On Wednesday there was heated debate in the Scottish Parliament when Labour and the Greens united in an attempt to stop the parliament functioning on 30 November. Labour and the Greens wanted a gesture of 'solidarity' with the reported two million workers who are gearing up up for the biggest day of industrial unrest since the 1979 Winter of Discontent, in protest at the UK Government's plans to change pension provisions.
However, their proposal was defeated as the Government motion, scheduling a debate on public pensions for 30 November, was carried by 83 votes to 36 with one abstention.
Bruce Crawford, the parliamentary business manager, insisted MSPs should come to work as usual and debate the issues causing the strikes. I concur with his statement:
''We recognise that this is an extremely challenging time for the public sector workers. We have sympathy with the substance of the concerns of the public sector workers and join with them in urging the UK Government to think again.''
He said debating public sector pensions on November 30 was ''the perfect opportunity to shine the light on the failings'' of the pensions policy.
''Let me conclude by saying that the purpose of this parliament is to provide the forum and the focus for debate on issues that matter to the people of Scotland."
The Presiding Officer said the parliament would function as normal, although Labour MSPs have said they will not attend Holyrood on the day of the strike. Good government, although it would be even better if Labour MSPs lost a day's pay for refusing to do their duty and present themselves in parliament to make their case.
Maybe a few Labour MSPs are planning a trip to the European Parliament which has a subsidy scheme to pay the travel expenses of visitors to the parliament. Seriously, this parliament has given payments of €55,236, in cash, to four cases which were audited. According to the auditors, 78% of the total payments made to groups of visitors in 2010 were made in cash. Individuals received a meal subsidy of €35 and a 'small' travel subsidy - an example being €90 for a trip from London to Brussels.
The description bad is too generous for the EP.
Should you wish a wee trip to Brussels, at other taxpayer's expense, contact your MEP.