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Live webchat with Scotland's first minister Alex Salmond, Tues 15 Feb, 1-2pm

(250 Posts)
GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 10-Feb-11 11:54:55

Scotland's first minister Alex Salmond is our guest for a live webchat on Tues 15 Feb.

Mr Salmond, who is MSP for Gordon, was first elected as MP for Banff and Buchan in 1987, and went on to become leader of the SNP in 2004 and an MSP in May 2007. He stood down as a Westminster MP in the last General Election to concentrate on his role as first minister.

His minority government has just got its final budget before the Scottish elections through the Scottish parliament, after striking a deal with the Lib Dems to boost student funding.

When he's not working, Mr Salmond enjoys horse racing, football, golf and reading.

We're very pleased to welcome him to Mumsnet. Please come and put your questions or, if you can't join him on Tues lunchtime at 1pm, post your question on this thread, as per usual.

Thanks
MNHQ

JosieMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 15-Feb-11 15:05:52

venusandmars Yes, that was a technical error. Really sorry about that.

Aitch Tue 15-Feb-11 15:32:15

oh SHIT. nothing about gaidhlig education at all. sad

Gentleotter Why are a shed load of people not going to vote SNP ?

GentleOtter Tue 15-Feb-11 16:23:40

Because they have been let down, TapsalteerieO.

Because the industry that they have worked at and supported has been sold down the river.

Do you want me to go on?

None of the parties are worthy of votes until they can come up with something far better than the burach that we have now.

I think I will still vote for them, to keep the alternative choices out.

Farmers should start some direct action protests, like French farmers would, you need to get media attention to make a difference IMHO.

GentleOtter Tue 15-Feb-11 17:05:48

Yes, they ought but they won't.

The tenant farms are either being sold off to property developers and new entrants cannot afford the rents and conditions. Who would invest in a farm only to be moved on after 5 or 10 years?

It is more lucrative for landowners to build huge windfarms and to hell with the hill farmer.

The average age of the traditional farmer is in the 'mature' to 'getting on a bit' range and with few to hand the farms on to, plus an Agricultural Law which is untenable, farming will die out.

They tried a protest outside Asda but were served with an injunction.angry

Singinginmychains Tue 15-Feb-11 18:31:36

Forests? sad

Aitch Tue 15-Feb-11 18:51:49

oh dear, no answer came the loud reply on gaidhlig, farming and forestry. not looking good for highland voters.

Singinginmychains Tue 15-Feb-11 18:52:22

Also, he didn't answer my question about privatisation properly. The way I interpret his answer is that he'll only protect our services if the SNP is given 'the normal financial powers of a normal parliament, raising the money we spend rather than relying on dwindling Westminster handouts'. So only if Scotland becomes independent?

But if the SNP does manage to bring in a local income tax, as mentioned above, then we will have the money. Won't we?

Sorry, Mr Salmond. Your answer was disappointing. I wanted you to say that you were against the selling off of our services and assets (eg forests) and that you would make sure it didn't happen in Scotland.

I want so much to have a government in Scotland that is truly on the side of the people of Scotland. Not the property developers or the multi-billionaire owners of global companies who want to buy up the health service. A government that is on the side of little old ladies and their cats. Me.

GentleOtter Tue 15-Feb-11 18:58:52

Singinginmychains for First Minister.

It is the Clearances all over again, Aitch.

Singinginmychains Tue 15-Feb-11 19:16:34

It is, GentleOtter, it really is! But this time it's happening in England, and we don't want it to happen here.

Salmond did say he would protect the unis and care for the elderly. But what does that mean? I am now so sceptical about politicians, after the fast one pulled by the Tories and Lib Dems ...

Well said Singinginmychains.

OooohShiny Tue 15-Feb-11 20:18:57

Can't believe I missed this ......rats

I would have reminded him that his Civil Servants are human beings (and voters) too and maybe the next time he shouldn't ignore the nice gesture I make him, blank and be downright rude to me and then fawn all over someone he sees as 'a typical voter' 2 seconds later hmm

that said, I've been pretty impressed with the rest of them on the whole

SookieD Tue 15-Feb-11 20:53:50

Singingmychains - there's no doubt that of all the parties in Scotland, the SNP is the only one that'll avoid privatisation of public services. If we end up with another Lab/Lib Dem govt, they will almost certainly introduce what is affectionately known as 'modernising' which will doubtless see greater involvement of private sector and certainly introduce some kind of fee for higher education.

