Motion S5M-10002: Admiral Thomas Cochrane Crosses the Atlantic Once More

20 Jan 2018

That the Parliament welcomes the news that three bronze statues have begun their journey across the Atlantic to highlight the contribution that Admiral Thomas Cochrane, who was born in Hamilton and raised in Fife, made to the independence of Chile; understands that they are part of a set of four commissioned by Manuel Ibañez, who is a Chilean businessman; notes that they were sculpted by Leonie Gibbs, who is from from Cupar, and cast at the Black Isle Bronze Foundry in Nairn; understands that the pieces are one-and-a-half times life size and were commissioned to “have a powerful heartbeat”; notes that they are being installed at the Chilean naval academy in Valparaiso, Manuel’s farm and in the square of Cochrane, located alongside Lake Cochrane, with the other statue remaining in Scotland for Lochnell Castle in Oban, which is the home of the 15th Earl of Dundonald, who is descended from Cochrane; believes that Cochrane lived an exceptionally adventurous life, joining the Royal Navy aged 18 in 1793 and quickly proving himself and his disdain for authority; notes that he was court marshalled in 1798 for challenging an officer to a duel and was given the nickname “the Sea Wolf” by Napoleon; acknowledges that he was elected an MP on a ticket of Parliamentary reform before losing his seat and winning it again following his conviction in the so-called Great Stock Exchange Fraud of 1814; understands that he served in the Chilean, Brazilian and Greek navies during their independence wars, and believes that his story highlights the massive impact that Scots have had on events throughout the world and will no doubt continue to have in the future.

Motion S5M-09905: Free Asia Bibi

17 Jan 2018

That the Parliament deplores reports of the ongoing incarceration in Pakistan of Asia Bibi under charges of blasphemy; understands that Asia was accused of insulting Muhammad following an argument with other women while picking berries in 2009; further understands that, in 2010, she was sentenced to death and has been on death row since; believes that Asia’s appeal against her conviction has been delayed multiple times, with the chief justice declining a request for a hearing in 2017 being the most recent development; considers that this case highlights the problems with the blasphemy laws in Pakistan and the extremes that many of the backers of the law will go to defend them, for example in Asia’s case; understands that both Shahbaz Bhatti, who was a government minister, and Salmaan Taseer, who was the Governor for Punjab province, were both assassinated for advocating on her behalf against these laws; believes that all citizens in Scotland, Pakistan and elsewhere should have freedom to hold any or no religion or belief, and calls on the Pakistani Government to repeal its laws of blasphemy and to look again at the case of Asia Bibi before she has to spend another year on death row.

Motion S5M-09772: Fat Cat Thursday

09 Jan 2018

That the Parliament notes so-called Fat Cat Thursday on 4 January 2018, which is the date in the new year by which top chief executives will have earned more than the average UK salary; understands that the figures are calculated by the High Pay Centre (HPC) and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD); further understands that the average chief executive earns 120 times more than the average full-time employee, in spite of a reported fall in pay to top execs of a fifth; agrees with Peter Cheese, Chief Executive of the CIPD, that “we need a radical rethink on how and why we reward chief executives, taking into account a much more balanced scorecard of success beyond financial outcomes and looking more broadly at areas like people management”; believes that there is still much work to be done in tackling the problems of inequality that it considers have grown under poor management of consecutive UK governments, and calls on the UK Government to take further steps to curb excessive pay gaps in the workplace.

Motion S5M-09765: Offensive Behaviour at Football

09 Jan 2018

That the Parliament deplores the reported behaviour of some Falkirk FC fans at a recent match with Dunfermline Athletic FC regarding a player with a disability; welcomes that Falkirk FC has apologised unreservedly for the “abhorrent behaviour” of some individuals; considers that hatred towards or discrimination against disabled people is unacceptable in any walk of life, including in football; believes that there is a tendency for some fans to express more offensive behaviour at football than in their normal lives, and hopes that any review of hate crime in Scotland will take particular account of problems affecting football.