Andy Wightman’s success at getting ‘Amendment 53’ approved in the Scottish Parliament last night, leading to the immediate (but temporary) ban on muirburn across Scotland (see here), has caused some within the grouse shooting world to, how shall we call it, lose their shit.
The vitriol and personal abuse being aimed at Andy on social media is really quite telling and if ever you wanted to see examples of how the mask can slip on people who have previously purported to be ‘voices of reason’ then you need look no further. Then there are the ones who are so out of control they’ve never even tried to appear reasonable and whose tirades of hatred continue without pause for rational thought (or to consider the potential for having their firearms and shotgun certificates removed).
[Muriburn, photo by Ruth Tingay]
For the more sensible, here is a copy of the transcript relating to Andy’s proposed amendment, the ‘debate’ it generated (a bit of ignorance and abuse from Murdo Fraser MSP & a bit of informed support from Michael Russell MSP) and the subsequent vote: amendment 53_debate and vote
Amendment 53 was passed 59 votes to 17.
It’s interesting and almost entirely predictable (with one small surprise – [Ed: please now see update at foot of blog]) to see who voted for and against:
UPDATE 3rd April 2020: Please read the comments section on this blog. A blog reader contacted Shirley-Anne Somerville’s office about this vote and received the following in return:
Response from Shirley-Anne Somerville’s Office Manager:
Thank you getting in touch with Shirley-Anne, she has asked me to reply on her behalf.
Shirley-Anne fully supports Amendment 53, in line with the rest of her Scottish Government and SNP colleagues. There appears to be some confusion about the voting, the official record on the Scottish Parliament website indicated to me that Shirley-Anne did in fact vote for the amendment. I have attached a screenshot of the voting record search I performed a short time ago.
Should, when the official reports be published and there has been any kind of error of sorts, Shirley-Anne would only have voted against this amendment purely by mistake and accidentally pushed the wrong voting button.
I hope this helps to clarify things, should you have any other matter you wish to raise, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
MSP for Dunfermline