POLITICIANS in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

Well there is a lot of glass around the Holyrood chamber but there is also an awful lot of stones being thrown around

The Scottish Parliament has voted to scrap the standardised assessments of Primary one pupils.

Therefore, the cry from the four opposition parties, who combined to defeat the SNP, is that John Swinney, the Education Secretary, must listen to the voice of parliament and do as they say.

Except it is not as simple as that.

There have been many votes in parliament and many have been ignored.

The Conservatives brought this vote forward even though just two years ago they supported the standardised testing regime in primary schools, including P1 pupils.

So what changed?

Could there be some element of political opportunism, as some in the SNP suggest.

Well, a little bit of embarrassment for the government never does the opposition any harm.

Education is this SNP administration’s stated big priority. Nicola Sturgeon put closing the attainment gap between the most and least well off at the centre of her election promises and said it was a personal mission for her.

So much so that she put her most trusted and able deputy in charge of the policy.

So a defeat in parliament on the first building block of this policy won’t look good.

What will John Swinney have to do, now that Parliament has spoken on it.

A vote on a motion at Holyrood does not bind the government to take action. But he would be wise to recognise it in some way.

Don’t expect the scrapping of testing but perhaps a commitment to re-evaluate the tests and see if they could be improved.

The problem with making demands on the back of a vote in parliament however, is sometimes you will be on the losing side.

If the will of parliament, as expressed in a vote must be accepted by the whole parliament and always be acted on, then the Conservatives, and others, would be on shaky ground,

Last year a vote on a second referendum saw the SNP and Greens with a majority over the three anti-independence parties.

Will Ruth Davidson now accept that Nicola Sturgeon has a right to call another referendum in the light of Brexit and the UK Government should agree.

Of course not.

So any calls for John Swinney to act now and scrap tests because Parliament said so are hollow and the louder she and others in Labour and LibDems shout the more hollow they sound.

Equally, if Mr Swinney does ignore the vote then the next time he or Nicola Sturgeon call on the UK Government to respect the will of parliament regarding the right to hold a referendum, then it too will be dismissed.

The accusations of hypocrisy are already being thrown around by politicians blissfully aware of the big glass house they are standing in.

These votes might well highlight an issue and get the details out into the public domain for wider debate.

But as far as having any meaningful impact, because the parties pick and choose which ‘will of the parliament’ they want respected, they are largely redundant other than for point scoring purposes.