Little known fact: Parliament Piper is on the same tier as Party Leader & Presiding Officer in the Holyrood Hierarchy
Today was the last day Stuart McMillan represented West Scotland as a regional MSP for this parliamentary term. As of today, he is just one of hundreds of candidates across Scotland who are standing for election in what will be, one way or another, one of the most historic elections in the country’s history. The SNP are looking to make it the first third term of any Scottish government, and the second majority government: other parties will, of course, be looking to increase their own vote share.
It will be bittersweet for some. Tricia Marwick, who has represented the people of Central Fife in its various forms since 1999 and fulfilled the role of Presiding Officer since 2011, will not be standing for election. Nor will fellow SNP MSPs Marco Biagi, Margaret Burgess, Nigel Don, Rob Gibson, Adam Ingram, Colin Keir, Kenny MacAskill, Fiona McLeod, Dave Thompson, or the incomparable Alex Salmond, all of whom will be standing down… for now. Nor, indeed, will Duncan McNeil, who has represented Greenock & Inverclyde since the Scottish Parliament was reconvened all the way back in 1999 – meaning that whoever is elected will be only the second individual to represent the constituency since reopening. Stuart’s already been doing that as part of his role as West Scotland regional MSP since 2007 – he’d be a natural choice.
I’ve criticised Westminster in the past for their antiquated ceremonies and cobweb-covered customs, but that doesn’t mean I feel parliaments should be entirely grey, bureaucratic, colourless affairs. I feel the Scottish parliament attains a perfect balance between a modern democratic institution, and mindful of the rich heritage and history of the nation it represents.
Here’s the final motion of what has been an incredible term, with Stuart McMillan piping out the old term.
Stuart’s fundraiser (10 days left!)