I have a constructive suggestion to make before we delve into the murky world of Holyrood motions this week and it is a suggestion regarding the winner of our Worst Motion of the Week prize.

How about, instead of whatever interjection SNP MSP Kenneth Gibson deigns to make at the Scottish Parliament each week, be it spoken, a Parliamentary Question or a motion, we replace it instead with a (short) burst of bagpipe strains. On recent evidence, it would be of similar value.

Take this week’s winning WMOTW:

Short Title: Forward to Independence
S4M-02210 Kenneth Gibson () (Scottish National Party): That the Parliament notes the increasing collaboration between the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties in Scotland; regrets that their only shared vision appears to be in uniting to stifle and hold back any ambition for Scotland to take what is considered its rightful place among the independent nations of the world, and believes that this “can’t do” attitude will be resoundingly defeated when Scotland votes Yes in the independence referendum.

Or, put another way, harummmmmm, (*hang on, I’ll just get this shanter up and running*), harrummmm, rummm, dee dum, dum dee dum….

Dare I suggest that he is simply peddling the line that those other parties are being anti-Scottish? The motion is not seeking to make Scotland a better place and has a hollowness and emptiness to it that I wager even the author would not deny. It’s a lazy kick at rival parties draped in a Scottish flag and it should have no place at the Parliament. It is worth noting that “motions are used by MSPs as a device to initiate debate or propose a course of action”, of which this seeks to achieve neither.

Now, I don’t often get to watch First Minister Questions so I’ll confess to being a little bit disappointed that upon hearing this question put forward by Kenny G, a question that resulted in embarrassed guffaws from the First Minister, the MSP for Cunninghame was not dressed in a kilt with a face painted purple when he delivered his pro-independence diatribe in the question after Willie Rennie’s (transcript not yet available).

Indeed, Kenny’s been on something of a roll recently, following on from early promise in his halcyon Crap Holyrood Chat days, and this week is no different. Here are a couple more still waters that he has clubbed a clumsy oar into:

S4M-02266 Kenneth Gibson () (Scottish National Party): That the Parliament notes the twelfth anniversary of the presentation of a declaration with 50,000 signatories in favour of the establishment of a Cornish assembly, equating to more than 10% of the adult population of Cornwall, launched by Mebyon Kernow on St Piran’s Day, 5 March 2000; understands that this declaration received support from Cornish people of various political backgrounds and persuasions, and calls on the UK Government to establish a Cornish assembly to allow for direct democratic control of Cornish affairs.

which attracted this amendment:

S4M-02266.1 Liam McArthur () (Scottish Liberal Democrats): As an amendment to motion S4W-02266 in the name of Kenneth Gibson (50,000 Call for a Cornish Assembly), leave out from “launched” to end and insert “and believes that, in the spirit of respect, decisions about the future of Cornwall should be left to the government and to the people of Cornwall rather than the Scottish Parliament, and considers that motion S4M-01381 in the name of Kenneth Gibson also seeks to interfere in the governance arrangements of Italy and Greece.”

And another….:

Motion S4M-02203: Kenneth Gibson, Cunninghame North, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 02/03/2012
Labour’s Free University Education Confusion

That the Parliament notes with concern the comments made by the former MSP, Des McNulty, in his online Scotsman article on 29 February 2012 regarding the Scottish Government’s commitment to providing free university education; understands that, as Labour’s education spokesperson, Mr McNulty campaigned on the promise “with Scottish Labour, there will be no up-front or back-end tuition fees for Scottish university students” but now pursues the reintroduction of fees; finds it deeply troubling that, less than 10 months after campaigning to uphold the proud Scottish tradition of free higher education, Mr McNulty appears to have so reversed his position; believes that, had Labour won the 2011 Scottish Parliament election, fee paying policies would now be being pursued, and therefore considers that the Scottish Labour Party is not trustworthy on the issue of university fees and that, following what is considered its inability to form a coherent policy on the matter, only the Scottish National Party can be trusted by students, parents and the university sector to deliver world-class higher education based not on the ability to pay, but the ability to learn.

And indeed another….:

Motion S4M-02263: Kenneth Gibson, Cunninghame North, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 08/03/2012
No Spanish Veto

That the Parliament recognises the statement made by the Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, José García-Margallo, regarding how Spain would vote on an independent Scotland’s membership of the EU; acknowledges Mr García-Margallo’s denial of any suggestion of a Spanish veto of an independent Scotland’s EU membership, with the newspaper Diario Vasco reporting on 24 February 2012 his comment that “if in the UK both parties agree that this is consistent with their constitutional order, written or unwritten, Spain would have nothing to say, just that this does not affect us. No one would object to a consented independence of Scotland”; welcomes the Spanish foreign minister’s statement on this point, especially after rumours suggesting that Spain would veto Scottish EU membership in order to discourage Catalan and Basque independence; appreciates the clarification from Mr García-Margallo that Spain would not veto an independent Scotland’s membership of the EU, but would instead support the sovereign decision of Scottish voters to remain members.
Supported by: Humza Yousaf, David Torrance, Dennis Robertson, Willie Coffey, Margaret Burgess, Rob Gibson, Richard Lyle, Adam Ingram, Roderick Campbell, Bill Walker, Mike MacKenzie, Sandra White, Bob Doris, Kevin Stewart, Bill Kidd, Colin Beattie

Kenny Gibson is close to achieving a lifetime achievement award for poor Holyrood motions at the tender age of 50 and with four long years of this Holyrood term to go.

I maintain therefore that we’d save ourselves a lot of money and a good bit of hot air by having 128 MSPs and simply a set of bagpipes as the representative for Cunninghame North.

Not to be too negative this week, there were two Best Motions of the Week that bubbled to the surface and are well worth sharing:

Motion S4M-02225: John Finnie, Highlands and Islands, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 06/03/2012
Blacklist of Construction Workers

That the Parliament notes with concern reports suggesting the existence of a so-called blacklist of construction workers who have, as a consequence of participating in trade union activities, been identified as troublesome; understands that an investigation by the Information Commissioner’s Office has concluded that the list contains information that could only have been provided by the police or security services; believes that, should it have taken place, such collusion is completely unacceptable, and condemns any companies or organisations that participate in the creation or use of such blacklists.
Supported by: David Torrance, Mike MacKenzie, Stuart McMillan, Rob Gibson, Christina McKelvie, Kevin Stewart, Dave Thompson, Bill Kidd, Bill Walker, Richard Lyle, John Wilson, Hugh Henry, Gordon MacDonald, Dennis Robertson, Chic Brodie, Patrick Harvie, John Park, Colin Beattie, Joan McAlpine, Humza Yousaf, Jean Urquhart, Adam Ingram, Jamie Hepburn, Fiona McLeod, Annabelle Ewing, Sandra White, Margaret Burgess, Linda Fabiani, Maureen Watt

Motion S4M-02225.1: Drew Smith, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 08/03/2012
Blacklist of Construction Workers

As an amendment to motion S4M-02225 in the name of John Finnie (Blacklist of Construction Workers), insert at end “, and calls on the Scottish Government to report to the Parliament on the question of whether territorial police forces or other agencies in Scotland have been involved in collating or passing on information that has been used to inform blacklists.”
Supported by: Helen Eadie, Iain Gray, Patrick Harvie, Anne McTaggart, Neil Bibby, David Stewart, Neil Findlay, Hanzala Malik, Patricia Ferguson, John Park, Hugh Henry