WHAT PRICE LOYALTY?

A guest post from Bill Clark from Fort William. What price loyalty between political friends?  I am well aware that people say overly nice things about people in power to enhance their own standing and what it may lead to.  On the other hand, it can also be said out of genuine admiration.  The following comments were madeContinue reading "WHAT PRICE LOYALTY?"

WHAT PRICE LOYALTY?

A guest post from Bill Clark from Fort William.

What price loyalty between political friends? 

I am well aware that people say overly nice things about people in power to enhance their own standing and what it may lead to.  On the other hand, it can also be said out of genuine admiration.  The following comments were made by some friends and acquaintances of Alex Salmond.  

When Alex Salmond stood down as leader in 2000 his replacement John Swinney was quick to praise his achievements “he has passed on to me a party in great shape and great heart.  In the years of his leadership, we have moved from the fringes of Scottish politics to the centre stage.  I am grateful to Alex for his loyalty and steadfast support”.  

Duncan Hamilton and Andrew Wilson, MSPs at the time,penned glowing newspaper columns which they framed and presented to Alex Salmond.  Then there was Stewart Stevenson recently retired MSP and SNP secretary who had a friendship with Alex Salmond for well over thirty years and who also spoke highly of his old boss at least in the years before 2017 when Alex Salmond’s lost his Westminster seat.   I may be doing Stewart a disservice as he may be lending support privately. After all, thirty years of friendship is a long time.   

In 2014 Jennifer Dempsie, who had worked for Alex Salmond for ten years, wrote a warm tribute in the Courier newspaper stating “that it had been a privilege to work for a true radical, a true public servant and a politician driven by the principle of the sovereignty of the people”. 

Even those opponents who were glad to see him retire made positive comments on his abilities.  Donald Dewar said he was a “doughty opponent.  I have considerable respect for his ability and I am sure he will be missed from the centre stage role he has occupied”

.My own Local Lib Dem MP Charles Kennedy was every bit as complimentary “he will no doubt be disappointed that he failed to deliver independence for Scotland, but he has performed the difficult task of keeping the different factions in his party together”.

 Many others praised his ability and humanity. Oh, if only Salmond was in charge today. Back in 2004 John Swinney resigned as SNP Leader Roseanna Cunningham was favoured to win the leadership contest against Nicola Sturgeon and Mike Russell.

 However, when Alex Salmond threw his hat into the ring, he became a racing certainty to win such was his popularity with the membership.  He informed Nicola of his intentions and as her mentor he offered to take her on as his running mate.  He was, after all, in Nicola’s own words “her bestie”.

 After the 2014 referendum Alex Salmond stepped aside and Nicola became leader in her own right and her gratitude to Alex Salmond which had been boundless was to evaporate years later when it became known that Alex Salmond who had lost his Westminster seat in the 2017 election, was intending to get back into front line politics.

 By this time, he was not only seen as a threat to the union, it appears he was also a threat to the new SNP leadership and if he could not accept that his days were behind him then they were prepared to politically bury him.

 Character assassination within political parties is common and the new SNP is not unfamiliar with this practise.   In truth it was a new SNP that had been forged in his absence, one that was more interested in self-ID and the Hate Crime Bill and, of course,holding on to power at any price even if it meant gerrymandering the candidates list and the membership of the NEC.  

 A more secretive SNP had emerged, one that threatened free speech.  Individual MPs and MSPs have yet to explain in detail self-ID and the Hate Crime Bill.  With regard to these issues the SNP leaderships greatest asset has been to keep the small print detail on their proposals and the affect they were going to have on the voting public.

  Just what are their views regarding our sports women and girls, and how do they think it will affect individual sports like women’s athletics, swimming, rugby, football etc sports that up until now have been inclusive to biological females to enable participants to have a level playing field?   

Also, are SNP MPs and MSPs together with candidates for the forthcoming local elections prepared to openly say whether they personally are for or against trans women participating fully at all levels of these sports in what has until now been exclusive to biological women?  Do they believe that trans women should be free to share ladies’ toilets, changing rooms and showers with biological born females?

 Will local government candidates confirm their personal views on those issues in their election material?  Are people going to be free to voice an opinion without being hounded by the First Minister’s in-crowd or questioned by the police or anyone else about the thoughts they may have?   If the answer is yes to any of those questions, then they should inform their electorate of their views.   The dramatist and writer Edward Moore once said “Power admits no equal and dismisses friendship for flattery”.

MY COMMENTS

I am grateful to Bill Clark for this article that highlights the betrayal that has been in operation since an insecure Nicola Sturgeon became First Minister. A story that shook and shocked me was when shortly after Alex Salmond had stood down as First Minister he was asked to present a cheque to an organisation at the Scottish Parliament. When he arrived for the photoshoot security required him to have someone sign him in. He replied ”phone the First Minister’s office I am sure they will send someone down” . After a delay an embarrassed security guard had to tell him ” I am sorry but they are refusing to do so”. Now this predates all the false allegations but gives a very clear signal, as it was intended too, that he was persona non grata, under Queen Nicola’s reign. Put simply it is disgraceful treatment of someone who led the fight for Independence very effectively over an extended period. It also devalues the post of First Minister and our Parliament.

We all know today where this bitter insecurity from Nicola led. Huge legal costs for taxpayers as the contrived plots in both the Judicial Review and the ludicrous criminal court trial ended in Mr Salmond winning the Judicial Review as the Scottish Government had to withdraw their defence in the face of threats, from their own legal counsel, that they would resign if they did not. That was how ridiculous it had become. The judge in the case was extremely critical of the Scottish Government in his final statement. Learning nothing from that futile experience, friends and supporters of the First Minister, egged on by a British Civil Servant, who publicly recorded she was intent in winning the ”war”, created a farrago of lies and frankly pathetic allegations and tried to jail Alex Salmond. Once again those efforts failed dismally as every allegation was exposed in court, again at taxpayers expense, and not a single conviction succeeded. Mr Salmond was damaged by the process, mostly by the failure of the unionist media to report the evidence submitted by the defence witnesses. In the main female defence witnesses, whose evidence completely destroyed each allegation. Unlike those making the false and contrived allegations, these female defence witnesses testified openly and with no requirement to keep their identity secret. All Nicola Sturgeon will be remembered for is dividing the Yes Movement, the first SNP leader who created the need for other Independence Parties. She has blown the best opportunities to secure Independence and has and is taking our country backwards.

I am, as always

Yours for Scotland.


BEAT THE CENSORS

Sadly some sites had given up on being pro Indy sites and have decided to become merely pro SNP sites where any criticism of the Party Leader or opposition to the latest policy extremes, results in censorship being applied. This, in the rather over optimistic belief that this will suppress public discussion on such topics. My regular readers have expertly worked out that by regularly sharing articles on this site defeats that censorship and makes it all rather pointless. I really do appreciate such support and free speech in Scotland is remaining unaffected by their juvenile censorship. Indeed it is has become a symptom of weakness and guilt. Quite encouraging really.

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