Good news. The motions lodged this week were of sufficient quality such that there is no worst motion of the week. So, that frees us up to showcase two of the best ones.

Motion S4M-00892 – Richard Simpson ( Mid Scotland and Fife ) ( Scottish Labour ) : Vive la France That the Parliament applauds the French Government, which is introducing a tax on sugary drinks that it expects to raise €120 million for the French treasury; understands that French MPs have rejected the statement by the corporate chief executive of Coca-Cola, who, in the statement he later withdrew and described as a miscommunication, indicated that the company would not carry through its €17 million investment in reprisal if the tax proceeded; further understands that the average person in France has increased in weight by three kilos since 1997 and that consumption of sugary drinks has hugely increased and that Scotland consumes 20% more sugary drinks than England and more than France, and calls on the Scottish Government to consider giving local authorities power to introduce a tax on sugary drinks and use the income to improve school diets and support community-based nutritional improvement initiatives and build on the work of previous Scottish administrations to reduce the consumption of sugary drinks in schools.
Supported by: Patricia Ferguson, Helen Eadie, Ken Macintosh, Mark Griffin, Alison Johnstone, Richard Simpson

Oui, oui, oui. Absolutement! Free dentists for kids, free fillings for kids and cheap coke and irn-bru for kids. Who is with me?

Yes, there is a problem with that last one there isn’t there? I don’t see any problem with using the tax system to guide good behaviour especially when money is in short supply and, as Dr Simpson points out in his motion, “Scotland consumes 20% more sugary drinks than England and more than France”. Fatty food tax, sugary drink tax and unrecyclable packaging tax. Why not? We already tax to the hilt booze and fags. Starting off with a local levy based on the French initiative seems as good a place as any to begin.

So I reckon the above motion is worthy of serious consideration and do hope that it gains a few more signatures over today and the coming week.

The next motion in many ways goes hand in hand with the one above. Would as many kids be drinking fizzy juices if they were immersed in sport? Answers on a postcard please (or the comments section will do)

Motion S4M-00895 – George Adam ( Paisley ) ( Scottish National Party ) : Paisley, a Centre for Tennis Excellence in Scotland
That the Parliament welcomes the redevelopment and resurfacing of the Brodie Park community tennis courts in Paisley, a joint initiative by Renfrewshire Council and Paisley South Vision Group; acknowledges the £160,000 investment in the project by the Lawn Tennis Association; applauds the aims of Tennis For Free, a charity set up to campaign to make all publicly managed tennis courts available for free use; welcomes the announcement of free child and adult tennis lessons at the courts, and considers that this, coupled with the recent Davis Cup tennis matches played at the Braehead Arena, makes Paisley and Renfrewshire a centre for tennis excellence in Scotland.
Supported by: Jamie Hepburn, Bill Kidd, Sandra White, Rob Gibson, David Torrance, Gil Paterson, Kenneth Gibson, Derek Mackay, Hugh Henry, Richard Lyle, Joan McAlpine, Mike MacKenzie, Stuart McMillan, Neil Bibby, Bob Doris, Humza Yousaf, Drew Smith, Annabelle Ewing

I remember fondly the days of sneaking onto our local tennis club’s courts with our dodgy 1960s wooden rackets and one ball that wouldn’t bounce properly after the place had been locked up for the evening. Had light stopped play in the way it does at Wimbledon, we wouldn’t quite have gotten as many games in!

Balking at the membership costs and knowing fine well that it wasn’t affordable for us was a harsh, early notice that some things in life are out of your reach, things like big yachts, fast cars and a holiday home on a tropical island. I can live with that quite easily but tennis being out of reach for young kids? Surely something can be done there (and it’s worth noting that tennis is free on numerous courts in London) so good on Tennis for Free and George Adam for taking it on.

So there we go, it seems recess has been a welcome break for our MSPs. A bit of clarity, a bit of fresh air and a bit of clarity comes to the fore.

Let’s see if it lasts into next week….