Scottish Parliament Site: “From 2 July - 4 September 2011 (inclusive) the Parliament will be in recess. During recess no Parliamentary business takes place .”
I make that 65 days of continuous holiday, during which “no Parliamentary business takes place .” In other words, the issues that concern the nation won’t be debated, and there will be virtually no media coverage of the doings of our elected representatives, since our lazy Scottish media, celebrity and sports-obsessed, won’t get off their arses and cover the worthy work we are earnestly assured our MSPs are beavering away at during their hard-earned break. (I await the squeals of outrage eagerly.)
Of course, the world has conveniently stopped to permit this break, paralleled by a similar Westminster break to permit our MPs to frolic in sunny Italy in expensive villas. There are no soldiers dying, no economies teetering on the brink of disaster, no hospital struggling to stem the tide of alcohol and drug abuse victims, no crime, no voters at the point of despair because of the threats to their homes, livelihoods, futures and in some cases, sanity.
Life and injustice have taken a 65-day vacation to permit our politicians, affluent and well-remunerated, to draw breath from their toils. And of course, it coincides nicely with the school holidays for politicians with families, unlike the unfortunate electorate, who work in jobs where the world won’t stay in convenient freeze frame - the police, the emergency services, the caring services, the National Health Services.
Of course for the jobless, the housebound, the frail elderly, the unpaid carers and the unemployed, well, their lives are just one long holiday - they can just wait out the 65 days, the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer until the people they put in Holyrood to do something for them get back to work, refreshed and re-invigorated by a vacation that the vast bulk of those who pay their wages couldn’t remotely contemplate or afford
I worked for most of my life in or with organisations that couldn’t just shut down for 65 days, organisations that had to stagger their holidays and ensure that a continuous service was maintained, otherwise they would have been out of a job.
Scotland’s Parliament can do likewise - this Alice-in-Wonderland system has to change to reflect the brutal realities of what promises to be a brutal decade. And independence won’t wait for holidays - Holyrood or Westminster.
When times get hard, the people expect a lot of their democracy and of those they have entrusted with its operation. If they fail, the people will begin to listen to other voices, dangerous, seductive voices, voices that promise simple solutions, ones that lead to violence and sometimes unimaginable horror.