I rise to highlight the most flagrant breach of the Parliament's principles. I refer to discrimination—age discrimination, in particular—which is covered by rule 6.9.1 and 6.9.2 of standing orders. I am 75 years old. However, having reached that age, I find that I am being discriminated against in this place. I should point out that I am raising this not for myself but on behalf of the others who will follow me in 2007. I want the Presiding Officer's good self to look into and rule on the matter.
Basically, under the parliamentary pension scheme—
I am being discriminated against because, of the 129 MSPs, I am the only one who comes into a separate category. If I and one of my colleagues were knocked down by a bus on the way up to this place, my colleague's family would be awarded three times his basic salary. However, I would receive nothing because I am too old. That is discrimination of the worst kind.
I am sorry that you find yourself in that situation, Mr Swinburne. I know that the matter is of personal importance to you, but I think that it would be better if you wrote to me. I will ensure that the parliamentary authorities respond to you.
On a different point of order, Presiding Officer. I will be very brief. Last week, for the first time ever, the independent MSPs were given a slot at First Minister's question time. Unfortunately, Margo