By Bill Heaney

If you want to make God laugh then tell him what your plans are.

What must have been Nicola Sturgeon’s plans when finally, but messily, she scraped Alex Salmond off her political plate? Or thought she had.

Poor Nicola, and that’s a phrase you won’t hear often, must have thought it would be a breeze for her just to go on and win the election on May 6.

The chauffeur driven limo and the official residence in Charlotte Square would be in the bag for another five years.

Not so, however. When Henry McLeish departed the East Wing of St Andrew’s House back in 2001, it was said to be a muddle not a fiddle that put him out on the street.

For Nicola Sturgeon it will be a fankle, and a self-created one at that.

So many complicated rules over the selection of SNP candidates; so many blunders in the way she has attempted to jettison Alex Salmond, her old friend and mentor, out the Holyrood door.

What she should have done really was put him in Edinburgh Zoo along with the Chinese panda and the Russian bear – and kept him there.

Politics is a cruel business and careers in it almost inevitably end in disappointment.

The only real good her porridge plot for Salmond has done for her is to take the spotlight off the many mistakes she has made which, if the public were given the opportunity to see them in some detail, her Secret Scotland – haud yer peace fur independence – then she would be out on her ear.

The biggest scandal of all has happened at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and Royal Children’s Hospital, which serves not just Greater Glasgow but West Dunbartonshire and Argyllshire too.

We were promised the best hospital if not in the whole world at least in the western world but we are being made to stump up for it at the eye-watering cost of almost £900 million.

Pigeon droppings and dirty water caused deaths at showpiece hospital.

However, what did we get for our money? Dirty water running through the taps and pigeon droppings which infected patients, adults and children, and caused some of them to die.

The initial official report press release on that does not mention death even once.

There is no excuse for that. There never will be, although doubtless Nicola Sturgeon and Jeane Freeman, the former Health Secretary, will try to find some.

Spin doctors will be paid a fortune to write the script which will be economical with the truth, full of obfuscation and will amount to what we see in so many official reports – a whitewash and a cover-up.

In many ways, it will be just like Covid. Everything was in place to deal with it, according to the Nippy Sweetie, apart from sufficient PPE, hospital beds, adequate staffing.

Who wants to bet there won’t be a word about the highly- qualified staff who quit in the face of the management turning a deaf ear to their warnings about the danger to patients.

We are fast running out of vaccine and the number of deaths is rapidly advancing towards the 10,000 mark in Scotland. Does that define success?

One would think from the way Nicola does her Shirley Temple act in front of the television cameras every day that she and her SNP government deserve praise for the way this pandemic and lockdown have been handled.

Anyone with a single iota of common sense and a modicum of political experience will tell you that it hasn’t.

That the SNP have taken their eye off their main business of running the country to engage in an internal battle which has seen them fighting like rats in a sack.

And which has already cost the poor taxpayers who are having to pick up the bill more than £1 million.

How many inquiries have we had into the perceived failings of public institutions, such as the Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board,  since the SNP took over at Holyrood, aided and abetted by the Green Party, 14 years ago?

How much have they cost and how long is it planned for this to go on? Millions, if not billions of pounds, have been squandered on austerity policies that have plunged the country deeper and deeper in debt.

With the SNP, we have had a bonfire of inanities. Squandermania rules at Holyrood. Flamingo Land is just one example of why we should not be spending any more public money on so-called Scottish Enterprise.

And we should restructure the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park Authority and take it out of the hands of the wealthy Harris tweed and bool in the mooth brigade.

Today was the first day of this six week election campaign. Much to the great chagrin of Nicola, her pompous wee husband and their parcel of rogues in Edinburgh, an SNP win is no longer a certain outcome.

In fact, it’s most unlikely to happen at all now that Salmond’s ALBA is party joining the pantomime that passes for a democratic process in Scotland.

Our own first dealings with ALBA indicate that we are about to get more of the same idiocy we have had to put up with McColl and Co running West Dunbartonshire Council.

There is unlikely to be a RIZLA paper between the policies of the SNP and the ALBA party. That is if ALBA have any policies at all, apart from independence.

ALBA’s ranks will be stuffed with zealots. The See You Jimmy hats brigade; the Saltire wavers, and wode wearing mediocrities, such as those who occupy the members’ seats in the Burgh Hall.

The ones who failed in the SNP candidate selection process. People like McColl, who came second bottom in the List and his deputy, Caroline McAllister, who didn’t get on it at all.

