Motion S5M-11267: Death of Sudan, Last Male Northern White Rhino

24 Mar 2018

That the Parliament notes with sadness the news that the last male northern white rhino has died in Kenya at the age of 45; understands that Sudan passed away following his condition “worsening significantly”, which meant that he could no longer stand; deplores the actions of poachers that have led the species to the brink of extinction; believes that Sudan was the last of his kind to be born in the wild; believes that the case of Sudan and the northern white rhinos highlight the negative impact that humankind can have on the many animal species with whom they share the planet, and also the importance of redoubling efforts to conserve species that are in danger of extinction, and hopes that the attempts to use IVF to save the northern white rhinos will meet with success.

Motion S5M-11266: Anti-racism March

01 Mar 2018

That the Parliament welcomes that a march against racism organised by Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) took place in Glasgow on 17 March 2018; notes that members from throughout Scotland of the Confederation of Friends of Israel Scotland (COFIS) sought to participate in the march in order to oppose antisemitism; regrets, however, that COFIS members were reportedly blocked from taking part in the main march by demonstrators who appeared to be against any participants sympathetic towards Israel; considers that criticism of Israeli policies and antisemitism can be easily confused and difficult to distinguish from each other; regretfully believes that this and other events suggest that antisemitism is alive in Scotland in 2018, and calls on everyone to reflect on their attitudes towards Israel and the Jewish community in Scotland.

Motion S5M-10675: Billy Graham

01 Mar 2018

That the Parliament notes the death of Billy Graham on 21 February 2018, aged 99; understands that the world-renowned evangelist, who was famous for his massive rallies, which attracted thousands of people and helped many form their faith, was born into an evangelical Protestant family and came to his personal faith when he was 16; notes that he studied at a variety of colleges before he enrolled in evangelical youth organisation, Youth for Christ; understands that he visited Scotland to hold his rallies, in 1955, 1961 and 1991, at the Kelvin Hall, Hampden Park and elsewhere; believes that the format of his rallies was key to their success, with the local area’s churches sponsoring the meetings, celebrities being invited to speak about their experiences and the event closing with an appeal to the attendees to “make a decision today for Christ” by coming forward to meet counsellors, who would link them up with the churches; notes his decision to continue defending Richard Nixon, long after others had ceased to do so; understands that, although this might have hurt his reputation, it led to him staying out of politics and allowed him to avoid the scandals that engulfed many other prominent evangelists in the 1980s; believes that it can be argued that he was one of the first “stars” of the mass media age, and welcomes what it sees as the positive impact that his work had on the lives of many in Scotland and across the world.

Motion S5M-10538: Housing and Societal Inequality

20 Feb 2018

That the Parliament notes the recent report from Zoopla, which shows that the number of homes valued over £1,000,000 in Scotland has increased by 2,264; understands that this represents an increase of one quarter over 2017; believes that this growth highlights increasing wealth for the richest and a rising gap between the richest and poorest; considers that such increases in wealth are not adequately taxed; recognises that, compared to many other areas of the UK, Scotland has a relatively small number of these properties with 11,101, compared with the South East of England, which has 180,397; believes that this inequality in society is unhealthy and potentially damaging for the economy, and welcomes any proposals to deal with this through taxation or otherwise.