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Last Updated: Saturday, 26 November 2005, 17:10 GMT
Hoodie goodie for first minister
Jack McConnell with hoodie
The first minister was presented with a personalised "FM" hoodie
First Minister Jack McConnell has been presented with his own hoodie by the Scottish Youth Parliament as it debated the controversial clothing item.

Deciding on whether wearing hooded tops constituted anti-social behaviour, members voted 'yes' by putting their hoods up and 'no' by keeping them down.

A vast majority of the 14-25-year-olds voted in favour of hoodies.

Chairman Rajiv Joshi said he hoped Mr McConnell would take members' views into account and wear his "FM" hoodie.

Young people feel unfairly labelled as 'neds' simply because they choose one item of clothing over another
Rajiv Joshi
Scottish Youth Parliament

"Wearing a hoodie is more about fashion than fascism," Rajiv said.

"Young people feel unfairly labelled as 'neds' simply because they choose one item of clothing over another.

"I hope that the first minister will take on board the views of Scotland's young people and we look forward to seeing him wearing his new hoodie."

Young parliamentarians also presented Mr McConnell with a campaign document, "Louder than Words", setting out policies they would like to see adopted throughout Scotland including:

  • lowering the voting age to 16
  • giving free TV licences to all young people in full-time education
  • offering reduced rates for access to leisure and health centres
  • offering free travel on all public transport for people under 18

The conference was held in Edinburgh's City Chambers on Saturday and continues in the Scottish Parliament on Sunday.

Asylum seekers

Saturday's speakers included Mr McConnell, Kumi Naidoo, secretary general of CIVICUS (World Alliance for Citizen Participation) and Judith Robertson, chief executive of Oxfam Scotland.

On Sunday, the youth parliament was due to discuss whether children of asylum seekers should be treated as criminals; whether 24-hour opening would stop binge drinking and how successful the Make Poverty History campaign has been.

Kumi Naidoo was due to address the parliament again, in his role as head of Global Call to Action against Poverty.

Kathleen Marshall, Scotland's children's commissioner and Robert Brown, Deputy Minister for Young People, have also been scheduled to speak.

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