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Language: English / Gàidhlig


Chamber and committees

Meeting date: Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Meeting of the Parliament (Hybrid) 22 September 2021

Agenda: Portfolio Question Time, Diversion from Prosecution, ScotRail, Scottish Ambulance Service, Business Motion, Parliamentary Bureau Motions, Decision Time, Point of Order, National Eye Health Week 2021


Point of Order

On a point of order, Presiding Officer. Once again, noise in the chamber has prevented me from participating in some parts of today’s proceedings. I thank you for continuing to remind members of the barrier caused by excessive noise in the chamber.

However, I am particularly annoyed by what I believe to be ableist comments made either when I challenge others or after you intervene, Presiding Officer. When I challenged a member who shall—for now—remain nameless that I could not hear over their shouting, that was met with a shrug and a comment about others not taking interventions.

I remind all in the chamber that it is often their behaviour that is a barrier to others’ participation, not our impairments. I would be grateful, Presiding Officer, if you could advise on what more can be done.

I thank Ms Mackay for her point of order. I am in no doubt that colleagues have heard those comments.

This will not be a silent chamber: colleagues will show their appreciation, disquiet, discomfort and dissatisfaction with other members’ comments. However, as I have said frequently, I think that we could reach a position in which we conduct business with courtesy and respect, which will involve ensuring that every member of the chamber can hear what is happening.

I appreciate that there will sometimes be lively and noisy interludes, but I ask members to bear in mind that, across the chamber, hearing may not be the same for every member. I would like to reach a position where every member in the chamber can hear what is being said, at least most of the time.