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The Working Life of Linda Fabiani MSP
24th October 2005

Calum Cashley's report

A long, long time ago, carrier pigeons were the fastest way to get information or instructions over long distances, and you really had to wait for the pigeon to arrive, so life was a little slower, and everything was more relaxed.

It also used to be the case that an MSP went away on holiday and you had a chance to catch up with all the work thatís been piling up while they were about.  It used to be that when you finally persuaded Linda to take a break you didnít hear from her while she was away.  Her favourite holiday spot in Argyll didnít get good mobile phone reception, and she was away from her email for a week at a time.  Ah, those days of innocence and wonderÖ

These days, she can call from just about anywhere in the world, and she has one of those new-fangled blackberry devices which allows her to email from just about anywhere in the world as well.  Bring back the pigeons, I say, and not just for a bit of peace and quiet round the office from time to time.  Itís just as important for politicians to take a bit of time off and wind down as it is for anyone else, and politicians often forget to do that.

Working when you get home most nights of the week and doing the constant round of constituents and events is one thing, but taking your work on holiday is quite another.  Bring back the pigeons!

Linda has just taken over as Convenor of the European and External Relations Committee of the Scottish Parliament, so we have to get ourselves up to speed, reading through the details.  So this week has been a whole bucket of fun reading, in particular, about the Lisbon Strategy and Process, and Iíve been intrigued by Guy Bonoís report on education.

The European Union is a major factor in the direction which Scotland takes, and it will be important for Scotland for the Committee to ensure that it gets the best possible deal.  Recent events have shown what can happen to Scottish industries when Scottish politicians arenít performing as well as they might.

Beyond that, the Committee will continue to scrutinise the work of the Ministers of the Scottish Executive in the areas which fall under the Committeeís remit, so it will be important for the Convenor to ensure that she is as up-to-date with developments in a wide range of fields as is possible.

Itís going to be a testing time ahead for Linda, but itís going to be quite an interesting one as well, adding the work of a committee convenor onto the work she already does as an MSP.

As for me, Iím off out to buy some pigeons.

And here is Calum with his carrier pigeon :-)

Email Linda at

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