29th September 2016
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

List MSP in shadow cabinet

Highlands and Islands Conservative list MSP Douglas Ross has been named in the Ruth Davidson’s shadow cabinet and has vowed to fight against centralisation.

Mr Ross will be shadow cabinet secretary for justice.

The Conservative Party shadow cabinet.

The Conservative Party shadow cabinet.

He said: “I’m delighted that Ruth has invited me to be part of her team during this exciting period for Scottish Conservatives and Scottish politics. At the election we were returned as the main opposition party on a pledge to hold the SNP government to account and I’m looking forward to getting involved in all the areas included in this significant brief.”

Holding the government to account is a job he is relishing. Mr Ross, a former member of the Grampian Joint Police Board and the first chair of Moray Council’s Police and Fire Scrutiny Committee, said: “Our job in opposition is to reign in the minority government if we think their plans overstep the mark and to offer amendments where we think their proposals can be improved.

“I feel the further you get from the central belt the more concerns are raised about centralisation within the justice system. Whether it be the workings of Police Scotland, court closures or many other issues. I aim to ensure that our communities have a strong voice at the heart of Scottish politics standing up for them on justice matters.”

Mr Ross was one of the Tory MSPs elected to Holyrood earlier this month. The party has more than doubled its presence in the parliament and is the largest opposition party.

11 comments

  1. Bill Adams

    Nine men and only two women – not exactly gender balanced.

    Reply
    • iantinkler

      Bill Adams, I can assure you they are for forming an opposition, no more, so gender balance not exactly vital. Mind you, it is fortunate they are not Westminster SNP, MPs. They tend to share their women, and put double-bedroom hotel rooms down as MPs expenses!!!. What panache.

      Reply
    • Duncan Simpson

      What is your point Bill? This gender argument always baffles me. There should be across the board equality for opportunities but expecting (or forcing) a 50-50 split on all jobs/groups/committees, whatever, is just plain ridiculous.

      If there are more men who enter politics there will be more male politicians in the top jobs. Equally if there are more women who enter a certain profession there will (or should) be more women in higher positions.

      Equality certainly is an issue in this country but introducing quotas to force a certain demographic into certain positions is positive discrimination, NOT equality.

      Reply
      • Robert Sim

        I don’t think that it is as simple as you say, Duncan. It is quite clear that there are a number of social pressures, attitudes and expectations which still put limits on women’s capacity to achieve the higher positions which you mention. You don’t even sound too sure of your own argument, as you put a qualifying phrase in brackets when referring to women which you don’t when referring to men. I therefore think Bill highlights an important point and that positive discrimination continues to be required precisely in order to achieve equality.

      • Johan Adamson

        Why is it that there are more women in this country (about 1 million more) and a higher number of white women than white men going to university, yet there are fewer women at the top or in higher paid jobs?

        Obviously, some of the most important jobs are not seen as important and are unpaid or poorly paid

      • Duncan Simpson

        Robert positive discrimination is NOT equality, it is discrimination – the clue is in the title. Nowhere did I say it was simple, I was simply stating that introducing knee-jerk quotas is not the answer.

        The brackets I inserted were to indicate that I don’t know if there are a higher number of women in the top jobs of predominantly female professions but I would expect it to be so.

        The “social pressures, attitudes and expectations” you mention are what need to be addressed, not penalising people/companies for selecting who they think is the best person for the job.

        IMO discrimination is wrong whether it is positive or negative. Gender, skin colour, sexuality, religion etc should have no bearing on whether someone is hired or not.

      • Robert Sim

        Thanks for your response, Duncan, and I agree with you fully that the underlying attitudes need to be tackled.

        I am not sure about whether there are “…a higher number of women in the top jobs of predominantly female professions” – I can’t easily find any specific figures online. I don’t think one can make that assumption, however. The references I can quickly find online state that women are under-represented in senior postions generally.

        However the “top jobs” point usually obscures the more important fact that there is still a gender gap in terms of pay in the UK. According to Engender http://www.engender.org.uk/, for example, the full-time pay gap in Scotland is 12% and the part-time pay gap is 32%. More information can be found at that site. There is a lot of interesting food for thought there.

      • Johan Adamson

        Maybe its changed but I remember when I was at high school Bells Brae was full of female teachers and the one and only male teacher was the head. I know this has changed at Bells Brae but everywhere? The women were kept too busy being great teachers.

        The problem as well is how we value jobs and ways of doing them. We think anyone can be a carer but that just isnt the case, it is a special skill and recognising that and paying it as valuable might help to stop abuse in all its forms, and reward females better in that role (where they are in the right job). Caring is a predominantly female role, but there are many more examples.

        Women also take on other thankless roles with ungrateful bairns and ungrateful husbands. Maybe its like UHA where they are scared there will be no one in the halls if women are allowed in the squads. Let the women up the greasy poles and there will be no one to make the food. To some extent this has happened, with careers bairns and the home take a back seat, and we are chastised and are reigned in again with the pressure that raising bairns and nutrition are some of the most important roles on earth. You failed to get up the aforementioned pole and failed in the adequate housewife department too, good grief, maybe we cant do it all.

      • Gordon Harmer

        There is some amount of hypocrisy out there when it come to gender balance and this link shows not only hypocrisy but ignorance.
        http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/673271/eu-harriet-harman-labour-mp

  2. Gordon Harmer

    I would ask Bill Adams what was the gender balance of those Tories elected to Holyrood and would a gender balanced shadow cabinet have been possible. Or is this nationalist criticism just for the sake of criticism?

    Reply
  3. iantinkler

    “It is quite clear that there are a number of social pressures, attitudes and expectations which still put limits on women’s capacity to achieve the higher positions”. Robert, I think we have , or most of us, left the age of dinosaurs. A few highly suppressed members of the fair sex, blocked by gender from high office. Sturgeon, Davidson, Dugdale and then of couse the blessed Margarette. Slightly further from home, Clinton, Bhutto, Gandhi and Aung San Suu Kyi, so you see Robert, sex is no barrier to climbing that greasy pole, ambition is the name of the game. Off course there are always exceptions, ask Stewart Hosie, SNP MP and Angus MacNeil, SNP MP, about Serena Cowdy, “higher positions” I am not so sure about, but absolutely no discrimination there, share and share about and all at the taxpayers expense.!

    Reply

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