Second class response.
Some three weeks ago Robin put down a motion here which invited the Nats to offer to bear the cost of loss-making post offices, and to recognise the essential social role they provide. Currently just one other MSP has signed it, and you won't be surprised to know it's Patrick.
Next time you find yourself listening to an MSP from any other party blathering on about saving their local post offices, ask them why they didn't sign up to the only proposal yet that would have saved the lot in one go. I'll tell you why, though. It's a dirty little secret.
These people actually love post office closures. At the Meadows Festival, it's all the Liberals wanted to talk about (although I insisted they talk about airport expansion). A threatened closure is a perfect campaign opportunity, a way to get local members motivated and to get into the local media. The printers here on the fourth floor whirr with little else.
The scandal is that they don't want to fix the problem, and one way to tell is that they only want to save the specific ones in their constituencies. I don't know about you, but I sometimes find myself in other parts of the country wishing there was a post office too.
Some are more hypocritical than others - and yes, Nigel Griffiths, I mean you, because you did vote for closures and then you campaigned to save them. But the same lack of an alternative applies to Liberal, Tory and SNP campaigners. As far as I know, anyway. Perhaps they've got a great plan - I know the Liberals considered privatisation, which would be one sure way to get as many closures as possible in the shortest time.
The bottom line is this. If they don't sign the motion, and they don't come up with an alternative of their own (which I would love to hear), you can tell they have no interest in fixing the problem, and just want to profit from the consequences.
If they sign up, we could build a common campaign, and make post office closures a thing of the past. For instance, 43 closures were announced today, and Jamie Hepburn railed against them. Sign the motion, Mr Hepburn, start the ball rolling, then we'll know you're serious.