15th May 2009 at 01:00
As with the building itself, a lot of money has been thrown at an exhibition celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Scottish Parliament

Launched at Scotland Street School Museum in Glasgow, where it can be seen until May 17 before setting off on a countrywide tour, Moving Stories focuses on 10 people who, for 10 different reasons, have become involved with the Scottish Parliament over the past decade. The idea is that by finding out about these people, whose stories are told using photographs, film and sound, the rest of us might be encouraged to get involved with the Parliament.

Moving Stories is also used to chart the history of a parliament in Scotland from 1235-1999, and includes an interactive centre where visitors can have a go at debating subjects such as the teaching of creationism and lowering the voting age.

No one could fault the presentation of this exhibition. Based on design elements of the Parliament building, it looks very impressive. There are flat screens, a perspex ballot box and a big desk with drawers you can open, filled with paper and pencils.

But there's something not quite right. By highlighting the stories of people who, for instance, decided to present petitions to Parliament on matters they felt passionate about, visitors are given the impression that this is the way to get things done.

But is it? Consider the case of John Muir from Greenock, whose son was fatally stabbed by a man out on bail for another act of violence. The heartbroken father gathered 25,000 signatures and was invited to speak to MSPs about tightening up knife laws. So far, nothing much has happened and Mr Muir's campaign, we are told, is "ongoing".


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