Snub for Queen at Holyrood’s 10 years bash – or just the sunshine?

Rumbles of republicanism, disenchantment with the Parliament or just bad timing, six days after Holyrood has risen for the summer? Whatever the explanation, the MSM’s stories of the Queen’s attendance to mark 10 years of the Scottish Parliament were as one – what a disgrace it was that a third of MSPs of all parties failed to show up. The Scotsman printed all the names of the errant members. The Telegraph’s rabidly Holyrood sceptic Scotland corr was apoplectic.

Likewise it was the bounden duty of each and every member of this puffed-up little parliament to make the effort to listen to her words yesterday. None of the other explanations were at all worthy –

That champion of devolution and doyen of Scottish journalism Magnus Linklater was embarrassed.

The Herald pointed to disenchantment with the institution.

As Holyrood marked its anniversary, an opinion poll last night showed more than two-thirds of voters say it had achieved little or nothing since devolution. The TNS System 3 survey for STV’s Politics Now programme revealed 53% of Scots think Holyrood has achieved little and a further 15% thought nothing.

Though this came three days after a very different poll for the BBC that showed strong support for more powers.

When asked which scenario came closest to their view of how Scotland should be governed, 28% said Scotland should become independent, with the Scottish Parliament able to make all decisions about taxation and spending, while 47% backed Scotland remaining part of the UK, but with increased power of taxation and spending being handed to Holyrood. A further 22% said Scotland should remain part of the UK, with decisions about taxation and spending made by the UK Government

. BBC Scotland’s political editor put the poor attendance in perspective.

Will we remember this fact in ten years time? No, not in ten days.

Needless to say Alex Salmond didn’t put a foot wrong. A dig at Westminster was his only partisan note.
Anyway the weather was great and the fantastic £414 million building looked appropriately Catalan in the unaccustomed blazing Edinburgh sunshine. It’s a different flavour of nationalism in Scotland, isn’t it?

Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London