In a recent turn of events that’s caused quite a stir, Alex Cole-Hamilton, the Scottish Liberal Democrat leader, made an unconventional move by casting his parliamentary vote on a bill concerning disability rights from a local pub. This unusual, or just plain lazy, political maneuver didn’t go unnoticed or unmocked by his colleagues and the public.
The incident unfolded as Cole-Hamilton, looking somewhat disheveled, dialled into the Scottish parliament debate via a video call. His image, projected on large screens across the debating chamber, revealed the pub’s backdrop, earning him a chorus of jeers from fellow lawmakers. As he defended his vote, stating, “Sorry Presiding Officer I was unable to connect, I would have noted no,” the sound of clinking glasses and jovial chatter echoed around the chamber.
This political blooper soon spread like wildfire across the internet, with the Scottish public voicing strong opinions. Many called his behaviour “disgraceful,” describing the incident as a “complete mess.” Some even challenged the legitimacy of his vote due to his absence from the physical debate location.
Cole-Hamilton, who was believed to be in the company of a co-worker, later made a public apology for the incident. He sought out the Presiding Officer, explaining his tardiness to the debate. He emphasized his commitment to parliamentary proceedings, citing his consistent voting record. In his statement to local media, he noted, “Members of the Scottish parliament regularly vote remotely, and on this occasion, fewer than a third were present to vote in person.”
This incident involving Alex Cole-Hamilton serves as a stark reminder to politicians worldwide, including those in Australia, underlining the importance of maintaining a professional conduct and presence, particularly during parliamentary proceedings, to ensure public trust and respectability.