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Speeches since 2019

11/10/2022 | 19:09:51 Thank you. Thank you, Madam Chair. I am disappointed that some colleagues on the right of the debate have approached this report in the negative and defensive manner which they have. At a particular, that they have tried to suggest that what we are discussing is somehow related to freedom of speech, or indeed an attempt to curtail a critical discussion about the role of religion in society. That is not what we are discussing. Islamophobia is the discrimination against and depression of people... 22/06/2022 | 11:13:45 Thank you, Madam Chair. I am grateful for the opportunity to speak in support of this report and to add my voice to calls for greater action to be taken to combat antisemitism across our continent. It is true of course that we must never forget the Holocaust, but we must also be clear that this is not just a historic problem. This is happening right here, right now, in the communities across our nation states. It is a particularly pernicious philosophy because not only does it manifest in... 26/04/2022 | 18:35:25 Thank you Ms President. Capitalism creates inequality. I say that not as a judgment but as a matter of fact. That means that those of us concerned with framing public policy to reduce inequality and eradicate poverty need to be concerned first and foremost with the mitigation and regulation of the economy. Now perhaps, the greatest instrument of mitigation available to any of our states is that of taxation, where we collect resources from private individuals and corporations and we deploy... 28/01/2020 | 17:53:15 Thank you, Madam President. May I begin by congratulating and commending my friend and colleague Lord George FOULKES for a superlative report and say how much I agree with its recommendations. In particular, I agree with the central tenet running through this report, which is that a free press is an essential pillar for the functioning of a proper democratic system. I think there are three main roles that our free press has to play. The first is the provision of unbiased, impartial... 25/06/2019 | 18:18:44 Thank you Chair. Scotland is a relatively small country of just over 5 million people. But every week, in Scotland there are more than one thousand incidents of domestic abuse reported to the police. In more than 80% of these incidents, the victim is a woman. In more than 99% of those cases the perpetrator is a man. So what we have is a systemic, endemic, campaign of violence against women by men in our country. To a greater or lesser degree, that campaign is replicated in every other country... 23/01/2019 | 16:34:56 I fully agree that a free press is an essential prerequisite for a democratic society. By “free”, I mean it should be free to criticise and hold to account those in power and should have an obligation to provide the fullest information to citizens so that they can make informed choices. But what do we do when the press is free but nor fair? Let me illustrate through personal example. I represent the Scottish National Party, the largest party in Scotland. We are a left-of-centre organisation... 22/01/2019 | 11:32:03 In Scotland, over the last five years, we have had two referendums. One in 2014 on Scotland becoming an independent country, and one in 2016 when we voted, as part of the United Kingdom, on whether to leave the European Union. The differences between these two votes are striking, and we can learn a lot from them. In 2014, the referendum came about only after the election of a Scottish Parliament with a majority of members committed to Scottish independence. It became the policy of the...