right to go about their business freely and without hindrance, whether the G8 summit or any other event is on. I assure the chamber that our police will uphold the democratic right to protest but, as I have said, they will also uphold the right of Scottish residents to be free from fear and intimidation.

          Our first objective for the summit must be to showcase and promote Scotland to an enormous worldwide audience. Such opportunities are rare, and this Government is determined that we make the most of it.

        • Bruce Crawford (Mid Scotland and Fife) (SNP):
          I am grateful for many of the minister's assurances. He is striking the right tone. On the wider area outwith the immediate part of Perthshire containing Gleneagles that will be affected by the summit, can he assure us that there are on-going discussions between the officer in charge of the operation and the surrounding police forces about how the wider security issues—not just the issues that affect Gleneagles—will be dealt with? There is concern in Stirling and other towns that co-ordination needs to be improved, deepened and strengthened, otherwise there might be difficulties.

        • Mr McCabe:
          I can give an absolute assurance that the chief constable who is in overall operational command is determined to ensure that any concerns are allayed through appropriate discussion. I know that officers who are involved in the operation are watching this debate and I am sure that they will take cognisance of the comments that have just been made and act on them. It is in our and their interest to ensure that residents, wherever they live in Scotland, are reassured about the events surrounding the summit.

          More than 2,000 journalists from all over the world have applied to come to Scotland for the three days in July, and others are coming in advance of that. This week, journalists from Russia, France, Germany, Japan and the United States are visiting Scotland on a familiarisation trip—this evening and tomorrow, I will brief many of them on our G8 activities. When the G8 summit was held in the state of Georgia in 2004, the estimated value of the free media coverage for the state was $818 million.

          As world leaders step from their planes on 6 July, we intend to give them a proper Scottish welcome. We will ensure that their first impression of our country is a good and lasting one. As we transport journalists, we will impart information through CD-ROMs, videos and information packs, and when they arrive at the Scottish village in Gleneagles, they will see state-of-the-art imagery that shows everything that is good about our country. Alongside that, there will be a Scottish craft fair at Gleneagles to show the best of Scottish crafts and produce. We have ensured that Scottish cities and our major airports and railway stations will be decked out with banners to promote Scotland to our visitors.

          The Executive is contributing to all those measures, along with Scottish Enterprise, VisitScotland and our local government colleagues—we are working together in the best interests of Scotland. I am particularly pleased that, at a time when we are uniquely able to articulate Scottish values and Scottish concern for the world's disadvantaged, many of our colleagues in local government have joined us in the effort.

          We are well positioned to maximise the economic benefits that the event will bring to Scotland. Immediate economic benefits will come from additional visitors boosting visitor spend and I am confident that Scottish companies will benefit from contracts that are being let by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Whether those contracts are for media production services or transportation, Scottish companies are well placed to be successful in relation to procurement and sponsorship opportunities. For specific contractual reasons, I am unable to go further than that at present, but announcements on the matter will be made in the near future. However, I can confirm that SMG Newsquest has won the contract to produce the official summit publication.

          In the long term, wider economic spin-offs will flow from the positive image that we project. We are confident that the G8 summit, plus events such as the chambers of commerce summit in Edinburgh at the end of June, will generate tourism and other economic benefits for many years to come. We will gather information about that through a post-summit economic impact study, the results of which we will gladly share with the Parliament.

          While we are determined that Scotland will benefit from the G8 summit, we also want to generate throughout Scotland a sense of pride not only that we have the capacity to put on major global events, but that we can do so with warmth and professionalism. We also want to generate pride that our small country can be host to a summit that will make a set of decisions that will improve the lives of millions of people who are less fortunate than we are. It is not in our nature as Scots to be effusive, but we will generate a sense of satisfaction and pride if the best small country in the world hosts a sincere and professional event that evokes in the rest of the world determination to see meaningful change.

          The substance of the G8 summit and the issues that are up for discussion have been at the centre of media and political debate in Scotland in the past few weeks. Climate change and, in particular, the future of Africa are issues that clearly matter to the people of Scotland. The Commission for Africa conference, which was held in the Parliament building on 16 May, has put Africa at the top of the agenda. The First Minister's visit to Malawi and the launch of the Malawi appeal last week showed how Scotland, working closely with the United Kingdom Government, can make a tangible difference to the 10th poorest country in the world. This week's conference on climate change, which was organised by Perth and Kinross Council and involved Ross Finnie and others, has raised the profile of that subject. In this context, I should also highlight the inter-European parliamentarians' G8 debate, which was held here earlier this week.

          There is more to come. Academics from all over the world will gather at the University of Glasgow at the end of June to discuss climate change and Africa, and schoolchildren across Scotland are already involved in an online debate and speechmaking competition about climate change. Perth and Kinross Council and the City of Edinburgh Council, among others, are running a wide range of imaginative events to raise awareness about Africa and climate change and, next month, delegates at the world youth congress in Stirling will hold an online debate on the G8 themes and will lobby the G8 leaders. Moreover, schoolchildren from across the UK who won competitions launched last November in which they had to produce projects on the G8 themes will gather at the J8 summit in Edinburgh on the eve of the G8 summit, and the output from their conference will be made available to the world leaders.

          Of course, the make poverty history coalition is campaigning for a fairer world, and I want to put on record that it is doing so imaginatively and responsibly. I should add that Scottish non-governmental organisations are playing a leading part in the movement and in other activities around the summit.

          As we all know, it is ultimately for G8 leaders to take the critical decisions; however, our preparations here in Scotland can create the climate for the right decisions to be made. Awareness of Africa and climate change has undoubtedly been heightened among children and adults in Scotland precisely because the G8 summit is taking place here.

          I am confident that, by the end of the UK's G8 presidency, people everywhere will see that Scotland has contributed actions as well as words to the great drives to make poverty history and to secure a stable environment for future generations. I also hope that the people of Scotland will feel proud to have hosted a successful G8 summit that will be remembered as the catalyst for meaningful, lasting and substantial change in our world.

          I move,

          That the Parliament welcomes the opportunities presented by hosting the G8 summit which will engage the Scottish public in debate on the theme of Africa and climate change, will showcase Scotland to an international audience and examine and develop Scotland's role in international development; recognises the economic benefit to Scotland which will arise from the summit both in the short and longer term; further acknowledges the sense of pride that Scotland is hosting such a prestigious event; extends a warm welcome to all peaceful visitors who come to Scotland, and fully supports the police, the UK Government and other key partners in making the summit safe and productive.

        • Mr John Swinney (North Tayside) (SNP):
          As the minister has said, this debate gives Parliament a welcome opportunity to set out its aspirations for the G8 summit that will take place in Scotland in July and to make it clear to the people of Scotland and to the G8 leaders exactly what the Parliament wants to get out of the summit. Those aspirations are at the core of my amendment to the Executive's motion, which takes a very narrow approach to the issue and sets out not the contributions that we want to make to the debate around the G8 summit but the benefits that we want Scotland to get out of it. My more comprehensive amendment does three things. First, it sets out the issues that we believe must be addressed before anyone can claim that the summit has been a success and that it has contributed to the goal of making the world a safer, more peaceful and fairer place. Secondly, it welcomes the steps that the Executive has taken in relation to international development. Thirdly, it highlights a number of domestic issues that we must address in connection with the summit.

          Presiding Officer, let me begin where I am sure you would expect me to begin: on a note of consensus. We applaud the steps that the Scottish Executive is now taking with regard to international development. Since this Parliament was established, we have argued that, as members of a devolved legislature, we cannot hide away from taking a stance on the great international issues of the day, no matter whether they are the terrorist atrocities of 9/11, the war in Iraq or the crisis of poverty in Africa. We are all citizens of the planet, which means that we all have a duty to do what we can to make the world a safer and fairer place.

          Members on the SNP benches unreservedly welcome the Scottish Executive's announcement of its international development strategy, the First Minister's trip to Malawi and his subsequent announcements about initiatives that are being pursued there. Equally, we are entirely comfortable with the First Minister's comment about his visit to Malawi that

          "The distinction inside the UK between devolved and reserved areas for legislation is not a distinction that will be recognised in the villages of Africa where people want our help—and they want help wherever it's coming from."

          We entirely support such sentiments and encourage the First Minister and his team to do more to advance the agenda of delivering greater levels of international development.

          That said, I am surprised that the Government's motion has been so timid in not setting out the political issues that it wants to be advanced at the G8 summit. For our part, we do not believe that the G8 summit can be described as anything like a success unless it agrees on significant action to tackle long-term poverty in developing nations and takes steps to intensify action on climate change.

          There are a number of clear steps that the G8 leaders can and must take. First, there must be a significant increase in the level of direct aid that is made available. The target of donating to third-world countries 0.7 per cent of gross national income is 35 years old and, to its shame, the United Kingdom has failed to deliver that target. In the years since 1970, when the target was formulated, the UK Government has short-changed the world's poorest people by £76 billion. Although there is now a welcome renewal of focus on the target and a commitment from the Government to reach it by 2013, the world's poorest people have been short-changed by £42 billion since Labour came to power in 1997. It says it all that a small independent country such as Norway has been able to reach its target comfortably. The G8 leaders should therefore pledge a significant increase in direct aid and provide an early timescale for reaching the United Nations target of 0.7 per cent of GNI.

          Secondly, we welcome the steps that have been taken in relation to the writing off of international debt, but that must be done by injecting new resources into the equation, not by reallocating existing budgets. In addition, it must be done across the board, and the G8 leaders have a powerful and influential role to play in making that happen. The goal of 100 per cent debt relief must be realised as a result of the G8 summit.

          Thirdly, there must be vigorous progress on the question of trade and the removal of artificial obstacles that prevent developing countries from accessing crucial markets. The debate about trade must take a practical form in the course of the summit.

          Fourthly, the effort to put climate change higher up the political agenda must be intensified. The Prime Minister has made it clear that he views the twin themes of the African situation and climate change as central to the G8 agenda. However, anyone observing the outcomes of the discussions between the Prime Minister and the President of the United States of America yesterday will know that the issue of climate change is almost totally obscured by the quite understandable focus on the international development issues and that progress on climate change is being held back accordingly. The G8 leaders have an opportunity to act as one to intensify efforts on climate change.

          Those are the central issues that we believe that the G8 summit should address. However, there are also some domestic issues that we must consider in this debate: the question of protest; and the domestic, financial and business implications of the summit.

          We believe in the right of those who wish to put across their concerns on major questions of the day to protest peacefully. Equally, we believe that those who live in Scotland are entitled to be safe in their homes and communities when such protests take place. In that respect, we are entirely supportive of the judgments that the police need to make and we encourage the maximum community dialogue to ensure that that balance can be achieved.

          We welcome and encourage those who want to make their protest known here. As the minister said, the make poverty history campaign has prepared a well-organised event for 2 July. That event, prepared well in advance of the summit, offers an excellent platform for the people of this country and other countries to make their point to the G8 leaders. In recent days, the live 8 event has been launched to reinforce that message on 6 July. We welcome those events as peaceful initiatives to put across a strong message. However, they must be well organised and planned in conjunction with local authorities and the police. Crucially, those who come must be dedicated to making poverty history, not to causing a distraction or some disruption for their own narrow political ends.

          The final issue that I want to address is the cost of the summit and the benefits that might accrue to Scotland. Our amendment calls on the Government to make a clear statement on the cost of hosting the summit in Scotland and to give a commitment to public authorities that it will press the UK Government to meet the additional financial burdens that arise from hosting the summit.

          In his answers to Nicola Sturgeon on 19 May, the First Minister was far from clear about the cost of the policing and security operation alone. He vehemently denied a story in that day's edition of The Courier, which said that the cost of policing and security would be £100 million. However, the next day, in response to the possibility that the policing figure alone could be £100 million, the newspaper quoted the First Minister's spokeswoman, who said:

          "at the moment it is looking nearer half that … But it could be higher than that."

          From reading this morning's newspapers, I suspect that before the summit is over and done with the policing and security cost will reach £100 million. The Government must be clear about where the money is coming from

          Equally, the Government must set out what benefits are likely to accrue to Scotland. We have been told repeatedly—and we were told again by the minister a moment ago—that this is the economic opportunity of a lifetime. On Monday, the First Minister told us that we will benefit from £1 billion of media coverage—there has been some inflation since last year's summit in the United States—but we have seen no detail from the Government. Surely it can tell us, in advance of its post-summit economic analysis, how much it expects to generate in increased gross domestic product during the next five years as a result of the summit. Surely it can tell us how many times our investment in the summit will be repaid in the short, medium and long term. Perhaps the Deputy Minister for Finance and Public Service Reform could make a few calculations before the end of the debate to answer that question.

          Finally, on the question of money, I must mention the extraordinary statement that the First Minister made on 19 May in response to Nicola Sturgeon's concern about the rising cost of the police and security operation. He said:

          "given the importance of bringing the world's top table to Scotland, the Scottish National Party's ability … to be concerned about any potential for the odd penny to go astray in Perth and Kinross Council or Angus Council is depressing for Scotland."—[Official Report, 19 May 2005; c 17049.]

          Apart from the fact that we are talking about not the odd penny but millions of pounds in additional costs, which may fall on already hard-pressed council tax payers—who also happen to be my constituents, in case the minister has forgotten that—the First Minister's statement betrays a rather casual attitude.

          The G8 summit will cost hundreds of millions of pounds, just to put up eight world leaders at a prestigious Scottish hotel. If the summit did not take place, those hundreds of millions of pounds could pay for the entire effort that is required to eradicate HIV and AIDS in Malawi. Equally, the money could transform the life chances of children in the schools and hospitals that had such a visible effect on the First Minister during his trip to Malawi.

          The question is not whether the G8 summit will be value for money for the people of Scotland but whether it will be value for money for those who live in poverty in Africa. The real test of the G8 summit is whether it is just more talk or whether it sets the world on a course to make poverty history.

          I move amendment S2M-2924.1, to leave out from "welcomes" to end and insert:

          "expresses the aspiration that the G8 summit at Gleneagles will secure a meaningful increase in the volume of aid for international development and debt relief, a fairer system of trade and progress on the issue of climate change; welcomes the fact that such important objectives may be achieved at a summit held in Scotland; welcomes the steps taken by the Scottish Executive to become involved in delivering international development activity; welcomes peaceful and organised demonstrations to advance the arguments for increased international aid and greater action on climate change; supports the police, the Executive, the UK Government and other agencies in making the summit at Gleneagles Hotel and the surrounding communities safe; encourages the Executive to make representations to the UK Government to meet in full the additional cost arising to public authorities in Scotland of hosting the summit, and calls on the Executive to make a clear statement on the cost of hosting the summit in Scotland and the financial benefits it expects to accrue to Scotland."

        • Mark Ballard (Lothians) (Green):
          Like John Swinney, I am a bit puzzled by the Executive's motion. It makes much of the G8 summit as a showcase for Scotland, but it does not deal in any depth with the vital issues that are on the agenda for the summit. To me, where the event will be held matters much less than the issues that will be discussed. My amendment focuses on those issues.

          I agree that a tangible benefit of holding the event in Scotland is that the voice of civic society is more likely to be heard. We should all welcome that. I start by paying tribute to all those who are campaigning to raise awareness of what will happen at the G8 summit, including the make poverty history campaign, G8 alternatives and—most recently—Bob Geldof, Midge Ure and everyone else who is involved in Live 8.

          The G8 leaders must face up to the massive problems that Africa faces and recognise that those problems cannot be solved merely by tinkering at the edges, increasing aid budgets a bit here and writing off debt that is effectively unpayable there. We must tackle the root causes of global poverty and environmental degradation. We must start by examining our global trade system, which is grossly unfair. We need a fair trade system that is fair for people and fair for the planet. The current trade rules were written by the rich developed nations, so it is hardly surprising that they favour companies and the rich at the expense of the poor.

          The G8 cannot be the body that decides how we organise our world. It is fundamentally undemocratic and will always take decisions in the interests not of the world but of the rich multinationals and the rich countries. That means that we need the United Nations process—a globally accountable process—to tackle the issues. That is why, to tackle climate change, the US must start by signing the Kyoto protocol. I agree that the protocol does not go far enough, but it is the first stage in a UN process under the UN framework convention on climate change that provides the only way to tackle that most serious environmental danger.

          It has been estimated that, without action on climate change, 2.4 billion people will lose access to decent water supplies in the next 40 years. The loss of access to water, which is a basic right, would make development impossible. That is why we need global action through the UN to tackle climate change.

          There are proposals on the table to tackle climate change, such as an aviation fuel tax, which would provide new money to support third-world economies and to write off third-world debt and would be action to reduce the pollution that is caused by not taxing aviation effectively. Above all, every country—and every devolved Administration—urgently needs to have proper emission targets.

          Like many other people, I attended part of the conference that was held in the Parliament on Monday. I was struck by the impact of HIV/AIDS on Africa and by the huge need for proper health care, proper drugs and access to resources to tackle that problem. That must be approached holistically as part of dealing with sexual and reproductive health, which is the key to tackling poverty in Africa. Providing universal access to sexual and reproductive health services is a vital step towards reaching the millennium development goals, which we in the Parliament have discussed and which we agree are the central way to progress moves to tackle poverty.

          At the conference, I was also struck by two different visions of Africa and of what Africa's future could be. In one vision, Africa is economically liberalised and becomes more a part of the global economy. It opens its markets to global multinationals and becomes more a part of the trade system. Such an arrangement has proved destructive to Africa in the past 10 or 20 years. I support the other vision, about which we heard powerfully from people from Africa, such as the speaker from the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions. In that vision, we have fair trade and allow African economies to develop indigenous industries.

          We have a grossly asymmetric trade system, in which, as one Kenyan at the conference said, Kenya grows coffee beans and ships them to the west where they are turned into coffee, then ends up buying Nescafé. That trade system will never allow proper economic development in the countries concerned. We need a fair trade system and to allow countries to protect their industries. We should not expect globalisation—the harsh wind that allows multinationals to ride roughshod over every economy in the world—to be the solution.

          That is the agenda that should be discussed when we talk about making trade fair. We need to make that part of the three priorities of the make poverty history campaign. More and better aid means aid that is given unconditionally, without the strings in which the US specialises, which link aid to structural adjustment programmes that allow American and other western multinationals more access.

          We need to write off the debt, which is unpayable. The debt burden on the economies involved will destroy any chance for health care and for the spending on reproductive and sexual health that we recognised at the conference was needed. Most of all, a new trade system is needed that protects communities and the environment rather than giving all power to multinationals.

          Given that the decisions that the G8 takes in Scotland will affect billions of people around the world, that we must tackle global problems such as climate change and poverty and that the G8 has for too long acted as a club for rich countries that act in their own interests rather than those of the whole world, we must maintain the right to peaceful protest. We must recognise the concern that exists and provide the proper facilities for those who are concerned. There must be proper facilities for people to demonstrate, assemble and discuss, and proper accommodation, whether in Edinburgh or in the area round Gleneagles. A proper opportunity for a demonstration at Gleneagles is needed so that people can directly express their concerns to the world leaders. We must tackle the problems, recognise that the eyes of the world will be on Scotland and give space for the world to voice its views at the G8 leaders' summit.

          I move amendment S2M-2924.4, to leave out from "will showcase" to end and insert:

          "notes the undemocratic nature of the G8, given that the G8 countries represent only 13% of the world's population, while making decisions with consequences that are felt worldwide; supports the aims of the Make Poverty History campaign and other civil society campaigns; believes that all unpayable third world debt must be cancelled with immediate effect; supports developing countries' right to protect indigenous industry and promotes fair trade rather than free trade; welcomes the Franco-German proposal to fund more aid by levying a Tobin tax which would limit damaging currency speculation; further welcomes the Franco-German proposal to levy a tax on aviation fuel to combat the global climate change that threatens to undermine the Millennium Development Goals; urges the US Government to ratify the Kyoto protocol as a vital step in international efforts to combat climate change; recognises the importance of sexual and reproductive health and rights and is gravely concerned at the growing impact of HIV and AIDS in Africa and across the developing world; recognises the genuine concerns about the G8 process and agenda that are held by people across the world; welcomes and recognises the legitimate right to peaceful protest against the G8 summit; further recognises the success of past protests at UK G8 events in changing UK government policy, and supports calls for the adequate provision of accommodation and other facilities and acknowledges that the provision of such facilities is essential to ensure the safety and well-being of all those involved in the event."

        • Colin Fox (Lothians) (SSP):
          As a Lothians MSP, I welcome the G8 protesters to Edinburgh and know that I speak for the vast majority of people in this city when I welcome them. People throughout Scotland are heartened that so many people who are motivated by a raw sense of injustice and inequality will be here in July. People are so motivated that they will come to Scotland in their hundreds of thousands. In protesting, people will surely put an end to the view that people here are apathetic and that only others are fervent about issues such as the third world, poverty and climate change.

