International award-winning broadcaster and journalist Charles Fletcher presents The Week in Holyrood from Caledonia Media. Here he shares his concluding thoughts with Heartland FM before Scottish parliment, himself and many of us get a well earned break for summer. Listen to Charles Saturdays 10am-11am, Sundays 6am-7am & Mondays (Sunday repeat) 11pm-12am:
And so, into Summer Recess we go. Well, at least, goes Parliament.
Government continues to govern.
Members continue to serve.
And we jobbing hacks, well, we continue to find stories and get about our business. No recess for us!
The Week in Holyrood, known in parliamentary corridors by its acronym TWiH, goes off air until the autumn. The latest edition closes the longest season of Scotland’s favourite political show, some 43 weeks after it began last September.
And that long run came about because of Heartland FM.
One day last year, in a bar not far from the studio, Bruce Patterson said it would be better if The Week in Holyrood ran throughout the year instead of stopping “at each and every recess”.
He had a point. The programme fell off the schedules at dates in September, October, Christmas, Mid-Term and Easter. No parliament meant no programme.
Until that day when a Persuasive Patterson intervened and the team agreed to eschew the mini breaks and focus on broadcasting all year long. Except during the summer recess, of course. Well, a chap can only do so much …
It’s been an impressive political year in many ways.
The B Word continues to dominate journalism. That’s Brexit. Not Boris. Although we do tend to talk a lot about both.
One MSP resigned as a minister, then resigned his party, but continues as a member, albeit one who faces a month’s suspension after recess.
The SNP government continues its run on the front bench, now the longest-serving administration since devolution.
Some faces changed this week in the reshuffle, the first undertaken since the 2016 election.
And parliament itself continues to evolve, not least as a result of the parliamentary commission undertaken by presiding officer Ken Macintosh. He talks about that on this week’s programme.
But while we bring you the big stories from Scotland’s three parliaments, Holyrood, Westminster and Brussels, we also try to bring you some of the more unusual tales, some colour.
This past series has marked 19 years of devolution, the 1988 Glasgow Garden Festival and this week, the 30th anniversary of Piper Alpha.
We’ve also carried special reports on the A9 and broadband in the Highlands.
And we also remember to have some fun along the way. The sad loss of Ken Dodd gave us an opportunity to observe, through his own words, the politics of comedy. How tickled we were.
So what can we expect to report when TWiH returns in September?
Well, we’ll still bang on about Brexit and try to make it as interesting and relevant to you as possible.
Then there’s IndyRef2 – and IndyRef3 as highlighted on Heartland FM on Local Radio Day – not going away any time soon.
And while Theresa May clings on to minority power, there’s every chance we’ll have a snap general election in the autumn.
The parties are gearing up for it.
My fellow residents in the Media Tower – yes, we have our own tower at Holyrood – are ready for it.
And I’m dusting down the sound effects to relaunch the daily news service, 60 Seconds Scotland, to cover the election campaign.
Should there be one.
It’s so much expected, there’ll be a big disappointment if it doesn’t happen.
Well, at least there will be among the journalists and politicians.
For now, we focus on that other big story: the weather.
Isn’t it just grand?!
International award-winning broadcaster and journalist Charles Fletcher presents The Week in Holyrood from Caledonia Media.The programme covers Scotland's three parliaments in Brussels, Edinburgh and London and brings an insight into the issues that affect us all. Formerly with the BBC World Service, Charles creates and delivers bespoke broadcast training worldwide.
Listen to Charles Saturdays 10am-11am, Sundays 6am-7am & Mondays (Sunday repeat) 11pm-12am.