THEY have a fearsome reputation for booking offending motorists wherever they may lurk – but even Edinburgh’s traffic wardens wouldn’t be expected to stalk the corridors of power.
A picture posted online yesterday, however, suggested they could have opened up new ground, and begun targeting mobility scooters at the Scottish Parliament.
The elaborate prank – which boasted double-yellow lines taped to the floor and a convincing enforcement notice stamped on the handlebars – was aimed at Independent MSP Margo MacDonald, who has been trialling the scooter at Holyrood for the last three days. The picture was uploaded by Ramsay Jones, the Scottish Tories’ top spin doctor, although it’s unclear who was behind the lark.
Despite concerns that she might be hit with a heavy fine, Ms MacDonald was taking the joke in good sprit – even if she was momentarily alarmed by how plausible it seems.
“I’m not a driver so was a bit dumbfounded and was thinking ‘oh God it’s beside yellow lines . . .’ but then the penny dropped and I said ‘Come on Margo and get a grip’.
“Our debates can sometimes have a funny effect on your sense of reality.”
On his Twitter account Mr Jones said: “. . . the MargoMobile was ‘caught’ in the Black and White corridor in Holyrood”, alongside a link to the image.
Ms MacDonald, who is battling Parkinson’s Disease, said she had taken care to “park” the scooter sensibly before attending yesterday’s Budget review, but returned to find the “meanies” had struck.
“I did everything right as far as I know, I parked it out of people’s way so they would not bump into it,” she said.
While taking it all in good humour, however, Ms MacDonald has vowed to track down those responsible.
“I have got small select group of about a 100 people it could have been,” she said.
“I think, but I might be wrong, that it was a grand conspiracy. Every single members of parliament staff that I passed in the afternoon had huge smiles on their faces and tapped the side of their nose when they saw me.
“I thought it might have been about some concession from John Swinney’s budget but by the time I came out of the parliament I was slightly worried because I realised that whatever was going on it had something to do with me.”
Ms MacDonald, who has been an Independent MSP at Holyrood since 2003, has been a vocal critic of some aspects of the Scottish Parliament building, most recently slamming proposals to spend almost £600,000 drawing up plans for a new high-security entrance which may never be built.
Flood plan risk – Page 9