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Entertainment but not as we know it

The Scottish Parliament's inquiry into Scotland's economic future post-2014 continues to entertain, though Agenda struggles to think what kind of coherent report could possibly emerge from this somewhat random and politically contentious series of knockabout sessions.

Last week's session hit the headlines because of the allegedly discourteous outbursts by SNP MSPs Mike Mackenzie and Chic "Elvis" Brodie, although for those in the room these interventions were no big deal. Certainly their alleged victim, CBI Scotland's Iain McMillan, seemed unfazed by them. Much more embarrassing to the Parliament's reputation are the clumsy questions of some committee members; also, the complete lack of understanding of how business works and even what it's for. Stars of the session in terms of articulacy and conviction were Scottish Financial Enterprise's Owen Kelly, the STUC's Stephen Boyd and the Institute of Directors' Scottish chairman Ian McKay, who looked as if he was positively enjoying himself with the aggressive attempts to back him into various corners. "He doesn't take any nonsense," one panellist told Agenda.

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Local government

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