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Unacceptable erosion in standards of openness at Scottish Parliament

I share the concerns expressed in your editorial and article by Magnus Gardham regarding the astonishing practice whereby MSPs can "correct" the official record of parliamentary proceedings without alerting the public ("Holyrood to probe report corrections", The Herald, December 1).

This is but the latest degeneration in our Scottish Parliament, which started with high expectations but has failed to live up to its promise of delivering openness and accountability.

In 2000 when I lodged a public petition calling for decision makers in the justice system to register membership of societies such as the freemasons, John McAllion, the convenor of the Public Petitions Committee, boasted that his committee never discussed any business in private.

Since then there has been an erosion of these high standards to the point now where matters of substance appear like TV chefs' dishes; prepared earlier by the bureaucrats in private and served before the MSPs for rubber stamping.

I have witnessed this erosion of openness and accountability with dismay. When my petition had been with the Scottish Parliament for almost three years it was dismissed without reason.

Furthermore the minutes of the past two meetings, at which the question of registering the judiciary's membership of the masons and the Speculative Society was discussed, were airbrushed from the official report.

This cavalier revisionism of the parliament's records and contemptuous treatment of the public that the parliament is supposed to serve is not good enough.

Last Monday I submitted a new petition in similar terms and this time I will demand that it be treated seriously.

Tom Minogue,

94 Victoria Terrace,

Dunfermline.

Contextual targeting label: 
Local government

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