It was supposed to be a celebration of 10 years of Holyrood, instead we had the sight of empty seats as nearly half of the SNP’s MSP’s failed to turn up for what should have been their celebration. As the Times puts it.
What a lamentable affair. A day that should have been rich in ceremony, and joyful in celebration turned into a limp and vacuous occasion, with more than a third of the MSPs whose role we were meant to be applauding, simply absent. The tenth anniversary of the Scottish Parliament, snubbed by its own members, turned into an ill-mannered comment on the democracy they represent.
Quite what the Queen made of it was hard to see. Her voice was distinctly croaky, her expression inscrutable. She peered through her spectacles at the empty seats wondering, just possibly, whether she had got the date right. The Duke of Edinburgh looked round him with cheerful resignation, as if to say: you chumps have made a bit of cock-up, haven’t you?
The Queen added a touch of reality to the proceedings by saying
“Your challenge … is to ensure that [the Parliament] continues to reflect the priorities and aspirations of all Scotland’s people (her emphasis) and to retain the public’s confidence and trust.”
Maybe a slight dig there at Alex Salmond and how many people really want Independence.
Alex Salmond also made a speech, according to the Times
To add insult to injury, Alex Salmond, in his speech, had the temerity to mock Westminster. He suggested that the Queen might find some “words of encouragement for another parliament elsewhere” – a bad joke at the best of times. Any suggestion that Holyrood enjoys some moral superiority over the House of Commons was wiped out yesterday. Over the Queen’s face, as Mr Salmond made his comment, there passed the merest shadow of a grimace. Some of of us felt something far worse.
All in all it sounds like a very poor celebration.
Want to know why the MSP’s couldn’t attend have a look here for the full details.
Makes for interesting reading on what our MSP’s are up to. By the way I’m interpreting Constituency Business as “Couldn’t be arsed to turn-up”.
My local MSP, Mike Rumbles, is apparently on holiday in Italy, though the Dordogne seems to be the favoured hidey-hole of MSP’s taking advantage of cheap prices before the kids are on holiday.
The SNP appear to have 7 MSP”s who had “no reason” not to be there. An appalling indictment of their commitment to Holyrood.
Strangely it is the Conservatives who have the best attendance record, pehaps this more because of the respect they have for the Queen rather than for any other reason.
Truly a poor show from all our MSP’s on what should have been a celebration day.