          As the minister knows, peaceful protests against the G8's record and agenda are planned to take place in Edinburgh and at Faslane, Dungavel, Gleneagles and elsewhere to ensure that the message of peaceful protesters against the G8 is not deflected by other stories. It is worth repeating that peaceful protest is our democratic right. We protesters have the right to fight for what we believe in and to protest against members of the G8 who wish to come here. Our right to march at Gleneagles has been compromised. I point out to the minister that Parliament agreed a motion in support of the right to protest at Gleneagles. That motion and our rights have been compromised. The granting of a prospective ministerial certificate yesterday is a further attack on our civil liberties and on the Parliament's rights. Members have a democratic right to know what the authorities in Scotland are doing and what actions they are taking in our name. We have the right to scrutinise their decisions, but that right appears to have been denied us.

          Of course, the Executive's motion does not mention those measures. The Scottish Socialist Party thought it necessary to lodge an amendment to Labour's motion because the tone of the motion is wrong. It shows that the Labour Party is too fearful of democratic protest and too keen to make money from visitors and from the cachet of holding the G8 summit in Scotland. The motion is wrong, because it shows that the Labour Party is apparently ambivalent about what must be done through the public debate to eradicate poverty in the third world. Also, the commercial imperatives that the minister outlined are completely out of touch with the mood of the people of Scotland, who put higher and nobler values at the centre of the discussion. Once upon a time, the Labour Party would readily have described itself as anti-capitalist, but now it simply acts as capitalism's commercial manager.

          The focus of the debate is on poverty in Africa, but it is worth reiterating that poverty—whether in Africa, the third world or anywhere else—is not a natural phenomenon. In fact, poverty is a consequence of the economic and political decisions that the G8 and the industrialised nations have taken. As the minister knows, more people—2.8 billion of them on the planet—live in poverty now than at any time before. Some 1.1 billion people do not even have access to safe drinking water. The total debt of the poorest 52 countries is $375 billion, but the debt that has been written off is $46 billion, which is 12 per cent of the total. The people of Scotland will think about the debate and find it harrowing that for all the progress that we have made—with all our technological advances and medical progress—we have not yet provided for the primary needs of billions of people. For all our mobile phone technology, satellite television technology, internet communications, keyhole surgery and drugs that cure this disease or that disease, 30,000 weans with distended bellies are still denied the basics of life every day. That is the context for the debate and for the meeting of the G8 leaders in July.

          I support the campaign to make poverty history and its appeal to the G8 leaders to consider the question anew. I share its anger and determination to inject some sense of urgency on aid, trade and debt relief. The question that we all face is whether the G8 is part of the solution or part of the problem. Blair, Bush, Berlusconi and the rest of the G8 leaders paint themselves as innocent bystanders who are incapable of changing the world's neo-liberal economic forces. What sophistry. The G8 think nothing of spending billions of pounds on war but refuse to spend coppers to eradicate poverty in the third world. It is the policies of the G8 countries that are responsible for the crisis and their trade rules are part of the problem. The position in which they put farmers and countries in the developing world is like a plot from "Catch 22".

          The minister spoke of the $800 million of media coverage that the state of Georgia gained as a consequence of hosting the G8 summit. What is the record of the G8? What happens at the G8 summit? What comes out of the decisions that are made on these occasions? At a previous summit, the G8 set a target for aid whereby each country would provide 0.75 per cent of its gross domestic product in aid to the third world. They have rarely met half that target. What can we expect to be different about the summit at Gleneagles? The omens do not look good.

          The media coverage in Scotland of the Gleneagles summit, which the minister mentioned, is in stark contrast to the situation in America, where the media coverage is zilch. The media coverage of the summit in France, Germany and Italy is also zero. Could it be that the story is of no interest in those countries because they have seen it all before—the same big expectations, huge protest movement and pressure on the host Government to achieve something, only for the same meaningless double-speak communiqué to come out of it and the same failed agreements to be reached?

          I have no great confidence or expectation that the G8 in Gleneagles will lift a finger for poverty in the third world. I am much more optimistic about what the protesters will achieve. The cause of the make poverty history campaign and G8 alternatives is a noble one and deserves to succeed. Bob Geldof, who spoke recently in the Parliament, is an inspiring figure—Bob Geldof versus the Boomtown Rats, in the shape of the G8. The millions of people who will protest, not the G8, will change things. They have highlighted the need to change things much more profoundly. The make poverty history movement has reached a critical mass, just as the anti-war movement did and just as the anti-poll tax movement did before that. It is capable of changing things. If it is a movement that is built on seeing through politicians who make promises one minute and abandon them when the circus leaves town, it will be a profound movement.

          That is the scale of the task. What will Gleneagles leave behind? Potentially, a world of difference.

          I move amendment S2M-2924.2, to leave out from "will showcase" to end and insert:

          "notes that the existing neoliberal policies of the G8 countries are the biggest factor causing mass poverty worldwide; accepts that policies such as free trade imposed by the G8 countries through the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organisation are a major cause of the collapse of local economies in Africa and in many developing countries; recognises that the proposed International Finance Facility is nothing more than a PFI for Africa; supports the immediate cancellation of third world debt and hopes that as many people as possible come to Scotland and take to the streets, including at Gleneagles, in support of fair trade, aid and all debt cancellation; upholds the democratic right to peaceful protest; is shocked that a minister in the Scottish Executive, without any scrutiny from the Parliament, has suspended democratic accountability for the police, the Scottish Executive and local authorities through the "prospective ministerial certificate" with no end date set for this attack on democratic rights, and calls for the immediate rescinding of this directive, which introduces a code of secrecy, and for democratic rights to be restored."

        • Phil Gallie (South of Scotland) (Con):
          It is interesting that I follow Colin Fox. I have no doubt that his words are genuine and that he has strong feelings about those who are suffering. However, he is wrong. If he looks at the history of politics and capitalism, he will see that the countries that are involved in the G8 have created wealth that can now be shared and brought to bear. In the face of the problems that he has identified, instead of just protesting and expressing words of compassion, we should try to turn those words into the action that is required.

        • Jeremy Purvis (Tweeddale, Ettrick and Lauderdale) (LD):
          Will the member give way?

        • Phil Gallie:
          It is rather early in my speech.

          We support the motion. We recognise fully that it is the Executive's role to look to the interests and aspirations of people in Scotland, on the home front as well as on the wider front. We also accept that the motion's comment about the G8 summit having a productive outcome is an all-embracing aspiration for what we all hope will come from the summit.

          We could have nit-picked and changed a word or two. Rather than suggesting that the summit "will" create economic benefit for Scotland, the motion could have suggested that the summit "should" create economic benefit for Scotland. John Swinney referred to this issue and the European and External Relations Committee has asked for a more detailed breakdown of the economic benefit. However, suggesting that that point be stressed in the motion would have been nit-picking, given the importance of the summit to Scotland.

          I am concerned about the image of Scotland that will be projected. We will not have full control over that image; mother nature will play a part in the way in which Scotland appears to the rest of the world. However, the behaviour of people will be all-important. I hope that those who come here to demonstrate their genuine feelings about problems around the world will behave as we would all like them to behave—reasonably and compassionately.

          I hope that people come in large numbers, particularly to the demonstration in Edinburgh on 2 July, which has been planned by organisations connected with the make poverty history campaign. I commend them for all that they have done to date. They have raised awareness in a peaceful and practical way that everyone can identify with.

          I have some reservations about latecomers to the scene, particularly people who have suddenly come to the forefront and whom some would describe as aging pop stars. I acknowledge that showbiz personalities have a role, but the people at the forefront should be the people in the make poverty history campaign. I hope that the leaders at the G8 summit will listen to those people and will act on their aspirations.

        • Mark Ballard:
          I became aware of the problems of Africa through Live Aid. Does Mr Gallie not think it a bit unfair to say that Bob Geldof is coming late to the issues of development and Africa?

        • Phil Gallie:
          I did not mention Bob Geldof; I said "aging pop stars", as Mark Ballard will see if he reads my words later. If he includes Bob Geldof in that category, that is his interpretation and not necessarily mine.

        • Carolyn Leckie:
          Will the member take an intervention?

        • Phil Gallie:
          I am sorry, but I must move on; I have only seven minutes and I want to talk about the content of the G8 summit.

          When we look forward to the G8, we consider the main ambitions of the Prime Minister. Once again, we can identify with his concerns over climate change and certainly over the problems in Africa. We wish him success in his current efforts around the world to identify the issues with key world leaders. It seemed to me that there was a little bit of a breakthrough yesterday, but that work will have to be built on.

          I hope that no petty jealousies will be displayed at the G8. I hope that President Chirac or Chancellor Schröder will not undermine the Prime Minister on issues that would more appropriately be addressed during the Prime Minister's presidency of the European Union. Let us concentrate on the G8 and the issues that it will address. I hope that all the world's leaders will do that.

          On climate change, the differences that exist even within this chamber have been well demonstrated. Countries across Europe have approached the issue in different ways. The Germans and the Danes may have been moving towards energy generation from wind power, but they are now backtracking. The French perhaps provide the reliable solution of nuclear energy generation. Such issues demonstrate the difficulties that G8 leaders will face when they come to debate them. There is a whole range of solutions, but arriving at the right answers will take masterminds. I hope that the G8 leaders are endowed with patience and wisdom, for they will need them.

          Considering that Africa has massive resources of oil, mineral and other elements, I hope that the steps that are taken during the G8 deliberations will not only guarantee the alleviation of debt but require Africa to help itself. There has got to be change in Africa and we need to consider world trade as well as debt relief or debt write-off. As Tories, we can identify with the objective of spending 0.7 per cent of GDP on overseas development. We welcome the fact that, over recent years, another procedure that was started by a Tory Chancellor of the Exchequer has been continued by Chancellor Brown. However, there should be no blank cheques. Debt relief must be seen to produce quality of life for all who live in Africa, not just for the few who are in positions of power.

        • Iain Smith (North East Fife) (LD):
          I welcome the opportunity to speak in the debate ahead of what is potentially one of the most important and significant meetings ever to take place in Scotland.

          Although the G8 has no formal status as an international institution, there can be no doubt that a summit of the leaders from eight of the most powerful economic nations in the world can have a major impact on the future of our planet. That has never been more true than this year, when the summit will focus on the two severest challenges facing the world today: Africa and climate change.

          The G8 nations account for 65 per cent of global GDP and 47 per cent of global CO2 emissions, so it goes without saying that the G8 nations can take global action that will have a significant impact on world debt and climate change. A failure of the G8 nations to act can result only in global catastrophe.

          We already know what keeps the African continent poor and prevents it from realising its potential. The biggest problems are unfair trade rules, armed conflict, corruption and infectious diseases. However, the test of our commitment to eradicating poverty from Africa will be what the G8 does about those issues. The summit provides the world's richest Governments with an opportunity to commit to real reform. Africa needs sustained assistance and concerted action; the G8 must commit itself to providing that assistance and maintaining its interest well beyond the summit.

          Liberal Democrats are committed to realising a world free from poverty. If we are to achieve by 2015 the United Nations millennium development goals of tackling extreme poverty and hunger, providing universal primary education and combating HIV and AIDS, the UK needs to provide more effective international assistance.

          In 2000, all 191 UN countries committed to meeting the millennium development goals by 2015. In January 2005, the millennium project published a report on how to make progress towards meeting the goals. It produced a package that included scores of specific, cost-effective measures that, taken together, could cut extreme poverty in half and radically improve the lives of at least a billion people in poor developing countries by 2015.

          Crucially, the millennium project report called for the delivery of aid to be overhauled. It noted that only around 30 per cent of aid reaches the situation on the ground. It also pointed out that the task requires not just Government action but public and private support and the influence of NGOs to be brought into the political mainstream. If progress continues at the current pace, the goals on hunger, child mortality and primary education will not be met until 2200.

          Liberal Democrat international development policy is built on two foundations. First, we believe that this country has the wealth to help those who are much poorer than ourselves and that we should do that. Secondly, we believe that we all benefit from the achievement of sustainable development in the world's poorest countries. This country has never lived up to the promise that it made long ago to devote 0.7 per cent of its annual income to aid—indeed, under the Conservatives, aid was cut—and it is time that it did so.

          The response of the British people to situations such as the Asian tsunami disaster has been extremely generous, yet every day millions of families around the world are caught up in similar tragedies of famine, drought, war and terrible poverty. It is time that Britain lived up to its promises to build the sustainable development to end such poverty once and for all.

          Aid is not the only issue. For example, opening European markets to the products of the poorest countries helps those economies and can help to lift those countries out of poverty. Stopping subsidised European food being dumped helps farmers in poorer countries to grow more and prosper. Neither of those policies would cost a penny.

          We must reform international institutions to make them more responsive to the needs of developing countries, make aid more productive, make trade fairer and take action to promote good governance, the rule of law and human rights. The people of this country have an outstanding record of helping those in need around the world. It is time for our Government to match that commitment.

          Liberal Democrats welcome the fact that the summit is to be carbon neutral. However, there must be a commitment to tackle climate change at the summit, particularly from the US, and an action plan to back up that commitment. It is unacceptable that the US, the world's largest polluter, which is responsible for more than a third of the world's pollution, refuses to take its responsibilities seriously. It is unacceptable that the US President, George W Bush, ignores the advice of his scientists, refuses to take action to deal with pollution and fails to accept his responsibility under the Kyoto treaty.

        • Mr Mark Ruskell (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Green):
          Will the member take an intervention?

        • Iain Smith:
          I have only a short time to speak in the debate, so I cannot give way to the member.

          Tony Blair and the UK Government must also take more action and assume a more effective role in combating climate change. They could take a lead from the Liberal Democrat-Labour Executive here in Scotland by setting more ambitious targets for renewable energy and by reducing energy consumption. Tony Blair could make a start by agreeing to remove the ceiling on grant support for wave energy projects and supporting fully the proposed wave farm off Orkney.

          I conclude by looking briefly at some of the wider opportunities and challenges that the G8 summit presents here in Scotland. I welcome the opportunity that the summit gives to the people of Scotland and of the UK as a whole to express our concerns on the issues of climate change and making poverty history, through the Live 8 concert, peaceful demonstrations and the make poverty history campaign. I hope that that genuine expression of public concern will not be taken over by others who wish to push their agendas. The important messages on poverty and climate change will easily be lost if peaceful demonstration turns into disruption and violence. It is incumbent on all members of Parliament to take the lead on the issue—to support peaceful protest but to denounce those who wish to engage in unlawful or violent activities.

          The G8 summit has already focused world attention on the issue of making poverty history. It has given us an opportunity to raise public awareness and understanding of the issues surrounding world poverty, debt relief and fair trade, no more so than in our schools. I take the opportunity to congratulate two third-year and four fifth-year students from Waid Academy in Anstruther in my constituency. Waid Academy took part in the competition to which the minister referred and is one of eight schools from across the UK that were selected to participate in the J8 summit in Edinburgh in the run-up to the G8. Wallace High School in Stirling, where Sylvia Jackson was formerly a teacher, is another of the eight schools that were selected to participate in the summit.

          In their winning project, Waid Academy pupils focused on the current crisis in Africa. They wanted to find out what African countries believed to be the biggest problems facing the continent, so they sent a questionnaire to all African embassies in London. They contacted a charity in Tanzania to find out what were the biggest problems on the ground and spent a large amount of time online finding out about issues relating to Africa. Those issues were broken down under the headings of health, education, poverty and trade. The pupils highlighted the current crisis in those areas and suggested solutions to the problems.

          I wish Waid Academy, Wallace High School and the other schools that are involved in the J8 summit every success. The winning schools will produce a communiqué on Africa and on climate change that will be presented to the G8 summit. I have no doubt that the views that our young people express in that communiqué will have clarity and resonance and will tell the G8 leaders exactly what they need to do. Let us hope that the leaders listen.

        • Sarah Boyack (Edinburgh Central) (Lab):
          I welcome this Executive debate because it gives us the chance as campaigners and legislators to focus on what we in Scotland can do to raise the issues of global poverty, action in Africa and tackling climate change.

          It is worth recording the fact that campaigners have already had a huge influence on the direction that our Government is taking. We need to ensure that we keep up the pressure. It is clear that our Government is leading the way in the G8 and at European level on issues such as debt relief. We are trying to wipe out debts that cripple economies across Africa and which prevent the development of necessary health and education services that would save lives. The Government is also seeking a massive increase in aid—without the kind of strings being attached that have not helped the development of local services—and fairer trade rules. Labour members, in particular, support the reform of the common agricultural policy, in order to end the massive subsidies to the west that have held back African economies for decades.

          I want to reflect not just on what we can do in the run-up to the G8 summit, but on what will happen afterwards. I am proud of the huge range of events that will take place in Edinburgh to involve people and to raise awareness: the conferences, the theatre productions, the debates, the schools events and the huge make poverty history demonstration that I hope we will see. I hope that they show huge public support for radical action by world leaders and that we can feed in the debates that we have had in this Parliament to those discussions.

          I know that Irene Oldfather wants to talk about work in Malawi. We can give long-term support, finance and practical assistance to a country such as Malawi, which is one of the poorest in Africa. It is important that our investment in Africa is steady and that it will be there for the long term; it is crucial that it is not just emergency aid in response to adverts on television.

          The conference that was held in the chamber on Monday made two points clear to me. First, the money that goes to Africa must be spent to make a difference locally. It must be accountable locally and it must be about improving local infrastructure and services. The second point that came across strongly was the need to address public health and women's rights. Thousands of children die in Africa every day because of poverty and lack of health care, and 5,000 women die in Africa every week during childbirth. It is estimated that 80,000 women's lives could be saved if effective family planning systems were in place.

          Save the Children points out in its briefing to MSPs that mortality rates among children and mothers are still increasing. The problem is not going away: it is getting worse. We must ask hard questions about women's rights and education as part of the debate about action on proper family planning and action on the HIV and AIDS crisis and we must tackle those problems together. I hope that the conference in Edinburgh on 23 June will enable African women's voices to be heard as part of the G8 debate.

          Parliament can make a difference on two other issues. First, it is necessary that we put practical pressure on global companies and corporations through the establishment of fair trade. We can buy goods as individuals or collectively and thereby exert pressure on companies and make a difference. For example, institutions such as the University of Edinburgh have decided to source coffee from fair trade connections. The City of Edinburgh Council also promotes Fairtrade products in businesses and schools in Edinburgh. I remember that in the early days of our Parliament I wrote to David Steel to ask why we did not even take the token step of using Fairtrade coffee.

          Such initiatives make a difference, but this is not only about symbols: it is about provision of tangible support for local food producers and local co-operatives to ensure that they are not at risk of huge fluctuations in commodity prices on the international markets. It is necessary to ensure that when they make money from the goods that they produce and send to us, they get some of the profits so that they can invest in water systems, in education and in health facilities for their communities. We can hear about such developments and pass the message on. I hope that in future debates we return to Jack McConnell's proposal that Scotland should become a fair trade country. That is something in which we can all be practically involved.

          The other issue that I will talk about, because it has received less media coverage although it is one for which we have real responsibility, is climate change. Scotland and the UK are again leading the way at world level, but the Environment and Rural Development Committee's report highlighted the challenges. We were very critical of the Government because we think that opportunities are not being taken and it is necessary to go further. The fact that our Governments are setting the agenda shows how far we have to go in persuading other countries around the world to sign up to a fairer and more ethical approach. Climate change will have a brutal impact on developing countries in Africa. It will be harder to grow crops there and it will be harder to sustain human existence across major tracts of Africa.

          The developed countries are responsible: our carbon emissions are causing the problem. Do members know that each person in Scotland generates 12 tonnes of carbon use every year? The equivalent figure for India is one tonne and for Kenya it is 0.2 tonnes, so there is no fairness and no global equity in that. That is why we must not let the US walk away from the issue when the G8 comes to Scotland. The issue must also be on our agenda. We must export renewable technologies to developing countries and we must ensure that we maximise renewables and energy efficiency in Scotland.

          A radical idea, which I will leave with members, came up at the conference on Monday. The UK proposes that we put a levy on air fares throughout the EU to reflect the true environmental damage of such travel. The levy would not apply to our lifeline services in Scotland, but it would cover commercial air flights, which are increasing significantly. It was suggested not only that we should levy that money but that we should divert it to Africa and send it as part of our trade contribution. We all know that we will not stop using aeroplanes, so that is a practical way in which the UK could take a lead that would make an impact in Africa. We need to do all that we can to keep up the pressure over the next few weeks, but we also need to think about what happens afterwards.

          The G8 summit will be a huge issue for us during the next month, but the real test will be what happens afterwards. The rich developed nations have a responsibility to increase aid, to wipe out debt and to develop fairer trade. We must also set tough targets on climate change and emissions reductions and we must implement measures that will enable us to meet those targets. Let us get that message across to the world leaders when they meet in Scotland next month.

        • Roseanna Cunningham (Perth) (SNP):
          Despite the wording of the motion, Scotland is not "hosting the G8 summit"; it is the venue for the summit; would that we were the host. I remain to be convinced about the "economic benefit" that is likely to accrue to Scotland from the summit.

