As a fairly regular watcher of Scottish First Minister’s Questions (FMQs), I am growing more and more concerned with the way it is being handled.
FMQs is an opportunity for MSPs to hold Alex Salmond, our First Minister, to account and is a valuable part of the democratic process.
However, there is more and more evidence of Mr Salmond completely ignoring questions put to him. Instead of answering the question in a straightforward, honourable way he embarks on a tirade against the questioner.
This behaviour always goes unchecked by the Presiding Officer. He is never told by her: “Please behave yourself and answer the question.”
Last Thursday’s FMQs was a case in point, when clear questions from the three main opposition party leaders went unanswered. These were important questions which I for one would have liked to have heard answers to.
The Presiding Officer, Tricia Marwick, seems to be oblivious as to what is going on and allows her boss to behave in a manner which I think is totally unfitting for our parliament.
It is her duty to maintain the dignity of parliament and ensure that members of the parliament do not abuse their positions or the chamber.
Can I suggest new year’s resolutions for both Tricia Marwick and Alex Salmond?
Both should take a good look at themselves and ask if they are carrying out their duties in a way which makes us proud of our parliament and the way business is conducted therein.