Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A chance for Alex Salmond to learn.....

I've been to First Minister's Questions a few times now and, to be honest, I'm not thrilled by the panto-esque bollocks that the half hour usually consists of. Alex Salmond to me has never really taken it seriously as a chance to bring his Government to account to Parliament. He rather impatiently and imperiously swats aside questions rather like you or I would swat away a wasp. He's the showman, putting on a performance, rather than a dignified leader of a government.

Well, Tavish Scott isn't prepared to put up with that any more and has laid down a marker that he is not to be messed with.

He asked recently about the redundancy notices issued to staff at the Scottish Faith Council after a threatened withdrawal of Scottish Government funding. Eck blithely responded that it had been resolved. Swat.

Except that the details hadn't quite been ironed out at that point.

What Eck should have said that the Government was actively pursuing a solution and would come back to Parliament with the details at a later point.

This is in the end of the day a storm in a teacup - but it's an important storm to have.

It's not fair to give what is essentially inaccurate information not just to Parliament but to those poor people in fear of their jobs at SIFC.

I would like to see the First Minister learn from this and be a bit less cavalier about what he tells Parliament. If he says something is resolved, put a bit of flesh on the bones - say how and what exactly his Government has done to resolve it.

He needs to show us that he take Parliament seriously and give it the respect it deserves.

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Malc said...

I've been on record as saying what a waste of time FMQs is. Partly because the FM doesn't take it seriously - as you point out - but also because the opposition leaders don't either.

For the year I worked at the Parly I could pretty much write a blog piece on FMQs before it happened and be almost spot on. It's the same every week. Yes, the FM doesn't answer the questions. You all know that. But he doesn't have to. The opposition leaders have to find a way to make him uncomfortable and up until now, that hasn't happened. Though, your boy Tavish has probably gotten closest in recent weeks.

A change of tactic is in order I think.

Malc said...

Actually I should probably point out something reading that back.

I'm not defending the not answering the question. What I am saying is that if you attack him, you know, 9 times out of 10, he's going to answer with poll figures or something.

I know FMQs is about political point scoring, but for the SP to be an effective body, surely it has to be more than that? Surely, the questions AND the answers need to be a way of improving Scotland. Sadly, neither do.


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