          However, I am convinced, sadly, that the G8 summit will have serious negative consequences for my constituents, especially those who live in and around Auchterarder. I am talking not just about concern about the damage that will be caused by the protests that the G8 will attract but about the local disruption and chaos that the summit's presence will create, which is a reality that must be taken on board. The security and policing operation is massive—I never doubted that it would be.

          The First Minister denied that the policing costs will be the £100 million that has been reported, but the Executive apparently does not want to share the true figure with us. People are rightly concerned and people in the most affected part of Scotland are understandably concerned that they will be left to bear the cost. I am not talking about what the First Minister described as the

          "potential for the odd penny to go astray".—[Official Report, 19 May 2005; c17049.]

          I am talking about millions of pounds. My constituents and people in other affected constituencies should not be left to pick up the tab. I will continue to press for clarity on the amount of money that will be spent on policing and I will continue to press the case for compensation.

        • The Deputy Minister for Finance and Public Service Reform (Tavish Scott):
          I give Roseanna Cunningham the absolute assurance that she seeks in relation to local taxpayers, who will not be levied or subject to the costs of the summit in that regard.

        • Roseanna Cunningham:
          I thank the minister for that assurance, but compensation remains unaddressed.

          The motion talks about

          "making the summit safe",

          but it says nothing about the surrounding communities. The minute that it was announced that the G8 summit would come to Strathearn, everyone knew that protesters would follow, as night follows day, but for some reason nobody wanted to acknowledge that fact. If protesters come in a controlled, managed and organised fashion, that is fine. However, threatening to cause mayhem if they do not get their own way is not fine and such threats have been made. Policing the G8 summit is the responsibility of the Executive, so the Executive should show greater leadership or we will be left with a vacuum into which the extremist elements about whose plans we read will move.

        • Mr McCabe:
          There is a danger that the member is facing both ways. First, she complains about the potential costs of policing, then she accepts that the Executive should fund those costs. After all, we spent long enough trying to establish in Scotland a devolved Parliament that would have control over the country's police services. Irrespective of the costs of the summit, even if not one penny is generated from the summit, people in Scotland have a golden opportunity to influence for the good the lives of people in other parts of the world who have no idea of the relative affluence that we enjoy. That would be a positive outcome of the summit.

        • Roseanna Cunningham:
          First, my concern is not about what the cost will be, but who will bear the cost, although it is clear that the cost is an issue. Secondly, the G8 is a UK summit, not a Scottish summit, so it is not clear to me why only Scotland should bear the cost.

          The minister talked about the gentle Scottish policing style. I have asked questions about that, because we know that a vast number of police officers will not come from Scottish forces. Who will train them in Scotland's policing style? I have had no answers to my questions.

          We need to acknowledge that the G8 is an unwelcome beast in Strathearn. Now that Bob's boat is setting sail, most locals are glad that Strathearn is landlocked and they will not have to deal with that. There has been not even a suggestion of a lasting legacy of the G8 for Auchterarder, which might have sweetened the pill a little. The minister might like to consider something along those lines in order to alleviate the inconvenience that will be created for the folk of the town.

        • Mr Ted Brocklebank (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Con):
          Will the member give way?

        • Roseanna Cunningham:
          I am sorry. I have taken interventions and I need to move on.

          Of course the G8 summit is not just about what we can get out of it or our difficulties with it. We all want there to be a global legacy, as well as a local legacy, from the summit. Much publicity surrounded the recent visit of the First Minister to Malawi and I congratulate the First Minister on what he is trying to do. Although there might be debate around the detail of the proposals, let us have that debate without the level of cynicism that I have seen emanating from some quarters.

          I have found that there is a magic cure for cynicism. One must stand, as I did recently, in a corrugated tin shack of a classroom crammed with 70, 80, 90 or more children from a squatter camp, all in school uniform, being taught by volunteer teachers with no support other than charity. All cynicism disappears. Visit a hospital where babies die for want of incubators or medicines—I know that some of my colleagues had that experience recently—and cynicism disappears. By all means, let us have the debate, but if we really believe that our aid money goes into the back pockets of people who are already rich, we must ensure that it goes directly to the schools and hospitals; we should not use the situation as an excuse to stop giving.

          If the UK reaches its 0.7 per cent aid target, it will happen 43 years after the target was agreed. That shows no sense of urgency. I have a message for the leaders of the G8 countries as they get ready to come to my constituency; be prepared to take some real decisions and act on them. They must consider the needs of the world's poor and they must listen to the tens of thousands who will march and demand that those leaders make poverty history. Thirty thousand children die in Africa every year. The G8 leaders must come prepared to change that, or they should stay at home.

        • Mr Andrew Arbuckle (Mid Scotland and Fife) (LD):
          There have been two main strands to today's discussion. The first is the G8 agenda and the second is the effect that it will have on Perthshire and the Scottish economy.

          On the G8, the only—I mean only—criterion for judging whether it is successful will be whether it makes a difference to people in the less developed countries of the world. For people who live in sub-Saharan Africa and other poverty-stricken parts of the world, there is a major irony in our jetting in world leaders and their followers to this meeting: the most hungry and the most thirsty people will never know about it because they will be dead before there is action to sort out their plight.

          Newspaper headlines and the previous speaker in the debate might point to the cost of the G8 summit, but the real cost and inequality lie not in the cost of police and security but in the price that millions will pay if change is not made to the trading and business terms of the countries in the developed world. There is a real need for the world leaders who will attend the meeting to put in place a programme that will give real and sustainable benefits for the poorer nations that have suffered from a combination of trade agreements and internal corruption.

          On world poverty, no one who has travelled extensively throughout the world can deny that we who live in this country, in western Europe and particularly in north America are extremely fortunate. Hunger is not our constant companion as it is for people in many parts of Africa. As an agricultural reporter who often wrote about food surpluses in the European Union, I found it hard to comprehend that so much of the world's population goes to bed hungry. The science exists to produce enough food, but it is not spread throughout the world. I also reported on the EU providing export restitutions or subsidies to get rid of surplus grain and milk products onto the world market—a move that effectively destabilises the basic levels of agriculture. The Food and Aagriculture Organisation of the United Nations recently reckoned that 2.5 billion people were adversely affected by trade distorting subsidies and barriers. That matter will not be dealt with at the G8 summit; it will be dealt with more fully at the forthcoming World Trade Organisation talks.

          I will not dwell further on the existing situation in which hunger, thirst, disease and death sit close outside mud huts and makeshift shelters. At this point, I turn to the opportunity for Scotland that arises from hosting the summit meeting at Gleneagles hotel—note that the meeting will be held in a hotel and not the community of Gleneagles. Earlier today, Alan Livingstone, the convener of the enterprise committee of Perth and Kinross Council said that he did not expect immediate benefits from the G8 meeting, but he believes that great long-term pluses will result from that part of Perthshire being on the world scene for 10 days next month. In his opening speech, the minister remarked on the number of foreign journalists who will visit the area. Mr Livingstone said that several have already done so and are writing about Perthshire, and he is receiving reports remarking on Perthshire. We are already in the world's focus.

          Last month, the mayor of Savannah in Georgia, where the previous G8 summit was held, reckoned that economic activity in his area was boosted by 15 per cent during the summit, and that the beneficial effect was still echoing through the tills of businesses in the area. He also reckoned that holding the G8 summit generated some £400 million-worth of beneficial publicity.

          When we stepped into the 21st century, a number of idealistic statements were made about reducing world poverty, as my colleague Iain Smith has mentioned. He pointed out that progress has been made on debt cancellation in some countries and that, as a result, primary school fees are no longer charged. Those are small steps, but what is now needed is a major programme of help rather than the dumping of loads of food on communities, which brings short-term benefit and long-term problems. The provision of loads of cash destroys cultures and civilisations; what is needed is programmes that involve the countries that are affected in working with other countries. I stress the word "with"; they should not work for other countries. Aid should not be given in exchange for a country's oil, its copper or its mineral wealth. That is what is needed on the world stage.

          Back in Scotland, I hope that the people of the world will see the magnificent backdrop of the Perthshire hills as they sit in front of their television sets with a glass of Scotch in their hands. It sometimes seems—especially to Americans—that Scotland is part of England, but the G8 will allow the world to see Scotland as a separate and distinctive place. That will surely produce spin-off benefits for Perthshire and Scotland for many years to come.

          In the coming months, we do not want a Genoa-type situation to develop, which will result in the headlines being dominated by the use of tear gas and water cannon to deal with people who see such major meetings purely as a vehicle for promoting their own political agenda. That scenario worries local people, who did not ask for the summit to be held on their doorstep. They are concerned about the way in which such protests will be handled. I make a plea to the protestors to make their points peacefully. I also ask the politicians who attend the summit to ensure that they come up with more than words and promises and that they make the summit a significant step towards ending world poverty.

        • Irene Oldfather (Cunninghame South) (Lab):
          Today's debate is the second that we have had on the G8 summit. Last time, I spoke about aid, trade and debt issues—which other members have mentioned—and Scotland's track record in supporting just causes, examples of which include the coalition of Scottish churches, the trade union movement and the Scottish people in the march against apartheid.

          The Malawi consular office is in my constituency and today I want to bring something different to Parliament by giving a voice to people in Malawi. I want to draw to members' attention some of the practical measures that people tell me would help. As Sarah Boyack said, the issue is about more than just providing emergency aid; it is about supporting and encouraging local populations sustainably. I begin by saying a few words about economic development in Malawi. When people think of Malawi, not many of them immediately think of it as a tourist destination, but as is the case in areas that were affected by the tsunami, people can—beyond aid programmes—support local economic development by placing their confidence in local tourism. I have with me the April edition of the Malawi Tourism Association newsletter, which intimates the return of the Lake Malawi sailing marathon in July and reopening of the refurbished Kiboko Town Hotel in Lilongwe. Such measures could represent the genesis of a tourism renewal in Malawi. Destinations in Malawi could form part of two-centre holidays and be a natural hub for visitors to southern Africa who favour a multi-destination experience.

          My next point is about air links. The minister will no doubt be aware that Air Malawi offers flights from Johannesburg and Nairobi, but as a smaller airline, it does not always get the same amount of business as companies that have global capacity. I ask the minister to consider encouraging civil servants, non-governmental organisations and others to use the local airline for flights into Malawi, thereby assisting economic development and the indigenous population who service Air Malawi.

          I turn to private investment. It is important to consider not just aid and debt issues, but how private investment could be further encouraged. Members may be aware of the sizeable expatriate Asian population in Scotland who left Malawi under the difficult political circumstances of the late 1970s and 1980s. Many of them are now businessmen and entrepreneurs in Scotland, but they still speak Chichewa and have a keen understanding not only of the language but of Malawian culture. It would be helpful if, in its endeavours, the Executive could examine how the experience of that population could be harnessed to encourage private investment in communities in Malawi.

          We regularly associate Malawi with the work of the churches and of the Christian church in particular; a church that has done a great deal over the past 150 years. However, it is important to remember that there is also a sizeable Muslim population in Malawi that works very much in harmony with the Christian church. They want to be involved in reconstruction and I believe that they have a considerable role to play. It is important that they are involved and that they are seen to be involved.

          I want to say a word or two about community links. The modern links between Malawi and my community run deep. Although much is known about the history of Scotland and Malawi, less is known about the close community links between my area and Malawi. The rotary club of Irvine is preparing to send a group of schoolchildren and teachers from St Michael's Academy to Malawi in order to build and strengthen those relationships. Part of the project involves installation of a fresh-water supply to a village and equipping of the science department of a school. I wish the schoolchildren, their teachers and the rotary club all the best in their endeavours. I hope that the trip will provide a platform on which to build further school-to-school links—links that are of benefit to both communities.

          Regular fundraising events are held in Cunninghame South to support schools in Malawi. Indeed, a young American girl, whose parents served as doctors in the Malamulo hospital in Malawi, lived with my family and attended school in Scotland. That is another example of the way in which links between my community and Malawi have worked at a very practical level.

          I want to say a few words about sustainability. The wheels are most definitely in motion in terms of sustainability. I hope that we are at the beginning of a long journey. The First Minister's initiative provides us with an opportunity to put in place a template or blueprint that could be of value to other people who want to work in Africa. We can take the lead and show what works and where the challenges lie. I hope that that will end in a better quality of life for the people of Malawi.

          On the wider stage, I hope that the G8 meeting at Gleneagles will result in a fairer global society. In effect, if we do not help to find a solution, we become part of the problem. In taking our first steps, we are showing the world that Scotland cares and that we want to make poverty history. Whatever we do must be sustainable. Too many expectations have been raised for the initiative to fail. We cannot fail and we cannot fall at the last hurdle: we must be in this for the long haul. I support the motion in the name of the minister.

        • Mr Jamie McGrigor (Highlands and Islands) (Con):
          It is a great honour for Scotland to host the G8 summit for the first time since the summits started in Rambouillet in 1975. It is apt that the summit will be held here because Scotland and Scottish people have always been famous for inspiration. Scottish minds ushered in the age of enlightenment and the creation of western civilisation as we know it. Perhaps the fresh climate and outstanding natural beauty of our country foster thought on a very high plane. Let us hope that the same very high plane of thought will be achieved by the G8 leaders at Gleneagles when they meet in the heart of Scotland. That is what is needed to make poverty history and to deal with the other world problems that are on the agenda.

          I agree with Tom McCabe that we are showcasing Scotland to an international audience. I hope that the event will proceed in harmony and that it will make progress on the subjects that are on its agenda, especially the two main topics that Tony Blair has chosen, which are climate change and Africa. If the event delivers progress, it will encourage more events to be held on Scottish soil. I am sure that Perthshire will benefit from the event for years to come.

          I disagree with the notion in Mark Ballard's amendment about the

          "undemocratic nature of the G8, given that the G8 countries represent only 13% of the world's population".

          Surely the point is that the countries that are represented at the summit have the assets to make a difference to the areas of the world that are less fortunate. It may be an advantage that the G8 is a relatively small committee because that will, I hope, produce clear decisions that attract consensus. That would have good consequences that would be felt worldwide and bring about practical improvements for people who are suffering.

          Mark Ballard's amendment also asks for more nanny state-style taxes, which will not stop global warming but will hinder wealth creation, and thus leave less money for charitable work and humanitarian aid when world disasters occur.

        • Mark Ballard:
          Will the member give way?

        • Mr McGrigor:
          Global warming has produced a different climate, and practical measures must be taken in the short term to protect people in low-lying and coastal areas. Governments must ensure that there are sufficient early-warning procedures for storms, and that there is sufficient funding for flood prevention. To combat the causes of global warming, we must examine renewables technologies, such as wave and tidal power, as well as energy from biomass and waste. We must also realise the importance of new nuclear technology as a key way of reducing global warming. In the west, we should examine ways of saving power and of encouraging a culture of energy savers instead of energy wasters.

        • Mark Ballard:
          Will the member give way?

        • Mr McGrigor:
          No.

          It is the moral responsibility of developed nations to try to improve the plight of the African continent, where one child dies every three seconds and one in six dies before his or her fifth birthday. I am pleased by President Bush's statement on elimination of debt—it was promising. It must also be remembered that the aid contribution of the United States dwarfs that of any other country. We Conservatives are committed to increasing Britain's aid budget by a fifth in the next three years, and to reaching the UN target of spending 0.7 per cent of our gross domestic product on overseas development.

          However, it is a depressing fact that no matter how much aid is poured in, the effects can be destroyed overnight by corrupt governments. If we take Malawi as an example, we see that there were corruption scandals during the presidency of Bakili Muluzi, including reports that in 2000 senior officials sold 160,000 tonnes of reserve maize when there were signs of a coming famine. Look at what has happened in a short time in Zimbabwe, where Robert Mugabe's brutal policies have left a productive agricultural economy in tatters, with his people facing famine. I am all for the First Minister's attempt to help Malawi—a country that has such a long association with Scotland, which was started by David Livingstone—but he must be able to give the Scottish people a firm assurance that the money that they give in aid will be used on the ground and not networked into politicians' pockets. We must never forget the wonderful efforts of the current aid organisations.

          The Governments of the G8 countries must preach and practice the gospel that brought prosperity for their nations in the first place, which was free trade without protectionism. However effective our aid programme, it will never solve the problem of global poverty. History shows us only too clearly again and again that countries that create wealth are politically stable. Political stability is created through establishment of the rule of law, protection of property and promotion of free enterprise. The answer to making poverty history lies in that direction, with free markets leading to fairer trade. As David McLetchie said recently:

          "it is hypocritical of us to lecture third world countries about the importance of these principles if we then prevent those countries reaping the rewards by trading with us. Trade protection for developed countries at the expense of the developing world is immoral".

          Properly applied, those principles would bring an end to the neo-colonial world, where rich donor countries hand out cash to dependent poor recipients.

          I look forward to the great Scottish summit at Gleneagles, and pray that its aims will be driven solidly down the fairway for an eagle or an albatross or, better still, a hole in one.

        • Mrs Mary Mulligan (Linlithgow) (Lab):
          Like many members, I welcome the fact that Scotland is hosting the G8 conference. It is a great opportunity for people worldwide to see Scotland as a progressive community, a thriving economy and a welcoming country—as the First Minister likes to say, the best small country in the world. However, while we feel great pride at hosting the event, we also accept our responsibility to highlight the important issues such as climate change; public health and education in Africa, as Sarah Boyack mentioned; and community development, particularly in Malawi, as Irene Oldfather mentioned. I will concentrate on the other issue that is on everybody's lips at the moment: the eradication of poverty in Africa.

          For many years, people from throughout Scotland have worked with agencies such as Oxfam and Christian Aid to support people in the developing countries. Despite many people's generosity, real changes in the standard of living for people in the developing countries have not materialised. At notable stages in recent years, awareness of the challenges in Africa has been raised. Events such as Live Aid in 1985 and the Jubilee 2000 campaign highlighted the plight of people in Africa, although it was accepted that aid alone would not be enough, that Governments throughout the world had to act and that trade issues were central to making a difference. The G8 summit gives us an opportunity to make an impact on the world scene. We must ensure that the decisions that are taken at the summit have a crucial and long-lasting effect.

          To date, what has our Labour Government done to give a lead on the issue? When Labour came to power in 1997, the aid budget stood at £2.1 billion, although it must be said that it was poorly focused. I suppose that that is probably being kind, given some of the shameful events such as the Pergau dam deal. By 2006, the aid budget, which is no longer tied to British products, will have more than doubled to £4.9 billion, but the Government is committed to going further and to reaching the United Nations target of aid totalling 0.7 per cent of gross national income. We should never try to get away from our obligations on that matter. I could give many examples of what Labour has achieved in international development, but I know that some people remain sceptical of Blair's and Brown's motives and their ability to reach the targets. However, members must admit that the facts speak for themselves. Progress has been made and still our Government seeks to lead and encourage other countries to follow suit.

          As I said, aid is not enough, because trade rules are also a significant factor. The UK Government has led the way on reform of the CAP, with the aim of making trade fairer for developing countries. Our European colleagues must take note of that and, I hope, support us further. The Labour UK Government has untied all bilateral aid so that poorer countries can spend it wherever they get best value, not just on British exports or companies. Further, under the International Development Act 2002, aid must be spent on reducing poverty rather than on promoting British business.

          There are other achievements, although I accept that we have much further to go and other issues to consider. At some moments in time, an event can involve world-changing decisions that really make a difference. The G8 summit in Scotland next month could be one such event and could lead to the eradication of poverty in Africa. The Government and the other G8 leaders have the support of many people. Last Monday, I joined a class of primary 7 children in Linlithgow Bridge in my constituency, who were making paper buddies to be presented to the G8 summit. Each buddy represents a child in Africa who does not receive an education. The children are concerned about the unfairness of the situation, they recognise the benefits that they receive from their education and they want to share those benefits with others. Even at that level, children are taking an interest in what happens far away from their home town. In Linlithgow, local people support fair trade produce—like many other towns, it has been a fair trade town for a couple of years. Other towns throughout Scotland will continue to work towards that goal.

          On Saturday 2 July, I am sure that many people from all kinds of communities and backgrounds will come on to the streets of Edinburgh to support the make poverty history campaign. I encourage as many people as possible to join that demonstration and show the leaders who come to these shores that we are serious about making a difference to the lives of people in Africa. We must support the UK Government in its efforts to focus the G8 leaders' work so that they make meaningful commitments to eradicate poverty in Africa. Those leaders must know that if they do not take this opportunity to make those decisions, they will not be forgiven.

        • Linda Fabiani (Central Scotland) (SNP):
          We have been told that the Commission for Africa report will be used to inform the G8 discussion. The conclusion of that excellent document says:

          "Bold comprehensive action on a scale needed to meet the challenges can only be done through a new kind of partnership. In the past, contractual and conditional approaches were tried, and failed. What we are suggesting is a new kind of development, based on mutual respect and solidarity, and rooted in a sound analysis of what actually works. This can speed up progress, building on recent positive developments in Africa, towards a just world of which Africa is an integral part."

