Alas poor Nicola. The First Minister is up to her backside in alligators – and she thoroughly deserves to be, writes Bill Heaney

Her excuse for not informing the Salmond Inquiry about about what she remembered of meetings with her predecessor is that she “forgot” when they had taken place.

Also, she twice disobeyed parliament by not handing over documents essential to the harassment  deliberations that in her arrogantly expressed opinion didn’t really need them.

Her behaviour has cost taxpayers more than £1 million, lots more than £1 million, which makes the £30,000 or so her predecessor Henry McLeish is said to have claimed for renting an office in his constituency look like peanuts.

I was with Henry when he quit in tears, absolutely refusing to blame his wife, Margaret, who had died of cancer, responsible for the muddle that was most definitely not a fiddle.

Henry was no genius, but at least he was principled.

By this time next Friday, Nicola Sturgeon will be gone, gone for good from Holyrood and froim the First Minister’s residence in Bute House.

She will herself soon be forgotten.

Nicola was always too smart for her own good; forever blowing her own bagpipes, and ready to stick a dirk in the back of anyone she disliked.

It would be preposterous if the people of Scotland were to go into the parliamentary election on May 6 with the “did she, didn’t she” question hanging over it.

We now know that she did misled the committee of inquiry and it is neither here nor there whether she did it deliberately or not.

Nicola Sturgeon should have known better.  She is a qualified solicitor who has refused to listen to the advice of the best legal minds in the country, Roddy Dunlop QC and Advocate Christine O’Neill.

She chose the members of the inquiry committee to pronounce on her behaviour, which they found to be unacceptable, and now she must face the consequences.

For Nicola Sturgeon, this is the final curtain.

It appears she believed that she was not only invincible but immortal too, and that if why she has left Scotland in the mess it is now in.

Do we really need here to list the debacle she has left behind?

As for her “brilliant” handling of the lockdown and pandemic, that is a smoke and mirrors myth, which many in the media, particularly the English media have signed up to.

Their choice between Nicola and the bungling Boris Johnston was Hobson’s Choice, which is no choice at all.

Anyway, it was revealed that she was up to her neck in it with the Unionist Johnston and that she lied from the outset about the situation of PPE and the availability of hospital beds, and now the availability of vaccines.

As for placing people with Covid-19 symptoms in care homes and the number of patients who died, let’s not go into that here. There will be yet another inquiry into that.

But what about the frontline heroes who were promised a £500 bonus by Sturgeon but who have been badly let down on that in the end?

It was clear from the person Nicola Sturgeon chose to speak for her on the BBC Newsnight programme last night that she has made no provision for anyone to step into her shoes.

He was some political nobody who came across as almost as arrogant as the SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford and Sturgeon herself.

When First Minister goes, the Scottish people will for the last few days of this rotten and incompetent SNP administration have to become accustomed to the change from Sturgeon’s Secret Scotland to Zombie Scotland.


Someone else who has difficulty remembering the past is the leader of the SNP administration on West Dunbartonshire Council.

There is no chance of Cllr Jonathan McColl admitting this though. He simply makes things up.

It appears to be an SNP trait widespread amongst its elected representatives to back their lying colleagues, no matter what they know the truth to be.

For example, they have been supporting Cllr McColl, who made a public accusation against me that I assaulted two women, by banning and boycotting The Dumbarton Democrat.

I am glad to note, however, that not everyone on the SNP benches in the not fit for purpose £17 million Burgh Hall meeting place is on his side.

McColl’s statement that he has written to SNP Finance Secretary Kate Forbes asking her to reconsider the government’s budget calculations has some of them fizzing into their whisky.

And to flag up yet another lengthy period of austerity by cutting council services with the kind of cuts that would cause you to laugh out loud were they not so serious.

McColl is effectively saying that the SNP budget, not just in West Dunbartonshire but right across the country, is rubbish.

Bet they’re delighted he came second bottom of the Regional List for the West of Scotland.

And that he knows better than his Cambridge-educated colleague, who replaced the disgraced Derek Mackay, has come up with a formula that will leave the local council as much as £4.5 million in the red this year.

Has no one told him that the Council has just received a £3 million over-payment of cash to deal with Covid, and that it’s in the bank before he has to resort to making cuts.

Or , just like his boss Nicola Sturgeon, has he forgotten that this money is there?


I don’t know when the contract went out for this work on Dumbarton Quay, but I hope it has a clause in it which says that if it proves to be unsatisfactory then the contractors should return and fix it free of charge.

It looks great on the surface and there has been one encomium after another from local people about how it has opened up the town centre to the Quay and the magnificent views across the River Leven to Levengrove Park and Dumbarton Castle.

However, it’s the surface that is the problem. The flagstones that have been laid along the walkway path make it dangerous, according to a number of local people who are used to keeping their eye on things here. The reason is bad workmanship, which has left gaps between the slabs which urgently require fixing.

Community councillor Linda Speir is one of a number of people who have drawn it to our attention. The sun’s got his hat on today (Friday) and hopefully it will shine for the best part of the weekend.

Local people will want to get out for a walk to blow the lockdown blues away. Let’s hope no one gets hurt if they trip up on the flagstones.

One comment

  1. Curtain for Nicola is the headline – well seems it might be too for Peter Murrell.

    News is just breaking that three of the SNP’s Finance and Audit Committee have resigned on the basis that they’re responsible for the party’s finances, but are unable to carry out their duties as chief executive Peter Murrell refuses to give them access to the books.

    With full details not available yet it is not known if the resignations are due to the missing £600,000 in “ringfenced” fundraiser money that was supposed to have been earmarked for use in a second independence referendum campaign, but which cannot be now be identified in the accounts of a party whose last published accounts showed only £97,000 in the bank.

    The three that are reported as having resigned from the Finance and Audit Committee are Frank Ross (a qualified chartered accountant and current Lord Provost of Edinburgh Council), Livingston company director Cynthia Guthrie and the Mid Scotland & Fife NEC member Allison Graham.

    No doubt things will become clearer as more reports emerge, but these resignations suggest that something is seriously wrong with the SNP finances – and or that someone has been cooking the books.

    Ordinary members across Scotland who have worked for years in the cause of trying to create an independent Scotland must be devastated at this news just emerging. And, as for Peter Murrell, well, given the perilous state of the last reported accounts, he may have some even more difficult questions to ask if the Party is, as many suspect, headed to insolvent trading.

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