It’s been yet another hectic week in Parliament. Attempts to get policy going seem to be ramping up before dissolution. The continued attempts at getting the new fiscal framework up and running has journalists running around the Parliament’s Garden Lobby, and there I am, sitting in the middle of it all trying to keep up. Great times.
Tuesday began as normal as I read through the numerous emails that had found their way to my inbox. The first committee meeting of the day was the Penrose Inquiry Progress Report. There were so many people left disappointed by London’s final decision on this that I’m glad to see our own Parliament doing its best for those in Scotland affected by the 1980s blood transfusion debacle.
Between that and lunch I was busy researching information to do with the Scottish Ambulance Service and looking after a student who was in to ask some questions of the MSP. At some point my shoulder started to throb. I attributed this to some guy who nearly ran me off the road earlier that morning, so after swallowing some paracetamol I continued on my merry way. I’ll be honest, I’m not the fastest typist one-handed, and so the rest of the day progressed slowly. Still I was able to watch the debate in chamber on organ donation (a topic very close to my own heart seeing as I’m on haemodialysis myself). The policy, in broad strokes, was to make organ donation an automatic ‘opt-out’ instead of the current system of opt-in. In this respect I would have been all for it but there were some very interesting views on exactly why an automatic opt-out wasn’t necessarily viable. In the end, the bill was voted down but it was enlightening to see the MSPs looking at it from all the angles.
On Wednesdays I would usually finish up at dialysis and then head straight over to Parliament but unfortunately my shoulder had reached such a state of disrepair that it was impossible for me to go in. Thankfully, this is where the idea of the internship meets reality. Unlike in my past employments where such a scenario would regularly come up, and I would be forced to take the day off, meaning no pay and a scowl from bosses, or stay and work poorly… and still get a scowl from the bosses. On this occasion, I was able to contact my host MSP and explain the situation and I spent the rest of the afternoon working from home. This for me was the first real test and proof that this is how things could be.
On Thursday, shoulder very much on the mend and pumped full of painkillers, I was honoured to be joined by my Internship partner in crime, Allison. After getting her all up to date on parliamentary security protocol, we got our heads down and stuck into the AEO project. Allison, who is far more tech savvy than myself, explained to me some of the more basic elements of emailing which, I have to say, I probably should have known about in the first place. Either way, she showed me more than a few tips and tricks on how to live in the 21st century and we were able to contact all the SNP MSPs for the survey.
Next week the Parliament will be in recess. While there will be no MSPs in Holyrood, the rest of the parliamentary staff will be in as usual. I’m not sure what to expect.
Till next time.