          The most important of several extremely important statements in that conclusion is the reference to "mutual respect and solidarity". We should not treat Africa as a charity case. Africans are equal partners—if not the more important partners—in the project to advance their continent. However, it is not all one-sided. After all, the developed world has a powerful self-interest and moral duty with regard to this matter.

          Actions are required on both sides. For a start, donors must support African countries' priorities instead of imposing their own pet or special interest projects on them. Some countries must broaden the participation of citizens, improve accountability and, in some cases, root out corruption. Donors must back up their promises with action and funds, dismantle trade barriers and address unfair agricultural practices. African countries themselves must reform bureaucracy, both internally and across the continent, and simplify their trade tariff systems.

          Another important aspect of the Commission for Africa's conclusion is the reference to aid that is

          "rooted in a sound analysis of what actually works".

          Poverty is not, and should not be, an industry and aid should not be a method of levering in influence. Aid and debt relief have led to success stories, which should be celebrated. For example, Tanzania, which is one of six countries to have completed the current debt relief programme, received $3 billion in debt relief. Almost overnight, an estimated 1.6 million children returned to school. In Uganda, the level of debt service payments has dropped and the number of young children attending school has increased from 2.3 million in 1997 to 6.5 million now, which means that enrolment has more than doubled to 94 per cent.

          In Mozambique, as a result of debt relief, 500,000 children are being vaccinated against tetanus, whooping cough and diphtheria. Finally, in Cameroon, a comprehensive national HIV/AIDS strategy was launched with help from debt savings. There are good examples of African Governments and people moving forward—it is not all bad news.

          There have been some really good developments between Scotland and Africa. I have been particularly impressed by a University of Dundee distance learning programme that has benefited Eritrea and Kenya by training nurses to a level at which they can work in their communities. As a result, the nurses are not tempted to move away and work in the UK and other western nations.

          I am a great believer in training women, particularly those with children, because they stay in their communities and can contribute to capacity building and good aid projects until it is valid for other countries to give direct aid to those Governments. At that point, the systems are in place to ensure that people are really empowered. For example, the Department for International Development used to fund small projects on the ground in Tanzania. However, at the moment, aid goes directly to the Tanzanian Government because there is transparency and it is clear that the aid is being dispersed to the people. We must learn from successful African projects and consider similar approaches.

          I started off by talking about a new way of thinking in relation to sub-Saharan Africa. However, Africa is part of a wider world and there are still huge problems elsewhere, such as poverty, lack of trade justice and conflict. In fact, there is more conflict than ever before and that conflict now directly impacts more on civilians than on the military. Kofi Annan estimates that nine out of 10 casualties of conflict are civilians. Many of those problems are exacerbated, if not caused, by the G8 countries and their allies. I am thinking of trade barriers, wars, turning away when it suits our interests and the arms trade, particularly the small arms trade, which is particularly relevant to the African situation.

          One of my hopes is that the aspiration to create a new way of thinking, which was voiced by the Commission for Africa, will inform the countries of the G8, who will spread that new way of thinking across the world and that that will have an effect on the way in which nations interact and make progress. That new way of thinking is long overdue and I believe that, if the G8 summit produces tangible results in terms of a new way forward for the world, people in Scotland will be glad that the summit was held in this country.

        • Pauline McNeill (Glasgow Kelvin) (Lab):
          When Midge Ure, Bob Geldof and Save the Children proclaim that 30,000 children die every day, we shake our heads in disbelief. However, we all know those brutal facts. Colin Fox says that Tony Blair is not an innocent bystander. However, none of us is. No one gets off the hook—not Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, Mark Ballard, Colin Fox or me.

          The world is giving us its attention and it expects we politicians to do our bit. The test is whether the world will continue to be concerned after July. That is the real challenge. In each of the world's 52 poorest countries, life expectancy is shockingly short and children and other people die horrific deaths. A minute ago, Maureen Macmillan explained to me that, in some of those countries, it is the middle-aged people who die from AIDS, which means that there are erratic population patterns, which affects the ability of generations to look after each other.

          In Sierra Leone, 284 out of 1,000 children under five die. In Angola, the figure is 260 out of 1,000 and life expectancy is 37. With one or two exceptions, most of us in this room would be dead if that were Scotland's life expectancy.

          In the war-torn Darfur region, 1.2 million people have already fled their homes and I welcome the decision of The Hague to investigate war crimes in Sudan. The most extreme breakdown of governance is war and Africa has experienced more violence than any other continent in the past four decades.

          Babies who are born to mothers who have not been educated are twice as likely to die before the age of five. As Sarah Boyack said, the position of women in African society merits attention, as two thirds of the poor are women and girls' participation in education is lower than that of boys.

        • Fiona Hyslop (Lothians) (SNP):
          Will the member join me in congratulating the conference that met here on Monday on including the need for women to be at the heart of development policies in the Edinburgh declaration, which members can read at the back of the chamber?

        • Pauline McNeill:
          I join the member in congratulating the conference on that decision and I hope that many politicians, women in particular, will be able to join the conference.

          What the G8 does in terms of debt relief and imposing conditions on loans greatly affects the ability of the poorest African countries to deliver health and education. Those countries pay more in debt repayments than they can spend on health. That cannot be morally right. Jamie McGrigor talked about the G8 countries being a democratic club. However, that is not the issue. For me, the issue is that, for centuries, those countries have set rules that have hindered the development of those poorer countries and that, arguably, in the past, the G8 has postured more than it should have done. Every pound of aid that is given to Africa results in £13 making its way back to the lenders in some form of debt service payments. That cannot be practically or morally right. If we are entitled to anything, we are entitled to expect an end to those brutal truths. We should not tolerate inertia and inaction by the G8.

          The aid target that the western countries are aiming at is 0.7 per cent of their gross national income, but that target was set 35 years ago. Gordon Brown has made four important proposals. He believes that one way forward is to use the world's gold reserves. He makes the point that it is all very well to write off the debts of developing countries to avoid the absurd situation that I mentioned, but that that will not make significant inroads into their debts and their poverty unless there is additional aid. He talks about front loading aid for developing countries, about every country reaching the target of 0.7 per cent of GNI, and about ending export subsidies. I support those demands.

          It is important to have new rules to prevent the mistakes of the past. The G8 summit should mark a change in the world's responsibility for the future of the sub-Saharan nations. In many cases, there are up to 18 sets of conditions on developing countries. Donors must get together and agree one set of conditions for those nations. The World Bank should be more accountable, with more representation of debtor African countries.

          Recently, one African official said that intervening in a country is not what excites us: what excites us is developing a comprehensive response strategy—not a symbolic strategy, but actual ideas and action that will make a difference. As many members have said, the west will have to sacrifice some of its wealth. There is no other way, and we should not kid ourselves that a sacrifice is not involved for all of us. What makes someone a member of the make poverty history movement is not just their presence at the demonstrations and protests, but what they, as an individual, have done to make a difference and to make poverty history.

        • Margo MacDonald (Lothians) (Ind):
          I will be brief and concentrate on matters that are of concern to people in Edinburgh and the Lothians, and to me as one of their elected representatives. I will speak on the events related to the G8 summit that are due to take place in Edinburgh. I heard the minister flesh out some of the answers that I have been looking for. I also heard his answer to Roseanna Cunningham, but there are still some unanswered questions.

          For months, I have pursued the question of who will pay for what, as have the First Minister and Donald Anderson, the leader of the City of Edinburgh Council. If the summit was to be held in England, I fear that there would be a great difference in the attitudes of the Whitehall departments that would be responsible for picking up the bills for the extra policing and the extra local authority spending south of the border. Policing would be paid for by the Home Office, and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office would foot the bill for expenditure on, for example, extra barriers for crowd control.

          Those two departments have refused requests from the authorities in Scotland for them to underwrite the costs to the City of Edinburgh Council and Lothian and Borders police. The departments say that policing is a matter for the Scottish Executive, but was the G8 summit at Gleneagles a known quantity when the block grant was totalled up according to the Barnett formula? Does the Minister for Finance and Public Service Reform's budget heading for the police include an allowance for the biggest policing operation that Scotland will ever have seen? It is massively unfair that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office issued the invitations to Gleneagles and will call all the shots yet will leave the bills to be picked up by the City of Edinburgh Council's council tax payers and the minister.

          I am aware of Chancellor Gordon Brown's Treasury contribution of £20 million to the kitty for the policing costs, but unfortunately that figure has probably been overtaken by Bob Geldof's enthusiasm. We have yet to hear from the chancellor—who has apparently supported Bob Geldof's analysis—whether the Treasury will pay for the increased policing costs that will flow from Sir Bob's invitation for people to stand and be counted in Edinburgh.

          The Parliament should demand that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office does not leave Edinburgh's council tax payers and the Parliament with a bill of, perhaps, more than £100 million. It adds insult to injury for anyone to say that the city will benefit from the purchasing power of the many people who will descend on it for the make poverty history march or the long walk to justice. I have no doubt that some businesses will benefit, but others will shut. While great uncertainties remain about which businesses and home owners will be given insurance cover for damage or loss of business, we have the right to demand a clearer answer from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

          Having checked with bed-and-breakfast establishments in Edinburgh this morning, as far as I know no rise in business is discernible. In fact, some report that they have lost business leading up to the summit. One hotel chain will have more business, which I presume will come from the journalists to whom the Minister for Finance and Public Service Reform referred, but it does not have bookings before that. Practical questions arise that do not militate against the city's support for the issues.

        • The Deputy Presiding Officer (Murray Tosh):
          I must hurry you.

        • Margo MacDonald:
          We must take the city and its citizens with us, so we need answers.

        • The Deputy Presiding Officer:
          The high number of amendments means that we must go to closing speeches early, so I give my regrets to Fiona Hyslop.

          Frances Curran has six minutes to close for the SSP. We are very tight for time.

        • Frances Curran (West of Scotland) (SSP):
          Given the global political issues that surround the G8 summit, I was rather taken aback by the minister's opening speech, which, if it was put through the "Chewin' the Fat" ned translator, would be the equivalent of him saying, "Get your programmes here! Hats, flags and tee-shirts." The speech was all about the tourist trade in Scotland.

          Every day in our media, we see children who are dying—children who are riddled with disease. When we say that enough is enough, we are not allowed to get angry or to want to take to the streets to protest. The message is that we will be made to watch such images, but that we cannot get angry at them. When we say that we want to protest, we are attacked by the same media that feed us those images.

          We should be angry at those who are in power and are responsible for the situation. We should join the aging pop stars, whom Phil Gallie still has the opportunity to name should he choose to take it. The problem is not aging pop stars, but aging politicians, whom we do not trust. We do not trust them to make the decisions behind closed doors at the G8 summit. We do not trust them to make decisions in the meetings that Blair attended in America.

          That is no wonder. For one week, we had Gordon Brown—the saviour of the African continent—all over the telly with mass publicity. He was to halve poverty in Africa by 2015, immunise millions of children and give every child the right to an education. He had wall-to-wall TV coverage. However, during the UK general election campaign, he managed to slip over quietly to America to take time out to chair his International Monetary Fund committee—the international monetary and financial committee—on 16 April. What do we find in the minutes of that committee's meeting? A commitment to force through free trade and liberalisation using the WTO at the Doha round of talks. Among other things, that will force the privatisation of all water supplies in all countries of Africa—every last drop—to foreign multinationals.

          Gordon Brown is not telling the truth about what such policies will mean for Africa. Free trade is a disaster for Africa. Brown says one thing publicly and does another thing privately. How should we describe that behaviour? Is it a financial conjuring trick? Who would play a trick on the starving children of Africa? Is it just two-faced? Who would be so insincere in dealing with famine? Is it just spin? Who would use poverty for public relations? How cynical would that be?

          Blair says that we are making progress with Bush. Next year, America will give Africa £370 million. That amount would not even pay for the three-day summit in Gleneagles in July, the five-star luxury suites and all the other bits and hangers-on. How obscene is that?

          Much of the debate and media coverage has been about the protesters—about the fact that there will be too many of them and about who will pay for them and what the event will mean. That shows an absolute poverty of vision. The world has been changed by mass movements in history such as the black civil rights movement in America, the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa and the people's revolutions that smashed through the Berlin wall. I do not remember anybody saying in the history books, "I was the person who said that the organisers were irresponsible because they asked too many people to come to protest." Pauline McNeill is absolutely right to say that none of us gets off the hook, but history makes judgments on such issues. There are two sides: there are those who want to stay with the status quo and those who want to change things for the better.

          The Executive says that it supports our right to protest and the Parliament has resolved that we have the right to protest at Gleneagles, but the police will put roadblocks in our path if we ask to exercise that right. People should not hide behind the stripes of the chief inspector, John Vine. The First Minister can tell him what to do with one phone call. In Scotland, the Parliament is meant to tell the police what to do—the police are not meant to tell the Parliament what to do. The police are meant to be accountable to the Parliament.

          The question is, do we have the right to demonstrate? People should not say one thing and then do another thing. Are we to be allowed to exercise the right to demonstrate not at Ibrox, in Edinburgh, London, Rome, Paris or Berlin, but at Gleneagles, where the G8 leaders will stay in one hotel for three days? Gleneagles is the focus of the protests.

          Where does the Executive stand? When there have been historical mass movements, there have been two sides. Does the Executive want to stand with the white supremacists in the deep south, de Klerk and the National Party in South Africa and the Ceausescu-type regimes of the eastern Europe Stalinist states? Our message must be that in a democratic country we have the right to protest and that people should not stop at Edinburgh, but should go to Gleneagles and join a demonstration that could change the world.

        • Mr Mark Ruskell (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Green):
          The debate has been wide ranging. Members have talked a lot about rights and the right to peace and democracy. I welcome what Linda Fabiani said, but Jamie McGrigor's description of democracy was rather odd. Colin Fox and the socialists talked about the right to protest and we heard about the right of developing countries to enjoy economic growth—Mark Ballard spoke about the right of African and developing countries to retain that economic growth. Labour members have spoken about the rights of women in driving development, which are vital, and we have heard about the rights of people in Perthshire to go about their everyday business while the G8 circus is being played out. Sarah Boyack, Iain Smith and other members made strong speeches about the right of global citizens and unborn global citizens to enjoy a world that is free from dangerous climate change.

          We must start to join up agendas. For example, climate change threatens the delivery of our millennium development goals. I am saddened by people who still deny that climate change is taking place and by George W Bush, who is being pushed by Blair, McConnell, the G8 scientists and everybody who has signed up to the Kyoto protocol to walk through an open door and take perhaps the most compassionate and far-reaching action that a United States president has ever taken by signing up to Kyoto and reducing emissions to give the developing world room to breathe and grow.

          If we want to deliver the millennium development goals and halve the number of hungry people in the world by 2015, global temperatures must be stabilised, if that can be done. In respect of aid, part of what we must do is to help countries in Africa to adapt to the climate change that we have already created and that will come, which will affect those countries.

          I was interested in what the Labour Party said about the empowerment of women, which is an important element of tackling climate change. We must realise that the majority of farmers in the developing world are women. We heard on Monday how HIV/AIDS has decimated farming in Africa. If we are to meet the millennium development goal of halving the number of hungry people in the world, we will need those women farmers. We will need food systems that are resilient to climate change as well as productive. Therefore, it is vital that we support those women.

          That means that we must also support a proper reproductive health agenda, proper family planning, equalities commitments from Governments in Africa and, vitally, education for women in African countries. However, we will face problems with education if the very infrastructure—the school buildings—is impacted on by climate change and if people are moving around because their lives are disrupted by extreme weather events or they are forced to move away from areas because they are unproductive. We will also face major problems if there is an increase in the number of water-borne diseases affecting countries in Africa, which would cripple our attempts to tackle child and maternity deaths.

          We must start to join up those agendas. One of the biggest gifts that Scotland could give the world—alongside the aid commitments that have been made by Jack McConnell in Malawi—would be a commitment that we will play our part in creating room for the world to breathe by reducing our climate change emissions. As Jack McConnell said at the Johannesburg summit, we need to create room for the other countries. That means that we must adopt year-on-year targets and force the US and other countries to adopt targets, too.

          I will finish by talking briefly about the right to protest—an issue that has dominated the discussion this afternoon. I believe that protesters have a right to come to Scotland and to go to the Gleneagles Hotel, but they must behave—as the minister has said in the past—with dignity and respect for the 30,000 Africans who die every day. I agree partly with what Murdo Fraser said. The protesters are not coming to Auchterarder: they do not want to come to Auchterarder; they want to come to where the world leaders will be, which is Gleneagles. I have genuine concerns about the proposals for the static demonstration in Auchterarder park. I am worried that the park will turn into an area where people are contained, which could be disastrous for the rights of local people in Perthshire and the rights of protesters. People have a right to voice their message at Gleneagles, but they must do so in a way that protects the right of the leaders to meet at Gleneagles, the right of the protesters to protest and the right of local people to go about their everyday lives. We must get that balance right.

          We need a just summit that delivers for global citizens. It must tackle climate change and encourage economic development in the developing world and it must respect our right to voice our concerns at Gleneagles.

        • The Deputy Presiding Officer:
          I call Susan Deacon to close for the Labour party. You have a strict six minutes.

        • Susan Deacon (Edinburgh East and Musselburgh) (Lab):
          Earlier this week, the chamber resonated with the voices of parliamentarians from the G8 countries, from across Europe and, crucially, from across Africa. The messages that came out of that conference could not have been clearer about the extent of the challenges and the opportunities that now exist to make a meaningful step change in the conditions in which millions of African people live. I quote the Dutch member of Parliament, Bert Koenders, who said:

          "We as Parliamentarians must make sure that we do not miss in the next six months the once in our Parliamentary Lifetime chance to help change the life chances of the one sixth of humanity that still live on under a dollar a day."

          A once-in-a-parliamentary-lifetime chance: how true that is for every parliamentarian in every parliament in the world; but how true for us in the Scottish Parliament in particular, when the eyes of the world are becoming ever more focused on events here on Scottish soil.

          As an Edinburgh MSP, I do not need to be reminded of the importance of issues such as organisation, security and the cost of policing the G8 summit and the events that will surround it. However, people who focus disproportionately on those issues do a disservice to themselves, to politics and to this Parliament.

          I will take a moment to focus on some of the themes that emerged both at the conference on Monday and in the declaration that Fiona Hyslop referred to. There were major messages on aid, trade and debt. Many members have touched on those issues today and my colleague Pauline McNeill was especially eloquent. There were messages from colleagues who had come here from Africa about the responsibilities of African nations themselves. I say to Jamie McGrigor and to others outside the chamber that this is not an either/or issue. Africans acknowledge that they must tackle issues of governance and accountability and practices and systems within their own countries. However, that does not let the richer nations of the west off the hook. As many said at the conference, Africa does not have a monopoly on corruption.

          At the conference, many practical suggestions were made, and I welcomed Irene Oldfather's speech because it focused on the practical things that can make a real difference. However, as many colleagues have said this afternoon—Sarah Boyack highlighted the point—the themes that came through time and again were the importance of the role of women and the need to ensure that women are central to development, to society and to the economy. I am glad that those themes have been repeated this afternoon.

          At the conference, we were reminded that this is not just about ensuring that fewer women die, although we must work to ensure that the number of women who die needlessly in childbirth is reduced year on year—at present, 500,000 women a year die in that way around the world—or giving parity in education to girls, as set out in the millennium development goals; it is about giving women access to capital, to markets and to business skills, so that they can play a full part in growing their economies and communities. I repeat, if I may, a quote from the World Bank that was cited at the conference:

          "Gender equity is not a matter of political correctness or charity to women; it makes business sense."

          I mention also a remarkably powerful speaker at the conference, Dr Nahid Toubia. All of the conference can be watched on the webcast on holyrood.tv and I urge colleagues who were unable to attend to listen to Dr Toubia's contribution as well as to the many other contributions that we heard. Dr Toubia reminded us that if we are really serious about women's participation in society and the economy, we must address reproductive health and reproductive rights, in Africa as elsewhere. She reminded us that it is the cycle of pregnancy that so often stops African women from playing the role in their society that they should be able to play. She reminded us that we in the developed world would not be able to do what we do had we not had access to contraception and reproductive health care services. She appealed to everyone at the conference, irrespective of their legal or moral stance, their culture or their traditions, to address the fact that thousands of African women are dying through unsafe abortion.

          I end on a point that resonated with me. Based on her work internationally, Dr Toubia observed that the African Union and African Governments are facing up to the issues of reproductive health and unsafe abortions, but the wider international community struggles to discuss those issues. She asked us to drop our guard in that respect. I hope that we will take that message to heart.

          In conclusion—

        • The Deputy Presiding Officer:
          Quickly.

        • Susan Deacon:
          With regard to the efforts of the UK Labour Government, not everything that the Government—

        • The Deputy Presiding Officer:
          No, you really must close.

        • Susan Deacon:
          May I say this? As a Labour member, I hold my head high, because of the efforts that are now being led at a UK level.

