Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain towards the end of January 2018 for about a month
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Friday, 9 July 2004

Democracy, Labour and the new Scottish Parliament at Holyrood

This is the latest wheeze for Ministers in the Scottish Executive (aka 'government) to insulate themselves from opinions they don't care for.

It is only a few day ago since we read about plan to to restrict, and make pay for, much access by the public (who pay the bills!!) to 'their' Parliament.

The unions don't like it either; even if my views on this are to put it mildly, equivocal, I would have thought a Labour government trying to 'swing' this must be completely and utterly 'barking', although truth be told it sounds to good too be true (and probably is ... sigh).

Naturally, according to Lord David Steel (former Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament and all-round 'good egg' [or so he would have us believe]) whinges himself when he says:

"It is often said that we Scots don't need enemies when we have ourselves.

"These outsiders have provided a wholly different perspective from our home-grown whingers and girners."

Of course, it's not so very long since our illustrious First Minister, Jack McConnell, was being [shall we say] a little too voluble about our neighbours to the south, at least if the words of a spokesman are accurate:

A source close to McConnell said the First Minister "was particularly angered at the level of coverage of the Scottish elections in the UK media last year".

"Basically, it seems that the only time they get interested is when there is a controversy over the Holyrood building," he added.

"That is something that concerns him as First Minister of Scotland. He has raised it with the BBC governors at BBC Scotland and also with the chairman of ITV."

The source went on: "There is a serious level of ignorance in London over what we are doing in Scotland. All they think is that we have made that expensive Parliament building. There is a growing ignorance in 90% of the UK about what is happening in the other 10%."

I give up; a strait-jacket is all I am good for. Calm down!

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