Sunday, 24 January 2010

Politics Show tomorrow

This blog is supposed to be about my job as an MSP and tomorrow I'm going to be doing something I've never done before. I'm going to be participating in a live studio debate with a Labour MP from the Scotland Office. It's for the BBC Politics Show and I don't think I'm showing my hand too much to say that I am a little nervous - I said I'd be honest on this blog and I might as well admit to my fear.

We're debating the wrongs and wrongs of detaining asylum seeker children so I'm sure of the arguments. My fear of course is that nerves will take over and I'll forget my points or say the wrong thing. You have all sorts of thoughts going through your head. Not wanting to let down the people you're trying to get justice for particularly as we'll be discussing Florence and Precious Mhango. Not wanting to let the SNP down. All these things are going through my mind but it's just another natural development of my job. Just when I was starting to feel comfortable too ...

So, I'll blog tomorrow and let you know how it felt and you can of course watch it at 12 noon on BBC Scotland. If you're outside Scotland you can watch online later.

I'll leave you with a wee tale about my last "live TV" experience which may go some way to explaining my reticence now. It was many years ago at SNP conference and we were awaiting the results of internal elections. Four of us were lined up to give "live" reactions but the results were delayed so Brian Taylor had to fill time. He came to me and asked me a question that I just didn't understand. (Nobody did btw as I later discovered.)

Instead of asking him what he meant, I opened my mouth, uttered only the odd squeak here and there, kept it open and let my eyeballs go into some mad overdrive!! They were all over the place, side to side, top to bottom as my brain searched for an answer to give him. But none came. Apart from the squeak obviously. I would love to tell you it felt longer than it actually was but that is not the case. I know this for sure because the guy I lived with at the time (yes, you know who you are!) would sit there of an evening pressing PLAY on the video, followed by REWIND, followed by PLAY and REWIND and PLAY over and over again. It never got any better.

Tomorrow is my chance to improve on that performance. We shall see ....

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