Literary lions

11th April 2003 at 01:00
"Name dropping" hardly does justice to the litany of famous people conjured up by MSPs keen to make their points during the recent debate on the Bill to establish a Commissioner for Children and Young People.

Karen Gillon, convener of the education, culture and sport committee, started the names dropping with a reference to Sir Walter Scott (a "guid Tory", quipped Brian Monteith, doubling as Sir Walter's education spokesman) and to author Henry James, to be followed in rapid succession by other politicos quoting Oscar Wilde, Robert Louis Stevenson and theatre critic Cyril Connolly.

Quite why there was mention of Dr Seuss, who to the best of our knowledge never wrote anything, is not clear.

Liberal Democrat MSP Ian Jenkins topped the lot by quoting from the oldest literary source - "suffer the little children to come unto me".

Such consensus and erudition does our Parliament proud. What a pity they will spend the next few electoral weeks expressing themselves in somewhat less erudite terms - apart from Jenkins, who is retiring.

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