IT WAS meant to be a showcase for all that is good and worthy in the Scottish Parliament, but Holyrood's glossy annual report became the subject of ridicule when it was published yesterday - because it prominently features two former MSPs who have left the parliament in disgrace.It's not as if there wasn't enough time to avoid this stupidity:
Embarrassed officials were forced to explain why they printed pictures of Lord Watson of Invergowrie and Keith Raffan, both of whom left the parliament following scandals.
The annual report was printed over the summer, a considerable time after Mr Raffan had left and at least six months after Watson had been charged with wilful fire-raising at a political awards dinner.The "officials" who have written the report say that they don't want to "air-brush history". There's absolutely no danger of the Scottish people forgetting about the two politicians concerned. But an annual report is normally designed to promote the good news about the organisation in question. Can one imagine a PR company proposing a report that included a photograph of an ex-employee now serving time for fire-raising at a hotel that had been occupied by his colleagues? The officials in question should meet the same fate as would have rapidly overtaken a private PR company that acted in this way.
But officials saw no need to alter their plans and produced the report regardless.
Incidentally, why are around 29% of the reports being published in Gaelic, a language spoken by about 1% of the population?