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First Minister Race Heats Up

19000 Views 370 Replies 42 Participants Last post by  Elibank
Honestly, if this wasn't so serious for we Scots we would all think it was a huge joke.
The calibre of candidates to run our erstwhile proud country is so poor, no wonder Sturgeon held office for 8 years.
Prime candidates are;
Humza Youseff; What can you say about him? Dull as dishwater, failed claim against a nursery fhe accused of racism after he and his wife threw the rattle out of the pram when their wean was refused a place.
Recently, as Health Minister, presided over the longest waiting lists in history with Doctors issuing safety warnings all over the place. Sturgeon must have been fed up batting away calls for his resignation for incompetence. The biggest laugh though is, as Transport Minister, being fined and 6 points awarded for speeding and driving without insurance in Dingwall. How did he get away without his head rolling on that one?
He says he would unite the country?? Errrrr, I don't think so?

Kate Forbes; Well, her situation is fundamentally (I use that word advisedly) flawed in that she is a devout member of the Wee Free Kirk which stymies her flexibility to be objective somewhat. Or to embrace easily shift in cultures beyond their own interpretation of the bible. Mixing Church and State is a definite no no and her views on the gender debate renders her unelectable.

Ash Regan; Principled, but again a Pariah in the eyes of the left woke brigade after she resigned on the gender reform platform. Hence unelectable.

Angus Robertson; In my view, a dark horse outsider who has ruled himself out might just yet be persuaded I think? A safe pair of hands compared to the contenders above certainly. If he doesn't stand, then, we are in for a situation where the only viable candidate is Youseff? F.F.S?
Mind you, if Mhairi Black throws her hat in the ring it really will be a circus parade. W.T.F?

Whatever, I have previously said I have watched the Office of 1st Minister be gradually and relentlessly eroded since Donald Dewar held it. It is about to plumb new depths with the absolute paucity of talent in that line up.
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My missus' take on this is that it is nothing to do with their specific views, it is the fact that KF says that she would not vote to support certain legislations (not just the one you refer to*) because of said religious views. However HY has made it clear that regardless of his own religious views, he would seek to bring about the legislation on matters that the people of the country want.

*I am presuming you are referring to the gender identity act. I certainly hope you are not referring to either the gay marriage act or the abortion act. Both of which she has stated (as to be expected) clash with her religious views and specifically with the gay marriage act, that she would not have voted in favour of it had she been an MSP in 2014. The argument then being, how can you trust if she, as FM, would actually bring forward legislation to support something like this, when she makes it clear that she would not support it.
She believes having a child out of wedlock is wrong, abortion and gay marriage are a sin… I understand that in principle, you can separate your religious beliefs from your job, but I do question the wisdom of openly stating that you oppose the decisions and lifestyles of a significant number of the people you seek to represent. Her faith is neither here nor there when it comes to doing the job - until she made those statements. Now she’s relying on people to trust that she’ll represent them in spite of being spiritually and morally opposed to them.

Trust and politicians. Not easy bedfellows right now.
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You do realise that the views held by Forbes are supported by the vast majority of Scots, and that Hollyrood is out of touch with reality?
Forbes should be commended for actually saying what she believes, not what might win her votes.

All contributors should have a read of the last few Wings Over Scotland blog posts to see how those that cast aspersions on Forbes behave. Yet it is Forbes getting the hard time?
The vast majority of Scots oppose gay marriage, abortion and having kids before marriage? The vast majority? Is that true?
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At least shes stated them.
Unlike Bliar who only stated his religious zealousness, after he had instigated a religious crusade!!
Neither situation is ideal - I don't really consider it any better.

53% of Brits state they have no religion. The figure is higher in Scotland - 59%. Politicians even bringing up the fact that their religion would influence the way they vote is out of step with the majority of the people they represent. I'd suggest the VAST majority of those they represent actually, since over half of all Christians support same sex marriage, over half of Catholics and Muslims define themselves as pro-choice when it comes to abortion.

MPs aren't there to bring their personal beliefs to play in the way they vote. They're elected to represent the majority view of their constituency. Seems to me that Forbes would be unable to do that, unless her constituency's demographic is so out of whack with the national picture that they agree with her.

I feel very strongly about this because you look at what's happening in America, with women forced to continue with life-threatening ectopic pregnancies, or carry unviable pregnancies to term, to deliver horrifically ill babies to die - all in the name of God - and you wonder where it started... How we got here. I reckon electing leaders who openly state that they wouldn't support rights that conflict with their religion, is a potential starting point we should watch out for.

Fruin's point about not being cross about other influences on votes is a good one though.
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So, what do we do... say that anybody who practices a religious faith cannot be elected to any government position?
Dangerous ground that one, especially if we do that but continue to condone those with business interests to set policy.
Personally I think we should hold people to greater task in both the areas you reference, which broadly come down to the same issue of declaring conflicts of interest, and making a commitment to representing your constituents' interests above your own that is treated way more seriously than it is at the moment.

Business interests should be disclosed annually, with heavy penalties for either late disclosures or omissions, and conflicts of interest should be dealt with upfront by resignation from the business interest, should you wish to pursue public life. No one is making anyone be an MP - it's a choice. If that's the choice for you - then commit to it. These guidelines broadly exist - they're just not enforced. We don't need to do anything other than actually vet politicians, and crack down on poor behaviour. A bit of discipline.

Same with anyone that practices a religious faith. Becoming an MP is a choice, and one that comes with a responsibility to everyone that elects you. Full disclosure up front and if the individual can't commit to acting in accordance with their constituents' wishes if those wishes conflict with the way they interpret or practice their religion, then that's a conflict of interest that needs to be dealt with by resignation, from either the faith or public life. A choice.