        • The Deputy Presiding Officer:
          Right.

        • Susan Deacon:
          Let us all take our once-in-a-parliamentary-lifetime opportunity to support those efforts, and let us work together—

        • The Deputy Presiding Officer:
          No, you really must close. I gave you a strict six minutes.

        • Mr Ted Brocklebank (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Con):
          This has been a wide-ranging and thoughtful debate. Tom McCabe is right that the G8 summit is a great opportunity for Scotland to showcase itself. Phil Gallie is equally right that those who come to demonstrate should do so passionately but peacefully.

          Having said that, I believe that it is also true that few can rest comfortably in the knowledge that it will cost around £10 million to move, feed and sleep the eight top delegates for just three days at Gleneagles, with an estimated further £12 million a head being spent on security. No one knows what the final bill will be, but the cost of the Genoa summit in 2001 was £500 million in total. Therefore, one can understand the view that it might have been better just to send the money directly to Africa.

          Many issues will be on the G8 agenda, but Africa and world poverty will rightly occupy centre stage. No one would disagree with John Swinney that the third world has been short-changed over the years. However, despite Tony Blair's famously feeling the hand of history on his shoulder at the summit three years ago, the truth is that mere money will not halve world poverty.

          It is no coincidence that Bob Geldof's Live 8 jamboree is not about raising money. Much of the £60 million that he raised 20 years ago to relieve famine in Ethiopia went to feed the army of the dictator Mengistu. When, famously, Sir Bob demanded,

          "Just give us your fucking money"—

          I quote him directly—he did not plan it to be handed over to a warlord.

          There are also problems with debt relief. Of course everybody supports debt relief in principle, but debtor nations are now realising that waiving debts might lose them favourable credit terms in future from the world's banks. In addition, why should a country such as Kenya continue to work hard to pay off its debts if its corruptly governed neighbours have theirs wiped out? For example, when Gordon Brown announced in 2002 some £35 million of bilateral debt relief for Tanzania—a country that Linda Fabiani mentioned—President Benjamin Mkapa responded by spending £30 million on a new presidential jet.

          What the G8 leaders should talk about in July is how Africans can begin to repay their borrowings themselves. What the third world needs is preferential trade deals with the west and an end to trade sanctions against Africa and Asia. What the G8 countries have denied Africa is markets for its produce. I rarely agree with anything that Iain Smith says, but he and Mary Mulligan were right about the fact that we are still dumping surplus western sugar and cotton in Africa, thereby destroying local industries and impoverishing the people.

          Conservatives are committed to increasing Britain's aid contribution but, on its own, that will never solve the problem of world poverty. That problem will be ended only with good governance, free enterprise, free markets and fairer trade. Frances Curran got it dead wrong: free trade is fair trade. Prosperity is spread by free trade, not protectionism. Such is the scale of the problems in sub-Saharan Africa that, for many countries, the need is not so much to make trading partners of them as to get them on the first rung of the development ladder.

          I welcome the First Minister's initiative in Malawi. Charity indeed begins at home, but that does not mean to say that it should end there. As Irene Oldfather, Mary Mulligan and others pointed out, Malawi desperately needs our help, but help can come in many forms. Malawi has huge problems of AIDS, disease and poverty, but I discovered in my recent visit there that Malawi is also a strikingly beautiful and potentially fertile country. Like much of sub-Saharan Africa, its main problem is governance. Far more than any money that Scotland can direct towards it, Malawi needs our know-how and support, such as our doctors nurses, teachers, crop specialists, engineers and basic tradesmen.

          Scots have always been outgoing and generous people. I believe that the Scottish Parliament's initiative in Malawi might achieve the beginning of a crusade similar to the religious crusade that was launched by David Livingstone and the early Scottish missionaries. However, this time we will be dealing with another pastoral void that is at the heart of Malawi's problems.

          As the old saying has it:

          "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."

          That is exactly the position in which Scotland should put itself in relation to Malawi. That is also, I believe, the position that the G8 leaders should work towards in their historic deliberations at Gleneagles next month.

        • The Deputy Presiding Officer:
          I will take a moment that we do not really have, given the time, to say that I have checked standing orders rule 7.3.1, which states that members are expected to

          "conduct themselves in a courteous and respectful manner".

          I do not think that the use of obscenities by a member, even when directly quoting another individual, constitutes courteous and respectful behaviour. The quotation was not necessary and was therefore not appropriate, Mr Brocklebank.

        • Richard Lochhead (North East Scotland) (SNP):
          Today's debate has been excellent, as is always the case when the Parliament is outward looking. The G8 summit that will take place in a few weeks' time has been referred to as an unprecedented opportunity and as a turning point. Unfortunately, the G8's history is a litany of broken promises and unfulfilled pledges. There is a great deal of rhetoric, which always disappears into the evening air after the summit has closed and shut up shop and the leaders have all returned to their palatial homes, wherever they might be.

          We all agree that the Gleneagles summit must be different. Scotland and the Parliament must play whatever role they can to ensure that that is the case. We want to ensure that Gleneagles goes down in history as the place where historic decisions were made that will make a real difference to Africa and to the global environment. The best way in which we can put Scotland on the map is to ensure that that happens. It is not about handing out brochures to 2,000 visiting journalists, however welcome that may be, but about ensuring that the right decisions are taken inside the summit at Gleneagles. The Parliament has been outward looking and internationalist and must continue to be so. Many members have made the point that after today's debate and the summit are over we must continue to return to these issues.

          It is with a sense of pride that MSPs and the rest of Scotland welcome the close interest that the Parliament has taken in international development over the past six years and, in particular, over recent weeks. It will continue to do so over the coming weeks. We have public support, because we know from their warm response to the tsunami tragedy that the people of Scotland care about what happens elsewhere on the planet. Increasingly, this country recognises that the fate of Scotland is tied up with the fate of the planet and that promoting Scotland is not just about securing benefits for Scotland, but about what we can give back. Historically, the high standards of living that we enjoy have been gained at the expense of poorer societies around the world. It is now payback time.

          There is widespread support in Scotland and around the world for the make poverty history campaign, which extends to 70 countries. However, in a few weeks' time the focus will be on this nation and the march in Edinburgh on 2 July. We welcome to Scotland anyone who wants to take part in peaceful protest. Those who have something else in mind are not welcome here. We are inviting people to come to Scotland to stand against injustice, not to buy things in our souvenir shops or to boost tourism figures. We want to speak with one voice and to ensure that as much pressure as possible is applied to the world's leaders when they meet at Gleneagles.

          The G8 website states:

          "Sub-Saharan Africa is the only region of the world that has got poorer in the last generation."

          Many members have spoken about how we can address that issue through debt relief, increasing aid and fair trade. We have heard calls for us to write off the debt that is a millstone around the necks of so many countries in Africa, so that they can start with a clean slate. We want not just progress on debt relief at Gleneagles, but a breakthrough.

          On aid, the hypocrisy of many of the leaders who will meet at Gleneagles was summed up perfectly by the supplement to last Sunday's edition of the Sunday Herald, which quoted George Bush as saying:

          "This growing divide between wealth and poverty, between opportunity and misery, is both a challenge to our compassion and a source of instability. We must confront it."

          However, as the paper points out, in 2004 the level of official US development assistance was 0.16 per cent of gross national product. As we all know, the UN target is 0.7 per cent. At Gleneagles, there must be unanimity about meeting that target as soon as possible.

          We must ensure that the aid that is delivered is targeted at the right places. We must address the problem of hunger. If we can make hunger history in Africa, we can make poverty history. We must also tackle diseases and ensure that children, in particular, receive proper education. The Save the Children briefing that we received for this debate, to which many members have referred, states that the future of Africa lies in the next generation. We must ensure that aid does not go to tin-pot dictators in Africa but is used to feed, educate and care for the people in Africa who matter—those who are in need.

          Many members have spoken about the need for fair trade. Currently, Africa accounts for 2 per cent of world trade, despite the fact that it has 12 per cent of the world's population. Africa's share of world trade now is 1 per cent less than it was back in 1950—it is regressing, rather than progressing.

          We must ensure that the issue is addressed and that no strings are attached. One way in which the EU could perhaps repair its image with electorates throughout Europe is to get its own house in order, which it could do by not attaching conditions to trade liberalisation and not including water in the general agreement on trade in services talks, which the EU currently appears to want to do.

        • Phil Gallie:
          The member referred to Africa's export situation in the 1950s. The fact is that in the 1950s countries such as Southern Rhodesia were the food store of Africa. How different the situation is today. Is that not a problem?

        • Richard Lochhead:
          The statistics speak for themselves. Trade today is just as unfair—if not more unfair—than it was back in the 1950s.

          We cannot divorce climate change from tackling poverty in Africa because the world's poorest people depend on natural resources for food, water and energy. They will bear the brunt of the catastrophic results of climate change because those will fall disproportionately on the poorer societies in the world—the developing nations in Africa. At Gleneagles, there is a moral imperative to address climate change. As members such as Mark Ballard and Sarah Boyack have said, the G8 countries represent 13 per cent of the world's population but are responsible for 45 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions, and each individual here in Scotland is responsible for the emission of 12 tonnes of carbon dioxide. We must address that.

          George Bush is wrong to say that climate change is a long-term threat. It is a threat here and now, because we are already committed to the next 20 years of climate change.

          The debate is not about aging pop stars or the eight leaders that will meet at Gleneagles; it is about saving lives in Africa and protecting the future of the environment.

        • The Deputy Minister for Finance and Public Service Reform (Tavish Scott):
          For most members the debate is not about concerts, costs or the opulent splendour of Gleneagles: it is about what must happen when leaders of the G8 countries meet and what this small country can do to influence their deliberations. As Sarah Boyack said, the issue is about tackling why a woman in sub-Saharan Africa has a one in 16 chance of dying in pregnancy compared with a one in 3,700 chance for a woman in North America. It is about Irene Oldfather's graphic illustrations of Malawi and about whether, as Andrew Arbuckle and others said, the G8 can make a difference. It surely must but, as Pauline McNeill observed, how we individually react to those challenges can make that difference.

          On the amendments, I gently observe that the rightward drift of Marxism epitomised by the Green's and the Scottish Socialist Party's support for what Mr Gallie described as aging politicians—

        • Members:
          Pop stars!

        • Tavish Scott:
          That is nothing if not a development in this Parliament's thinking.

          We are, of course, grateful for Tory support, but I was disappointed by a line on international aid in Mr Gallie's speech. During the Tory party's period in office, development aid was halved as a proportion of Government spending and reached only 0.3 per cent of gross domestic product—less than half of the 0.7 per cent target that the G8 now has. Although I agree with Mr Gallie's requirement for action rather than words, the same analysis should be applied to his own party's performance.

        • Phil Gallie:
          Will the minister give way?

        • Tavish Scott:
          I think that we have dealt with Mr Gallie.

        • Phil Gallie:
          Will the minister take an intervention?

        • Tavish Scott:
          No.

          I will deal with Mr Swinney and the Scottish National Party's approach to the debate. I am sure that Mr Swinney would accept that Mr McCabe, rather than not setting out what we want to happen, did exactly that. On the 0.7 per cent target across the G8, EU member states and others, it is surely a little harsh to criticise the summit at Gleneagles before it has taken place. The question for Mr Swinney and his party, even if the summit produces nothing for Scotland, is whether they would turn their backs on the opportunity for this devolved Government, this Parliament and the people of this country to influence the world's leaders on the issues of African poverty and climate change.

        • Mr Swinney:
          We made it clear that we are right behind the Government's international development strategy. I made it clear in my speech that I think that it is a fantastic innovation for the Scottish Executive. The issue about the 0.7 per cent target is that the UK Government will not get there for another eight years. An acceleration of the pace is required from the Gleneagles summit. I hope that the minister is prepared to support that proposal in his closing remarks.

        • Tavish Scott:
          Surely the whole point of the debate, of the Parliament and of all the parties within it, is to push on such issues. That is exactly why we are here. The inference that the devolved Government has not pushed those issues is mistaken. For example, on climate change, we have close working relationships at official and ministerial level with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. On Africa, Hilary Benn, the Secretary of State for International Development, made it clear that he welcomes the Scottish contribution to work on the subject, including the First Minister's trip to Malawi in May. All that adds up to the Executive having the ability to exploit Scotland's position in the UK to influence the summit's agenda in a significant way.

          Many members spoke about the right to protest, march and demonstrate. In relation to Edinburgh, Donald Anderson wrote in The Scotsman the other day:

          "The council and the police have ‘can-do' attitudes and the city has a world-class events team which is experienced at smoothly organising major public events".

          Surely that illustrates the depth of commitment that there is to taking matters forward in a productive manner and to learning from and using the experience of so many people visiting Edinburgh and elsewhere in Scotland.

          I reiterate that the Executive supports the aims of the make poverty history campaign and civil organisations that want to improve the lives of the world's poorest people. Scotland is ready to welcome anyone who wants to come here to protest peacefully and legitimately around the summit about any cause. Freedom of speech is a precious right. However, it is important that the organisers of potential additional events discuss their plans with the police and local authorities. People have the right to protest, but, as Andrew Arbuckle said, they should do so peacefully.

        • Margo MacDonald:
          I apologise for my absence from the chamber during part of the debate.

          Can the minister assure us that he is utterly satisfied with the amount of money that will come north from the Treasury, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Home Office?

        • Tavish Scott:
          I will come on to the costs in a minute.

          I want to address the points that were made about the economic benefit that will accrue from the summit. There is no question that the G8 summit has the potential to have a considerable economic impact on Scotland. There will be not only a short-term boost to the economy from spending by the large influx of media and delegates but longer-term benefits to Scottish business, which is why we are committed to measuring the impact of the summit on the Scottish economy by commissioning a study to do that, which will be published later this year.

          The important issues are not the costs or other such matters, but poverty in Africa and climate change. That is why it is important that so many young people are interested in those subjects and that is why the J8 summit, which Iain Smith, Mary Mulligan and others mentioned in the context of their constituencies, is so important. The J8 summit will take place in Edinburgh from 3 to 5 July, just before the G8 summit, and it will produce a communiqué to be delivered to the world leaders at the summit.

          Roseanna Cunningham raised issues to do with her constituency. As she well knows, officials from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Scottish Executive and Tayside police are working closely with Perth and Kinross Council to ensure that the area reaps the maximum possible benefit from the summit while ensuring the minimum disruption. Of course there are concerns about insurance and the FCO has published advice on the matter.

          I can say clearly to Margo MacDonald, as Tom McCabe said to Roseanna Cunningham, that the costs will not fall on local taxpayers. Legitimate costs will be met by central Government, as they should be. It is important to recognise that the costs of the summit fall to the FCO. Security costs are a separate issue.

        • Margo MacDonald:
          Will the minister give way?

        • Tavish Scott:
          I want to deal with Colin Fox's point about G8 Alternatives. It is important to understand that the notification from that organisation is being considered by Perth and Kinross Council and Tayside police, before a final decision is made by the licensing committee. We encourage G8 Alternatives to continue discussions with the council and Tayside police, to facilitate peaceful protest.

        • Frances Curran:
          Will the minister give way?

        • The Presiding Officer (Mr George Reid):
          No, the minister is in his final minute.

        • Tavish Scott:
          I return to the two main issues for the summit at Gleneagles. Sarah Boyack, Iain Smith and others acknowledged climate change as a global challenge and it is important that Scotland should contribute to international efforts to tackle it, while taking advantage of the economic benefits that the development of renewable energy technologies, for example, can bring.

          In relation to African poverty, if the world fails to act to meet the millennium development goals, 45 million more children will die between now and 2015, 247 million more people in sub-Saharan Africa will be living on less than $1 a day in 2015, and 97 million more children will still be out of school in 2015. That surely demonstrates the importance of action. The G8 must focus on those two enormous issues for the world—poverty in Africa and climate change. As the Prime Minister said to Charles Kennedy at question time in the House of Commons today, in the long term climate change is the single biggest issue that we face. During the understandable hype about Murrayfield rock concerts, perhaps we should remember that finding solutions to poverty in Africa and climate change should be the abiding legacy of Gleneagles.

      • Business Motions
        • The Presiding Officer (Mr George Reid):
          The next item of business is consideration of business motion S2M-2928, in the name of Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, setting out a business programme.

        • Motion moved,

        • That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

        • Wednesday 15 June 2005

        • 2.15 pm Time for Reflection

        • followed by Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body Question Time

        • followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

        • followed by Final Stage: Baird Trust Reorganisation Bill

        • followed by Executive Debate: Sexual Health

        • followed by Business Motion

        • followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

        • 5.00 pm Decision Time

        • followed by Members' Business

        • Thursday 16 June 2005

        • 9.15 am Parliamentary Bureau Motions

        • followed by Stage 1 Debate: Management of Offenders etc. (Scotland) Bill

        • followed by Financial Resolution: Management of Offenders etc. (Scotland) Bill

        • 11.10 am Ministerial Statement: ID Cards

        • 11.40 am General Question Time

        • 12 noon First Minister's Question Time

        • 2.15 pm Themed Question Time—

        • Justice and Law Officers;

        • Enterprise, Lifelong Learning and Transport

        • 2.55 pm Stage 1 Debate: Environmental Assessment (Scotland) Bill

        • followed by Financial Resolution: Environmental Assessment (Scotland) Bill

        • followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

        • 5.00 pm Decision Time

        • followed by Members' Business

        • Wednesday 22 June 2005

        • 2.30 pm Time for Reflection

        • followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

        • followed by Executive Business

        • followed by Business Motion

        • followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

        • 5.00 pm Decision Time

        • followed by Members' Business

        • Thursday 23 June 2005

        • 9.15 am Parliamentary Bureau Motions

        • followed by Executive Business

        • 11.40 am General Question Time

        • 12 noon First Minister's Question Time

        • 2.15 pm Themed Question Time—

        • Finance and Public Services and Communities;

        • Education and Young People, Tourism, Culture and Sport

        • 2.55 pm Executive Business

        • followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

        • 5.00 pm Decision Time

        • followed by Members' Business.—[Ms Margaret Curran.]

        • Motion agreed to.

        • The Presiding Officer:
          The next item of business is consideration of business motion S2M-2927, in the name of Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, setting out a change of decision time.

        • Motion moved,

        • That the Parliament agrees under Rule 11.2.4 of the Standing Orders that Decision Time on Thursday 9 June 2005 shall begin at 5.30 pm.—[Ms Margaret Curran.]

        • Motion agreed to.

      • Parliamentary Bureau Motions
        • The Presiding Officer (Mr George Reid):
          The next item of business is consideration of two Parliamentary Bureau motions. I ask Margaret Curran to move motion S2M-2929, on the suspension of standing orders and motion S2M-2930, on approval of a Scottish statutory instrument.

        • Motions moved,

        • That the Parliament agrees that, for the Baird Trust Reorganisation Bill, Consideration Stage shall not take place and, accordingly, agrees that, for the purposes of the Bill, Rules 9A.7.1(b), 9A.9 and the first sentence of 9A.8.10 of the Standing Orders be suspended.

        • That the Parliament agrees that the Food Protection (Emergency Prohibitions) (Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning) (West Coast) (No. 4) (Scotland) Order 2005 (SSI 2005/260) be approved.—[Ms Margaret Curran.]

        • Iain Smith (North East Fife) (LD):
          On a point of order, Presiding Officer. Please could you advise members to reinsert their cards? Some of our consoles are showing that our cards are not registering.

        • The Presiding Officer:
          Thank you. I was not advised of that. If that is the case, will members please remove and reinsert their cards.

      • Decision Time
        • The Presiding Officer (Mr George Reid):
          There are six questions to be put as a result of today's business. The first question is, that amendment S2M-2924.1, in the name of John Swinney, which seeks to amend motion S2M-2924, in the name of Tom McCabe, on the G8 summit, be agreed to. Are we agreed?

        • Members:
          No.

        • The Presiding Officer:
          There will be a division.

