Question Time

On Monday I attended a ‘Question Time’ event at Balerno High School, the first of many hustings over the next 9 weeks until the Scottish Parliament election on 5th May. 

In the packed hall, savvy sixth year pupils asked their well-researched questions, testing us on a wide range of subjects.  No surprise about the topics which were top of the agenda: higher education, employment prospects for young people and the feasibility of maintaining current standards in our schools. 

The trams project came up, of course.  But less predictable: should the public foot the bill for Pope Benedict’s state visit? Should Rangers and Celtic play behind closed doors? 

The candidates from all five parties were pretty well behaved.  In fact Rory McKenzie, the Head Teacher, was possibly hoping for some more disagreement.  

 While we certainly didn’t share views on the need for public service cuts, or see eye-to-eye on the need for another Forth crossing, there was no heckling or jeering from rivals.  It made a pleasant change from the behaviour all too often witnessed in Edinburgh’s City Chambers!

 So, well done to the staff and students at Balerno HS for setting the standard (and I hope Green MSP, Patrick Harvie was watching in preparation for his debut on BBC’s Question Time later this week).