Shameful ceremony of disrespect to our sovereign

Last week I wrote of the depression and despair I felt at the outcome of the Scottish elections and the reasons why I am so concerned about the stealth creep towards independence.

While I do not intend to make a habit of venting my spleen in print, I cannot let the latest farce go without comment, having spent a career serving our sovereign with unquestioning loyalty and respect.

My depression and despair at last week’s events turned to anger, embarrassment and shame when I saw the pantomime display put on by certain members of the Holyrood Parish Council at last Wednesday’s swearing-in ceremony.

It is according to law that MSPs are required to swear undying fealty to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, her heirs and successors at the beginning of each parliament.

A simple enough task, one would imagine, for even the most feeble-minded member to read a short statement from a cue card held up in front of him/her without displaying an unacceptable level of immaturity and overt contempt. Propriety, good grace and manners should have been the order of the day but, in some cases, that was not to be.

Never one to pass up a chance for presidential posturing, the First Minister led by example in a flagrant act of disrespect to our sovereign by first making a totally unnecessary and inane statement, on behalf of all the SNP, that their true loyalty is to the people of Scotland. Not according to law, which he and his fellow MSPs of all parties and persuasions have been elected to uphold.

There followed a series of comedy performances by a number of MSPs, the most seditious of which was that of Maureen Watts who blatantly took the oath with her fingers crossed, presumably to childishly and publicly display her contempt for the oath and its meaning.

While I have no problem with members reading the oath in Gaelic or a mixture of Gaelic and Scots, I do take issue with the need for Humza Yousaf to take it in Urdu. Furthermore, I find it hard to comprehend why a prayer should be delivered in Arabic. Have I missed something?

Only time will tell how competent this parliament will prove to be, but the omens so far bode alarmingly for the future. It would appear that the Scottish electorate has saddled us with a bunch of ignorant, immature and disrespectful radicals whose credentials to govern appear weak in the extreme.

Heaven help us if they ever have to represent us on the international stage – on the evidence so far, this circus is a laughing stock.

A. Graeme Morrison

Marchcleugh Cottage