Black Dog

Article excerpt

Tiniest glimpse of democracy

OPENNESS was one of the founding principles of the Scottish parliament and was supposed to be at the heart of all its activities.

Tell that to the visitors and tourists who visited Holyrood on Thursday to attend First Minister's Questions.

Thanks to the debating chamber being closed due to dodgy construction work, MSPs crammed into a committee room on the top floor, while the public and press had to watch proceedings in another room, four floors down, on a TV screen not much bigger than those found in people's homes.

Oh well, the state-of-the-art Holyrood building only cost the taxpayer [pounds sterling]431million.

MOVING tributes were paid to Margaret Ewing, a member of Scotland's most enduring political dynasty, at her funeral yesterday. The 60-year-old Nationalist MSP, who died of breast cancer last Tuesday, was remembered with affection by members of all parties - except one prominent LibDem MSP.

This member, on the day after her death, tried to block a Holyrood motion of condolence being heard, questioning the amount of parliamentary time that would be spent on it.

HAS Deputy First Minister Nicol Stephen been listening to too many speeches by US President George W Bush?

Dog only asks after reading an intriguing quote from Mr Stephen in Insider magazine: 'A lot of the future is ahead of us.'

Kirstyscores a hit at last - in Canada

AT least someone likes The Holyrood Files, Kirsty Wark's dreary documentary about the Scottish parliament building.

Here it was given a critical drubbing when shown on TV and a film version had only a small-scale release before sinking without a trace. …