By Bill Heaney
SNP Councillor Jonathan McColl is standing as a regional candidate for the Scottish Parliament in the elections in May, as revealed exclusively in The Dumbarton Democrat this week.
McColl, who is leader of the SNP administration at basket case West Dunbartonshire Council, has made some extraordinary claims in his pitch for endorsement.
One of which claims he is honest, which is extraordinary.
He refuses to speak to The Democrat, whose editor he falsely claims assaulted two women and against whom he embarked on a smear campaign.
It appears he doesn’t believe in democracy or Freedom of the Press and has been criticised for operating in the manner of a small-time Donald Trump or Boris Johnston, and for failing to take his job seriously by meeting up in a Stirling hotel with disgraced Finance Secretary Derek McKay to discuss the budget over a pint.
His election pitch on his website at www.mccoll.scot claims he has had 14 years’ experience in local government in both administration and opposition “serving communities as a public representative and decision maker”.
He adds: “I know how councils work and can be a real and informed friend in parliament for council groups and advocate for locally delivered services.
“I have excellent relationships with most senior members of the SNP and have earned their respect.
Three anti democratic politicians – Donald Trump, Boris Johnston and Jonathan McColl.
“As a newly-elected MSP, I will have open lines of communication with an SNP government and won’t have to build my bridges from scratch.
“That can be hugely beneficial to our local communities and council groups.”
The man, who led the hugely unpopular austerity campaign in West Dunbartonshire which resulted in budget cuts, including withdrawing grass cutting in local parks, cemeteries and open spaces, claims: “I am just an ordinary person, campaigning for the party from the age of 14.
“I’ve been part of every campaign we have ever had since then, joining up at 16. I know the grassroots of the party because I am one of us.
“I have real life experience, living on the poverty line, deciding whether to put electric in the meter or buy a loaf.
“I was a frontline care worker before being elected a councillor.
“Working in the community let me see how others struggled to get by with differing abilities and opportunities.”
McColl, who is no stranger to telling lies, adds: “I strongly feel that we need honest politicians who don’t try to be something they’re not. Be who you are and be sincere and people will respect and trust you for it.
“That’s all to say that I am not a typical career politician who wants to represent this region in an honest and straightforward way.
“I want independence for our country, and we’ll only achieve this by showing we are competent and credible at all levels.
“I wouldn’t stand for election if I did not honestly believe I could represent the Scottish National Party well.”
McColl’s announcement comes at a time when the SNP nationally and locally is in the midst of an internal storm which has split the party, which is headed up by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s husband, Peter Murrell, the Edinburgh-based chief executive.
And when SNP Minister Michael Russell was parachuted in from Argyll to chair a candidate selection process in which one of the favourites, Cllr Caroline McAllister, McColl’s deputy, was unceremoniously dropped for allegedly agreeing with remarks by Harry Potter author which were said to be disrespectful of transgender people.
The new prospective candidate for the SNP is Toni Guigliano, who has tried and failed previously to be elected to parliament despite support from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and other high heid yins in the SNP.
Murrell has been in the news recently as a reluctant witness in what has become known as the Salmond Inquiry into an alleged conspiracy amounts senior SNP figures to stitch up the former First Minister and replace him with Sturgeon
Salmond claims he was “fitted up” on sex charges involving St Andrew’s House staff members, of which he was acquitted by a jury in the High Court in Edinburgh.
The inquiry into all the circumstances of those events is ongoing.
Meanwhile, SNP members in the West of Scotland, have been attempting to find out the specifics of the party’s plan to discriminate in favour of BAME and disabled candidates in the selection process for of candidates for the May elections.
Members have been warned about washing their dirty linen in public and the SNP nationally has embarked on a Wheesht for Scotland campaign to keep them out of the newspapers and off the media prior to the country going to the polls.
One SNP blogger wrote on Sunday: “I asked on Twitter if anyone knew the specifics of the SNP’s plan to discriminate in favour of BAME and disabled candidates for the forthcoming regional list selections and rankings.
“I was told that I’d need to consult a leaked document – which is exactly as it should be.
“Selection of SNP candidates is quite simply none of the business of party members, and if members really want to know what’s going on they’d better make sure they have a really well-placed informant.”
He added there was no danger of the information being given to those applying to get on the List ever winning a plain English award – “What is seems to mean is that candidates who declare themselves to be BAME but do not declare a wish to be included in the reserved places mechanism will be discriminated against just as those who don’t.
“There is obviously a big debate over whether positive discrimination is even appropriate in candidate selection, but if you are going to do it, this is the absolute worst way of doing it – an East German-style altering of an actual election result to declare the last placed candidate the winner.”
Top picture|: SNP top brass in West Dunbartonshire – Cllr Jonathan McColl, Provost William Hendrie, Cllr Karen Conaghan and Cllr Caroline McAllister, who was rejected as a prospective candidate for the SNP over something she allegedly said about transgender persons.