        • For

          Adam, Brian (Aberdeen North) (SNP)
          Baird, Shiona (North East Scotland) (Green)
          Ballard, Mark (Lothians) (Green)
          Canavan, Dennis (Falkirk West) (Ind)
          Crawford, Bruce (Mid Scotland and Fife) (SNP)
          Cunningham, Roseanna (Perth) (SNP)
          Ewing, Fergus (Inverness East, Nairn and Lochaber) (SNP)
          Ewing, Mrs Margaret (Moray) (SNP)
          Fabiani, Linda (Central Scotland) (SNP)
          Gibson, Rob (Highlands and Islands) (SNP)
          Grahame, Christine (South of Scotland) (SNP)
          Harper, Robin (Lothians) (Green)
          Harvie, Patrick (Glasgow) (Green)
          Hyslop, Fiona (Lothians) (SNP)
          Ingram, Mr Adam (South of Scotland) (SNP)
          Lochhead, Richard (North East Scotland) (SNP)
          MacAskill, Mr Kenny (Lothians) (SNP)
          MacDonald, Margo (Lothians) (Ind)
          Martin, Campbell (West of Scotland) (Ind)
          Marwick, Tricia (Mid Scotland and Fife) (SNP)
          Mather, Jim (Highlands and Islands) (SNP)
          Matheson, Michael (Central Scotland) (SNP)
          Maxwell, Mr Stewart (West of Scotland) (SNP)
          McFee, Mr Bruce (West of Scotland) (SNP)
          Morgan, Alasdair (South of Scotland) (SNP)
          Neil, Alex (Central Scotland) (SNP)
          Ruskell, Mr Mark (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Green)
          Scott, Eleanor (Highlands and Islands) (Green)
          Stevenson, Stewart (Banff and Buchan) (SNP)
          Sturgeon, Nicola (Glasgow) (SNP)
          Swinburne, John (Central Scotland) (SSCUP)
          Swinney, Mr John (North Tayside) (SNP)
          Turner, Dr Jean (Strathkelvin and Bearsden) (Ind)
          Welsh, Mr Andrew (Angus) (SNP)
          White, Ms Sandra (Glasgow) (SNP)

          Against

          Alexander, Ms Wendy (Paisley North) (Lab)
          Arbuckle, Mr Andrew (Mid Scotland and Fife) (LD)
          Baillie, Jackie (Dumbarton) (Lab)
          Baker, Richard (North East Scotland) (Lab)
          Barrie, Scott (Dunfermline West) (Lab)
          Boyack, Sarah (Edinburgh Central) (Lab)
          Brankin, Rhona (Midlothian) (Lab)
          Brown, Robert (Glasgow) (LD)
          Butler, Bill (Glasgow Anniesland) (Lab)
          Chisholm, Malcolm (Edinburgh North and Leith) (Lab)
          Craigie, Cathie (Cumbernauld and Kilsyth) (Lab)
          Curran, Frances (West of Scotland) (SSP)
          Curran, Ms Margaret (Glasgow Baillieston) (Lab)
          Deacon, Susan (Edinburgh East and Musselburgh) (Lab)
          Eadie, Helen (Dunfermline East) (Lab)
          Ferguson, Patricia (Glasgow Maryhill) (Lab)
          Finnie, Ross (West of Scotland) (LD)
          Fox, Colin (Lothians) (SSP)
          Gillon, Karen (Clydesdale) (Lab)
          Glen, Marlyn (North East Scotland) (Lab)
          Godman, Trish (West Renfrewshire) (Lab)
          Gorrie, Donald (Central Scotland) (LD)
          Henry, Hugh (Paisley South) (Lab)
          Home Robertson, John (East Lothian) (Lab)
          Hughes, Janis (Glasgow Rutherglen) (Lab)
          Jackson, Dr Sylvia (Stirling) (Lab)
          Jackson, Gordon (Glasgow Govan) (Lab)
          Jamieson, Cathy (Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley) (Lab)
          Jamieson, Margaret (Kilmarnock and Loudoun) (Lab)
          Kerr, Mr Andy (East Kilbride) (Lab)
          Lamont, Johann (Glasgow Pollok) (Lab)
          Leckie, Carolyn (Central Scotland) (SSP)
          Livingstone, Marilyn (Kirkcaldy) (Lab)
          Lyon, George (Argyll and Bute) (LD)
          Macdonald, Lewis (Aberdeen Central) (Lab)
          Macintosh, Mr Kenneth (Eastwood) (Lab)
          Maclean, Kate (Dundee West) (Lab)
          Macmillan, Maureen (Highlands and Islands) (Lab)
          Martin, Paul (Glasgow Springburn) (Lab)
          May, Christine (Central Fife) (Lab)
          McAveety, Mr Frank (Glasgow Shettleston) (Lab)
          McCabe, Mr Tom (Hamilton South) (Lab)
          McConnell, Mr Jack (Motherwell and Wishaw) (Lab)
          McMahon, Michael (Hamilton North and Bellshill) (Lab)
          McNeil, Mr Duncan (Greenock and Inverclyde) (Lab)
          McNeill, Pauline (Glasgow Kelvin) (Lab)
          McNulty, Des (Clydebank and Milngavie) (Lab)
          Morrison, Mr Alasdair (Western Isles) (Lab)
          Muldoon, Bristow (Livingston) (Lab)
          Mulligan, Mrs Mary (Linlithgow) (Lab)
          Munro, John Farquhar (Ross, Skye and Inverness West) (LD)
          Murray, Dr Elaine (Dumfries) (Lab)
          Oldfather, Irene (Cunninghame South) (Lab)
          Peattie, Cathy (Falkirk East) (Lab)
          Pringle, Mike (Edinburgh South) (LD)
          Purvis, Jeremy (Tweeddale, Ettrick and Lauderdale) (LD)
          Radcliffe, Nora (Gordon) (LD)
          Robson, Euan (Roxburgh and Berwickshire) (LD)
          Rumbles, Mike (West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine) (LD)
          Scott, Tavish (Shetland) (LD)
          Smith, Elaine (Coatbridge and Chryston) (Lab)
          Smith, Iain (North East Fife) (LD)
          Smith, Margaret (Edinburgh West) (LD)
          Stephen, Nicol (Aberdeen South) (LD)
          Stone, Mr Jamie (Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross) (LD)
          Wallace, Mr Jim (Orkney) (LD)
          Watson, Mike (Glasgow Cathcart) (Lab)
          Whitefield, Karen (Airdrie and Shotts) (Lab)
          Wilson, Allan (Cunninghame North) (Lab)

          Abstentions

          Aitken, Bill (Glasgow) (Con)
          Brocklebank, Mr Ted (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Con)
          Davidson, Mr David (North East Scotland) (Con)
          Fergusson, Alex (Galloway and Upper Nithsdale) (Con)
          Fraser, Murdo (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Con)
          Gallie, Phil (South of Scotland) (Con)
          Goldie, Miss Annabel (West of Scotland) (Con)
          Johnstone, Alex (North East Scotland) (Con)
          McGrigor, Mr Jamie (Highlands and Islands) (Con)
          McLetchie, David (Edinburgh Pentlands) (Con)
          Milne, Mrs Nanette (North East Scotland) (Con)
          Mitchell, Margaret (Central Scotland) (Con)
          Scanlon, Mary (Highlands and Islands) (Con)
          Scott, John (Ayr) (Con)
          Tosh, Murray (West of Scotland) (Con)

        • The Presiding Officer:
          The result of the division is: For 35, Against 69, Abstentions 15.

        • Amendment disagreed to.

        • The Presiding Officer:
          The next question is, that amendment S2M-2924.4, in the name of Mark Ballard, which seeks to amend motion S2M-2924, in the name of Tom McCabe, on the G8 summit, be agreed to. Are we agreed?

        • Members:
          No.

        • The Presiding Officer:
          There will be a division.

        • For

          Baird, Shiona (North East Scotland) (Green)
          Ballard, Mark (Lothians) (Green)
          Canavan, Dennis (Falkirk West) (Ind)
          Curran, Frances (West of Scotland) (SSP)
          Fox, Colin (Lothians) (SSP)
          Harper, Robin (Lothians) (Green)
          Harvie, Patrick (Glasgow) (Green)
          Leckie, Carolyn (Central Scotland) (SSP)
          MacDonald, Margo (Lothians) (Ind)
          Ruskell, Mr Mark (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Green)
          Scott, Eleanor (Highlands and Islands) (Green)
          Swinburne, John (Central Scotland) (SSCUP)
          Turner, Dr Jean (Strathkelvin and Bearsden) (Ind)

          Against

          Adam, Brian (Aberdeen North) (SNP)
          Aitken, Bill (Glasgow) (Con)
          Alexander, Ms Wendy (Paisley North) (Lab)
          Arbuckle, Mr Andrew (Mid Scotland and Fife) (LD)
          Baillie, Jackie (Dumbarton) (Lab)
          Baker, Richard (North East Scotland) (Lab)
          Barrie, Scott (Dunfermline West) (Lab)
          Boyack, Sarah (Edinburgh Central) (Lab)
          Brankin, Rhona (Midlothian) (Lab)
          Brocklebank, Mr Ted (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Con)
          Brown, Robert (Glasgow) (LD)
          Butler, Bill (Glasgow Anniesland) (Lab)
          Chisholm, Malcolm (Edinburgh North and Leith) (Lab)
          Craigie, Cathie (Cumbernauld and Kilsyth) (Lab)
          Crawford, Bruce (Mid Scotland and Fife) (SNP)
          Cunningham, Roseanna (Perth) (SNP)
          Curran, Ms Margaret (Glasgow Baillieston) (Lab)
          Davidson, Mr David (North East Scotland) (Con)
          Deacon, Susan (Edinburgh East and Musselburgh) (Lab)
          Eadie, Helen (Dunfermline East) (Lab)
          Ewing, Fergus (Inverness East, Nairn and Lochaber) (SNP)
          Ewing, Mrs Margaret (Moray) (SNP)
          Fabiani, Linda (Central Scotland) (SNP)
          Ferguson, Patricia (Glasgow Maryhill) (Lab)
          Fergusson, Alex (Galloway and Upper Nithsdale) (Con)
          Finnie, Ross (West of Scotland) (LD)
          Fraser, Murdo (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Con)
          Gallie, Phil (South of Scotland) (Con)
          Gibson, Rob (Highlands and Islands) (SNP)
          Gillon, Karen (Clydesdale) (Lab)
          Glen, Marlyn (North East Scotland) (Lab)
          Godman, Trish (West Renfrewshire) (Lab)
          Goldie, Miss Annabel (West of Scotland) (Con)
          Gorrie, Donald (Central Scotland) (LD)
          Grahame, Christine (South of Scotland) (SNP)
          Henry, Hugh (Paisley South) (Lab)
          Home Robertson, John (East Lothian) (Lab)
          Hughes, Janis (Glasgow Rutherglen) (Lab)
          Hyslop, Fiona (Lothians) (SNP)
          Ingram, Mr Adam (South of Scotland) (SNP)
          Jackson, Dr Sylvia (Stirling) (Lab)
          Jackson, Gordon (Glasgow Govan) (Lab)
          Jamieson, Cathy (Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley) (Lab)
          Jamieson, Margaret (Kilmarnock and Loudoun) (Lab)
          Johnstone, Alex (North East Scotland) (Con)
          Kerr, Mr Andy (East Kilbride) (Lab)
          Lamont, Johann (Glasgow Pollok) (Lab)
          Livingstone, Marilyn (Kirkcaldy) (Lab)
          Lochhead, Richard (North East Scotland) (SNP)
          Lyon, George (Argyll and Bute) (LD)
          MacAskill, Mr Kenny (Lothians) (SNP)
          Macdonald, Lewis (Aberdeen Central) (Lab)
          Macintosh, Mr Kenneth (Eastwood) (Lab)
          Maclean, Kate (Dundee West) (Lab)
          Macmillan, Maureen (Highlands and Islands) (Lab)
          Martin, Paul (Glasgow Springburn) (Lab)
          Marwick, Tricia (Mid Scotland and Fife) (SNP)
          Mather, Jim (Highlands and Islands) (SNP)
          Matheson, Michael (Central Scotland) (SNP)
          Maxwell, Mr Stewart (West of Scotland) (SNP)
          May, Christine (Central Fife) (Lab)
          McAveety, Mr Frank (Glasgow Shettleston) (Lab)
          McCabe, Mr Tom (Hamilton South) (Lab)
          McConnell, Mr Jack (Motherwell and Wishaw) (Lab)
          McFee, Mr Bruce (West of Scotland) (SNP)
          McGrigor, Mr Jamie (Highlands and Islands) (Con)
          McLetchie, David (Edinburgh Pentlands) (Con)
          McMahon, Michael (Hamilton North and Bellshill) (Lab)
          McNeil, Mr Duncan (Greenock and Inverclyde) (Lab)
          McNeill, Pauline (Glasgow Kelvin) (Lab)
          McNulty, Des (Clydebank and Milngavie) (Lab)
          Milne, Mrs Nanette (North East Scotland) (Con)
          Mitchell, Margaret (Central Scotland) (Con)
          Morgan, Alasdair (South of Scotland) (SNP)
          Morrison, Mr Alasdair (Western Isles) (Lab)
          Muldoon, Bristow (Livingston) (Lab)
          Mulligan, Mrs Mary (Linlithgow) (Lab)
          Munro, John Farquhar (Ross, Skye and Inverness West) (LD)
          Murray, Dr Elaine (Dumfries) (Lab)
          Neil, Alex (Central Scotland) (SNP)
          Oldfather, Irene (Cunninghame South) (Lab)
          Peacock, Peter (Highlands and Islands) (Lab)
          Peattie, Cathy (Falkirk East) (Lab)
          Pringle, Mike (Edinburgh South) (LD)
          Purvis, Jeremy (Tweeddale, Ettrick and Lauderdale) (LD)
          Radcliffe, Nora (Gordon) (LD)
          Robson, Euan (Roxburgh and Berwickshire) (LD)
          Rumbles, Mike (West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine) (LD)
          Scanlon, Mary (Highlands and Islands) (Con)
          Scott, John (Ayr) (Con)
          Scott, Tavish (Shetland) (LD)
          Smith, Elaine (Coatbridge and Chryston) (Lab)
          Smith, Iain (North East Fife) (LD)
          Smith, Margaret (Edinburgh West) (LD)
          Stephen, Nicol (Aberdeen South) (LD)
          Stevenson, Stewart (Banff and Buchan) (SNP)
          Stone, Mr Jamie (Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross) (LD)
          Sturgeon, Nicola (Glasgow) (SNP)
          Swinney, Mr John (North Tayside) (SNP)
          Tosh, Murray (West of Scotland) (Con)
          Wallace, Mr Jim (Orkney) (LD)
          Watson, Mike (Glasgow Cathcart) (Lab)
          Welsh, Mr Andrew (Angus) (SNP)
          White, Ms Sandra (Glasgow) (SNP)
          Whitefield, Karen (Airdrie and Shotts) (Lab)
          Wilson, Allan (Cunninghame North) (Lab)

          Abstentions

          Martin, Campbell (West of Scotland) (Ind)

        • The Presiding Officer:
          The result of the division is: For 13, Against 106, Abstentions 1.

        • Amendment disagreed to.

        • The Presiding Officer:
          The next question is, that amendment S2M-2924.2, in the name of Frances Curran, which seeks to amend motion S2M-2924, in the name of Tom McCabe, on the G8 summit, be agreed to. Are we agreed?

        • Members:
          No.

        • The Presiding Officer:
          There will be a division.

        • For

          Baird, Shiona (North East Scotland) (Green)
          Ballard, Mark (Lothians) (Green)
          Curran, Frances (West of Scotland) (SSP)
          Fox, Colin (Lothians) (SSP)
          Harper, Robin (Lothians) (Green)
          Harvie, Patrick (Glasgow) (Green)
          Leckie, Carolyn (Central Scotland) (SSP)
          MacDonald, Margo (Lothians) (Ind)
          Martin, Campbell (West of Scotland) (Ind)
          Ruskell, Mr Mark (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Green)
          Scott, Eleanor (Highlands and Islands) (Green)
          Swinburne, John (Central Scotland) (SSCUP)
          Turner, Dr Jean (Strathkelvin and Bearsden) (Ind)

          Against

          Adam, Brian (Aberdeen North) (SNP)
          Aitken, Bill (Glasgow) (Con)
          Alexander, Ms Wendy (Paisley North) (Lab)
          Arbuckle, Mr Andrew (Mid Scotland and Fife) (LD)
          Baillie, Jackie (Dumbarton) (Lab)
          Baker, Richard (North East Scotland) (Lab)
          Barrie, Scott (Dunfermline West) (Lab)
          Boyack, Sarah (Edinburgh Central) (Lab)
          Brankin, Rhona (Midlothian) (Lab)
          Brocklebank, Mr Ted (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Con)
          Brown, Robert (Glasgow) (LD)
          Butler, Bill (Glasgow Anniesland) (Lab)
          Canavan, Dennis (Falkirk West) (Ind)
          Chisholm, Malcolm (Edinburgh North and Leith) (Lab)
          Craigie, Cathie (Cumbernauld and Kilsyth) (Lab)
          Crawford, Bruce (Mid Scotland and Fife) (SNP)
          Cunningham, Roseanna (Perth) (SNP)
          Curran, Ms Margaret (Glasgow Baillieston) (Lab)
          Davidson, Mr David (North East Scotland) (Con)
          Deacon, Susan (Edinburgh East and Musselburgh) (Lab)
          Eadie, Helen (Dunfermline East) (Lab)
          Ewing, Fergus (Inverness East, Nairn and Lochaber) (SNP)
          Ewing, Mrs Margaret (Moray) (SNP)
          Fabiani, Linda (Central Scotland) (SNP)
          Ferguson, Patricia (Glasgow Maryhill) (Lab)
          Fergusson, Alex (Galloway and Upper Nithsdale) (Con)
          Finnie, Ross (West of Scotland) (LD)
          Fraser, Murdo (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Con)
          Gallie, Phil (South of Scotland) (Con)
          Gibson, Rob (Highlands and Islands) (SNP)
          Gillon, Karen (Clydesdale) (Lab)
          Glen, Marlyn (North East Scotland) (Lab)
          Godman, Trish (West Renfrewshire) (Lab)
          Goldie, Miss Annabel (West of Scotland) (Con)
          Gorrie, Donald (Central Scotland) (LD)
          Grahame, Christine (South of Scotland) (SNP)
          Henry, Hugh (Paisley South) (Lab)
          Home Robertson, John (East Lothian) (Lab)
          Hughes, Janis (Glasgow Rutherglen) (Lab)
          Hyslop, Fiona (Lothians) (SNP)
          Ingram, Mr Adam (South of Scotland) (SNP)
          Jackson, Dr Sylvia (Stirling) (Lab)
          Jackson, Gordon (Glasgow Govan) (Lab)
          Jamieson, Cathy (Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley) (Lab)
          Jamieson, Margaret (Kilmarnock and Loudoun) (Lab)
          Johnstone, Alex (North East Scotland) (Con)
          Kerr, Mr Andy (East Kilbride) (Lab)
          Lamont, Johann (Glasgow Pollok) (Lab)
          Livingstone, Marilyn (Kirkcaldy) (Lab)
          Lochhead, Richard (North East Scotland) (SNP)
          Lyon, George (Argyll and Bute) (LD)
          MacAskill, Mr Kenny (Lothians) (SNP)
          Macdonald, Lewis (Aberdeen Central) (Lab)
          Macintosh, Mr Kenneth (Eastwood) (Lab)
          Maclean, Kate (Dundee West) (Lab)
          Macmillan, Maureen (Highlands and Islands) (Lab)
          Martin, Paul (Glasgow Springburn) (Lab)
          Marwick, Tricia (Mid Scotland and Fife) (SNP)
          Mather, Jim (Highlands and Islands) (SNP)
          Matheson, Michael (Central Scotland) (SNP)
          Maxwell, Mr Stewart (West of Scotland) (SNP)
          May, Christine (Central Fife) (Lab)
          McAveety, Mr Frank (Glasgow Shettleston) (Lab)
          McCabe, Mr Tom (Hamilton South) (Lab)
          McConnell, Mr Jack (Motherwell and Wishaw) (Lab)
          McFee, Mr Bruce (West of Scotland) (SNP)
          McGrigor, Mr Jamie (Highlands and Islands) (Con)
          McLetchie, David (Edinburgh Pentlands) (Con)
          McMahon, Michael (Hamilton North and Bellshill) (Lab)
          McNeil, Mr Duncan (Greenock and Inverclyde) (Lab)
          McNeill, Pauline (Glasgow Kelvin) (Lab)
          McNulty, Des (Clydebank and Milngavie) (Lab)
          Milne, Mrs Nanette (North East Scotland) (Con)
          Mitchell, Margaret (Central Scotland) (Con)
          Morgan, Alasdair (South of Scotland) (SNP)
          Morrison, Mr Alasdair (Western Isles) (Lab)
          Muldoon, Bristow (Livingston) (Lab)
          Mulligan, Mrs Mary (Linlithgow) (Lab)
          Munro, John Farquhar (Ross, Skye and Inverness West) (LD)
          Murray, Dr Elaine (Dumfries) (Lab)
          Neil, Alex (Central Scotland) (SNP)
          Oldfather, Irene (Cunninghame South) (Lab)
          Peacock, Peter (Highlands and Islands) (Lab)
          Peattie, Cathy (Falkirk East) (Lab)
          Pringle, Mike (Edinburgh South) (LD)
          Purvis, Jeremy (Tweeddale, Ettrick and Lauderdale) (LD)
          Radcliffe, Nora (Gordon) (LD)
          Robson, Euan (Roxburgh and Berwickshire) (LD)
          Rumbles, Mike (West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine) (LD)
          Scanlon, Mary (Highlands and Islands) (Con)
          Scott, John (Ayr) (Con)
          Scott, Tavish (Shetland) (LD)
          Smith, Elaine (Coatbridge and Chryston) (Lab)
          Smith, Iain (North East Fife) (LD)
          Smith, Margaret (Edinburgh West) (LD)
          Stephen, Nicol (Aberdeen South) (LD)
          Stevenson, Stewart (Banff and Buchan) (SNP)
          Stone, Mr Jamie (Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross) (LD)
          Sturgeon, Nicola (Glasgow) (SNP)
          Swinney, Mr John (North Tayside) (SNP)
          Tosh, Murray (West of Scotland) (Con)
          Wallace, Mr Jim (Orkney) (LD)
          Watson, Mike (Glasgow Cathcart) (Lab)
          Welsh, Mr Andrew (Angus) (SNP)
          White, Ms Sandra (Glasgow) (SNP)
          Whitefield, Karen (Airdrie and Shotts) (Lab)
          Wilson, Allan (Cunninghame North) (Lab)

        • The Presiding Officer:
          The result of the division is: For 13, Against 107, Abstentions 0.

