5 minutes with Colin Beattie who represents Midlothian North and Musselburgh as an SNP MSP at the Scottish Parliament

Five Minutes With
Five Minutes With

Where did you grow up?

Forfar, Angus. I was very much a country boy.

On a scale of 1-10 rank how happy you are with your lot?

Pretty good. Say a happy 9.

What would it take to get this to 10?

A YES vote on September 18.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

I wanted to be a policeman. Unfortunately at 5’ 6” I failed to meet the grade. I ended up in banking instead.

If you could give one bit of advice to your 18-year-old self, what would it be?

I left school at 15. I spent the next few years backfilling on qualifications. I would tell myself to work harder and faster at that.

When was the last time you cried and why?

I’m not a great person for crying. Probably a man thing that. I guess the closest was when the SNP swept the board in 2011 and gained a majority in parliament. See how politics ends up dominating your life.

What’s your greatest achievement?

Probably getting elected to parliament. It did not happen overnight and was the result of years of work by so many people.

What three things would you still like to do before you die?

I would like to learn the difference between a plant and a weed. It would hugely improve my gardening skills. I would like to catch up on years of missed holidays by spending a few months touring Europe. Mind you I probably need to win the lottery to pay for it. I would like to be in the Scottish Parliament the day that independence becomes a reality. It would be my proudest moment.

What’s your favourite food?

Steak pie and chips. You can’t beat a decent steak pie. Mind you my wife does restrain me from overdoing it otherwise I could have that every day.

Where was the last place you went on holiday?

Venice. Holidays have been rare since I got elected but my wife and I try for a couple of weeks every year – usually as long weekends over a period. I thoroughly enjoyed it but I am out of practice on holidays and it takes me some time to wind down. Good food and good wine definitely help.

What was the last book you read?

Dan Brown’s Digital Fortress. I have grown to enjoy his books – he is an engrossing writer.

What’s the biggest fib you’ve ever told?

“Trust me, I’m a politician” seems the obvious answer. Or maybe “I used to be an athlete but I’m a bit out of shape”.