Decent members of the SNP who care about the real issues facing Scotland, child poverty, health services, housing, domestic abuse, the environment around Loch Lomondside, salaries for social workers and social care staff will be shoved aside by these people.

The ones who wanted to let the grass grow under our feet in our parks, cemeteries,  open spaces and sidewalks and to pull up the flowers in our parks. They will continue in office.

First indications of this are that McAllister refuses to speak with The Dumbarton Democrat. We have legitimate questions about whether she believes in a free press and openness and transparency in government, local and national.

We want to ask her the awkward questions that journalists are supposed in a democracy to ask politicians, such as:

Now that you are a member of the ALBA Party will you continue to vote with the SNP administration on West Dunbartonshire Council? Will you be locked out of SNP group meetings?

Are you joking when you tell us it is your ambition to take a seat on the Regional LIst at Holyrood come May 13?

Sturgeon may hate hate the prospect that the SNP and ALBA will be standing together come May, but she’ll hate it even more if they win a few seats as has been forecast.

If you have thought this last year to have been politically catastrophic for Scotland then gird your loins if the SNP and Alba manage to squeeze out all the other parties come May 6.

The war to come won’t just be over who owns the right to sing Flower of Scotland.

The Scottish Parliament elections will take place on May 6. Make sure you have received a polling card or a postal vote.




  1. Dear, dear Ed, this is a terrible tirade against Partaidh Alba this morning. A full scale onslaught if I may opine. And here was me thinking the sun had begun to shine.

    I my self am fair enthused at the development. A new home for people to come together. Nicola will most certainly be getting spoon fed her weetabix these last mornings, But for voters it’s a great development.

    And our good friends the Tories are aghast. That certainly made me smile. Big Bojo will be having trouble with the Weetabix too. He’ll not be so chipper now with his plans to dismantle Scotland with his notions to privatise the NHS, and scale back social employment, and economic protections.

    Nor might he find it so easy to implement a + 40% increase in nuclear weapons to be stored up here.

    Anyway, the week is young. Big candidate launch 11.00 am on Thursday and available online. And so lots to comment on. Who else will be on the ticket. Will labour accede to the Tories request to join them. And a post Brexit post coronavirus country to fix. Exciting times ahead.

    Keep your quill and the ink pot filled Ed.

  2. The thought that ALBA could win the election by putting out the SNP’s second team is cause for despair amongst those of us who would like to see an independent Scotland. That won’t happen in in my lifetime. As for Bojo and the Tories, they couldnae beat Casey’s drum up here. Anas Sarwar could surprise everyone with his new Scottish Labour Party. Keep the comments coming, Billie

  3. God? Oh! You mean Made In China, Bill. You bet, it’s curtains for the West and your capitalist plans. 1.4 billion commies coming down the pipeline. And allied with Russia and the rest of the Axis of Resistance. It’s 2021 and the world has had it with you greedy Bible thumpers lying and stealing and killing. You think 5 million “independent” Scots are going to turn the tide? I said it in my first letter to the press on the IndyRef in 2012….we would find out if the Scots were man enough for freedom. You need brains for that. Instead, here we are with one turnip blethering with another in “Phoney Scots/Tartan English.” Once this place was an international industrial powerhouse. Now we really are sunk.

    And what about the National Park and the “bool in the mooth brigade?” Where were you when McFall and New Labour announced that in the Commons in 1995? Where were you when the consultations began in Spring 1998? Where were you when I was writing into The Lennox about “the (US) locusts on The Loch?” Where were you when I spent over 10 years on the NP Fish and Fisheries Forum? Where were you when I won a Public Inquiry against the NP Local Plan and WDCs Local Plan before that? Where were you when New Labour granted the US locusts a Zoo Licence for Clown Fish? And where were you when I almost got the “bool in the mooth brigade” arrested for poaching, after L Div. refused and I had to submit a Crime Report to the PF and Joe Connolly, the wildlife Crime Officer, myself? I’m on the page of Contributors to the Parkswatch site. Where were they before 2016? You and your ilk need to take the bool out of your own mooths, Bill. You think you can change things round here without rocking the boat. You think the ruling class care about being reasonable and civilized….after they’ve created Hell on earth from here to Kabul and robbed and ruined every scrap of natural and cultural heritage there was to rob and ruin. Brute force and ignorance is all the British ruling class ever knew…them and their apologists.

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