        • Amendment disagreed to.

        • The Presiding Officer:
          The next question is, that motion S2M-2924, in the name of Tom McCabe, on the G8 summit, be agreed to. Are we agreed?

        • Members:
          No.

        • The Presiding Officer:
          There will be a division.

        • For

          Adam, Brian (Aberdeen North) (SNP)
          Aitken, Bill (Glasgow) (Con)
          Alexander, Ms Wendy (Paisley North) (Lab)
          Arbuckle, Mr Andrew (Mid Scotland and Fife) (LD)
          Baillie, Jackie (Dumbarton) (Lab)
          Baker, Richard (North East Scotland) (Lab)
          Barrie, Scott (Dunfermline West) (Lab)
          Boyack, Sarah (Edinburgh Central) (Lab)
          Brankin, Rhona (Midlothian) (Lab)
          Brocklebank, Mr Ted (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Con)
          Brown, Robert (Glasgow) (LD)
          Butler, Bill (Glasgow Anniesland) (Lab)
          Canavan, Dennis (Falkirk West) (Ind)
          Chisholm, Malcolm (Edinburgh North and Leith) (Lab)
          Craigie, Cathie (Cumbernauld and Kilsyth) (Lab)
          Crawford, Bruce (Mid Scotland and Fife) (SNP)
          Cunningham, Roseanna (Perth) (SNP)
          Curran, Ms Margaret (Glasgow Baillieston) (Lab)
          Davidson, Mr David (North East Scotland) (Con)
          Deacon, Susan (Edinburgh East and Musselburgh) (Lab)
          Eadie, Helen (Dunfermline East) (Lab)
          Ewing, Fergus (Inverness East, Nairn and Lochaber) (SNP)
          Ewing, Mrs Margaret (Moray) (SNP)
          Fabiani, Linda (Central Scotland) (SNP)
          Ferguson, Patricia (Glasgow Maryhill) (Lab)
          Fergusson, Alex (Galloway and Upper Nithsdale) (Con)
          Finnie, Ross (West of Scotland) (LD)
          Fraser, Murdo (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Con)
          Gallie, Phil (South of Scotland) (Con)
          Gibson, Rob (Highlands and Islands) (SNP)
          Gillon, Karen (Clydesdale) (Lab)
          Glen, Marlyn (North East Scotland) (Lab)
          Godman, Trish (West Renfrewshire) (Lab)
          Goldie, Miss Annabel (West of Scotland) (Con)
          Gorrie, Donald (Central Scotland) (LD)
          Grahame, Christine (South of Scotland) (SNP)
          Henry, Hugh (Paisley South) (Lab)
          Home Robertson, John (East Lothian) (Lab)
          Hughes, Janis (Glasgow Rutherglen) (Lab)
          Hyslop, Fiona (Lothians) (SNP)
          Ingram, Mr Adam (South of Scotland) (SNP)
          Jackson, Dr Sylvia (Stirling) (Lab)
          Jackson, Gordon (Glasgow Govan) (Lab)
          Jamieson, Cathy (Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley) (Lab)
          Jamieson, Margaret (Kilmarnock and Loudoun) (Lab)
          Johnstone, Alex (North East Scotland) (Con)
          Kerr, Mr Andy (East Kilbride) (Lab)
          Lamont, Johann (Glasgow Pollok) (Lab)
          Livingstone, Marilyn (Kirkcaldy) (Lab)
          Lochhead, Richard (North East Scotland) (SNP)
          Lyon, George (Argyll and Bute) (LD)
          MacAskill, Mr Kenny (Lothians) (SNP)
          Macdonald, Lewis (Aberdeen Central) (Lab)
          Macintosh, Mr Kenneth (Eastwood) (Lab)
          Maclean, Kate (Dundee West) (Lab)
          Macmillan, Maureen (Highlands and Islands) (Lab)
          Martin, Paul (Glasgow Springburn) (Lab)
          Marwick, Tricia (Mid Scotland and Fife) (SNP)
          Mather, Jim (Highlands and Islands) (SNP)
          Matheson, Michael (Central Scotland) (SNP)
          Maxwell, Mr Stewart (West of Scotland) (SNP)
          May, Christine (Central Fife) (Lab)
          McAveety, Mr Frank (Glasgow Shettleston) (Lab)
          McCabe, Mr Tom (Hamilton South) (Lab)
          McConnell, Mr Jack (Motherwell and Wishaw) (Lab)
          McFee, Mr Bruce (West of Scotland) (SNP)
          McGrigor, Mr Jamie (Highlands and Islands) (Con)
          McLetchie, David (Edinburgh Pentlands) (Con)
          McMahon, Michael (Hamilton North and Bellshill) (Lab)
          McNeil, Mr Duncan (Greenock and Inverclyde) (Lab)
          McNeill, Pauline (Glasgow Kelvin) (Lab)
          McNulty, Des (Clydebank and Milngavie) (Lab)
          Milne, Mrs Nanette (North East Scotland) (Con)
          Mitchell, Margaret (Central Scotland) (Con)
          Morgan, Alasdair (South of Scotland) (SNP)
          Morrison, Mr Alasdair (Western Isles) (Lab)
          Muldoon, Bristow (Livingston) (Lab)
          Mulligan, Mrs Mary (Linlithgow) (Lab)
          Munro, John Farquhar (Ross, Skye and Inverness West) (LD)
          Murray, Dr Elaine (Dumfries) (Lab)
          Neil, Alex (Central Scotland) (SNP)
          Oldfather, Irene (Cunninghame South) (Lab)
          Peacock, Peter (Highlands and Islands) (Lab)
          Peattie, Cathy (Falkirk East) (Lab)
          Pringle, Mike (Edinburgh South) (LD)
          Purvis, Jeremy (Tweeddale, Ettrick and Lauderdale) (LD)
          Radcliffe, Nora (Gordon) (LD)
          Robson, Euan (Roxburgh and Berwickshire) (LD)
          Rumbles, Mike (West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine) (LD)
          Scanlon, Mary (Highlands and Islands) (Con)
          Scott, John (Ayr) (Con)
          Scott, Tavish (Shetland) (LD)
          Smith, Elaine (Coatbridge and Chryston) (Lab)
          Smith, Iain (North East Fife) (LD)
          Smith, Margaret (Edinburgh West) (LD)
          Stephen, Nicol (Aberdeen South) (LD)
          Stevenson, Stewart (Banff and Buchan) (SNP)
          Stone, Mr Jamie (Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross) (LD)
          Sturgeon, Nicola (Glasgow) (SNP)
          Swinburne, John (Central Scotland) (SSCUP)
          Swinney, Mr John (North Tayside) (SNP)
          Tosh, Murray (West of Scotland) (Con)
          Turner, Dr Jean (Strathkelvin and Bearsden) (Ind)
          Wallace, Mr Jim (Orkney) (LD)
          Watson, Mike (Glasgow Cathcart) (Lab)
          Welsh, Mr Andrew (Angus) (SNP)
          White, Ms Sandra (Glasgow) (SNP)
          Whitefield, Karen (Airdrie and Shotts) (Lab)
          Wilson, Allan (Cunninghame North) (Lab)

          Against

          Curran, Frances (West of Scotland) (SSP)
          Fox, Colin (Lothians) (SSP)
          Leckie, Carolyn (Central Scotland) (SSP)

          Abstentions

          Baird, Shiona (North East Scotland) (Green)
          Ballard, Mark (Lothians) (Green)
          Harper, Robin (Lothians) (Green)
          Harvie, Patrick (Glasgow) (Green)
          MacDonald, Margo (Lothians) (Ind)
          Martin, Campbell (West of Scotland) (Ind)
          Ruskell, Mr Mark (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Green)
          Scott, Eleanor (Highlands and Islands) (Green)

        • The Presiding Officer:
          The result of the division is: For 109, Against 3, Abstentions 8.

        • Motion agreed to.

        • That the Parliament welcomes the opportunities presented by hosting the G8 summit which will engage the Scottish public in debate on the theme of Africa and climate change, will showcase Scotland to an international audience and examine and develop Scotland's role in international development; recognises the economic benefit to Scotland which will arise from the summit both in the short and longer term; further acknowledges the sense of pride that Scotland is hosting such a prestigious event; extends a warm welcome to all peaceful visitors who come to Scotland, and fully supports the police, the UK Government and other key partners in making the summit safe and productive.

        • The Presiding Officer:
          The next question is, that motion S2M-2929, in the name of Margaret Curran, on the suspension of standing orders, be agreed to.

        • Motion agreed to.

        • That the Parliament agrees that, for the Baird Trust Reorganisation Bill, Consideration Stage shall not take place and, accordingly, agrees that, for the purposes of the Bill, Rules 9A.7.1(b), 9A.9 and the first sentence of 9A.8.10 of the Standing Orders be suspended.

        • The Presiding Officer:
          The next question is, that motion S2M-2930, in the name of Margaret Curran, on the approval of a Scottish statutory instrument, be agreed to.

        • Motion agreed to.

        • That the Parliament agrees that the Food Protection (Emergency Prohibitions) (Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning) (West Coast) (No. 4) (Scotland) Order 2005 (SSI 2005/260) be approved.

        • The Deputy Presiding Officer (Trish Godman):
          Before we move to the next item of business, I ask members to acknowledge the presence in the gallery of the Norwegian ambassador, His Excellency Mr Tarald Brautaset, and his wife, Mrs Elisabeth Brautaset. [Applause.]

      • Norway's Centenary Celebrations
        • The Deputy Presiding Officer (Trish Godman):
          The final item of business today is a members' business debate on motion S2M-2647, in the name of Rob Gibson, on Norway's centenary celebrations. The debate will be concluded without any question being put.

        • Motion debated,

        • That the Parliament congratulates the Government and people of Norway on their celebrations of the centenary since the union of Norway and Sweden was dissolved by peaceful means; welcomes the international centennial programme in 2005 whose three main themes are Norway—a partner in peace and development, Norway—a nation rich in resources and Norway—a modern cultural and knowledge nation; applauds the aim to enhance Norway's visibility, update Norway's image, celebrate 100 years of close ties with key partner countries and promote Norway as a deeply-committed participant in the international community, both in 2005 and in the years to come; considers that Scots should be encouraged to share in the centenary independence celebrations including the successful Edvard Grieg exhibition, Art and Identity, which closes on 16 April 2005 in the City Art Centre, Edinburgh, and believes that the Scottish Executive should promote participation by Scots in understanding the success of Norway's story.

        • Rob Gibson (Highlands and Islands) (SNP):
          Of our continental neighbours, Norway is the closest nation to Scotland. While it is only 470km from Peterhead to Stavanger and 350km from Bergen to Lerwick, Berwick-upon-Tweed is 550km from the Netherlands. So it is fitting that we understand the celebrations of the centenary of Norwegian independence and encourage Scottish participation in the programme that the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has designed to enhance Norway's international visibility, update her image and celebrate her close ties with key partners, such as us Scots.

          As Nikolai Skeie, a former consul in Edinburgh put it:

          "Scotland and Norway have long enjoyed a close relationship with each other and our history as two small countries on the north-west fringes of Europe has much in common."

          Those words were written in 1993, as part of the foreword to "Norway and Scotland: a study in land use". That eye-opening study drew many lessons from a study visit that Scots made to west Norway, when they visited islands and fjords in Hordaland and Bergen, which is Norway's second city and its oil capital. As it happens, Bergen is also the birthplace of Edvard Grieg, Norway's national composer, who had Scottish forebears and who contributed so much to Norwegian cultural confidence in the latter part of the 19th century.

          In understanding the success of Norway's story we should not forget some key facts. In the 19th century, only Ireland lost a greater percentage of her people through emigration while, decade by decade, Norway and Scotland were alternately second. In 1905, an independent seat at the top table in the reparations and recovery from world war one gave neutral Norway some leverage to replace the lost tonnage in her shipping fleet. Later, further reparations followed the destructive occupation of Norway by the Nazis. However, by 1920, Norway had fewer people—2.65 million—and a lower gross domestic product than the Irish Free State did.

          Norway did not lose her language and heritage in her trading relations with Britain and other partners, however. Her sea-going prowess, which was built on the technical skills that were seen in the Viking ships, remains today in her huge tanker fleet, which demonstrates Norway's flair for running shipping services both along the length of her coast and across the world's oceans.

          Of particular note to Scots is the fledgling Norwegian state's historic commitment to its farmer-foresters and fisher folk that, wherever they live in a land of great travel difficulty, they have the full support of the nation to let their communities flourish. Today, great tax advantages accrue to those who live in the Arctic north, for example.

          The allodial act was written into the Norwegian constitution to guarantee small land owners a locally regulated land market that was organised at county level. It also guaranteed the ownership of Norway's extensive and diverse forest resources for many of those farmers and underpinned the marketing of their produce from land and sea.

          Many of the hydroelectric schemes that were built in the early 20th century produce electricity worth millions of kroner a year. Today, local communities sell their surplus production to the grid and earn a huge income from this renewable resource. The discovery of off-shore hydrocarbons in the 1970s utterly transformed Norwegian wealth. Oil and gas were developed on behalf of all Norwegians by Statoil and—with children and the future in mind—the Government created an oil fund for future generations, the Government petroleum fund. Today, through careful investment, the fund far outweighs the value of hydrocarbon production in the Norwegian sector.

          Norway—this north-west peripheral maritime nation—now has the highest income per head of population of any state. Its population is increasing to a figure that approaches that of Scotland. As colleagues will mention in the debate, Norway is a major player in world affairs, not least in contributing 1 per cent of her gross domestic product to the United Nations for the relief of poverty.

          I hope that many more Scots can be encouraged to join the many celebrations in the Norway events programme. Earlier in the year, I was particularly impressed by the exhibition "Edvard Grieg: Art and Identity" at the City Art Centre. I am told that it will be staged again this month in Orkney under the auspices of the St Magnus festival.

          Grieg and his fellow artists dug deep into Norwegian folk culture and built a modern national confidence after the country's so-called "400 years' sleep" under Danish rule. From 1814 to 1905, when Sweden controlled Norway as joint countries under one monarch, Norwegian nation building through this cultural reawakening gave her people and politicians the courage to insist on setting up her own consulates to promote her own trade abroad. In turn, that became the tipping point towards outright Norwegian independence.

          Edvard Grieg called himself a national European. He was an outward-looking Norwegian—Norwegians increasingly have become an outward-looking nation—who through his music, which was inspired by Norwegian folk art, contributed to the nation-building process. He recalled late in life:

          "Composers like Bach and Beethoven mastered the heights and built churches and temples. As Ibsen expressed it in his dramas, I wanted to build homes where people could feel at home and be happy."

          Tonight's debate takes place a hundred years after the Norwegian Storting—the Parliament—resolved on 7 June 1905 to dissolve the union between Sweden and Norway. Common sense prevailed and the Swedish army stood down, and neither country has looked back since. We wish Norway well and will be glad to celebrate its brand of social democracy in a 21st century that has much need of its common purpose.

          I am aware of various strands of co-operation between Scots and Norwegians, such as the north of Scotland and Sogn og Fjordane in west Norway initiative that is developing this year. I ask the Scottish Executive to ensure that many more Scots can understand the success of Norway's story by setting in place many more partnerships in friendship between our two countries.

        • The Deputy Presiding Officer:
          A considerable number of members wish to speak. Speeches will be of three minutes.

        • Donald Gorrie (Central Scotland) (LD):
          I declare an interest, in that my wife is of Norwegian descent.

          We have a lot in common with the Norwegians. We suffer some of the same defects and have some of the same virtues. History shows that we did not always see eye to eye. The Norwegians defeated a large contingent of Scots who were marching through Norway to join the army of Gustavus Adolphus in the 30 years' war, but Norway is not to blame for that. If 10,000 Norwegians had marched through Scotland, we would probably have attacked them.

          In another capacity, I recently helped a gentleman who had become prominent in Scottish public life but who, at the end of the second world war, did a good cloak-and-dagger job of getting the German occupation force in Norway to surrender peacefully. We then rearmed that force against the Russians, who were threatening to march in, so we have helped Norway in other ways more recently.

          We have a lot to learn from the Norwegians. I know that the Scottish National Party will take particular pleasure in the fact that Norway peacefully severed itself from Sweden. There are lessons to be learned from that.

          We can enjoy our relationship with Norway as it is. Some of us discussed the matter yesterday. The Parliament has the capacity more vigorously to develop youth exchanges, school exchanges, sport exchanges and cultural exchanges. We learn from each other in that way. However, as the ambassador pointed out, we have to get to each others' countries. We should try to develop further the fledgling direct flights from Norway to Scotland. In addition, we hope that there may be some prospect of ship services.

          We can work to develop real friendship between two countries that are similar in outlook. We can learn a lot from each other and enjoy each other's company and scenery. I hope that we can make progress.

        • Jim Mather (Highlands and Islands) (SNP):
          I congratulate my friend and colleague Rob Gibson on securing the debate. I agree that we should manifestly celebrate Norwegian independence. We should congratulate the Norwegian politicians and people of 1905 on their unilateral ending of the union with Sweden, especially given that, in 1905, Norway was relatively poor, although it was a proud nation with a strong sense of identity. The Norwegians were conscious of the need to protect and project that identity and of the benefit that would accrue from doing so. Their strong vision of what Norway and Norwegians could be was subsequently vindicated. We should also congratulate the Swedish politicians of 1905 who withdrew 40,000 troops from the border in spite of some fairly gung-ho generals. We should congratulate the Swedes of that era on their pragmatism and restraint and on the subsequent positive benefits that have accrued to both countries.

          The Norwegian independence of 1905 is worthy of study. The grounds were interesting. The Norwegians wanted clear, direct overseas representation with the rest of the world. They understood clearly that keeping their light under a bushel was not a good idea and that it would have condemned them and future generations to underperform in a second division or junior partnership role. They were also aware of the benefits that would accrue from engendering a real sense of enlightened self-interest, projecting it to the world and building a permanent and proper relationship with the rest of the world. The great thing was that, to the enormous credit of the Storting of the time, the decision on independence was unanimous and was subsequently ratified in a referendum, at the insistence of the Swedes. In the referendum, in which there was an 84.5 per cent turnout, about 368,000 Norwegians voted in favour of breaking the union, while 184 were against—a seemly result.

          A case can be made for much more interaction between Scotland and Norway, built on the fact that we understand that such separations are not a zero-sum game. It is time for us to get closer and to understand what works well in that great country. It is time for us to share with the Norwegians our excitement about and plans for creating a new Scotland with a bigger role in their back yard. It is also time to salute those in Scotland who see the case for full emulation of the Norwegians. I do that now and I wish Norway well.

        • Phil Gallie (South of Scotland) (Con):
          I congratulate Rob Gibson on the motion and on the way in which he spoke to it. He must have been tempted to make political points, but he refrained from doing so and presented a positive and complimentary view of our near neighbour Norway.

          Over the years—in fact, going back 1,000 years—there have been close links between Scotland, Britain and Norway, although, as Donald Gorrie suggested, the relationship has not always been friendly, especially if we go back to Viking times and the battle of Largs, which is a town in Ayrshire just north of the constituencies that I represent.

          Nevertheless, friendships have been maintained over the years. My links with Norway go back to my involvement in the maritime industry in the 1960s, when I met many Norwegians. Today, Norwegians' alcoholic intake is among the lowest worldwide, but I must say that that does not accord with my memory of the 1960s—although perhaps seamen have a way of their own.

          Donald Gorrie referred to present-day links, particularly air links. I draw attention to the successful Prestwick to Torp link, which provides two-way movement of people between Norway and Scotland, particularly Ayrshire.

          Throughout the past century, there have been all kinds of linkages. Perhaps the most important was established between 1940 and 1945 when the Norwegian Government and monarch moved to London and Vidkun Quisling established his Government in Norway. Perhaps controversially, I should point out that the United Kingdom and Norway are both monarchies, which creates a stability that, although it might not be the recipe for all countries, seems to suit them.

