The Presiding Officer Alison Johnstone MSP joins Lemn Sissay OBE, one of the nation’s best-loved poets, to discuss his No1 best-selling memoir My Name Is Why, at the Festival of Politics. Now an award-winning PEN Pinter Prize playwright, performer and BAFTA-nominated broadcaster, Lemn reflects on a childhood spent within the institutional care system where bureaucracy and neglect often superseded love.

Having found a powerful creative release in words, Lemn talks about race, family and the meaning of home.

This event was recorded live at the Scottish Parliament in August.

George Monbiot is a writer, activist and environmentalist. As well as having a regular Guardian column, his books include: Feral, Age of Consent, How Did We Get into This Mess? and Out of the Wreckage: A New Politics for an Age of Crisis. His latest collection, This can’t be happening (Penguin), is a collection of galvanising speeches and essays, calling on humanity to stop averting its gaze from the destruction of the living planet, and wake up to the greatest predicament we have ever faced.

This event is chaired by Alison Johnstone MSP, Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament.

One of the ways the Scottish Parliament is trying to get young people more involved in the democratic process is to partner with the Scottish Youth Parliament. In this episode we'll hear from both organisations about the agreement that's just been signed and what it means for the future.

Find out more about the agreement:

In this episode of the podcast Allan Campbell, from the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe), summarises what he and has team think stands out from the Scottish Government's Programme for Government 2020/21.

Find out more about SPICe's work on their blog:

Get access to SPICe's briefings: 

This episode was recorded on Monday 7 September 2020.

Elected on 1st April 2020 due to the need for a third Deputy Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament following changes brought on by the official response to the coronavirus, Lewis Macdonald discusses the circumstances of his election and the challenges the Parliament faces during this unprecedented time. 

As part of the Parliament's Oral History project, the Presiding Officer, Ken Macintosh MSP, spoke about his career and the past 20 years at Holyrood.


You can listen to more interviews from the Oral History project at

David McGill was appointed to the role of Chief Executive of The Scottish Parliament in October. He is only the second person to hold this position in the 20 years since the Parliament opened.


In this podcast David talks about his background, and what he thinks are the key challenges for the Parliament in the future.

This episode explores the sculpture on display at the Scottish Parliament called 'Travelling the Distance'. It was created by artist Shauna McMullan but it contains the voices of many other contributors from across Scotland.

The artwork has been here since 2006, but this year, to celebrate the Parliament's 20th anniversary, it has been updated with new, interactive content that traces the full story of the making of the sculpture.

We chat to Fiona McDougall, our Exhibitions Manager/Art Curator about what's new, and why it's an unmissable stop on your visit to the Parliament.

Ahead of the World Cup this summer, the Scotland Women’s National Football Team head coach Shelley Kerr shared the lessons she’s learned through sport, and described her vision for the long-term future of women’s football in Scotland.

Chaired by Rt Hon Ken Macintosh MSP, Presiding Officer and Futures Forum Chair

You can find out more on the Scotland's Futures Forum website.

The Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, Ken Macintosh MSP, sits down with the President (Speaker) of the State Parliament of Lower Saxony, Dr Gabriele Andretta, during her visit to Holyrood. They discuss Scottish Parliament's 20th anniversary, as well as the shared challenges both regions face today.

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