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Archive for March 1st, 2008

Holyrood

I have been to the Scottish Parliament before on several occasions. It is a much nicer building inside than out, with many very unique and unusual features. The main chamber is particularly stunning. From the outside the building can look very severe, and less than inspiring.

Recently, I was asked to give evidence to a Parliamentry Committee, which was a really interesting thing to do. The Committee rooms are of an extraordinary design: imagine a table in the shape of a doughnut, and then pull and stretch it a bit, and you have the idea. High quality wooden finish.    An example here.

We witnesses sat round the end of one of these tables, and the MSPs (cross party representation) and officials sat round the other end. There was a technical person next to me working the microphones and cameras, for the whole session was made available on the parliamentry website. The politicians were quite a way away from us, which was a surprise, as I thought a closer arrangement might have been more appropriate. But perhaps we needed the distance to keep things formal – this was official parliamentry business after all.

Questions from the MSPs were reasonably good, and we were all given plenty of time to make our various points. There will be a report produced at some point, as well as a verbatim record of proceedings on paper and cd.    I hope our collective opinions were useful.

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