By chance I heard First Ministers Question time on the Radio this week. It was pretty embarrassing. Ian Grey said that Alex had been to a Fortune Teller. He knew because the said Fortune Teller had a pic of Alex on her advertising board outside of her caravan. Alex agreed he had been and suggested that she had predicted the SNP would gain a huge majority at the election. And lo it came to pass. Ian then said maybe he should go too so he could find out Alex’s plans and costings for an Independent Scotland.
All very droll and there was a hint of real humour. The problem was that this was accompanied by the massed ranks of each party cheering, jeering, banging their desks, laughing falsely and very loudly and generally behaving like a class at school when the teacher is out of the room.
It was unpleasant in one major and dangerous way. It sounded like Westminster. It sounded like the bun fight that is Westminster. Confrontational, staged, managed, whipped and very old fashioned.
Our Parliament is in Edinburgh which isn’t London. Our Parliament is still very new thankfully, since we could maybe nip this way of debating in the bud now as it were.
Surely we do not want our MSPs aping Westminster behavior. Do we not need our MSPs to adopt a style of debating which is respectful, restrained and dignified? We need active debating but not adversarial do we not?
Building a new Scotland has started. It started the moment all the votes were in and the SNP were clearly in charge. Building a new Scotland means that everything, and I mean everything is up for grabs. What a wonderful position to be in.
However, the debate in Scotland on how we would like our country to be in the future hasn’t really started. Alex could do worse than to start putting a framework together to engage with everyone in Scotland.
Let us all take part and help shape our nation. Unionists need not apply unless they are going to be positive. Negativity should not be part of the new Scotland.