It's absolutely fine to say, I couldn't in all conscience support expansions in civil rights for same sex couples, it goes against my religious beliefs and what my holy texts tell me. I respect that even if I don't agree with it. But if you represent same sex couples and have any influence on their life... it's a conflict of interest that should be dealt with like any other.
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What rubbish.
Are you seriously suggesting that Christians cannot stand as MSPs or MPs in the U.K.?
Let me just disclose that I am a meat eating heterosexual white man, so probably aren’t entitled to an opinion.

PS I also enjoy driving fossil fuel vehicles, the bigger the better.
No. I’m saying that at all. Read it again. I said those of faith should only stand as MPs or MSPs if they can commit to voting in the interests of the majority of their constituents, even if doing so conflicts with their faith. I don’t think this is controversial. It’s their literal job, to represent constituents’ interests at a national level. If they know they can’t do this - it’s not the job for them.

Gordon Brown and Theresa May both have strong religious beliefs, which they voted against in order to serve their constituents. Gordon Brown voted for same sex marriage even though he believes marriage is a sacrament reserved for men and women. Theresa May consistently voted for abortion rights, including the introduction of an exclusion zone around abortion clinics that forbids praying, even though she herself is a woman of deep faith, and speaks openly about how it guides her as a politician. What she didn’t do is apply her morals to everyone else in the way she voted. It’s perfectly possible.

If it helps, Rishi Sunak is a Hindu. Imagine him saying openly and plainly that he couldn’t vote for, I don’t know, giving pubs financial support during lockdown because his faith prohibits the consumption of alcohol. Imagine a Muslim MSP stating they couldn’t vote for anything that conflicted with Sharia Law. Or a Jewish MP refusing to enter into debate around the current problem we have with slaughtering pigs, because pigs don’t chew the cud and so shouldn’t be eaten. And now imagine a Christian MP saying they couldn’t vote for equal rights for gay people - because that’s what she said, Fruin. Regardless of the tolerant language she has since sought to wrap it up in, she said “I would have voted, as a matter of conscience, along the lines of mainstream teaching in most major religions that marriage is between a man and a woman. But I would have respected and defended the democratic choice that was made."

I would argue she should only vote in accordance with most major religions if her constituents are largely practising members of major religions AND instructed her to, and that it’s no good having an elected representative that dips in and out of issues according to their own conscience, not the best interests of everyone.

Not sure what your white straight meat eating male status has to do with anything, willie.
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That was sort of the point I was making about toleration. The irony is that to be truly tolerant you must tolerate intolerance. For what its worth I'm with Safranfoer on this one: I have no issue with anyone with any religious beliefs holding any office providing their beliefs don't conflict with their job. However there is another question to be considered. At what point can intolerance no longer be tolerated? Taking the issue of gay marriage, which it seems both leading candidates are against, can someone with intolerant views have the confidence of their gay constituents, and indeed their liberal constituents or other leaders? What about other intolerances? Where is the right place to draw a line? Should we tolerate someone who wants to restrict other people's freedoms based on racist beliefs rather than religious ones? I find the whole thing quite interesting, if not terribly relavant!
Forehead Jaw Smile Font Wrinkle
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When Kate Forbes stood for election in Skye Lochaber and Badenoch constituency do you honestly think anyone voting for her didn’t know she was a wee free? Or even going back a stage further, when she was being selected by the SNP local committee?
Like I said, it’s not being a member of the religion that’s the problem. That’s fine. I’d argue the SNP local committee had a duty to probe whether her faith would get in the way of representing constituents though. 59% of Scots have no religion at all.
Is Humza Yousaf... good? What kind of lens should I view the news through? I'm seeing lots of people saying his election has effectively given Scotland to Labour. Is this true? How?!
This has probably been covered upthread so I'm sorry - but he's the leader of the Scottish Nationalist Party. Why does his election put nationalism to bed? Is it because he couldn't organise a cutlery drawer, let alone a successful nationalist campaign?

Thanks for the Failing Grayling reference Ozzy. Handy. Gotcha. How do these people fail so consistently UP the ladder of power?
Not that it makes any difference, but that’s not true is it?
It might be, you know. Which surprised me. I looked it up earlier and gave up as couldn't find a definitive answer, but I did find this:

Not Birmingham, but the West Midlands as a whole - and as Birmingham is the biggest chunk...?

Not sure where the data are sourced from either, hence giving up - but I have pretty consistently seen numbers of around 6m people claiming UC, and around 480k of them being in Scotland, which marries with the data here, so I've no reason to doubt it.

It's an interesting way of framing the debate. Scotland has 4.5m people. West Mids has 2.9m.
Well you probably should have.

The DWP, as quoted in the Birmingham Mail said there were 160k Universal Credit claimants in Birmingham in 2021.

In the West Midlands there were 490k claimants (Coventry telegraph quoting the DWP), 10k more than the 480k in the whole of Scotland but then again, in 2020 the West Midlands had a population of around 6 million people, a bit higher than the 5.6m people in Scotland (national statistics

Interestingly the 2020 public spend per head in Scotland was approx £2000 p/a higher than the West Midlands. . . .(national statistics)

The numbers won’t sway anyone, just interesting that such nonsense gains any traction at all.
Well my population figures were wildly out... Unless you guys have been rapidly breeding since whenever my search result said. But you're telling me there were more UC claimants in West Mids than Scotland in 2021, the TUC table says there were more UC claimants in West Mids than Scotland... Potato, potahto. I have found the raw data now though. Stat-Xplore - Log in
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