Just what Holyrood needs - an investigative journalist - Brian Wilson

There have been some very good maiden speeches at Holyrood over the past few weeks – including several by MSPs with real-life, first-hand knowledge of their subjects, which is always a help.

Russell Findlay MSP Conservative has delivered his maiden speech in Holyrood.

Labour’s Pam Duncan-Glancy on disability and the SNP’s Emma Roddick on mental health were good examples. These are policy areas in which there should be plenty room for cross-party working.

However, I suspect the “specialist” speech which might have jolted Ministers and civil servants came from the new Tory MSP, Russell Findlay, who has made the unusual transition from investigative journalism to politics. He knows where the bodies are buried.

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Mr Findlay’s opening salvo, alleging that “injustice is rife in modern Scotland” deserves at least as much cross-party concensus as the aforementioned subjects - because we should all be against injustice, should we not? But a lot of vested interests might take a different view.

Mr Findlay declared: “While injustices will always occur, they are compounded when there is no redress and no accountability. Too often, public bodies use unlimited funds to crush legitimate complaints, wage war on whistleblowers and use non-disclosure agreements to hide the ugly truth from the paying public. Bad faith, back covering and secrecy contaminate too many of our institutions.”

I look forward to Mr Findlay elaborating often and in detail. The forensic skills of journalism – particularly in his specialism of investigating organised crime – are all too rare at Holyrood

Worryingly for Ministers, there is nobody else to blame. As Mr Findlay said: “The injustices I am speaking about are entirely made in Scotland. This Parliament has the power to fix them”. Can we have cross-party support for that?

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