Dear Ms Davidson,

I wish to thank you, so very much for your proud, passionate contribution to tonight's equal marriage debate.

More than the many other fine contributors to the debate of this progressive bill, in your most personal speech, you spoke for me. You gave voice to enshrining the hope, truth and the forming of stable families which become confident able communities. More than this, you articulated the underlying need for this bill - to remove "that otherness" which need never permeate modern Scotland - and that young LGBTI people know that the their government has their back.

I'm not a constituent. I don't have any right to ask you to consider the many excellent and progressive committee amendments to the bill - which deal with a gender neutral marriage option, fixing the pensions issue, avoid any spousal veto nonsense and do away with the requirement for divorce for gender recognition. But be assured, I shall be lobbying locally to ensure my representatives consider them in full and vote accordingly.

Tonight, you were my comrade - so once again, I thank you very much. With all my best, and the hope that you will be able to marry your love,

Scott Macdonald
Dear Mr. Chisholm,

I write to you today to highlight a potential issue in what is likely to be an issue in the upcoming 2014 independence referendum. I note that the agreement has yet to be confirmed, but it has been widely reported in the media that 16 and 17 year olds will be eligible to vote.

Duncan Hothersall, a Scottish Labour activist in Edinburgh has astutely highlighted the difficulty in canvassing those 16 and 17 year olds. His opinions can be read here:

I believe that his central tenet - that it shall be of utmost importance that next year's Valuation Joint Board must ask for the names and birthdays of 14 and 15 year olds in a household - is quite sound.

If you agree, then please can you clarify, or discuss this matter with those selecting the means by which voters are empowered in the constitutional future of Scotland? If it is to be an inclusive and fair ballot, Mr. Hothersall's points make sense.

Thank you for your time. I look forward to your reply, and wish you every continuing success in representing Edinburgh Northern and Leith in the Scottish Parliament.

Yours faithfully,

Scott Macdonald
Dear Mr. Lazarowicz,

I am a university-educated IT professional living within your constituency. I write to you today to express my disgust at the announcements made yesterday regarding the massive expansion of the online and cellular surveillance programme - RIPA - which may be part of Her Majesty's speech in May. Leaked briefing notes suggest that the Liberal Democrats will support it, in spite of their coalition agreement - "We will end the storage of Internet and email records without good reason."

My opinion is thus: this scheme is a violation of our human right to privacy. Such measures are also easily defeated by anyone with sufficient knowledge of Internet and cellular communications technology - terrorists and criminals can avoid such surveillance with a little discipline; all the while the privacy of innocents is indexed and susceptible to data-mining. As for policing, an argument could easily be made that the current system of surveillance authorised by judges when there is reasonable suspicion works, and gives police the powers they need. Personally, I believe the illiberal RIPA should be repealed.

The proposal may also backfire spectacularly, as means to defeat surveillance become common knowledge and are used far more frequently. Journalists, other investigative personnel, protesters and privacy-conscious citizens who have broken no laws and use encryption, proxies and anonymising technologies will be under undue state suspicion. Furthermore we can ill afford to pay for another inevitable failed government IT white elephant, particularly while the Chancellor continues doing precious little to stimulate economic growth, jobs and borrows far more than projected.

I further expect this scheme to be tendered out to the private sector. Perhaps Rupert Murdoch might be interested in bankrolling it, since mass interception of private communications seems to be in his interests.

Thanks to the eternally useful website, The Public Whip, I note you overwhelmingly supported the identity cards charade, but rebelled against the Digital Economy Act after consulting with your constituents. I know not the politics of defying a three-line whip, but thank you. What links these matters is thus: civil liberties are real, and are matters which people care about. Nevertheless, I would like you to clarify your position on this matter, and as my representative, to take on board my opinion. Further information about how this scheme differs from prior efforts would be appreciated.

You may reach me on this email address, or via post if you wish to discuss it further.

Yours faithfully,

Scott Macdonald
--> snip address.



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