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Holyrood 500

Holyrood 500

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500th Issue Anniversary Special: On May 3rd 1999, just three days before the polls opened for the first elections to the Scottish Parliament, the first issue of Holyrood magazine was published. Nearly a quarter of a century later, we are incredibly proud to be publishing our 500th issue and to have a continuing role at the centre of Scottish politics.


12  Overview: Brian Taylor: The veteran journalist on how both the parliament and he himself have changed since 1999 
16  Interview: Craig Hoy: Holyrood’s founding editor reflects on the path that led him to a seat in the Scottish Parliament
19  Overview: James Mitchell: The parallel journeys of devolution and Holyrood magazine are to be celebrated
21  Interview: Jackie Baillie: Scottish Labour’s deputy leader on being behind the scenes, her time on the harassment committee and finding fulfilment in helping others
28  Overview: Sir John Curtice - Scottish politics is arguably more polarised than ever, says the leading pollster 
32  Interview: Robin Harper: Scotland’s first Green politician on the impact of the Scottish Parliament and his party
38  Interview: John Swinney: The Deputy First Minister says the devolution settlement is under orchestrated attack 
44  Comment: First Ministers: Henry McLeish, Jack McConnell and Alex Salmond reflect on their time in office
55  Interview: Michael Matheson: The net zero secretary on the growing importance of his portfolio over the last two decades
60  Q&A: Shirley-Anne Somerville: How devolution changed Scotland, its politics and the education secretary’s own life
62  Interview: Keith Brown: The justice secretary recalls how killing a chicken set him up for life and how the independence cause drives him 
66  Interview: Shona Robison: The social justice secretary explains why she’s optimistic about where Scotland is heading
69  Interview: Angus Robertson: One of the men behind the SNP’s rise is now in charge of Scotland’s next steps


3 Editor’s note: What is the test for telling whether someone is a trans woman, or really a man pretending to be a trans woman?  
5  Roundup: Pictures and numbers from the past two weeks
7 Talking Point: Music lessons are the last thing we should be cutting in these bleak times 
8 In Context: The Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Bill has passed its third reading
9  Political Spotlight: Failing Health: Nearly everyone agrees the NHS is in crisis, but there’s no consensus on how to fix it
74 Getting to know... Pauline McNeill MSP on her love for music and Noam Chomsky 
76 Event spotlight: Staying secure in an ever-changing digital world
78 Comment: Political power is seeping away from local communities, says Andy Wightman
79 Politicians’ pets: Angus Council leader Beth Whiteside introduces us to Skye and Selkie
80 Diary: Dodgy photoshops, controversial referees and octopus pledges
81 Political spin: Richard Thomson MP and his family history with the fiddle
82 Last Word: Sketch: Robo-MSPs take over the debating chamber

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