Parliamentary Conduct

The behaviour of MSPs in Parliament has deteriorated to such an extent that not only has First Minister’s Questions on Thursdays become half-an-hour of ritualised invective from political leaders, but this atmosphere has seeped into Chamber debates, such as the recent one on college education, and even committees.

Politicians name-call across the Chamber and while asking or taking questions. The latest tactic is to persistently question human errors for which an MSP has clearly apologised. Disrespect has extended to bad-mouthing the Presiding Officer in the chair, previously unheard of.

Some of this behaviour, I believe, stems from opposition parties’ inability to overcome the Scottish Government in votes. It must stop. Visitors from abroad and our own schoolchildren visit the Parliament daily and witness appalling conduct. We must restore decent and courteous practices in this Parliament for which many fought so long and hard through their desire to nurture and develop a better Scotland.

The above was originally written for Bill’s Dunfermline Press column. This version may vary slightly

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