My Scottish friends: promising developments. Make your voices heard NOW

The Finnie bill seeks to abolish the unelected Church representatives on school education committees. It seems that the Labour response, and perhaps others, will be influenced by public reaction; and YOU are the public. The attached letter from Drew Smith, Shadow Cabinet Secretary for the Constitution, shows how important it is right now to respond to the consultation document, at  http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/Bills/69470.aspx, and to write to your MSPs, Constituency and Regional, making your views known. My own response, which may give you a useful starting point, is here.

We have the chance to get rid of the unelected mixture of hellfire fundamentalists, bishops’ puppets, and well-meaning ecclesiastical placemen who now hold the balance of power on 19 of Scotland‘s 32 education Committees. As to why this matters, see here and here and here. This change will not happen without pressure, since no one, least of all those who think they know the way to Heaven, gives up power without a fight; see here for my take on the Churches’ counter-arguments.

Here is Drew Smith’s letter. Note his carefully chosen words: “Whilst I strongly support the principle of local government transparency and accountability, the Bill is currently out for consultation, and I think it would be unfair to prejudge the outcome of this process. I would therefore encourage you to respond to the consultation”. My interpretation; he is sympathetic but needs to convince his colleagues of the balance of electoral advantage.  They, after all, unlike the Church representatives, serve only at the pleasure of the voters:-

Dear Professor Braterman,

Thank you for your recent e-mail regarding the proposed Local Government Accountability and Transparency (Scotland) Bill, put forward by John Finnie MSP. Please accept my sincere apologies for the delay in responding to you.

I understand that the Bill seeks to remove the obligation on local authorities to appoint religious representatives to Education Committees. Whilst I strongly support the principle of local government transparency and accountability, the Bill is currently out for consultation, and I think it would be unfair to prejudge the outcome of this process.

I would therefore encourage you to respond to the consultation, which closes on 27 January 2013, to make your views known. I have attached the consultation for your information, and further information regarding the proposed Bill and consultation process can be accessed on the Scottish Parliament website: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/Bills/69470.aspx.

Please be assured that I will look to the consultation and give careful consideration to all views expressed on this matter before reaching a decision on whether or not to support a bill, if it is brought forward by Mr Finnie.

Thank you for taking the time to contact me about this important issue, and I hope you will accept my apologies, once again, for the delay in responding to you.

Kind regards,

Drew Smith MSP

A new voice for Glasgow
http://www.drewsmith.org.uk

Shadow Cabinet Secretary for the Constitution
Scottish Labour Party

Glasgow Region Parliamentary Office │ Scottish Trades Union Centre │ 333 Woodlands Road │ Glasgow G3 6NG
telephone: 0141 218 46 46 │ facebook: Drew Smith for Glasgow │ twitter: @DrewSm1th

About Paul Braterman

Science writer, former chemistry professor; committee member British Centre for Science Education; board member and science adviser Scottish Secular Society; former member editorial board, Origins of Life, and associate, NASA Astrobiology Insitute; first popsci book, From Stars to Stalagmites 2012

Posted on December 11, 2013, in Education, Politics, Religion, Scotland and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on My Scottish friends: promising developments. Make your voices heard NOW.

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