          Jim Mather drew attention to 1905, when Norway split from its union with Sweden. I wonder whether, given the verdict of the French and Dutch people on the European constitution, 2005 will have a similar resonance in a few years' time.

        • Alex Neil (Central Scotland) (SNP):
          I congratulate Rob Gibson on securing the debate and the ambassador and the Norwegian people on celebrating 100 years of independence. I look forward to Scotland joining that family of independent nations in not too many years' time. I should also apologise for the main Government party's display of ignorance in not putting anyone up in the debate to acknowledge the great achievements of the Norwegian nation and people.

          Scotland and Norway have much in common. We each have a population of about 5 million people; we are on the geographic periphery of Europe; we share many of the same industrial structures; and we are both oil nations. However, the comparison tends to stop there because, although we discovered oil at the same time as the Norwegians did, we have become relatively poorer in the past 30 years while Norway has become very rich indeed. Rob Gibson mentioned the petroleum fund, which is now worth £90 billion and will secure the future of the Norwegian economy and people not just for 20, 30 or 40 years but probably for hundreds of years to come. It has been so successful that the Norwegians are using not only the interest on the capital but the interest on the interest on the capital to invest in their economy.

          As for any lessons that Scotland needs to learn, we have only to consider Norway's success. We have been told that we should not have control of the oil because its price varies daily and weekly—tell that to the Norwegian people and their £90 billion fund. Jim Mather alluded to the worldwide network of embassies. We have been told that embassies are a bad thing, but I do not think that many people in Norway would agree with that. Norway has no external debt, whereas the UK is massively in debt. Finally, Norway's contributions to the developing world already exceed the United Nations target of 0.7 per cent of gross national product.

          Despite the ignorance of Labour members, the message from the chamber should be loud and clear. We send our greetings to the Norwegian people and express our pride in their achievements. We must learn lessons from them and, just like they did, go for our independence and freedom.

        • Eleanor Scott (Highlands and Islands) (Green):
          I am pleased to speak in this debate, which looks beyond Scotland to our nearest neighbour. I was also pleased yesterday to meet several Norwegians and other Scandinavian representatives, because I learned a lot from the meeting. I thought that I knew some European history, but I had to be reminded of the history of Norway before 1905. For example, I learned that, in 1814, Norway transferred from Danish to Swedish possession, and that, in the post-Napoleonic war period, Sweden wanted Finland instead of Norway.

          I regret to say that I have never visited Scandinavia. However, from pictures that I have seen, it is clear that it is a beautiful land that anyone would want to possess, especially the Norwegians. As a result, I am delighted to share in their centenary celebrations of doing just that.

          I said that I have never been to Scandinavia, but I hope to remedy that this September, when I intend to go to a health conference in Tromsø. That will be a follow-up to an excellent conference that was held two years ago in St Andrews, when health professionals and others from the Highlands and Islands and the north of Norway compared experiences of and solutions to the problems of delivering health care in remote and rural areas. Of course, the Norwegians have to deal with more extreme weather—being up in the Arctic circle—and greater distances than we do but, not being in the European Union, they do not have to deal with some of the constraints that we face, such as the European working time directive. However, we share a great deal with our near neighbours and kin and that conference was a really excellent and valuable experience.

          Another area in which we can compare experiences with and learn from Norway is land use. In the late 1980s, my party produced a rural manifesto for the Highlands. The information that was used to compile that also formed the basis of the Scotland-Norway study that Rob Gibson mentioned, which came out a year or two later. That study contrasted the emptiness of many Scottish Highland glens, in which there are few, if any, trees or people and only a scattering of sheep on the hills, with the same sort of terrain in Norway, which has thickly wooded hills, livestock in fields down in the valley and, crucially, many people. The contrast is stark but I believed then, and still believe today, that we can move much further towards a Norwegian pattern and repopulate our empty glens, as the Norwegians have repopulated theirs.

          Our historic and cultural connections to Norway are well known and I am happy that the links are still strong and that we can still meet with, learn from and socialise with our Norwegian cousins.

        • Stewart Stevenson (Banff and Buchan) (SNP):
          Rob Gibson mentioned Peterhead's proximity to Stavanger, noting that it is only 470km away. However, Peterhead is a great deal closer to Norway than that. Peterhead is twinned with Ålesund, Peterhead Academy has regular exchange visits with Norwegian schools and my office is four minutes' walk from the Norwegian Government's office in Peterhead.

          Inevitably, personal recollections dominate my view of Norway. My wife and I took the first ever flight of our lives from Aberdeen to Stavanger on 4 August 1969 and experienced the excellent Norwegian public transport when we took the hydrofoil from Stavanger up the coast to Haugesund, where we spend our honeymoon. The Norwegians have lessons for us in how to deal with remote rural communities that are connected by the sea.

          We had asparagus soup and cream every day, there being a glut of asparagus in Norway that year, and had reindeer steaks on several occasions—yum, yum. I remember that every house that we passed displayed the national flag, which showed that people took a justifiable pride in being Norwegian.

          We share a great deal with the Norwegians. We share the North sea, whose bounty over the past few years has already been referred to. The bounty of fish is a continuing one. I venture to say that the Norwegians are a great deal cleverer in negotiating for their special interests with regard to fish than we are, and we might well have something to learn from them.

          A hundred years ago, Norway's population was less than half that of Scotland. Today, our populations are eeksie-peeksie and ours is heading in the wrong direction. Norway has a lot to teach us.

          Jeg snakker ikke norsk. As far as I recall, that might mean that I do not speak Norwegian. However, I think Norwegian, which is much more important. For example, I believe in independence and I am not aware of any campaign to re-merge Norway with Sweden. Further, I believe in contributing to the world, and the very first United Nations Secretary-General was a Norwegian.

          Norway is an example to us all and one that we should be emulating. Norway is always in my heart and will remain ever so.

        • Margo MacDonald (Lothians) (Ind):
          I thank Rob Gibson for bringing the matter to the Parliament's attention. I reassure Phil Gallie that far from being non-political, like the SNP, I still think that debates in the chamber are about scoring political points, so I advise members to listen to the politics.

          I refer to my good friend Donald Gorrie's comments. He said that we can learn a great deal from Norway and that the Parliament could put into effect many of the measures that we would hear about if we debated, for example, many of the aspects of the economy that we have in common. I wonder how we are going to do that without a single Labour member being present—not a single member of the Executive thinks that they can learn anything from Norway. Earlier, the chamber was packed with members who thought that they could learn something from countries in Africa. I wonder what is so different about a successful north European country that it does not interest Labour members at all.

          Rob Gibson said something interesting. He said that when the Storting moved towards independence, the Norwegians became independent of, equal to and still friendly with the Swedes. Unfortunately, in Scotland and in the Parliament, a fault line runs through politics, between those who believe in sovereignty and those who do not believe that the SNP is any good—I ask members to note that there is no equality on either side of the equation. That is something that the SNP has to work out for itself. It will be the Parliament that does the business as regards establishing sovereignty—that will no longer fall to only one party. That requires a leap of imagination on the part of the SNP. It would also require the Labour Party to get rid of its ultra-unionism and its Pavlovian response to any mention of nationalism. It is because of those attitudes that no Labour members are here tonight.

          I believe that the Deputy Minister for Finance and Public Service Reform is far too intelligent to believe the brief that he is ready to deliver, to tell us about the benefits of not being sovereign and to tell us—

        • The Deputy Presiding Officer:
          Ms MacDonald, you are intelligent enough to stick to the subject of the motion.

        • Margo MacDonald:
          Because the motion talks about the successful economy and nationhood of Norway, I decided to talk about the—by comparison—unsuccessful sovereignty and nationhood of Scotland.

        • The Deputy Presiding Officer:
          Be very, very careful.

        • Margo MacDonald:
          I hope that you will bear with me, Presiding Officer. I am asking the minister simply to ditch the brief that he has been given. I do not believe that he believes a word of it, and it would be good to hear, for once, some innovative thinking.

        • The Deputy Presiding Officer:
          One minute.

        • Margo MacDonald:
          I will not use all my time, so that the minister has more time in which to be innovative.

        • Richard Lochhead (North East Scotland) (SNP):
          I congratulate Rob Gibson on securing this debate and I offer my congratulations to the people of Norway and the Norwegian Government as they celebrate 100 years of independence. I know that they will celebrate well, because I am a graduate of the University of Stirling, and, when I was younger, I had the opportunity to meet many Norwegians as that is one of the universities in Scotland that many Norwegians attend. They were reputed to have the best parties on the campus; I suspect that part of the reason for that is that they were celebrating the alcohol prices in Scotland, which are cheaper than back home in Norway.

          As many have members said, Norway offers a good model for Scotland because there are many similarities, such as the size of our countries and our natural resources. Unfortunately, as Alex Neil said, that is where some of the similarities end, because while Norway has made the most of its natural resources, we have not done that here in Scotland. Although, as a devolved Parliament, we have limited powers, we can still use them to improve the quality of life in Scotland by learning what we can from Norway and other Scandinavian countries. In the league tables of standards of living in European countries, Norway always comes at the top and Scotland always comes much further down.

        • Phil Gallie:
          Does the member agree that that is because Norway is not a member of the European Union?

        • Richard Lochhead:
          Phil Gallie will be delighted to hear that I am about to move on to that subject.

          Norway offers a good model to Scotland because it shows the advantages of being a small country. A small country can be highly organised and can have a common purpose. Everyone knows one another, so in achieving that common purpose, a small country can be flexible. However, as Norway has demonstrated, small countries must have full powers if they are to make the most of their natural resources and their luck in terms of their natural bounty.

          We can learn lessons from the similarities between the natural resources of Scotland and those of Norway. I speak as a representative of the north-east, where the oil industry is important. When the Norwegians discovered oil, they set up Statoil, which is a nationalised company that runs the Norwegian oil industry. Much of the hardware in the Norwegian sector of the North sea is owned by the Norwegians, but the hardware in the Scottish sector of the North sea is owned by foreign companies. Norway also has an oil fund, which has been mentioned, whereas we squander our oil resources.

          As for sea fisheries, the Norwegians have rightly stayed out of the EU, partly—if not wholly—because of the common fisheries policy. That shows that good conservation of fish stocks can be achieved with full control of those stocks. Countries do not have to be part of the EU to do that.

          Despite the fact that we are the biggest aquaculture producer in the EU, our aquaculture sector is owned by the Dutch and the Norwegians, whereas companies in the Scottish sector own no one else around Europe. The thriving rural communities in Norway are not matched by our rural communities in Scotland. In Scotland, some people cannot afford even one house, whereas the norm in many parts of Norway is to have a second house in a rural area.

          I read a speech that the Norwegian environment minister made just a few months ago about carbon capture in the Norwegian sector of the North sea oilfields. Norway will lead the way on capturing all the carbon that is emitted throughout Europe. Scotland had the same opportunity, but as we do not have full powers, we are yet again not taking advantage of an opportunity.

          Finally—

        • The Deputy Presiding Officer:
          No—you must finish now.

        • Richard Lochhead:
          The Parliament should consider joint initiatives with Norway, so that we can work together and learn from each other.

        • Mr Andrew Welsh (Angus) (SNP):
          I congratulate Rob Gibson on securing the debate to celebrate 100 years of Norwegian independence and the history that connects our two nations. The Scottish-Norwegian roots run deep. In 1615, Andrew Christie boarded a ship in the port of Montrose, which is in my constituency of Angus, and emigrated to Norway. In 1984, as provost of Angus, I welcomed his descendants, the Christie family, who returned to rediscover their Scottish origins.

          Over the centuries, the Christie family have contributed positively to Norwegian life. They have been eminent in academic achievement, government and the Norwegian resistance movement during world war two. When the family returned to Montrose, the Norwegian flag was flown from the town house. In officially welcoming them, I said that the reason that my wife and I were present was that we had a baby-sitter—Mabel Christie. The family are truly Norwegian but are based on strong Scottish roots. It is clear that sharing Viking DNA has—happily—been a two-way process.

          I commend to Parliament my motion to remember the special relationship between Norway and Scotland—especially the town of Montrose. During the dark days of world war two, the minesweeper Thorodd was based in Montrose, and its captain brought with him a St Bernard dog named Bamse. That giant of a dog became a great favourite with local people and was a mascot for the Norwegian armed forces. Bamse was given a bus pass and bus drivers would stop to let him take his seat on the top deck. He saved the life of an officer, was befriended by the children of Montrose and became the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals allied forces mascot, as well as having various other adventures.

          When Captain Hafto was posted elsewhere, he wanted—naturally—to take his dog with him, only to be told that the crew would probably not return to the ship if he did that. In Norway, even mutinies are highly civilised and to good-humoured purpose. Bamse remained with the Thorodd until his much-lamented death in 1944.

          Montrose Heritage Trust now has a project to create a statue in memory of that remarkable dog and of the international friendship that he engendered. Today, a Scottish champion St Bernard called Murphy came to our Parliament to support the commemoration of those wartime links between Scotland and Norway.

          Well may our Norwegian friends celebrate their 100 years of independence. They chose the path of freedom to be themselves and to participate in the wider world as part of the international family of nations. We are small neighbouring countries that are still linked by a sea-going past through trade, emigration, immigration, education and a common belief in democracy and in the worth of every citizen, all of which should be the hallmark of small free nations. Thank you, Norway, and long may the Scottish-Norwegian connection continue to grow and to prosper.

        • Linda Fabiani (Central Scotland) (SNP):
          When someone believes that their nation should be free, they examine free nations in their continent and further afield. Like many people in the SNP, I decided some time ago that Norway was the kind of nation that I wanted Scotland to be. Norway is independent, humanitarian and its citizens are respected throughout the world, often by the least advantaged people and communities. When I was in East Timor in 1999, I found that Norway and the other Scandinavian countries were much respected by the people there. Unlike the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia and other countries, Norway was not seen as part of the problem—Norwegians were seen as helping East Timor to attain its freedom and justice for its people. Therefore, I hugely admire Norway.

          In particular, I admire Norway's international development work. For the past 50 years, it has been a prime mover in international development co-operation and a major donor. Alex Neil mentioned the fact that Norway's contributions as a proportion of its gross national product already exceed the UN's recommendation. As a result, it is unlike Scotland which, as part of the UK—John Swinney mentioned this earlier—is nowhere near meeting the UN's recommendation. In fact, we have short-changed the developing world over the past 35 years by £76 billion and the figure will rise until we match the recommendation.

          Norway introduced duty-free and quota-free access to its domestic market for all goods—except weapons—from the least developed countries. It has an active debt relief policy and there is the Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries. The Norwegian Government considers it important that Norwegian policy does not hamper efforts to reduce poverty in developing countries and it regularly undertakes reviews of all its policies so that they can be adjusted, if necessary. I want my nation to aspire to that and match such efforts.

          Norway makes a major contribution to UN operations, particularly on peacekeeping. We have all heard of the Oslo accords and Norway's work on the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations. It has continued with that work despite the many setbacks that there have been in that region. Norway and her Scandinavian partners have also developed the concept of a civilian peace force, which I would dearly love to be developed in Scotland. Civilian rather than military input to mediation and conflict resolution has much to offer.

          As I said, I want Scotland to be a nation like Norway. I salute the example that has been set by a small nation that contributes way above its weight in world relations. I thank the ambassador and ask him to take our thanks back to Norway for the example that it sets.

        • The Deputy Minister for Parliamentary Business (Tavish Scott):
          I hope that Alex Neil will forgive me for what I am going to say about oil. Some years ago, Winnie Ewing stood in a hostelry in Lerwick and regaled the assembled company with comments on who the oil belonged to. A large Shetland fishing skipper tapped her on the shoulder and said, "Winnie, it's no your oil; it's wur oil." I am sure that Mr Neil will be careful with his arguments about oil boundaries and boundaries for other utility substances.

          I, too, congratulate Rob Gibson on securing the debate, which is an opportunity to celebrate Scottish and Norwegian cultural, political and economic connections, traditions and opportunities. Despite what some members have unfairly said, the connections are real, positive and growing. The suggestion that none of us on the Executive benches takes any interest in Norway is untrue and I wish that members had not said that.

          Like Rob Gibson, I enjoyed the Grieg exhibition at the City Art Centre earlier this year. Sadly, the exhibition is now closed, but I encourage all Scots to become involved in other aspects of the wider Norwegian celebrations, such as concerts, exhibitions and literature readings, to name just a few. I welcome the opportunity to participate in the celebrations in Scotland—where the devolved Government will sponsor the forthcoming Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra concert—and in Norway.

          I want to mention not only the celebrations to mark the centenary of Norwegian independence but those to mark the 60th anniversary of the Shetland bus, which is an event of great significance for both our countries. During the second world war, many Norwegians escaped across the North sea to Shetland in small boats and joined military units that were based in Shetland. Those units harried the German occupiers of their country. The heroic—and in some cases incredible—tales of men who ran the Shetland bus from Scalloway in the west of Shetland and Vidlin in the east of Shetland right across to the coast of Norway are justifiably well known. They are memorably described in David Howarth's book "The Shetland Bus". However, those were not the only Norwegian units to be based in Shetland and, when the war ended, many Norwegians took Shetland wives home to Norway with them. Others have since put down roots in the constituency that I am honoured to represent.

          The ties that were forged in war remain strong in peace. The museum in Scalloway—the base that was used by the Shetland bus for most of its operational life—has an impressive display on the operations of the Shetland bus and is visited by most Norwegian visitors to Shetland. The bus vessel named the Hitra received a warm Scalloway welcome when she returned there with many veterans soon after she was found and restored by Norwegian volunteers.

          As Stewart Stevenson, Richard Lochhead and other members have said, the sea is an obvious connection between our two countries in relation to fishing, but it also provides a tourism connection, in Peterhead as well as in my part of Scotland. Norwegians come across on the ferry from Bergen and sail here in their own boats. In summer, the Lerwick Boating Club bar is often thronged with Norwegians—much to the benefit of the club's accounts—and Lerwick harbour is brightened by their moored vessels, not least during the annual Shetland race from Bergen to Lerwick and back. One effect of Shetland hospitality is that the return leg of that race is not always sailed quite as competitively as the first leg.

          On the subject of ties old and new, Phil Gallie mentioned the battle of Largs. In my part of the world, the two countries come together in the Up-Helly-Aa festival. I suspect that the historical basis of the festival may be doubtful—the Viking suits that are worn by the jarl squad might have taken the Vikings of old by surprise—but the toast to the festival, which is drunk each year in Lerwick town hall on the morning of Up-Helly-Aa, is drunk from a silver galley that was presented to Lerwick by its Norwegian twin town, Måløy. I was taken with Andrew Welsh's illustration of the connections between Montrose and parts of Norway. The twinning between Kirkwall, in Orkney, and Hordaland, in Norway, was celebrated at a service in St Magnus cathedral last night.

          Norway is an important historic partner of Scotland and it is our nearest neighbour. Shetland became part of Scotland only about 500 years ago. Norway is also our oldest twinning partner; indeed, the twinning partnership between Burntisland and Flekkefjord may prove to be the oldest formal twinning partnership in the world.

          Our connections are rooted not only in past links but in links present and future through trade and culture. Norway is Scotland's 10th most important export destination. A Scottish trade mission has just returned from Norway, and the next is planned for the autumn. That demonstrates that, despite what may have been said, our connections are real, live, thriving and growing. As the motion notes, Norway, like Scotland, is a modern, dynamic nation that is committed to a knowledge economy and that is seeking to update its international image. Like Scotland, it is also rich in resources. Scotland, like Norway, has demonstrated its keenness to play its part in the international community—for example, in our forthcoming work in Malawi.

          Very soon, the Nobel Peace Centre will open in Oslo. I was taken with Linda Fabiani's remarks about that. I have some experience of the movement towards peace in Sri Lanka, where the Norwegian facilitators played an immensely important role. What they achieved is an admirable legacy to the world around us.

          Our two nations continue to enjoy frequent interchange, building on our current commonalities. An estimated 2,000 to 3,000 Norwegians live in Scotland. The days of raiding are over, but Scottish and Norwegian ministers are no strangers. Indeed, my colleague Ross Finnie will be in Tromsø shortly to meet his fisheries counterpart, Svein Ludvigsen, and I—along with other colleagues—have today been delighted to meet and welcome the Norwegian ambassador. We work closely with Norway through the Scottish-Nordic action plan, which is delivering concrete projects of mutual benefit, and the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions of Europe, which is part of the European Union's arrangements. There are also many bilateral contacts.

          I welcome the motion, which celebrates the centenary of Norwegian independence and, particularly, 100 years of ties between our countries. Our ties with Norway are, of course, far older and pre-date the earlier union between Norway and Sweden. Many would argue that there are 1,000 years of ties between Scotland and Norway, which situates us clearly as a key and continuing partner nation. I encourage all Scots to learn more about Norway and to participate in the celebrations. I also congratulate the Norwegian Government and its people on behalf of the devolved Government in Scotland.

        • Meeting closed at 17:55.