Tuesday, 9 December 2008
Proud of Yourself Mr Welsh?
The Sunday Post reports that my local MSP Andrew Welsh managed to reduce two female civil servants to tears (not on the online edition I'm afraid)after a 30 minute rant during a Scottish Parliament Committee Meeting.
First of all, Mr Welsh is reported to have been upset that he had not received a report on Free Personal Care prior to the meeting. He was obliged to retract this after one of the civil servants pointed out she had hand delivered it to him six days before.
The report continues "Then, as he read the paper, the MSP's fury apparently boiled over as he accused the clerks who had written it of politicising the content."
Lord Foulkes is quoted as saying "he went off on a rant and said it had been polticised. He claimed the clerks hadn't reflected the views of the committee but would not explain what he meant by that."
"The clerks were reduced to tears by the end, one quite badly. I've never seen anything like it and I've been in politics for over 30 years."
The report goes on "Paisley South MSP Hugh Henry asked several people he considered not required there to be there to leave the room when the clerks broke down but stopped short of adjourning the meeting."
In the seven years I have worked at the Scottish Parliament, I have seen a few MSP's go into a bit of a strop. That said, I have never, ever, encountered such pathetic, bullying behaviour such as this.
I have always found Parliamentary clerks to be very non-political and professional, but even if on this occasion, this was not the case, is there any excuse for this kind of Victorian behaviour?
I hope Mr Welsh does the decent thing and makes not only a public apology over this disgraceful episode, but also writes to the two clerks concerned and apologises to them also. If he is not man enough for that, then one of his senior colleagues should 'encourage' him to do so. If not, do they condone this kind of thing?