Tomorrow sees the Scottish Parliament hold the third First Minister's question time since the May reshuffle. I don't know about the rest of you, but I don't want to see the same 'SNP Bad' drivel we had last season. I want an FMQ's where the rest of the Parlys in the UK look on and say "See! that's how it should be done."
I was watching an episode of West Wing where the character Sam Seaborn does an "intervention" on his colleague Josh Lyman:
"Get on with the business the voters sent you there to do instead of striking poses and shouting Gotcha"
So this is an intervention
The whole of Scotland wants to see a different sort of question time. We don't need to ape Westminster's manners or methodology. We're different. We are different.
We don't want the under-researched guff that we've been served up in recent weeks. We don't want to see the opposition parties step on a rake that hits them square in the face.
I was utterly embarrassed for Iain Gray when he came out with the womens' highers question. There is no need for this.
Sure, we, the watching public like combat and badinage but we also like to see real questions with proper purpose. If a question is there to further a goal for the people of Scotland, then we'll have all you have of these. If it is an attempt to create outrage on a piffling detail... say about a bridge for example... then shut yer geggie and find a better question that proves you are there to represent your constituents or in the case of list MSPs, your fellow Scots.
We also don't want "would the First Minister agree with me that ..." back-slapping questions from the home team. We can do better.
Let's see some constructive criticism from the opposition benches.
I'm up for anyone being critical if they can engage in being part of the solution.
Lots of the work done in our Parliament is done through committees and there is a great mix of voices there. Ideas are discussed and consensus is sought. We also have opportunities throughout the week for MSP's to quiz our Ministers with portfolio. Lots of the meat and potatoes goes on in those sessions too.
So ahead of this week's FMQs:
We know you hate the SNP, that's a given. But remember why you have a desk in the chamber. You are there to serve the People of Scotland. We don't want a copy of Westminster's PMQs where we get told we are too wee too poor every minute, we want a proper Q&A.
So go do your homework and make it a profitable exchange for you and the Government and stop making wee sound-bite questions designed solely to make the BBC news. We are on to you.
And please stop thumping your desk. Do you know what that does to the T-loop people in the gallery? aaaaaarrrghgghh
This is the only opportunity we get to get your word out. Let's have some probing questions from you too. We want to hear where we are at with projects, what's in the pipeline. C'mon, let's have some of your best stuff.
I look forward to FMQs and I look forward to us getting on with Scottish business...together.