Sunday, September 17, 2006
SMOKING BAN MOTION WAS PUT IN RUTHERGLEN'S NAME WITH WITHOUT ASKING THEM
I have commented previously on the fact that all the motions but 2 at the recent spring conference did not come from constituencies & there had always been a suspicion that, even then, MSPs had used their constituencies to provide cover for Executive policies but I must admit I had not suspected that this was being done without the approval of the constituency in whose name it was done.
It makes the decision by "Maryhill branch" (actually held at a very special meeting miles outside Maryhill) that my Enterprise motion was "too right wing" to debate look even more corrupt than previously.
The Lib Dem adoption of No Smoking as policy back when Paddy Ashdown was leader was also illegal as it was put to the LibDem Conference as coming from the Rutherglen Constituency who had not in fact ever heard of the proposal until the Conference agenda was issued and the LibDem Constitution states that proposals shall not be put forward until or unless they have first been agreed by constituency members. That simply didn't happen. We had discussed and put forward a proposal for health, but it didn't mention smoking. Our whole proposal was 'mislaid' and the no smoking proposal put in its place without reference even to the constituency committee of which I was secretary at the time. It was because of this that I resigned. The LibDems then got Charles Kennedy who as an avid smoker himself didn't countenance a ban, so I guess Labour had to wait until the LibDems got rid of Charles and brought in Ming before they could get full pact agreement for their ban.
If a single MSP had been truly liberal the possibility of having smoke-free and smoking pubs would have been proposed as that way anyone who didn't like smoking could go to a non-smoking pub while smokers could still have been sheltered from Scottish winter weather but this was not even mentioned in the debate instead the MSPs decided to pander to their own petty personal prejudices and to hell with the voters.