Who would have thought Iain Gray's questions this week would be concerning bloggers, in a week when Scotland biggest airline collapsed leaving thousands stranded or unable to visit friends/family over Christmas and when in Copenhagen the news isn't particularly positive, even after Alex Salmond's visit. Iain Gray's attack on independence supporting bloggers was to be expected. After all, the Herald this morning states '...has the effect of injecting accountability into the blogosphere, it will be of benefit of all who value truth over political expediency.' How many politicians are guided by expediency rather than principle?
Annabelle Goldie questioned the waiting times at Stracathro Hospital now that it had returned to NHS control. I've experienced the excellent care at Stracathro and even I could have told her the private organisation withdrew from their contract and that is the reason it was returned to NHS control, not vice versa. It's not a hospital which is used by all because of the access. Although buses run regularly from Brechin, Forfar and Dundee, Stracathro is what is commonly referred to as 'in the middle of nowhere' and I suspect the majority of patients attending clinics or for surgery would have their own transport. The FM refused Ms Goldie's criticism that waiting times at the hospital had increased.
Tavish Scott centred on the NHS too, but the top salary earners and their bonuses. He wished to know if the First Minister intended to cut bonuses given to senior consultants. Alex Salmond's response was short and snappy. The last labour/libdem administration had initiated these contracts and Mr Scott partook in their design. The First Minister suggested he would be willing to look at the issue in due course.
There was little, if any, Christmas spirit in the chamber today and the level of debate was pedestrian.
I wish each and every MSP a Happy Christmas and a Guid New Year.