By Bill Heaney
Loadsamoney. That’s what you get if you become an MP or a public servant at any level.
They have the best salaries and conditions of any service going. Who heard any of them pleading for public service cuts to be transferred to them instead of being foisted on poor and hungry children and vulnerable old folk during the current cost of living crisis?
They remind me of the crowd who shouted “Give us Barabbas” when Jesus was hauled by Pontius Pilate before the mob that took him off to be crucified.
For most of them it doesn’t matter if you are guilty or not of what you have been charged and convicted.
As long as it’s not them at the eye of the storm, then that’s just fine. Avert your eyes and stoke up the Gravy Train. Nothing to see here. Keep my name out of it. That’s their mantra. After they have been elected, of course.
As Brendan Behan once famously wrote: “Some of them would take the eye out of your head and come back for the lashes.”
Speaking as the recall petition for the SNP’s Margaret Ferrier draws to a close, Scottish Liberal Democrat communities spokesperson Willie Rennie MSP has emphasised the need to introduce a system of recall for the Scottish Parliament, which has fallen behind Westminster after it established recall back in 2015.
Ms Ferrier is, of course, the MP who stupidly took the train to London and back during the Covid pandemic lockdown.
This poor woman of a certain age didn’t know what she was doing. What is it they say? Ignorance can be cured by education and information. Stupid is forever.
Alex Salmond is sorry for Margaret Ferrier and so am I. She is suffering the Biblical equivalent of the women who were alleged to have committed adultery and were stoned to death in the public square.
There must be a few SNP politicians shaking in their shoes at the moment as the police continue their investigation into the many scandals that have engulfed the Nationalist party. It could be them.
A few of these women have brought scandal and public disgrace to the SNP and a few more are men who have lied and covered up what’s going on.
LibDem Willie Rennie said:“With a recall by-election on the cards in Rutherglen and Hamilton West, I think a lot of Scots will be looking at the Scottish Parliament and wondering why there is no similar system in place to let them have their say.
“Scandal-bound MSPs can sit on the backbenches claiming a full salary for years until the next election comes around without the voters having a say.
“The Scottish Parliament should have serious sanctions for people who behave inappropriately and a route map for how to sack MSPs in cases of proven misconduct.
Willie Rennie and the parliaments and local government places where the usual rules do not apply to the inmates thereof.
“We cannot be the only workplace in the country where there are no rules. Even the UK Parliament has had legislation applying to the recall of MPs since 2015.
[The Scottish Parliament isn’t, of course. West Dunbartonshire Council had no rules in place for four years for sensitive matters such as awarding lucrative contracts at a time when senior officials were playing golf and wining and dining with company executives with whom they were doing business. Editor]
“After parliamentary scandals involving MSPs like [Conservative Scottish MP] Bill Walker, I set out the principles that I believe should govern such a system, even addressing the Standards Committee on this matter, but I have been frustrated by the lack of willingness on the part of the Scottish Government to do anything more than mouth platitudes.
“There must be consequences for politicians and the decision about whether someone is fit for post should ultimately rest with the people who put them there.”
I too have serious reservations about what goes on with politicians and officials, even at local level where they refuse to uphold the ancient traditions of British democracy and Freedom of the Press.
The Council have handed over responsibility for their refusal to ban The Democrat from receiving the accustomed recognition and respect between the media and local government to a single barely experienced official, elected by no one.
Which poses the serious question why? What is she motivated by?
It’s time they lifted the ban which prevents us from asking questions of highly paid officials in charge of department questions [on the public’s behalf] and made proper facilities available for journalists to cover their meetings in the £16 million refurbished Burgh Hall, making sure we can see and hear what is happening.
Who ever heard of politicians and highly paid officials having neither the confidence nor the acumen to speak up for themselves and having to go through spin doctors for advice before doing so? What do they have to hide?
What the press and public are tolerating in West Dunbartonshire at present is not taking us back into the Dark Ages, it is creating a situation which is anti-democratic and which never existed in the past apart from in totalitarian regimes.
And both Labour and the SNP are up to their necks in this.
Top picture shows SNP MP Margaret Ferrier on whom the SNP axe is about to fall.