It was, after all, the Labour party who were the biggest proponents of PFI/PPP - an absolute scandal that has made consultants and lawyers very very rich and will leave our children still paying for schools in 25 years time. The SNP might not have found a perfect replacement but at least they ended PPP.

Local income tax is something that was only scuppered thanks to the Lib Dems not voting for something that was supposedly a key issue of theirs (it wasn't the right kind of LIT) but irrespective would probably only cover existing council tax income (but in a fairer way) so wouldn't provide that much extra cash. I'm afraid it's true that when you're only responsible for spending the money and can't make changes to different taxes, charges etc to balance the books (which is how every other economy works) then it's always gonna be a bit tricky for any Scottish Government.

So it might not be perfect or give the cast iron guarantees everyone wanted (to be fair, which politician would these days?!) but there's no doubt on the basis of the past records of both Lab and SNP governments in Holyrood that your best bet for keeping public services public has to be the SNP.

Still, you pays your money you takes your choice and all that.

prettybird Wed 16-Feb-11 10:50:32

According to the Scotsman you are a man majorpettigrew hmm

.... a lazy journalist who assumes that our posting names can be used to deduce our sex.

Personally, I think that there were more interesting aspects of the discussion to report (although it was nice that Alex said sorry) - it shows a lack of respect by Andrew Whitaker that there could be a reasoned politicial discussion of a website populated mostly by women.

Thanks for the link Prettybird, cannot believe that is all they picked up on grrrr!

I do think we all have to put more pressure on our MP's to highlight our concerns, when do we ever ask anything of our local MP's? Might be worth forwarding our questions, especially regarding big issues that were brought up here, protecting vital public services, education, farming, roads and travel links, fuel pricing to our local MP's and see what kind of response we get?

prettybird Wed 16-Feb-11 11:00:56

The Herald was much better - I could be biased and say that that was because it was written by a woman wink

crapbarry Wed 16-Feb-11 11:09:30

herald much better, yes - although having the word crap in my username is good for preventing me from being mentioned in the press, clearly

It is good to see some press coverage.

mumm2three Wed 16-Feb-11 15:22:34

I am that mum from the recent meeting Mr Salmond mentioned. Just a couple of corrections, I only have three children & I am actually scottish : )

FannyFifer Wed 16-Feb-11 18:46:50

I've the word Fanny in mine so clearly had no hope, lol

MajorPettigrew Wed 16-Feb-11 22:03:21

Hahahhaha!! grin That's hilarious.
Going to have to get a copy of the paper!!!!

Arse - I can't even tell anyone about it or I'll out myself!

Although, it doesn't seem to have been taken in the tounge in cheek way it was intended. Ho hum

MajorPettigrew Wed 16-Feb-11 22:08:21

TapselteerieO - you are quite right.
It does that the piss that The Scotsman only wrote about the umbrella incident when there was some real issues discussed.

Probably just to try and suggest that the whole discussion was a load of fluff.

Sorry about that - feel a bit guilty now.

gaelicsheep Thu 17-Feb-11 00:26:10

AS did not answer the question about parcel delivery to the Moon the Highlands. He talked about the Royal Mail/Parcelforce, whereas the problem is with private couriers. Also with many firms who use Royal Mail and charge us highlanders extra so they can deliver free to the rest of the UK. I'm disappointed that AS is so badly informed on thus.

RRocks Thu 17-Feb-11 22:31:18

Despite the mention in the Herald, Mr Salmond did not answer the question on what was the effect on Scottish universities of the recent changes in the funding of universities in England. Nor did he say how the government proposed to deal with that - only that it would not involve tuition fees.

They need to do something to bring the Scottish universities up to the funding levels of English universities or their quality will deteriorate.

Why won't he tell the electorate what they propose to do?

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