Tuesday, June 26, 2012

When the SNP left the Commons Scottish Affairs select committee by boycotting it, they thought it was clever, now it looks seriously ill-judged

Dear All

The Scottish National Party has 6 MPS at Westminster.

In the Westminster Campaign of 2010, Alex Salmond was declaring that he could control a block of 20 MPs thereby exerting influence on what he believed would be a hung government.

In the end, it was the same 6 elected previously returned to Westminster, and John Mason who won Glasgow East in a by-election was defeated by about 13,000 votes.

Mason done a good stint as an MP but never realised that there was a problem lying in wait as I repeatedly told him, he need to do more to hold the seat. His work rate in the Commons was excellent but the strategy to hold it proved less so.

I warned him at a council by-election and also at the European election count, which Labour won 60% of the vote in his area, by then the direction of travel was already set back towards Labour.

Margaret Curran won that election so easily.

Down the road at Westminster, an argument broke out in the House of Commons Scottish Affairs select committee were SNP MP Eilidh Whiteford said she was the victim of abusive comments from Labour chairman of the committee Ian ‘the deerhunter’ Davidson.

Immediately following her accusation, she withdrew from the committee and the SNP backed her on unfounded allegations which there were no witnesses to support her version.

By walking out the decision is proving to be a costly one for her party as no one is there to put an alternative voice despite the committee leaving the door open for her return.

And the fact that every other member of the committee jumped to Davidson’s defence who isn’t exactly Mr. Popular suggests that there may have been another reason.

The SNP need someone in the House of Commons Scottish Affairs select committee now!

That committee is landing some seriously damaging punches on the independence campaign through its inquiry and cross examination of witnesses.

Although not the most skilled at Westminster, the segment on defence was very interesting indeed.

Should Dr. Whiteford, the heir to Salmond in Banff and Buchan return?

That is up to her, but someone should be appointed, he who tells the story writes the history, despite Commons rules saying she should be replaced if she misses three meetings, the door is open.

It is time to stop playing politics, maybe the SNP hoped a boycott of the committee would make the process look partisan and discredited, this has not happened.

Tactically withdrawal was a blunder in parliamentary terms for the SNP.

While that committee sits, the committee members and their witnesses can openly speculate and look at different scenarios, most of which would leave Scotland far worse off.

The SNP is very good at basking in the sun when things are going their way, the independence campaign was bouncing along until the disastrous ‘Declaration of Cineworld and in the minds of some the boycott may have been thought as a shrewd strategy by masterminds now it is looking decidedly ill-judged and out of touch.

The reason in my opinion was no one was looking long term.

SNP MP Eilidh Whiteford should be sent back or else a replacement found.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University


Anonymous said...

Your comment on John Mason is interesting, a significant number of SNP supporters are claiming they like SNP policies in Scotland but they won't vote for Independence. The singing and dancing isn't working anymore, voters want policies with meat on the bone.
I've still to see one credible policy apart from emulating other countries way of doing things.

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