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MSP Colin Smyth on lockdown with two small children, Holyrood's failures and a spat with Sturgeon

COLIN SMYTH has been talking about life in lockdown with two young children, his frustration at Holyrood's handling of the Coronavirus crisis and a spat with Nicola Sturgeon. The South Scotland Labour MSP talked to Holyrood magazine about home schooling daughters Evie, 4, and Hannah, 6. "You try your best to keep as much of the grim news away from the kids as you can, but they deserve to know why they can't see their friends at school and nursery or visit granny and grandad. "My home teaching report card will say “could do better”. But what do you do on a Monday morning when on a laptop in one room ploughing through the growing avalanche of constituents' casework on subjects that didn't exist two months ago and my wife, Victoria, who is a teacher, is stuck on a laptop in another room making the life-changing decisions ‘projecting exam results." He is also frustrated by what he sees as Holyrood's decision to lock itself down, shunning full-scale debate in favour of limited operations via virtual meetings. "It has been a bystander in this crisis. As the pandemic took hold, it went into recess for two weeks. Calls for its recall, even virtually, were brushed aside. "I took to Twitter to vent my frustration, asking if I should just rely on Call Kaye on Radio Scotland to put a question to the First Minister. "In a fit of FM rage, Nicola Sturgeon tweeted back, why don't you just 'email me directly'. Her reply was deleted in minutes. She knew I'd never get replies to those emails." He is under no illusion about the gravity of the situation. "This is a national crisis. There is a unity of determination from MSPs across political parties to set aside differences and work in the national interest. That means giving the support the government needs in the tough decisions they have to make. But it also means holding them to account. That includes bringing to parliament what is happening in the real world from the experiences of our constituents." See https://www.holyrood.com for full article.

<< back Published: 26 May 2020, 10:28

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