THE NEW PARTY - Scottish Parliament Suffers Democracy Breakdown

From: The New Party
Published: Wed May 25 2005

The Scottish Parliament's Public Petitions Committee today refused to hear seven petitions which had been submitted by the New Party. In a two minute manoeuvre, which had clearly been pre-planned, they broke with normal procedure and put the seven petitions, submitted over a three week period, into a single group. Several members of the committee then supported a motion by the committee chairman Michael McMahon MSP that the petitions be closed down without either looking at the issues raised or the background information which had been supplied.

New Party Director of Policy, Dr Jonathan Lockhart:
"We brought these issues to the table in good faith expecting that the Committee would treat them on merit. Instead they shut them out without an explanation and with no regard to the amount of work that had been carried out."

Even although the committee had to admit that all seven petitions were within the competency of the Scottish Parliament it was clear that they were determined to stop a political rival setting their agenda. Their failure to move away from cheap political posturing to consider well researched and much needed initiatives further underlines the lack of value being delivered to the Scottish people by this hugely expensive talking shop. Although the Scottish Parliament was established in an attempt to improve the democratic process, it is clear that it has simply become a vehicle for the political elite to extend their stranglehold on power.

The petitions were;
• PE835: cut Scottish income tax by 3% to stimulate economy and carry out feasibility study on introducing Flat Tax in Scotland
• PE843: introduce compulsory mediation for patient claims against the NHS in Scotland
• PE844: require local authorities to sell council houses which have been empty for more than 6 months to the highest bidder
• PE845: suspend the requirement for planning permission for new houses where sustainable jobs will be created
• PE846: create industry funded debt remedial service to tackle problem loans
• PE851: make local authorities and the Scottish Executive legally responsible for the safe condition of public roads
• PE852: fund private medical insurance for all Scottish citizens


1. the text of each petition along with a brief explanation can be read as a single pdf document at
2. Scottish Parliament Public Petitions Committee agenda for today is available online at
3. the Petitions Committee did not permit the New Party to speak in support of its petitions although New Party representatives were present at the hearing.
4. Members of the press wishing to interview a New Party spokesman are asked to contact our media department on 01506 602 700 or after hours on 07742 526 186
5. the broadcast archive will be available within 24 hours at§ion=43&title=Public+Petitions

Company: The New Party
Contact Name: Martyn Greene
Contact Email:
Contact Phone: 07742 526 186

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