Saturday, 23 October 2010

MSPs Won't Be Happy with This Colleague

Recognise the MSP in the photograph?  I don't, but then again I would know my own list MSPs if I met them in the street.

He is Jackson Carlaw.  As far as I'm aware he is Deputy Chairman of the Scottish Conservatives and he contested the Eastwood constituency at both the 2003 and 2007 Scottish Parliamentary elections.  He didn't succeed but managed to acquire his seat through the part list system.

Mr Carlaw has published a document outlining his view of the Scottish Parliamentary system which he considers is failing and could be improved. He criticised the short working week during which MSPs sit in plenary session for just eight and a half hours and he branded the weekly First Minister's Questions half hour as "tedious verbal torture" with failings on all sides.

Speaking at his party conference he added: "By no means is this a criticism of any MSP or any party.  Nor am I seeking to present myself as some sort of political paragon.  But I do believe Parliament could work harder on behalf of the people of Scotland."

That won't go down well with his fellow MSPs.  Nobody likes to be told they don't give value for money to their customers - particularly by another employee.

Does he have a point?  I don't know, although I can hear every MSP denying this accusation and saying they work harder than anyone else in the country with their constituency work demanding long, arduous hours as well as the burden of their Holyrood commitments.  If that is the case then it's such a shame that so many of our MSPs don't move into the business sector and start creating jobs.  We need more hard working people in the private sector because Scotland needs more job creators.  Without them our economy will be paralysed for years.

As well as hard working individuals we need risk takers, because that's what the private sector do - take risks.  If their risks fail then there's no money in the bank and of course if they succeed they're well rewarded.

If such a theory was attached to every party manifesto - plus the necessity that every promise made should be legally binding - we may see a difference in our politicians.  All right I'm living in La-La land but I can dream now and again.



Dramfineday said...

"the necessity that every promise made should be legally binding" In which case SR, they'd never make promises, merely advisory statements backed up by general principles and overall guidelines operating within the framework of any given box . Politicians need wriggle room like a hang man needs a rope – oh, what an odd thought, tsk, tsk.

Joe Public said...

".....He criticised the short working week during which MSPs sit in plenary session for just eight and a half hours ...."

The electors of Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath have not had their Westminster MP work that many hours in plenary session since 11th May.

subrosa said...

Exactly Dram. That's the way it should be to be fair to the electorate, but as you say they need the facility to be ambiguous at all times.

subrosa said...

Jings Joe, I haven't looked at the hours MPs spend in the Commons. Of course they all say they're working in their offices etc.

I think there ought to be a percentage required for every debate. Wonder how 40% would suit them. That's the figure they put on our vote in 1979.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Regarding their promises being legally binding - having already cheapened commitment to 'promise' they'd simply downgrade that to asperation.

Strathturret said...

I think Mr Carlaw is hardly a star on the Tory benches; and there is not a lot of competition in that area, is there?

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