As a daily reader of The National I look forward to doing the Crossword each day; I do this at lunchtime. However this does not happen on a Sunday! So at lunchtime on the Sunday I usually read Gerry Hassan – it is quite often in the 7 Days, a broadsheet, and difficult to handle.
This week the 7 Days broadsheet had a front page by Hugh MacDonald entitled ‘“The Wait of History” most of my time in the SNP’. I never met Hugh but I knew his father, also Hugh MacDonald, SNP Vice Chairman for Publicity at the time of the Hamilton by election. He worked for Beaverbrook Newspapers, and at the time of Hamilton he was off sick.
The next thing that happened was that he was on the front pages, himself and Angus MacGillveray with Winnie Ewing on their shoulders when she won the Hamilton By Election in November 1967. I never read of any disciplinary action against him.
Winnie lost her seat in 1970, but gained it in 1974. Much later when her daughter Annabelle Ewing, fought the seat I took Winnie through from Edinburgh; at that time she said “I have met so many people who voted for me that I wonder how I managed to lose!”
And now we have an unseemly battle going on in the SNP between Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond.
Let me put some things into context; when Alex Salmond was first accused of sexual harassment – to put it mildly, he denied the charges and had a Crowdfunder to finance his appeal.
So I made an entry into the site. My card was rejected, I decided to re-enter the details; this was also rejected. About five minutes later my telephone rang; it was an electronic wifie from the Bank of Scotland asking what was I doing? Very difficult to argue with an electronic woman.
I had never up to that point had any payment rejected and I think she gave me a number to call, not too clear on that but I was very suspicious. After all this was about Alex Salmond and our establishments do not support the SNP.
I struggled to find a telephone number for the Bank of Scotland, and the next day I called the number on my Visa Debit Card. I asked if this was a normal procedure and was told that it was; I later asked my eldest son who worked for the Royal Bank of Scotland and he confirmed that they used that system too. By this time the Crowdfunder was fully subscribed, so I saved some money.
After investigations, the Scottish Government paid over half a million to Alex’s legal team.
In the midst of all this Alex contacted Nicola Sturgeon, going so far as visiting her home in Glasgow which he should not have done and dragged her into his mess; he above all people knew the Ministerial Code…
We are now at the stage of claim and counterclaim, Alex was found Not Guilty by a jury; as more than a dozen women were involved, that seemed strange to me.
Alex is now asking for a Parliamentary Inquiry, but excluding some information which means he could incriminate himself. I am at a bit of a loss where all this is going?
The only person charged with an offence was Alex Salmond, and he was cleared by a jury after a trial. We are short months way from the 2021 Scottish Elections and the Unionists are salivating at this gift to them.
When Alex stepped down after the 2014 Referendum was lost I saw him on TV as he flew North and he said “You’ve no’ seen the last of my bonnets and me” a line from Bonnie Dundee.
Nicola Sturgeon at present is playing a storm against Covid 19, Brexit and a hard Tory Right Wing Westminster Government.; we did not foresee Covid 19, but we did see Brexit coming. Scotland voted to Remain by 62% of us, ignored by the Tories.
The SNP should close this episode down and Alex should remember “Put Scotland First”.
Nicola Sturgeon has now seen 20 Opinion Polls for Yes, and is very highly regarded in the UK, far outshining the other Parties.
This situation was created by Alex’s conduct, and we are in a quandary as we keep hearing about Parliamentary Enquiries, so beloved by opponents in our own and other Parties.
At the age of 86 and after 55 years in the SNP, I despair. To further add enchantment to the view the English Prime Minister, one Bollocks Johnstone has decided to visit Scotland during severe travel restrictions. Last year in the early months of lockdown his chief adviser Dominic Cummings.claimed he had to go to Barnard Castle to have his eyes examined; it looks as if Mr Johnstone is needing his head examined.